Paul’s Pumpkins

“Paul’s Pumpkins,” Ensign, Jan. 1982, 33

Paul’s Pumpkins

After a great deal of prayer and planning, we presented to our stake in September 1980 a program for raising funds to build our new stake center. Because of the projected high cost of the building, we knew that a great deal of faith would be required of our people to raise the many thousands of dollars needed. While we were considering the problem, I had an unusual experience that I shall never forget.

About 2:00 P.M. on a very busy day at the office, my secretary on the intercom said that Paul Goodwin would like to see me. I looked at my schedule and found I didn’t have an appointment with Paul Goodwin; furthermore, I didn’t even know a Paul Goodwin. I felt I should tell my secretary that because I was so busy and he didn’t have an appointment, I wouldn’t be able to see him. But for some reason I felt prompted to visit with Paul Goodwin.

Still acting under the pressures of the day, I hurriedly opened my office door and was surprised to see a little four-year-old boy standing there. Recognizing his mother seated in the reception area, I knew immediately that this was the son of David and Marilyn Goodwin from the Four Corners Ward of our stake. Little Paul stood in the doorway with his hands in his pockets, looking up at me with such confidence that I sensed it was important to talk to him.

I invited him into my office. When we sat down, I could barely see his big eyes over the top of my desk. “Now, Brother Goodwin, what would you like to see me about?” I asked.

He didn’t say a word, but reached into his pocket, pulled out a very wrinkled dollar bill, and laid it on the desk. Then he reached into his pocket again and pulled out a quarter, laid it on the desk, reached into his pocket again, pulled out another quarter and then a dime and a nickel. As he laid the nickel on the desk, he looked up at me and said, “That’s for the new building.”

“You mean our new stake center?” I asked.

He nodded.

“That’s wonderful!” I told him. “But where did you get a dollar-sixty-five?”

He said, “This summer I planted pumpkins in my garden and they’re ripe now, so I picked them and put them in my wagon. I went to all the neighbors on my street and sold them, and there’s the money. I want to give it for the new building.”

Choking back the tears, I couldn’t resist picking the boy up in my arms and telling him how very, very important that dollar-sixty-five was and how very happy Heavenly Father must be that he had sold his pumpkins to raise money for our new stake center.

I felt sure then that there was sufficient faith among our people to raise the thousands of dollars needed.

  • W. Paul Hyde is president of the Salem Oregon East Stake.