Thursday, December 11, 2008

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

Last Friday I had the opportunity to go to the funeral services for Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin. As my friend Amy and I were walking in I thought how lucky I was to be able to go to the funeral of an apostle. I mean, everything has to be just right. You have to live in Salt Lake City or very close to it, you have to have a job that will let you off for two hours plus travel time if you need it, etc. I'm just so lucky. We left work at 11:00am and literally walked across the street to the Tabernacle for the service.

As we took our seats my thoughts turned to the history of the building and how much it represents for Utah and the Church. It was host to jubilees commemorating Utah statehood and other anniversaries and celebrations. Many prominent non Latter-day Saints have spoken at its pulpit including several U.S. Presidents, Susan B. Anthony, Charles Lindbergh, and others. I then thought of how many funerals have been held there to honor great leaders of the church like Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Karl G. Maeser, Ezra Taft Benson, Howard W. Hunter, James E. Faust, and now Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin. It was great to sit in a historic building and take part in a tradition that dates back to the days of Brigham Young.

Funeral of Pres. Wilford Woodruff (1898)

Funeral of Karl G. Maeser (1901)

Funeral of Pres. Ezra Taft Benson (1994)
Funeral of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (5 December 2008)
The funeral services were very nice. Elder Wirthlin's son, Joseph B. Wirthlin Jr., Russell M. Nelson, Boyd K. Packer, and Pres. Monson were the speakers. Each gave a fitting tribute to a wonderful man and servant of the Lord. But two things stuck out to me more than the rest.

First, most of the speakers talked about Elder Wirthlin's love of sports and his days as a star University of Utah running back. They used to call him "speedy" Joe Wirthlin. Awesome. I also thought it was touching when Pres. Monson related that earlier that week he had received a call from U football coach, Kyle Whittingham who expressed his condolences and then said that for the bowl game in January every player would have the initials "JBW" on the back of their helmets. It was also funny that apparently in recent years Elder Wirthlin acted as a kind of self appointed chaplain for the U team, following them to games and such. Gotta love it.

But what struck me the most was when Pres. Monson was talking essentially to the Wirthlin children and grand children. He talked about Elder Wirthlin's love for his wife Elisa (who passed away 2 years ago) and how they didn't want to be separated at Christmas time. Then he said, "They are together. You remember that if you forget everything else. And live so that you can be with them eternally."

I know this advice applies to all of us. If we think of our righteous loved ones who have passed on it can serve as motivation to live our lives in such a way that when our time comes, we will be worthy to live with them eternally.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

So I love Thanksgiving! Lot's of family, great food, parades, football, and Bond.

I'm kind of mad I didn't get a picture of all the food because my mom always cooks up an amazing feast. But this will have to do. After dinner we watched a bond movie (it's tradition) and ate some pie. Then my cousins got the food back out of the fridge. I asked what they were doing and they responded matter of factly, "Second dinner." Like, duh, what are you thinking? So this is us eating Thanksgiving dinner -- again.

(Uncle Robert, Mandy, BJ, Mark)

(Mark, Mandy, Paul, Preston)
Friday we went to look for glasses for Preston and I. Yes, I am finally joining the glasses club. I hope it's a cool club.

Then that night my brothers and sister, Mark, Paul, and Mandy went to see Quantum of Solace. Most of us had already seen it but, it's Thanksgiving, we HAVE to watch the latest Bond movie.

Saturday afternoon my mom's family came down from Logandale for our Thanksgiving football game. My team got creamed but that's ok, it was so much fun. MVP's - my vote is Preston and Mackae

Team 2: Austin, Aunt Paula, Sam, Mark,
Meghan, Paul, Dad, BJ, Uncle Andy

Team 1: Ethan, Mackae, Uncle Robert,
Preston, Mallory, Jake, Marissa,
Uncle Adam, Jeff

(Uncle Robert, Preston, Mackae, Jeff, Marissa, Jake)

(The grandparents: Gp. Mathews, Gp. Hunt, Gm. Hunt)

(Paul "The Incredible Hulk" Mathews)

Saturday night was crazy, but so much fun! We had 45 people at our house! My mom's family was still hanging out after the football game and then my dad's family all came over too. I love being with family so much.

Brucie had been wanting to go swimming all weekend so that night we decided to get in the hot tub.

(Rachel, me, Preston, BJ, Bruce, Mark, Paul)
Little Rachel was so cute! She loved playing with the balls in the pool. She'd grab all of them and just smile so big and laugh and laugh. A girl after my own heart :)
We put the red lights on and Bruce love it!
(Alii, Nona Rae, Wyatt, and Mallory beating up on BJ)

(This would be Tai, our "hunk of burnin' love")
Well that's all I've got as far as pictures go. It was such a fun, fun weekend. I can't wait for Christmas!!