The Words of the Salonen Family

How One Man Has Moved the World

Neil Albert Salonen
July 24, 2010

The following is an excerpt from a tribute to True Father, given at the World Assembly to Proclaim the Substantial Word of God and the Era of the Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind, on July 24 at the Manhattan Center in New York City.

In 1965, God brought Rev. Moon to America to call us back to our national destiny. For the last forty-five years our True Parents have worked tirelessly to teach us, to urge us to become individuals of absolute faith, of absolute love and absolute obedience.... There are so many examples, I can't possibly convey all of them. I want to pick just three to exemplify each of the teachings. For absolute faith, when others didn't have faith, I think about the Professors World Peace Academy. The world was divided. In Korea, in the early 1960s, there was still no peace treaty between Korea and Japan, and politicians couldn't find a way to resolve this. So Rev. Moon founded an international organization of academics who transcended nations, and they built bridges for politicians to walk across. Shortly after that, the peace treaty was signed, and the prosperity of South Korea began.

It was the same in Africa. It's hard to remember now that the vile apartheid system in South Africa made it very difficult for the richest nation to even communicate with the other nations. But the Professors World Peace Academy, under the leadership of Rev. Moon, in each of those countries, built bridges of friendship in the belief that they could transcend national barriers and work together for a common good. Despite the fact that people couldn't believe it, the apartheid system fell peacefully and a new era began.

The same was true with the reunification of Germany. Most people said it wouldn't happen in their lifetime. But in 1985, in Geneva, Rev. Moon convened a conference of international academics and he insisted that the title of the conference be the Fall of the Soviet Empire. The professors begged him not to use that title -- too strong, too harsh. How about the weakening of the Soviet empire? The moderate reduction of the Soviet empire? He insisted that it's the fall, the time is over! They united with him; that conference was successful, and four years later the Berlin Wall came down. [Applause] That's just an example of absolute faith, when others didn't have it, but the example of absolute love is a little more painful.

Rev. Moon came, and Rev. Moon and Mrs. Moon worked with all of the young people of America tirelessly, teaching them not to use drugs, not to live lives of free sex, but to devote themselves for the good of others. And the harder they worked, the more they were accused by other churches that had not necessarily fulfilled their responsibilities, and through them by government leaders who accused them of the most incredible things -- that we were kidnapping and brainwashing our members, that we were somehow turning them against their own country, turning them against their own families. All of those things were later found and proven not to be true. But during the time of the most intense criticism, government leaders even got the apparatus of the IRS to investigate the church. One government panel even said we were being funded by the Korean C. I. A. Actually, our budget was so small, we weren't being funded by anybody!

A prominent senator [Robert Dole] said that if the IRS couldn't find something wrong with Rev. Moon, there was something wrong with the IRS. A lesser person would've sued for libel, would've demonstrated, would've protested, but a person of true love took it and continued to work for the sake of this nation. Even when he was thrown in prison, Rev. Moon established the Washington Times so that he could work to support this nation and sometimes the very politicians that had ridiculed him. [Applause]

Twenty years later at the United Nations, it was my moving experience when Rev. Moon was speaking and up there on the panel with him the same senator who had attacked him was there to praise him, was there to praise the work he had done with the Washington Times. And the look on Rev. Moon's face will be with me all my life. And at the end of the speech he walked over and embraced him. It's only love, it's only absolute love that can remove the barriers and dissolve the evil and build the bridges and overcome. Rev. Moon has been the most amazing example of that.

And absolute obedience... the very same communists in the Soviet Union and in North Korea who not only ridiculed him and attacked him but threatened to kill him and sent agents to kill him, at the call of God he went to those countries at the risk of his life, because God wanted him to try to offer the hand of friendship. And like Jacob meeting Esau, he offered to help them; he offered to help them if they would open their doors to freedom of religion, and like Esau, they embraced him. 

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