Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, the oldest living apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died at 11:30 p.m. Monday at the age of 91.
A press release from the LDS Church said Elder Wirthlin had gone to bed at his Salt Lake City home, and died peacefully of causes incident to age. His oldest daughter, Jane Wirthlin Parker, was present. A member of the family had been staying and caring for Elder Wirthlin, whose wife, Elisa Young Rogers Wirthlin, died two years ago.
The release said Elder Wirthlin had continued to work at his office right up until the Thanksgiving holiday. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Elder Wirthlin's last major public appearance was at the church's most recent semi-annual general conference in October, when he shared an address many church members have since used in lessons and as a guide in dealing with personal challenges. Titled "Come What May and Love It," he spoke of a challenge after his football team lost a tough game.
As he complained about the game to his mother, he received advice that he said had stayed with him all his life. "Joseph," she said, "come what may and love it." She had taught them to "trust in themselves and each other, not blame others for their misfortunes and give their best effort in everything they attempted."
"When we fell down, she expected us to pick ourselves up and get going again," he said. "In spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser and happier as a result."
He also spoke of death, saying "life will continue on the other side of the veil. There we will be given new opportunities. Not even death can take us from the eternal blessings promised by a loving Heavenly Father."