You can imagine how my heart raced. I was told that the amount exceeded $500,000 ”“ an unheard of sum in those days. (It actually ended up being well above that ”“ but read on.) There was just one hitch: The man had insisted in his will that the money go only for the seminary education… [under conditions we could not honor].
Still, I didn’t want to let go of an obvious windfall. When the board finally met, they debated the pros and cons, and I made the case for it as best I could. But quietly, I did have my misgivings. When one of our trustees, a bishop, said, “This has the smell of sulphur about it,” I realized the die was cast: We could not accept the gift.