Thousands gathered in the Tabernacle on Temple Square and thousands more tuned in by television or on the Internet today to pay their last respects to Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin. Elder Wirthlin was the oldest serving member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the time of his death. He died Monday evening.
In his opening remarks, Church President Thomas S. Monson said: “The passing of this remarkable man brings to a close a chapter in Church history spanning over 33 years of faithful discipleship. Elder Wirthlin’s lifetime of service reached across borders into the hearts and the homes of people throughout the world.”
Joe Wirthlin Jr., Elder Wirthlin’s son, spoke of his father’s great humility, saying, “He did not care where he was working, just that he was working for the Lord.” He said his father’s humility was also demonstrated in the way he treated others: “I saw his witness of the Savior in the way he interacted with people, building them up with kindness, the way that Jesus did.”
Elder Russell M. Nelson, a fellow member of the Quorum of the Twelve, also spoke of Elder Wirthlin’s humility, quoting the scripture, “He that is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:11).
President Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, directed his remarks to Elder Wirthlin’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and directed them to a Christmas message of faith written by Elder Wirthlin that was published just days before his passing.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir provided the music for the funeral.