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Joseph B. Wirthlin
Full name Joseph Bitner Wirthlin
Born June 11, 1917(1917-06-11)
Place of birth Salt Lake City, Utah
Died December 1, 2008 (aged 91)
Place of death Salt Lake City, Utah
LDS Church Apostle
Called by Ezra Taft Benson
Ordained October 9, 1986 (aged 69)
Ordination reason Death of Spencer W. Kimball and reorganization of First Presidency
End of term December 1, 2008 (aged 91)
End reason Death
LDS Church General Authority
Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Called by Spencer W. Kimball
Start of term April 4, 1975 (aged 57)
End of term October 1, 1976 (aged 59)
End reason Position abolished
First Quorum of the Seventy
Called by Spencer W. Kimball
Start of term October 1, 1976 (aged 59)
End of term October 4, 1986 (aged 69)
End reason Called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy
Called by Ezra Taft Benson
Start of term August 28, 1986 (aged 69)
End of term October 4, 1986 (aged 69)
End reason Called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Called by Ezra Taft Benson
Start of term October 4, 1986 (aged 69)
End of term December 1, 2008 (aged 91)
End reason Death

Joseph Bitner Wirthlin (11 June 1917 – 1 December 2008) was an American businessman, religious leader and member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was sustained to the Quorum on October 4, 1986, and ordained an apostle on October 9, 1986 by Thomas S. Monson, following the death of Church President Spencer W. Kimball. As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Wirthlin was accepted by the church membership as a prophet, seer, and revelator.

Biography

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Wirthlin was the son of Joseph L. Wirthlin, who was also an LDS Church general authority, serving as Presiding Bishop from 1952 to 1961. He was a half-first cousin of late Church President Gordon B. Hinckley; the two cousins attended the same LDS Church congregation as children.

As a young man, Wirthlin earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. As a standout high school quarterback, Wirthlin was offered a football scholarship at the University of Utah, but deferred it and served as a missionary in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland from 1936 to 1939, returning to Utah just before the outbreak of World War II. Wirthlin played American football as a running back for the University of Utah following his mission. Before his call as a general authority, Wirthlin was a prominent business leader in Salt Lake City. He was also president of a trade association in Utah.

For over nine years (May 25, 1955 – June 7, 1964) Wirthlin was the bishop of the Bonneville Ward in Salt Lake City. The same day he was released as bishop he was called to serve in the stake high council, being set apart by Joseph Fielding Smith. On December 6, 1964, Wirthlin was set apart by LeGrand Richards as second counselor to Russell M. Nelson in the Salt Lake Bonneville Stake Presidency; Wirthlin was Nelson's counselor until Nelson's release in June 1971. Wirthlin's call to the Quorum of the Twelve came very shortly after his call to serve in the presidency of the seventy. Wirthlin became a general authority of the church in 1975, when he was called to serve as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He was the last individual called as an Assistant to the Twelve before the position was discontinued in 1976. With the death of Hinckley in 2008, Wirthlin became the oldest living apostle.

Wirthlin married Elisa Young Rogers on May 26, 1941, in the Salt Lake Temple. She died in August 2006 of causes incident to age.

On 1 December 2008, Wirthlin "had gone to bed at his Salt Lake City home, and died peacefully at about 11:30 pm of causes incident to age."[1][2]

Shortly after his death, the University of Utah announced that the Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin Family Scholarship, an endowed scholarship which will benefit the Utah football program, would be named in his honor.[3][4] On January 2, 2009 when the Utes won the Sugar Bowl all of the Utah players wore a commemorative sticker on their helmets with the initials JBW in his honor.[3][4]

References

External links

Religious titles
Preceded by
M. Russell Ballard
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 9, 1986—December 1, 2008
Succeeded by
Richard G. Scott
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