Elder Glen L. Rudd Remembered as a Charitable Disciple of Christ
Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer
“I'm a better man for having had at my side the man we honor today—Glen L. Rudd.” —President Thomas S. Monson
A tireless disciple of Christ. A loving, devoted husband and father. A trusted confidant and friend. A shepherd to the needy.
To the many who knew Elder Glen L. Rudd, each of those phrases aptly define their beloved relative, associate, and friend. The emeritus General Authority died December 30 at the age of 98. (See related story.)
Hundreds gathered January 4 at the Kenwood 2nd Ward Chapel in Salt Lake City for Elder Rudd's funeral services. Elder Rudd's lifelong friend and frequent travel companion, President Thomas S. Monson, presided at the gathering and offered the concluding talk.
“We were bishops together, we were [mission] presidents together, we were General Authorities together, and we traveled all over the world together,” President Monson said.
President Monson is one of the many Church Presidents and Apostles who counted Elder Rudd as a trusted friend and confidant. He traveled as a companion to 76 different General Authorities and participated in more than 900 stake conferences.
“I can't tell you the many times that I called Glen and asked, 'Will you come with me to, say, Samoa or Tahiti?'” remembered President Monson. “He would say, 'I'll be ready and I'll be with you.'”
Elder Rudd's example of service and charity blessed President Monson and countless others.
“I'm a better man for having had at my side the man we honor today—Glen L. Rudd.”
President Monson said his friend especially enjoyed any assignment he received to New Zealand—a nation he regarded as a second home following calls there to be a missionary, a mission president, and a temple president.
But no matter where Elder Rudd was called to serve, “he went and he served and he blessed the people.”
President Monson said Elder Rudd's death does not signal a permanent separation from his loved ones. “He's just gone ahead of us to that next step in our Heavenly Father's plan.”
President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, also spoke of the man affectionately known as “Mr. Welfare” following his decades of leadership and service in the Church's welfare program.
The two met, aptly, at a gathering decades ago at Welfare Square. “We formed a friendship that has endured through the ages.”
Friendships played a key role in Elder Rudd's life. His example influenced people of all ages in many areas of the world. President Nelson noted the many young people in attendance at the funeral of a 98-year-old man.
The last time President Nelson participated in meetings alongside Elder Rudd was in 2014 during a visit to New Zealand. During a missionary meeting President Nelson spotted his old friend seated in the congregation. He called Elder Rudd to the podium to speak to the missionaries.
“He gave a faith-promoting message that they will never forget and I will never forget.”
The next day at a stake conference President Nelson again invited Elder Rudd to speak. “He came to the pulpit with great stature and dignity and gave a marvelous message.”
Bishop Keith B. McMullin, an emeritus General Authority who served in the Presiding Bishopric, saluted Elder Rudd's tireless service to his family and Church amid many difficult challenges. Elder Rudd endured chronic headaches and, following the death of his wife, Marva, daily heartaches. But he pushed through.
Through Elder Rudd's example, “we too have learned how to fight a good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith. Because of your example we pledge to do so ourselves.”
Bishop McMullin called Elder Rudd his teacher, mentor, and eternal friend. “For over four decades you have schooled me, prodded me, and insisted that I give my very best.”
Elder Rudd's son, Charles Rudd, spoke on behalf of the Rudd family.
Glen L. Rudd, he said, learned compassion from his mother, Gladys, and the work ethic from his father, Charles P. Rudd. Those two principles—compassion and hard work—would define his life of serving the poor and needy. He passed those attributes on to his children.
“[Our father] taught us that work is a blessing, not a curse,” said Brother Rudd.
He also spoke of his father's love for New Zealand and the Polynesian people and the worldwide welfare program that he helped develop. Elder Rudd loved and defended all the Presidents of the Church he served with, along with his fellow General Authorities.
Many of the Brethren attended the February 4 funeral services, including Elder M. Russell Ballard, Elder David A. Bednar, and Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder L. Whitney Clayton and Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy; and the Presiding Bishopric—Bishop Gérald Caussé, Bishop Dean M. Davies, and Bishop W. Christopher Waddell.
Interment was at the Salt Lake City Cemetery.