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Dear Gramps,

The questions that I have had the last few years regarding cremation were answered in your past questions. However, I am hoping that you will be able to provide additional insight to help me more fully understand. It seems to me that whether a body decays in the ground or is cremated (and perhaps scattered), it is still basically in the same state – one that is far from mortality and immortality. I understand the Church’s position when a culture requires or strongly encourages it, cremation then it is acceptable. But what do you think rationale for being “buried in the earth being most appropriate” is? And what of people who are burned to death? Thanks.

Brian, from Minnesota

Dear Brian,

The rationale for prefering that the body be buried in the ground probably comes from the Lord’s statement to Adam found in Genesis 3:19,

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

I don’t understand your question, “And what of people who are burned to death?” Are you troubled that they may be beyond the Lord’s capability to reunite their elements and bring them forth in the resurrection? Nothing is impossible with the Lord. Matter is never destroyed. We read in D&C 93:33 that the elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy.


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