Sacrament meeting

Are there any restrictions on funeral or burial services for someone who died by suicide?

When an individual dies by suicide, we should give the same respect to their body, and to the surviving family members, that we would to anyone else. Handbook 2: Administering the Church teaches: “The family, in consultation with the bishop, determines the place and nature of a funeral service for a person who has died under such circumstances. Church facilities may be used. If the person was endowed, he or she may be buried in temple clothing” (Handbook 2, 21.4.14).

Elder M. Russell Ballard was asked to speak at a funeral service for a friend who had died by suicide. He said: “Knowing the person and the circumstances as I did, and researching the doctrine on the subject, I had some difficult moments in preparing for my remarks. . . . Peace came to me only when I recognized that only the Lord could administer fair judgment. He alone had all the facts, and only He would know the intent of the heart of my friend. I was reconciled with the idea that a lifetime of goodness and service to others must surely be considered by the Lord in judging the life of a person” (“Suicide: Some Things We Know, and Some We Do Not,” Ensign, Oct. 1987, 7).

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