Glen Rudd’s first two sons are named Lee and Matthew—after President Harold B. Lee and Elder Matthew Cowley. Both men had a great influence in Brother Rudd’s life. As a young missionary in New Zealand, Elder Rudd served as secretary to Elder Cowley, his mission president. He grew up in the Pioneer Stake, while Brother Lee was developing the Pioneer Stake’s welfare program. It was there that he learned welfare principles. Later, as a bishop, he presided over a large ward with many welfare needs. All this prepared him for full-time service in the Church Welfare Program.
Glen Larkin Rudd, now sixty-eight, was born 18 May 1918 in Salt Lake City to Charles P. and Gladys Marie Harman Rudd. Young Glen worked during his teenage years in his father’s poultry processing business, attended the University of Utah, served a mission in New Zealand, and then returned home to start a poultry business of his own. It was soon thriving.
He married the former Marva Sperry. Elder Lee performed their marriage and promised them that they would have a large family. And, although Sister Rudd suffered from heart problems, the couple eventually had the family that had been promised them—eight children in all.
During the early years of his marriage, Elder Rudd served as a ward clerk, a counselor in the bishopric, and a bishop. As a young deacon, “I had an idea that someday I would be a bishop—when I got to be fifty,” he says. But that responsibility came earlier than he had anticipated—“by the time I was halfway to fifty.”
For more than thirty years, he worked in the development of the welfare program. His first assignment was to help work out details of how storehouses should be run. Later, he helped design, build, and establish storehouses in many parts of the United States.
Elder Rudd managed his own business for twelve years—until one day when Elder Lee asked him if he would manage Welfare Square. “He made me a promise,” says Elder Rudd. “He said, ‘If you’ll come and be the manager of Welfare Square, you’ll never regret it.’ That was one of the great promises of my life—I have never regretted it.”
Elder Rudd took the job the next day and gave up his business. He traveled throughout the Church with General Authorities teaching in stake conferences about the welfare program. He gained a great testimony of the principle of work. “All my life, when I’ve found people in trouble, people who are sad, people who need counseling or advice, I have found that work is generally the answer to their problems,” he says.
Brother Rudd presided over the Florida Mission from 1966 to 1969. In 1970, he was called as a regional representative.
Released in 1976 from that calling, and after twenty-five years as manager of Welfare Square, he accepted a new assignment as zone director for the Welfare Services Department. He was also called as a counselor in the Salt Lake Wilford Stake presidency, where he served for nine years.
In 1978, he served as a mission president in New Zealand when the president of the Wellington Mission passed away. Then, in 1984, he retired from Church employment and was called back to New Zealand—this time to be the president of the temple.
In all his Church assignments—welfare work, temple work, and missionary work, Elder Rudd has felt the Spirit of the Lord. “I just know the Church is true,” he says. “There has never been a time when I haven’t known it was true. The testimony I have comes from the whisperings of the Spirit. If we can listen to the Spirit of the Lord, we can know the direction to go.”