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Mormon Scientist: The life and faith of Henry Eyring.

Memoirs of the man who fused science & religion

Featured Memory

Lunches with Henry

Jon Orgill |  posted: March 16, 2008 |  occurred: 1977-1981 |  in: SLC, UT,

At some point in the late 70’s I wandered up to Henry’s office door. I was greeted with, “Where did you go on your mission?” I tried to explain that I didn’t go on a mission but I had five older brothers who did. Henry could see I was squirming and said, “Me neither, but I’ll tell ya where I did go; I went to hell and I decided I wasn’t going back.” Henry later told me this was a reference to his job with the steel mill blast furnaces. “Hell on earth” was how he described it. Henry said that was the reason he got an education, so he didn’t have to work in such a place.

We hit it off and I started to drop by Henry’s humble office and we would eat lunch together. Henry would tell me stories and patiently answer my seemingly endless questions about anything and everything. I had a new best friend.

On a number of occasions Henry’s son Ted, whose office was down the hall, would race past and Henry would call out, “Hey Ted you need to meet this guy.” I never met Ted, but I remember one day Henry rolling his eyes and saying, “Kids,” as he chuckled to himself. Henry then started telling me stories about each of his kids: “Ted’s like me and Hal’s more like his mother and boy that’s a blessing if there ever was one.”

Over the next few years I can’t think of too much we didn’t talk about. I admired Henry’s fine mind and his commitment to his work. What lives on in me all these years later and is emblematic of Henry’s life was/is his unique understanding and application of love. To me that was Henry’s example, that was his perfection.

I love Henry, I miss him, and I think about him all the time.