At his funeral, one of his children shared the following story about him:
William was having a difficult time deciding whether or not to serve a mission. As a Southern California boy, he loved his surfing and was not certain he could give it up. One day, he was out in the ocean, waiting for a wave. His legs dangled on either side of his surfboard. Something knocked against him and he saw a big dorsal fin.
He drew both feet up out of the water and on to the board, crunched himself into a ball, and prayed, "Heavenly Father. If you want me to serve a mission, I will. I will go wherever you want me to go. But, please, just don't let that be a shark."
After he prayed, the dorsal fin again appeared, and this time he could tell it belonged to a dolphin.
William offered a second prayer, "Oh, never mind, Heavenly Father. It was just a dolphin."