Sunday, June 07, 2009

Come What May, and Love It

We had the best lesson in Relief Society today. I was all misty and pumped even over an hour after church let out.

Last October one of my favorite apostles of all time, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, gave a great talk in Conference. This is what our lesson today was on. It turned out to be his last Conference talk. He passed away just a bit later in December of 2008.

I remember as he was giving another talk a year before, he started shaking and appeared as though he may fall. Even from my living room, I could feel the nerves of those at the Conference Center and my own that he might fall, yet he didn't stop sharing his message. His daughter told us today that that was something his mom instilled in him from the very beginning, to endure to the end.

Yes, his youngest daughter came to our Relief society. I guess she and our Relief Society President (Marilyn) lived in the same ward in Taylorsville for 25 years or so and are good friends. She was so humble as she told us about her father. She told us about his life. She had two tables full of mostly pictures from it as well. She passed around a even more pictures along with letters and notes as she talked about him. It was such an amazing, once in a life-time opportunity to hear about a man that I so revere from his closest kin. She knew him and loved him so well.

A few things stuck out to me that she said. First was that he always had such a quick wit about him. He was so funny and fast to respond. As he got older and needed help, she would be helping him do whatever, and then just stop and squeeze him and say, "You are so cute."

And he would come back with, "Is that the best you've got?" It reminded me of Dillon and how he thinks "cute" is so overused. I can just imagine that Elder Wirthlin (like Dillon is) was unimpressed with the lack of thought and creativity that is the word "cute" these days.

Just like in this talk, his daughter mentioned his mother often in her stories. She seems like such a strong, faithful woman. She always wanted her kids to be busy to keep them from getting into trouble, so she had hundreds of chickens and rabbits for him and his siblings to care for. Elder Wirthlin hated the chickens and often begged her to get rid of them. His daughter recalled today that her father wouldn't ever eat chicken.

Joseph's father received prompting that Joseph should serve a mission before attending his senior year of college. Wirthlin obediently served his mission then instead of playing football his senior year which he so loved to do.

His father also instilled honesty in him at an early age. Wirthlin once told his daughter of a time when he was very young and went to the store for his father. When he returned, his father noticed that he was given too much change and had Wirhtlin go back to the store to return the over change. Wirthlin carried this lesson of honesty throughout the rest of his life.

She told us that her dad was "quite the typist," and that he was constantly typing things. He would get up at 5:30 a every day and often head right to the typewriter to make a little note for someone he was thinking about. She said that it's been quite the treat coming upon so many little notes he's typed over the years as she and her family have gone through his things. There were two she shared with us, and I found them beyond wonderful. I will have to get them from Marilyn and post them.

Again, I feel that this was such a great and rare opportunity to learn more about this wonderful apostle of the Lord, and I feel so blessed to have had it.

This talk of his is worth taking to heart no matter what your faith. It's invaluable. I love how simple yet profound Wirthlin is.

Marilyn also brought us these adorable little tiles to remind us of the lesson. Mine fits perfectly right next to my Christus Statue. (I got it from my mom and Clyde for Christmas)

1 comment:

Finding Joy in the Journey said...

What a great experience! I loved that talk. Thanks for sharing!