This review of I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring is provided by Deseret Book Senior Editor, and bestselling author, Emily Watts. She has worked for the publishing department at Deseret Book for more than thirty-five years.
The richness of this book—in both word and image—is just stunning!
I have always loved President Henry B. Eyring’s conference talks, so I expected to enjoy his biography. But I could never have envisioned how beautiful and unusual the book would become.
It started, really, with his son’s suggestion that we include some of President Eyring’s sketches in the margins of the book. That was what he did for years with the journals he wrote and then photocopied for his children. Then we wondered, since there were so many great entries right out of those journals, if there might be a way to set those off typographically. And wouldn’t it be fun to include family photos throughout? Out of those discussions emerged a book that draws you in irresistibly the moment you pick it up and flip through the pages.
The design will pull you in, but the story will keep you there. It is primarily the story of a family man, and the influence of his parents and later of his wife is clearly evident throughout. Because so much of it is delivered in his own words, via his journals and other writings, it feels very personal and firsthand. “The journal shows how a good-but-imperfect man works each day to win divine approval,” write the authors, and the picture that emerges thanks to the combined skills of Robert I. Eaton and President Eyring’s son Henry is just that: an authentic and spiritually affirming account.
I will always treasure the things I learned from Hal Eyring’s brilliant work in business, education, and Church service. (And I KNOW it feels presumptuous to call him “Hal,” but that is the only way he is referred to throughout the biography. His mother didn’t care for the name “Henry” and insisted on “Hal” instead. Just one of the endearing facts in this book.) He brought to his call as an Apostle exactly the skills and experience and temperament that were needed in the information age—and his biography shows us how those skills were developed and how that temperament was forged in the furnace of his experiences.
It’s a great story, delivered in a gorgeous package. I’m so grateful I got the chance to work on it!