The Words of the Toffey Family
As our senior pastor likes to say, I have a little interesting story for you. This one deals with life and death here in Seoul. There were two Korean fellows at the gates going into heaven, one was Moksanim Kim (Pastor Kim) and the other was bus driver Kim.
Now you can imagine that Moksanim Kim is very proper. He goes up to the gates and St. Peter is looking over his paperwork and says, "Well, Moksanim Kim, I'm sorry. You can't really enter right now." Moksanim Kim is so upset. He is kind of dazed as he walks off a little bit.
Next was bus driver Kim. He comes up and, without blinking an eye, St. Peter says, "You can come right in!"
Moksanim Kim comes on over and says, "How come he goes in, but I can't?" St. Peter says, "Well, you know, every time you gave a sermon, everyone slept. But when this bus driver drove in Seoul, everybody prayed!"
I have some readings here today. Probably you know that I am not really a biblical scholar, a religious scholar, but I have some quotes here which I think are important for you to know.\
The first is a Jewish proverb,
"I ask not for a lighter burden, but for bigger shoulders."
Have you been there and done that? The next one is from Mother Teresa, saying,
"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle; I just wish He didn't trust me so much".
The next one I really like is from Winston Churchill when he said,
"If you are going through hell, keep going! Don't stop!"
The next one is very meaningful, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, saying,
"When it is dark enough, you can see the stars."
And probably my favorite of all these is the following,
"I had heard that there are troubles of more than one kind; some come from ahead and some from behind; but I have brought a big hat, I am all ready you see; now my troubles are going to have troubles with me;"
by Dr. Seuss. Let's give Dr. Seuss a big hand. Is everybody awake? Yes! Either that or I will become a bus driver!
How many people here marched to the new church temple last week? A good percentage of people! It's really an amazing place, right? Yes! Fantastic? Yes! It was really amazing. My topic today is "Marching to the New Temple." I would like to talk about that today. First of all, if Adam and Eve had not fallen, would we have needed a temple? From a Principle point of view, we know it is no. What was the purpose of Adam and Eve? What were they supposed to do? They were supposed to grow to become perfected individuals. And what does that mean? Does that mean that they would never make mistakes? No. That meant that they were loving and giving beings, and loving as God loves, and had joy in their heart in their day-to-day life. So Adam and Eve were supposed to become, actually, a dwelling place of God. Ultimately, that was really where God wanted to be. God wanted to experience life through Adam and Eve; experience joy through Adam and Eve as individuals. But also as Adam and Eve grew up and grew their level of maturity, God's hope was that they, as a son and daughter of God, would get married and then create a family-level temple, actually.
As Adam and Eve really stood on their own two feet as loving people, then God would be in the very center of their union as a family, as husband and wife. God really wanted to be the center of that. God wanted to be within the family and experience not only individual perfected love but also husband and wife love. God really wanted that. Because within God are God's masculine characteristics and God's feminine characteristics. God is both masculine love and feminine love, and that can be really expressed in the family. Would that have been a nice family? Adam and Eve as two human beings perfected in love, creating a marriage centered on love. It is very simple, actually.
One really nice thing about the family as a structure is that a family is a self-perpetuating existence. Once you have a husband and wife, what happens? You end up with little kids, and having little kids actually is more for our growth as parents than it is for the perpetuation of the species. In other words, as parents we get to learn a whole other way of loving and that is -- loving our children with 100% unconditional love. Isn't that nice? That family then has children, and those children go on to have children, so ultimately that family blossoms out to become a tribe and a community.
So if you had a real community where people were centered on the true love of God, wouldn't that be a nice place? What is more beautiful in the universe than a perfected individual? I think I heard the answer -- nothing! There was a deafening silence! So therefore, here in Seoul, how many people live in Seoul? 11 million, 13 million? So, actually, Seoul should be one of the most beautiful places on the earth with 13 million perfected individuals. Should be. But we know that Adam and Eve did not fulfill their responsibility. They did not grow themselves but instead fell away, and their love became impure and self-centered instead of loving and giving. We see the breakdown not only in Adam and Eve's life, but also in their family with Cain and Abel, and in all the generations up until now.
God has not changed what God wants to accomplish. So, therefore, God has had the process of restoration, trying to restore His original ideal to this place where, in fact, the 13 million people of Seoul would actually be the most beautiful place on the planet because we are so condensed! Aren't we condensed here? So the process of restoring all of humanity is actually the process of restoring one human being, and then restoring one family, and then restoring a tribe and a community, and a nation and a world.
I did a couple of searches -- as I said before, I am not a biblical scholar, but I can use the internet. I am very talented that way! I went to one website and I used the word 'temple' in a bible search. In one version of the bible there were 183 references to the word temple; in another version there were 632 references, and in another version there were over 800 uses of the word temple in the bible. I am not going to debate that. But instead, we really know that God wanted to dwell in Adam and Eve and that is what God wanted to restore. God has had this process of trying to restore that original ideal. We can see that 2000 years ago when Jesus came, Jesus was actually the first person on the planet who we could really say had inherited the true love of God, who had become the temple of God, the dwelling place of God within himself. God was able to dwell within him so that when you saw him you saw the Father. When you heard Jesus' words, you were hearing the words of God. This was so important.
Actually, as we know, Jesus was crucified before he was really able to go to the next level and establish a true family; a true family that could self-perpetuate itself. As I said, the ideal is to have a man and a woman create the kingdom of heaven on earth. But now here we are 2000 years later and God has not stopped His providence; God has continued to march forward trying to accomplish that original ideal. As members of the Unification movement, we do recognize that Reverend and Mrs. Moon have become, have fulfilled, that original responsibility that Jesus was trying to accomplish; not only just for individual perfection but coming together as parents and becoming True Parents for humankind.
What an exciting time it is for human history because now that ideal has finally been established here on earth. Our True Parents have not only done that on the individual level, but our True Parents have laid the foundation for all things to be restored, for all things to be changed. It has been the foundation that our True Parents have laid through their sacrifice. As Hyung Jin Moon, our senior pastor has said, our True Father has gone through seven deaths and resurrections to get to the level at which we are at today; through going the way of the cross many times over.
I think we should be really excited about going to the new growth stage temple -- the temple just within walking distance from here. Are you excited about that? "Yes!" If you could have been there, you would have been really excited because that Temple represents God's first real true foothold here in Seoul on such a level. It is so exciting because that new Temple is a place where God will dwell.
It is also going to be our community Temple. Our movement over the years has focused a lot on doing providential events, campaigns and different projects that have been necessary in order to get our worldwide movement as we see it around here, with people from every continent. There have been a lot of sacrifices, bloodshed, sweat and tears for people to be able to come together from around the world. One of the things that have been sacrificed has been our community. We have not really built our community in a very strong way. We have been individuals worshipping together and going in different directions and doing different things. But the time of wandering in the wilderness is gone; it is no longer here. It is a time of settlement. It is a time where we need to build the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth.
I do not think it is a coincidence that the building we are moving into was actually a community center before we did the renovations. It was a Seoul community center where in its many rooms educational programs were held for people. Different things have been going on in that building over the years. We are taking this community center and turning it into a Temple. I still think it can be a community center for all of us as we seek to build the new Temple. Have you seen it? It has lecture rooms in it. It has meeting rooms where we can have effective meetings (Laughter), where we can strategize on how we can actually build the Kingdom of Heaven. There are counseling rooms because we do need to be counseled, right? We need counseling and guidance because it is no longer a time where we can suppress our problems. It is a time of liberation and we have those kinds of activities available for all of us.
There will be activities. Someone really wants to start a dance activity and teach joy through dancing, right? Anyone who wants to know about dancing, Angela, please stand up! We actually do really need to learn how to live in the new Kingdom in the new world. God is going to be dwelling there and we are going to go there. How should we go there? How should we go to the new Temple? To actually go to a new Temple we should have a new mind and a new heart. One thing I recommend is that before you go to the Temple, and this is completely unofficial, stand outside and stamp yourself a little bit, stamp your shoes and yourself and shake off all your negative feelings. Shake off bad thoughts. Shake off sadness. Shake it all off! Realize when you are going in you are going to a place where God is dwelling and you can meet God face to face. Shake it off and anticipate meeting God. In other words, have a longing to really go in there and have an experience, an experience of God.
So what is at the core of the new Temple? God. God and the true love of God! True love is really the center of everything we are doing. The Temple is our way of expressing love to God but also it is a place where God can express His or Her love for us. It is going to be a place where we need to learn to practice the way of true love. We need to practice the way of true love. It is not something that actually comes naturally to us because the natural world that we have been exposed to all our lives has actually been a world that has been teaching us the wrong way of loving. We show God our love by practicing loving each other. We can show our love by the way we sing, the way we pray, the way we greet each other every day, there at the Temple.
How do we practice true love? How many people here play an instrument? Some of you play an instrument, right? When you first pick up an instrument, especially one like the violin and you never played a musical instrument before; doesn't it feel strange just to pick it up? It feels odd. You have seen other people playing the violin. You stick it up under your neck and you take the bow and you make some noise with it. And that is all it is. It is just noise. It screeches and it just does not sound good at all, right? We need to practice loving the same way we learn to play an instrument. Over time and by doing things that are mechanical, by doing things that are forced and doing things repeatedly, we actually begin to learn how to use that instrument. Eventually, hopefully, we will be able to get up there and play the violin exactly to what is on the paper, very freely. Just look at it and make the violin sing. It takes practice to do that. Even going beyond just reproducing what is on the paper, maybe there is a song in your heart and you want that song to come out as beautiful music.
With the violin you can do that, with the piano you can do that but it takes practice and it takes time doing things that are strange, doing things that are unusual, spending the time repeatedly trying to learn how to play that instrument. True love is no different. We have to practice the way of true love by doing things that might sound strange to our ears, by doing things that might be unusual, day in and day out. They say if you do not practice the violin for one day, you know it when you go back to practice the second day. When you do not practice for three days, your teacher knows it. Isn't that true? And if you do not practice one week, the whole world knows it. Practice is super important.
Practical guidance! Part of practicing true love is getting to know people that you do not know; people who might seem strange to you, different then you. I learned one thing in my life: when I was with a group of people, among them was a person that I felt was really strange and that I would never in my life want to interact with that person. Usually the way the heavens work, it always seems I have been forced to work with such people. Whether they are my boss or just somebody in a church community, it is always the same. But what I find out is that that person is the most fascinating person and has helped me grow more than other people that I have known.
We need to get to know people we do not know and learn how to encourage each other. We realize that each and every one has the potential of heaven in them and we need to encourage that. Why? Because the evil world will say: "You can't win, you can't make it and you are no good!" That is what the world is saying, right? You say you want to be a musician. "Yeah? A lot of people want to be a musician." "What do you mean you want to be a singer? There are so many other people who want to be a singer. You should study to be an accountant." Even parents will give the same kind of advice to their children, not really believing in the dreams that they have. How we encourage each other is really important in our lives and in the quests that we have. We also need to be joy makers and bring joy to others.
Please stand up and we are going to practice these things right now! Come on, stand up! I want you to turn to someone that you do not know well. You get to pair up for this. You are doing a pretty good job here (chatting in the background). Hold on; you have to follow instructions here. You are not paying attention. Stop being so nice to each other! (Laughter) No, it is OK! What I want you to do is to turn to your partner and say, "Hi, my name is….", then give your name! Return back and say, "Hi, my name is…" and then use that person's name, by saying, "It is very nice to meet you, Dave!" Use their name! Say, "Yes, it is very nice to meet you, Dave!" We have to do this in steps. Now stay and bear with me! What you are supposed to say now is, "Wow, you are an amazing person! You are pretty good at that!" Next you say, "You have incredible potential!" Next say, "God really loves you!" Now, this is the hard one, turn to that person and say, "I love you, too!" Give that person a high five, give yourselves a hand and please sit down!
Doesn't that feel good? A little strange maybe, a little awkward, especially when you turn to somebody and say, "I love you." If these brothers and sisters are really our brothers and sisters, we need to love each other. We need to practice the way of true love every day as individuals. Try that same thing in front of the mirror every morning before you leave the house. Turn to a mirror and say, "Wow, you have incredible potential. You are really wonderful. God loves you. I love you." We need to learn to love ourselves too, the way God loves us. In our families we need to love our spouse. When was the last time you went up to them and said: "Wow, you are amazing?" Every day with our community we need to go up and meet and greet each other. Something as simple as giving your name even though sometimes people can be a little nervous about an interaction because they have seen your face but they do not necessarily know your name, so just greet each other and love each other. Aju!
If we create a community of such love at the new Temple where brothers and sisters really love each other, we sing with full hearts, we greet each other, we participate in activities, we are praying in our worship and we dance! If we do all these things with such a true love in our hearts, then when someone comes into our congregation that we do not know or have not met before, we are not afraid to say, "Hi, my name is Kyle and I am very happy to meet you. Where are you from? It is great that you are here. Wow, you are really amazing!" If we have that kind of feeling in our hearts, I do not think gaining 21,000 new members at the new Temple is going to be difficult at all. Why? Because we are going to have activities there and people are going to come. If they come and feel enveloped in the true love of God, then because of the love they feel not only directed at them but how we treat and love each other and how we are expressing that love of God, then the 21,000 will not be a problem; 210,000 people will not be a problem. Do you think it will be a problem if we can generate that kind of love in our Temple? I want to hear that one more time. Do you think that is going to be a problem? "Noooo!"