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Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch

On the Senate floor Monday morning, Sen. Orrin Hatch paid tribute to Elder Robert D. Hales, a member of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who passed away on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017.

During his more than 5-minute speech, Sen. Hatch, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared a powerful witness that Elder Hales is now in a better place by sharing a personal anecdote from Elder Hales’ life.

“Following his graduation from college, Elder Hales joined the United States Air Force where he served as a fighter pilot. His squadron’s motto was ‘Return with Honor.’ In his own words, ‘The motto was a constant reminder to us of our determination to return to home base with honor after we had expended all of our efforts to successfully complete all aspects of our mission,’” Sen. Hatch said, quoting Elder Hales. “‘Return with Honor’ would become the credo by which Elder Hales lived his life expending every effort as a faith leader, father and friend to better himself, bless others and build the kingdom of God.

“Yesterday afternoon after decades of dedicated service as a minister of Jesus Christ, he completed his mortal mission and returned with honor to our heavenly home. The challenge he leaves behind is for all of us to do the same.”

He concluded by sharing his person experience with Elder Hales.

“While millions of us grieve his passing, we take peace and comfort in knowing that his service continues on the other side,” Sen. Hatch said. “I knew him very well, played golf with him, thought he was one of the greatest men in my life and I want to pay tribute to him and his family here today in front of the whole United States Senate and the country. He was one of the most worthwhile people I’ve ever met and we’re going to miss him.”

Watch the video here.