Monday, October 3, 2011

The Awesome Elder Hales

I was surprised when I saw Elder Hales at conference. I live far from SLC and was not aware of the seriousness of his continuing health concerns, so when I saw him at conference, I was really shocked by how he looked.

Elder Hales is the only living apostle I've ever met personally. When I lived in Venezuela, I was his driver when he and his wife came for a regional conference. Since that brief chance to get to know him a little, I've paid close attention when he's spoken in conference. And I've found he's given some of the most straightforward talks on key gospel principles over the years.

His talk Sunday morning was delightful, and it was a great personal blessing for me to be able to hear him speak.

Two quotations from his talk struck me in particular, but for different reasons. The first:

Too often we pray to have patience but we want it right now.

This is a consistent message of his for some time now. He has talked before about his own health concerns and how he's even wondered if he has learned enough from them. And, of course, I'm one of those who so prays.

The second:

To all the Marys and Marthas, to all the good Samaritans who minister to the sick, succor the weak and care for the mentally and physically infirm, I feel the gratitude of a loving Heavenly Father and His blessed son. In your daily Christ-like ministry you are willing to wait upon the Lord and you are doing our Heavenly Father’s will. His assurance to you is clear: Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me. He knows your sacrifices and your sorrows. He hears your prayers. His peace and rest will be yours.

This quotation was my balm in Gilead for this conference, and if I had heard nothing else, this would have been feast enough. It is that sweet apostolic comfort that few can give and reassures me to my core.

Bless you, Elder Hales.

Update Oct 10, 2010: Here's a link to an item at LDS Newsroom on Elder Hales' recovery.

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