Why Jonah Lomu’s funeral is a private one

Jonah Lomu became a Mormon, joining the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints in 2012.

The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) forbids the broadcasting of a funeral service on the internet or “in any other way.”

The LDS  announced details today for Tuesday’s funeral services for Jonah Lomu.

The services will take place from 10am on Tuesday 1 December at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ meetinghouse at 15 Robertson Road, Mangere, Auckland.

Family members and friends have been invited to attend at the Robertson Road meetinghouse.

Others who wish to pay their respects are welcome to attend gatherings in four other locations around Auckland where a video feed will be broadcast.

Video recordings and “computer or other electronic presentations” should not be used as part of a funeral service.

Taking photographs, videos or sound recordings are not permitted in any of the five locations during the service.

“Funeral services are some of the most solemn and sacred meetings of the Church,” said former president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Boyd K. Packer (1924—2015).

“It is a time of caring and support when families gather in a spirit of tender regard for one another. It is a time to soberly contemplate doctrines of the gospel and the purposes for the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

According to the LDS Church handbook members are counselled to avoid practices or traditions that are so expensive or prolonged that they impose a hardship on the living or impair them from proceeding with their lives.

Church leaders and members must seek to make services associated with a person’s death “a dignified, solemn and spiritual experience for all who participate”.

Services are generally held under the direction of a bishop and may vary between countries but the underlying principles remain universal. According to the handbook “teaching and testifying about the plan of salvation is essential”.

The church handbook also gives direction on burials. “Where possible, deceased members who were endowed should be buried in temple clothing.

Where cultural traditions or burial practices make this inappropriate or difficult, the clothing may be folded and placed next to the body in the casket,” it said.

“The church does not normally encourage cremation.”


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