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Ask A Mormon: Is cremation acceptable?

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Ask A Mormon: Is cremation acceptable?

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Editor’s note: This post originally ran in 2013.

Do you have a question about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Submit it online or fill out the form below. 

Q. Do you believe in cremation after death?

A. Yes, Mormons definitely believe that after death is the only acceptable time to be cremated. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

Seriously, though, the final disposition of a person’s mortal remains is a personal matter for the family of the deceased to determine, and I’ve known Mormons who were buried and Mormons who were cremated. That said, there does tend to be a cultural (not doctrinal) bias toward burial rather than cremation, particularly in the United States.

The official handbook of the church states: “The Church does not normally encourage cremation. The family of the deceased must decide whether the body should be cremated, taking into account any laws governing burial or cremation. In some countries, the law requires cremation.”

Latter-day Saints believe that our physical bodies are gifts from God, temples even (see 1 Corinthians 3:16), and should, therefore, be treated with great respect and care. Some people feel full body burial is the best way to show that respect; others feel cremation is more respectful or it simply fits their needs better. Cultural and personal preferences, not doctrine, determine which a Mormon family will choose.

Thanks for the question!

Do you have a question about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Submit it online or fill out the form below. 

 

Emily Geddes

About Emily Geddes

Emily H. Geddes was born to two physicists and grew up as a Navy brat. Born-and-raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she holds a bachelor's degree in theatre from Brigham Young University, and earned an MBA from Eastern Washington University.

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