Burning question: Religion is one factor driving cremation trend

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  • bjdoc Boise, Idaho
    Oct. 22, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    What a great time for a comment. Having lived in Europe for ten years, I learned of a loving humble manor of burial, with the average cost of $400. for all services rendered. We are all victimized by free temple calenders handed out each December for the local funeral home.
    Please consider the concept of PROVIDENT DYING, not just provident living. Men build your own simple burial boxes and not leave your loved ones with thousands of dollars of debt, and leave that money in the perpetual education fund. Embalming is not required by law. We recently placed our family marker on our cemetery lot, followed by the sweet feeling of being prepared.
    Cremation is only less expensive than burial, if you just plan ahead, and practice PROVIDENT DYING.

  • benjoginko Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 8:00 p.m.

    I want to be cremeated and have my kids scatter my ashes across the world at various points.

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    Sept. 23, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    When our son was dying of cancer he requested that he be cremated, we honored his request. A small family and friends memorial service was held; his ashes placed in the family burial plot and a headstone placed with his photo engraved into it, etched with his name, and birth/death dates. Very simple without the big fan fair associated with a traditional funeral. The simplicity of it seemed so very appropriate.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Sept. 23, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    LDS Church policy works for me. Consider the circumstances and let the family decide.

    Those who quote Old Testament scripture in this matter probably had bacon for breakfast. And none of them have offered animal sacrifice at the temple.

    "Where there is no vision, the people perish." (Proverbs 29:18)

  • Cookie999 Albuquerque, NM
    Sept. 21, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    Lawyers and bankers took all my grandparents and relatives' money and land away. So guess what? Cremation ended up being the cheapest, and for our needs, the only option. I have heard some here (and elsewhere) quote scriptures and policy. We who are Christians, having faith in Jesus Christ, ought to believe that no matter how someone dies or is buried, the Atonement of Jesus Christ covers every soul who has ever lived. I hope that the bankers, lawyers, trustees, etc. who were the greediest in taking every acre of land we had will enjoy their lavish funerals, because when it's all said and done, we all need Jesus Christ more than we need an expensive coffin and well-watered burial plot. The orthodox Jews have the pine coffin option, because they know we all end up in the same place.

  • Rural sport fan DUCHESNE, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 5:23 p.m.

    The plain pine box is a "by request only" option...no mortuary will tell you about it, unless you ask. They go so far as to hide the box in a very nice facade at the funeral, and they will NOT allow the funeral party to see the box buried, so there's no casket at the open graveside type thing.

    But I'm with the folks that think the cremation thing is more about economics than religion...the fact that religion is accepting cremation is secondary to that.

    As far as the religion thing goes...are we saying that a good Christian man who dies by being burned in a fire is in peril of losing his immortal soul?

    I really don't see God as being that heartless.

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 7:19 p.m.

    There is no scripture prohibiting cremation, nor any scriptural basis for the Church to discourage cremation.

  • PA Rock Man Allentown, PA
    Sept. 15, 2013 3:59 p.m.

    There is another alternative, it's called natural burial. In this case the body is not embalmed and is buried in a simple pine box without a concrete vault. This allows the body to decay rapidly, as nature intended. It is much cheaper and more natural.

  • BH Tremonton, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 12:19 p.m.

    Red and Prodicus both bring up points that should be major concerns to everyone. The expense and waste associated with traditional funerals and burials is staggering. And all to comfort the living, to give them a feeling of honoring the loved deceased.

    While I am not necessarily a proponent of cremation, I am most definitely not fan of the waste and expense associated with traditional burials. I have cautioned my wife and children, that if they put me in anything but the cheapest casket and vault, I will come back and haunt them.

    All kidding aside, there are better things to spend money on than burying our loved ones. Honor them by doing good with that money.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:35 p.m.

    True, cremation was seen as a pagan practice. But embalming was even more so. The standard practice of most Christians through the ages, still followed by orthodox Jews and Muslims, is natural burial, allowing the body to decompose rapidly. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

    In the US alone, every year we bury more than 30 million board feet of hardwood, 104,000 tons of steel, 2,700 tons of copper and bronze, and 1,636,000 tons of reinforced concrete, and we use close to a million gallons of embalming fluid (normally anywhere from 5% to 30% formaldehyde). This is a waste of resources and a $17 billion drain on the economy, an environmental disaster, and a serious financial strain on the bereaved. Why do we do it? Because our culture has absorbed essentially pagan attitudes about trying to stave off decomposition as long as possible and burying people with nice things to wake up in the afterlife with. Sorry, guys, you can't take it with you, and that includes your casket.

    Both natural burials and cremation are economically, environmentally, and morally preferable to our present death industry.

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    I was curious being LDS what the church says about cremation so here it is out of the handbook from LDS org

    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.

    Where possible, the body of a deceased member who has been endowed should be dressed in temple clothing when it is cremated. A funeral service may be held (see 18.6).

  • Paddycakes Prescott, AZ
    Sept. 13, 2013 1:07 p.m.

    Reading these comments I am reminded of the Scripture: "Each man did what was right in his own eyes." In other words, God's people ignore: "What sayeth the Lord". In the OT, cremation was reserved for witches, and always, always God's servants were laid to rest, 'the the earth' or in a hollowed out rock. Never were saints burned for 'convenience' sake to save money. It is not God honoring to be cremated.

    Should a Christian be cremated, in order to save money? According to the Scriptures, it is a curse for a dead body not to be buried (I Kings 21:23-35)! Part of the cursed prophesied by God's prophet Elijah was that she should not be buried, but her body would be eaten by dogs (I Kings 21:23-35

    Cremation was not practiced by early Israelites and not by early Christians. Historically, secular and Biblically, it was and is a pagan rite, and God commands we are not to follow pagan rites. He who has ears, let him hear.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    Ice Box?

    Sept. 13, 2013 11:39 a.m.

    My mother worked in a mortuary as a teenager and found the whole embalming process to be 'gross' so she has requested to be cremated immediately without any embalming. It really does come down to personal preference unless you live in a place like Hong Kong where it is required.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:22 a.m.

    Though I was resistant to the idea of cremation when I was younger because of a dislike of the thought of someone's body being consumed by flames, I've now decided to have my body cremated simply because I would prefer flames than having my body consumed by bacteria and worms. Plus, as mentioned elsewhere, it's a whole lot less expensive and I'd rather have my beneficiaries receive the money than a cemetery.

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    I read an article recently stating cremation is not "Green" for the environment. Will that effect people desires to be cremated rather than burial?

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    Let the dead bury the dead.

    The living have better things to do with the money instead of paying $10k to a funeral home.

    Go be with your kids! Pay for more education so they can thrive in this crazy world.

    Anything is better than wasting it.

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    Sept. 13, 2013 6:32 a.m.

    With more Christian Churches showing a tolerance for Cremation and the costs being considerably less than purchasing a plot, casket, and vault more people are deciding to be cremated. Unfortunately, this will not continue as the costs of cremation will be raised closer to the costs of burial so some Funeral Homes can continue to make large profits.