Timber (Yoboku)

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

"Yoboku," literally "useful timber," refers to the human resources that God the Parent utilizes in the building of a world permeated with joy and cheer where everyone helps one another.

Needless to say, a Yoboku needs to be an asset in the task of single-hearted salvation. It is important for a Yoboku, upon receiving the truth of the Sazuke (see 5.27), to be always in the position of engaging in the task of saving and helping others. It is precisely a person who has received the truth of the Sazuke who can be called a "Yoboku."

In the Ofudesaki, we read:

Just a word: the hastening in the mind of God is solely to prepare to assemble useful timber.

Ofudesaki III:128

Of these timbers, it is not to be just a few. I desire a great number of timbers.

Ofudesaki III:130

As noted in these verses, God the Parent hastens to gather many timbers as soon as possible in order to build the world of the Joyous Life.

Just as different building materials have different shapes, characteristics, and functions, "Yoboku" also differ in their respective roles. Just as some material is fashioned into a ridgepole or a beam, others are fashioned into an alcove post or assigned the thankless task of filling the insides of walls. God the Parent draws us, discerns our inherent virtues and qualities, and provides us with our respective places and assignments that we are suited for.

However, the tasks that we each have been assigned are all equally important. A house cannot stand if a single necessary piece is missing. A house will fall if one of these pieces is not able to provide full support. It is vital that we spiritedly dedicate ourselves to the tasks we have been entrusted with while burning with joy and a sense of mission that God the Parent has chosen us to become a Yoboku. It can be said that it is most important for us to be Yoboku who can comply with the divine intention and be of useful service to God the Parent.

As society has advanced, so have skills and technologies of those in various fields. In terms of helping and saving people, the advancement of society has led to an increase in demand for Yoboku who have specialized knowledge and skills in medicine, nursing, sign language, Braille, and other fields. People who work in such specialized vocations while maintaining the mind of single-hearted salvation are especially referred as "healthcare Yoboku," "social worker Yoboku," and so on.