New First Presidency
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“New First Presidency,” New Era, May 2008, 5

New First Presidency

When it was announced on Monday, February 4, that President Thomas S. Monson would become the 16th President of the Church, a new First Presidency was also announced.

President Henry B. Eyring

President Henry B. Eyring was named as the First Counselor. He had been serving in the First Presidency as the Second Counselor under President Gordon B. Hinckley since October 2007.

Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Henry, or Hal as he was called, was raised with his brothers as the only young people in his branch, which met in their home. His family moved to Utah, where President Eyring attended the University of Utah. While in the Air Force and assigned to Albuquerque, New Mexico, he was called as a district missionary in the Western States Mission and served for nearly two years.

After his military service, President Eyring attended Harvard and received masters and doctoral degrees. He married Kathleen Johnson, and they became the parents of six children.

President Eyring was a professor in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He served as president of Ricks College, then served as the Church’s Commissioner of Education, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, in the Presiding Bishopric, and as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf was named as the Second Counselor. He has been a General Authority since April 1994 and has been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since October 2004.

Raised in Zwickau, Germany, President Uchtdorf was baptized at eight years old, two years after his family joined the Church.

As a teenager, President Uchtdorf followed his love of flying. He would go to the airport and, at the indulgence of staff, was allowed to look into the cockpits and dream of flying in the freedom of the skies. He started with an engineering education, followed by six years in the German Air Force. At age 29 he became a captain with Lufthansa, where he rose quickly to become director of the training school, chief pilot, and senior vice president of flight operations.

At the same time, he held several Church callings such as president of the Frankfurt Germany Stake, then as president of the Mannheim Germany Stake, and finally as a General Authority in the Second Quorum, First Quorum, and Presidency of the Seventy. President Uchtdorf and his wife, Harriet Reich, have two children.