February 23, 2010, Cheon Bok Gung, Yongsan Seoul Korea
The following is an edited transcript of Hyung-jin nim speaking to a group of national leaders who were in Korea to attend the annual National Leaders Assembly.
Good morning, everybody. I hope you had a very wonderful time in Korea, in this historic time. You may even be tired because of all the festivities! You know I mean physically, but I hope you feel spiritually enriched and have found new hope.
As you can see, the Cheon Bok temple has been built, and you’re sitting in it! [Laughter] We’d only seen it in pictures and heard about it, but it’s actually been built. This is the growth-stage temple, as you know. We were able to attend True Parents here, just the other day on the 21st, and that was special. Mother gave such a tearful prayer after the opening ceremony.
I don’t know if all of you were at the ceremony. I think some of you were. Brothers and sisters from all over the world attended it. We had a couple of hundred brothers and sisters from Japan, of course from Korea, and from different regions and continents. All the people that attended were victors. They had given, invested their blood, sweat and tears, to build the world temple. Each person sitting in that auditorium was a victor in donating over twelve thousand dollars for the temple to be built. And each one of those names is up on the wall. Of course, there were so many more that were victorious in that special devotion but due to the size and capacity…
We were able to attend True Parents on that special occasion. True Father really gave his heart, as you saw when he was up there. I told you when we met earlier, that when we are able to declare True Parents in the right way and do our job, which as leaders is to declare that the Second Advent of the Lord, the Messiah, has come. If you’re a leader in the Unification Church, that is your job; that is your occupation—to believe in the Messiah, proclaim the Messiah and bring converts, people that are saved, to the Messiah. When we do that properly and we don’t hide it at all, True Parents feel confident. Did you notice that Father didn’t speak twelve or thirteen hours [at the ceremonies], when we properly declared him? As you saw at the event, we both—Kook-jin hyung and I—very strongly declared him as the Messiah. We did have VIPs. The vice-mayor of Seoul was there. …
The head of the 2012 Yeosu Expo was also present. So we had a totally new upgrade in the level of VIPs that we not only bring to an event but to the actual Unification Church. We have them participate in the service and worship with them. This is a difference in how we are operating. We don’t use “Family Federation,” as you know. We’ve graduated from “Family Federation.” We don’t hide our identity. We’re confident, we’re proud of our faith and our belief in True Parents. Aju! [Aju!] This is why we declare them. At first, when we were doing such things, we had many people saying, “If you do that, the VIPs are going to run; we’re not going to be able to keep these VIPs. We’re not going to be able to witness to people.
Kook-jin nim’s and my experience—after we witnessed to over a thousand new members in our business foundation, who donated to the Unification World temple (the new members have donated over seven million dollars to the temple)—is that everybody told us it was impossible. They claimed that no Korean people would donate to the unification Church. This was the culture. This was the level of faith that existed in the church; It was very low. Whenever we heard that stuff we’d said, “Okay, maybe you think that. But we believe.” And we moved forward and made the results—new members, witnessing, declaring True Parents, bringing higher level VIPs than we ever could before. Why? We are confident in what we believe. We believe what we believe. We are confident; we don’t hide it. We don’t let anybody take our religion, our faith away. We are confident. We know True Parents are the Second Advent of the Lord. I have studied religion and all the founders of religions. No founder was as successful as True Parents; none during the life of the founder had this much of a foundation in the world. Even if you were secular, you’d have to admit that. We should have confidence in True Parents. This is the real key to the Unification Church’s success. It comes through no other medium. It is only through True Parents that will we succeed and fulfill our destiny. This is the hope of our church.
At True Parents’ birthday celebration on Friday, AP requested an interview, so I did a brief interview with them while the festivities were under way. We just did it on the side of the room. They asked me a couple of questions about Father’s health, etc. I said Father is very healthy. Then, they asked me, “So, you are the international president. You are the highest religious authority in the church under Rev. Moon. Are you his successor?”
And I said “No; and I’ll tell you why. Because my father is the Messiah and there’s no other messiah. He has a messianic mission. We don’t have the messianic mission. We are apostles. We declare that the Messiah has come, that the Second Advent of the Lord has come. That is our role.”
Of course, Father uses terminology such as “tribal messiahs,” “family messiahs,” saying we have to become these. But the only ones who reveal and substantiate the essence of God are our True Parents. They are the ones who have revealed the truth of God’s essence and divinity. They are the ones who revealed the purpose of creation, the purpose for which humankind exists. Jesus may have died for us, to save our souls once, but our True Parents have died for us seven times in order to fulfill all the conditions of indemnity that were required, at every single stage—from the individual to the family, tribe, society, nation, world and cosmos, so that we could enter the eighth stage, the stage of God’s direct dominion, which we call heaven, or Cheon Il Guk.
We have to understand what True parents are. I have been constantly reinforcing, reiterating, the point that we must not see True Parents with physical eyes. We’ve done that too much in our movement. We have lost our spiritual senses in that we have viewed and tried to show to the world a more popular vision of True Parents as some kind of peace activist or educator. They’re not peace activists and educators. They are the Returning Lord. They are the Messiah! That is totally different. There are tons of peace activists, many world peace proponents—many, many around the world. Even in history, there were many people who worked for peace, but there is only one Second Advent of the Lord, who comes to fulfill the mission of Jesus Christ, and who in fulfilling that substantiates and totally inherits God’s essence through his life. Only our True Parents have accomplished this task. When we understand this, we can have our spiritual senses opened and we can start seeing what kind of individuals we are standing in front of.
At the event, I tried to remind people that if you stood in front of Jesus Christ, the Lord and Messiah, what kind of attitude, what kind of mind-set would we have in front of Jesus? If you were standing in front of the Buddha, if you stood in front of him, with what kind of attitude would we stand in front of him? When we meet the Dalai Lama, [we think] “Oh!” What if you stood in front of the Buddha? If you were standing as a Muslim in front of Prophet Muhammad, what would be in your heart? Do you understand that all those saints and sages bow down to True Parents? If you can imagine that, the people, the great saints, whom we adore and respect, whom we study with great awe and worship, the very great saints that we love deeply bow down in front of True Parents because they have inherited, actualized, discovered and lived through the greatest love. They have shown the world the highest true love. It’s not only the love of Jesus Christ, who defined the greatest love as the love from a man who would lay down his life for his friends—as he did. He had thorns pressing into his skull. He had his body hung from a cross, nails hammered in, speared in his side—his life exiting. He laid down his life for his friends, and his spirit descended onto hell to save the souls that were waiting, to bring them to our Father in heaven. He was resurrected on the third day. The resurrection of Christ! Jesus rose from the grave. The greatest love—a love with which a man would lay down his life for you and me, sinners—imperfect, full of sin—so that we could enter the kingdom of heaven. Did you understand?
That is an incredible love; Christ’s love has totally transformed the world. Just look at the last two thousand years. Many of you are from democratic countries. Democracy was advanced by the American founders. Of course, they were intellectuals, but they were also religious people, Christians. The world has been changed by Jesus’ love. Millions have been changed by the Buddha’s compassion; even now, a billion have been changed by the Prophet Mohammed’s receiving God’s word.
But above all those, who laid down their life for you, over and over again? Who died and went to hell for us, over and over again with the heart of a parent to save their children, with the heart to endlessly perish and sell even their souls so that we would be free from that, so our children and our grandchildren could be free from that kind of torture and suffering?
Who would do such a thing? True Parents did such a thing. When we understand this, we can understand who and what True Parents are and have done. We can understand the immensity of their accomplishment. We can feel the texture and the power of true love. Can you feel it? This, brothers and sisters, I guarantee you, is going to change the world. I guarantee you. Christ’s love has transformed the world over the past two thousand years. When the world comes to truly understand what true love is and who has fulfilled and completely inherited that and given it to us freely, when they understand who that person is, when they truly understand, the world will be changed.
This is why your jobs are so important. Because you are leaders in our international church, and you are the ones who are to teach and spread what True Parents’ true love is. You are like the Apostles. You must go out and declare what True Parents have done for the world.
That Jesus went out and performed miracles, or that he went out and broke bread with his disciples and was very down to earth is not what Christians go out and declare. They declare that Jesus died for our sins. He laid down his life for sinners like you and I, so that we could find eternal life, and so that we who are undeserving could be free in heaven and be reborn, become new creatures in Christ, and become people who bring God’s love to the world. Isn’t that awesome and amazing? If you think about it, it’s absolutely remarkable.
This is our job. And, oh, what a wonderful job it is! Because who in the world can feel and be surrounded by this kind of true love? Who in the world at this time can have the honor to witness to and testify on behalf of the Lord? It’s an absolute miracle. Don’t you stop sometimes and think, “My God, it’s a miracle! I can live at the time of, declare and witness to the living Christ.”? That is a dream Christians have had for the last two thousand years and that Paul was so fervently waiting for. We are living what the apostle Paul could only dream of. It’s absolutely incredible. Brothers and sisters, I’m not crying [Hyung-jin nim laughs] because I am sad! I’m crying because it’s amazing, and because I feel totally blessed to be able to witness on behalf of True Parents.
I never knew the extent of the path that they had to walk. I always understood them as my father and mother, you know, the normal things—why didn’t they come to our school plays? Why aren’t they home? Why do we have all these people always at our house? [Hyung-jin nim laughs] You know, I felt all the normal stuff that kids complain about, but I never understood who they were. And in my own immaturity I even tried to secularize them, tried to forget and leave out the Messiah and returning Lord stuff. But the more I studied religion, the more I understood the founders of those religions and how serious those founders are—so radical! They were all extremely radical. They broke away from tradition. We usually think the Buddha is quite calm and meditative all the time. He totally broke from tradition! There were plots on his life. Jesus, we know about. The Prophet Mohammed, we know about. The more I came to understand, slowly, my intellectual mind began to play with the idea that True Parents are incredible religious founders. But that was basically the level I arrived at after all my studies in Divinity School and all that. They’re amazing religious founders. They have accomplished an impossible task. You can only say that God blesses what True Parents do. But it was really after I started practicing the Unification Church faith….I had never tithed in my life; I was never told to tithe. Did you know that? That’s crazy! I was never told to tithe, so I didn’t tithe…until I started the ministry. Then I started tithing and I started making all the special donations, doing the conditions, still doing my training, working in the ministry, meeting the members, going to their houses—all those things. Then I could feel something was happening, as I was going from freeloader, free-rider, to owner.
There was this whole culture of rhetoric: “Oh, our members in Japan have to do that because they colonized Korea.” That was a terrible excuse to make the Japanese members suffer. Going and seeing them, sleeping in the churches, visiting them, trying to encourage them, I realized. No more, no more. We are going to have to step up and become owners, responsible and mature, all of us. And we are going to start with the Korean church, which we did. We started with the Korean church becoming fully financially stable, so that we do not receive Japanese blood from our brothers and sisters. I’ve been to Japan over twenty times now, visiting the members, going to the churches, sleeping in the churches. I’ve been to the smallest church in Japan. It’s tiny, very tiny. We really took them for granted. Every time we requested money from True Parents to help our local area churches, guess who paid for that? I never thought about it until I actually saw the people. I realized what a sin we have committed, because I had been in church environments where people actually made fun of Japanese members. (Oh, they’re just fanatics! You know the Japanese…) They used to make fun of them as if that were some kind of radical faith, as if it were part of the Japanese psyche to want to practice that kind of religion. I tell you it’s not. They are people like you and me. As much as you do not want to give up your children’s education fund that you’ve saved for, our Japanese members don’t want to either, but they’ve done it. Or your car that you drive. They also enjoyed their car and their house, which they have donated to the church.
You may have accumulated assets you are investing in different stocks; they also appreciate those things, but they have liquidated all that for the church. When I understood this and saw those people—my God those living, breathing people—we had totally dehumanized them to see them as fundamentalists, fanatics, who just love donating to True Parents. I’m sorry. They are in pain, in tears when they have to donate their car and their house, but they do it, because their faith is incredible. They do it because they believe in True Parents as the Messiah and the Second Advent of the Lord. They are the heroes of our church and they have been for the last thirty years.
So, when we went to try to encourage them in whatever way we could, we made rules. Whenever we went to Japan, they wanted to give Thank You Donations. We said, “We’re not going to take anything. We came to try to encourage you. We’re not going to receive any gifts. No gifts allowed. I don’t come here to receive gifts. Don’t prepare a hotel room. I’m going to go to the church. I’m going to sleep in the churches. And we’re going to pray together. We’re going to bow together. We’re going to train together. And we’re going to believe together.”
They truly changed my life, all the brothers and sisters, those living saints. I was in quite a dilemma because I have to spiritually guide living saints, the lowest of which is a hundred times, a thousand times beyond me. It was quite a challenge, because spiritually I was not yet opening my eyes to True Parents. I was teaching Divine Principle. I was sermonizing, preaching from the pulpit. I was in that kind of extraordinary dilemma where I just had to surrender. If I’m going to have any impact on these living saints, Father, it’s not going to come out of my own ability. So, it was during that time that I entered into more intensive practice and prayer, where True Father revealed, just like the transfiguration where Jesus showed who he was to his disciples, where he stood there in front of the disciples with Moses and Elijah, above them all, completely transfigured, illuminated, his eyes burning like ten thousand suns.
That’s when True Father revealed the seven deaths and resurrections. That completely, completely changed everything for me, because I had never understood. I never thought that True Parents had died for me—never. Yes, they suffered and they built the church… I never thought that they had laid down their lives for me. But when I realized that being even greater than Christ, they had died for a fool like me, willingly sacrificed their souls so I could be free, so my children could see the kingdom of heaven—not just once like Christ but constantly to fulfill every stage of indemnity that had occurred since the Fall.
And I realized they’d been resurrected by the power of true love. Wow! They’re not just a normal dad and mom now. Holy… Holy Baloney! [Laughter] And then, that night, after that vision, after they showed me that, that night I saw Father come to me spiritually. I saw his face and it was like the transfiguration. His face was totally like the sun, it was so bright I couldn’t look into it, but I knew he was there. His eyes were like…just as the Bible describes. That night I wrote a repentance letter. (I never knew who you were True Parents. I never believed.) I was such a coward. I didn’t go the next day to see them because I felt so ashamed. That’s the kind of fool that they’d die for. I couldn’t even go to see them.
But I did go see them eventually. I said, “Father, I never knew.” And Father said, “Finally you understand.” I realized Father couldn’t tell us. He couldn’t tell us, because of the true love that he taught us, where one gives and gives and forgets that he has given, even forgets giving his life, erases that from the list. I realize True Father has lived the teaching. He has done the impossible.
From that point, I went from always having some kind of reservation, some kind of intellectual doubt about who True Parents were, to becoming a believer in True Parents. And I was reborn. My sermons have changed. My devotion has changed. My life has completely changed. Now I understand why Christians all cry and go crazy when they become reborn and why when they talk about eternal life they jump with joy.
That’s why it’s such an amazing blessing. It’s such a profound blessing that we can be here doing this for the Messiah. It’s incredible. It’s not work; it’s completely fun doing it. I feel alive doing it. When I read about the Apostles and I hear of their acts, I can feel, I can understand, why they’re doing what they’re doing. When they testify, it brings me so much joy, even though I feel they’re at the mercy of the prisons or in the times when the Christians felt persecuted by the Jews or by other individuals around—When I read those passages, I can understand why even amongst all that persecution, they felt joy.
Brothers and sister, it is an amazing time to be alive. I hope you feel that. I hope you get that on the inside of you, because you only live once, and you have to stand up for something in your life. You have to. To make it purposeful, you have to stand up for something. How blessed we are that we can stand up for the Lord who has returned! We are so blessed.
I hope this time you had a change of calendar, because it’s a new age. [He laughs.] And I pray that when you go back home you don’t just go back to your normal routine, but you step out, step out of the normal pattern—the normal pattern of sitting in meetings and going, hmm…. hmm… that’s a very important point! Good point! Step out of that and go declare the Lord because he’s here. I pray that we can go back and do such things and bring people to be reborn, to be remade in the image of Christ, to discover their eternal purpose, to find eternal life and to inherit the greatest love of all. I pray that you guys go back—you guys and gals—go back and spread the word.
Thank you so much brothers and sisters. [Applause.]
Let’s pray. I want to pray with you.
Dearest, beloved Heavenly Parents,
Our most beloved True Parents, Father we are so grateful to be here in the presence of Your awesome, unsurpassable, insurmountable true love. We had spoken about true love and taught about it and thought we had been actualizing it, but Father we pray that You can open our eyes, so that we can understand what Your love has been, that True Parents, Your only son and daughter, whom You sent, laid down their lives for us. There is no accomplishment greater in the image of Christ. Father they have paid the price with mind, body and soul, Father, not just once for our individual sins, but with the loving heart of parents, for our families for our tribes, for our nations and the world, and for our world and the spirit world which is included in the cosmos. Father, we thank You because of Your amazing grace. We want to know and we want to understand and inherit that great True Parents’ love—the love with which they will lay down their lives, will die and die and die again to set the children free, to set even the worst evil, the worst satan free, the love which goes beyond anything which mankind has ever known. Father, we thank You. Father, we pray that we can have our spiritual eyes opened, that we can understand what role we are playing and the profound significance of this life that we have been blessed to live at this time. Father we pray that You can come into our hearts and enlighten our minds. Father, fill our spirits because we have emptied ourselves. Father, let us be the vessels and instruments through which You can declare Your coming kingdom, through which You can declare the greatness of Your love. Father, we are so thankful, and we believe. We believe, and we have hope, because where there is hope there is always a way. And Father, You have given us the greatest hope. You have given us hope for eternal salvation. You have given us hope for eternal life with You. You have given us that great mercy, of passing over all the different stages of indemnity because of the son that You have sent. We thank You Father. We pray we can understand and inherit the great love of the seven deaths and resurrections. We pray that we can get that resurrection power on the inside of us. We pray that we can become resurrected and be made new, so that we can become new creations in Christ. Father, that we may see the world, that we may feel the spirit, that we may move with Your heart and that we may change the world for Your glory. Let us be Your instruments. Father, we thank You. We want to pray for each one of the nations that are represented in this room. Father, we pray that our leaders may do their job, that they may lead the members in faith, lead the brothers and sisters in devotion, lead them in the life of love, lead them in believing and finding rebirth. Father, we pray that You can be with each one of the countries and all the brothers and sisters there who are truly waiting for the day to come when the hope that You have given us, Cheon Il Guk, can be in our midst. Father, we pray that we may not only wait but that we may do our 5 percent and create, create the kingdom, create it so that True Parents’ and Your true love can forever shine upon the world. Father we thank You so much and we offer our deepest prayers and thanks on this An Shi Il on the new calendar and in a new era and a new age. We pray these things in our own names, as central, blessed families and in the name of the Lord, our True Parents.
 The donors invited to the ceremony were ones who’d had to overcome extraordinary circumstances to make their temple donation. Some guests who represented organizations or groups may not have personally made the full donation.
 Associated Press, a U.S.-based news agency
Special Thanks to Julian Gray(Today’s World Magazine)