How to Bury a Prophet

The Latter-day Saints buried their prophet on Saturday. Thousands attended the service in person and millions more faithful watched in chapels around the globe, as well as on the internet. What they saw was an unusually personal ceremony for a very public man who led and to large degree defined the contemporary Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Notwithstanding the numbers and titles of participants, Gordon Hinckley’s funeral was a family affair both in word and sacrament. It was an extraordinary display of what makes Mormonism tick.

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Kathleen Flake, in Sightings, (2008), reprinted in The Columbia Sourcebook of Mormons in the United States, Reid L. Neilson and Terryl Givens, eds., (New York: Columbia Univ., 2013).