The Words of Won Pil Kim
A 1955 photo of Father and Rev. Kim with two early followers from Pyongyang: Mrs. Se Hyun Oak (left) and Mrs. Seung Do Chi (right). Both women are now living in Seoul.
So many details of Father's early life are not yet known. Father has indicated that in the future he will share these things with us, as well as a complete explanation of Divine Principle. Thus, even Rev. Kim, who has been at Father's side for more years than perhaps anyone else, acknowledges that many gaps in our knowledge of Father still remain to be filled. There are perhaps 6 members presently in our family who followed Father during the time he was teaching in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea.
The following account of Father's early ministry in Pyongyang, 1946-48, is compiled from a series of talks Rev. Kim gave to participants in the 120-day workshop at the World Mission Center. Parts of Rev. Kim's commentaries are especially directed to leaders, but many of the lessons he draws from Father's early public ministry have not been published elsewhere and are relevant to all of us members. One of the unique aspects of this history is the explanation of hat motivated people to act in the ways they did. Some explanatory material is given in brackets. For further details on this period of Father's life, see the transcript of Rev. Kim's October 14, 1979 speech entitled, "Testimony of Father's Life," available from HSA publications.
This account of the origin of the persecution against Father and our movement is especially interesting in the light of the current indictment against Father. When the people who accused Father in those days learned the kind of person he really is, they repented and came to ask his forgiveness. Perhaps the same will happen again.
In 1948, Korean Christian leaders joined to denounce Father and had him brought to trial. The articles following Rev. Kim's testimony indicate that Korean Christians are showing interest in our movement and supporting some of its activities.
It was in July 1946 that I first met Father, in Pyongyang, the capital of the newly-divided northern section of Korea. Father left for North Korea on June 6, 1946, and I first met him 40 days afterwards. At that time, Father was 26 years old, but to me he seemed much older.
My aunt was born into a very fine Christian family, and she grew up with a very deep faith in Christianity; however, she still had many questions. When she met Father, to her surprise, all her questions were answered; Father gave really fundamental answers, which became the basis for her faith in him.
At that time, I was just 18 years old. Ten days after graduating from senior high school, I went to visit my aunt to discuss with her about my future, but instead, she took me to Father and the Unification Church, knowing that meeting Father would decide my destiny.
My aunt presented Father as a young man who had recently come from South Korea and who worshipped God in spirit and in truth. I had been a Christian, but my faith was not so deep. I was not mature enough, and even though I had read the Bible, I did not understand it deeply enough. I used to pray, even though I really didn't know how. Still, in the depths of my heart, I was always looking for truth and for God.
When I heard about Father, I went there right away; however, he had gone to a holy mountain where many religious people used to go to pray to God, so I could not meet him that day. After a week, however, I returned, and this time I was able to see Father.
Even though it was a week day, many people had come to see Father. Many spiritualists and religious people who were looking for truth and anticipating the Last Days would drop in to listen to Father. People were always coming and going, and Father was constantly occupied during those days.
I was still a young boy, and when I saw many people asking Father questions, I just kept silent, content to listen to him. I didn't ask questions because I didn't know anything; I had no knowledge of truth.
When I first met him, Father told me something which entered deep into my being and still remains there. He said, "You meditate very much, don't you? But your meditation should have some focal point." It was true, especially at that time. I would meditate about many things for long periods of time, but the central point was lacking, something which I myself hadn't recognized at all. Father could see immediately what was missing in me. I really wondered why he could comprehend me so instantly.
For many years after joining the family, I didn't know how old Father was. I couldn't ask him his age. For me, Father seemed much older than his physical age. He was a tremendously hopeful and peaceful person, and I was so attracted to him. My heart immediately went out to Father when I saw him, because I felt very peaceful when I was with him. I took notes on every word he said, and I studied them over and over, committing them to memory. Wherever I went, I would always remember Father's words, and in whatever I was doing, I would think of his words. I carried them in my heart.
Father spent much time meditating and praying, especially on Sundays. At that time, even though I was together with Father, I did not have the chance to ask him questions. I respected him so much; to me he seemed so noble that I could not approach him to speak to him. Many members had deep experiences, receiving innumerable blessings from God. They seemed so elevated that I would not speak even to them. Although I attended church regularly, I don't remember talking with anybody. I would always listen.
After Sunday service, Father and the members would often go out somewhere in the countryside and Father would invite people to ask him questions. Once Father asked me whether I had any questions. I believed every word of his and I thought I understood his teachings pretty well, so I said I didn't have any questions. However, from Father's point of view, I didn't understand sophisticated concepts. He told me, "Please remember that the Unification Church is very unique -- totally unlike anything in the past or anything that will develop in the future. In all of history, there is only one Unification Church." (Of course, at that time, we had no name like Unification Church; Father just said, "this group.") Because my understanding was not deep enough, Father spoke to me in this way.
In a sense, he was giving me a kind of conclusion to the Divine Principle, by saying that our group was unique and distinct from anything in the past or to come.
Where Father was living at that time did not look like a church; it was just an ordinary house, the home of a young couple who had been searching for the truth.
They had been training themselves to live by a strict standard and maintain a pure life; even though they were husband and wife, they didn't have any sexual relationship. There were also two relatives living with them, but their lives were more self-centered. It was a very small house (approximately 10 by 13 feet) which included a kitchen, one room which served as a living room, dining room and bedroom, and in the back one very small room in which Father stayed.
Korean houses do not have central heating. [Underneath the floor there is an open space. In the winter people build a fire and heat up stones, which retain warmth for many hours. A system of ducts transmits the warm air from the front of the house to the rear, and then up a chimney.] Father's very small room at the rear of the house did not receive any heat, so in winter it would become very cold.
This house was in a residential area, where houses were built in rows, each one touching its neighbor. In the West, there is usually some distance between houses, so that even when you speak loudly your neighbors are not bothered. But in Korea at that time, the neighbors were so close that they could overhear conversations next door. The sound of singing, of course, carried very easily.
Try to imagine the circumstances then. When he gave lectures, Father would shed his sweat and tears; when praying, he cried so many tears. In addition, the members around him cried during their prayers. But for me, prayer time was very difficult. I really suffered because I couldn't shed tears when most of those around me were weeping. Tears just didn't flow from my heart. After prayer ended, people would wipe off their tears, and I would wonder why I could not shed tears. I felt very sorry and kind of ashamed.
Now it may not seem so strange for men and women to sit together in the same room until late at night, but in those days in Korea, customs were very strict, and when men and women stayed together in a small room such as we did and spoke together for hours on end, people immediately became suspicious of some wrongdoing. "Oh, something strange is happening there," they would murmur.
In the West, walls are thick and doors are strong, so people cannot easily peek inside a room or eavesdrop on a conversation. But in the Orient, the doors are thin and sometimes you can see through them. Thus, everyone could see us and hear what we were saying. But because Father concentrated so completely on giving guidance to those who came to listen, he did not care what others said.
When people came to visit him, Father would give a lecture on the Principle, using a piece of paper. His lectures were very simple, but very clear. He would explain about the Principle of Creation, the Fall of Man and the Principle of Restoration, highlighting the main points. His lectures lasted about an hour or two, but they were very clear and very simple.
In those days, Father didn't give Divine Principle lectures as we know them now, but rather expounded on the Bible. He poured all his heart, mind and energy into giving lectures. Father was so concerned that the members would be able to inherit God's tradition. Of course, there was no Divine Principle book published at that time [the Divine Principle book was written in Pusan, after Father was released from the concentration camp at Hungnam], so he was teaching the Bible from the Principle point of view.
Regarding the Second Coming, for instance, he taught that it would not occur in the clouds, but that the messiah would be born as a man. He would show from the Principle of Creation how logical it was for the Second Coming to occur in this manner. Also, many spiritualists had already received this by revelation, and some even knew that the messiah would come to Korea. Many people had received revelations that Pyongyang was the second Jerusalem.
On Sundays, before giving a sermon, Father would pray for a very long time. Before the meeting began, the members would be singing and preparing themselves to receive his words. At that time, Sunday service usually started at 10:00, so most of the members would come an hour or two early to sit and pray. They would prepare themselves and pray to separate themselves from Satan. Then they would sit and wait for Father to speak to them. Father had told them to get ready in such a way.
Father himself would prepare by praying for many hours. Before getting up to give a sermon, and even before thinking about what to speak, he would pray for the brothers and sisters. Five minutes before time to begin, God would reveal to him the title of the sermon for that day. Father wouldn't decide on the purpose of the sermon the previous day, but God would reveal it to him at the last moment. In contrast, Mr. Hyo Won Eu [the first president of HSA-UWC] would prepare his sermons the day before and write out the contents in detail. But Father told him that if he wanted to speak for one hour, he should pray at least three hours for the brothers and sisters who would come to listen to his words.
At that time, whatever Father did -- whether it was praying or giving a lecture -- he always did it with many tears. Now Father is over 60 years old, but still when he speaks, he is very energetic and speaks very forthrightly. Can you imagine how he was at the age of 26?
I want you to understand why Father lectures in such a loud voice. Because he is so full of energy, you might think that this is just his way of expressing it, but that is not true.
I heard that True Mother once suggested to Father, "I heard the members say that they have been sitting for a very long time, so would you please make your talk a little shorter?" Father answered, "When I was speaking, I could see people changing and being resurrected. But when I stop giving the word, their resurrection is immediately cut off. So I cannot help continuing." In other words, Father's speeches really give life to the people; his words are so beneficial; one part of his speech gives life to one person, another part to someone else, and so on. So he speaks so long in order that all can receive life. This is totally different from ordinary lectures; the usual lecture just imparts knowledge, but a Divine Principle lecture gives people life.
Perhaps some of you have had the experience of seeing people who are dying spiritually gradually resurrect through receiving the Principle. When you observe this resurrection, you feel great joy. The same thing is true with Father. When he sees people dying spiritually, he is so desperate to give them a lecture and save them from the state of death. Father was not just imagining that; he could actually see people in the state of death. Also, he could see Satan beside the members, tugging at them and trying to pull them away. When Father would see this, he would become so desperate and speak very loudly, putting ail his energy and sincerity into the lectures.
Imagine that your beloved child is about to drown. He is far from the shore, and you can see that he is sinking. In order to save him, would you speak softly or loudly? What attitude would you take? When Father sees us, he realizes that we are dying. Usually, when people look at each other, they perceive only the physical body, but we should not forget that behind us stand our ancestors, good and bad, and behind them the entire spirit world, good and bad. Father can see this very clearly.
With that kind of preparation, when Father spoke, many spiritual phenomena would occur during the sermon. If someone had not prayed or prepared enough before listening to Father, some spiritualist might come over and say something to him or her. Many times spiritual phenomena would take place during Father's sermons. At that time, Father didn't interfere with these events, but just let them occur.
The spiritualists who came to hear Father in those days were mostly old ladies. When they would point out some error, the brothers and sisters would be terrified of them, even though they were just little old women. If the members' motivation was right, however, they wouldn't feel fear.
Now, people who come to hear Father rarely prepare so deeply, but in those days we came with such a serious attitude. We always checked our motivation, our heart, and our spiritual situation; if something was dark, out of alignment or not joyful, we would take steps to clear it up. At that time, we were in the servant's stage, so if members had something wrong inside of them, the spirit world would come and point it out and judge them.
We are now in the children's stage, so the spirit world doesn't directly judge us. For us, our original mind should fulfill this role and point out what is wrong.
For the servant, education requires kicking out the evil and changing it. But for the child, education means first giving the truth and then letting him understand the right way to live, guided by the light of truth. This is the difference between education for the servants and education for the children.
Father knows when our preparation is not adequate, when there is something wrong inside of us, but he rarely points this out, because as children, our education requires something deeper. Father first gives us the truth, the Principle, so we can recognize for ourselves the proper attitude we need to develop. He tries to educate us through giving guidance, with the hope that we will recognize our shortcomings by ourselves and repent and correct them. Regarding this point, then, don't think that Father knows nothing about your situation; please don't neglect your internal condition when you meet Father. Please realize that Father already knows your situation.
Usually, Father doesn't speak about our weak aspects or point out what is wrong with us. Even in those days, he didn't do so. But the spiritualists could see people's past and point out these things to the members.
Actually, spiritual phenomena are not limited to the early days of Father's ministry, but they continue to occur around us, even though we may be unaware of them. The important thing is that God and Satan are fighting very hard for us, each of them trying to take us to his side. So in your daily life, you have to control the spiritual influence around you and be aware of the direction you are headed, whether towards God or towards Satan.
Then, the spiritualists pointed out all the evil inside the members, but now our original mind should take over this function. In our hearts, we should have this kind of spiritual sensitivity, to pick out the evil inside us and judge it.
For about 20 years before True Father came to North Korea, religious groups had been praying to receive the Second Coming. God directly told many things to the founder of one religious group that came to be known as the Inside Belly Church. He revealed the nature of the original sin, why Jesus was crucified, and the manner of the Second Coming. This woman and other spiritualists as well knew that the Second Coming would take place in Korea. Members of the group donated all their property to the church and prepared themselves externally and internally for the second advent.
This woman was born in the countryside and had never received much education. So even though she received these revelations, she did not really understand their meaning. Moreover, what she received from God was very difficult for the Christians of those days to accept. Although what she received was the truth, she had no biblical explanation to substantiate it, and she received much persecution.
The founder passed away and a second lady [Ho Ho Bin] inherited her mission. Jesus appeared to this second lady and said, "When I speak to you, you will feel movements inside your stomach." (Originally, she believed that the Second Coming would take place in the clouds, but when she received revelations she would feel something like labor pains, confirming that the messiah would be born on earth.) Because her revelations were confirmed in this way, the movement was called the Inside Belly Church.
Jesus told this woman many things about how miserable he was, how he had always been very hungry but never was given enough food, how he wanted to have clothes to wear but never had enough, how he wanted to go to school but could not. When Jesus told her these things, she shed many tears because of his misery. This woman and the members of her group wanted to liberate the resentment of Jesus, so they determined to prepare a better environment for the second advent.
When they made preparations, they would invest all their heart in their labors. They chose and purified a room in which to make these preparations, and before entering the room, they would purify themselves. They wanted to separate themselves from evil, so they really purified themselves, externally and internally.
To buy what they needed, they went to the store early in the morning, before the shop opened, and waited in front in order to be the first customer of the day. Whatever they bought had to be brand new and freshly put out on display. They searched for the best things with which to welcome the messiah, and they never haggled over the price as is the custom in Korea, because for them, the messiah was the most noble person and whatever was bought for him was priceless. Those who were making preparations wanted to give everything to that task; if they had some treasured object of gold, for instance, they would sell it in order to raise money for the messiah.
Once when they were working on a traditional Korean hat, they had to send someone to South Korea to buy something not obtainable in the North. On the return journey, this person had to hold the item above his head during the entire trip, to keep it untainted.
There were no sewing machines, so all the clothes had to be made by hand. When they sewed they had to put all their heart into it. They would make three stitches and tie the thread, three more stitches and tie the tread again, etc. If their children would enter and interrupt them in the middle of some piece of work, they would start all over.
When they prepared food for the messiah, they would imagine him sitting in front of them eating. They would bow many times before presenting the food. They welcomed Jesus spiritually through their daily lives. Whenever they had a special celebration, many members would gather and share the joy of welcoming the messiah to their church. From such examples, we can understand how much heart they invested in their preparations.
After the Second World War, the Inside Belly Church received the revelation that they would meet the messiah in prison, just as Choon Hyun (the heroine of a famous Korean story) met her beloved in prison. They were also told that when they happened to be gathered together (not of their own planning), the messiah would welcome them.
One day in 1946, many leaders of the Inside Belly Church spontaneously came to the headquarters. When they were all together, the police came and threw them into prison. Several months afterwards (August 11, 1946), True Father was arrested and placed in the same prison.
The members of the Inside Belly Church donated their money and property to the church; therefore, the police became suspicious and wanted to investigate them. Also, the members were so happy at the hope of receiving the Second Coming at their church. They had been given so many blessings from God, and they were always joyful, often singing and dancing together. To onlookers, their actions seemed very strange and became another cause for suspicion by the police. These were the two reasons behind the arrest of the leaders of the Inside Belly Church.
Father had come from South Korea to North Korea (at a time when people were generally going from North to South, not the other way around), and he did not have an ID card, like the North Koreans did. Thus, the North Korean police suspected Father of being a spy sent from the South. This was one of the reasons why Father was arrested at that time. Furthermore, our church seemed somewhat similar to the Inside Belly Church. We were so happy; we would sing holy songs together, and in Father's house people were singing and talking day and night. Onlookers thought our behavior was very strange, and they became suspicious.
When Father was being held, the policemen would follow him everywhere, even to the toilet, because they feared he might use some kind of magic and escape! Also, they knew he had studied electrical engineering, and so they suspected that he had some kind of machine that could brainwash people. This sounds strange, doesn't it, but even now American people sometimes think Father uses some kind of magic.
For instance, during the tuna tournament of 1980, Father's boat caught many more fish than the others, some people thought we had some secret. They could not understand why Father's boat could catch so many fish; they thought we were brainwashing the tuna!
One of the most severe tortures of the time was to prevent a prisoner from sleeping. Whenever a prisoner was subjected to this treatment, after several days he would automatically confess to some crime, whether he had committed any or not.
When they tried this torture on Father, policemen in shifts guarded Father at every moment. If he started to fall asleep they would do something to wake him up. Even when he went to the bathroom, several policemen would accompany him.
They subjected Father to this treatment for seven days, but during this time he trained himself to sleep with his eyes open, so he could sleep even when they thought he was awake. Therefore, he was able to persevere under this treatment.
The cell Father was thrown into was the same as that of one of the Inside Belly Church leaders. When this man saw Father, he immediately felt an impulse to explain to Father everything about the Inside Belly Church and confide in him about his own life.
The communists had given the Inside Belly Church leaders two alternatives: to deny their revelations and be released, or to maintain their faith and stay in prison. Even under severe torture, they would not deny their revelations.
When Father heard about this, he explained to his cellmate why their church was prepared, and urged him to deny the revelation so he could be set free. Eventually, this man did deny the revelation and was liberated, but because of the severe torture he had endured, he died shortly after his release.
Father felt responsible for the woman who had received these revelations. In prison, it was very dangerous to write letters, but Father secretly sent a note to her on a piece of paper hidden in a rice bowl. The contents of the note were instructions to deny the revelations she had received and to pray to find out who had written the note. However, the note was discovered and Father was tortured. The Japanese had previously ruled Korea, and the torture in this prison was Japanese-style. It was severe and nearly unbearable. Finally, after about 100 days in prison, Father was set free.
When he came out of prison, Father vomited incredible amounts of blood. The members around him were very worried and thought he would die. But they took care of him and miraculously, he recovered. Immediately upon recovery, Father resumed teaching and giving guidance to the members.
The woman who was leader of the Inside Belly Church could not accept Father's request that she deny her revelations and be released. You can imagine how difficult it would have been for her to do so. Because she had been guided by God directly and because whenever she neglected to obey even a small part of her revelations she was chastised by heaven, to deny the revelations would have meant denying herself and everything she had done in the past. Through many experiences, she had learned that if she followed the revelations exactly, many good things happened, but if she did not follow them, bad things would happen. So she knew that the revelation was absolute.
However, the last revelation she received was that she would meet the messiah in prison. Her own responsibility was to discover who he was. Father told her to pray in order to find out who had written the note, but she could not.
The leader was severely beaten, but she would not renounce her faith; eventually she died in prison. Furthermore, all the members of the Inside Belly Church were taken to a concentration camp, and when the Korean War broke out, all of them were killed.
There were old, middle-aged and young members of Father's church at that time, but I was one of the youngest members. The others, especially the spiritualists, seemed so wise, and I was almost in awe of them. Once I came to the church, I would remain there until somebody told me to go home. Sometimes I would stay a very long time. Of course, who would tell me to go home? Still, in Korea there was a curfew which began at midnight. When that time approached, I would leave, but sometimes even when midnight came around. members would stay on and listen to Father. So I sometimes joined them and remained there all night.
At that time, because people were searching so earnestly for truth, they would listen to Father, completely oblivious of the time. We would completely forget about the passing hours, because Father's lectures were so good, and we became so totally absorbed by them. When midnight came, often we didn't notice it. Many housewives would be among the group; some people had jobs which began at midnight; others were students who had to go to school. But listening to Father's lectures and guidance, we were all so happy that we cared for nothing else. People forgot about their jobs, family and school, preferring to stay on and listen to Father.
Among those who came regularly to the church were well-to-do people, and the food they ate at the church was more humble than their food at home. But everyone agreed that the food at the church was more delicious than anywhere else. Father at this humble food, along with the rest of us.
There were members who had stomach troubles, but when Father gave them food left over from his plate, they were cured. So the rumor spread that the food in the Unification Church was miraculous food.
Members brought many problems to Father to ask him for guidance. Their husbands or their fathers would persecute and threaten them because they had joined this church.
The members in general did not know the true value of Father, because he lived in such an ordinary way. But there were some who received by revelation who he was.
Having been told that it was not right for Father to have to live in such a humble house, they wanted to make it more beautiful for him. Since we could not add on to the house, they wanted to change the wallpaper and put up a new kind.
Usually, people would make wallpaper paste from flour, so some of the members brought the ingredients from home and mixed up the paste, but the consistency was wrong. So they started over, still with poor results. These were people who had often made wallpaper paste on other occasions with good success, but when they tried to make it for Father, it wouldn't turn out. Finally, they realized that the flour they were using was leftover flour and that their attitude was not appropriate for attending Father. Leftovers were not good enough to serve him, so they went and bought brand-new flour to hang the wallpaper.
In wintertime, it gets very cold in Korea. Father would wear heavy cotton clothing designed to protect people against the severe cold. But when Father would speak, even these thick clothes would become soaked with his sweat. Thus the members had to wash out his clothes every day. Now people have washing machines, but then the members had to boil the water and wash everything by hand. Moreover, these clothes were lined with cotton and required special care. (In order to wash them, all the seams had to be ripped out, the cotton separated and removed, and each piece washed and dried; then the clothes had to be reassembled, the cotton lining inserted, and everything stitched together again!)
Those who washed Father's clothes were taught by spirit world how to serve him in this way, and they were very happy to be able to do it. For these members with so much spiritual sensitivity, even to touch Father's clothes was difficult, because they realized the seriousness of attending Father.
Some people knew who Father was by revelation and some by listening to his words. When people observed Father's daily life, their faith deepened and became very strong. People who did not receive revelations from God sometimes had doubts, and even those who did also wavered at times. So the members were stimulated by other people who were receiving revelations about Father. When people had doubts, the way for them to find the messiah through their daily life was closed off; when they would read the Bible, by their response to it they could tell whether they had doubts or not. In some people, when doubts arose, they would receive a revelation which would clear up the question; when a further doubt came, still another revelation would answer that. For others, the more they learned about Father, the deeper their faith would become.
It may not appear to be so, but even a person of strong faith goes through ups and downs in his spiritual life. Those who seem weak in faith are the ones whose vacillations show. Those who don't express their doubts but just endure and overcome are those who seem to be strong in faith. If your course is like a straight line, it may be easy for you to be toppled. In that sense, it is better for your life of faith to ebb and flow, to rise and fall.
You may wonder about me. Actually, I don't express my ups and downs; I just try to overcome them internally. Thus, you may think that I am a very faithful and strong person, but in actuality, I am no different from you.
Among the children who were brought to Father's house was one little boy two years old, smaller than normal for is age. One day Father asked the boy to kiss him, but since he was so short, he couldn't reach Father's cheek. So the little boy climbed on Father's knee and tried to kiss him from there. Still, he couldn't reach Father's face. So he climbed up to Father's belly, and from there he could reach Father's face. Just as he was about to kiss Father, Father bent his face backwards, so the little boy climbed up a little more, reached for Father's ears, and brought his face down to where he could give him a kiss.
Usually Father played very warmly with children, but sometimes he made them cry. In the second story I want to tell you, there was one baby who came with its mother to Father's house. It began to cry, and Father told it, "Please don't cry:' But it kept on crying, so Father hit it and made it cry more. As long as it was crying, Father wouldn't accept it. The child turned to its mother, as if to ask her for help, but she knew Father well, and she did not intervene.
Finally, the baby recognized that as long as it continued to cry, nobody would help it, so it stopped. Then Father embraced the baby, comforted it and made it even more content than before it began to cry. After the child was happy, Father returned it to its mother.
In the first story, Father asked the child to kiss him, but made him fulfill some conditions before letting himself be kissed. In a similar way, when God wants to give us a blessing, we have to fulfill our own responsibility in order to receive it. God created man and gave him three great blessings, but in order to attain them, we have to fulfill our own responsibility. Why didn't Father bring his face close to the child, so the child could easily kiss him? Why did he make the child go through three stages in order to reach him? Even a child has to go through the proper stages.
In the second incident, Father made the baby cry, but later he embraced it and comforted it, returning it to the mother. In other words, the baby did not follow Father at first, but wanted to do its own thing, crying. So Father let it do what it wanted to do; in fact, he made it cry more. He let the baby continue crying until the baby was satisfied, until the baby itself recognized that crying was useless. Finally, the baby quit doing its own thing and decided to return to Father. Then Father embraced it and made it happier than before, finally returning it to its mother.
We can compare the relationship between Father and the baby to our own situation. Before joining the family, we chose our own direction. Then we met Father, but still we wanted to continue on our own way. However, Father made us stop and reorient our course. But we feared we would die if we followed Father's course, so we tended to go our own way. Eventually we recognize that the fallen world is not appropriate for us, and torn between following Father's way or our own way, we can understand which is better. Then, when we return to Father, he can give us much more. When we stop following our own way and turn to Father, we will receive many more blessings.
When you leaders guide your members, think about how Father treated this baby. When Father asks us to do something, it's not always easy to get the members to change their course. After telling your members, "What you are doing is wrong; you must change your ways, you have to really take care of them.
After they change, you must embrace them and love them, making them happier than before. When they receive this kind of care from you, they can repent and change themselves.
Of course, after people see the results they can understand whether the course they were following was correct or not, but it's not so easy to perceive this while you are in the process of doing something. Even when people know that the instructions they are being given are right, sometimes they feel bad or cut off when they are being corrected. So after you scold your members, give them love and comfort, take care of them. Then the members can feel that their leader scolded them because he loved them, and they will feel encouraged and motivated to try to change.
To tell someone, "What you are doing is wrong," is like hitting him. Even when we ourselves know what we are doing is wrong, we feel resentful instead of grateful. Very good suggestions may also be difficult to accept. Even when God points out something wrong, we feel bad about it. People react differently, of course; some people harbor resentments and others can respond immediately with gratitude; it depends on their situation. Still, if we reflect very deeply, we can understand when we are corrected, feel grateful, and begin to change.
When we are doing good and we are criticized and accused, we can generally handle that, but even when we are doing wrong and it is pointed out, we should feel grateful for the advice.
There is a Principle reason for this kind of reaction. Originally, man was supposed to reach perfection by himself, not with the aid of someone else. So if someone interferes or teaches you, he prevents you from growing directly. Naturally, you tend to reject this interference. This is similar to a student getting a score of 100 on an exam, but with someone else's help. He does not feel good about the grade.
Therefore, don't just criticize or judge the members -- give them love and care; let them feel that they can reach perfection on their own. Remember that Father let the baby cry until the baby realized that crying produced no good results. Father set up a situation in which the baby could recognize what was right by itself. Then Father welcomed the baby and gave it much love.
Thus, even when he was playing with children, Father was always trying to teach us something.
In those days, when people came to visit Father, they would tell him all about their past. Sometimes it would take so long for them to recount everything. Once a woman told her entire story, beginning with her birth and continuing through her childhood, family life, the blessings she received from God, etc. It became very late, but still Father continued listening to her. His attitude was always very polite and embracing to everyone, whatever his age or position. Even an old man with little education would be welcomed very politely.
Sometimes in your centers a member with no apparent talent or capacity joins. This was also the situation in the early times. People's outward appearances were sometimes miserable, but Father never looked at them externally. Father always saw them from the viewpoint of what they had done in the past and what their ancestors had accomplished. Father never focused on the externals, but on the internal aspects of a person, including his ancestry.
There was one member who had received a revelation to go on a 40-day pioneer witnessing condition. His family persecuted him very much for his connection with our church. Not knowing how to carry out this revelation, the member came to Father to ask his advice. So Father told him, "If you sacrifice your family for God and for His will, He will protect them; they will never be destroyed."
Suppose we go pioneering with many worries about our physical family. We can write them letters, for instance, but our possibilities to help them are very limited. Imagine how God feels in such a situation. He would want to take care of our family in our stead. If we really invest ourselves in our pioneering work, God will think, "This person is really pouring out himself for My will; therefore, I have to take care of his family?' Isn't God's protection of our family more valuable than human protection?
As members learned to know Father, they wanted to give precious things to him. Some people brought beautiful clothes, others brought him fine food. But Father never used things that were given him just for himself; he would share them with the poor people who came to the church. You can imagine how those who had prepared these gifts with all their heart felt when they saw other members using them. Sensing this, Father told them, "You gave me this present, so it became mine. I accepted it from you and I deeply appreciated it. But now it is my prerogative to use it as I see fit. If you feel bad when you see what I do with your gift, that means that you still want to interfere with your present. But because you gave it to me, you have to rely on me to decide how I want to use it. I really appreciated it, and I gave it to another brother or sister. When you see them using it, you can feel that I myself am using it, and in this way you can appreciate its value."
Father treated everyone with equal respect and love. When someone would try to leave for home, he would always stop them and say, "Please stay longer, please stay longer?' He would really plead with them. Also, when someone didn't come for a while, Father would be anxious to see them. "Why hasn't he (or she) come?" he would ask. He always had this kind of deep love in his heart for each person.
From early morning until late at night, many members were always around him. Father was never alone; he never had time for himself. At that time, his lifestyle was transparent -- he was like someone living in a glass house. People could see everything he did.
As leaders, we sometimes yearn to set aside some time for ourselves, because the members are always around us. But at that time, Father had no time for himself at all. Even now, his daily life remains the same -- he is always surrounded by the members.
Sometimes, we want to make a kind of wall around us and separate ourselves from the members, but we should remember that Father's life was and is a public life. Everything he does is invested for the members' benefit.
As I explained, there were many people who came to see Father and learn from him. Only people who have suffered a lot can understand other people's suffering. Those who came to see Father were people who had suffered a lot.
Among them was one spiritualist about 70 years old. She was a very pious woman who belonged to an indigenous religious group, related to Buddhism. When she was 40 years old, God gave her a revelation in which He told her to climb a hill, look out over the city, and search for a building which had a cross on the top. At that time, she did not know about Christianity, so she did not know that a cross on the top of building meant that it was a Christian church; therefore, because of her ignorance, God had to give her instructions in this manner. In the church, God showed her the Bible.
At that time, men could attend school, but very few women had the opportunity. Being illiterate, this woman could not understand what was written in the Bible. So God told her He would teach her how to read. "Open the Bible to the first page," He said. A white hand appeared and guided her fingers down the columns of characters on the page, giving her the pronunciation of each letter. Thus the first word she learned to read was Hananim. That is how she learned to read.
Every day, this lady would go to the mountain to pray, and her body would be lifted spiritually to the top of the mountain. One day as she was walking along, she heard a voice. When she looked around to see where the voice was coming from, all she saw was an old tree. The tree asked her to bring it to a place close to people, so people could see it and use it. The tree wanted to be close to human beings, even if it was just a dirty place. Young, straight trees are used to make good furniture, but an old tree such as that one might be used only as fuel for an outhouse. Yet this tree asked to be used, even if only in an outhouse!
The woman was told to fast for 40 days, and near the end of that time a very attractive white rice cake appeared in front of her. If she had been thinking only about her hunger, she would have accepted the cake and eaten it, but she was strong enough to throw it away.
Of all the spiritualists who followed Father during that time, this woman is the only one who remained faithful to him during his years in prison.
Some people received direct revelations from God to go to where True Father was. Some were told the exact date when they would meet the messiah, say five years in advance. There was one woman who received many revelations, and during this time her body would remain stuck fast to the floor. Her son witnessed this. She would begin to pray in the morning and not come out for the whole day. The child thought that something was strange, so he went into her room and tried to pull on his mother. He was unable to move her.
The person who had been told in advance the date she would meet the messiah had an impulse to head in some direction on that day, forgetting that it was the promised day. She set out, just following her inclinations, but without consciously taking any particular direction. In this way, she came to one corner where she heard a very beautiful voice. Attracted by it, she entered a small house, and that small house happened to be the very church where Father was teaching. That was how she met Father on the appointed day.
Old women always wanted to come and sit near Father, and they felt like children before him. These spiritualists had so much spiritual power; but even though they longed to touch Father's clothes, they wouldn't.
Father never talked to the members about spiritual phenomena or refer to his visions, make predictions, do spiritual healings -- things these spiritualists often did. He was a great leader, without using spiritual phenomena to attract people. He always acted very naturally. We sat and received his words, like students listening obediently to a teacher. When Father guided the members, he would sit on the floor along with the rest of us. His behavior was no different from that of others. In the Orient, people in a higher position are usually given a special soft cushion upon which to sit, but he wouldn't use one.
There were many kinds of spiritualists. Some did spiritual healings, others predicted the future, and still others could deeply move people's hearts. But even those spiritualists, when they heard Father, they became like younger children in front of him. They just obeyed and followed Father's words. They became so humble in front of him, even though he did not tell people he could see into their future or reveal their past.
Even though Father didn't say anything about spiritual power, when we saw these spiritualists humbly serving him, we could understand in a new way how great he is.
Many people who visited Father and became members had held leadership positions in one or another Christian church. Among these were the spiritualists. People who could heal and foretell the future formed an important part of the fundamentalist Christian churches, because their spiritual power drew others to the churches and the ministers were able to witness to them and multiply the membership. Thus, these spiritualists were the main leaders in the existing churches.
For years, people had unhesitatingly received their ministers' words as God's words. But then the spiritualists began to receive by revelation that Jesus' crucifixion was not originally planned by God. Since the ministers had always taught that the crucifixion was planned by God, the spiritualists thought they would be pleased to hear the new revelations, so they went and shared the news with their ministers. However, the ministers denied the revelations. Since the revelations were contrary to what was written in the Bible, the ministers said they must have come not from God, but from Satan. You can imagine how painful it was for the spiritualists to be told this.
So the spiritualists would pray to God and ask what to do. The same revelations would be repeated. Thus, the spiritualists were faced with the dilemma of deciding whether to follow their ministers or their revelations from God. They were in a kind of midway position. According to the ministers, the revelations were contrary to the Bible. Moreover, when the revelations were given, no biblical basis or explanation accompanied them.
So the spiritualists would stop going to church, but eventually, having nowhere else to go, they had to return. Still, they were always looking for the true answer. Whenever they heard of the arrival of a new missionary or a new teacher, they would immediately go to hear him speak. Also, they would go to the mountains to pray. Although they attended church, they could not respect their minister.
In those days, the Christian churches were to some degree built on the foundation of the spiritual power of the spiritualists. Thus the spiritualists were pillars of their churches, and of course, their families as well, since the whole family would usually attend church together. When someone became sick, he would go to one of his relatives who was a spiritualist and quickly recover. Whenever someone had a problem, he would go to the spiritualist among his relatives and get some good advice. Thus, the spiritualists were always respected and valued by their families. Deep inside, however, these spiritualists lived in great conflict.
Then the rumor spread about a young man had arrived from South Korea and was holding services with God's spirit and truth, so they came to see him. Father could answer all their questions, such as the reason why Jesus' crucifixion was not planned. After hearing Father's explanation, they became confident of the validity of the revelations they had been receiving, and their hearts were satisfied. Not only this question, but all their questions were answered by Father. Imagine how happy they were! All their problems were solved.
Their immediate thought was to share this new discovery with their ministers. However, although they could understand Father's explanation as they listened to him give it, when they went to talk to their ministers, they were unable to explain things as clearly as Father could. Also, they tended to witness directly about the conclusion, without being able to support it from the Bible. The ministers knew the Bible much better than they did, so you can imagine how frustrated they would become when they tried to convince the ministers based on the Bible. They went out witnessing full of enthusiasm, but they received so much persecution. When they returned to Father, he would comfort them and explain things to them again.
These spiritualists were the main leaders, core members and best witnessers in their churches, but once they met Father, they wanted to stay with him and not return to their churches. The churches were not supported by the government but by donations from the members, including these spiritualists. Not only did the spiritualists leave their churches to follow Father, but they inspired others to join Father's church as well. Therefore, the financial situation of the Christian churches became quite difficult. Also, the ministers could neither understand nor accept the revelations the spiritualists talked about. So the ministers who lost their core members became very angry with Father and began to organize a movement to oppose him.
Next door to Father's church lived the daughter of a very famous Christian minister. She met Father and soon joined. Her husband was a very avid hunter, and he often threatened to shoot the founder of the church she was attending. In spite of such persecution, she joined, because she felt God's presence with Father.
She had a disease which no doctor or hospital she visited could cure, but immediately after meeting Father, the disease left her. Of course, she was really moved by the cure. At night she would refuse to have sexual relationships with her husband, but her husband would force her. Whenever that happened, however, the following day she would hemorrhage, and it would not stop. She became really worried. As long as she did not have a relationship with her husband, she felt spiritually clear, but whenever she did, she felt very oppressed.
The people who became members at that time did not want to continue to have sexual relationships with their husband or wife, not because anybody told them not to, but because of their intuition or spiritual guidance. So husbands began to suspect their wives, and wives began to suspect their husbands. One grandfather came to hear Father speak, and even his wife began to have doubts about her husband's fidelity. The leader of the church was a man, not a woman, so why would the wife worry? She was troubled because there were many young women of all ages, and it occurred to her that her husband had become attracted to one of these younger women and no longer loved her.
My aunt and uncle were a typical couple affected by our movement. A devout woman, my aunt was very faithful in serving her husband. However, once she met Father, she wanted to stay with him, and often she did not return home to cook dinner. She changed in many ways. My uncle heard that she was going to listen to a young man speak, so he began to distrust his wife. Before she started going to this new church, they had had a good relationship, but now they had little personal time together.
Knowing the Divine Principle, you can understand her predicament. When her husband approached her at night, she felt as if a snake were coming towards her, and it made her feel uneasy. No one had instructed her to refuse her husband, but her intuition told her not to respond. Her husband, of course, felt very upset as well, not knowing the reason for her reaction. Thirty-five years ago, nobody except Father knew how to explain this.
Such situations between husbands and wives were very private, so they could not confide in other people. In the West, people may be more open in discussing these topics, but in Korea at that time, there was no one with whom people could consult.
My uncle could forgive his wife for coming home late at night, but he could not forgive her for refusing intimacy with him. So he began to have strong doubts about Father and suspected there was some kind of relationship between them. Thus he told his wife not to go to the church. However, whenever my aunt had a chance, she would slip away and come to the church. When my uncle discovered where she had gone, he would use physical violence against her. The stronger the persecution she received, however, the deeper my aunt's desire to go to the church. She wanted to fortify her faith by meeting Father and receiving guidance from him; also, she longed to be with the other members, who were going through similar situations and thus could understand her.
My aunt came from a very strong Christian family, so my uncle went to visit her parents and report these events to them. In the Korean tradition, once a woman marries, she should not get a divorce; thus, even though she may not get along well with her husband, she has to be obedient to him. Eventually, my aunt's husband and father both united to try to stop her from going to the church. Her father had never struck his daughter before, but because of this situation, he also used physical violence to try to stop her. None of this had any effect on her, because once she clearly understood the way to God, nothing could stop her.
My aunt's father then visited his minister, who offered to accompany him to see this young man from South Korea and try to persuade him to renounce his errors. But this minister did not have enough confidence to confront Father alone, so he called on several other ministers to accompany him.
This situation persisted for many years, but my uncle and aunt never filed for a divorce; they continued living together.
After 25 years of persecuting his wife and the church, my uncle was finally able to understand the truth about his wife. In his present position as dean of a famous university, he tells his students, "If you want to have faith, please go to the Unification Church and learn from them." Also, he always praises his wife to his fellow professors and tells them, "Please learn about faith from my wife; she can teach you to have faith in God."
So my uncle has now become a very effective witnesser for the Unification Church. All five of his children have joined, and three of them are blessed; the others, although they have not yet received the Blessing, are strong and dedicated members. He is now quite old and his physical health has been deteriorating.
Once when I was talking to my uncle he said, "I am old now, and soon I will go to the spirit world, but when I die, please bury my body in the Unification Church cemetery. I really wish you could do this favor for me." He always tells his children, "After I die, please follow Won Pil Kim, even though I am older than he is. Whatever he says, please listen to him."
I am telling you these stories in detail so you can explain to others how the rumors about the Unification Church began. My uncle had serious doubts for a long time, but finally, after 25 years, he discovered that they were not true. Then he came to Father and apologized and repented in front of him. It was enough for him to do that, but from Father's point of view, what were the results of the accusations people had made against him?
These negative rumors had started with just a few people, but they multiplied and spread throughout North Korea, to South Korea, to Japan, America, Europe, and all over the world. The negative rumors from these few people became so big, too big for these persons to indemnify by themselves. If you cause one person to have doubts, you can indemnify it, but these rumors have affected all mankind, in a sense, preventing them from going God's way.
In principle, these people should pay indemnity for these results, but Father took that indemnity upon himself. In those days, Father's life was very severe; he was always shedding tears, blood and sweat, and his life was full of pain. In the place of his accusers, Father is carrying the cross on his shoulders. We can learn so much from this example.
The pattern of Father's church was much different from that of other Christian churches. Members would come and stay until late at night, men and women together in a small room, sometimes even dancing together.
During Sunday service, members would realize how much pain they had given Heavenly Father, and they would repent deeply. All those in attendance would cry, although some tears were tears of repentance and others were of joy or gratitude -- gratitude for God's blessing and love. Each person's expression was different, even though they were all crying: some would beat their breast in repentance, others would tremble, others would shout. One grandmother just stood up and began to dance with her eyes closed. In traditional Korea, women were not allowed to sing or dance in public; this old woman did not plan on dancing, but her ancestors made her dance. Another man was so full of joy that he began to clap his hands.
To get an impression of the setting, imagine the singing or noise at a drunken party. When you are intoxicated, you cannot keep quiet; you sing, you dance; for some people, singing is not expressive enough, so they must dance. Other people cry when they are drunk; some people shout, others keep silent.
God's ideal is the place where people become intoxicated by God's love. Because of the fall, this original nature of man is misdirected, but people get drunk on alcohol because this element still remains in their nature. I am explaining this because there may be no apparent external difference between people who are drunk on alcohol and people who are drunk on God's love. There is, of course, a vast difference in direction.
Thus, in the early days, those who came to see Father became completely intoxicated by God's love. The neighbors thought the activities were strange. During the day there would be people singing and dancing at the church, and when people returned home at night, they did not want to have sexual relations with their husband or wife. So people thought our church was practicing adultery.
If this had happened in your country, the reaction might not have been so serious, but 35 years ago in Korea, it caused an uproar.
Christianity came to North Korea before it came to the South; therefore, Christianity had more of a foundation there. Furthermore, Pyongyang was the center for Christianity in North Korea. Many famous ministers and theologians gathered there, and many people received revelations that Pyongyang was the second Jerusalem. On Sunday mornings, the whole city rang with church bells. This was the environment Father found when he arrived from the South.
Customs were quite strict in those days. It was very rare in Korea for men and women to sit together in the same room and talk for long periods of time. The Christian churches also followed this restriction. Thus, the churches were constructed so that the men would sit on one side and the woman on the other. The minister in front could see both the men and the women, but there was a partition down the middle, so neither side could see the other. Our gatherings, of course, were completely open.
Also, in the Christian church services, only hymns could be sung; the Christians would feel guilty if they sang any Korean folk songs in church. But Father introduced Korean folk songs as part of the services at our church. (The tunes of quite a few of our holy songs are Korean folk songs.) This was quite revolutionary. Father's attitude was that if your heart is filled with God's love, any kind of song is acceptable to sing to God. The Christians, of course, misunderstood this point.
Christian ministers would come to argue with Father, but before they arrived, Father already knew the questions they were planning to ask. So he would greet them warmly, recite the questions they had in mind, and give the answers. Of course Father gave explanations based on the Bible, so the ministers could not object to anything. At the end, they could only say, "Oh, you are really working so hard:" and they would get up and leave.
So among the ministers, the following conclusion circulated, "We can never defeat Mr. Moon by discussing the Bible." They realized that calling this young man a heretic was not sufficient to stop their members from going to him. The financial state of the Christian churches became more difficult when their core members went to Father's church. So they had to do something to stop this situation. Finally they agreed on the strategy of circulating the stories of things that happened in the members' families.
They heard how even newly-married couples with a loving relationship were broken up when the husband or wife came to the church and completely neglected his or her spouse. So people thought there was some kind of magic at work. People knew Father had studied electrical engineering, so they thought there must be some kind of electrical machine that could brainwash people. How could they understand what was going on? There was no way.
They called our church a family-breaking church and also accused Father of setting out to destroy the other Christian churches. Finally, they concluded that this church was trying to create disorder in the whole society. The communists also picked up on this point and were afraid that the church would also destroy communist society.
Once some Christian leaders came as a group to see Father and persecuted him by grabbing at him and pulling his hair. But Father did not resist them. He stayed calm and persevered through it. When the members saw Father being attacked like that, they physically threw out the Christian leaders.
The stronger the opposition, however, the deeper the faith of the members, who were instructed by revelation how to deal with these events.
In 1948, North Korea was not yet a communist country; religious freedom was granted and public gatherings were permitted. But public opinion was being directed towards the communist way. I would like to explain how the communists worked to destroy Christianity.
There were many groups for people to belong to at that time. Children had to attend the children's group, young people had to attend the Young Pioneers, adults had to attend labor meetings, etc. So according to his age, each person had to belong to a group, and communist education was carried out through these groups.
To undermine the foundations of Christianity, the government decided to hold special events at school on Sundays. Sunday had generally been a day off from school. Parents of elementary school students were often Christians, and they would take their children to church with them on Sundays. Initially, the non-Christian students came to the special events and the Christian students attended church. So the teachers would send the non-Christian students to check on who went to church.
One of the activities during the group meetings was self- criticism. Even elementary school students had to criticize themselves and each other. If one student had not attended the special event on Sunday, the student who led the meeting would criticize him (the teacher was present but acted only as an observer). Based on the reports made by the student informer, the leader of course already knew who had attended church and who had not, but he would pretend not to. Then he would call on the students from Christian families to explain why they had not attended the meeting and ask them to repent for their fault. Even though these students were from Christian families, they were young and their faith was often not so strong. In front of the larger peer group, they would repent, shed tears and pledge not to return to church. They had to promise to attend the special meeting every Sunday. After making such a commitment in front of many people, they could not return to church.
Adult groupings were based on jobs: there were miners' cells, postal clerks' cells, etc., according to the company. There were still people in business for themselves, so special cells were formed for merchants and shopkeepers. In such a society, if people don't work, they cannot eat. So all the beggars were sent to one island and made to work. As a result of that training, the beggars ceased to be beggars. Idle young people were also gathered into one place and made to work. Thus, society eliminated beggars and juvenile delinquents.
Each day, every group or cell had to study communist theory. If people are illiterate, they cannot study communism, so a system for literacy education was devised, in which students were sent to the houses of uneducated people to teach them to read and get them to study communist theory. This campaign was well planned and carried out. If the parents could not read, their children had to bring them to a literacy program. Even though the parents might not want to go, the children had the duty to bring their parents to learn to read and study communist theory.
The communists appropriated the property of the large landowners and divided it equally among those who had no land. Previously, the peasants had labored for the large landowners, but when they were given land by the communists, they were initially very happy. However, although the government allowed them to work their own land, they demanded large taxes, so the farmers had to turn over almost everything they produced. Therefore, their suffering became even greater than it had been previously.
In South Korea, people were free to change their occupation, but that was prohibited in the North. Also, each time North Koreans wanted to go somewhere, they had to get permission.
In such a situation, Father was trying to carry out his work, but you can imagine how difficult it was to witness under such circumstances. Christianity was prepared to receive Father, but instead of uniting with him, they joined forces with the communists, persecuted him and in the end sent him to prison.
After a year and a half of unsuccessfully trying to hinder our church, the ministers denounced Father. They had already tried arguing about the Bible and putting pressure on the families of our members, but to no avail. The Unification Church kept growing.
Christian ministers sent about 80 letters to the communist authorities denouncing Father. You might wonder why they sent letters. Think about the time of Jesus: the Jewish leaders united with the Roman authorities in persecuting Jesus. By themselves, the Christian ministers could do nothing to stop Father's activities. That is why they united with the communists.
On February 22, 1948, Father was arrested and thrown into prison. It was a Sunday, about two hours before the Sunday service was to begin. Members had already gathered and were preparing for service; many were in the room praying when the policemen arrived.
Four other members were also arrested with Father, I among them. On the way to the police station, I was walking alongside Father. We had to pass through the city, and there was a lot of noise, but because I was walking beside him, I was close enough to hear his breathing.
Father was placed in prison, but the rest of us were soon set free. During my two days in prison, I was interrogated by the police. From my experiences in this investigation, I could guess what kind of accusations they were preparing to bring against Father. They asked me two questions:
1. What kind of person is this Sun Myung Moon?
2. Did you give any donation to his church?
They attempted to get a lot of information about me. At that time, I was teaching at a school, so the police went to the school and questioned every student about what I was teaching them.
Those communists knew nothing about Christianity and cared even less, because they denied religion itself. If someone gave a donation to Father, they interpreted it as him grabbing money from the members and using it for himself. If Father was thought to be the messiah, they would consider it as a ruse to gather as many people as possible and collect much money from them. They were trying to fabricate some story that he was collecting much money from the people.
Because Father had studied electrical engineering, the communists wanted their leaders to come to court to witness his trial. April 17 was the date for Father's trial; originally, the trial was set for an earlier date, but it was postponed so all the core communist leaders could attend. The court was packed with people, Christians on one side and top communist leaders on the other.
When the trial opened, Father was brought in handcuffs and set before the judge, along with other prisoners. Father's hair had been cut off. The other criminals were also handcuffed, but their heads were hanging down. Father, however, stood up, stretched and sat down again. He acted so calmly and naturally. Until that time, I had thought of Father as just a quiet, calm person. But in that situation, seeing him act so naturally gave me a different perspective on him. I felt that Father was thinking, "Now is the time to really fight."
The court session opened. Father was asked detailed questions about his major in the university, etc. He replied, "I majored in electrical engineering." The next question was, "Please explain how electricity is produced." In great detail Father explained how electricity worked. The prosecutors brought up this point because electricity is invisible, but still man-made. They wanted to draw a parallel between electricity, being invisible and man-made, and God, whom they wanted to present as invisible and fabricated by man.
The accusations they used against Father included spreading falsehoods, taking, money from innocent people and using them to get more money from others. Furthermore, they accused Father of destroying the family and institutions, bringing disorder to society.
When the judge read the sentence Father requested that he delete the part about spreading falsehoods and deceiving people. People had given money to the church, so he did not protest that, but he strongly objected to the charge that he was disseminating lies.
Ordinarily, prisoners kept silence when they were being sentenced, because they did not want to risk incurring longer or heavier sentences. But Father has never been afraid of saying what was right; he disregarded the risks.
So Father was sentenced to five years in prison. When the court was dismissed, Father came out, still wearing handcuffs. At that time, we feared this would be our last opportunity to see Father before he was placed in prison. The thought of not seeing him for five years left us disconsolate; we felt like children whose parents were taken away from them.
We ere allowed to bring food to Father, but after lunch, he had to go. As he was being taken away, he smiled, lifted up his chains and waved them. "Don't worry," he told us, "please keep healthy (a typical oriental greeting) and work hard until I come back and see you again. Please take care of yourselves." These words really removed our worries and made us feel relieved.
Before being taken to prison, Father had received a revelation that there was a young man waiting for him there. Therefore, Father went to prison filled with hope, eager to meet the persons God had prepared for him there.
(To be continued)