When I departed for my mission to London, England, in 1972 my 91-year-old grandfather Mahonri Moriacumer White gave me a hug and exclaimed, “You have no idea what lies in store for you!” When I returned two years later, Grandpa was no longer here. Had he been alive, he could have given me the same advice about the future prospects of getting married and becoming a father.
Raising eight sons was a little bit like running a miniature missionary training center, especially when it came to food: hundreds of gallons of milk and truckloads of dry cereal, along with thousands of grilled-cheese sandwiches served at the counter on Sunday nights over the years; beans on toast, a staple missionary meal from my days in England, was always a favorite.
When we finished the last of 24 consecutive Pinewood Derby cars, we had shoe boxes full of old models we had carved. The only winning car we fashioned was one that had to run down the track backwards for some reason. We drove to dozens of Scout camps and fathers-and-sons outings. We ordained our young men to 24 priesthood offices, marveled at eight patriarchal blessings and missionaries being set apart. We made the solemn drive to the Provo MTC eight times and watched each boy walk through that door on his way to becoming a man.
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