As we entered President Richard’s office, President J. Reuben Clark was there, and in a few moments President McKay walked in. He was very jovial, and made a great fuss over little Grant Jr. playing and laughing with him for some time.
Finally, seated in his large swivel chair, he turned and looked at me, and said, “Now President Heaton, this is a very important assignment. I have long been interested in the Chinese people and the missionary work there.” For the first time it dawned on me that all this was leading up to me being called as a Mission President. My first reaction of shock and disbelief, impelled me to say, “President McKay, I am neither capable, nor worthy to be a Mission President.” He very causally replied, “Oh, we are perfectly aware of that, Brother Heaton.” Our official call came in the mail a few days later.
Our next surprise was to become aware of the immense territory covered by this new Mission. President McKay said it was not only the largest Mission in the Church, but it contained more people than the rest of the world combined.
In subsequent meetings with the First Presidency, we learned how deeply President McKay’s interest in China really was. At the time we were set apart, it was mentioned that several attempts had been made in China, in failure. “This time we will not fail,” he promised!”