Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died peacefully on Monday, December 1, at his home in Salt Lake City, of causes incident to age. He was 91.
Material recounting the life of Elder Wirthlin, as well as funeral arrangements, are available on the Church’s newsroom site.
Especially delightful reading is the article, “Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin: A Life Full of Adventure and Joy That Surpasses Understanding.”
I first saw Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin in 1976 while stationed as a missionary in Hannover, West Germany. Presiding over a conference of the Church, Elder Wirthlin endeared himself to the perhaps 1500 members present by speaking to them at length, enthusiastically and un-self consciously in American-accented German, of his love for God, for the restored Church, for the land of Germany, and for the German people. His manner was so sweet and so forthright that even the cynics could not doubt his sincerity. I learned a memorable lesson that day about credibility with people and where it comes from.
Since he became an apostle in 1986, I have heard Elder Wirthlin speak in General Conference at least once or twice each year. The same sweetness and forthrightness were there as in earlier days, I sensed that his messages had been thoughtfully prepared, and I noticed that his delivery was gentle and direct.
I will miss him.