Touching Moments from Elder Hales' Passing
Elder Hales passed away Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, just after the morning session of general conference. We were touched by Elder Andersen's tribute during the final talk of the Sunday afternoon session:
"Because we have an extra minute, I would like to just add a brief reflection about Elder Robert D. Hales. The First Presidency had told Elder Hales that he could give a brief message in the Sunday morning session if his health permitted it. While his health did not permit it, he prepared a message, which he finished last week and shared with me. Given his passing approximately three hours ago, I share just three lines from his talk.
Quoting Elder Hales: "When we choose to have faith, we are prepared to stand in the presence of God...After the Savior's Crucifixion, He appeared only to those 'who had been faithful in the testimony of [Him] while they lived in mortality.' [D&C 138:12.] Those 'who rejected the testimonies...of the...prophets [could not] behold [the Savior's] presence, nor look upon his face.' [D*C 138:21.]...Our faith prepares us to be in teh presence of the Lord."
How kind of the Lord to impress upon President Russell M. Nelson right at the end of this morning's session to quickly leave the building, skip his lunch, and hurry 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."
Shortly afterward on Facebook, Elder Andersen also shared the touching story of why Elder Hales always wore the same tie at general conference. It was because Elder Hales became "tie buddies" with five-year-old Jason in 2010 after the boy sent him a letter saying he had the same tie as the apostle.
Jason and Elder Hales developed a friendship and correspondence, and over the years Elder Hales has encouraged Jason in preparing for baptism, receiving the priesthood, and going to the temple. Elder Hales declared that the black tie with white polka dots would be given to Jason after his passing, encouraging him to wear it for his missionary farewell in 2023.