Oldest Mormon apostle

Times Wire Reports

Joseph B. Wirthlin, 91, the Mormon Church’s oldest living apostle, died Monday night at his home in Salt Lake City. The church said he died of causes related to his age.

Wirthlin was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the second tier of church leadership, on Oct. 9, 1986, about a decade after being called to full-time church service.

Wirthlin’s other church posts included serving as a counselor to the Sunday school president, director of the church military relations committee, director of the church curriculum department and as an editor of church magazines.

He also led church operations in continental Europe, Britain, Ireland and Africa.

As a young man, he served as a missionary in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in the late 1930s.


A native of Salt Lake City, Wirthlin was born June 11, 1917. His father was the presiding bishop of the church. Wirthlin played football for the University of Utah and graduated with a degree in business administration.

In his secular life, he was president of a family-run wholesale food distribution business. He also was president of a business and trade association in Utah.

Wirthlin married Elisa Young Rogers on May 26, 1941, in the Salt Lake Temple. She died in 2006. The couple had eight children.