Eyring has also served as a general authority of the church in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the First Quorum of the Seventy, and the Presiding Bishopric. Eyring has served twice as Commissioner of the Church Educational System. Currently, he is the seventh most senior apostle among the ranks of the church.
Eyring was born in Princeton, New Jersey, the second child of Henry Eyring, then a professor at Princeton and later the dean of the graduate school at the University of Utah and president of the American Chemical Society, and his wife, Mildred Bennion. His father's sister, Camilla Eyring, married Spencer W. Kimball, making Henry B. the nephew of Kimball, who was the 12th president of the LDS Church.
Henry B. Eyring lived in Princeton until his early teenage years. Until the start of World War II they attended LDS meetings at the branch in New Brunswick, New Jersey, but with the gasoline rationing of the war they received permission to hold meetings in their home, which often only consisted of the Eyring family. As a teenager Eyring and his family moved to Salt Lake City when his father took a post at the University of Utah.
Eyring spent two years in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Sandia Base in New Mexico. While in New Mexico, Eyring served as a district missionary for the LDS Church. He received a BS degree in physics from the University of Utah. He went on to earn both Masters and Doctoral degrees in Business Administration from Harvard Business School, before embarking on a career in academia.
Eyring has served twice as Commissioner of Church Education, from September 1980 to April 1985, and from September 1992 to January 2005, when he was replaced by W. Rolfe Kerr. Eyring was an associate professor of business at the Stanford Graduate School of Business from 1962 to 1971. He was also a Sloan Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Among other callings in the LDS Church, Eyring has served as a regional representative, bishop and member of the Sunday School General Board.
Eyring served as president of Ricks College from 1971 to 1977, as a counselor to Presiding Bishop Robert D. Hales from 1985 to 1992, and as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy from 1992 to 1995.
Following the death of church president Howard W. Hunter, Eyring was sustained to the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on April 1, 1995, and ordained an apostle later that same week.
Eyring was sustained as Second Counselor in the church's First Presidency on October 6, 2007, filling the vacancy left by the death of James E. Faust on August 10, 2007. When the First Presidency was reorganized following the death of Gordon B. Hinckley, Eyring was called and set apart as the First Counselor on February 3, 2008. The new First Presidency, with Thomas S. Monson as president, was announced on February 4, 2008. As a member of the First Presidency, Eyring has dedicated the San Salvador El Salvador, Gilbert Arizona, Payson Utah, Indianapolis Indiana, and Philadelphia Pennsylvania (where he had also presided at the groundbreaking in 2011) temples, as well as rededicating the Buenos Aires Argentina and Mexico City Mexico temples.
In 2014, after a meeting with Pope Francis, Eyring spoke at Humanum, "an International Interreligious Colloquium on The Complementarity of Man and Woman," held at the Vatican. It was the first time that a pope and a top LDS general authority had met.
Eyring and his wife, Kathleen Johnson, were married in the church's Logan Temple in July 1962 and they are the parents of six children (four sons and two daughters). Their sons include Henry J. Eyring, president of BYU–Idaho; and Matthew J. Eyring, the Chief Strategy Innovation Officer of Vivint, a home automation company in North America.Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, University of Utah (2015)
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Utah Valley University (2017)