why should human remains be treated with any respect at all?
As I said above, all funerary rites are for the benefit of the living. We are respecting the memory of that person, not the actual physical remains. Let me ask you this – when a person is lost at sea, or dies in some other manner that leaves no physical remains, does it make a difference in the way that person’s death is honored? Do you say, “Oh, well – there’s no body, so no need to have any kind memorial.” Or do you still have essentially the exact same process, perhaps with a photograph of the deceased standing in for the body?
There is strong evidence that early Christians also shared this view of Christ as the Jehovah of the Old Testament, as I discuss more fully on my page about " Questions on Relationships Between God, Man, and Others ." For example, non-LDS scholar Margaret Barker recognizes the "overwhelming" evidence that early Christians identified Christ with Jehovah in the Old Testament, and in doing so, addresses the issue of how they understood Deut. 6:4. The following excerpt is taken from her book, The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God (London: SPCK, 1992, pp. 192-193, as cited by Kevin Christensen, Paradigms Regained: A Survey of Margaret Barker's Scholarship and Its Significance for Mormon Studies , FARMS Occasional Papers (Provo: FARMS, 2001), pp. 24-25):
Jesus knew the hearts of men (John 2:24–25) and he urged us to be perceptive in assessing others (Matthew 7:15–20.). Leaders must know who is fit for what kind of work. Good leaders have good noses. They can snoop out barnacles in a hurry; that is, people who are forever listening but never learning or changing. They can detect potential when they see it in a beginner. They can hear in a short time the echoes of pride and hypocrisy and worldliness. The spiritual leader steers a careful course between the dangers of rigid pigeonholing on the one hand and indifference on the other hand.