Joseph Wirthlin
{ "" }
Share
Share Joseph's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Joseph B. Wirthlin, the Mormon church's oldest living apostle, died Monday. He was 91.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Wirthlin died at home of old age.

Wirthlin was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1986, about a decade after being called to full-time church service.

The quorum is the second tier of church leadership and is charged with various management responsibilities.

Wirthlin's other church posts included serving as a counselor to the Sunday school president, director of the church military relations committee, director of the church curriculum department and as an editor of church magazines.

He also led church operations in continental Europe, Britain, Ireland and Africa.

Published in The Salt Lake Tribune on Dec. 2, 2008.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
92 entries
August 13, 2017
He was my beloved Great grandfather
henry Miller
December 11, 2008
I am very sorry for your loss, he was a great man, i learned so much from his talks. he was loved and will always be remembered.
Brittnie Ivie
December 8, 2008
What a wonderful man, a spiritual giant. Joseph B. Wirthlin and his family are very special to my family. His great-grandfather Leopold Wirthlin taught and baptized my paternal great-great grandparents in Switzerland in 1877. I have taken a special interest in all his addresses in conference and his publications. They are very special to me. My condolences to his family at this time.
Gene Knutti
December 7, 2008
Dear Becky and Brian and family of this giant of a man,

I loved to listen to him speak. As he spoke, I would wait for his wry little jokes that would pop out every so often. He never laughed at his own jokes, and seldom even cracked a smile when the joke escaped him.

But more than that, his tender testimony and his gentle spirit always touched my heart whenever he would speak.

I know that your family will miss his loving presence and his guidance that he gave just by being who he is.

I think of the sweet reunion he and his wife had. What a joy they must have experienced!

I pray our Heavenly Father's richest blessings will surround you during this time.

With our love,
Greg, Heidi,
Jacob, and Melissa Johnson
Heidi Johnson
December 7, 2008
Ricardo & Gloria Castillo. Lo recordaremos como un Gran Hombre, de Dios.
Ricardo Castillo
December 7, 2008
Elder Wirthlin has been a great blessing in our lives. What a wonderful example to all. I was in the mission with Rebecca in Brazil and was so impressed by her and recognized that she came from a great family. She exemplified the teaching of a great father. May the family be blessed with the comforting arms of the Holy Spirit. My sympathies.
Gilbert Jennings
December 7, 2008
Elder Wirthlin's last talk at conference was so touching as he always was! What a spiritual giant ,and loving soul he has been to all of us. We send you our love and heartfelt sympathy. He is sorely missed. Bless your entire family ..He blessed ours!
Brother and sis. Bailey
Layne Bailey
December 6, 2008
Stephanie Hairston
December 6, 2008
Joseph B. Wirthlin by his teachings was a great man. His greatest contribution to me personally came by way of the marvelous son he raised. My friend Joe saved my life though he was unaware of it and not present at the time. I followed a wayward path for many years and finally when I sought to change I remembered the example of my friend Joe. I'm sure he did not approve of how I acted still the thing I remember always is a certain knowledge that I felt that he loved me. As the Savior taught us to love. That is a power I can testify that changes lives for good. I thank you Joe for what you have done for me and my family by living as your were taught by your remarkable father. Please accept my condolences for your loss and know the Lord is with you. You are in my prayers as well.
David Pugh
December 6, 2008
To the family of one of Heavenly Father's best servants. I know that he will be missed by his church family. love Ramona King [Columbus, Ohio]
Ramona King
December 6, 2008
To the Joseph Wirthlin Family, Thank you for sharing your father as a General Authority of the Church. We have been blessed by knowing him and the example he set. He was safety minded as well and appreciated meeting him and working with Joseph Wirthlin. It is wonderful that he can be with his eternal companion now. May the Withlin family be blessed in the coming years.
William W. Bentley
December 6, 2008
You are missed

Bea Frost
Bea Frost
December 6, 2008
my deepest sympathy .love, sister alma renner
alma renner
December 6, 2008
Every talk Brother Wirthlin gave touched my heart. There was always a warm,fuzzy feeling for me. He had an outstanding legacy of service to the church. He gave my heart an uplift each time he spoke in Conference. He had a special heart for touching others. He will be greatly missed by many.
Pat Spencer
December 6, 2008
Daniel & Monica Gutierrez
December 5, 2008
Elder Wirthlin was my acting mission president for a few months in 1977. He was managing church operations in Frankfurt, Germany at the time. My mission president had visa problems getting into Switzerland, so he filled in. I remember calling him about problems I was having with ingrown toenails. I remember him talking to me in a very patient, courteous manner about such a mundane matter. I also heard second-hand from a member who remembered his hearty appetite when he was a missionary overseas. My wife remembered him extolling her "China doll" features when she was a little girl. He really was a "regular guy" General Authority. I admire those who can quietly go about their work and service without demanding an audience.
Rick Casady
December 5, 2008
Dear Family,
Brother Wirthlin has gone on to join all the special Spirits with our Father in Heaven. A life well done.
God Bless you all.
Janet Dillon
December 5, 2008
We love you Elder Wirthlin. I will miss your talks at conference--your humility, spirituality and humor. One of the best was the last...Come what may, and love it.
Michelle Olsen
December 5, 2008
Celebrating a life well lived. We will cherish the memories forever.
Robin Schultz
December 5, 2008
Madeline, Mike, Joseph, Kathy and families. What a great example your father and your families present. I feel that I know your father through all of you. With love, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
PAT QUICK
December 5, 2008
Dear Wirthlin Family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time. Thank you for sharing Elder Wirthlin with us.
Love,
Bishop Vic, Mindy, Andrew, and Thomas Waslh
Orem, Utah Cherry Hill Stake
Mindy Walsh
December 5, 2008
To Carol, Scott & family. May the fun, great memories of your father lift you during this time of sadness.
We love Elder Wirthlin. We appreciated all of his great messages.
May the Lord bless you always.
Larry & Jacque Jacobs
December 5, 2008
I will miss you brother Wirthlin.
Robert Moran
December 5, 2008
Brother Wirthlin will be sorely missed. RIP.
Robert Moran
December 5, 2008
What a sweet image I will hold dear of his Conference talks, especially his talk this last October. With a heartfelt prayer that the sureness of the gospel will bring you peace at this time.
Maureen Brady
December 5, 2008
i AM SORRY ABOUT YOUR LOSS, A LOSS FOR ALL LDS MEMBERS. THANK YOU FOR SHARING HIS STORY WITH US.
DEE ALLEN
December 5, 2008
Dear Jane,
I just wanted you to know that you have been in my thoughts. What a wonderful funeral and what a great man. The music selections were so appropriate.
You will never regret the time you gave to your father.
I will long remember his conference talk on loving one another and Elder Nelson being right beside him. Both of them were leading by example.
My condolences. Flora Wall Knowlton Elem. Computer Lab
December 5, 2008
To dear Elder Wirthlin's family: I sent a copy of his most recent conference address, Come What May and Love It, to everyone I knew, about a week before he died. It impacted me so profoundly, I had to share it with everyone. Little did I know that his profound words would be his last, publicly. Thank you for sharing him with us. For the sacrifices you made so that he could serve and teach us. You are in our prayers and we pray that the Lord's angels will be round about you to bear you up in the lonely days ahead.
Camille Thompson
December 5, 2008
To the Wirthlin Family. Sweet was the association with your father in the Bonneville Stake. Blessings upon you!
Richard W Young
December 5, 2008
What a wonderful man and an inspiration to us all. I loved his humor and I will always remember his last talk in the Oct. Conference. Such humor and I loved his quote "Come what may and love it"
Kenna Holm
December 5, 2008
Thank you for sharing your love of the gospel and for making a difference in the lifes of so many, many people.
Tauna Larson
December 5, 2008
Thank you, Elder Wirthlin, for helping me laugh and learn.
Sarah
December 5, 2008
What a wonderful man. He will be missed dearly. My prayers are with the Wirthlin family during this difficult time.
Sarah N
December 5, 2008
We Love and Thank U for the Committment and Example you have carried through out your life, and for young generations to follow- I will never forget the time U came to watch our 2007 National Championship Game, Our Whole team came over to see U and U requested to shake hands with each player- U took time on many occasions with your family to attend Highland Rugby Games - KIA KAHA- and 'OFA LAHI ATU -
Highland Rugby - KIA KAHA
December 5, 2008
we will miss him and his talks he did not even look his age to me he only looked in his 70s to 80s he took care of himself well are smpathy gose to the family right now
the halladay family
December 5, 2008
We are sorry for this loss. He was a idol and a terrific Apostle. WE LOVE HIM!!!!!!
Danee Merrell
December 5, 2008
We were blessed to have a wonderful example to follow here on earth. May the lord be with you. The angels are singing praises to welcome their brother home.
Shirley Ragan
December 5, 2008
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Ash King
December 5, 2008
Dear Wirthlin Family:

Elder Wirthlin was such a wonderful man. He was a great example. We all loved to listen to his talks every General Conference. We know that now The Lord has called him to serve another mission to help those who have already passed on to learn the true gospel. Cause I'm sure that even he won't want to rest of very long. The Lord I'm sure will continue to bless all of you and Elder Wirthlin will also be watching over you too.

God bless you. sincerely The Glenn Protti Family
Camille Protti
December 5, 2008
I am sorry for you lose he was an amazing man. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
melinda ADAMS
December 5, 2008
How blessed were we to have such a tender heart in our midst. The Lord shows us how much He cares for us by the ones He sends. In sending Elder Wirthlin, the Lord cared deeply. He was loved much and he loved much. What a great man and apostle.
Liz Cowans
December 4, 2008
Rest in peace Brother Wirthlin. You have served your Heavenly Father well.
Parry & Debbie Salsi
December 4, 2008
We all love you, thanks for such a good life.
Melvin Hiller
December 4, 2008
Damon and Carla Elder
December 4, 2008
I will deeply miss the wonderful and inspireing messages from this humble servant of the Lord. I've been in the church ten years, and will cherish the many addresses I've heard from him. May God bless and keep you, his dear family, and may you feel the love and prayers of all of us who are prayin for yo, and mourning wih you where we are around the world
Paul Greene
December 4, 2008
Thank you for sharing your Father & Grandfather with the world. We as saints have been forever touched with his words at Conference. My family will miss him and his humor, and we pray for your comfort in the coming weeks. Bless you, and know that he is smiling down upon you!
The Syme Family
December 4, 2008
Elder Wirthlin was a dear man, a giant in his quiet leadership, and a wonderful example of the gospel in action. I greatly valued his friendship and counsel. - Rodger Dean Duncan, Liberty, Missouri
Rodger Dean Duncan
December 4, 2008
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Luseane Talaitone To'a
December 4, 2008
Dear Wirthlin Family,
My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of loss. May the Savior provide His peace and comfort to each of you. Elder Wirthlin was a wonderful man and great example. I looked forward to hearing from him each General Conference and was so impressed by how steadfast and faithful he was. He will be greatly missed, but how grateful we also must be to know that there is something more after this life.
Amy Marshall
December 4, 2008
Elder Wirthlin was a great Man. i am happy that I knew him as he lived in My Son Wilford Lieber's ward. I know it will be a great reunion with his wife Elisa in heavenly Father's Mary Jean Lieber
MaryJean Lieber
December 4, 2008
Dear Loved Ones of a Loved one,
I am grateful of the time I spent with your father in his office before our mission to Mongolia. I was surprised by his telephone call to Mongolia to ask us to serve with him in the greatest cause of mankind.
I remember his love, enthusiasm, and dedication he had for the Lord's work. He carried in his whole being. I felt the Lord's presence when in his mist.
The Harlan Clarks--Thirty Third Ward, Mongolia.
Harlan Clark
December 4, 2008
Dearest Wirthlin Family -
Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with you at this tender time of your father's passing. How we all shall miss him! What a glorious reunion with his beloved sweetheart he is having! Please know we are here for you and love you all. We appreciate so much your love, support, and friendship. We are so blessed to have been raised side by side with your family. What a blessing. Our love to you all.

Marjorie and Brad Helsten
Marjorie Helsten
December 4, 2008
Richard H. Herrick
December 4, 2008
For many years we have enjoyed the association of Elder Wirthlins' family members who live in, or managed the two duplexes located in the boundaries of the East Mill Creek 2nd Ward. We especially appreciated our association with Elisabeth, Dan, and Madeline. Always, these Wirthlin family members were a source of strength, love and a positive example to all of us. Elder Wirthlin, your influence, through your family, will always be felt.

We have loved our warm friendship with your brother Dave and his wife Anne, from the University Utah days to the present. Most significantly, we loved your warm and wonderful talks at General Conference. These talks were well organized as was your life. The talks were full of positive stories and examples which we loved. But most importantly, they testified of the Savior, Jesus Christ as it was your calling and priviledge to do. To your wonderful family members that we met personally, we send our love and condolences from our mission in Ohio. (The Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission)
Elder Wilford Bruce & Elaine Woodruff
December 4, 2008
Dear Whirthlin Family, Elder Whirthlin was one of serveral Church authorities I met personally many years ago that influenced my life and desire to do well in scouting and to serve a mission. He has my love and prayers as do all those he left behind. God Be With You Til We Meet Again...Don Holt ( Anniston Ward Birmingham Stake, Alabama)
Don Holt
December 4, 2008
Dear family,
Your father was such a special influence in mine and my husband's lives. We thought often of his and your mother's visit to the Swiss Temple while we were serving as missionaries and the sweet spirit they brought with them. He was always so gracious when we had the opportunity to be in his presence, especially the last visit I had with him. What a joyful reunion he is experiencing on the other side of the veil with those who love him. May you enjoy the peace the Gospel brings.
Marlene Fisher
December 4, 2008
Dear Wirthlin family,
I just read a few messages your father had given where he talked about the importance of laughter and about not waiting for specific things to make you happy, but to be happy now. This message has meant a lot to me today, and I wanted you to know it. What a wonderful man Elder Wirthlin is. My condolences are with you.
B Andersen
December 4, 2008
Nielson & Marquardt Families Nielson
December 4, 2008
There is much work to be done, even on the other side of the veil. Elder Wirthlin's passing brings additional help to those working so hard on the other side. While we will miss him, we will join him in our own time. Then we too, are promised to be very busy.
Robinson
December 4, 2008
You have our love and prayers. Elder Wirthlin was a hero to me. I loved him very much.
Jenny Solomon
December 4, 2008
Elder Wirthlin was a great man i loved his last talk at Confrence he gave great talks every Confrence but his last one was very good know hes on the other side and still having a reunion with his loving wife and President and Sister Hinckley...................
Tim Pulley
December 4, 2008
Elder Wirthlin visited with our family and toured our mission in Mexico in the early 70s representing the Sunday School. He was a gracious gentleman and very kind. His talk in October is a classic and is a fitting memorial to him.
Lewis and Gerry Bastian
December 4, 2008
Dear Wirthlin Family,
Your Dad was a great man and such an example to everyone. We will miss his conference talks, but we are glad that he is reunited with your mother, what a great reunion. Bless your hearts at this sad time and know that you are loved by many and you are in our thoughts and prayers. Keep your memories close to your heart.
Love,
The Davenport Family
Barbara Bowcutt
December 4, 2008
Elder Wirthlin, we felt, was "our" apostle. The reason we felt so close to him was that he visited our Bloomington Indiana Stake just one week before he was called to the Twelve. We had the joy of hosting him in our home. We immediately felt his great ability to love and lift. He was so kind to our children and seemed to love everyone in our stake. We were sorry his visit lasted only two days--we wanted more time to bask in the warmth of this spiritual giant. No one in our stake was surprised when his name was announced the following week as an Apostle of the Lord. Since that time, we have always felt a special love for our friend. His messages at General Conference seemed to have more than usual relevance for our family. We will miss this great soul with his gentle wit and enormous capacity for love and encouragement.
Ned Hill
December 4, 2008
And now his work will continue under a higher leadership. What a blessed and wonderful life he has led. My condolences to his family.
Barbara J Moore
December 4, 2008
We will miss such a great man Elder Wirthlin. He gave such good talks at Conferences. He is now with his beloved wife Elisa and other family members. I send my sympathy to all the family and friends at this very sad time.
Bruce Barton
December 4, 2008
Oh how we will miss his earthly presence. His talks at conference always gave us such wonderful counsel. He has earned his greatest reward, to be sitting at the right hand of our Father in Heaven.
Kimball Family
December 4, 2008
The best tribute to this great and humble man is the great range of states from which just the first fifteen tributes come.
He is one of a kind….
John Grover
December 4, 2008
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
'Aisea & Luseane To'a
December 4, 2008
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well-lived.
Talima & Noreen Hopokingi
December 4, 2008
Best wishes to the family. As a neighbor for many years I was particularly impressed by the musical talents of his children. I saw them perform on occasion. I also went to east high school, and my aunts were there with him. The family was and continues to be a great contribution to the area. RFB.
Robert Bennion
December 4, 2008
May God grant you peace and life everlasting.
Henryk Zaleski
December 4, 2008
Dear Joe,
This is Karen Bishop Cutler writing to you from Frankfurt, Germany. We knew each other at East High.
What a wonderful Dad you have--we are saddened by his passing. I have admired him for years and loved his words of wisdom. He will be greatly missed.
My husband, Roger, and I give our condolances to you and your family.
Warm Regards,
Karen Cutler
Karen Cutler
December 4, 2008
He is a great man and will be missed.
Rob Ruhr
December 4, 2008
Elder Wirthlin, An incredible legacy left behind. A wonderful example of faithfulness and love. May his family know they are in our hearts and prayers.
Kimberlee Batitsas
December 4, 2008
We love, admire and will miss you Elder Wirthlin.

God Be with you and your family until you are all reunited for eternity.
December 4, 2008
It was always a thrill to have Elder Wirthlin speak to the East High football team the night before a big game. On several occasions, players mentioned to me how they were touched.
Aaron Whitehead
December 3, 2008
You were a great example how to live a righteous life. You will be sorely missed. What a wonderful reunion with your lovely wife.
Michael Andrews
December 3, 2008
May God bless the family he was a wonderful man.
Barbara Hughes
December 3, 2008
Barbara A. Hughes
Barbara Hughes
December 3, 2008
LINDA TRACY
December 3, 2008
Elder Wirthlin will truly be missed. Thank you for your faithful service, may you rest in peace.
Jessica Erlandson
December 3, 2008
We will all miss his counsel, and his talks at the conferences. Rest in peace Elder Wirthlin, you will be missed greatly.
Steve Micke
December 3, 2008
I was really uplifted after his last talk in conference. I will miss him very much. Rest In Peace.
December 3, 2008
We love Elder Wirthlin because he was such a spiritual giant and we will surely miss his wonderful general conference messages and his sense of humor. We are wonderfully blessed to have him in our lives because he has touched so many. We will miss you and please bless the Wirthlin family in this time of loss.
The Poorte Family
December 3, 2008
El Wirthlin visited my mission in 1976 and I still remember the entire event. He was very inspiring and direct in his testimony, and so kind to his wife. Later, my family got to know his son, David as a member of our stake presidency, and you emulated many of those same qualities. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family at this time of his passing.
scott holyoak
December 3, 2008
Brother Wirthlin, was a outstanding man who will continue to work and serve, with those who have gone before. He will be missed here by all of us who loved him. Our condolences to his family until you meet him again.
Marvin and Mary McCool
December 3, 2008
SCOTT CHAMBERLAND
December 2, 2008
Elder Wirthlin was the Regional Reprsentitive on my mission .I was so thrilled when he was called to be an apostle and was not surprised. He will be Sorely Missed!
Richard Mickiewicz
December 2, 2008
You blessed us all ... now you are blessed.
Shannan Sweeney
December 2, 2008
Kristen
December 2, 2008
REST IN PEACE JOSEPH WIRTHLIN
D. ZIMMERMAN
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences