He was a man of immaculate appearance whose shoes and car were always shining and spotless. That could symbolize his soul, as Elder Jack H. Goaslind Jr., 83, was remembered at his funeral May 2 as a tireless servant of God with an unfaltering love for his wife and three-generation posterity.
Elder Goaslind, emeritus General Authority, died April 27, 2011, in Salt Lake City.
During his two-decade term in the First Quorum of the Seventy from Sept. 30, 1978, to Oct. 3, 1998, he had served twice in the Presidency of the Seventy (1985-87 and 1995-98) and as Young Men general president (1990-98).
President Thomas S. Monson delivered a funeral address, during which he read a letter signed by all three members of the First Presidency to be presented to Sister Gwen Caroline Bradford Goaslind.
“Elder Goaslind’s life was a model of diligence and hard work,” the letter read. “His example of devotion as a husband and father and stalwart servant of the Lord influenced the lives of loved ones and all with whom he came in contact.”
The letter made reference to Elder Goaslind’s service as bishop, stake president, Young Men general president, president of the Arizona Tempe Mission, his numerous assignments as a General Authority and the more recent service of Elder and Sister Goaslind as president and matron of the Manti Utah Temple.
In personal remarks, President Monson declared, “All we knew and loved about Jack continues; his spirit has simply gone home to that God who gave him life.” He emphasized to the family the passage of scripture in John 14:18, “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.”
President Monson attended the grave dedication at a cemetery in Sandy some 15 miles to the south, where he placed a rose upon Elder Goaslind’s casket.
The funeral was held at the Salt Lake Olympus Stake Center in a chapel with a soaring vaulted ceiling. Conducting, Bishop Lee Brinton of the Murray (Utah) 25th Ward noted that the building many years ago was constructed under the direction of Elder Goaslind as stake president at a time before meetinghouse construction in the Church was centrally funded. Son Mark said President Goaslind would occasionally invite congregations to gaze up at the ceiling, suggesting that “it draws us heavenward.”
Giving a eulogy was Liz Edman, a daughter and one of the Goaslinds’ six children. “He had a unique ability to make anyone feel comfortable in any setting with his love and his friendship,” she said. Speaking of his impeccable dress, she quipped that a local cleaners had probably laid off a few employees, because her father’s orders for “heavily starched shirts” had stopped. He loved wrist watches and neckties, she said, “and sometimes, if you told him you liked it, he just took it off right there and gave it to you.”
Steve Miles, who served as a missionary under his leadership, told of a fishing trip with a former missionary companion and Elder Goaslind, who came dressed in shiny penny loafers. The former mission president was “a fisher of men, but not a fisherman,” he said. Despite that fact, Elder Goaslind caught a huge, near-record-setting fish, and kept asking to have the cooler opened so he could look at it.
Mark Goaslind, a son, spoke of items in Elder Goaslind’s office denoting things he treasured: family photos, well-used-and-marked scriptures (three sets), pictures and a statue of prophets, a replica of the Manti Utah Temple and a portrait of the Savior Jesus Christ.