Thursday, December 17, 2015

The final speaker at a funeral is the most important ...

I'VE said this before and I'll say it again -- some of the most incorrect of LDS doctrine is being taught during funerals in LDS Chapels. (That I won't address here, but it is a common practice.)
However, now I've realized that the MOST important of ALL funeral speakers is the final one -- and it is almost always a bishop or stake president (who presides at the meeting) -- and they tend to usually overdo it.
I recently attended an LDS funeral in South Ogden, Utah. It was uplifting and the Holy Spirit was in abundance. That is, for me at least, until the final speaker -- the assigned bishop of the deceased spoke and babbled on for at least 20 minutes.
This bishop somehow felt he had to teach a long sermon and though he kept admitting he hardly knew the deceased, that shortfall didn't keep him from going on and on. 
(The deceased had moved into his ward about a year ago and the bishop had only met him once.)
Thus, a funeral that would have been closer to an hour long was 90 minutes long.
The bishop's overblown sermon left a bad taste in my mouth and he isn't the first bishop or stake president to do that. I've had other similar experiences.
Why can't they just get up for 5 minutes and be done?
Instead of walking out of the funeral excited and uplifted, I had lost most of my zeal. Sure, some of it may be blame on me, but if I were a non-member at that funeral that day, I probably would have not been very impressed.
-At the funeral of one of my full-time missionary companion's uncle, an emeritus general authority was invited to speak. He went for 45 minutes, often repeating himself and causing agony to funeral goers. And, he didn't even know the deceased personally!

NOTE: Bishops and stake presidents -- you don't need to sprout out a long sermon every time you speak -- especially at a funeral. If you know the deceased and can tell some stories about them fine. Yet, if you have no stories, keep it short, sit down and end the funeral, please. Everyone will appreciate it and the funeral will end on a high note.
Instead of everyone remembering how you spoke far too long, or how boring you were, they will still retain their spiritual excitement and you won't be a negative factor.

NOTE: This article and all of the NighUntoKolob blog are NOT an official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are the author's conclusions and opinions only.

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