(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)
My father was twenty-six years old when I was born and I was forty-six when he died in 1964. He was a tall, thin man; always clean and neatly dressed. Father was very orderly in his way of life. He was a good student of world conditions. I remember that he read fine books. However, he never attended high school or college. I am not sure that he even finished all of grade school. He lost his hearing when he was fourteen or fifteen years of age. The first time he set foot on a college campus was at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, where he was invited to speak about the poultry industry in America.
When he was just a teenager, Father started a business, then lost everything and started over again—all by the age of nineteen.
This time he began to prosper and he enjoyed being his own manager. After several successful years in the poultry and fish business, he sold his enterprise to the Utah Poultry Cooperative Association and became the manager of their poultry division. For many years he was one of three men in charge of the cooperative. He eventually left that line of work and went back into business for himself as a turkey broker.
I have always felt that he was the father of the poultry business in the state of Utah. He supplied poultry for Utah and most of the surrounding states for many years. He built the first turkey processing plants in Tremonton, American Fork, Moroni and Ephraim, Utah.
During these years Father was not active in the Church. In spite of this I felt very close to him. I later learned that I had misunderstood his attitude toward the Church. I thought he was not interested in it just because he was inactive. I found out later that when he got hearing aids and could hear he began to attend Church regularly. When he passed away he was a high priest and studying the gospel trying to catch up.
While I was presiding over the New Zealand Temple, about twenty-two years after his death, I walked into the celestial room in the temple one morning. As I turned the comer I looked to the left and saw my father standing there all dressed in white. His hair seemed to be whiter than I remembered. As I stood looking at him carefully, I discovered that I was standing in front of one of the large mirrors in the room and was actually looking at myself. I then realized how much I looked like my father. I stayed in that room for some period of time just thinking about that experience. I had some tender thoughts about my father. I continue to do so even though I am much older than he was when he passed away. He was a good father and always good to me.
My brother, Sam, went on a mission to Brazil in 1935 and did not return until 1938. During that time I turned twenty years of age. For about a year before he returned, I had been causing problems for my mother and father because I also wanted to go on a mission. My father, who at the time wasn't active in the Church, did not want me to go until Sam came home. In those days few families had more than one missionary out at the same time. This was near the end of the depression and there weren't many missionaries out—few families could afford the cost. During that year I had some difficulty with my father. I was sure that he was an atheist. I was also certain that he did not know what the Book of Mormon was, or any of the Standard Works. As far as I knew, he had never read anything of a religious nature. He had educated himself by reading many other good books.
Finally, Sam came home and approval was given for me to go on a mission. Sam had lost his hearing in the mission field. My father had lost his hearing when he was fourteen-years old. I think Dad was certain that I would loose my hearing too if I went on a mission, but I still wanted to go.
On August 31, 1938, I received a letter from President Heber J. Grant calling me to serve a mission in New Zealand. On October 24, I entered the mission home and left with four other missionaries for New Zealand on November 6.
Prior to leaving on my mission there were one or two parties held in my honor by friends and relatives. I received some lovely gifts. Father gave me the most expensive gold watch he could buy. I wore it for many years until it would run no longer. I still have it among my keepsakes. He also gave me his large diamond ring, which is worth considerable money.
But, the one gift that touched me more than all others was a triple combination—also from my father. He had written in the front, dated October 1938, "To Glen from Dad who is proud of you for your determination to do that which you believe is right." I couldn't believe that he had chosen a triple combination as a gift for me.
Today, the old book is in pretty poor shape, but it has survived through many years and many travels. Occasionally I read Dad's note in the front of that book.
As I reflect on this event, I realize that no gift has ever meant more to me, considering the circumstances, than that triple combination with Dad's own handwriting in it.
My father Charles P. Rudd grew up in Salt Lake City. As a very young boy he began working in a grocery store. By the time he was 14 he had a good job. By the time he was 19 he owned his own business and was off and running with his life‘s work in the fish and poultry business. He shipped fish in from the Northwest and processed chicken from all over the Western United States. He sold his products to restaurants, cafes, hotels, eating houses, and really started the poultry business in Utah.
My father was not active in the Church. When he was 14, he lost his hearing. You would need to talk directly at him, because he could read our lips and get along well. He couldn‘t hear anything at meetings, so he didn‘t go to church; however, he contributed constantly to the Church, mainly thanks to my faithful mother.
One day, when an older man, my father called me to his office. I had been a bishop for ten years. When I arrived at his office, he closed the door and said to me, “What priesthood do I hold?” I said, “Dad, you are a teacher.” He said, “How do you know?” I said, “I have seen your membership record.” He said, “Well, in my ward they had me down as a deacon. I don‘t want to be demoted at this stage of life. You get hold of the bishop and get him to put me where I belong.” When I left his office, I knew he cared about the Church.
One night, the home teachers went to call on my father and mother. During the conversation, he was told that the chapel they had been meeting in for the past four years had not been dedicated. He didn‘t know what that meant, but he said, “Something is wrong.” He was told that they had never raised the money. He then made some unkind remark about the leadership of the ward.
The next night the bishop came. He said, “Charlie, I hear you don‘t like the way we run the ward.” He said, “I didn‘t say that, but I do think that you should have had the money raised a long time ago. Somebody surely isn‘t doing his job.”
So, the bishop called him to be on the finance committee to raise the rest of the money. My father said that he would be glad to do that. He asked to be given the names of all of the high priests in the ward. He said, “I will talk to them.” He said, “Bishop, they may hear words they are not used to, but we will get the money. Get ready to dedicate.”
In less than six months they had all of the money and the building was dedicated. Dad then became active and was ordained an elder. Not long after, my two brothers and I went with Mom and Dad to the Manti Temple. It was a great day for my dear mother who had been working in the temple for years. Not long after that, Dad was ordained a high priest. Before he died, he was studying and reading Church books all of the time.
Love this story. It just shows you that we need to be patient with some folks, and let them develop at their own pace, in my opinion. Encourage them and love them, yes. But if you do it the right way, they will often come around.ReplyDelete
It's interesting that so many leaders of the church had less active fathers who nevertheless were extremely decent, just men. Even President Nelson's father is in that category, eventually coming around later in his life.