Friday, December 5, 2008

Joseph B. Wirthlin: 1917-2008

I was surprised to discover this morning that LDS apostle Joseph B Wirthlin had died on Monday. Very little has been written about this on the net as compared to other semi-recent apostolic passings such as Gordon B. Hinckley (Wirthlin’s second cousin incidentally) and James E Faust. I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me, when members are asked to name the current compliment of the Council of the 12 Wirthlin’s is typically one of the last to be remembered. He was an unassuming man, a decidedly non flashy, non controversial figure, who was probably the least dynamic speaker among the Twelve. But that’s why he was my favorite, a boring man to listen to, if you focused just on his delivery, but there was a tremendous humility, and a little bit of a sense of humor that always showed through for me. His stories about University of Utah football games from the 1930’s I always found uplifting, because you could tell how the lessons learned on the field still meant so much to him. While in some ways not as accomplished in the world as his much younger brother Dick Wirthlin, who was Ronald Reagan’s chief pollster, Elder Wurthlin’s life was well lived, and his quite presence I will miss.

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