(KUTV) -- Guidelines on veiling the faces of deceased, endowed women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently changed.
In a letter dated January 24, 2019, from the Church's First Presidency, an option of veiling dead women's faces prior to burial was issued that wasn't previously offered.
The letter stated:
Veiling an endowed woman's face prior to burial is optional. This may be done if the sister expressed such a desire while she was living. In cases where the wishes of the deceased sister on this matter are not known, her family should be consulted.
Members of the Church who are at least 18 years old may receive their temple endowment if they are faithful and prepared as to standards set-forth by the Church.
These endowments include garments worn underneath everyday clothing and also temple clothing worn during sacred ceremonies performed in the LDS temples.
The veil is among the temple clothing worn by women and is encouraged to be worn at time of burial where cultural traditions or burial practices permit.
However, in respect of cultural traditions that make the temple clothing inappropriate or difficult, the clothing may be folded and placed next to the body in the casket, the Church states in its guidelines.
Prior to veil-wearing change, a woman's face could be unveiled until the casket was to close, at which time a veil could be covered over the deceased female's face by a person authorized by the bishop.
An LDS bishop is an ordained and set apart leader who presides as a high priest for a congregation, called a ward in the Church's configuration of neighborhood boundaries.
More information can be found in the Church's manual, "Instructions for Clothing the Dead Who Have Received Their Endowments."
2News inquired about a response from the Church about the change but the Church declined to comment.