Mormons and Death: Introduction

by Kelly Ann

In honor of Memorial day, in which we not only honor our Veterans but all those who have passed away, The Exponent blog will be putting up several posts through Thursday of this week  (beginning with yesterday’s poll) that explore Mormon’s perceptions and experiences with death.  As we have realized the importance of really diving into the myriad of associated issues, which are fundamentally such an important part of life, we will then continue the “death-themed” series weekly on the blog on Wednesdays through the end of July.   The pieces by a variety of perma- and guest- bloggers will cover a range of topics including this introduction (5/30),  Mormon funerals (5/31), unconventional funerals (6/1), miscarriage/ stillbirth (6/2), the death of a child (6/8), suicide (6/15), the right to die (6/22), organ donation (6/29), giving comfort (7/6), the afterlife (7/13), cemeteries (7/20), and grieving rituals (7/27), as well as a couple themed polls on Sundays at the beginning and the end of the series.  We hope that the posts will open the discussion of the impact of death on our lives.  While they may often be very heavy and sad topics, we believe it is important to discuss them.  We also hope the posts will be a great resource in the future for those thinking about the issues.  (As a note, if there is a specific aspect you would like to see discussed, please let us know).

So also in the spirit of remembrance, we share the following poem:

PIANO

By D.H. Lawrence

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

1918

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7 Responses

  1. Lorraine says:

    This is a great idea. Looking forward to future posts. I would also love to see some conversation on Mormonism’s unique (and in my opinion, wonderful) doctrine on animals and their place with us in the afterlife.

    • spunky says:

      Lorraine- what are your sources? I love that!

      • Kelly Ann says:

        Lorraine, Wheny my cat died when I was a kid, I firmly believed it was going to heaven. In fact, I figured animals had their own kingdom. But I don’t know where that thought came from. I might look for some sources and see if we can throw it into the mix. Maybe even a poll, because now I am really curious to hear more about peoples beliefs. Although, I have to admit that part of me now believes that animals are reincarnated. If they have spirits, there sure a lot of them … I also personally like the idea of reincarnation for myself (I know it doesn’t fit with LDS scriptures) but that would be a different story.

      • Lorraine says:

        ha! you know it’s funny you ask that specifically, because I was always told that by my very nature-friendly and very liberal and empowered mother that our religion was an advocate of animals having spirits, but I couldn’t have told you off the top of my head what scriptures or talks verify that. There is some interesting info on that matter here (http://lds.about.com/library/bl/faq/blanimals.htm), but I think that I will have to do some personal digging in the scriptures myself now! Yes, please talk more about this!!

      • kelly ann says:

        Lorraine, the about.com link is quite interesting. Thank you! And I know the sentiment comes from somewhere so the quest begins …

  2. Kelly Ann says:

    And I should also note that as evidenced by Amelia’s post today, I am even more excited for the whole series!

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