Sunday, December 7, 2008


I was extremely surprised and saddened to be the last person on the planet to learn that Elder Joseph Wirthlin had died this week. No one had told me and I hadn't seen it on the news and they didn't announce anything in church.

He was such a great little guy, with a very fiery spirit who spoke with such a gentle nature but with the authority of his calling. He was and is a reminder that there are the people out there who are celebrated because of how they act or sing or speak and then there are those out there who are less celebrated because of how they live and what they stand for. Some people can speechify till they're blue in the face and they'll receive popularity and adulation and commemorative plates, even though they haven't actually personally accomplished anything. The Joseph Wirthlins, however, will receive little popular acclaim as they write and speak their own words that are backed up by a lifetime of service and example. That's my kind of hero.

"I remember when one of our daughters went on a blind date. She was all dressed up and waiting for her date to arrive when the doorbell rang. In walked a man who seemed a little old, but she tried to be polite. She introduced him to me and my wife and the other children; then she put on her coat and went out the door. We watched as she got into the car, but the car didn’t move. Eventually our daughter got out of the car and, red faced, ran back into the house. The man that she thought was her blind date had actually come to pick up another of our daughters who had agreed to be a babysitter for him and his wife.

We all had a good laugh over that. In fact, we couldn’t stop laughing. Later, when our daughter’s real blind date showed up, I couldn’t come out to meet him because I was still in the kitchen laughing. Now I realize that our daughter could have felt humiliated and embarrassed. But she laughed with us, and as a result, we still laugh about it today.

The next time you’re tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable."

-Joseph Wirthlin


Kevan said...

As I mentioned on Kristen's blog, Elder Worthlin's daughter Carol is married to a cousin of KC's mother. When the Worthlin's were on their couple mission, we were invited over to the house on several occasions where Carol and Scott were house sitting. Scott is quite the story teller so it was fun to hear the tales of Elder Worthlin and his family. They are very close and a loving and kind bunch. Elder Worthlin use to tell Scott how proud he was of him because he was such a great handyman. Funny thing was, Scott's Dad would shake his head in disappointment over the fact that Scott was the worst fixit guy on earth. Elder Worthlin saw the good in others and always made them feel better about themselves.

Andra said...

I do believe his was my favorite conference talk this session. And yes, I did watch/listen to more than Hillary.

Hillary said...

Andra lies. Not just about conference, but about everything. I will sit down and watch whereas she will just have on every TV in the house on surround sound as she sits and plays solitaire on her iPhone.