Church News

Elder Robert D. Hales’ final statement shared at general conference

Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

In the final talk of the Sunday afternoon session of the 187th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles read a few lines from a message prepared by Elder Robert D. Hales, in preparation for general conference, before his death on Sunday, Oct. 1.

Although he was in the hospital at the time, Elder Hales prepared a message that he shared with Elder Andersen. Given Elder Hales’ passing about three hours before the concluding remarks, Elder Andersen said it was appropriate to share several lines from that message.

“When we choose to have faith we are prepared to stand in the presence of God,” he quoted Elder Hales. “After the Savior’s crucifixion, he appeared only to those who had been faithful in the testimony of Him while they lived in mortality. Those who rejected the testimonies of the prophets could not behold the Savior’s presence nor look upon his face. Our faith prepares us to be in the presence of God”

Elder Hales was hospitalized earlier this week for “treatment of pulmonary and other conditions,” the Deseret News reported.

Elder Andersen went on to add: “How kind of the Lord to impress upon President Russell M. Nelson to quickly leave the first session of conference and skip his lunch and quickly move to the bedside of Elder Hales, where he could arrive and be there, his quorum president, with the angelic Mary Hales, as Elder Hales graduated from mortality.”

President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency began the Sunday afternoon session by paying tribute to his friend and fellow apostle, Elder Hales, who died a short time after the morning session:

“Brothers and sisters, as you may know our dear friend and associate, Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, passed away peacefully this afternoon at 12:15 p.m. in the hospital surrounded by his wife, other family members and President Russell M. Nelson.

“We will miss him. His wisdom and goodness have blessed our lives for many years. We express our love to his sweet wife and caregiver, Mary, and extend our heartfelt condolences to the family.

“Information regarding Elder Hales’ funeral will be forthcoming.”

In the opening prayer, Elder Joseph W. Sitati, a General Authority Seventy, said:

“Father, unitedly, our hearts go out to Sister Mary Hales and her family at this time.”

In the closing prayer, Elder Evan A. Schmutz, a General Authority Seventy, said:

“We are thankful for Elder Hales and the ministry that he gave and we pray for blessings upon his family.”

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