Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Elder Wirthlin

Elder Wirthlin passed away last night. I just found out this morning. A few weeks ago in my Young Mens Presidency meeting, I shared my feelings about him. Growing up, I would tune out when Elder Wirthlin got up to speak at General Conference. I had no idea what I was missing out on until a few years ago. Since that time, I have loved every word of his sermons. Some of my favorites are: Three Choices, Oct. 2003; The Great Commandment, Oct. 2007; and his last sermon, Come What May, and Love It, Oct. 2008.

If you were like me, and previously tuned him out because of his delivery, go back and read his talks. They are inspirational, instructional, and practical. I have been blessed by listening to and trying to follow his counsel. He was a true Apostle of Jesus Christ and I will be a better man by following in his footsteps of obedience and service.

The thoughts I shared with the Young Mens Presidency were that the world has a completely different idea of what a role model should be. Most of my role models were athletes like Phil Simms, Lawrence Taylor, Don Mattingly, Daryl Strawberry, Roger Clemens, etc. Sure, they were great athletes, but aside from Donnie Baseball and Phil Simms (at least as far as we know), they all had serious personal and criminal problems.

Obviously, the ultimate role model for any Christian is Jesus Christ, our savior and redeemer. Isaiah wrote this about the Savior: "For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not." (Isaiah 53: 2-3) What a contrast to the world's view of someone to look up to and follow. The world would probably never ask Elder Wirthlin to speak in public. And he certainly wasn't a celebrity. He didn't drive around in a fancy car and wear flashy clothes. But the world would be terribly wrong to ignore his wisdom and his example of love and service. If I had understood that he was the type of man I should look up to, instead of those athletes, I know I would be a much better man today.

I am so grateful for the restored church of Jesus Christ and for living apostles, who are prophets, seers, and revelators. They are the ones we should be looking up to and trying to follow because they are walking in the Lord's footsteps.


Wendy said...

I had no idea. He was growing frail wasn't he? Do you remember not last conference but the conference before he was shaking uncontrollably and Elder Erying came and steadied him? I will never forget that beautiful moment. I love the way the brethren love each other.

Sal Gal said...

I love that man and his talks! They were always some of my favorites! Did you know he is Tom's aunt's father? (Joani's brother's wife, Ann Farnsworth) Joani received an Apostolic blessing from him that cured her Lupus! Amazing!