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Mormon Scientist: The Life and Faith of Henry Eyring

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,153 ratings  ·  291 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, 330 pages
Published February 6th 2008 by Deseret Book
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  1,153 ratings  ·  291 reviews

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May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, book-club
Guys, I didn't see this coming, but this is my favorite book I've read this year. I read dozens of sections out loud to Chris because they were so funny or tender or historically fascinating (scientific advances, tons of Utah/Mormon history, battles in Mexican Revolution, etc.). ...more
Nov 01, 2009 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
Feb 03, 2008 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 27, 2008 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
Kami Leishman
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. This was a really well written biography and I loved all of the insight into Henry Eyring's life. He was tremendously brilliant but still down to earth and relatable. A few of the anecdotes of his life were comical enough I had to read them out loud to my husband. I loved all of his discourses on science and faith and how his beliefs in one strengthened the other. It was also a great length (right around 300 pages). It can get tiresome plodding through an overly lengthy biography but ...more
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: inspirational
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 if 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
Jul 08, 2013 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
Michael D
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book about the father of Henry Bennion Eyring, member of the first presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This was even better than the bio I read a while back on Albert Einstein, because in so many ways I could not relate to Albert, but in a few key ways I can relate to Henry J Eyring. Particularly when it comes to his attitude about paradox and God's dealings with his children. Very humble, gracious and faithful man with an astoundingly productive, often contr ...more
May 26, 2013 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
Sara ♥
Aug 23, 2010 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
Apr 02, 2009 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
Apr 23, 2009 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
Apr 21, 2008 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
Feb 21, 2009 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.
Jun 15, 2008 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
Apr 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Interesting insight into the life and faith of one of the premier scientists of the last century.
Aaron Stephens
Jul 08, 2015 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.
Dec 27, 2012 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
Apr 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
When I saw this biography in the Deseret Book catalog, I was immediately intrigued. I love biographies … well, never mind; I don’t love biographies, not really. I love the idea of reading biographies. I love to think that instead of reading the fluffy drivel that usually ends up on my nightstand (Lasso Her Heart, anyone??), I’m reading to broaden my understanding, that I’m “keeping up in my field” (as a history major, just about anything with endnotes counts as “keeping up in my field,” I guess) ...more
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: church
So I just loved the last three pages of this book. This man has truly been able to get a grasp on relgion and life. So the following is the last few pages from the book that really touched my heart.
"So for me, I've made a picture of the world. It may be right. It may be wrong. But for me it is very real, and I've had experiences for me which are real, and so for me the onlyt thing that I can do is say, "Try what the Savior said: try it and see if it works, and you;ll find that it does work and t
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Twice in one month I heard from a young woman and an older woman anti-evolution statements in church that made me so uncomfortable. I had felt both times when those people spoke as though they believed they were representing Mormon doctrine when I don't feel that they were. Yet, at the same time, I didn't know how to respond without possibly shaking their faith when they clearly felt there was a conflict (or without at least coming across combative since it's the sort of thing that I lack patien ...more
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it
This book did an amazing job telling me about some of Henry Eyring’s accomplishments, and taught me a lot about what he believed. I learned some about his family history, which was really cool considering some of it is mine as well. However, even though his life was interesting, it seemed like the book merely glanced over a lot of information; they never went super in depth with anything beyond a slight overview. For instance, the author claimed many times that Henry was a family man, however th ...more
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading about Henry Eyring's life and testimony. I loved that his great passions were science and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had no difficulty in reconciling the two. He was not afraid to admit that their were things he did not know in both areas. His quest for knowledge and truth was insatiable.

My favorite quote was the advice Henry's father gave when he was leaving for college: "in this Church you don’t have to believe anything that isn’t true. You go over to the University of Ar
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
What a disappointment! This biography of Henry Eyring could have been so much better! I was hoping for something like Walter Isaacson’s Einstein, since the two men’s lives were nearly parallel. They were both brilliant (and slightly eccentric) scientists whose discoveries rocked the world. They even knew each other at Princeton! But whereas Isaacson’s biography of Einstein follows a mostly chronological timeline, making for easy reading, Mormon Scientist lurches off into one direction, and th ...more
Travis Hulse
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I purchased this book a while ago, started reading it and decided it was a little too slow. Finally I convinced myself to push through some of the slow parts. Something impressed upon my mind while reading this book that is difficult to describe. The story of Henry Eyring wasn't really exciting but the perspective he held on the matter of faith and science was easy to follow and felt very familiar. There was a feeling of sacredness and appreciation for those perspectives. The combination of scie ...more
Jared Nelson
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Overall, I thought it was well written and uplifting... A perfect short book for a Sunday afternoon when the kids are gone. It kept me entertained and educated. I agree with the author that there is no conflict between science and religion; only our understanding of each. The first half of the book, in my estimation, was more interesting in the second half, which seemed to become a lot more personal. Overall, a very good read.

Gable Roth
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a fun book to read. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in science, and to anyone who is interested in religion, AND to anyone who may have issues with how science and religion can work together. There were a lot of very good points made and I think everyone should read his testimony at the end.

All in all it was a great book and it has strengthened my faith in the gospel and also my faith in science.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was disappointed with this book. I hoped it would be more about his scientific accomplishments, ideas of the compatibility between science and religion, but it was mostly said he liked and was devoted to both.

This is a good book if you are already familiar with dr. Eyring and want to learn more of his life and personal experiences.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is a well-written summary of the life and beliefs of Henry Eyring. Henry Eyring was a fantastic chemist and professor who interacted with the likes of Einstein and several Nobel Prize winners (and typically tried to convert them to the Mormon faith at every opportunity he got). Eyring is a fantastic example of faith, charity, and humility and really knows his stuff.
Kait Butterfield
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I found it rather choppy and often without a clear point. I like learning about Henry Eyring and there were phrases here and there that I liked. Overall it was unnecessarily wordy and the last half was repetitive. I've heard Faith of Scientist is better so I will read that soon. Hopefully it's not watered down like this book. ...more
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Henry J. Eyring is the 17th president of Brigham Young University-Idaho. He previously served as both the Academic and Advancement vide president at BYU-Idaho as well as director for the MBA program at Marriott School of Managment at Brigham Young University.

Eyring was born in Palo Alto, California to Henry B. Eyring and Kathleen Johnson Eyring. He later received B.S., MBA and J.D. degrees from Br

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