Saturday, January 24, 2015

The parable of Gomer. What excuses have you heard for not getting prepared?

This is a light hearted parable that helps you see the seriousness of food storage, and the ridiculousness of excuses instead of obedience.

These are the generations of Gomer, son of Homer, son of Omer. And in the days of Gomer, Noah, the Prophet, went unto the people saying, “Prepare ye for the flood which is to come, yea, build yourselves a boat, that ye may not perish.”

Now, Gomer was a member of the Church, and taught Sunday School and played, yea, even on the ward softball team. And Gomer’s wife said unto him, “Come, let us build unto ourselves a boat as the Prophet commandeth, that we may not perish in the flood.” But behold, Gomer saith unto his wife, “Worry not, dear wife, for if the flood comes the government will provide boats for us.”

And Gomer did not build a boat. And Gomer’s wife went unto Noah and she returned saying, “Behold, Honey, the Prophet saith unto us, “Build a boat, that we may preserve ourselves, for the government pays men not to grow trees, wherefore the government hath not the lumber to build for you a boat.” And Gomer answered saying, “Fear not, oh wife, for am I not the star pitcher on the ward softball team? Wherefore, the Church will provide for us a boat, that we will perish not.”

And Gomer’s wife went again unto Noah, and she returned unto Gomer, saying, “Behold, mine husband, the Prophet saith that the Church hath not enough lumber to build a boat for everyone, wherefore, mine husband, build for us a boat that we might not perish in the flood.” And Gomer answered her saying, “Behold, if we build a boat, when the flood cometh, will not our neighbors overpower us and take from us our boat; wherefore, what doth it profit a man to build a boat?”

And Gomer’s wife went again unto Noah and she returned, saying, “Behold, the Prophet saith, build unto yourselves a boat, and have faith, for if ye do the Lord’s bidding, He will preserve your boat for you.” But Gomer answered his wife, saying, “Behold, with this inflation, the price of wood has gone sky high, and if we wait awhile, perhaps the price will go down again. And then I will build for us a boat.”

And Gomer’s wife went again unto Noah, and she returned saying, “Thus saith the Prophet, build for yourselves a boat RIGHT NOW, for the price of wood will not go down, but will continue to go up. Wherefore, oh husband, build for ourselves a boat, that we may perish not.” But Gomer answered his wife, saying, “Behold, for 120 years Noah hath told us to build a boat, to preserve us from the flood, but hath the flood come? Yea, I say, nay. Wherefore, perhaps the flood will not come for another hundred and twenty years."

And Gomer’s wife went again unto Noah and returned saying, “The Prophet saith, he knows it has been 120 years, but nevertheless, the flood will come, wherefore, build unto yourselves a boat.” And Gomer answered her saying, “Wherewith shall we get the money to build ourselves a boat, for are we not now making monthly payments on our snazzy new four horsepower chariot? Wherefore, when our payments end, perhaps we shall build ourselves a boat.”

And Gomer’s wife went again unto Noah and returned saying, “Behold, the Prophet saith that we should cut down on our recreation, and our vacations, and even give each other lumber for Christmas, that we might thereby get enough lumber to build a boat.” But Gomer saith unto her, “What a drag! Are we to cease enjoying life, just because we must build a boat?”

Wherefore, Gomer built not a boat. But behold, one afternoon Gomer heard thunder in the sky, and he feared exceedingly and he ran, yea, even to the lumber yard to buy lumber. But behold, the lumber store was crowded with great multitudes, all seeking to buy lumber, and there was not enough lumber to be found for the multitudes. And on the same day were all the fountains of the deep opened, and the windows of heaven were broken up, and the floods came — and behold, Gomer had no boat.

And as the water rose above Gomer’s waist, his wife saith unto him, “Behold, Honey, I told thee so!”

—Author Unknown

Note from Becky. Here are a few more excuses Gomer could have said, this time related to food storage. 

"But Brother Geeper bought a bunch of food storage years ago and he has never had to use it. Obviously it was a waste of time and money. So I'm not going to waste my time and money. 

"But we cannot afford to buy food storage. Our daughter Gyser must weareth name brand clothes. We wanteth her to be popular. And we love to eat at restaurants, which leaveth funds for food storage. And we must remodel our kitchen. And our son Gooner must play all the sports our town offereth year round, and he must be on comp teams, don't you see?" 

"But we don't have space in our home for food storage. Our four children needeth their own bedrooms. And we must have a living room, family room, and toy room. There is no extra space."   

"But dear, spiritual preparedness mattereth most so we'll just work on that. I'm sure the Lord will save us with manna if we just read our scriptures. How can He expect more than that?"

"Oh dear, worry not, we will just go to the house of Brother Gooper, our ward preparedness specialist. Surely he has enough food to feed the whole ward for a year or so." 

"I feel so overwhelmed by all the preparedness information that I don't know where to start, so I just don't do anything. 

"Food storage is not a commandment really, just advice, don't you think?" 

"We don't have time for that food storage stuff. Please giveth me the remote. My favorite show is on." 

"But dear wife, we must taketh our children to GomerDisney, because everyone knows that no childhood is complete without GomerDisney. So food storage will just have to wait." 

"But all the other signs haven't happened yet, so there is no needeth to worryeth. I'm sure we'll get plenty of notice before the flood." 

Note from Becky.  

Of course I'm not talking about a family with no income, or a single parent who can barely put food on the table. There are many legitimate circumstances where people cannot do much with food storage. It reminds me of King Benjamin's speech where he said people should give to the poor, but if they are poor and cannot give, they should have a heart that would give if they could give. (See Mosiah 4:24-25.) If your heart is wanting to obey God and get prepared, He knows that.

Here's another thought. Even people will very meager incomes have prayerfully decided on an amount per paycheck to dedicate to food storage, and they treat it sacredly, almost like tithing. Because tithing and food storage are a matter of faith and obedience, aren't they? Then these people have seen miracles where the Lord has guided them to make that money stretch as they have done their best to obey the Lord's command to get prepared. I invite you to ask the Lord how much He would have you dedicate each paycheck toward getting prepared, and then obey the answer He gives you. 


Jenni Young said...

Isn't that the truth.... You hit every excuse that's out there!
As a single mom, with very little income, I have built my years supply of food storage and water. I live in a very small home. We have buckets of food and cases of water shoved under beds and packed tightly into our closets. My kids dress well, thanks to thrift stores and they play one sport a year on the city team.
When you exercise your faith and choose to be obedient, it all works out and there is no excuse!

Becky Edwards said...

Jenni, Thank you for sharing your personal experience of being a single mom and still being able to obey the prophets' counsel. Awesome. I hope other people reading your comment makes them think, "If she can do it, then God will help me too." It's like 1 Nephi 3:7. God can make the impossible become possible for those who have faith and want to obey. Here's a blog post about that if you're interested.