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Mormon Scientist: The Life and Faith of Henry Eyring

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  957 Ratings  ·  262 Reviews
Twice in the final years of his life, Elder Neal A. Maxwell told a grandson of Henry Eyring's, You need to write your grandfather's story. This is that story of Henry Eyring, perhaps the most acclaimed scientist ever to come from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a book about science and Mormonism, written to be easily understood by newcomers to both s ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 6th 2008 by Deseret Book
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The Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith Jr.Jesus the Christ by James E. TalmageHoly Bible by AnonymousStanding for Something by Gordon B. HinckleyThe Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball
Best LDS non-fiction
37th out of 196 books — 243 voters
Joseph Smith by Richard L. BushmanGo Forward with Faith by Sheri DewDavid O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism by Gregory A. PrinceThe History of Joseph Smith by His Mother by Lucy Mack SmithLengthen Your Stride by Edward L. Kimball
Best LDS Biography
9th out of 71 books — 14 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,428)
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Dec 03, 2009 Scott rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved this book. And I highly recommend it to anyone who has trouble balancing "logic" with "faith."

I am typically not one to read biographies, but this one sounded really good to me and came with a good recommendation and I'm glad I read it. While giving the story of Henry Eyring and his life, it showed how it's possible to a scientist, believe in scientific things, believe in logical things, but still have a strong and vibrant faith.

Eyring was a high caliber scientist who worked with Einste
Apr 06, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars.

The book itself was simple and slightly choppy, but the excerpts and quotes of the subject, Henry Eyring, were delightful and enlightening leaving this reader with a desire to go to the source and seek out The Faith of a Scientist, written by Henry Eyring (not to be confused with the son/Apostle, Henry B., or grandson/author, Henry J.).

Because this book was borrowed (and I couldn't mark my favorite pages), I'm leaving my favorite quotes here (there are many.):

Our religion will not cl
Mar 06, 2008 Rosa rated it really liked it
FINALLY- A book that is completely logical about science and religion. I have always believed that one could be a true scientist and have a testimony of God and His work. I highly recommend this book to all those who have an appreciation for science (especially if you love the physical sciences). I wish that I would have had a better understanding of physics so that I could have an even deeper appreciation of Eyrings contributions. Eyring was an incredible man, insanely intelligent, loved his fa ...more
Apr 07, 2014 Katie rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, and especially loved his constantly reiterated belief that science and religion do not have to be at odds with each other. We can all just get along! This from a world-renowned chemist. Love it! A few of my favorite quotes:

"When two ideas seem opposed, we ultimately choose one or the other, even is both may be true. To do otherwise, we rationalize, is to choose confusion and befuddlement.
Henry, though, was content with this kind of ambiguity. In fact, he liked such puzzles.
Mark Bailey
Aug 08, 2013 Mark Bailey rated it it was ok
If you have ever wondered how to reconcile long held beliefs taught by your religious leaders and holy scriptures, with what you now to know to be scientifically true, e.g.:

* A 6000 years old earth that it was created in 7 days vs. overwhelming scientific evidence that points to an earth that is 4.5 billion years old.

* On the first day of Creation the night was separated from the day; on the third day the plants were put on the earth; but the sun was not created until the fourth day vs. the fact
May 26, 2013 Lon rated it really liked it
Henry Eyring was a scientist of international renown. His theoretical and experimental work in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s drew on the principles of quantum theory in better unlocking the mysteries of radioactive dating and other phenomena in the field of geology and chemistry. As a Mormon, his openness to science in general, and to evolution and pre-historic (and pre-Adamic) humans specifically, was considered refreshing by some in the LDS community and also as heretical by a few fundamentalists an ...more
Apr 09, 2009 Ashley rated it really liked it
I haven't read many biographies. I checked this out because our library had it (I'm checking out every single book published by Deseret Book- I need all the LDS stuff I can get!) Anyway, this particular biography is about Henry Eyring, President Henry B. Eyring's father. I really enjoyed this book. It took me a lot longer than most fiction books, but that's because I had to actually think about what was happeneing- not a bad thing in my mind. Being a math mind, all the chemistry and physics talk ...more
May 28, 2009 Tiffany rated it really liked it
Shelves: spiritual
I really enjoyed this book. The organization is a little different, but I didn't think it was confusing. Some of my favorite quotes:

"That I was not born smarter is really not my fault." --Henry Eyring
--- I loved his self-deprecating humor.

"As a devout Latter-day Saint the important fact for me is that the Lord is directing the affairs in His Universe, not exactly how He does it. Whether or not some organic evolution was used or is operating seems to me to be beside the point. He is infinitely wi
Mary Etta
May 14, 2009 Mary Etta rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-group
Ann, thanks for your take on this. I had begun to bog down with the science. With your comments I started up again and really enjoyed that part--surprisingly. In fact his "Simplifying Assumptions" opened some doors for me on a personal barrier. He was truly an amazing and productive scientist and human being. One thought kept lingering in the back of mind--"How is his wife raising three active boys, he seems so much involved with his work and his active scientific mind, yet he truly values human ...more
Sara ♥
Dec 11, 2010 Sara ♥ rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dad; Lisa; scientifically-minded people
I really really liked this book. Henry Eyring was a REALLY interesting person! I was really excited to see what he, as a world-renowned scientist had to say about the relationship between science and religion. And he had some great stuff to say. I wish I'd written down this one quote. I bought the book for my dad, so when I get it in the mail, I'll fill it in here. I'll paraphrase for now. He met with a man once and that man asked Henry how he thought God had created the world/man/etc. And he an ...more
Aaron Stephens
Jul 08, 2015 Aaron Stephens rated it it was amazing
When it comes to debate on science vs. Religion, this is the best I have read.

" A good Christian does not deny truth." Dr. Henry Eyring.
Trevor Price
Apr 04, 2014 Trevor Price rated it really liked it
This is a pretty good look into the life of an interesting man, perhaps the most accomplished scientist Mormonism has ever produced. I think the LDS church today is missing the presence of such an intelligent, authoritative scientist. Eyring obviously had no problem with, say, evolution or a billions-of-years-old planet, and it would be nice to have someone of his stature around today to clarify the confusion some Mormons still seem to have regarding the evidence of those issues.

One somewhat sur
Mar 29, 2009 Ann rated it really liked it
I read this book with a bookclub and thought it was very interesting and insightful. He was obviously a very bright man and his personality came through in the book. Coming from a science household, I could relate to physics problems on the chalkboard it reminded me of days we developed photos in the basement when I was young.
Apr 29, 2014 Cesily rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I loved how Henry Eyring sought for truth, knowing that his religion embraces all truth. I mostly loved the chapter on Fear (and how it drove his work ethic). And I loved the section on paradoxes... This book challenges the way one thinks and encourages us to constantly learn.
Sharing my favorite quotes is mostly for me to remember:)
Favorite quotes: "Science does not threaten religion. Science might threaten our understanding of religion." p.241
"Maybe as important as anything i
Jul 06, 2008 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
This is very interesting. I love President Eyring so
it was easy to love a book about his father. I love
that it talks about science and the church and how he
stood up for what he believed even being a great scien
tist of our time
Mar 12, 2015 Kati rated it liked it
It is always hard for me to rate a book I normally otherwise would not have read - enter book club.
A 2.75 might seem harsh, but since my 3 is 'I liked it' it was just a shade below, right? I liked many parts of this book. Actually, as a person Dr. Eyring is fascinating. I think I would have liked him had I met him. I really liked the inserts of his own writings. The man had spunk and it couldn't be hidden in ink. I felt that the commentary became repetitive, I would have preferred it to h
Apr 29, 2008 Kwarner rated it really liked it
Interesting insight into the life and faith of one of the premier scientists of the last century.
Feb 29, 2016 Kay rated it it was amazing
I'm half way through with this book and I only started it a few days ago. Very interesting and easy read.

07/09/2014 I finished this book a few days ago. I thought it was very good. I'm glad my book club wanted to read it. It's was written by Henry Eyring's grandson, who obviously cared a great deal about his grandfather. I was impressed by the things that were written about Henry Eyring. He was a scientist and an out-spoken member of the Church if Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He believed
Nov 21, 2008 AnnaMay rated it it was amazing
Wow. I love it when a book makes me feel as though my mind is enlarged and I'm a better, more whole and ocmplete person. This book about President Eyring's dad (how I like to think of him) left me feeling that way. Even though it is early in the morning and I'm tired, I've just finished reading it and I feel invigorated and inspired and uplifted.

Henry J. Eyring has a way of writing that is kind of like a conversation with him in my livingroom would go, I'd imagine. You know when you're sitting
Apr 21, 2010 kelley rated it it was ok
Mormon Scientist was difficult for me to read because I was trying to understand the principle of science that he was famous for discovering, "ART" or Absolute Rate Theory.

I persisted because I was reading it with my book club. I discovered that this book was not about his discovery but about Mr. Eyring the individual. I enjoyed reading about his grandparents and parents and the way he was brought up as a child. I also enjoyed learning about the circumstances in his life that made him the man h
Oct 20, 2008 Cameron rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing Biography of an incredible mind of a man of faith. He does not see a problem with religion and science because "our minds do not comprehend that there is no gap, in God's mind there is no gap he uses it all and someday we will understand. I am willing to wait."

Another quote is about him being close to the leaders of the church and his view of their imprefections. He said, "I have no objection to Joseph Smith's making any number of mistakes. Of course he did, and I like it. I l
Alan Marchant
Jul 03, 2009 Alan Marchant rated it liked it
Mormon. Scientist.

Unfortunately, that's about all there is to this kindly but shallow tribute to the beloved Mormon chemist. I wish I could give the book a better rating, but as biography, it disappoints.

Here's some of what's missing:
How did Henry Eyring relate to the women in his life (besides his two mothers)?
To what extent did Church responsibilities influence Eyring's transition from a scientist to an administrator, and how did he manage the change?
There are scant allusions to Eyring's paren
Sep 23, 2013 Alice rated it really liked it
This book was a four and a half star for me! I learned so much about Henry Eyring a person I didn't know anything about. I am well acquainted with his son Hal who we know as a General Authority and apart of the 1st Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints -- known as Henry Bennion Eyring!

This book was so interesting and opened my eyes to so many things from science to my religion! I now have a fond appreciation for Henry Eyring. I hated to see this book end I feel like I ga
Jun 30, 2008 Jeff rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best books that I have read this year. I felt that I could really relate to Henry Eyring where I am a chemist and also a Latter-Day Saint. It was amazing how he was able to blend his scientific curiosity with his faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Until I went to the University of Utah and studies in the building that bears his name I had never heard of Henry Eyring. I thought the building was named after his son and couldn't remember if he had been a chemist. I latter lear ...more
Oct 06, 2011 Heather rated it it was amazing
I read this book and immediatly had to read "Faith of a Scientist" afterwards. Henry Eyring is a brilliant man, and I'm so grateful for his life--I feel like I have been influenced by reading these two books.

Some of my favorite quotes/ideas:
"Obedience is the price of freedom."
(From his father Ed): This religion that we have is only truth. It is not anything else. So don't get nervous. Don't get worried about anything that you learn. Go and study geology and biology and organic evolution and anth
Dec 27, 2012 Janean rated it liked it
I would suggest that the reader (unless he/she is a chemist) not get bogged down in the first chapter. If I were the editor, I wouldn't have put that as the first chapter.
Here are my favorite quotes:
I would recommend that the reader doesn’t get discouraged with the first chapter, but keeps going.
P.4 Dad told him, “in this Church you don’t have to believe anything that isn’t true.”
As a scientist:
• He was good at simplifying and visualizing things.
• Developed the absolute rate theory (ART) chemi
Oct 16, 2009 Celestia rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read for any Mormon who claims to have an interest in science. It is written by the subject's grandson, they Henry Eyring we all know, that is, President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I think that's why the book has so much focus on the family roots and how that shaped Henry Eyring's life.

The little stories of Eyring's interactions with Einstien were humorous and probably never before told to a general audience. Ap
Jul 24, 2012 Jileen rated it liked it
Interesting read but some parts were pretty slow and many topics were VERY redundant. I love that Henry Eyring can have a duel appreciation for his faith and how the world was created. Some people have a hard time with those topics being said in the same sentence but Henry was not. He was passionate about sciences and passionate about his faith and expressed it many times.

Henry said, "I have been announced as a student of science. But I also like to think of myself as one who loves the Gospel of
Mar 14, 2010 Chrystal rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I think since I read, "Reflections of a Scientist" first that I got the best in the shorter version first. But I'm glad I got to know his background and personality and history better from this larger edition. I wish I could have had Henry Eyring as a professor. I admire his attitudes and faith. I enjoyed the part about paradoxes: Confidence and Humility, Discipline and Creativity, Freedom and Obedience, Reasoning, More than Reasons, Fundamentals, Not Conventions, and People, ...more
Tanya W
Jan 21, 2010 Tanya W rated it it was amazing
This is a great book. I absolutely love the resolution Eyring makes of the "issue" of science and religion... some people think you can't be true to both science and religion. As a winner of many scientific awards and as many scientists felt he deserved the Nobel prize, he was a science genius. He was also firm in his religious faith. Interestingly some people believe the reason he didn't receive the Nobel prize was because of religious bigotry.

Henry Eyring is a person worthy of admiration. He h
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Eyring was born in Palo Alto, California. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University from which he received a bachelors degree in geology, an MBA and a law degree. He has been a partner with Peterson Capital and on the board of directors of SkyWest Airlines. From 1998-2002 he was the director of BYU's MBA program. He has also served as a trustee of Southern Utah University. From 2003-2006 Eyring ...more
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