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The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Robert D. Hales

"We come out of the world into the kingdom of God. In the conversion process, we experience repentance, which brings about humility and a broken heart and contrite spirit, preparing us for baptism, remission of sins, and receiving the Holy Ghost. Then, over time and through our faithfulness, we overcome trials and tribulations and endure to the end." — "When Thou Art Converted, Strengthen Thy Brethren," General Conference, April 6, 1997

"We learn to endure to the end by learning to finish our current responsibilities, and we simply continue doing it all of our lives. We cannot expect to learn endurance in our later years if we have developed the habit of quitting when things get difficult now." — "Behold, We Count Them Happy Which Endure," General Conference, April 1998

"With the restoration of the priesthood in 1829, there was a restoration of prophets in this dispensation. Living prophets are leading this church today. The greatest security of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints comes from learning to listen to and obey the words and commandments that the Lord has given through living prophets. I would hope that the world would understand the importance of having a living prophet on earth today." — "Hear the Prophet's Voice and Obey," General Conference, April 1995

"Powerful impressions of the Spirit come like flashes of light on receptive photographic film. Like the chemicals needed to develop the picture, certain spiritual conditions and experiences are needed in our lives for our personal testimony to develop into a certain truth and knowledge. And like a photograph, a testimony, if not carefully preserved, will fade with time." — "The Importance Of Receiving A Personal Testimony," General Conference, October 1994

"When we return to our Heavenly Father, he does not want us to come back alone. He wants us to return with honor with our families and those whom we have helped along the road of life." — "We Can't Do It Alone," General Conference, October 1975

"Some of us have strayed at one time or another. Some have repented and come back; but some, for one reason or another, are still looking for the right moment, the right person, or the right set of circumstances to come back. As member shepherds of our Father in Heaven's flock, we should not judge why some have strayed, but rather should try unceasingly to bring them back again into the fold, knowing Jesus can heal them when none other can." — "Some Have Compassion, Making a Difference," General Conference, April 1987

"All of us influence one another by doing good or evil. We can be a good example or a poor one. Ultimately we must all answer to the Lord." — Robert D. Hales, "Return with Honor," "Ensign," June 1999, p. 12–13

"So many of the poor decisions we make we want to blame on others. Some of us come from backgrounds of difficult circumstances, but we can do our utmost to learn from these experiences and determine not to repeat them in our own families. We must strengthen ourselves so we will not give in to impulsive behaviors and then blame others. Ultimately, we must come to the conclusion that we are responsible for our actions regardless of what circumstances we find ourselves in." — Robert D. Hales, "Return with Honor," "Ensign," June 1999, p. 13

"Like Joseph [Smith], many of us find ourselves seeking the light of truth. Just as the world was prepared for the Restoration, each of us is prepared to receive the light of the gospel in our own lives. Sometimes that preparation comes through a change in our circumstances-through meeting a new friend, moving to a new community, a change of employment, the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, illness, misfortune, and even tragedy. During these times of transition, we seek answers to the important questions of life: Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here on earth? And where we are going after we die? Joseph was not born with this knowledge, and neither were we. We must find it." - Robert D. Hales, "Receiving a Testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ," General Conference, 4 October 2003

"Conversion requires consecrating our lives to caring for and serving others who need our help and to sharing our gifts and talents. The Lord didn't say tend my sheep when it is convenient, watch my sheep when you aren't busy. He said feed my sheep and my lambs; help them survive this world, keep them close to you. Lead them to safety--the safety of righteous choices that will prepare them for eternal life." - Robert D. Hales, "When Thou Art Converted, Strengthen Thy Brethren," General Conference, April 1997

"We are taught in the scriptures that there must be opposition in all things (see 2 Ne. 2:11). It is not a question of if we are ready for the tests; it is a matter of when. We must prepare to be ready for tests that will present themselves without warning." - Robert D. Hales, "Behold, We Count Them Happy Which Endure," Ensign, May 1998, p. 76

"My dear brothers and sisters, when pain, tests, and trials come in life, draw near to the Savior. 'Wait upon the Lord,... look for him' (Isa. 8:17; 2 Ne. 18:17). 'They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint' (Isa. 40:31). Healing comes in the Lord's time and the Lord's way; be patient." - Robert D. Hales, "Healing Soul and Body," Ensign, Nov. 1998, p. 17

"To Elijah, Jehovah said, 'Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.' Elijah obeyed, and after a storm of wind and earthquakes and fire, he was finally visited with 'a still small voice.' To Elijah, who had hid himself inside a cave, the Lord asked, 'What doest thou here, Elijah?' And Elijah answered, 'Because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.' But the Lord had important work for Elijah to do, and therefore 'said unto him, Go, return on thy way.' (See 1 Kings 19:11-15.) So Elijah went. We too must come forth from our secure caves, for we have important work to do. Through the still, small voice of His Spirit, the Lord will protect us, help us, and guide us." - Robert D. Hales, "Faith through Tribulation Brings Peace and Joy," General Conference, April 2003

"Share our testimony. 'O that I were an angel,' proclaimed Alma, 'and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God' (Alma 29:1). Let others know that you know. Bear your testimony in fast meeting. Tell your family; tell your friends. You will find when you share your testimony it becomes stronger, and there are many others around you who also want to embrace the truth." - Robert D. Hales, "The Importance of Receiving a Personal Testimony," Ensign, November 1994, p. 22

"It is also God's plan that we cannot return to his presence alone, without the help of someone else. James put it best: 'Faith without works is dead, being alone.' (James 2:17.) The gospel plan requires giving and receiving. Faith alone is not enough. We need 'works' to serve and to be served. We can't do it alone." - Robert D. Hales, "We Can't Do It Alone," New Era, Jan. 1977, p. 35-36

"Pondering takes our thoughts from the trivial things of this world and brings us closer to the gentle, guiding hand of our Maker as we heed the 'still small voice' of the Holy Ghost (see 1 Kgs. 19:12; 1 Ne. 17:45; D&C 85:6). In the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord spoke to David Whitmer: 'Your mind has been on the things of the earth more than on the things of... your Maker... ; you have not given heed unto my Spirit' (D&C 30:2).

"Pondering the things of the Lord—His word, His teachings, His commandments, His life, His love, the gifts He has given us, His Atonement for us—brings about a tremendous feeling of gratitude for our Savior and for the life and blessings He has given us." - Robert D. Hales, "Healing Soul and Body," Ensign, Nov. 1998, 15

"In our day, the steadying arm of the Lord reaches us through the ordinances of His holy temples. Said the Prophet Joseph to the early Saints in Nauvoo, 'You need an endowment, brethren, in order that you may be prepared and able to overcome all things.' How right he was! Being blessed with the temple covenants and endowed with power made it possible for the Latter-day Saints to endure tribulation with faith. At the end of her own pioneer journey, Sarah Rich recorded, 'If it had not been for the faith and knowledge that was bestowed upon us in that temple... our journey would have been like... taking a leap in the dark.'" - Robert D. Hales, "Faith through Tribulation Brings Peace and Joy," Ensign (CR), May 2003, p.15

"Sometimes people ask, 'Why do I have to go to sacrament meeting?' or 'Why do I have to live the Word of Wisdom, pay tithing? Why can't I have one foot in Babylon?' May I tell you why? Because spiritual pedaling takes both feet! Unless you are fully engaged in living the gospel—living it with all of your heart, might, mind and strength—you cannot generate enough spiritual light to push back the darkness." - Robert D. Hales, "Out of Darkness into His Marvelous Light," Ensign (CR), May 2002, p.69

"The generation of spiritual light comes from daily spiritual pedaling. It comes from praying, studying the scriptures, fasting, and serving—from living the gospel and obeying the commandments. 'He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light,' (D&C 93:28) said the Lord, 'and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.' (D&C 50:24) My brothers and sisters, that perfect day will be when we will stand in the presence of God the Father and Jesus Christ." - Robert D. Hales, "Out of Darkness into His Marvelous Light," Ensign (CR), May 2002, p.69

1/11/06 and 1/15/07
"We cannot find Enos-like faith without our own wrestle before God in prayer. I testify that the reward is worth the effort. Remember the pattern: (1) hear the word of God, spoken and written by His servants; (2) let that word sink deep into your heart; (3) hunger in your soul for righteousness; (4) obediently follow gospel laws, ordinances, and covenants; and (5) raise your voice in mighty prayer and supplication, asking in faith to know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I promise that if you do these things sincerely and unceasingly, the words Christ spoke to His disciples will be fulfilled in your life: 'Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.' (Matt. 7:7)" - Robert D. Hales, "Finding Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ," Ensign (CR), November 2004, p.70

"The Lord is the ultimate caregiver. We must surrender ourselves to the Lord. In doing so, we give up whatever is causing our pain and turn everything over to Him. 'Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee' (Ps. 55:22). 'And then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the joy of his Son' (Alma 33:23). Through faith and trust in the Lord and obedience to His counsel, we make ourselves eligible to be partakers of the Atonement of Jesus Christ so that one day we may return to live with Him." - Robert D. Hales, "Healing Soul and Body," CR, November 1998, p. 14

"The law of tithing prepares us to live the higher law of consecration—to dedicate and give all our time, talents, and resources to the work of the Lord. Until the day when we are required to live this higher law, we are commanded to live the law of the tithe, which is to freely give one-tenth of our income annually.

"To those who faithfully and honestly live the law of tithing, the Lord promises an abundance of blessings. Some of these blessings are temporal, just as tithes are temporal. But like the outward physical ordinances of baptism and the sacrament, the commandment to pay tithing requires temporal sacrifice, which ultimately yields great spiritual blessings." - Robert D. Hales, "Tithing: A Test of Faith with Eternal Blessings," Ensign (CR), November 2002, p.26

"With the Holy Ghost dwelling in us, we feel a love for God and all His children. This love casts out fear and fills us with the desire to open our mouths. There is no greater gift we can give others than to bear our testimony to them. There is no greater joy we can have than to bring even one soul unto Christ. (See D&C 18:15.) And there is no greater way to strengthen our own testimony than to share our witness of Him with the world. As we do, our families will be strengthened. Our wards, stakes, and communities will be filled with peace and love, and, ultimately, the earth will be prepared for the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." - Robert D. Hales, "Receiving a Testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ," Ensign (CR), November 2003, p.28

"As with voices from the dust, the prophets of the Lord cry out to us on earth today: take hold of the scriptures! Cling to them, walk by them, live by them, rejoice in them, feast on them. Don't nibble. They are 'the power of God unto salvation' (Doc and Cov 68:4) that lead us back to our Savior Jesus Christ.

"If the Savior were among us in the flesh today, He would teach us from the scriptures as He taught when He walked upon the earth. In the synagogue at Nazareth, 'there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias.... And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.' (Luke 4:17, 21.) Later when the Sadducees and Pharisees posed a difficult question, 'Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.' (Matthew 22:29.) And after His Resurrection, on the road to Emmaus, His disciples 'said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?' (Luke 24:32.) To His disciples then and now, His words ring out: 'Search the scriptures; for ... they are they which testify of me' (John 5:39.)—a testimony borne by the Holy Ghost, for 'by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.' (Moroni 10:5.)" - Robert D. Hales, "Holy Scriptures: The Power of God Unto Our Salvation," Ensign, November 2006

"We pray to our Father in Heaven in the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the great Mediator. Though omnipotent and omniscient, all-powerful and all-knowing, He is our friend. After counseling early Brethren of the Church to 'set in order your own house,' He said, 'I will call you friends, for you are my friends' (D&C 93:43, 45). With all of His greatness, He has said that He is our friend. We have been asked to be a friend to our neighbors and to teach them the gospel, and to be a friend to new converts, that the fruit of our labors may remain (see John 15:16). Our prophet has asked us to be a friend. Can our prophet expect anything less?" - Robert D. Hales, "In Remembrance of Jesus," Ensign (CR), November 1997, p.24

"Growing up on Long Island, in New York, I understood how vital light was to those traveling in the darkness on the open sea. How dangerous is a fallen lighthouse! How devastating is a lighthouse whose light has failed!

"We who have the gift of the Holy Ghost must be true to its promptings so we can be a light to others.

"'Let your light so shine before men,' said the Lord, 'that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.' (Matt. 5:15-16.)

"We never know who may be depending on us. And, as the Savior said, 'we know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them.' (3 Ne. 18:32.)" - Robert D. Hales, "Out of Darkness into His Marvelous Light," Ensign (CR), May 2002, p.69

"By choosing to be in His kingdom, we separate—not isolate—ourselves from the world. Our dress will be modest, our thoughts pure, our language clean. The movies and television we watch, the music we listen to, the books, magazines, and newspapers we read will be uplifting. We will choose friends who encourage our eternal goals, and we will treat others with kindness. We will shun the vices of immorality, gambling, tobacco, liquor, and illicit drugs. Our Sunday activities will reflect the commandment of God to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. We will follow the example of Jesus Christ in the way we treat others. We will live to be worthy to enter the house of the Lord." - Robert D. Hales, "
The Covenant of Baptism: To Be in the Kingdom and of the Kingdom," Ensign (CR), November 2000, p.6

"Each of us has been sent to earth by our Heavenly Father to merit eternal life: 'And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.' (
John 17:3) How do we know the Father and the Son for ourselves? By personal revelation. Personal revelation is the way Heavenly Father helps us know Him and His Son, learn and live the gospel, endure to the end in righteousness, and qualify for eternal life—to return back into Their presence." - Robert D. Hales, "Personal Revelation: The Teachings and Examples of the Prophets," General Conference, 7 October 2007

"Zion is characterized in scripture as a city in which the people 'were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.' (
Moses 7:18.) Zion is 'every man seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God.' (D&C 82:19.) This promised Zion always seems to be a little beyond our reach. We need to understand that as much virtue can be gained in progressing toward Zion as in dwelling there. It is a process as well as a destination. We approach or withdraw from Zion through the manner in which we conduct our daily dealings, how we live within our families, whether we pay an honest tithe and generous fast offering, how we seize opportunities to serve and do so diligently. Many are perfected upon the road to Zion who will never see the city in mortality." - Robert D. Hales, "Welfare Principles to Guide Our Lives: An Eternal Plan for the Welfare of Men's Souls," Ensign (CR), May 1986, p.28

"Choose to put yourself in a position to have experiences with the Spirit of God through prayer, in scripture study, at Church meetings, in your home, and through wholesome interactions with others. When you feel the influence of the Spirit, you are beginning to be cleansed and strengthened. The light is being turned on, and where that light shines, the darkness of evil cannot remain." - Robert D. Hales, "
To Act for Ourselves: The Gift and Blessings of Agency," CR, April 2006

"The calling of father or mother is sacred and carries with it great significance. One of the greatest privileges and responsibilities given to us is that of being a parenthelping to bring to earth a child of God and having the sacred responsibility to love, care, and guide children back to our Heavenly Father. In many ways earthly parents represent their Heavenly Father in the process of nurturing, loving, caring, and teaching children. Children naturally look to their parents to learn of the characteristics of their Heavenly Father. After they come to love, respect, and have confidence in their earthly parents, they often unknowingly develop the same feelings towards their Heavenly Father." - Robert D. Hales, "How Will Our Children Remember Us?", Ensign (CR), November 1993, p.8

"It is of special significance that whenever Heavenly Father wants to introduce His Son to us, He commands us to listen—to 'hear' the words of Jesus." - Robert D. Hales, "Gaining a Testimony of God the Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost," General Conference, April 2008

"Experience shows that seasons of negative publicity about the Church can help accomplish the Lord’s purposes. In 1983, the First Presidency wrote to Church leaders, 'Opposition may be in itself an opportunity. Among the continuing challenges faced by our missionaries is a lack of interest in religious matters and in our message. These criticisms create . . . interest in the Church. . . . This provides an opportunity [for members] to present the truth to those whose attention is thus directed toward us.'

"We can take advantage of such opportunities in many ways: a kind letter to the editor, a conversation with a friend, a comment on a blog, or a reassuring word to one who has made a disparaging comment. We can answer with love those who have been influenced by misinformation and prejudice—who are 'kept from the truth because they know not where to find it' (D&C 123:12). I assure you that to answer our accusers in this way is never weakness. It is Christian courage in action." - Robert D. Hales, "Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship," General Conference, October 2008

"The basic requirements for enduring to the end include knowing who we are, children of God with a desire to return to His presence after mortality; understanding the purpose of life, to endure to the end and obtain eternal life; and living obediently with a desire and a determination to endure all things, having eternal vision. Eternal vision allows us to overcome opposition in our temporal state and, ultimately, achieve the promised rewards and blessings of eternal life." - Robert D. Hales, “Behold, We Count Them Happy Which Endure,” Ensign (CR), May 1998, p.75

"If we had lived in the days of these prophets of old, would we have believed on their words? Would we have had faith in the coming of our Savior?" - Robert D. Hales, "Finding Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ," Ensign (CR), November 2004, p.70

“Our challenges, including those we create by our own decisions, are part of our test in mortality. Let me assure you that your situation is not beyond the reach of our Savior. Through Him, every struggle can be for our experience and our good (see D&C 122:7). Each temptation we overcome is to strengthen us, not destroy us. The Lord will never allow us to suffer beyond what we can endure (see 1 Corinthians 10:13).

“We must remember that the adversary knows us extremely well. He knows where, when, and how to tempt us. If we are obedient to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, we can learn to recognize the adversary’s enticements. Before we yield to temptation, we must learn to say with unflinching resolve, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan’ (Matthew 16:23).” - Robert D. Hales, “Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually,” Ensign, May 2009, 7–10

“Brothers and sisters, you may already know, deep in your soul, that God lives. You may not know all about Him yet and do not understand all His ways, but the light of belief is within you, waiting to be awakened and intensified by the Spirit of God and the Light of Christ, which you are born with.

“So come. Believe the testimonies of the prophets. Learn of God and Christ. The pattern to do so is clearly taught by prophets of old and prophets today.

“Cultivate a diligent desire to know that God lives.

“This desire leads us to ponder on the things of heaven—to let the evidence of God all around us touch our hearts.

“With softened hearts we are prepared to heed the Savior’s call to ‘search the scriptures’ and to humbly learn from them.

“We are then ready to ask our Heavenly Father sincerely, in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, if the things we have learned are true. Most of us will not see God, as the prophets have, but the still, small promptings of the Spirit—the thoughts and feelings that the Holy Ghost brings into our minds and hearts—will give us an undeniable knowledge that He lives and that He loves us.” – Robert D. Hales, “Seeking to Know God, Our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ,” Ensign, November 2009

"In these latter days, as in the times of old, we must avoid being acted upon by acting for ourselves to avoid evil. The Holy Ghost will prompt us. Joseph was told to flee from Potiphar's wife. Abraham obeyed the commandment to flee out of the land of Ur. Lehi was instructed to flee Jerusalem before it was destroyed. And to protect the Savior's life, Mary and Joseph were prompted to flee into Egypt." -
Robert D. Hales, "To Act for Ourselves: The Gift and Blessings of Agency," (CR) April 2006

"An equally important part of fulfilling our parental duty to God is teaching our children the gospel and preparing them to participate fully in the Savior’s restored Church. Remember the lesson of King Benjamin’s people. As a result of his teachings, many of the adults had a mighty change of heart (see Mosiah 5:2). But then it says that 'there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of King Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe. . . . And their hearts were hardened' (Mosiah 26:1, 3).

"It is our imperative duty to help youth understand and believe the gospel in a deeply personal way. We can teach them to walk in the light, but that light cannot be borrowed. They must earn it for themselves. They must obtain their own light of testimony directly from the source of spiritual light—God Himself—through prayer and study and pondering. They must understand who they are and who Heavenly Father wants them to become. How do we help them?" - Robert D. Hales, "Our Duty to God: The Mission of Parents and Leaders to the Rising Generation," Ensign (CR) May 2010

"But think of it: in our premortal state we chose to follow the Savior Jesus Christ! And because we did, we were allowed to come to earth. I testify that by making the same choice to follow the Savior now, while we are here on earth, we will obtain an even greater blessing in the eternities. But let it be known: we must continue to choose to follow the Savior. Eternity is at stake, and our wise use of agency and our actions are essential that we might have eternal life." - Robert D. Hales, "Agency: Essential to the Plan of Life," Ensign (CR) October 2010

Does this mean we will always understand our challenges? Won’t all of us, sometime, have reason to ask, “O God, where art thou?” Yes! When a spouse dies, a companion will wonder. When financial hardship befalls a family, a father will ask. When children wander from the path, a mother and father will cry out in sorrow. Yes, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Then, in the dawn of our increased faith and understanding, we arise and choose to wait upon the Lord, saying, “Thy will be done.”

What, then, does it mean to wait upon the Lord? In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust. To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith, patience, humility, meekness, long-suffering, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end. - Robert D. Hales, "Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done," Ensign (CR) October 2011

Many lessons can be learned from the account of the Atonement. It is comforting to know that, though suffering, Jesus Christ was able to look down from the cross and be concerned for His mother, that she should be properly cared for, as He asked for the help of a disciple. This is one of the great messages we have heard this conference—that we turn some of our attention from our own trials and tribulations to concern and caring for others. - Robert D. Hales, "Lessons from the Atonement That Help Us to Endure to the End," Ensign (CR) October 1985

It is a sobering thought that the purpose of having opposition in all things, trials and tribulations in our lives, commands a concern for the needy in order to humble us and draw us closer to the Lord our God and nearer to perfection. - Robert D. Hales, "Welfare Principles to Guide Our Lives: An Eternal Plan for the Welfare of Men’s Souls," Ensign (CR) April 1986

As we obey the counsel to avoid and get out of debt now, we use our agency and obtain the liberty to use our disposable income for helping and blessing others. - Robert D. Hales, "Agency: Essential to the Plan of Life," Liahona, November 2010

I testify that the sacrament gives us an opportunity to come to ourselves and experience “a mighty change” of heart—to remember who we are and what we most desire. As we renew the covenant to keep the commandments, we obtain the companionship of the Holy Ghost to lead us back into our Heavenly Father’s presence. No wonder we are commanded to “meet together oft to partake of [the] bread and [water]” and to partake of the sacrament to our souls. - Robert D. Hales, "Coming to Ourselves: The Sacrament, the Temple, and Sacrifice in Service," Ensign (CR) May 2012

When we stand at the crossroads of life and must make a decision whether to go to the great and spacious building of the world’s ways or to walk the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life, we must realize that we cannot travel both roads—although sometimes we try. It is difficult to come back, but we can; and our greatest satisfaction will more than likely come from taking the lonelier road which is less traveled. - Robert D. Hales, "Making Righteous Choices at the Crossroads of Life," Ensign (CR) November 1988

The fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ brings great comfort in stressing times of mortality. It brings light where there is darkness and a calming influence where there is turmoil. It gives eternal hope where there is mortal despair. It is more than just beautiful doctrine. It is a reality in our lives that if we can be obedient and obtain the eternal rewards that God grants us, if we will draw nigh unto Him and embrace the eternal doctrine, we will be blessed. - Robert D. Hales, "The Eternal Family," Ensign (CR) November 1996

With these doctrines as the foundation of our faith, can there be any doubt or disputation that we, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are Christian? Yet for every Christian, a simple question remains: what kind of Christians are we? In other words, how are we doing in our quest to follow Christ? - Robert D. Hales, "Being a More Christian Christian," Ensign (CR) November 2012

As followers of Jesus Christ, let us live our lives so that we can be above all things to receive the great blessings which are promised us. Being above all things is taking the higher ground and not participating in the things of the world that are going to take us away from what we are trying to accomplish in mortality. Let us live our lives above all things and enjoy the freedoms that come from knowing we are free and clear of Satan’s turbulent temptations and stormy weather. - Robert D. Hales, "Return With Honor," Ensign June 1999

I exhort you, I pray for you—if you do not know these things for yourself, follow the example of Joseph Smith and the pattern of the Restoration. Turn to the scriptures. Kneel in prayer. Ask in faith. Listen to the Holy Ghost. Learn that your name and needs are known by our Heavenly Father, just as Joseph’s were. Live the gospel with patience and persistence. And in the name of Jesus Christ, I promise, “If ye will … ask [Heavenly Father] in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping [the Lord’s] commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.” - Robert D. Hales, "Receiving a Testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ," Ensign (CR) November 2003

There have been some miraculous conversions recorded in the scriptures. The miraculous conversion of Saul is one such example illustrated when he asked two vital questions: “Who art thou, Lord? … [and] What wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:5–6). On occasion individuals can have such experiences, but for the most part, conversion happens over a period of time as study, prayer, experience, and faith will help us to grow in our testimony and conversion. - Robert D. Hales, “When Thou Art Converted, Strengthen Thy Brethren,” Ensign (CR) May 1997

Spiritually mature obedience is “the Savior’s obedience.” It is motivated by true love for Heavenly Father and His Son. When we willingly obey, as our Savior did, we cherish the words of our Heavenly Father: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we look forward to hearing, upon entering our Heavenly Father’s presence, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: … enter … into the joy of thy lord.” - Robert D. Hales, “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments,” Ensign (CR) May 2014

Obedience makes us progressively stronger, capable of faithfully enduring tests and trials in the future. Obedience in Gethsemane prepared the Savior to obey and endure to the end on Golgotha. - Robert D. Hales, “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments,” Ensign (CR) May 2014

To rationalize disobedience does not change spiritual law or its consequences but leads to confusion, instability, wandering in strange paths, being lost, and grief. As disciples of Christ, we have a sacred obligation to uphold His laws and commandments and the covenants which we take upon ourselves. - Robert D. Hales, “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments,” Ensign (CR) May 2014

In the last moments upon the cross Jesus asked His Father a very simple question: “Why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46.) Are there times in our lives when we think that we have been forsaken by God, or by our fellow men, or by our families? That is the moment when we have to turn our thoughts back to Christ and endure to the end. We know there is a great purpose in Christ’s suffering because this was an act of free agency. Jesus could have called upon legions of angels to bring Him down from the cross, but He did not. He endured to the end that we would have the benefits of the atoning sacrifice; that mercy could be brought into the world; that justice would be satisfied; that we might be resurrected; and that we might be able to earn, through our obedience, eternal life in the presence of God the Father and Jesus Christ. - Robert D. Hales, “Lessons from the Atonement That Help Us Endure to the End,” Ensign (CR) October 1985

This spirit of being anxiously engaged in caring about those who are not partaking of the blessings of the gospel is not confined to those who are called as shepherds but should permeate the lives of all of God’s children. - Robert D. Hales, “Some Have Compassion, Making a Difference,” Ensign (CR) April 1987

Finally, be there. Each of us was there in the Council in Heaven to choose the great plan of happiness we now enjoy. Young men, when you have made a commitment to yourself, your family, your bishop, your employer, be there. When it is time to be in church, at Mutual, or fulfilling a priesthood assignment, be there. When it is time to graduate from school or training programs, be there. When it is time to serve a mission, be there. When the young woman you love most kneels at the altar of God's holy temple, be there (and not as a witness). When your family is gathered in the celestial kingdom, be there. When the Savior waits to greet you as you return with honor from your life on this earth and your Heavenly Father wants to encircle you about in the arms of His love, be there. - Robert D. Hales, "To the Aaronic Priesthood: Preparing for the Decade of Decision,” Ensign (CR) April 2007

The blessings we enjoy now are because we made the choice to follow the Savior before this life. To everyone hearing or reading these words, whoever you are and whatever your past may be, remember this: it is not too late to make that same choice again and follow Him. - Robert D. Hales, “Preserving Agency, Protecting Religious Freedom,” Ensign (CR) April 2015

We need the Holy Ghost as our constant companion to help us make better choices in the decisions that confront us daily. Our young men and women are bombarded with ugly things of the world. Companionship with the Spirit will give them the strength to resist evil and, when necessary, repent and return to the strait and narrow path. None of us are immune from the temptations of the adversary. We all need the fortification available through the Holy Ghost. Mothers and fathers should prayerfully invite the Holy Spirit to dwell in their dedicated homes. Having the gift of the Holy Ghost helps family members make wise choices-choices that will help them return with their families to their Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, to live with Them eternally. - Robert D. Hales, "The Covenant of Baptism: To Be in the Kingdom and of the Kingdom," Ensign (CR), November 2000, p. 6

Are we likening all of our children's gospel experiences to the real needs in their lives? Are we teaching them about the gift of the Holy Ghost, repentance, the Atonement, the sacrament, and the blessing of sacrament meeting as they meet the challenges in their lives? There is not enough time in formal meetings to teach our children everything they need to know. Therefore, we must take advantage of everyday teaching moments. - Robert D. Hales, "With All the Feeling of a Tender Parent: A Message of Hope to Families," Ensign (CR), May 2004, p. 88

In Proverbs we are told to "ponder the path of life" (Prov. 5:6). As we ponder the path of life, we can set our path to righteousness and feel the Spirit direct us. "Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do" (2 Ne. 32:3). - Robert D. Hales, "Healing Soul and Body," Ensign (CR), November 1998, p. 14

The Lord will always keep His promise: “I will lead you along.” The only question is, will we let ourselves be led? Will we hear His voice and the voice of His servants? - Robert D. Hales, “Meeting the Challenges of Today’s World,” Ensign (CR) November 2015

Revelation comes on the Lord's timetable, which often means we must move forward in faith, even though we haven't received all the answers we desire. - Robert D. Hales, "Personal Revelation: The Teachings and Examples of the Prophets,” Ensign (CR) October 2007

If you have not heard His voice speaking to you lately, return with new eyes and new ears to the scriptures. They are our spiritual lifeline. Behind the darkness of the Iron Curtain, the Saints survived because they heard His voice through the scriptures. In other parts of the world, when members couldn't attend Church for a time, they continued to worship God because they heard His voice through the scriptures. Throughout all the wars of the past century and the conflicts that rage today, Latter-day Saints survive because they hear His voice through the scriptures. For the Lord has said, "The scriptures shall be given . . . to the salvation of mine own elect; for they will hear my voice, and shall see me, and shall not be asleep, and shall abide the day of my coming; for they shall be purified, even as I am pure.” - Robert D. Hales, "Holy Scriptures: The Power of God unto Our Salvation,” Ensign (CR) October 2006

The promptings that come to us to flee evil reflect our Heavenly Father's understanding of our particular strengths and weaknesses and His awareness of the unforeseen circumstances of our lives. When these promptings come, they will not generally stop us in our tracks, for the Spirit of God does not speak with a voice of thunder. The voice will be as soft as a whisper, coming as a thought to our minds or a feeling in our hearts. By heeding its gentle promptings, we will be protected from the destructive consequences of sin.  - Robert D. Hales, "To Act for Ourselves: The Gift and Blessings of Agency,” Ensign (CR) April 2006

That is why we must study and pray. Having the eternal plan as a goal in our lives, we will make eternal choices. However, we will not make the right eternal choices based solely on our pure intellectual deduction and factual analysis from our own understanding: Prayer and study must be used together to build knowledge and wisdom. - Robert D. Hales, "Making Righteous Choices at the Crossroads of Life," Ensign (CR), November 1988, p.9

Once, following a serious illness, I presided at a stake conference. To conserve my energy, I planned to leave the chapel immediately after the priesthood leadership session. However, following the benediction, the Holy Ghost said to me, “Where are you going?” I was inspired to shake hands with everyone as they left the room. As one young elder stepped forward, I was prompted to give him a special message. He was looking down, and I waited for his eyes to come up and meet mine, and I was able to say, “Pray to Heavenly Father, listen to the Holy Ghost, follow the promptings you are given, and all will be well in your life.” Later the stake president told me that the young man had just returned early from his mission. The stake president, acting on a clear impression, had promised the young man’s father that if he brought his son to the priesthood meeting, Elder Hales would speak with him. Why did I stop to shake everyone’s hand? Why did I pause to talk to this special young man? What was the source of my counsel? It’s simple: the Holy Ghost. - Robert D. Hales, “The Holy Ghost,” Ensign (CR) May 2016

Strengthening families is our sacred duty as parents, children, extended family members, leaders, teachers, and individual members of the Church. - Robert D. Hales, “Strengthening Families: Our Sacred Duty,” Ensign (CR), May 1999, p.32

Cultivate good friends who do not try to make you choose between their ways and the Lord's ways. Be the kind of friend who makes it easier for others to obey the commandments when they are with you. - Robert D. Hales, “If Thou Wilt Enter into Life, Keep the Commandments,” Ensign (CR), May 1996, p.35

As the Savior’s latter-day disciples, we come unto Him by loving and serving God’s children. As we do, we may not be able to avoid tribulation, affliction, and suffering in the flesh, but we will suffer less spiritually. Even in our trials we can experience joy and peace. – Robert D. Hales, “‘Come, Follow Me’ by Practicing Christian Love and Service,” Ensign (CR) November 2016

Many years ago I took the opportunity to study the final testimonies of the prophets in each dispensation. Each bore a powerful witness of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

As I have read these testimonies—and many others like them over the years—it has always touched my heart to sense how deeply Heavenly Father loves His eldest Son and how Jesus shows His love by His obedience to His Father’s will. I testify that when we do what is necessary to know Them and know Their love for one another, we will obtain “the greatest of all the gifts of God”—even eternal life. For “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” – Robert D. Hales, “Eternal Life—to Know Our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ,” Ensign (CR) November 2014

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