Here is a video from the news conference between the Saturday session of General Conference introducing Henry B Eyring as the new 2nd counselor in the First Presidency of the church.
Carrie Moore of the Deseret Morning News asked, "How [do] you see your particular professional background helping you in your calling?"
President Eyring answered:
The way to look at Harvard and its effect, at least personally, is with this story:
When I first came as the president of Ricks college, I attended my first meeting that I'd ever been in watching the General Authorities of the church, the First Presidency and others, running a meeting. I had been studying for the ten years I was a professor at Standford how you make decisions in meetings,in groups so I got a chance, here's my chance to see the way the Lord's servants do it (of which I now am one).
I looked at it with my Harvard, Standford eyes and I thought. This is the strangest conversation I've - I mean. Here are the prophets of God and they're disagreeing in an openness that I had never seen in business. In business you're careful when you're with the bosses, you know.
Here they were just - and I watched this process of them disagreeing and I thought Good Heavens, I thought revelation would come to them all and they'd all see things the same way, in some sort of, you know. It was more open than anything I had ever seen in all the groups I had ever studied in business. I was just dumbfounded.
But then after a while the conversation cycled around. And they began to agree and I saw the most incredible thing. Here are these very strong, very bright people all with different opinions. Suddenly the opinions began to just line up and I thought. I've seen a miracle, I've seen unity come out of this wonderful open kind of exchange that I'd never seen in all my studies of government or business or anywhere else. And so I thought, oh, what a miracle!
It was President Harold B. Lee who was chairing the meeting. It was a board of education meeting. I thought, now he's going to announce the decision, because I've seen this miracle, and he said, "Wait a minute, I think we'll bring this matter up again some other time. I sense there is someone in the room who is not yet settled." And they went on the the next item. And I thought: that is strange. And then I watched somebody, one of the bretheren I think one of the twelve, walk past the President Lee and say, "Thank you, there's something I didn't have a chance to say"
So I want you to know. The main thing you do about Harvard and Standford. Though I love - I hope this doesn't offend my wonderful friends. Forget it. We're in another kind of thing here. This is what it claims to be. This is the true Church of Jesus Christ. Revelation is real, even in what you call the business kinds of settings.
A great man whom I love and will always love, President Harold B. Lee, taught me a great lesson that says. Now, we can be open. We can be direct. We can talk about differences in a way that you can't anywhere else because we're all just looking for the truth. We're not trying to win. We're not trying to make our argument dominate. We just want to find what's right.
And then a man sensitive enough to sense without anybody saying anything, that somebody in the room was not settled. -laughs- and uh. Again, there's a kind of process of openness and yet coming together and having confidence that you know what the Lord wants, not what we want that is uh...
I loved Harvard. I loved Stanford. I had a great time there. My wife is -We spent the first ten years of our married life - I was a professor at Standford. Thought I'd stay there forever; I had tenure. How happy we were. Then went Rexburg, Idaho from there.
And then came down here and found out that there was a kind of making decisions and working together in groups that I had never seen anywhere else in the world except here.