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Robert D. Hales
Works at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Attended University of Utah
Lives in Salt Lake City, UT
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Robert D. Hales

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I know with surety that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. The Atonement is real. God the Father and Jesus Christ are distinct, separate, immortal beings. They know us as individuals, and They hear and answer our sincere prayers. 
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Robert D. Hales

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Early in our marriage I suggested that we pay our tithing from out of our year-end bonus, which came after the first of the year. I was thinking about tithing like life insurance or fire insurance—something you pay to stay out of trouble. 

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.
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The Lord will always keep His promise: “I will lead you along.” The only question is, will we let ourselves be led? Will we hear His voice and the voice of His servants?

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).
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Robert D. Hales

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Don't let life determine for you what you are going to be. You will want to take that responsibility on yourself.

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. 
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In the story Alice in Wonderland, Alice approaches the Cheshire Cat and asks, “Would you please tell me which way I ought to go from here?”

The Cheshire Cat replies, “That depends a great deal on where you want to go.”

Alice says, “I admit, I don’t much care where.”

The Cheshire Cat then says, “Then it doesn’t really matter much which way you go, does it?”

“Just so I get somewhere,” responds Alice.

Then the Cheshire Cat reveals an interesting truth, “Oh, you’re sure to get there if you keep walking long enough.”

What is the message? How many of us are going through life today telling ourselves, “If we keep going long enough, we’re going to get somewhere,” but are not defining exactly where that place is we want to be? 

“Somewhere” is not good enough. We must know where we want to go and be firmly committed to getting there. 
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Robert D. Hales

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Knowing who we are is perhaps the first and most fundamental truth we learn in this life. Our memories of our premortal existence, of our life in heaven as spirit children, have been forgotten. At birth a veil was drawn over our minds so we cannot remember living in the presence of our Heavenly Father. 

But the Holy Ghost can help us feel and know that we are truly the spirit children of our Father in Heaven, just as we are the physical children of parents on earth. This truth makes me supremely happy because it helps us know how to act and gives meaning to everything we do.
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Robert D. Hales

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In my young adult years, I sought counsel from my parents and from faithful, trusted advisers. One was a priesthood leader; another was a teacher who believed in me. Both said to me, “If you want my counsel, be prepared to take it.” I understood what that meant. 

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.
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If you don’t have abundant resources, don’t worry. A wonderful Church member recently told me, “I didn’t raise my children on money; I raised them on faith.” There is a great truth to that. 

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.”
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When I was a young adult, my stake president was an investment banker on Wall Street. He taught me, “You are rich if you can live happily within your means.” 

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.
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Robert D. Hales

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I bear my witness that our travel through this life can bring us great happiness. 

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. 
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When we are marred spiritually or physically, our first reaction is to withdraw into the dark shadows of depression, to blot out hope and joy—the light of life that comes from knowing we are living the commandments of our Father in Heaven. This withdrawal will ultimately lead us to rebellion against those who would like to be our friends, those who can help us most, even our family. 

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?
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Robert D. Hales

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The purpose of our life on earth is to grow, develop, and be strengthened through our own experiences. How do we do this? The scriptures give us an answer in one simple phrase: we “wait upon the Lord.” 

Tests and trials are given to all of us. These mortal challenges allow us and our Heavenly Father to see whether we will exercise our agency to follow His Son. He already knows, and we have the opportunity to learn, that no matter how difficult our circumstances, “all these things shall [be for our] experience, and … [our] good” (D&C 122:7).
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  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 1994 - present
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Salt Lake City, UT
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Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Introduction

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.

Education
  • University of Utah
  • Harvard University
    MBA
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Birthday
August 24, 1932