The Words of Won Pil Kim

My First Feelings Towards Father

Won Pil Kim
May 1986

A 1955 photo of Father, Rev. Won Pil Kim, and two early followers from Pyongyang -- Mrs. Se Hyun Oak, left, and Mrs. Seung Do Chi, right.

Excerpted and edited from Father's Course and our Life of Faith

I'd like to tell you what I felt when I first met Father, and how my mind changed while I was traveling south together with him. My first impression was that Father was a person of a different dimension. I felt he was completely different from anyone I had ever met before. However, the respect I felt towards Father was similar to what I felt towards my school teachers in elementary school.

In Korea we attend a teacher with respect -- I don't know whether it is the same here in Europe or not. Recently, even in Korea, this respect towards teachers is lessening among elementary pupils and junior high school students, through the influence of Western civilization. But back then we had the same kind of respect towards our teachers as you have towards the saints. In those days the teachers taught and loved their students with sacrificial parental love and lived model lives. Can you imagine this? Sometimes we kept in our pocket a picture of a teacher we particularly respected. If we understand Principle well, and become a teacher of it with the same attitude that my teachers had in those days, our students will surely feel the same for us.

If a teacher teaches his students with love and enthusiasm, they will come to respect him. Father told us that if we really serve the people of 360 homes, they will put our picture and one of True Parents on the first page of their photograph albums.

In those days we had a testimonial dinner to show our gratitude towards our teachers on graduation day; that's how much we felt for them. I felt the same awe and respect for Father. To tell the truth, I thought Father didn't even have to go to the toilet or eat; I thought he was a superman, even though I was already 18 years old. I believed whatever Father told me. The members all looked like angels to me, regardless of their physical age. What they were talking about I knew was God's word; so I didn't have any questions to ask but was only intent on listening to their story.

Before Father was imprisoned, I lived at my own house. But sometimes, when it was too late for me to go home, I slept together with Father in the same bed. It was very hot in the summer and there were many reddish-brown bugs which fed on human blood. Around midnight or one o'clock the bugs came out. The spots where the bugs bit became very itchy and swollen. There was no decent insect repellent 33 years ago. Father was already sleeping and his sleep was not disturbed at all. But I was bitten everywhere and became extremely irritated with itching. I couldn't sleep and I always wanted to move around and scratch the bites, but I couldn't because I was afraid that I might wake Father. But while I was fighting the bugs I became tired and fell asleep.

An early photograph of Father and Rev. Won Pil Kim in front of the house that Father built in Pusan. With them are three elder women and Clayton O. Wadsworth, an American soldier who studied Principle at that time but lost contact with the church.

I Couldn't Ask Father Directly

I was always very happy to greet Father, but I couldn't say anything to him. When I was alone thinking of a certain problem, the problem would seem to be so big as to overwhelm me. I would think that I had to ask Father about it. I would go home and the problem would get bigger and bigger. Then I would see Father and listen to his words and the problem would become smaller to the extent that I didn't know why I had thought it was so serious. Then I would go home and start thinking again, and I would conclude that I should have asked Father. I repeated this process many times and eventually I came to solve my problems by myself. I faced many problems but I solved them indirectly by listening to Father's words instead of asking Father directly. However impossible things were to understand, I could get answers step by step by observing Father's behavior.

While Father was imprisoned, many spiritualists started leaving the church, but my faith in Father wasn't affected at all. I myself sometimes wonder why. Of course I had some agitation in my mind, seeing the spiritualists and senior members who I had respected like angels stop coming to the church. But a feeling of peace had always come over me when I was together with Father, and his words wouldn't leave my mind. So I could think of nothing except looking forward to meeting him again.

I wrote down the months and years from when Father was sentenced. When one month passed, I crossed out the number one on my chart. I was always filling in the chart and looking forward to crossing out the last number, which would represent the end of Father's five years of imprisonment.

Wherever I went, what Father said remained in my mind. One day an idea touched my mind strongly: "I am still attending Father, who is in prison. Father is still keeping his faith. How can I change my faith? I can change my faith only if Father changes his' Therefore, I couldn't change my mind. Whenever a leader starts any project with a promise to the members, he shouldn't change his mind.

Father Didn't Change His Heart

Some of the members who pledged before Father left him. Even though he knew this, he still visited them; even if they opposed him, he didn't change his heart towards them.

Suppose there is a person who has the merit of 10 good ancestors. After he meets Father, he increases his own merit to that of 20. Altogether he has the merit of 30. Suppose this person leaves the church and starts opposing Father and heaven. Then his merit will diminish gradually. Still, as long as he has even the smallest merit left, Father can't cut off his connection with him. If he continues opposing Father and his minus or evil points become bigger than his good points, then Father can cut off his connection without accusation.

If we cut off our connection with a member who has started opposing the church, this is not good. As long as he still has some merit of goodness and loyalty left after subtracting the minus points, we must not cut off our relationship with him.

To illustrate this, suppose a businessman is hired to work for a certain company. Suppose the businessman works hard for that company and so does the president and together they bring a profit of $100,000 to the company. Then suppose the businessman starts slacking off and makes the company lose a lot of money. The president can fire the businessman only after he has lost more than $100,000. Then it would be fair to fire him. But suppose the president fires him when he's lost only $10,000. Then the businessman would have resentment: "I made a lot of money for that company, but they fired me. It's unfair!' Then he might disclose the secrets of the company and make the company go bankrupt. Don't you think this is happening in the world today?

We can't really measure merit in numerical units, but a person must surely have some merit to have worked for God on a heartistic level. God can't cut off His relationship with someone until the person has piled up more bad points in proportion to his good points. Do you follow me? If a person works hard but fails, a leader still can't change his mission or cut off his relationship with him. He can change the member's mission only when the amount of his failure becomes larger than that of his merit.

When Father and I traveled south together after his imprisonment I came to have a different relationship with him. I was with him all the time. While we were walking I told Father about my faith. I admitted that I surely would have starved Jesus had I lived with him 2,000 years ago, because I believed that the Messiah didn't feel hungry even if he hadn't eaten anything for a long time. I told him Jesus would have starved to death if he had been surrounded by people who thought as I did.

Rev. Won Pil Kim holding up a sign showing the route he and Father took on their way south after Father's liberation from Hung Nam prison.

The most sensitive person

Gradually I could understand the circumstances and heart of Jesus 2,000 years ago through observing Father. I came to understand that Father indeed feels hungry when he doesn't eat and feels hot or cold when the weather is hot or cold. He stands in the same physical dimension as we do. We must understand that the Messiah is even more sensitive to everything than we are. He feels more hungry than we do. We usually think that he feels less hungry than we do. It is the opposite. Why? Because he can feel other people's hunger, too.

You can understand this if you think of a mother and her child. Suppose the mother is very poor and can buy only a bottle of milk. Even though they are both hungry, the mother can't drink before her child. If there is some milk left over after she feeds the baby, she may drink it. Both are truly hungry but there is a difference between the mother's hunger and her child's. The child says he is hungry when he is hungry, but the mother doesn't say she is hungry as long as there is food for her child, even though she doesn't have anything to eat. When the mother says that she is hungry, it indicates both mother and child are hungry.

The hunger of a child, a parent, a person governing a country, and a person governing the world are all different in content and dimension. Sorrow or joy can exist on a personal, societal, national, worldwide, and macrocosmic level. If you cause trouble to; certain person, it means you give him trouble on a personal level, but if you trouble a person who governs a nation, it means you give him trouble on a national level.

Saving an ordinary person is different from saving a person who governs a nation. If you save the life of an ordinary child, his parents will thank you sincerely and reward you. What will happen if you save a prince? The king will put up a notice around the country to find you and bring you to the palace to live. Do you follow me?

Attending the Messiah

In the same way, if you kill an ordinary person you will receive punishment on a personal level; if you kill a prince, you will receive national level punishment. How much will a king suffer through losing his son? Since he is the person who governs a country, he will feel loneliness and resentment on a national level. How about the Messiah? If you make the Messiah even slightly happy, that means you give him happiness on a macrocosmic level. What if the opposite happens? Think of what a big punishment resulted from the killing of only one person, Jesus Christ. If Jesus had been an ordinary person, the punishment wouldn't have been big, but Jesus was the Messiah, the person who had inherited the cosmos; that's why the punishment was so severe.

Do you understand now how carefully you should attend the Messiah? Please think about whether you attend him well or if you trouble him. Since God is a God of love, He makes a punishment carry on only to the second or third generation, but goodness will bring merit to many thousands of generations.

Suppose you are the leader of 10 people. If I trouble you who are responsible for 10 people, I give you trouble which amounts to 10 because you are responsible for 10 people's worries and burdens. If I trouble you who are a leader of 100 people, it means that I trouble 100 members. Because of this, we are told not to blame or criticize a person in the Abel position. If you give even the smallest trouble to the Messiah, who is carrying many more worries and burdens on his shoulders, the trouble will be magnified. But if you give him even the slightest joy, the joy will be magnified even more. Therefore, the Messiah is more sensitive than anyone else. I'd like you to understand this clearly.

Father sometimes exaggerates when a member has done something well. The member is embarrassed to see that Father has viewed his achievement in a favorable light. If you mature well as a leader and love your members in this way, your members can have the same experiences with you as I had with Father. 

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