I would be curious to find out what kind of information/training the Church gives patriarchs.
My FIL has been a patriarch for about 5 years now. (Is also a temple sealer, former stake president, etc.)
The training consists of sitting in a meeting with a member of the Seventy and reading selected blessings given by other patriarchs. I kid you not. That's it.
I think the first year as a patriarch was as close as my FIL will ever get to a crisis of faith. He just expected the heavenly bat-phone to ring and tell him what to say. When he started drawing a blank he was really confused. I think now he's just gotten better at making shit up.
Your poor FIL. I remember being called as Mia Maid president and being told to "pray about who would make a good first and second counselor and secretary". I did and got nothing, which was very demoralizing. So then I just picked my friends. I can only imagine what it would be like to be called to a position where you genuinely expect to be receiving guidance from God and then come up empty.
What do you suppose is going on in the minds of the GAs? Do you think they really believe?