Tributes from the Funeral of Elder Robert D. Hales
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    “Tributes from the Funeral of Elder Robert D. Hales,” Ensign, November 2017

    Tributes from the Funeral of Elder Robert D. Hales

    October 6, 2017, Salt Lake Tabernacle

    Elder Hales Funeral

    Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

    “I will miss my dear friend Robert D. Hales. We have served together for over 40 years in different assignments and committees as General Authorities of the Church. The past several years, we have sat next to each other in the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder Hales’s quick wit and sometimes very funny comments will be missed. His wise counsel and his in-depth insights … will also be greatly missed by all of us. …

    “In August 1991, Bob suffered his first heart attack. …

    “From that time on, health issues came one after another. As we sat together over these many years, I have witnessed the great courage and complete dedication of Robert D. Hales. Many times I have reached over, touched his arm, and held his hand and, in a small way, felt the pain and difficulty he was experiencing. …

    “My dear friend has always been a hero to me, and I know he is now relieved and at peace with his beloved parents, … other family members, and most of all in his return to be with his Heavenly Parents and his beloved Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom he had given his all as one of His chosen Apostles.”

    President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

    “Elder Hales was a valued member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for more than 23 years. His contributions to the entire Church and to each member of the Quorum cannot be overstated. He was tireless in his ministry. In his 42 and a half years as a General Authority, he has participated in nearly every council and committee at Church headquarters. His wisdom, insight, and influence have had a profound effect on the rolling forth of the kingdom of God across the globe. …

    “… His deepest desire was always to cherish and care for Mary, to serve his precious family and members of the Church, and be a courageous disciple of the Lord, whom he dearly revered.

    “Bob’s perseverance in the face of health challenges is legendary. He carried on despite the seriously debilitating effects of unrelenting challenges to his health. We who have watched him have wondered, how could he do it? …

    “… With the courage of a jet pilot, the tenacity of a champion athlete, the humility and devotion of a disciple of the Lord, Elder Hales has completed his life’s mission in a most exemplary way. He has passed the tests of mortality and returned home with highest honors.”

    President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency

    “I have observed Elder Hales, worked with him, and learned from him. We have shared experiences that stretched and strengthened us and some that tested us. I have in every instance learned from him and seen him grow in spiritual power.

    “One spiritual gift seems to have been his as long as I have known him. It is the gift to be a perfectly loyal friend. You may judge that to be a minor strength. But the Lord Himself paid tribute to His Apostles with words of friendship. …

    “… The Lord makes clear what power will go with such a friend who forsakes the world for the Lord’s service:

    “‘And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up’ (D&C 84:88). …

    “Now, my hope is that the descendants of Elder Hales, and all who love him, will read those words of the Lord as describing Robert D. Hales, a perfectly loyal friend and disciple. …

    “… I was eyewitness to how he passed the tests of his loyalty to what he knew his friend God wanted.”