Elder Robert D. Hales laid to rest

Local News

Funeral services have ended. We will have a full wrap up of today’s events at  5 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah)- A beloved father, grandfather, businessman, pilot and apostle has been laid to rest. 

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints died Sunday at the age of 85, 

A funeral service was held at the Salt Lake Tabernacle, where his colleagues in the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve honored his memory. 

Elder Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles recalled standing next to a renowned surgeon, as he operated on Elder Hales after his first heart attack. Elder Hales’ health struggles and the faith it took to overcome them were a major theme of his funeral service. 

“I know Bob’s heart, literally,” joked Nelson. “And having known Bob so long, I know his spiritual heart is pure.”

Hales was a renowned businessman, serving as an executive of three different companies in his lifetime. Born in New York, he was a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. An American flag was draped over his casket before burial. 

Hales suffered from major health problems during the last two decades of his life. Church members recalled seeing his physical health deteriorate. His gave his last few addresses in General Conference from a wheelchair. 

His colleagues remembered his “New York candor” and his sense of humor.

“Elder Hales’ quick wit and sometimes funny comments will be missed,” said Elder M. Russel Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve. “His wise counsel and insights regarding issues we face in the Church today will also be greatly missed.”

President Henry B. Eyring gave the concluding address. 

“The Lord and the Lord’s Prophet came to be Elder Hales’ friends. ‘He has always been a dear friend,'” Eyring said, quoting President Thomas S. Monson, who was not in attendance due to his own health concerns. 

There was no public viewing, but expressions of sympathy were posted on the Elder Robert D. Hales Facebook page or emailed to condolences@ldschurch.org. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Humanitarian Aid Fund or the Church’s General Missionary Fund. 

Hales was buried in a private service at a cemetery in Bountiful. 

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