This will be the Message from the Bishopric in the November ward newsletter (after being translated into Finnish, natch). Just a bit of devotional for the holiday.
I am always touched as I go past a cemetery on Pyhäinpäivä (All Saints Day) and see all the candles. I appreciate the effort so many people make to honor their dead, and I think a little about what the gospel has taught me about death.
Of course, it is proper for us to grieve at the death of someone we love as we will be separated from them for a time. As D&C 42:45 says, ‘Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die.’ I found President Hinckley’s grief over the death of his wife to be an inspiring testament of their love for each other.
At the same time we know that the dead live on, as spirits for now and to be resurrected at a later time. As Paul writes, ‘For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Cor 15:22) We understand that death is not the end of a person, but a new beginning. While physical death can be hard for the survivors to bear, it is an important step in returning to our Father.
I live far from the graves of my dead ancestors; I cannot honor them with candles or plants. But I can honor them by going to the temple, by offering them and the ancestors of others the chance to accept the gospel as they live on, so they may say, ‘O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ (1 Cor 15:55)