“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. Our journey of life has four vital stages:
Elder Hales considers each of these essential periods using vivid stories from his own life, compelling scriptural insights, and the wisdom he has gained through a tender relationship with the Savior.
Whatever your stage in life, the message Elder Hales offers in Return: Four Phases of Our Moral Journey Home is clear: Keeping sacred covenants, prayerfully making life's important decisions, and embracing the Savior and His Atonement can prepare you for eternal life — the greatest gift of God. This volume is an inspired guide to your journey home.
Table of Contents
1. Our Journey Home
DECADES OF PREPARATION
2. Always Preparing
3. Remember Who You Are
4. Faith unto Salvation
5. Forgetting Those Things That Are Left Behind
6. The Gate of Baptism
7. The Gift of the Holy Ghost
8. Personal Revelation
9. Choosing Friends Wisely
10. The Preparatory Priesthood
11. Daughters of God
12. Lacing Up Your Boots
13. Overcoming the Adversary
DECADE OF DECISION
14. Making Life's Most Important Decisions
15. Becoming Fishers of Men
16. Moving On
17. Avoiding Spiritual Shortcuts
18. Education for Life
19. Choosing an Eternal Companion
20. The House of the Lord
DECADES OF SERVING AND PRESSING FORWARD
21. One Church Fits All
22. Fearless Love
23. Building a Sound Financial Foundation
24. True to Ourselves and Our Mission
25. Strengthening Families
26.Feed My Lambs, Feed My Sheep
27. Feasting upon the Words of Christ
28. Following God's Prophets
29. The Journey of Lifelong Learning
DECADES OF SERVING AND ENDURING TO THE END
30. Learning from Life's Trials
31. Like Simeon and Anna
32. Facing Death
33. The Atonement
As a first semester freshman in college, needing some direction, I decided to read the book Return, by Robert D. Hales. This book had quite an impact on me. Hales knows that here during our mortal journey we have many questions we are asking and decisions we are making. Because I’m a college student, I found this book to be very applicable. I found the wise counsel Hales gave about how to make life’s most important decisions, very relatable to my stage in life. After reading, I felt counseled in making decisions about mission, marriage, education, occupation and staying on the straight and narrow path. But Return isn’t just addressed to the young adult. Masterfully, I think Hales addresses the joy and importance of this life no matter what phase you happen to be in; therefore, making it a great read for all ages. Another element of Return I enjoyed was Hales personal stories, which in my opinion are a big draw to reading a book by a general authority because I like learning about their personal lives. It is fascinating to get a perspective into Hales life which has been so abundant and joyful while also understanding the gospel so much more deeply. I liked how Hales can tell these stories while still making gospel parallels. Overall, this book added depth to my life and broadened my understanding of the importance of following the straight and narrow path in this life, so that we can return to our Heavenly Father in the next.
This is book is perfect if you have just returned from serving a mission and needed some structure to guide your spiritual and even educational life. It is basically a guide to young adulthood. Elder Hales lays out different stages in what he calls the decade of decision. This book is worth the read because of the profound points that are brought by each chapter to the reader. Elder Hales gives you checkpoints at the end of each chapter that remind you of what you have learned and gives you questions for introspection. I highly recommend this book to young adults, especially returned missionaries, because of the powerful insights it contains pertaining to college, dating, marriage, and professional life. Not to mention the great spiritual insights of an Apostle with over 80 years of life experience. This book is worth the read any day.
Elder Hale’s book was extraordinary and I recommend it to anyone who is dealing with struggles in their life because it really lays out the “four phases of our journey home.” Elder Hales gives such a great insight on life and uses examples from his own life to help us see why and how we go through these phases. Throughout the entire book I felt the spirit testifying to me of the truth written in this book and could feel the Saviors love as I read through the pages. Elder Hales truly was inspired by the Lord to write this remarkable book.
Usually when I read a book I skip sections that I don’t think pertain to me; like going on a mission for example (I have made the decision not to go on one). However, Elder Hales section on missionary work totally opened my eyes to the fact that throughout our entire lives we are consistently serving a mission. Every day we pass people who need to be taught or reminded of our Savior.
I found this book to be one of those books that are written to answer questions. Whether if I had concerns about marriage, my education, or the Savior, this book always gave me an insight to answer them. As this book gives answers to our questions, it is also guiding us to making the right choices. It helped me have a clearer understanding of the path we take in life and how to correctly pursue this path.
This book was written for all ages whether if you’re a child, a teenager, or an adult; it was inspired to teach us all how to return with honor to our heavenly father. Hopefully other people will pick up this book and have the same experience I had. Thank you elder Hales for taking the time to writing this book.