Henry B. Eyring - Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Henry Bennion Eyring was born on 31 May 1933, in Princeton, New Jersey. He is the second child of Henry Eyring, Sr. then a professor of chemistry at Princeton and later the dean of the graduate school at the University of Utah and president of the American Chemical Society, and his wife, Mildred Bennion. Henry Eyring, Sr. earned numerous awards in his field and Mildred Bennion was a graduate of the University of Utah and had pursued a doctoral degree. Henry Eyring, Sr. was also the brother of Camilla Eyring who married Spencer W. Kimball who was the 12th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, making Elder Eyring a nephew of President Kimball.
Henry lived in Princeton until his early teenage years. He grew up in a small branch of the Church that often met in a hotel room or in the Eyring home. Until the start of World War II, his family attended Church meetings at the branch in New Brunswick, New Jersey, but with the gasoline rationing of the war, they received permission to hold meetings in their home, which often had only the Eyring family. As a teenager, he and his family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, where his father took a post at the University of Utah.
Henry graduated with a degree in Physics from the University of Utah before entering the United States Air Force. The Air Force sent him to New Mexico. When he arrived he was called as a district missionary in the area and served almost exactly two full years. He then completed a Master's and Ph.D. in Business Administration at Harvard Graduate School of Business. From there he decided to teach and found a position at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He met Kathleen Johnson in 1961 and they were married in July 1962 in the Logan Utah Temple. In the following years, Henry B. Eyring continued to teach, served as an officer and director of Finnigan Instrument Corporation, founded and directed System Industries Incorporated (a computer manufacturing company), taught early morning seminary, and served twice as a bishop.
Henry B. Eyring was set apart as the second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 14 January 2018, after the First Presidency was dissolved upon the death of Thomas S. Monson and the calling of Russell M. Nelson as president of the Church. He was sustained in a Solemn Assembly on 31 March 2018. President Eyring served as the first counselor in the First Presidency of the Church from 3 February 2008, until 2 January 2018, with Thomas S. Monson as the prophet and president of the Church. He served as the second counselor in the First Presidency with Gordon B. Hinckley as president.
In 1971, Henry B. Eyring was inaugurated as President of Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho). While president, he also took the time to teach religion classes. The Eyring family grew to include four boys and two girls. After serving for five years as president at Ricks, Elder Eyring was asked to become deputy commissioner of the Church Educational System. Three years later he became commissioner.
In 1985, Henry B. Eyring was called to be in the Presiding Bishopric of the Church. He was then called to the Seventy and continued working as Commissioner of the Church Educational System. On 1 April 1995, Henry B. Eyring was ordained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
On 6 October 2007, Elder Eyring was sustained as the second counselor in the First Presidency to fill a vacancy that occurred upon the death of President James E. Faust.
Quotes by President Henry B. Eyring
- There has been a war between light and darkness, between good and evil, since before the world was created. The battle still rages, and the casualties seem to be increasing. All of us have family members we love who are being buffeted by the forces of the destroyer, who would make all God’s children miserable. For many of us, there have been sleepless nights. We have tried to add every force for good we can to the powers swirling around the people who are at risk. - "The Power of Teaching Doctrine," Ensign, May 1999
- Every time in my life when I have chosen to delay following inspired counsel or have decided that I was an exception, I have come to know that I had put myself in harm’s way. Every time that I have listened to the counsel of prophets, felt it confirmed in prayer, and then followed it, I have found that I moved toward safety. Along the path, I have found that the way had been prepared for me and the rough places made smooth. God led me to safety along a path that was prepared with loving care. - "Finding Safety in Counsel," Friend, Aug. 1998