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Elder Robert Hales
Transcript of Elder Robert Hales
Elder Hales and his wife, Mary Crandall Hales, were married in 1953. Since their marriage, they have been a team committed to balancing family life, Church service, and career.
He served as an elder's qourum president, a branch president's counselor, an early morning seminary teacher, a branch president three times, bishop three times, high councilor, a stake president’s counselor, first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency and a regional representative of the Twelve for five years.
Career opportunities quickly opened for him and throughout his professional life he served in major executive positions with several national companies
Born: August 24, 1932 in New York, New York
John Rulon Hales - a noted artist
Vera Marie Holbrooke
Grew up in Queens, New York
Youngest of three children
Brother Jerry, sister Janet
“When I was a deacon, my father took me to the Sacred Grove,” says Elder Hales. “There we prayed together and dedicated our lives. Then he talked to me of sacred things. When we got back home, my father, who worked as an artist in New York City, painted a picture of the Sacred Grove for me. I’ve always hung that picture in my office, and when I look at it, I remember my father and our talk that summer afternoon.”
Don’t Wear Out Your Arm
As a high school freshman, Bob Hales was the starting pitcher for the school’s baseball team. One time when he was in a pitching slump, he caused the team to lose three games in a row, each by a score of 1–0. The headline in the school paper read, “Hard-Luck Hales Loses Again.” He took his uniform and went to tell his coach he was going to quit. When he got to the coach’s office, his coach said, “Do you know why you’re losing? Your pitching arm is tired at the end of the game because before the game when you’re supposed to be warming up, you’re out there impressing everybody with your fastball and curveball. You probably pitch [the equivalent of] two or three innings doing that. [Stop] showing off and you won’t wear out your arm.” Robert listened, and the next game he pitched a shutout.
Robert went into active duty in the United States Air Force in 1954. For four years, Robert served as a jet fighter pilot.
In 1955, Robert and Mary, with their newborn son, Stephen, moved to Florida. Their second son, David, was born in 1958.
Robert learned an important principle while serving in the air force. “Our unit motto was ‘Return with Honor,’” says Elder Hales. “This motto was a constant reminder to us of our determination to return to our home base with honor after we had expended all of our efforts to successfully complete every aspect of our mission.”
As a father, he put his arms around each of his two sons before they left to serve their missions—Stephen to England and David to Germany—and whispered, “Return with honor.”
Robert graduated from the University of Utah in 1954 with a degree in communications and business
He graduated from Harvard in 1960 with a master of business administration degree.
"There are a few key steps we need to take now and throughout our lives in order to have all the blessings our Heavenly Father has promised us," Elder Hales writes. "I also wanted to reassure my brothers and sisters that living the gospel is a process, like walking down a path."
Elder Hales continues: "But to know the path itself — that winding lane through the valley, the bridge across the stream, the narrow trail leading to the rugged mountain peak, the sweeping vista — requires a friend who has walked the path before. As I have had such friends in my life, this book is an expression of my friendship for you. It provides an eternal perspective of this journey."
I love this talk. It is so important that our youth understand the importance of this time in their lives. Too many young people don't understand that in the ten years between 15 and 25 we make so many decisions that affect the rest of our lives. I also love this because no matter our situation now is the time to do these things, in all of our lives. Bernie Brennan
When Robert was a graduate student at Harvard University, He was called to be a president of his elders quorum. Professors discouraged student from participating in outside actives.
His wife, Mary said, “I’d rather have an active priesthood holder than a man who holds a master’s degree from Harvard. We’ll do them both.” The next day Mary had walled off a section of the unfinished basement in their apartment to create a small office. This helped him concentrate on his studies, so that he would be better able to fulfill his elders quorum calling.
Worked for Gillette as president of Papermate
Vice-president at Max Factor
President of Hughes Television Network
President of Chesebrough-Pond’s
He and Mary enjoy being with their sons, their wives and their eight grandchildren. The Hales own a old farmhouse near Bear Lake, Where they love to take weekend breaks as an extended family. “We’ve learned the value of spending time one-on-one with our grandchildren,” says Elder Hales
Robert loves baseball and was an outstanding pitcher. An injury ended his career while playing for the University of Utah.
He enjoys playing golf
He like to play piano. "If no one is listening," he says
He remembers once when he was asked to play the piano for the opening hymn in a Seventies meeting. All went well until he began playing faster and faster. The faster he played, the faster the Seventies would sing. It was a close race but Elder Hales says he finished "just barely ahead of the Brethren."
Likes most sporting events
In connection with his work, the Hales family lived in England, Germany, Spain, and several different areas of the United States.
“Moving can be painful and difficult for children,” says Elder Hales. “It takes a while for them to realize the educational value of seeing the world, but when my boys grew up, they told me that living in foreign countries was the better part of their education.”
“Once, when I received a promotion, my boss told me that I wouldn’t be where I was without my wife,” says Elder Hales. “He said, ‘Mary is your greatest asset, and don’t you forget it.’ And I never have.
“Mary has never held me back. We follow the Quaker proverb ‘Thee lift me and I’ll lift thee, and we will ascend together.’ A lot of what we have done would not have happened without a team relationship. We always have been a team and always will be. I think listening to my wife, next to listening to the Holy Ghost, has been the most important influence in my life.”
“After I met her, I never went out with anyone else,” says Elder Hales. “We were together every evening after work for the first two months sharing family activities. She’d help me wash my car, and I’d help her baby-sit her brothers; it was as though we were never going to be apart.” At the end of the summer, they both went back to college in Utah—Robert to the University of Utah and Mary to Brigham Young University. The following summer, on 10 June 1953, they were married in the Salt Lake Temple.
“We’ve always had a good time together,” says Sister Hales. “Bob has a great sense of humor. He is very caring.”
Mary and Robert’s teamwork has been an example to many, including their daughter-in-law Susan. “They are a total partnership,” she says. “Any couple could pattern their marriage after them. Their relationship is 100 percent equal; one does not dominate the other. Each opinion is valued.”
“Elder Hales is nonconfrontive,” says a coworker. “His management style is to let people work it out. And he has respect for his priesthood leaders. When the First Presidency speaks, he is their humble servant.”
To the Aaronic Priesthood Preparing for the Decade of Decisions
April 2007 General Conference
He was called on 4 April 1975 as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve. In April 1976 until 1985 he was a member of the First Quorum of Seventy. While a member of the Seventy from 1978 to 1979, Elder Hales served as president of the England London Mission.
He served as the branch president in Albany, Georgia; as the first counselor in a branch presidency in Seville, Spain; as a bishop in Weston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; and Frankfurt, Germany; on the high council in Boston, Massachusetts, and London, England; as a counselor in the Boston stake presidency; and as a regional representative for the Minnesota and Louisiana regions.
As an Assistant to the Twelve and then as a Seventy, Elder Hales helped plan 27 area conferences for the First Presidency. “Watching prophets, seers, and revelators bearing witness of the truthfulness of the gospel to the Saints in city after city was absolutely wonderful,” he said.
From 1985 until 1994 he was the Presiding Bishop of the Church. He was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 2 April 1994 and ordained an apostle on 7 April 1994.
“As a young man, I put myself in the Lord’s hands,” Elder Hales recalls. That decision has shaped his life.
In 1975, Robert was in a board meeting when his secretary handed him a note saying that President Marion G. Romney was on the phone. Since it was very unusual for anyone to leave a board meeting, everyone was surprised when Robert left to take the phone call. At that time, President Romney asked Robert to serve as a mission president.
Due to being a native New Yorker he helped with the early planning of the Manhattan, New York Temple
His travels sometimes accidentally coincided with political or military confrontations that were going on in the countries then known as Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, and Poland. But Elder Hales was there “for the good times and the bad times.” In Poland, he built relationships with the government leaders, occasionally against a backdrop of tanks, tear gas, and people running in the streets. The first baptisms in Warsaw were in a hotel swimming pool, but eventually the members were able to build a church.
Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Seventy, who served as a counselor to Bishop Hales in the Presiding Bishopric, reaffirms this assessment. “Elder Hales is a builder of people. He has been helping people quietly over many years. When he finds out that someone has a need, he does something about it.”
Some years ago, as a pilot, I was taken up by an instructor in an airplane. And by turning the airplane over at less than two degrees at a time, my inner ear could not detect because he kept positive gravity, and G’s upon me, as it’s called. So I did not know and when he gave me the airplane the airplane was upside down and everything on the airplane, every instrument was exactly right, except for the landing gear which was upside down; and every reaction I gave, gave an opposite reaction from what I thought.
I would like to talk for a moment on spiritual vertigo. Knowing what we know about the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, of His obedience, of His willingness to serve and to be an example to us, and of His message to ―come, follow me.‖ T here are times in our lives that we get off course, less than a degree at a time, and do not know that we turn totally upside down.
That was a great lesson. It is called vertigo.
I know this CHURCH is the one true church of GOD. Even in the time periods I left the church, I never could truthful say I didn't have testimony of this beautiful church. This pathway program is a true blessing to me. Out of all the classes and lessons, I have enjoyed one thing the most. I love to watch the spotlights. Thank you everyone for your hard work on these. I love finding out more about these amazing men that hold the keys to this true church. Being able to see into their lives is a great blessing to me. I have learned how each of them held on to the Iron Rod even if they slipped they grasped a little tighter. They are truly men of God but they are human also. I enjoyed looking up Elder Hales and can not wait to find his book to read. His son states that "he is a private man." I have found that to be true. It was hard to find stories and pictures of him. But I read so many reviews about his book. I must say it sounds AMAZING. One review told his feeling about Elder Hales plane crash story he described in the book. So many talk about other great stories never told before the book (2010). I can't find the stories anywhere else now. I am really looking forward to the book. I encourage each of you to read it as well. In doing this project, I have found that their is so much more to this man and he tells the most in the book "Return". Honestly I don't even know why I have such a strong feeling to read this book or trying to encourage others to read a book I never read. I guess that is where my personal teachings is of this man of God. Might be good I couldn't get the book before because this might have been way to long. ;-) - Melissa T