Friend to Friend


“My father plans his days carefully and is always organized. He has made a habit of getting up to study the scriptures at four o’clock in the morning. His strength comes from his spirituality.”

All the daughters in the room nodded in agreement to that statement. Then one of them said of their father, “He is always well prepared and avoids wasting his time and that of other people. Whenever he makes a long-distance call, for example, he has a list of concerns ready to discuss, and he checks them off as he goes down the list.”

“His striving for excellence probably came from his grandmother,” another daughter surmised. “She always taught that whatever we do should be done well.

“Dad has always worked hard—twelve-to-fourteen-hour days—but never have I heard him complain. He used to come home in the afternoon to have lunch with Mom, take a twenty-minute nap, and was ready to go again long into the evening.”

Then as the memories flowed, other family members added their recollections:

“We’ve worked together as a family at the meat market and put many hours into that business. You learn a lot about each other when you work together.”

“Sunday dinner was always a special time for our family. Dad would ask each one of us what we had learned at Sunday School. Then we would have a spiritual discussion for at least an hour. We were taught to stay in our Sunday clothes on Sunday, to remind us to keep the day holy.”

“Dad is a tease and has a great sense of humor. He used to telephone one of us and say in a disguised voice, ‘Hi, this is Bill. How about a date tonight?’ It would often be a few minutes before we realized it was our father instead of a boyfriend.”

“Dad enjoyed his Scouting days and recalls many times when he dug a hole in the ground and baked a potato in it. He loves the out-of-doors.

“One time on a vacation, our family was out on Jackson Lake in a rowboat when, without our noticing it, the boat headed toward the rapids. It seemed funny at the time as our frantic rowing produced little progress. But I’m sure it could have been dangerous had we not been able to head away from the rapids eventually.”

“Dad loves peace and quiet.”

“He gave each one of us a special blessing on the morning before we were married.”

“Dad was Mr. Touchdown in high school, and he played football at the University of Utah before his mission. Now he enjoys throwing balls to his many grandchildren.”

“He enjoys snowmobiling. And when Mother can, she gets Dad to play tennis with her.”

“He loves to read or watch a football game while eating ice cream.”

“When Father was called to be a General Authority, he expressed his deep gratitude to be working full time for the Lord.”

“Mom and Dad have such fun together. They seem to have a perfect marriage. There is never an argument. They are true companions.”

“He always encourages us to practice our musical instruments.”

“He loves relaxing music.”

“He never envies.”

“He’s not worldly.”

“He loves big, BIG dogs.”

“He’s just a great and modest man!”

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

This General Authority is Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the First Quorum of the Seventy.