“The Lord looketh on the heart…”, by Elder Glen L. Rudd
Elder Glen L. Rudd served as President of the Florida Mission during the late 1960’s, and he relates the following story, which occurred during the time that he served in Florida.
“A new branch president was needed in the Moultrie, Georgia branch of the Church, and I felt strongly that a Brother James Smith should be called to serve in that position. However, we became aware that Brother Smith had not paid tithing for several months, so my two counselors in the mission presidency vetoed my suggestion. We decided to wait a few months before making a change in that branch, but I continued to insist that we consider and talk to Brother Smith. My counselors finally agreed that it would be appropriate for me to interview Brother Smith, but they were adamant that a non-tithe-payer should not serve as a branch president. At that time, the Florida Mission consisted of 39 branches in 4 districts, and every person serving in any position of responsibility was a full tithe-payer.
I took the opportunity to interview Brother Smith and expressed my concern about the fact that he was not paying his tithing. He told me that he believed in the principle of tithing and that he had always been a faithful, full tithe-payer. I asked him why he had recently stopped paying his tithing, but he was very hesitant to tell
me. I persisted with my questioning, and finally he responded, ‘Well, I know that you and your counselors are going to call a new branch president for our branch. I do NOT want to be the branch president, so I stopped paying my tithing to the Church. However, each month I have been putting my tithing money into a special bank account, and when you have called the new branch president, I will withdraw the tithing money from the bank, including interest, and pay it to the Church.’
With that response, I recommended to my counselors that Brother James Smith be called as the new branch president. The call was extended and accepted, he promptly paid his tithing, and he served faithfully and well for many years.”