Robert D. Hales
Elder Hales and family. Photo from Elder Hale's book, Return.
Our children will best remember us by our example. I remember experiences from my early childhood that taught me about the priesthood and about how priesthood holders respect womanhood. From my father’s example of tenderly caring for my mother, my aunts, and my sister, I began to see my own responsibilities toward women more clearly. Father was the first to arise from dinner to clear the table. My sister and I would wash and dry the dishes each night at Father’s request. If we were not there, Father and Mother would clean the kitchen together. It may sound like something out of a black-and-white movie, but I have warm memories of Mother and her tiny slippered feet on top of Father’s feet as they danced around the kitchen. Their lives were an expression of their love.
[. . .]
My father has been gone for many years, but I remember him with love and respect. Examples become memories that guide our lives:
• Memories of Mother and her tiny, slippered feet on top of Father’s feet as they danced around the kitchen and their expressions of love for each other.
• Memories as a young boy sitting on the floor by Mother and Father’s bedside while they took turns reading aloud from the scriptures.
• Memories in later years of going to the Salt Lake Temple and watching Mother and Father participate in the presentation of the endowment ceremony.
Read more about Elder Hales's family, faith, and reflections in Return: Four Phases of Our Mortal Journey Home.
More about the book:
“Return with honor” is a call that has become familiar to every Latter-day Saint. For Elder Robert D. Hales, this stirring directive was his unit's motto when he served as a jet fighter pilot in the United States Air Force, and he uses it often in his teaching. During his military days, the motto was a constant and powerful reminder to complete each mission honorably — and now it reminds us, the Lord's children, that what we do on earth can make it possible to return with honor to our heavenly home.
A beloved member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Hales writes with keen insight and compassion about the orderly preparations we need to make as we travel through mortality.