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by Charles D. Tate, Jr.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints counsels its members to bury their dead in the earth to return dust to dust, unless the law of the country requires cremation. However, the decision whether to bury or cremate the body is left to the family of the deceased, taking into account any laws governing the matter. Burial of the body usually follows a funeral or graveside service. The body of a deceased member of the Church who has received the temple Endowment should be dressed in temple clothing. Relief Society sisters dress deceased women, and priesthood brethren the men. When it is not possible to clothe the body, temple clothing may be laid over it.

A member of the bishopric typically presides at the burial, where a simple, earnest prayer is offered to dedicate the grave, with blessings promised as the Spirit dictates. This prayer may include a dedication of the grave as a sacred resting place until the resurrection if the person giving the prayer holds the Melchizedek Priesthood and has been asked to give such a dedication. The grave site often becomes a sacred spot for the family of the deceased to visit and care for.

(See Daily Living home page; Attitudes Toward Health, Medicine, and Fitness home page)

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.1, Burial

Copyright 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company

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