September 4, 2011, Cheon Bok Gung, Yongsan Seoul Korea
Sermon about Hyung-jin nim’s ministry, delivered by the Cheon Bok Gung’s main Hoon-sa nim (Korean Elder).
Most of these sermons are either are transcribed from the simultaneous interpretation provided at Cheon Bok Gung or edited from the preliminary notes the interpreters use for reference. As such, they should not be considered a complete or definitive translation in whole or in part, and are not reliable enough to quote from authoritatively.
At this time I would like to deliver the sermon from Father’s selected words, volume 63 page 28. Let us read this together. “How much you have offered your best and how much jeong seong devotion and life you have invested is the question. That will determine the value and standard of the person”. Aju!
This is our first Sunday service in the month of September and today the title of my sermon is, “The International President’s Jeong Seong and his Ministry”. I pray that you can receive much from this content and that this will be a blessed time.
First, when I speak about the jeong seong, the devotion, and the ministry of our International President, my motivation for doing so is, that we are now at a time when we have to make a new start here at Cheon Bok Gung. Among our members of Cheon Bok Gung, there are some of you who joined after our International President started preparing for his ministry and before you learned about how he voluntarily offered jeong seong and training. So you may not know much about this.
Our members know that our International President started at the Mapo Church. Some of you know this history but our headquarters church is now a conglomeration of many different local churches within Seoul. Some of you, maybe a lot of you, may not know about this.
When Hyung-jin nim began his ministry what was the foundation of jeong seong that he laid? What was the vertical relationship that he had with God and True Parents? If you can understand these points then you can relate to it better and you can have a standard of value.
But if you don’t know anything about these points then you will just look at this horizontally and say, “Well, one of Father’s sons is doing ministry”. You may not understand very well the vertical and horizontal relationships that our International President has. So today in order to learn a little bit more about how heaven has prepared this person, I would like to give you a little explanation. I pray that this can be a blessed and victorious day.
From the year 2000, for seven years, Hyung-jin nim offered continuous devotions and now he has been involved in ministry for four years. This year happens to be his thirty third year since birth. We know about Jesus and his life of thirty three years. Father asked many times,“When will Hyung-jin turn thirty?” So he was truly waiting for this.
The age of thirty was a special age when Jesus as well as our International President began their public ministry. Did you know this?
Yesterday he had his birthday and he began his thirty third year (Western age). This is a very significant time, so we need to explain his background. However, how can I express his thirty three year life course in thirty minutes? I can only pick some small parts of his life and I can explain what I have felt and experienced during the last four years that I have spent with the International President.
Then, let’s look at his birth. There are things that have been prepared since his birth and he also prepared himself in his early life, to become a leader. He was the twelveth child of our True Parents and the seventh son, the last son. When he was in grade school he was a real comedian; he was a real clown. Of course he went out and played wildly, but also, for example, if a teacher came, he went to hide above the bathroom. So he was a real prankster.
In junior high and high school he was very popular among his classmates, also among girls. How did he solve this problem? He started doing martial arts. What kind of society does America have? I don’t know it too well. It is a country with a lot of mixed races and challenges. But Hyung-jin nim kept practicing his martial arts.
After he entered high school and college he was wondering what to do and he decided to totally shave his head like a monk. Then all the girls left him alone. So if we think about what he had to go through, we can see that he was protected in many ways.
Next, with regard to the blessing, when our True Parents asked him, “Would you like to receive the blessing?”, he said, “Yes Father!” right away. Father asked him, “How can you answer this so simply?” Father asked again and he said, “We have seen how you, Father and Mother, live and that is why we want to receive the blessing”. So, on September 6 1997, he was blessed to Miss Lee Yeon-ah. Now, they have four sons and one daughter.
True Parents have many children but Hyung-jin nim was closest to his brother, Young-jin nim. He spoke with him the most and had many exchanges. Young-jin nim was very smart and studied well. Hyung-jin nim didn’t like to study so well, so sometimes he was called ‘idiot’ but Young-jin nim always encouraged him and said, “You are not stupid, you can study”. Young-jin nim could go to a good university, but he took a leave of absence for one year to teach Hyung-jin nim. Then his grades started to go up and he was able to graduate from high school well. So he felt very close to Young-jin nim.
However, Young-jin nim ascended to Heaven all of a sudden. Hyung-jin nim said that when he heard this, he lost all sense of thought. He didn’t know how to live his life and he almost did not feel like living. He was at his worst state. However, he felt that he had to shake himself out of this. From 2000 he started to train himself. He would pray, mediate and offer bows. He did the kind of training where he would not sleep. It was an unspeakable training that he could not describe in words.
From 2003 he went to Japan and studied the Buddhist culture there. There are eighty eight Buddhist holy grounds in Japan. He toured these places. He also went through the training and did not allow himself to sleep. He inherited the kind of training that goes into religious life.
In 2004 he went through the holy sites of Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism. For instance he visited China and studied Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. After that he went to Harvard University and studied comparative religions.
From September 2006, here in Korea, he offered jeong seong of 12,000 bows for the victory of our True Parents world tour. At the Cheon Jeong Gung he studied how the Japanese members are offering jeong seong. He was really moved by how faithful they were, so he offered kyung bae to the Japanese members. Then in the Cheong Pyeong training center he performed a special ceremony in which he washed the feet of a black member and of an elder from the Korean church.
Now he had graduated from the Master’s course, and in 2003 he put out this book. It is called The Moment. At that time True Father was not in very good health so he recorded everything about Father and through these pictures he created this book. Just looking at this book alone we can feel what kind of a filial son he is.
In 2004 he put out another book called A Bald Head and a Strawberry. This is a book about the story of his relationship with True Parents. He expresses Father’s will and Mother’s will and also what triggered his going into the ministry.
In 2005 he came up with a book call Cheon Hwa Dang (“House of Heavenly Harmony”). This book talks about how to unite mind and body and how we can have harmony within ourselves, how we can bring unity between our family members, and how to raise up a harmonious family.
This is the content of his books. The standard of value of Hyung-jin nim is displayed throughout them.
We can also say that Hyung-jin nim is a very human person. The place where he most likes to eat is a simple kimbap [rice rolled in seaweed laver] restaurant and he also likes den jang [soy bean soup]. Very common, plain things!
I have also seen how he relates to an earthworm. Once, after a day of rain, we were walking on the street and we saw a long earthworm on the ground. We could very easily have stepped on it and killed it but Hyung-jin nim picked up the earthworm and put it back near plants and flowers. We would wash our hands and try to get rid of the slime but this is what he did, (shows wiping hand across mouth) he did not even wash his hands and he just wiped his mouth with it. So we witnessed these little acts which were really incredible. He loves to raise up animals. He raises up small fish and frogs, and dogs. He likes birds and even snakes.
One day he said, “Young-jin nim should not always come up in my mind. When I go into my room I keep thinking about Young-jin nim, but I shouldn’t do that.” On Hyung-jin nim’s hand, you can see a big wound here (holds up left hand and points to the place between the thumb and index finger). This is where he cut himself with a knife, almost cutting off his finger, trying to forget about Young-jin nim. That is how deeply he thought about his brother. Young-jin nim is always with him.
He also struggles with many things. He says,“If you look at what is taking place in the Unificationist famiy now, I feel like going into the mountains and just doing training. If that was all I could do, that would be good! But Father says,”No, you have to lead the providence and you have to lead the way”.
So in a word he is the most filial of all sons. Whenever True Father calls him he doesn’t just answer the phone and say ‘Yes’ (matter of fact tone) but he is as if (shows bowing and excitement) receiving Father’s call for the first time in many years. In this way he is always showing his filial piety towards True Parents. We pray that you can also have that kind of standard.(Applause)
After such a preparation period he became a minister for the Unification Church. July 13, 2007 was the exact day that Kook-jin nim and Hyung-jin nim were called before Father. What did they talk about? They discussed this point, “Are you going to go for your Ph.D or are you going to stay in Korea and help True Father?” The conclusion they reached was that if he decided to go into the doctoral course it would take him six years, and Father’s providence would then take more time to be realized.
Since Father is very old, Hyung-jin nim decided that he would already go into the ministry. He then started at the Mapo Church at the end of July. He said that because he was the last child he received so much love from True Parents and he wanted to share it with the members.
His second concern was how to go about his ministry. He asked True Parents what is the most central Chinese character. Father said,“It is the ‘seong’ from ‘jeong seong’ which means integrity, devotion or sincerity . And the next most important character is ‘ae’ the character for love. So, you should carry out the “seong and ae” ministry that is centered on devotion and love.”
How to approach the members? Members are all very important people. He called them VIPs. This was the attitude that he had when he started. For the direction of faith he also chose the initials VIP. ‘V’ stands for Victory: day by day we gain victory little by little. ‘I’ stands for Illumination: everyday little by little we are awakened or enlightened. ‘P’ stands for Peace: everyday, little by little we become more peaceful. This is the ‘VIP’ content that our International President wants us to inherit. Did you understand that? This was his motto in leading and guiding the members. For four months, at Mapo Church he offered jeong seong from dawn with a constant life of devotion.
(Showing a slide) This was when he first carried out the service at the Mapo Church. Now it’s the Shimjung Cultural Center in Mapo.
(Next slide) We prayed for those who were hospitalized. Our International President did all of these things. For four months from July to November he was at Mapo, then in November he came to Cheongpadong Headquarters’ Church and he humbled himself even more. In the morning he would go to the Chogyesa Temple, to the Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral or to the Soonbokeum Church. After the Sunday services he would go to other churches and he did a study of the future of our Cheon Bok Gung Church.
He went to Mount Maebong every morning, in the rain, in the snow, in subzero weather, every morning! He continued his jeongseong and what he called the ‘Danbury training’. What do people dislike the most? It’s a smelly toilet, right? So, cleaning up the toilet was called the ‘Danbury training’. The toilet is full of germs, dirty and smelly but cleaning there he offered his Jeongseong and he always liked to keep the Cheongpadong Church’s bathroom as clean as his rooms were.
Then in July he had a revelation about the ‘Seven deaths and resurrections’ of our True Parents, the seven deaths that they had gone through. During the period from July 29 to August 5 2009 he offered 21,000 bows. He had a dream that people were falling into hell and that True Parents were fighting for the life of every one of them, to bring them out of hell. That was the vision that he saw.
As a result he explained the ‘Seven deaths and resurrections’, the ‘Completion of the eight stages, ‘True Parents’ victory’ and ‘I’m alive, thank you!’ He then created the Tongil mark and the ‘Give and receive action, four position foundation, let us inherit the true love of God and return glory to God until our ascension’. Until when? Until the day we die. He created this kind of culture.
What do these things teach us? They tell us, very accurately, how our International President built a vertical relationship between True Parents and himself. What kind of attitude we should have in our life of faith from the time that we are born to the time that we die. This is what is expressed here.
Our International President’s book is about why we have to offer devotions. He said that we have to offer devotions in order to reflect on ourselves. If we don’t look back and reflect on ourselves, we become arrogant and we can lose our way. In order to prevent ourselves from going the wrong way, we offer jeongseong, devotions.
We think about our True Parents who went through the ‘seven deaths and resurrections’, who were victorious through the eight stages and who fought with Satan. We realize their value not by looking at them through physical eyes but through spiritual eyes. During the training, if we say,“Father”, then we can see Father in suffering, Father in tears, Father in difficulties,which brings tears to our eyes. What confession comes after this? The confession that we are sinful, that I am a sinner.
After he received his revelation he wrote a letter to our True Parents saying, “Until now I had been looking at you with physical eyes but now I can truly look at you with the eyes of heaven.” Then he offered a bow before our True Parents and begged for their forgiveness. At that time True Father looked at Hyung-jin nim and said, “So, now you have come to know my heart!” and shed tears. True Parents also wiped away his tears. This kind of deep-rooted relationship between parent and child exists between them.
In the beginning, he related with our members on a horizontal basis. He spoke to them horizontally and he approached them horizontally. But after the period of training he now understands the importance of the ‘seven deaths and resurrections’ and the fact that we are in a position of sinners.
In the beginning his message was one of encouragement and praise, all the time. However from a certain point it changed to the realization that “I am a sinner.” Perhaps some members think that there is a fundamental change in his mindset, that our International President has changed, because of the change in the tone of the sermons.
What he has been stressing is that if we look at True Parents through spiritual eyes then we are able to recognize the course of hardship and suffering that True Parents have gone through, the ‘seven deaths and resurrections’, the ‘eight stages of growth’, as victors who have gone through these stages. Think of True Parents’ course and how much torture Father had to go through!
As Hyung-jin nim attended and served his father, True Parents received encouragement from their son. This was the beginning of the Holy Spirit Healing Service. Father has been tortured so many times and until now his body has been wounded and in pain. But even within the tortures he established the standard of victory.
We can accept True Parents as the Messiah and as the Lord of the Second Advent when we can understand his course and that we are sinners and must repent for our sins. When we can express this clearly, this is when we can really appreciate the value of our True Parents. (Applause)
When Hyung-jin nim began his ministry in 2007 our members were very exhausted. Of course we understood that we were the descendents of our fallen ancestors, but we were not even sure about what our True Parents had really done for us, that they had gone through a course of indemnity in order to indemnify our sins. We very easily had forgotten that after death we would go to the spirit world and that this place was eternal. We had forgotten all those things.
Through meditation and prayer Hyung-jin nim began to understand where we were at, what our situation was. Hyung-jin nim always went a step ahead and layed the foundation for us to follow. In the beginning we had a certain style for our Sunday services. In those days we did ‘aju’ very loudly and we had a different style of music and so forth, but this was not familiar to the Asian members of our congregation. We went through various trials and errors in order to come up with a style. However, it is amazing that a true child is leading the ministry as a minister.
True Parents have been sought-after throughout the providence of God and we know that they are going this course in order to restore history. Our Unificationists members always have good faith and we pray that tomorrow will be better than today and that we can improve our faith day by day. We have a positive mind and we have the courage to do various things.
Hyung-jin nim also came and greeted each one of us, shook hands, took pictures with us and truly invested his heart and love into each and every member. We ourselves must make these efforts to grow and overcome our limitations.
We think about how our True Parents have been attended by Hyung-jin nim and his wife. Hyung-jin nim and Yeon-ah nim say they have become much closer to True Parents having stayed with them night and day since April this year.
As we read, in the beginning, in True Father’s words in volume 63, it is how much jeong seong we have invested which decides and determines the standard of value of a person. Because Hyung-jin nim has offered this kind of devotion, then we have come to know that he was somebody totally prepared by God and heaven. If we know the heart of our True Parents and know the heart of the International President and his wife and if we decide to go forward to accomplish our goal then we will feel what it’s like.
Our respected brothers and sisters, our True Father is somebody sent by God in the place of Adam. He is a unique person, absolute, unchanging and eternal. What kind of person is our International President? He is somebody chosen by heaven which means that he himself has voluntarily made preparations. Hyung-jin nim is someone who has preserved God’s tradition, preserved God’s lineage and inherited God’s tradition in a very pure way. I hope that you can remember this. (Applause)
The Moon clan is very impatient. In order to restore the original state of humankind True Father trained himself, and our International President also went through much training. He says that, being a member of the Moon clan, he doesn’t know what would have happened if he hadn’t trained himself.
The second point is that he offered much jeong seong and training.
The next point is that he has established absolute faith with True Parents. Since April he has been attending True Parents and in order to inherit the true love of God he has carried out endless and constant training. He is not here at the moment. Whenever I see our International President he is attending our True Parents.
If we want to become like True Parents and shoulder all of the providence of the world then we need to attend them and inherit qualities from them. Therefore it’s not a problem that Hyung-jin nim is absent from the church at this time. For the future he needs to inherit the heartistic realm and everything from our True Parents. So let us give him a big round of applause and encourage him and their couple.(Big applause)
The third point is that he studied comparative religions and prepared himself to become a global leader. He has made his efforts and he has come up with the Tongil thought, philosophy of ‘Give and receive action, four position foundation, and inheriting God’s true love until our Seung Hwa’. This seems to be very simple but a very important message is found here. When we offer our kyung bae, we thank God and True Parents and after we say our Family Pledge with our heart and mind we inherit that.
Among the world religions Islam seems to be growing the most rapidly. It’s very conspicuous these days. Do you know how many times a day they offer their devotions? Five times a day! Hyung-jin nim is offering a foundation of eight devotions a day.
Because I have been able to witness these things during the last four years while attending Hyung-jin nim, I would like to share them with you periodically, also to share with you about his futuristic philosophy, his forward-looking thought, and how we can have victory over the providence of Cheon Bok Gung.
I pray that you can all become direct disciples of True Parents by following the course of our True Parents and of our International President. A few weeks ago we heard about the direct disciples who followed Jesus. St. Paul could not become a direct disciple because he did not live in the same age as Jesus, but you are all living in the same age as our True Parents. Therefore you can all become direct disciples.
I am not envious of any of the major religions such as Buddhism. Our International President has said that the way Unificationists can have their own identity is by following the way of True Parents. And I am convinced that this is how we can receive salvation. Let us pray!