The world benefits from religious leaders who genuinely exemplify in very deed the moral values they espouse and teach. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin was such a leader.
His passing this week at the age of 91 brings to a close a devoted ministry that touched countless lives, both at home in his Salt Lake City neighborhood as well as throughout the world.
Mostly, Latter-day Saints will remember the soft-spoken member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who delivered practical sermons laced with personal anecdotes, yet filled with wise and deliberate counsel. Through those sermons they caught glimpses of a youthful Joseph who learned to serve others at the knee of his father and mother; of "Speedy" Wirthlin, the fleet-footed football running back at the University of Utah who maintained a life-long interest in the joys and lessons of athletic competition; and of a maturing husband and father, and hard-working businessman who understood the purpose of life's journey.
For 33 years as a LDS General Authority, 22 of them as an Apostle, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, like a sailing ship in a steady, unwavering wind, humbly accepted his assignments and went about the world doing good. The stability of his presence will be missed.