- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsQuorum of the Twelve Apostles, 1994 - present
Elder Robert D. Hales was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 2, 1994.
Elder Hales received his call as a General Authority on April 4, 1975. He served as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and later as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He was Presiding Bishop of the Church from April 1985 until called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
He was a regional representative for five years prior to his call as a General Authority. He earlier served as a branch president, bishop, high councilor, and stake president’s counselor. He was president of the England London Mission in the late 1970s and has served as first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency.
Prior to his call to full-time Church service, Elder Hales had a distinguished business career, serving in executive positions with three major national companies.
Elder Hales was born in New York City on August 24, 1932. He is a graduate of the University of Utah and holds a master of business administration degree from Harvard. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a jet fighter pilot.
He married Mary Crandall, and they have two sons.
- University of Utah
- Harvard UniversityMBA
I testify that faithfulness in obeying the commandments and keeping our covenants will protect us from being deceived. Through the Holy Ghost, we will be able to discern those false prophets who teach for doctrine the commandments of men.
The power described by Joseph Smith was the influence of the Holy Ghost. As a result, Joseph went into a grove of trees near his home and knelt down to ask of God. The First Vision that followed was truly momentous and magnificent. But the path to that in-person visitation of the Father and the Son began with a prompting from the Holy Ghost to pray.
The revealed truths of the restored gospel came through the pattern of seeking in prayer and then receiving and following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Consider these examples: translating the Book of Mormon; the restoration of the priesthood and its ordinances, beginning with baptism; and the organization of the Church—to name a few.
I testify that today, revelation from the Lord to the First Presidency and the Twelve comes according to this same sacred pattern. This is the same sacred pattern that allows personal revelation.
Prayerfully select mentors who have your spiritual well-being at heart. Be careful about taking advice from your peers. If you want more than you now have, reach up, not across!
Remember, no one can reach upward on your behalf. Only your faith and prayers will cause you to lift yourself and have the mighty change of heart. Only your resolve to be obedient can change your life.
Because of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice for you, the power is in you. You have your agency, you have strong testimonies if you are obedient, and you can follow the Spirit that guides you.
Begin exercising your faith in every area of your life. If you don’t, you will suffer what I would call “faith atrophy.” The very strength needed to exercise your faith will be diminished. So exercise your faith every day, and you will “wax stronger and stronger … and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ.”
How can you do it? Pay your tithing and then save! When you earn more, save more. Don’t compete with others to have expensive toys. Don’t buy what you can’t afford.
Many young adults in the world are going into debt to get an education, only to find the cost of school is greater than they can repay. Seek out scholarships and grants. Obtain part-time employment, if possible, to help pay your own way. This will require some sacrifice, but it will help you succeed.
Ultimately, that happiness is possible because of our Savior and His atoning sacrifice. He is our greatest, truest friend. He is the one who has walked the path of mortal life before us. And because He suffered all things for us, He is the Holy One who can understand us, succor us, comfort us, heal us, and strengthen us.
I testify that He lives, and because He lives we can have the joy of returning with honor back into His presence. May that joy be ours today as we continue in our glorious journey home.
But worst of all, we finally reject ourselves. Those who are alone and lonely should not retreat to the sanctuary of their private thoughts and chambers. Such retreat will ultimately lead them into the darkening influence of the adversary, which leads to despondency, loneliness, frustration, and to thinking of oneself as worthless. After one thinks of himself as worthless, he then ofttimes turns to associates who corrode those delicate spiritual contacts, rendering their spiritual receiving antennas and transmitters useless.
What good is it to associate with and ask advice of someone who is disoriented himself and only tells us what we want to hear? Isn’t it better to turn to loving parents and friends, who can help us reach for and attain celestial goals?
The Holy Ghost honors the principle of agency. He speaks to our minds and our hearts gently about many matters of consequence.
Each of us may feel the influence of the Holy Ghost differently. His promptings will be felt in different degrees of intensity according to our individual needs and circumstances.
But my sweet wife and companion taught me: “No,” she said, “we will pay tithing as we go, because we love the Lord and want to build His kingdom.”
Where the kingdom is concerned, the willingness of our hearts is everything. We keep the commandments because we love Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. As we express that love, it is very simple. He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” As we do, we lay the foundation of a great work, and out of these small things proceeds that which is great.
I testify that if you are there for the Lord, He will be there for you. If you love Him and keep His commandments, you will have His Spirit to be with you and guide you. “Put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good. … By this shall you know, all things … pertaining unto things of righteousness" (D&C 11:12, 14).
When I was a teenager, I helped my father varnish the floor in a downstairs room in our house. He watched me as I slowly painted myself into a corner and had no way to get out without stepping across the freshly shellacked floor. I asked, "What do I do?"
I'll never forget his answer: "Robert, don't ever do that in your life."
Don't drift through life and let random living decide for you what you are going to be or what you are going to do with your life. Now is the best time to get to know yourself, to know what your gifts and talents are, and to know who best can assist you to develop them, always bearing in mind that your objective is to someday help others develop their talents.
I hope you understand the opportunity that is yours to learn during this season of life and prepare yourself for the rest of your sojourn in mortality.