'Becoming an apostle is a process'

Look inward

Ask for forgiveness, strength- Expresses gratitude

Becoming an apostle is a process, Elder Robert D. Hales said Sunday afternoon in his first conference address as a member of the Council of the Twelve. He was sustained as the newest member of the Twelve in the Saturday afternoon session.

Becoming an apostle is "a process of repentance and humility, to look inward as we have been instructed and ask for forgiveness and strength to be what I should be," he said.

"Unfortunately, I am not a perfect man," he continued. "And infallibility does not come with the call. Therefore, I must ask for forgiveness from Heavenly Father for those things which I have done which are less than perfect, and ask forgiveness of anyone I might have offended knowingly or unknowingly because of my personality or style."

Elder Hales thanked the members of the Church for their faith and prayers, and expressed gratitude to his family and others.

"This is a marvelous work and a marvelous Church with magnificent members," he said. "Each in their own individual callings live the gospel and are an example to those of us who travel the world and meet them."

He also expressed his love for the men who have been his counselors as he served as Presiding Bishop - Elder Henry B. Eyring and Elder Glenn L. Pace, both of whom are now serving in the First Quorum of the Seventy; and Bishop H. David Burton and Bishop Richard C. Edgley, both of whom are continuing as counselors in the Presiding Bishopric.

He then declared: "For the rest of my sojourn here in mortality, I will have the opportunity to bear testimony as a special witness of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

"Jesus Christ is a God. He is Jehovah of the Old Testament. He is the Savior of the New Testament. Jesus Christ dwelt in the heavens with His Father, God the Father. Jesus presented His Father's eternal plan, that plan of which we are all a part.

"We come to this earth to undergo testing for a probationary period, to have opposition in all things. And through the eternal principle of agency, we are free to choose liberty and eternal life and return with honor to God's presence if we live righteous lives, or to choose captivity and spiritual death."

Continuing to bear testimony, he said: "Jesus Christ leads and guides His Church today through revelation to a prophet, President Ezra Taft Benson, and his counselors in the First Presidency, and the Twelve Apostles. . . .

"May I close my testimony in the same words as the prophet Mormon did shortly after the birth of the Savior: `Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life (3 Ne. 5:13).' "

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