The Rights & Wrongs of Mormon Mourning

I can’t recall any LDS funeral, regardless of where it was held, that did not include something that could be called a “plan of salvation” talk. A very, very few of these may have been given by members of bishoprics, but every such talk I can actually recall individually has been given by a family member, or by someone asked earlier to do that by the deceased herself, or by a general authority invited to speak because of a personal relationship with the family or the deceased. Some have been more eloquent than others. Honestly, I can’t remember a single one that has been inappropriate in any way, or was not personal to the deceased (i.e., something like “Your father was a good man. Among the good he did in this life was x, y, and z. Our knowledge of the plan of salvation suggestions that your father was met at the veil by … and may even now be engaging in … and in time to come will rise from the grave to do …”)

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This is not to say that such clumsy moments never happen, or that well-meaning but spectacularly stupid things don’t get said, by Mormons as well as others. Why should I expect funerals to be different from any other human activity? Times of high emotion — weddings and funerals among them — seem fraught with opportunities to give and take offenses that can take a very long time to heal.

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