Friday, December 11, 2020

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #6 - Some of Elder Glen L. Rudd’s Experiences with President Henry D. Moyle

(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne) 

            [Editorial Note: President Henry D. Moyle was an apostle and counselor in the First Presidency. He became acquainted with Brother Rudd through extensive church welfare work. President Moyle was a very wealthy, high-powered, opinionated, strong church leader. These wonderful men came to have great affection for each other as the below accounts indicate; President Moyle loved and trusted Brother Rudd. These items are largely self-explanatory:] 

            President Moyle was the second chairman of the General Welfare Committee. He conducted most of the committee meetings and was in that position for seven or eight years, until he was called to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.

            He continued as chairman of the General Welfare Committee even as an ordained apostle. President Moyle was a great man who had tremendous talent. He was one of the most successful lawyers in the state of Utah and had a lot to do with building three oil refineries. He was a very powerful political figure in the state of Utah. I fell in love with Brother Moyle and he was exceptionally kind to me. I was honored to be his friend and was able to get in to see him any time I needed to. As a member of the First Presidency he would call me into his office just to visit. He was particularly pleased with what I did at Welfare Square in remodeling and building new buildings.


            In March of 1957, still new at traveling with the Brethren, I spent six days with Henry D. Moyle visiting the Reseda California Stake and some Church welfare farms.

            On the way home, we arrived in St. George in the early evening and checked into a motel. He told me he wanted to find and visit an old friend named Gordon Woolley, who was a brother to President J. Reuben Clark.

            Even though I was unable to find his name in the phone book, Brother Moyle insisted on looking. But he failed also in locating Gordon Woolley. We called the operator and were informed that there was no one in the city with that name. Brother Moyle was distressed. He and Gordon were very good friends, and Brother Moyle was certain that he lived in St. George. After an hour of looking, we finally gave up and went to bed.

            The next morning at 5:30, I was awakened, because Brother Moyle was laughing. He couldn't believe that we had been so dumb the night before. He asked me, "What do you suppose Gordon Woolley' s name would be if he is a brother to President Clark?"

            I responded, "I suppose his last name would be "Clark."

            "So would I," he said. "But we've never called him anything but Gordon Woolley. That's why we didn't find him."

            Many people referred to President Joseph Fielding Smith as Joseph Fielding and left the Smith off. And so it was with Gordon Woolley Clark. In this case, it robbed us of a fine opportunity to visit with this great old friend of Brother Moyle.

            We laughed all the way home at our mistake. He said, "Bishop, hurry, hurry, and get me back to the Church Office Building so I can get revitalized. It's almost unbelievable how far downhill a person can go, both spiritually and mentally, after being with you for five or six days." What a compliment!


            During one assignment Elder Henry D. Moyle and I went to Santaquin, Utah, in his car. When we started the Saturday afternoon meeting with the stake presidency, he began to have a nosebleed which lasted for half an hour. He used up all the Kleenex and handkerchiefs we had, but he kept bleeding. Even after an hour, and he had laid on the floor, and we had done everything possible, his nose kept bleeding, and he was getting a bit pale. Finally he said to me, "Glen, put your hands on my head and give me a blessing and stop this nosebleed right now." President Patton, the stake president, and I administered to him and immediately his nosebleed stopped. He was a little below par for an hour or two, but being a big, strong, powerful man he was soon going all the way.

            I remember attending a conference with Elder Moyle up in the state of Washington. My brother, Cal, and I picked up his new Cadillac and drove it to Pendleton, Oregon, to meet him as he had flown from San Francisco into Pendleton. We then drove up to our assignment. He was having some heart problems on the way, and by the time we arrived at our destination, he was in severe pain. He asked us to take him to the home of the stake president and help get him into bed immediately. I knocked on the stake president's door, introduced myself, and said, "Elder Moyle and I are here. Is he going to stay at your home?" He told me yes, and I replied, "Can he go to bed right now? He needs to."

            He said, "No, we cannot do that. We have two or three meetings, and he has to be there."

I said, "Elder Moyle is seriously ill and in pain. He needs to lie down and take some medicine right now." He said, "We cannot do that." I finally said, "Then I'll take Elder Moyle to a motel," and started to leave when it finally dawned on him that this was serious. We got Elder Moyle into bed, and I took care of the meetings until the Saturday night priesthood meeting when Elder Moyle felt well enough to join us. Sunday he felt much better.

            After the conference was over and Cal and I drove toward Pendleton, he once again had another bad heart pain, and the last ten miles Cal was driving over 90 miles an hour with Elder Moyle on the back seat in excruciating pain saying, "Cal, go faster, hurry, hurry." We finally drove into a motel, and I got a key to a room. While Cal checked us in I put Elder Moyle in bed once again. Cal and I gave him a blessing, and he had a good night's sleep. We then drove all the way home on Monday, and he was feeling wonderful.


            Shortly after Matthew Cowley died, I was traveling in the car with Elders Harold B. Lee and Henry D. Moyle, during which the conversation centered mostly on Brother Cowley. Brother Moyle turned to me and said, "I've been wondering why Brother Cowley was always with you and you with him. T think he was trying to keep you out of trouble. You need that kind of help! He is now gone, and so I am going to take over and help keep you out of trouble as long as I can." And he did.

            As J traveled with the general authorities as chairman of the welfare committee, Elder Moyle gave orders that I was to travel with him once a month instead of once or twice a year on normal rotation. I knew Brother Moyle loved me because he treated me like he would a teenage son.

            In March, 1957, we spent a week in Southern California and had a wonderful time. He asked me to drive his Cadillac, and as we approached the Salt Lake Valley upon our return, he said, "Bishop, hurry and get me back to the Church Office Building so I can get revitalized. It's almost unbelievable how far downhill a person can go, both spiritually and mentally, after being with you for so long."

            On another stake conference assignment in California, we were at the home of the stake president, enjoying a lovely Thanksgiving-type dinner with turkey and al1 the trimmings. Members of the stake presidency and their wives were among those present. During the course of the meal, Brother Moyle turned to me and said, "Glen, I have been wondering whether Paul the Apostle ever had half as much trouble with Timothy as I seem to have with you every time we travel together."

            These two statements, and others, let me know that Brother Moyle thought highly of me and even loved me. (No one would say those things if they didn't.)


            In about 1960, President Henry D. Moyle, then a counselor in the First Presidency, invited Marva and me to his home for dinner. I was surprised by his invitation, but even more so when we arrived to find ourselves the only ones there who were not General Authorities. About thirty were present, and we had a lovely dinner, a first-class experience, which was professionally catered in the backyard.

            After dinner, everyone gathered in the living room and conversed for about an hour. Then one of the Brethren stood with his wife to leave, and I felt it would be proper for Marva and I to do the same; but Brother Moyle insisted that we stay. After nearly half the Brethren had gone, once again I intimated that Marva and I ought to leave, so as not to be any more conspicuous than we already were. But again, Brother Moyle urged us to stay put, that he would tell us when to go! Soon everyone was gone but Elder and Sister Harold B. Lee, Marva and me. Sensing my discomfort, Brother Moyle quickly put me at ease by inviting me to join him in giving Brother Lee a blessing. Brother and Sister Lee would be leaving for South America in the morning for a very special assignment (to divide a mission in half and create a new one).

            What a wonderful experience it was to sit in the home of a member of the First Presidency and see an apostle, particularly one who was senior to the other in the apostleship, receive a special blessing from one of the First Presidency. Although they were as different as two people could be, they truly had a great love and affection for each other. We were highly honored to be a part of that small but important event in the lives of these two great men.


            I was in Stockton, California, with President Henry D. Moyle of the First Presidency the day Wendell Mendenhall sold his business and became a millionaire. Upon completing the big transaction, we knew we were going to be late for our flight into San Francisco to return home, so we called ahead to let United Airlines know that we were late but would be there. The three of us rushed to the Sacramento Airport as fast as we could and arrived just before the plane took off.

            The gate was now closed, but the plane was still there and the steps leading up to the door had not yet been removed. However, the man at the gate would not let us go through the gate and onto the plane. We plead with him and argued that we had called ahead of time to warn them that we would be late, but he was nasty and refused to let us on. Instead, he walked away and left us standing there helpless, as we watched the plane take off without us. We knew that President Moyle would now miss an important appointment he had with President McKay.

            When we walked back into the airport, Wendell saw one of his friends who could see that we were in trouble. When Wendall explained our problem, the man offered to fly us to San Francisco in his private plane. Of course, we accepted the offer. It was my first ride in a private airplane. We flew low, and it was a very exciting and interesting adventure for me.

            When we arrived in San Francisco, Wendell immediately went into the main office of United Airlines and let them know in very straight forward language what shabby treatment we had been given in Sacramento. He made some strong demands on them and, fortunately, we were able to get on the next plane into Salt Lake City.

            When we got home, everything returned to normal. However, a couple of days passed, when I received a phone call from the manager of United Airlines in Salt Lake City, asking if he could come to my office at Welfare Square and apologize to me for what had transpired in California. I assured him that I didn't need an apology, that I had just been along for the ride and was not that important. But he had received orders from the president of United Airlines in Chicago that he was to talk to all three of us and make sure we all understood that their airline did not operate in the way we had been treated.

            The manager spent about fifteen minutes in my office apologizing. The man who refused to help us had been fired from the airline, and the manager in Sacramento had been transferred to a small city in another state. United Airlines certainly did not waste time in correcting the problem, and they were very careful in assuring that the three of us were no longer offended or upset.


            One day in 1964 I was with President Henry D. Moyle when he told me that he felt I would be called to preside over one of the missions in New Zealand. He said to me, "Get the expansion work done at Welfare Square and get your personal finances in order so that when we have the next opening we can call you to go to your old mission field in New Zealand to preside."

            As Brother Moyle and I traveled together he often talked to me about Florida. He said, "I want you to go with me to Florida. I want to take you to the Church ranch and have you meet my friends in Florida. In fact, if you get a welfare speaking assignment for Florida, see if you can get out of it so that I can be the one to take you there." We both laughed over that, but I know what he meant.

            Shortly after the 1964 visit, President Moyle died on the Church ranch in Florida. I lost one of my finest friends. In 1966 I received a call to preside over the Florida Mission. We were delighted and gladly accepted the new calling.

            The mission home was in Orlando, Florida, and nearby was the large Church ranch. The first time I went out on the ranch I had a very unusual experience. Everywhere I went I seemed to feel the presence of Brother Moyle who had always wanted to be with me in Florida.

            When I went to Tallahassee there was a beautiful large building under construction. I found out that President Moyle had authorized a larger building than a district was authorized because he loved Tallahassee and had promised the Saints there· that they would have a stake soon. So he gave permission to build a stake center and it was under construction when we arrived. I had the opportunity of overseeing its completion and shortly thereafter Brother Lee dedicated the building.

            Everywhere I went in the mission, especially in Tallahassee and Blountstown and other places in northern Florida, I met people who knew Brother Moyle. I had the feeling that he was close by. I have never had an experience quite like that one since. I seemed to be in the company of my departed friend.





  1. Great story. I have a personal connection to Tallahassee, having spent a large portion of my youth there. I have spent many Sundays in that old stake center. There is now a large, brand new one built on the other side of Tallahassee, but the original stake center is still there since it occupies valuable land adjacent to Florida State University. I had no idea that there was a connection with Pres. Moyle.

    I'm loving these anecdotes. I wish the general membership of the Church knew more about these men; their names are starting to fade into history.

    I hope you'd be willing to do a series on J. Reuben Clark. I consider him to be, quite possibly, the most influential counselor in the First Presidency in Church history.

  2. I think there will be a couple more stories involving Pres. Clark that will be forthcoming over the next two months. And yes, along with Brother Heber C. Kimball and George Q. Cannon, Pres. Clark was among the greatest counselors; well said.
    In the meantime, you might enjoy watching the video file of Elder Marion G. Romney's first general conference talk as a newly called apostle. He tells a few humorous stories during his remarks. Behind him, for some of it, in wide shots, you can watch Pres. Clark on the stand as he laughs and listens to Elder Romney speak. Some sweet candid moments. October 6, 1951: