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Henry B. Eyring
Worked at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Attended University of Utah
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  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    First Counselor in the First Presidency
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First Counselor in the First Presidency
Introduction

President Henry B. Eyring was named First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on February 3, 2008. Previously, he had served as Second Counselor in the First Presidency to President Gordon B. Hinckley since October 6, 2007. He was named to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 1, 1995, having previously served as a member of the Seventy since October 3, 1992.

President Eyring previously served as First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric from April 1985 to September 1992 and as Church Commissioner of Education from September 1980 to April 1985 and also September 1992 to January 2005.

President Eyring was president of Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, from 1971 to 1977. He was on the faculty at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University from 1962 to 1971.

He holds a B.S. degree in physics from the University of Utah and master of business administration and doctor of business administration degrees from Harvard University.

Born in Princeton, New Jersey, on May 31, 1933, he has served the Church as a regional representative, a member of the general Sunday School board, and a bishop.

President Eyring is married to the former Kathleen Johnson, and they are the parents of four sons and two daughters.

Education
  • University of Utah
    Physics
  • Harvard University
    Business Administration

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Henry B. Eyring

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I testify that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. They are resurrected and glorified beings who love us and watch over us.
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Henry B. Eyring

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Read the scriptures aloud together as a family. It may take unusual determination and inspiration to find a time and a setting. But reading and hearing the words of life from the scriptures will invite the Holy Ghost to confirm their truth. The Savior said it this way: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39).

President Marion G. Romney once recounted reading the Book of Mormon aloud, alternating paragraphs with his young son, he on the bottom level of a double-decker bed and his son on the upper. He thought his son was catching a cold but then learned that the tears came from his son feeling testimony that the book was true. And because they read together, both were blessed.
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One experience with my father shaped my life forever. He took me from New Jersey to the home of an ordained patriarch in Salt Lake City. I had never seen the man before. My father left me at the doorstep. The patriarch led me to a chair, placed his hands on my head, and pronounced a blessing as a gift from God that included a declaration of the great desire of my heart.

He said that I was one of those of whom it had been said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” I was so surprised that a perfect stranger could know my heart that I opened my eyes to see the room where such a miracle was happening. That blessing of my possibilities has shaped my life, my marriage, and my priesthood service.

From that experience and what has followed it, I can testify, “For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.”

By the Lord revealing to me a gift, I have been able to recognize and prepare for opportunities to exercise it to the blessing of those I love and serve.

God knows our gifts. My challenge to you and to me is to pray to know the gifts we have been given, to know how to develop them, and to recognize the opportunities to serve others that God provides us. But most of all, I pray that you will be inspired to help others discover their special gifts from God to serve.
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One day many years ago, I visited my aunt. She was a widow. The effects of age left her unable to care for herself. Though I had known her since I was a little boy, she did not recognize me or others of her family in the crowded sitting room of the rest home.

I looked into her face expecting to see the pain of loneliness and of loss. Yet her face shone with love and radiant joy. Her voice had the happy sound I remembered from the days of long before. Most of the time I was with her that day she just looked at us pleasantly as we spoke to her.

Then, every few minutes, she would repeat with a radiant smile these six words, as if they were part of the conversation: “I know that my Redeemer lives.” It seemed to me that her joy and a sound of gratitude in her voice grew with each repetition of that declaration.

I cannot know all the sources of that miracle of peace in her life. But I know one. Since she was a little girl, she had been in sacrament meetings. She had bowed her head and heard words spoken in prayer to our Heavenly Father. Uncounted times she had pledged to take upon her the name of the Son, to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments that she might have His Spirit to be with her.

And so, while the passing years had stripped away from her life so much of what had brought her joy, she retained the supernal gifts we can feel at Christmastime. She remembered her Redeemer. She knew that He lived. She felt His love. And she felt His love for all of Heavenly Father’s children, wherever they were and whatever their circumstances.
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I once stood next to my father in a hospital room. My mother, his wife of 41 years, lay on the bed. We had watched her for hours. We began to see the lines of pain disappear from her face. The fingers of her hands, which had been clenched into fists, relaxed. Her arms came to rest at her sides.

The pains of decades of cancer were ending. I saw on her face a look of peace. She took a few short breaths, then a gasp, and then lay still. We stood there waiting to see if another breath would come.

Finally, Dad said quietly, “A little girl has gone home.”

He shed no tears. That was because the Holy Ghost had long before given him a clear picture of who she was, where she came from, what she had become, and where she was going. The Spirit had testified to him many times of a loving Heavenly Father, of a Savior who had broken the power of death, and of the reality of the temple sealing he shared with his wife and family.

The Spirit had long before assured him that her goodness and faith had qualified her for the return to a heavenly home where she would be remembered as a wonderful child of promise and be welcomed home with honor.

For my dad, that was more than a hope. The Holy Ghost had made it a reality for him.
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I know that you and I are children of a loving Heavenly Father. I know that His Son, Jesus Christ, lives and that He is our Savior and that He paid the price of all of our sins. He was resurrected, and He and Heavenly Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, translated through the gift and power of God. I know that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ.

I know that through the Holy Ghost we can learn what God would have us do. I testify that He can give us the power to do what He asks of us, whatever it is and whatever trials may come.

I pray that we will choose to obey the Lord quickly, always, in quiet times and in storms. As we do, our faith will be strengthened, we will find peace in this life, and we will gain the assurance that we and our families can qualify for eternal life in the world to come. 
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Henry B. Eyring

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Years ago a friend of mine spoke of his grandmother. She had lived a full life, always faithful to the Lord and to His Church. Yet one of her grandsons chose a life of crime. He was finally sentenced to prison. My friend recalled that his grandmother, as she drove along a highway to visit her grandson in prison, had tears in her eyes as she prayed with anguish, “I’ve tried to live a good life. Why, why do I have this tragedy of a grandson who seems to have destroyed his life?”

The answer came to her mind in these words: “I gave him to you because I knew you could and would love him no matter what he did.”

There is a wonderful lesson for us all. The way for loving parents and grandparents and all of God’s servants will not be easy in a decaying world. We cannot force God’s children to choose the way to happiness. God cannot do that because of the agency He has given us.

Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son love all of God’s children no matter what they choose to do or what they become.
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Life in families will test us. That is one of God’s purposes in giving us the gift of mortality—to strengthen us by passing through tests. That will be especially true in family life, where we will find great joy and great sorrow and challenges which may at times seem beyond our power to endure them.

President George Q. Cannon said this about how God has prepared you and me and our children for the tests we will face: “There is not one of us but what God’s love has been expended upon. There is not one of us that He has not cared for and caressed. There is not one of us that He has not desired to save, and that He has not devised means to save. There is not one of us that He has not given His angels charge concerning. We may be insignificant and contemptible in our own eyes, and in the eyes of others, but the truth remains that we are the children of God, and that He has actually given His angels—invisible beings of power and might—charge concerning us, and they watch over us and have us in their keeping.”

What President Cannon taught is true. You will need that assurance, as I have needed it and depended on it.
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Kneel together in humble prayer as a family, each having the opportunity to be voice. There may be times when the prayer seems rote and when those not praying let their minds wander. But there will be other priceless moments when someone will petition in faith for real needs and the Holy Ghost will touch hearts with testimony.

I don’t remember as much of my mother’s teaching as I do her prayers for us. I could feel her love, and the Spirit confirmed in my heart that she loved Heavenly Father and the Savior and that her prayers would be answered. She brought blessings down on our heads then, and the memory of her prayers still does.
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We each think, say, and do things in our daily lives that can offend the Spirit. The Lord taught us that the Holy Ghost will be our constant companion when our hearts are full of charity and when virtue garnishes our thoughts unceasingly (see D&C 121:45).

For those who are struggling with the high standard needed to qualify for the gift of the Spirit’s companionship, I offer this encouragement. You have had times when you have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost. It may have happened for you today.

You can treat those moments of inspiration like the seed of faith that Alma described (see Alma 32:28). Plant each one. You can do that by acting on the prompting you felt. 

The most valuable inspiration will be for you to know what God would have you do. If it is to pay tithing or to visit a grieving friend, you should do it. Whatever it is, do it. 

When you demonstrate your willingness to obey, the Spirit will send you more impressions of what God would have you do for Him.
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To always have the Spirit with us is to have the guidance and direction of the Holy Ghost in our daily lives. We can, for instance, be warned by the Spirit to resist the temptation to do evil.

For that reason alone, it is easy to see why the Lord’s servants have tried to increase our desire to worship God in our sacrament meetings. If we partake of the sacrament in faith, the Holy Ghost will then be able to protect us and those we love from the temptations that come with increasing intensity and frequency.
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Love is the motivating principle by which the Lord leads us along the way towards becoming like Him, our perfect example. Our way of life, hour by hour, must be filled with the love of God and love for others. 

There is no surprise in that, since the Lord proclaimed those as the first and great commandments. It is love of God that will lead us to keep His commandments. And love of others is at the heart of our capacity to obey Him.
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