Elder Henry B. Eyring, who has served as a General Authority for 10 years, was sustained a member of the Council of the Twelve Saturday morning, filling a vacancy created when President James E. Faust was called to be second counselor in the First Presidency.
Previous to his call as an apostle, Elder Eyring, 61, served in the First Quorum of the Seventy since October 1992. Before that he was first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric for 71/2 years. Since September 1992 he has been Commissioner of Church Education, a position he also held from September 1980 until his call to the Presiding Bishopric in April 1985.Elder Eyring was introduced to the news media at a news conference following the Saturday afternoon session of conference.
"I am overwhelmed," he told representatives of the media. "I never imagined I would be called to this sacred service." He received the call to the Council of the Twelve from President Gordon B. Hinckley Friday afternoon.
Elder Eyring was sustained to his new calling Saturday morning and gave his first general conference address as an apostle Saturday afternoon. "It has been a momentous day," he told the news media. "I am humbled and honored to be given this sacred calling."
He said he would continue for the immediate future as commissioner of Church education. "There will be no change in my assignment - only in my schedule," he said.
Elder Eyring was born May 31, 1933, in Princeton, N.J., where his father, Henry Eyring, an eminent scientist, was a professor of chemistry at Princeton University. The family moved to Salt Lake City when the senior Eyring accepted a position on the University of Utah faculty.
Elder Eyring earned a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Utah. Then he spent two years in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Sandia Base, Albuquerque, N.M. After leaving military service, he attended Harvard Graduate School of Business where he earned a master's degree and doctorate in business administration.
From 1962 to 1971, Elder Eyring was on the faculty at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He was a Sloan Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1963 and 1964.
In 1972, he was appointed president of Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, and served in that position until 1977 when he was named deputy commissioner of Church Education.
He has served in the Church as a regional representative, member of the General Sunday School Board, district president's counselor, district missionary, and bishop.
In response to a reporter's question at the news conference about people who have influenced his life, Elder Eyring said the greatest influence has been his wife and family. He and his wife, Kathleen Johnson Eyring, have four sons, two daughters, and seven grandchildren.