Courtesy of the Eyring family

President Henry B. Eyring celebrates his 83rd birthday on May 31. President Eyring was born to Dr. Henry Eyring and Mildred Bennion Eyring in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1933.

President Eyring's full-time church service began in 1971 when he was called to serve as president of Ricks College. He now serves as a member of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In 1970, President Eyring felt prompted to keep a journal, a habit he has practiced ever since. In 2013, Deseret Book published a biography about President Eyring titled "I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring," by Robert I. Eaton and Henry J. Eyring. The biography includes many of these journal entries, providing insights into the experiences of a servant of the Lord.

The information in this quiz has been compiled from the biography, as well as talks given by President Eyring and articles written about him.

Question #1
Courtesy of the Eyring family

Which of the following was a staple in the Eyring family basement while President Eyring was a young boy?

a. A microscope
b. A chessboard
c. A piano
d. A blackboard

Answer
Courtesy of the Eyring family

d. A blackboard

The son of award-winning chemist Henry Eyring and a mother, Mildred, who was pursuing a doctorate degree at the time she met her husband, President Eyring's childhood home was a place of learning.

An article about President Eyring from Mormon Newsroom describes what this home was like.

"President Eyring remembers a home filled with ideas where there were blackboards in the basement instead of Ping-Pong tables," according to the article.

"We'd talk about spiritual things, we'd talk world affairs, we'd talk about history," President Eyring recalled in the article. "So the dinner table was the most interesting place you've ever been in your life. Here are these brilliant people talking, but not trying to be brilliant."

Question #2
KSL archive

President Eyring grew up in Princeton, New Jersey. Where did his branch hold its Sunday meetings during World War II?

a. A local Christian church that allowed the branch to share its building
b. His family's home
c. Princeton's town hall
d. Township School

Answer
KSL archive

b. His family's home

"I learned then that the church is not a building; the church isn't even a lot of people," President Eyring said in a 1998 interview for The Friend magazine. "I felt close to Heavenly Father and knew that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is his church; it didn't matter that our little branch met in our dining room. It was fun because when I came downstairs on Sunday, I was in church."

The branch was typically made up of 10 to 15 people, including President Eyring, his parents and two brothers. The sacrament was blessed on the Eyrings' dining room table, which also served as the pulpit.

Question #3
Courtesy of the Eyring family

Which movie was filmed at President Eyring's high school years after he graduated?

a. "High School Musical"
b. "Footloose"
c. "The Sandlot"
d. "Back to the Future Part III"

Answer
Courtesy of the Eyring family

a. "High School Musical"

President Eyring attended East High School in Salt Lake City, where Disney's "High School Musical" was filmed years later.

According to his biography, "I Will Lead You Along" (pages 42-45), President Eyring played for East High's basketball team. Although he wasn't a starter, he received several scholarship offers to play basketball, including one from Dartmouth College.

Thirty-five years after he graduated from high school, he received the following letter from a fellow classmate.

"Dear Dr. Eyring:

"You won't remember me, but that doesn't matter. I remember you.

"This letter is a long overdue thank you. In high school, I was a non-entity. You were a popular athlete. Yet you always said hello to me in the halls. I realize that you said hello to everybody, but to this person, it made a difference."

Question #4
Courtesy of the Eyring family

President Eyring's father offered to pay for his college tuition if he agreed to pursue a degree in which subject?

a. Math
b. Chemistry
c. Biology
d. Physics

Answer
Courtesy of the Eyring family

d. Physics

President Eyring's father offered to pay for his children's tuition on the condition that they study physics, according to President Eyring's biography, "I Will Lead You Along" (page 47). However, it was also his father who eventually helped President Eyring see that his future might include something other than physics.

According to an article written about President Eyring by Gerald N. Lund, when President Eyring asked his father for assistance in solving a difficult math equation while studying physics at the University of Utah, the two came to the realization.

His father pointed out that they had worked on a similar problem a week before. He asked his son if he had been working on the problem since their previous meeting. When President Eyring admitted that he had not, his father asked him, "When you walk down the street, when you're in the shower, when you don't have to be thinking about anything else, isn't this what you think about?"

"When I told him no, my father paused," President Eyring told Lund. "It was really a very tender and poignant moment because I knew how much he loved me and how much he wanted me to be a scientist. Then he said, 'Hal, I think you'd better get out of physics. You ought to find something that you love so much that when you don't have to think about anything, that's what you think about."

Question #5
Courtesy of the Eyring family

What did President Eyring call his future children?

a. The little Eyrings
b. The redheads
c. The future
d. The kids

Answer
Courtesy of the Eyring family

b. The redheads

Married in his late 20s, President Eyring often thought about his future family, according to his biography, "I Will Lead You Along" (page 88).

"I don't think you could have dreamed about my home or your grandchildren any more than I have over the years, Mother," President Eyring wrote in a letter to his mother, Mildred. "I've lost 15 pounds in the last four months, and to a large extent over concern for your grandchildren. If I thought much more about it, perhaps neither of us would live to know them."

This was not unusual for President Eyring.

"Hal's longing for children was neither idle nor new," according to his biography. "From his teenage years he had not only thought of his future children but imagined them. In his mind's eye they had red hair like his mother's; he even called them 'the redheads.' When he faced temptation, he would remind himself, 'I can't do that — the Redheads are counting on me."

Question #6
Courtesy of the Eyring family

Where was President Eyring when he saw his wife, Kathleen, for the first time?

a. A class at Harvard Business School
b. A church dance
c. A single adult morningside
d. A sacrament meeting

Answer
Courtesy of the Eyring family

c. A single adult morningside

President Eyring's biography, "I Will Lead You Along" (page 89), explains that it was at a single adult morningside that he first saw his wife, Kathleen.

In his address at the Vatican summit on marriage in 2014, President Eyring shared this experience with world leaders:

"An assignment in my church took me to a morning meeting in a grove of trees in New Hampshire. As the meeting ended, I saw in the crowd a young woman. I had never seen her before, but the feeling came over me that she was the best person I had ever seen. That evening she walked into our church meeting in Cambridge. Another thought came to my mind with great power: 'If I could only be with her, I could become every good thing I ever wanted to be.' I said to the man sitting next to me, 'Do you see that girl? I would give anything to marry her.'"

Question #7
Courtesy of the Eyring family

President Eyring was a faculty member at which school when he left to serve as president of Ricks College?

a. Harvard University
b. Princeton University
c. Yale University
d. Stanford University

Answer
Courtesy of the Eyring family

d. Stanford University

According to lds.org, President Eyring was on the faculty at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University from 1962 to 1971 before being asked to serve as president of Ricks College, which is now known as BYU-Idaho.

He spoke of this experience in a talk given during the October 2012 general conference titled "Where Is the Pavilion?"

"In the early years of my career, I worked hard to secure a tenured professorship at Stanford University. I thought I had made a good life for myself and for my family. We lived close to my wife’s parents in very comfortable surroundings," President Eyring said. "By the world’s standards, I had achieved success. But I was given by the church the chance to leave California and go to Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho. My lifetime professional objectives might have been a pavilion dividing me from a loving Father who knew better than I did what my future could hold. But I was blessed to know that whatever success I had in my career and family life to that point was a gift from God. And so, like a child, I knelt in prayer to ask what I should do. I was able to hear a quiet voice in my mind that said, 'It's my school.' There was no pavilion shielding me from God. In faith and humility, I submitted my will to his and felt his care and closeness."

Question #8
Courtesy of the Eyring family

Which member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles did President Eyring look to as a mentor in woodcarving and watercolor paintings?

a. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
b. Elder David B. Haight
c. President Boyd K. Packer
d. President James E. Faust

Answer
Courtesy of the Eyring family

c. President Boyd K. Packer

According to his biography, "I Will Lead You Along" (page 337), several of President Eyring's journal entries speak of the love of art that he and President Packer shared.

On May 31, 1982, he wrote, "Elder Boyd K. Packer invited me to his office when I said that I need guidance on my duck decoy carving. As I sat down, he pulled a finished decoy from under his desk and said, 'Here, you can keep this as a guide until you finish yours.' And then he sketched the next cuts on my carving, cradling it against his chest. He smiled and wiped sawdust from the vest of his blue suit as we talked about the Church Educational System."

Question #9
Courtesy of the Eyring family

Which former prophet is President Eyring's uncle?

a. President Ezra Taft Benson
b. President Gordon B. Hinckley
c. President Howard W. Hunter
d. President Spencer W. Kimball

Answer
Courtesy of the Eyring family

d. President Spencer W. Kimball

Camilla Eyring, President Eyring's father's sister, married Spencer W. Kimball. Throughout his life, President Eyring turned to President Kimball for counsel.

President Kimball sealed President Eyring and his wife, Kathleen, on July 27, 1962. According to President Eyring's biography, "I Will Lead You Along" (page 103), President Kimball gave President Eyring his approval when he said of Kathleen, "There isn't a phony bone in her body."

Question #10
Courtesy of the Eyring family

How many years have President Eyring and his wife, Kathleen, been married?

a. 53 years
b. 50 years
c. 58 years
d. 48 years

Answer
Courtesy of the Eyring family

a. 53 years

In his address at the Vatican in 2014, President Eyring focused his remarks on his personal testimony of marriage and family. He reflected on his then 52 years of marriage:

"Yet with all the changes, there have been consistencies since that wedding day more than 52 years ago.

"Most remarkable to me has been the fulfillment of the hope I felt the day I met my wife. I have become a better person as I have loved and lived with her. We have been complementary beyond anything I could have imagined. Her capacity to nurture others grew in me as we became one. My capacity to plan, direct and lead in our family grew in her as we became united in marriage. I realize now that we grew together into one — slowly lifting and shaping each other, year by year. As we absorbed strength from each other, it did not diminish our personal gifts.

"Our differences combined as if they were designed to create a better whole. Rather than dividing us, our differences bound us together. Above all, our unique abilities allowed us to become partners with God in creating human life. The happiness that came from our becoming one built faith in our children and grandchildren that marriage could be a continuing source of satisfaction for them and their families."

Question #11
Courtesy of the Eyring family

To whom did President Eyring direct his October 2013 general conference talk?

a. His sons
b. His daughters
c. The young women of the church
d. His grandchildren

Answer
Courtesy of the Eyring family

d. His grandchildren

In light of his first two grandchildren getting married within that year, President Eyring directed his remarks about finding happiness in family life to his grandchildren. His talk was titled "To My Grandchildren."

"For all of us, including my grandchildren contemplating marriage, there is one overarching commandment that will help us to meet the challenges and lead to the heart of a happy family life. It applies to all relationships regardless of circumstances. It is repeated throughout the scriptures and in the teachings of the prophets in our day. Here is the Bible wording of the Lord’s advice to all who want to live together forever in loving happiness:

"'Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

"'Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

"'Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

"'This is the first and great commandment.

"'And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

"'On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets' (Matt. 22:36-40).

"From that simple statement it is not hard to summarize all I have learned about what choices lead to happiness in families."