Note: This post was written by John C.
I lost my friend the other day. Chris Henrichsen was a scholar of Rawls, a Mormon, a father, a teacher, a husband, and a great friend. We were not as close as I’d like (especially geographically) and, outside of birthdays, we probably hadn’t really spoken in years. This is probably my fault; Chris was always active on social media and I tend to be quiet lately.
I’m to blame for getting Chris into blogging and into the wider world of Mormon blogging. We were teaching assistants in Pierre Lamarche’s Ethics class together at UVU (along with Emily Asplund). Chris and I would sit around and talk ethics and Mormonism and I’d learn about Rawls and social justice. I had started a blog called “Faith Promoting Rumor” and I asked him to join me there, because he was interesting, passionate, and funny. He did and thus began his lengthy love/hate relationship with the bloggernacle.
Chris was inspiring. Whether it was running for Congresss in Wyoming or teaching high school, he put his whole heart into whatever he did. His anchor was his family, he loved his wife and children immensely and put them above his other ambitions. Behind them, only slightly, was his love of John Rawls and political philosophy. He was passionate in debate, often letting his feelings get the better of him, but he was quick to seek amends once he cooled off. He had the fire of conviction, having had a change of heart in grad school from conservative to socialist. And he was loyal, sticking by me even when I thought he was being a raving lunatic. Because we were longtime friends.
I loved my friend, Chris. He once told me that he wasn’t sure what he thought about Mormonism, but he believed in the Mormonism I taught. Well, I suppose now he knows if I was right about anything. Actually, he’s probably trying to convert Rawls to Mormonism, or failing that, Orioles fandom. Chris was a great man, a better friend, and an exemplary Mormon. The world is smaller for his passing.