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Elder Robert D. Hales remembered as man of courage, tenacity, devotion

SALT LAKE CITY — Hundreds gathered today in the Salt Lake, LDS Tabernacle to honor Elder Robert D. Hales, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Quorum of the 12 apostles who died on Sunday.

“In his 42 1/2 years as a general authority, he has participated in nearly every counsel and committee at church headquarters,” said President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles.  “His wisdom, insight and influence have had a profound affect on the rolling forth of the kingdom of God across the globe.”   President Nelson said Elder Hales had the the courage of a jet pilot, the tenacity of an athlete and the “devotion of a disciple of the Lord.”

“I know Bob’s heart, literally,” President Nelson, a former heart surgeon said of Elder Hales.  He recalled a time two decades ago when he was present as Elder Hales underwent coronary artery bypass surgery. “Having since served closely with Bob for so long,” he said.  “I know that his spiritual heart is pure.”

President Henry B. Eyring, 1st Counselor in the church’s First Presidency, described Elder Hales as a perfectly loyal friend and a disciple of Jesus Christ and that he had passed many tests of that loyalty.  “Whatever the cost and how difficult the command, he was loyal to his friends, to his family, to the Lord and to the Lord’s prophet,”  President Eyring said.

Elder hales had served as an Apostle for nearly 23 years.  Before that he had served as the church’s Presiding Bishop.  Before embarking on church service, Elder Hales had served in numerous roles in the business world, and had served in the Air Force as a fighter pilot.

He was 85 years old.