Working the Divine Miracle
by Richard D. Poll
Stan Larson, editor

Oil Entrepreneur

[p.97]Money interested Henry Moyle. He enjoyed getting it more than owning it, and he delighted equally in investing it, spending it, and giving it away. How he applied this proclivity to the service of his church and the benefit of many people is dealt with elsewhere. His successful quest for affluence must be considered first.

The law supported Henry and his family in comfortable style in the years between the two world wars. Had he pursued the profession with the same intensity for another ten or fifteen years, it would likely have made him rich. But he learned from his father and from his maternal grandfather, Henry Dinwoodey, that sweat and skill build a fortune faster if they are supplemented by rents, interest, and dividends. He began investing when he had little more than the equity in his home and life insurance to pledge as collateral for loans. By the time he became an apostle, the “multiplication of talents” had made him a millionaire.

“There was a good deal of wildcatter in Henry Moyle’s makeup,” recalls Robert N. Sears, who grew up in the oil business under Henry’s tutelage. “A wildcatter never knows if he’s going to strike oil or not. It’s a big gamble, and he’s either broke when he gets through or he has a lot of money.” It was a trait of James H. Moyle that appeared in variant forms in all his sons. The father speculated for decades in mining properties before branching out into commercial real estate and oil. Henry’s college degree in mining engineering reflected his father’s interest in the mineral possibilities of the Great Basin, and his own interest endured long after his vocational commitment to engineering ended.

[p.98]The paper trail of Henry’s penny stock mining ventures is sprinkled with names like Silver Age Mining Company, Bingham Metals, Troy Mining, Evergreen Mining, American Metal Mining, and Utah Mine Company. The primary business of such companies was purchasing mineral leases-the right to look for mineral deposits on publicly or privately owned land-with the obligation to pay a royalty to the landowner if a commercially exploitable deposit were found. Such a discovery might be developed by the lease-holding company, or the lease might be sold at a profit to one of the large mining companies. A few thousand dollars a year in output would pay for a one- or two-man prospecting operation; the profitability of a discovery depended in part on the price of metals, which were generally depressed during the between-wars years.

Illustrative is the Cherry Creek Silver Mining Company, of which James H. Moyle was president from 1907 to 1945 and Henry from then until his death. The first company leases in Wyoming proved unprofitable and attention shifted to more promising lands in eastern Nevada. Henry became secretary and legal counsel after World War I; collecting and recording assessments were his primary duties. James, Henry, and other Moyles kept putting in a little money and occasionally receiving a few dollars in dividends or payments from sub-leasers. Mineral deposits worth mining were rarely found and never rich. In a 1923 letter Henry wrote that a Cherry Creek development might bring him $3,000. It does not appear, however, that he received that much in any year during his long connection, and his investment in assessments and correspondence was greater than the return in many of those years. Sentiment—it was his father’s company—and wildcatter optimism probably explain his holding on.

Investments in real estate proved more profitable, though some took a long time. The Moyles, father and sons in varying combinations, purchased land in Salt Lake Valley and erected commercial buildings in the 1920s and 1930s. Henry had few qualms about borrowing to participate, and the collection of mortgages and promissory notes bearing his and/or Alberta’s signatures is impressive. All appear to have been paid on time.1 Property income was not large in the between-wars period, but Henry’s net worth increased with such investments and occasional advantageous [p.99]sales produced capital gains to be put back to work or splurged on nice things for home and family.

The family ventures were not always friction-free, but they produced camaraderie as well as mutual benefit. Henry wrote to Walter in 1923 about incorporating the Cottonwood Investment Company, “a holding corporation, to hold all of these numerous large and small investments of ours.” It was organized with “the grand capital of $260,” he added; “I am the president and numerous other offices are held by the younger element of our office.” Walter’s age—then twenty-eight to Henry’s thirty-three—“would not bar you as a stockholder.” A few years later James received this note while vacationing in the Caribbean: “It kind of hurts Gilbert’s and my feelings to know that we have a brother, and a younger brother at that, who has already retired. It would help us both to know that you are back home struggling for an existence, as you should be.”2

As shared investments became more substantial and complex, James H. Moyle responded to one of Henry’s suggestions with sage counsel: “Should such an organization be formed, I would again impress upon you the extreme importance of being just as guarded and businesslike as you would be with strangers.” With two lawyers and two business management graduates among his sons, the advice may not have been necessary. In any event, the years produced some serious disagreements on what should be done with particular projects and investments, but there were no substantial misunderstandings over agreements and commitments once made. Henry handled much of Gilbert’s and James’s legal business in these early years, and he and Walter often did work for each other’s clients. During the twelve years that James H. Moyle was in the East as mission president and Collector of Customs, Henry managed most of his Utah affairs. He also shared some of the benefits of his father’s wide-ranging business and political connections.

The family connection carried Henry into the two businesses that loom largest in his career—livestock and oil. The Deseret Live Stock Company story has already been told. The oil story carries him from the gas station to the wellhead and refinery and on into the fellowship of the petroleum industry elite. Indeed, it is the blend of engineering, legal ex-[p.100]pertise, and wildcatter spirit in Henry Moyle that made Wasatch Oil Company—his most successful business venture.

Gilbert Moyle was the pioneer in this sphere. As a newlywed college graduate, he went into the automobile business in 1921; he soon concluded that there was more money in distributing gasoline than in selling cars. So, with the backing of his father and an uncle, he organized Capitol Gas and Oil Company. Walter and James added some funds and Henry did the legal work. The company made money, enough to encourage Walter and Henry to go into debt in 1929 to construct another downtown building with a service station in it. The nationwide business collapse placed the latter project in peril but provided a windfall for the owners of Capitol Gas and Oil. Changing market conditions made Utah Oil Company, a Standard Oil Company of Indiana subsidiary, repent of a contract earlier negotiated to be Capitol’s exclusive supplier and agree to buy both the company and the building Henry and Walter had just finished. This left the Moyles with a little money to reinvest and a taste for the oil business.

Hard times slowed but did not stop America’s infatuation with the automobile. Oil discoveries continued to be made in the West, particularly in Wyoming, and a group of Salt Lake City businessmen decided that it was time to challenge the Utah Oil Company monopoly on refinery capacity. William Yeates and William H. McIntyre were the primary founders. James H. Moyle and his sons were initial stockholders, and as with so many other ventures, Henry became the company attorney when Wasatch Oil Refining Company was incorporated in 1932. Soon a small refinery was in production in Woods Cross, processing crude oil brought in from Wyoming by railroad.

The obvious advantages of an assured supply of crude soon had Wasatch looking for leases. Here Henry’s combination of competencies was pivotal. He spent many days on the road, inspecting properties and negotiating leases with farmers, livestock men, and sometimes with other wildcatters on a cost-splitting basis. It cost only $30,000 to $50,000 to drill a well then, but in the 1930s that was a lot of money. When McIntyre and Yeates declared that enough had been spent on a certain unproductive field, Henry volunteered to sell some property he owned and put the proceeds into the company if necessary to keep going. “I have faith that those wells are going to come in,” he declared. Some of them did.

None of the Wyoming efforts did well enough to give Wasatch inde-[p.101]pendence from other suppliers. But when Standard Oil and Union Pacific Railroad found the Rangeley field in western Colorado in the war years, Wasatch moved in quickly and acquired some very productive properties. An interesting sideline of these exploratory activities is that another Mormon wildcatter, Glenn E. Nielson, was building Husky Oil Company at the same time. Suggestions of a possible Wasatch-Husky merger never reached the serious stage, but Henry Moyle and Nielson formed a lasting relationship.

As early as February 1935 Henry could write to his sister Evelyn: “It begins to look as though our oil company is going to be a success.” Stock could be had if she and her husband felt like “joining us in this speculation.” Both Gilbert and James Moyle were at that time working on the sales side, establishing Wasatch Oil stations and other retail outlets within economic trucking distance of the refinery.

Henry followed others into Wasatch, but he led Wasatch into Idaho, Washington, and Montana. Idaho Refining Company built a plant in Pocatello in 1938 and Gilbert became the company’s general manager. About the same time Inland Empire Refineries, Inc., was formed to refine and market oil products in the Spokane, Washington, market. This is the undertaking that introduced Robert Sears to Henry Moyle. Just out of graduate school, Sears was hired on the basis of a five-minute interview and sent to Spokane to learn the oil business by spending a few days—or weeks—on many different aspects of refinery construction and operations. He did well enough to satisfy his sponsor and a confidential relationship was established that linked the two men’s lives thereafter. Henry Moyle was like that. Younger people—and there were several besides Sears—whom he found to be ambitious, capable, and dependable and who were going his way, became partners in a relationship that was very special. Sears felt that he was treated almost like a son.

William McInryre headed the Spokane business and Kenneth W. Yeates, son of William Yeates, was president of Idaho Refining. Directors included local capitalists as well as the Wasatch Oil Refining Company founders. But the three companies had one thing in common. Henry Moyle—the key figure in putting together the last two—became Vice President in Charge of Operations for all three. The men who worked closely with him during the formative years were R. W. “Doc” Leslie who knew the technical side of refining, and Don R. Gerstenberger, who managed the Spokane operation. The three oil companies functioned inde-[p.102]pendently but cooperatively. Because they had problems securing reliable supplies of crude oil and met severe competition from established major companies, both the new refineries experienced tough times at the start. The war then limited the options available to them. However, they developed a distribution network in the Northwest and some crude oil sources in Montana that made them viable enterprises.

A legendary episode at the close of the Depression decade shows Henry Moyle’s overlapping interests as attorney, rancher, and oil entrepreneur. It also illustrates the “don’t push me around” facet of his personality. To improve its competitive position in the Utah market, Standard of Indiana began to construct a pipeline from its oil field in Wyoming to the Utah Oil Company refinery in Salt Lake City. Rights of way were obtained at trifling expense until the project reached the fence line of Deseret Live Stock Company. There the contractor ran into Henry Moyle, arguing that his client was entitled to substantial compensation for permitting use of its land. Company representatives then sought the right of way by instituting condemnation proceedings.

David Lawrence McKay and Millie Cornwall remember what followed. Henry instructed everyone at the law office to stop what they were doing. “I want every case of condemnation that’s ever been decided in Utah,” he announced. The brief developed from this research confirmed his hunch—no privately owned company except public utilities had been permitted to condemn private property. Finding their case dismissed by the state court, the pipeline promoters amended their petition to assert that they were a public utility. On this basis their petition was granted; they could use the condemnation process if negotiation did not produce an agreement on a “fair price” for crossing D. L. S. C. land.3

The Deseret Live Stock Company attorney did not object because the Wasatch Oil Company attorney now had what he wanted. Henry sought and gained a federal court order requiring the oil company to handle the pipeline as a public carrier, an obligation that stemmed logically from the finding in the condemnation case. So the same pipeline that carried oil to the Utah Oil Company refinery carried oil at a governmentally regulated rate from the Wasatch wells in Wyoming to the refinery in Woods Cross. Before the litigation ended, one of the Standard Oil Company attorneys [p.103]ruefully acknowledged to James Moyle: “I’ve never seen a person that has the ability to cross-examine like your brother Henry.”

Hugo Black, the Chicago banker who loaned part of the money that built Wasatch Oil, noticed something else about the Salt Lake attorney-businessman. After several years’ association, he said that he had never known anyone with a greater talent than Henry D. Moyle for “making money with money.”

Sheer enjoyment of the action was one component of that talent.4 Henry Moyle was a hard worker. As the economy slowly moved toward recovery. he wrote to Hugh B. Brown, who had gone from the chairmanship of the liquor control commission to the presidency of the British Mission: “While I have succeeded in keeping exceptionally busy, it has been largely due to the fact that I have gone out and created activities of my own. Had I depended upon normal business, I am sure I would have had a great deal of leisure time in the past two years.”

Henry Moyle was also a fast and efficient worker. He listened when he thought there was something to be learned, bur he disliked long discussions. He kept no lists of things to do, preferring to make a phone call or dictate a memorandum when a problem first came to his attention. Sears, who spent many hours with him on oil matters, remembers hearing over and over two phrases: “Let’s keep moving” and “What’s next?” Henry was usually punctual bur he had no time to spend waiting. Railroad and plane departures were always cliff-hangers. Once when Henry’s car reached the station as the train was beginning to move, he instructed Alberta to drive out onto the crossing. “They’ll stop,” he confidently predicted. They did.

Henry abhorred mediocrity, and when he had the power, he moved aside those who did not measure up to his expectations. On the other hand, subordinates whom he trusted were well rewarded and given much latitude. He rarely read letters that he had dictated before signing them, and he sometimes took reports prepared by his assistants into meetings without reviewing them. Later, as a member of the LDS First Presidency, he strongly advocated that well-qualified people be recruited for the church bureaucracy and that they be paid competitive salaries.

A confident advocate, as had already been demonstrated, Henry [p.104]Moyle inspired an oil man with whom Wasatch did business to say: “I never want to be in a room alone with him because I can never say ‘No’ to anything that he wants to do.” The oil business brought Henry into the national war effort in the early 1940s. Soon after Germany invaded Poland, he wrote to his father about a possible commission in the army; but James H. Moyle discouraged that idea. Utah politics dominated the next year. Then as the nation began mobilizing the oil industry before and after Pearl Harbor, Henry participated in various conferences and regional meetings. Appointment to the Petroleum Industry War Council followed in April 1943. The function of this group of industry and government representatives was to review proposed regulations to allocate and conserve oil, to increase production, and to cope with other aspects of oil use during the war period. He was chairman of refining for District Four, the Rocky Mountain area. Soon he was appointed to the council’s executive committee, in which role he made monthly trips to Washington. The activity brought him into contact with key people in government and the oil and associated industries; some became personal friends. Among his mementos of this service is a cartoon of a chubby middle-aged businessman receiving a medal, with the printed notation beneath: “Henry D. Moyle has completed twenty-five missions to Washington attending P. I. W. C. meetings.”

Henry remained a board member when the war council was transformed into the National Petroleum Council in 1946. He held this post until Wasatch Oil was sold. Thereafter his interest in national policy and legislation was expressed as a member of the board of directors of the American Gas Association for a short time and of the American Petroleum Institute board from 1948 to 1954. Two perspectives are reflected in his lobbying activities as an oil company executive and later as A.P.I. director. “We not only need the development … of our natural resources, but also the development of additional payrolls,” he wrote to a newspaper publisher, and he warned a Walla Walla, Washington, business audience about the possibility of “a shortage of oil and petroleum products, perhaps some twenty-five years from now.”5

An agreeable spin-off from these activities was the trip Henry and Alberta Moyle took to Lake Banff in 1952 as Governor J. Bracken Lee’s representative at the sessions of the Interstate Oil Compact Commission. [p.105]There he met Nathan Eldon Tanner, minister of gas and oil in the Alberta government, president of the LOS Edmonton Branch, and his eventual successor in the First Presidency of the church.

The war years also saw growth in Henry Moyle’s investment and management responsibilities with Wasatch Oil Refining Company. New leases were obtained in the Rangely field and the coordination of operations with the Idaho and Washington companies produced an attractive target for major oil companies interested in expanding as soon as the war was over. McIntyre was eager to sell, but Henry recommended that the market be explored before any deal was made; the Wasatch president died and Henry succeeded him while the quest was going on.6

Phillips Petroleum Company; headquartered in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, was the eventual buyer. Henry Moyle worked with Phillips representatives to put the whole deal together in the two months following his becoming a general authority in 1947. Surely this was the most hectic interval in his life. The plan was that Phillips would exchange stock on a dollar-for-dollar basis for the assets of Wasatch Oil Refining Company; Idaho Refining Company; Inland Empire Refineries, Inc., and two newly acquired small Montana firms. The purchase included wells and leases, refineries processing in excess of 10,000 barrels per day, the Wasatch Oil Company building in Salt Lake City; and several hundred service stations in seven Western states. The value of the assets was about $25 million and the capital and surplus—assets less liabilities also assumed by Phillips—approached $6 million. The operations were to be consolidated into a new Wasatch Oil Company; operating independently as a Phillips subsidiary. Most of the shareholders made the exchange at this time. Henry decided to hold on for a little longer.

Henry Moyle’s continuing participation was crucial from the viewpoint of the Phillips management. He, however, was quick to point out to Phillips president K. S. Adams: “In undertaking this responsibility; it must be definitely understood that the Church has a first call on my time.” The responsibility carried several imposing titles: vice chairman (under Adams’s chairmanship) of the Wasatch board of directors, chairman of the executive committee, and president. Operations responsibil-[p.106]ity would be borne by the company vice presidents, including James and Gilbert Moyle. Robert Sears, as assistant to the president, would be Henry’s liaison and multi-functional helper.

The plan worked for about a year. Sears met with his boss at seven o’clock almost every workday morning, plus sometimes evenings and Saturdays. Elder Moyle found time for Wasatch board meetings, executive committee meetings, and occasional trips to Bartlesville. Wasatch generated about $2 million in net income before taxes during its first year. But friction soon developed with the man sent by Phillips to keep an eye on the new investment. He was a “company man,” and a letter that Henry Moyle wrote to him in February 1948 suggests why the two men had difficulties:

It is our primary purpose to make money for Wasatch Oil Company. To do this in some instances we may not adhere strictly to a particular form or procedure current with Phillips. We have local problems which cannot always be solved by existing rules.

I do not feel that we should be bound in every instance by existing procedure, or it will be impossible to exercise any originality on our part.

This was not the primary reason Phillips decided to integrate Wasatch into its own operations later in 1948, but the decision did resolve a problem for Henry Moyle. At first he planned to sell his Wasatch shares for cash and he negotiated a good price with Phillips. He changed his mind, however, and the swap of shares proved more advantageous in the long run. It left him enough cash to payoff all his “notes at the bank” and observe that it was “good to be out of debt again.” It also initiated a cordial half-business, half-social relationship with the Phillips executives—particularly “Boots” Adams—that lasted as long as Henry lived.7

Elder Moyle continued on the Wasatch Oil Company board of directors for another half dozen years. People who speculate about why Adams never asked him to be a Phillips director are inclined to mention Henry’s age, health, or maverick tendencies. He attended the annual stockholders meetings in Bartlesville, traveling-usually with Alberta—in the [p.107]company plane that Adams made available. It became a ritual for him to nominate the slate of company directors—a procedure as unlikely to generate controversy as the presentation of officers at the LDS stake conferences over which he then presided almost weekly.

Henry made no secret of his church membership in this and other business relations. Like such earlier apostle-businessmen as George Q. Cannon, Charles W. Nibley, and Heber J. Grant, he operated in the secular world without flaunting his Mormonism, and he could play hard ball with the big leaguers of capitalism. Chicago First National Bank president Hugo Black was his friend, but he still registered surprise on learning that tough-minded Henry Moyle had become an apostle. Thermoid Rubber Company executive Fred Schluter, on the other hand, met Henry when the church was trying to resolve a labor dispute at a Nephi, Utah, factory. and the contact helped to bring Mr. and Mrs. Schluter into the church a few years later.

Elder Moyle believed in giving his business friends a chance to ask about his faith. He sent copies of the book What of the Mormons?8 to thirty-one Phillips executives and to key people at the American Petroleum Institute. He was always happy to introduce such associates to President McKay and other general authorities; often he and Alberta hosted socials that brought together prominent Mormons and non-Mormons. His sense of calling is clear in a diary comment about a party that the Moyles arranged for twenty-five Phillips directors and executives. The program inadvertently presented some “very poor, inappropriate entertainment.” It was “something I will regret for a long time to come,” he noted. “I lost a good chance to further their interest in the church.”

As his involvements with Wasatch Oil wound down, Henry could write to Walter: “I am enjoying tremendously my church work, although it keeps me busier than I have ever been before in my life.” Still, he needed the diversion that his contacts with the business world represented, and the wildcatter in him demanded to get out occasionally. In addition to his Phillips and A. P. I. activities, he continued to dabble in oil and mining leases, often at the instance of his crony from early Wasatch days, Joseph A. [p.108]Minton. A diary entry in 1953 tells how he gave all his “dogs and cats” to his broker “to liquidate.” But he continued to invest in stocks and real estate, often profitably, and he encouraged his children to do so with stock gifts and loans, even as James H. Moyle had done for him and his brothers and sisters. He explored possibilities for forming a syndicate to buy a hotel somewhere in the East, with his son-in-law, Frank Wangeman, doing the legwork, but nothing came of it. Wangeman also remembers being visited by a mining promoter who had stock to sell and mentioned that Henry Moyle was a principal stockholder in his company. When Wangeman asked Henry about the advisability of investing, Henry replied: “Why should you buy some; I’ll send you some.” When certificates for several thousand shares arrived in the mail, Wangeman was “overwhelmed.” Then the assessment notices began arriving, and the lesson became clear when Henry showed no interest in having the shares returned.

Water continued to be a business interest even after Deseret Live Stock Company passed into other hands. The fight James H. Moyle made for irrigation rights when the Cottonwood farm was developed early in the century left him a stockholder and sometime president of the Tanner Ditch Company and Green Ditch Company, distributors of water from Big Cottonwood Canyon. Henry Moyle inherited his father’s involvement, and his participation continued until his death. The Cottonwood farm, meanwhile, had been incorporated and leased. Henry was involved in the management of this and other elements in James H. Moyle’s estate, including the Brighton property. At Alice Moyle’s death in 1950, her six children and their families received the bulk of her estate. The farm was sold, becoming a country club site, while Brighton became a favorite summer and winter recreational spot for many of James and Alice’s posterity.

Bob Sears was responsible for Henry Moyle’s appointment to the board of directors of Consolidated Freightways, Inc., a post he held from 1956 to 1963. The Portland, Oregon, based trucking company had just gone public and launched a vigorous expansion program. Representative public figures were sought for an enlarged board, and Hubert J. Soher, one of the directors, asked Sears to suggest a Mormon who was knowledgeable about business in the intermountain region. Elder Moyle was the obvious choice; Soher had met him previously and was glad to recommend him to the board.

Elder Moyle accepted the appointment while on a tour of the South [p.109]American missions. Thereafter, except when mission tours, visits to Deseret Farms, other church assignments, or ill health prevented, he attended monthly board meetings faithfully. Consolidated headquarters were now in Menlo Park, California. The routine was to fly out of Salt Lake City one evening, attend the meeting, and then fly back the next day.

Ronald E. Poelman, who became secretary to the C.F. board during Henry Moyle’s tenure, remembers the impact of this “outside” director. He did not concern himself with operations, but he informed himself about policies, strategies, and goals. He was direct in counsel, and he was particularly valued by the other directors because of his acquaintance with key people in finance and industry all over the United States. When a certain matter depended on consultation with a top officer of a major insurance company; Henry said, “I know him.” He went to an adjoining office, put through a call, got the man on the phone, and cleared up the problem right away. It illustrated an operational style that was bound to impress more cautious or protocol-conscious business associates.

When C. F. moved into Canada, N. Eldon Tanner came to the board at Henry’s suggestion. The two men played particularly critical roles when over-expansion and business recession produced a financial pinch. Poelman remembers their handling of a necessary change of company presidents as “really inspiring.” Watching—and helping—Consolidated Freightways grow to be the largest trucking company in the country was a pleasure to Henry Moyle. Like the Phillips connection, it permitted him to relate to American enterprise without the particular constraints and concerns that attended his church assignment in the business world.

That the precepts of his religion affected his approach to the business sphere is particularly clear when, as a general authority, he made speeches and gave advice on secular subjects. He claimed no professional expertise in business management. His legal practice led him into a variety of experiences with many corporations, mostly small, and left him with a couple of convictions that he frequently expressed:

The accomplishments of business are the reflections of the lives of the men behind them. …9

[p.110]I believe that the same principles apply in business whether the business is large or small.10
The invitation to be a principal speaker at a 1959 symposium on management sponsored by the Brigham Young University College of Business gave Henry Moyle an opportunity to share some of his experience-based perceptions. He identified management with leadership of people and then suggested and illustrated several facets of successful leadership. It is very important “to inspire confidence in those whom we seek to lead.” Noting shrewdly that “it is more important for the employee to feel good toward his boss than for the boss to have a similar feeling toward the employee,” he concluded: “When that confidence is gained, the responsibility of leadership becomes very light because it becomes natural for those whom you seek to lead to follow you.”

The delegation of authority benefits both parties. “I have found that it had been a profitable rule for me to never do anything myself that I could get someone else to do for me.” Without losing overall control of a situation, Henry insisted, it was possible to give freedom of action and a feeling of responsibility; a subordinate should not “feel that he can rely upon the fact that you are going to check his work.” In time such subordinates “become experts in something you cannot hope to do unless you have the capacity to become an expert in every activity in which you engage.” The development of latent talents in employees is a key to the identification and training of future management personnel. The successful leader—Henry cited several in the oil industry—generates opportunities for his subordinates. He does not “take a possessive attitude, as though the business were his.” Nor is he autocratic: “It seems to me that we cannot afford to be dictators in business any more than in government.” Freedom of communication is another element in effective leadership. Henry Moyle advocated-and in his business and professional life he practiced-an “open door” policy.10 “It is vitally important that we be honest in business.” An element in that honesty is “giving credit to those [to] whom credit is entitled.”

[p.111]A leader’s responsibility “is to make men’s jobs challenging.” To “dignify the work of every person” is to increase his effectiveness. Organizational discipline should be “strict” and there should be no toleration of “freeloaders,” but “real authority comes from the ‘bottom up’ as well as the ‘top down.’“

Elder Moyle’s final point was an adaptation of the Golden Rule: “I do not believe that it is part of a top executive’s duty to do anything for his company that would be injurious to others.” On pragmatic grounds he suggested that the ideal business leader should go even further: “It is not part of your duty to exact from every deal the last farthing. Many times when you have a deal either with an employee or with outside interests that is fair to you, the wise businessman lets it be a good bargain for the other side, too, because it insures a continuation of friendly relations. …”

In business, as in law, Henry Moyle was such an ardent competitor that he sometimes strained friendship in the deal-making and verdict-seeking processes. As for the general conduct of his businesses, there is substantial evidence that he practiced what he preached.


1. Very early Henry began transferring investment property to his wife; later he also made periodic gifts to his children and grandchildren.

2. James was, in fact, the first of the quartet to retire, but it was almost thirty years afterward.

3. Twenty thousand dollars was the price finally accepted.

4. At this point Poll wrote the following sentence, then deleted it: “Henry Moyle was not a workaholic, for he played with zest, too.”—Ed.

5. The first long lines at U.S. service stations were some twenty years later.

6. At this point Poll wrote the following sentence and then deleted it: “He and Robert Sears were in New York City exploring one such possibility when Henry’s call to the Quorum of the Twelve came in 1947.”—Ed.

7. Both Sears and Janet Moyle’s husband, Veigh Nielson, became in time Phillips officers.

8. Gordon B. Hinckley, What of the Mormons?: A Brief Study of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1950), though there are a number of editions and printings that Moyle could have given to friends.—Ed.

9. To Utah Canners Association, Salt Lake City, 25 May 1955.

10. To BYU College of Business, Provo, Utah, 17 June 1959.

11. He did not tell this university audience that the policy entails risks—like the time Frank Armstrong walked into his law office without knocking and found Alberta sitting on his lap.