President Clark G. Gilbert spent months preparing for his inaugural address to the students and faculty members of BYU-Idaho at the beginning of Fall Semester 2015.
“Right when I first got the assignment, I had a wonderful conversation with President Eyring,” President Gilbert said. “What became very clear to me about this university is that the Lord has been working on this place for long before I ever showed up, and my job is to discover what he had already been trying to do.”
President Gilbert said he was asked to speak for no more than 10 minutes during the inauguration.
“That meant every word mattered,” he said.
He said he started building a list of themes he wanted to speak about and, the more he prayed and counseled with President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, President Henry B. Eyring and Elder Dallin H. Oaks, the list continued to increase in size.
“I had all these themes, and it meant that I had to be very precise with the words I used, and I could only introduce the themes and main topics,” President Gilbert said. “At first I viewed that as a constraint, but it ended up being a blessing.”
He said this would leave his counsel to the university up to their own personal revelation on how to act on it.
“The real work lies ahead of us where people will have to each individually get their own revelation,” President Gilbert said. “I think that was a real blessing.”