President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, turns 86 today. ‘Hal,’ as his family and friends call him, was born on May 31, 1933, in Princeton, New Jersey, and has served as an Apostle of Jesus Christ since April 1, 1995.
To celebrate his birthday, here are nine photos compiled from moments throughout his life along with a brief recap of ministering moments from this past year.
Oklahoma City temple rededication
On May 19, 2019, President Eyring rededicated the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple. His great-grandfather served a mission in the Indian Territory — what is now the state of Oklahoma. Walking through that temple proved to be a spiritual experience.
“As I walked through the temple and I looked at all the motifs that had to do with Oklahoma and the American Indians, I felt my great-grandfather’s spirit,” President Eyring said in a Church News article.
Rome temple dedication
President Eyring gathered with President Russell M. Nelson and all of the modern-day apostles in Rome, Italy. Their iconic photo was taken in front of the statues of the Christus and the 12 ancient apostles in the visitors' center.
This gathering in Rome was the “first time in Church history that every member of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles had been all together outside the United States,” the Church News reported.
April general conference
President Eyring spoke in the Saturday morning and priesthood sessions of April 2019 general conference.
During the morning session, he taught about the importance of spiritual development at home.
“You will find some of your greatest joys in your efforts to make your home a place of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and a place that is permeated with love,” President Eyring said in the Saturday morning session.
In the general priesthood session, he shared four ways for priesthood brethren to rise higher in their power to sustain each other through faith.
Insightful tips to get the most out of your scripture study
President Eyring wrote an article on ComeUntoChrist.org on how he gets close to God through the scriptures. In the article, he shard these four ways for Church members to improve their scripture study:
- Make scripture study a priority by finding a regular time to study, such as at the beginning or at the end of the day.
- Go to the scriptures to learn what God would most like you to do and study it out.
- Recognize how families are an integral part of the Book of Mormon and study the scriptures as a family. Let your family see your love for the scriptures.
- Let the scriptures become part of you and read them when you need to feel the peace of the Spirit.
While serving as president of Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho), President Eyring learned a skill set that became a lifetime hobby and means of recording memories.
President Eyring learned the art of watercolor from a faculty member and with this new skill, he began journaling through this medium. After a few decades journaling this way through over 1,000 paintings, a portion of his collection was put on display at the Church History Museum from Nov. 8, 2018, through Jan. 21, 2019.
LDS Business College devotional
At an LDS Business College devotional on Nov. 6, 2018, President Eyring shared an experience he had as an undergraduate student that helped him realize his full potential. Trying to learn physics and math, he felt stuck. He felt that his peers were all excelling in the material quicker than him and he was feeling left behind.
Right as he was mulling through feelings of quitting, a voice came to his mind.
“I can remember it as if it just happened,” he said. “Help came as a voice … ‘When you realize who you are, you will be sorry you didn’t try harder.' … I felt that I must have more ability to learn than I could see in myself.”
With this understanding, he saw that he was a child of God and as such had the potential to learn what God knew through the Holy Ghost.
October general conference
While speaking to the women of the Church, he emphasized their important and unique roles in nurturing and ministering to their families and the family of God.
“For sisters in every stage of life’s journey, in every family situation, and across every culture, the Savior is your perfect example of how you will play a major part in His move to place greater emphasis on gospel learning in the home and family,” President Eyring testified.
In his Sunday address, he gave these words of encouragement:
“Brothers and sisters, the Lord has opportunities near you to feel and to share His love. You can pray with confidence for the Lord to lead you to love someone for Him. He answers the prayers of meek volunteers like you. You will feel the love of God for you and for the person you serve for Him. As you help children of God in their troubles, your own troubles will seem lighter. Your faith and your hope will be strengthened.”
Mission leadership seminar
The call to be a mission leader can be an overwhelming experience. Some might ask if they are able to accomplish the tasks that the Lord asks of them.
President Eyring addressed these concerns during the Mission Leadership Training at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, on June 26, 2018. He reminded the mission presidents and companions that their missionaries will often feel the same pressure and doubt, and that they all can be comforted by the promise that they are doing the Lord's work.
“He calls the servants. He gives them commands. He listens to them. He talks with them. He works beside them,” President Eyring said. “In fact, He seems to do much of the work Himself. And yet He gives His servants a generous share in His divine joy.”