The Words of the Yang Family
1963. Father and Mother offer a prayer upon receiving notification front the South Korean government that the HSA-UWC could officially operate as an organization.
I was born on May 10, 1910, in North Korea. I grew up in a family that had been Presbyterian as far back as my great-grandparents' generation in the 1800's. My parents were farmers and grew cotton, grain, and a large variety of other products. I went to mission school until I entered college. Missionaries in my hometown taught me to play the piano when I was very young. From the age of seven my singing ability was recognized and I always sang at family and church gatherings, and at public music festivals. I was raised in an atmosphere which was always cheerful and bright.
I studied the Bible as a subject until junior high school, and I acknowledged God's existence blindly and absolutely. From studying the Old Testament I gained the conviction that immorality and injustice will perish, while righteousness will surely prevail. This strong belief guided my actions throughout my life.
I went to Seoul to study music at Ehwa University and became a teacher there after graduation.
In 1950, war suddenly ravaged Seoul and brought me to the brink of death. I became involved in the resistance against the North Korean communists; I was captured and taken for execution.
Looking at the bright moon I prayed to God, "Please receive my spirit. If it is possible, however, for You to extend this life, then I will dedicate myself to live only for Your will." Miraculously, the five communists who were pointing their guns and knives at me changed their minds and took me for interrogation at the police station. There I was released by the help of some young man.
Later, when the Allies came, they also tried to arrest me, suspecting that I had been teaching the songs of Kim Il Sung! However, a friend testified that I was a person who was determined to die as a martyr for Korea, and so I was saved. I have always found that God never disregards the prayers of innocent people who try to follow His will.
When the communists retook Seoul in January 1951, I fled to Taegu and then to Pusan as a refugee. There, I volunteered my services in a church choir and at the Taegu middle and junior high schools for free. At that time our facility was nothing but a leaky tent pitched temporarily in the mountains. We managed to get a piano, which we placed on the dirt floor inside. Teaching piano there was a sobering and pitiful sight! Students would climb the mountain to come and practice, and sometimes they would end up practicing until one in the morning. One time one of my students stayed too late and spent the whole night shivering in cold and fear because of the curfew. When I found out I felt intense rage toward those who had started the war. Intuitively I sensed that these were indeed the Last Days, a time of judgment, as it was with Sodom and Gomorrah. I promised myself that I would continue to live the rest of my life righteously.
In July 1953 the armistice was signed, and when I returned to Seoul I felt ready to help anyone who asked me. I did a lot of work for the Ehwa choir and taught music at the university. At that time I also studied the Bible with the Jehovah's Witnesses. Normally I would return home after ten at night, have dinner, and go to sleep, but I was restless and would awaken around two in the morning to read the Bible by candlelight.
I felt that the time of Christ's return was drawing near. Bible passages such as the ones which said that one person would be taken and the other left, and those which warned against false prophets, drove me to check my faith and to pray fervently. I became anxious because I didn't have any assurance that I could avoid deception and be saved. The claim that ministers made in their sermons -- that if you simply believe, you will be saved -- sounded suspicious to me. Passing the offering plate around during the service and cheering the best witnessers seemed like a shallow game.
Mrs. Youn Young Yang
In 1954, I was working as a secretary for the government. On April 2, Hyo Won Eu came to Seoul and contacted me. He was a relative of mine, and someone I knew well. I used to visit him occasionally while I was teaching at Ehwa before the war. He became ill and returned to his hometown, however, and I didn't hear from him for a long time until he reappeared in Pusan as a refugee. We shared many stories of those suffering times. Now, here in Seoul, he and his younger brother Hyo Young and his cousin Hyo Min had spent a great deal of energy building and developing a factory -- but they had given up the factory when they joined this new religious group. When Hyo Won said he wanted me to come and hear the "truth," I chastised him and the other two strongly for abandoning a project that they had started under such difficulties. Hyo Min said that they had indeed found the truth and there was nothing to regret.
At that moment, a scene suddenly passed through my mind like an arrow: I saw Jesus asking Peter, John, and James to put down their nets and follow him. When the vision passed I asked Hyo Won how he could possibly discuss the truth if he didn't even know the Bible. I was desperate to discern whether this was a heretical group or not.
Hyo Won smiled and told me to listen to his testimony. Originally he had wanted to study theology, but all the ministers he knew were very poor. So he decided to study medicine so he could build a base of financial stability and help the community of believers physically as well as spiritually. At that point he became seriously ill. For seven years he studied the Bible in his sickbed, but it was very difficult for him to sustain hope. Without the prayers of his mother and one healer's prophecy that he would accomplish great things in the future, he might have given up. Finally he was introduced to the Principle, and he became convinced that this was the truth that could save humankind. In December 1953 he met Father and received Principle education for several months. Then he came to Seoul to lecture the Principle. I was the first person he contacted.
As I listened to his testimony I felt that because he had such a noble ideal, Hyo Won could not commit any crime or mistake. However many false prophets there might be, God would not let such a good and pure man go astray. He was so intelligent that I felt he could understand the Bible much better than I probably could. At that point I asked him to teach me the Principle.
I was especially moved by the explanation of the plus and minus aspects of God. When I used to witness, people would ask me to show God to them, and I would get completely stuck. This explanation of creation, which described the give-and-take action between the dual characteristics of God, was very enlightening. The teaching of the human fall was certainly true to human nature and perfectly logical. All the Bible quotations that the revival ministers could not explain were solved. I clapped my hands in joy, realizing that the person who had discovered this truth must be very close indeed to the Almighty.
I wanted to meet this person. I felt that if I met him I would learn much more and understand it more quickly than I would through this long explanation. My heart grew very hasty and determined, and I told Hyo Won to stop the lecture. I pressed him to introduce me to the person who had revealed these words.
He smiled again, and asked me if my heart was sincere. At about five o'clock a young man came into the room, and when all the others bowed, I did also. I realized that I had seen him somewhere before, in October of the previous year. I sat down with a few others and we listened to him speak. He shared about his past, particularly his experiences in overcoming difficulties with spiritual power. I saw no trace of suffering in him, however; only a mysterious warmth.
When I realized that this man was the author of the Principle, I couldn't regard him as a normal person. Rather, I felt him as a normal person. Rather, I felt him to be a mountain of divine spirit. His face was particularly expressive, and I observed a great variety of emotions in his continually changing countenance. As he led the discussion afterwards he brought out many thoughts and feelings from deep within my mind and heart, and without hesitation I disclosed my past and my character, as if I were talking with someone I knew very well.
For the next few days, I came every day to study the Principle. In the evening, Teacher* would speak to us. At that time, many spiritualists and old halmonie (grandmothers, elderly ladies) from the area would come and give accounts of their revelations about our group. On April 5, a lady named Shin Dak Lee came and said she had been pushed to come here with the message that "Father's loving daughter" had come. She had the gift of speaking in tongues. After praying for a short time her hands and feet began to shake, and she spoke in a strange language. When I questioned her about it, she said the words were a prophecy about the future. I became very curious and asked her to continue. This time she spoke more forcefully, and she even sang!
I was very surprised by this phenomenon. I began to feel jealous and angry that God did not recognize me with such a gift. I thought: My ancestors had worshiped God for many generations, my parents had lived very faithful lives, and I had also served God absolutely. Why had neither I nor my parents witnessed or experienced speaking in tongues?
I couldn't get control of my heart, and I put my head in her lap and cried out, "Father! Father!" so long and so loud that the landlord came and opened the door to find out what was happening. Hyo Won made the excuse that we were praying fervently for a sick patient! After crying, "Father!" for a long time, Teacher, who was sitting beside me, suddenly looked like "Father" to me in my own mind. It came as a revelation.
Suddenly I grabbed him and demanded to know why he hadn't told me himself that he had come with the mission of True Father. At this moment I felt like a little child who had found her father again after she had gone far away and then returned.
Then I suddenly realized that my real problem was whether or not I felt Teacher could truly believe in me. I asked him, "How much will you love me?" He opened his arms and stretched them out wide and said, "I love you this much." At that moment I felt complete contentment and happiness. All at once everybody began to sing hymns and Teacher prayed. Then my arms began to shake and involuntarily I began to sing,
The world is completed!
Oh, Christ, through my mouth your teaching of the Bible words is realized.
All come and hear this profound word!
This land is full of God.
Hear all my words of happiness.
Oh, Christ, giving this eternal love that I do not even know, let this mysterious fact be known to the people throughout the world.
Christ, please come quickly.
Oh, Christ, oh, Christ!
When this song ended [said, "From now on, I am going to prophesy. I will become like the disciple Paul." That night I went back home determined to become "Heaven's woman," and to live according to the revelation I had received. I told my husband he could manage the household with the help of the housekeeper. He stared at me strangely but he could not say anything. I disappeared into the loft to pray. After this realization of God's mighty will, I was so full of determination to spread the message that I could not sleep or even stay still for very long. One of my uncles had given his life for the sake of the nation, and I determined to do an even greater work for the sake of all humanity.
Father and followers in the late 1950s.
At five the next morning, I washed my face, took my bag, and stepped out of the house without breakfast. First I visited a minister, Kyung Gik Han. He was director of a local school of which I was also a board member. I had conducted the school choir and also his church choir, and I had also frequently sung solos in his church. We knew each other well. I told him that the time we were living in was the Last Days, and I asked him, "Don't you think a figure like Moses should appear?" He asked in return,
"Where is Moses?" I told him that I wanted to bring him to a person like Moses who had brought a new truth. He said, "Sister, are you mad?" I answered, "No, I received a revelation." He then began to oppose me, declaring that the Old and New Testaments were complete, and asking what I could possibly mean by a "new revelation." In times of war a woman's nerves must get very disturbed, he said, and if I wanted to speak about such strange things, I should leave his house at once. I left, feeling that he was the one who was truly mad.
Then I witnessed to the principal of another nearby school. I brought him to Teacher many times, but finally he said he could not come because he had too much work to do.
Soon afterward the church moved to a place we called "West House." It had one large hall where we would hold service on Sunday mornings, and two smaller rooms. Even when only a few people came, Teacher would speak as if he were addressing thousands. I could see the sweat coming through his clothes. During that time I would often witness to people on the street and try to tell them that they had to find the new truth, since we were living in the Last Days.
More and more deeply I realized that the Principle was indeed the truth that could save humankind. I began to feel desperate to connect President Syngman Rhee and President Dwight Eisenhower together so that they could bring about world peace. I was determined to reach a certain woman who was very close to President Rhee and his wife, so I visited her at her home and office many times. She was suspicious, but two or three times she did offer money to help us. I continued to try to persuade her to come and hear the lectures, and finally she agreed.
At West House Hyo Won taught her the introduction, and she said, "You will save the world with this." But then she left and never came back! I was struck dumb with amazement. With the help of missionaries she had gone to America to study religion and philosophy, and she was now teaching ethics at Ehwa University. Yet how could Heaven possibly be with her? How could she be capable of realizing that this truth could save the world, and yet be so unwilling to study it or witness about it? She was in the position of John the Baptist on a family level, but she failed. Eventually she even tried to destroy us.
Early one morning I went to visit another woman who was also close to President Rhee. While walking down the road on the way to her house, I had a vision. My mother appeared to me, surrounded by angels. Because of the barrier of the 38th parallel, I had not been able to travel to the north to visit my mother. She had passed away, but I didn't know it. She was clapping her hands and saying, "Well done!" The angels were about to place a crown on my mother's head. They said that if I worked hard and accumulated enough merit, they would put the crown on her head. Then my mother said to me, "God has been looking for a trustworthy man on earth for a long time, and having seen the perseverance of Sun Myung Moon, God chose him. From now on serve him and all the work he does."
I arrived at the lady's house, knocked on the door, and was invited in by a maid. As I entered the living room I saw a picture of Jesus on the cross wearing a crown of thorns. I felt as if a knife were cutting my heart open and I started to cry. Suddenly Jesus appeared, and my physical mother and my foster mother also appeared, crying and holding Jesus' feet. Jesus patted them gently on the back and said that this was not the time to cry but rather to work. Immediately my pain and my crying stopped.
The lady came in and I testified to her that great and important events were taking place. She asked me if war had broken out again! I assured her that such was not the case; I told her to come and hear a new truth. She confessed that she had thrown away her Bible during the military conflict to avoid danger from the communists, but I comforted her, saying that reviving the word in her heart was more important than possessing a book. We drove to West House and Teacher spoke with her for several hours. Afterwards she came twice to the center and had many spiritual dreams, but ultimately her heart did not open.
Next I witnessed to another university professor who was also the supervisor of a Christian museum. During the war he had developed a strong vision of Christian unity. He was famous as an eloquent speaker. He immediately agreed to hear lectures and came to West House. During Hyo Won's lecture on Christology, however, he asked several difficult questions. He started arguing, and finally he went home.
Several days later Hyo Won and I visited the professor at the museum, and we spent four or five hours in discussion. He admitted that a time would come when our church would become established and the accusations against it would cease. One day, a group of students approached him about writing an article with the purpose of destroying the Unification Church. I pleaded with him not to do it, warning him that if the Principle were indeed the truth, he might suffer judgment. He did not write the article, and I was so grateful. Later on he died, but I feel that if he had lived he would have become a member.
I witnessed to many Ehwa University teachers, but they all thought I was mad, and started spreading rumors. No one joined and finally my heart became very sorrowful. I decided to change my witnessing method, and I started to witness to people who were not necessarily from the upper classes. Our church looked so shabby and unconvincing that I decided to provide my own house as a lecture center and residence for a number of members. I donated everything I had. I gave my husband a book on the Principle to read. After reading it he said it was good, but he doubted that the ideal could be fulfilled.
After this, many trials came. Thieves broke into the house and stole all the silverware. My son, Du Sum, was hurt in a dynamite explosion. A short time later, in September 1954, my husband died after three days of illness. Then the church center was moved far from the neighborhood where my house was. I went to see Teacher, and he said that the chosen people must pass through many trials. He told of the indemnity that had to be paid in his own family when he received the Principle.
While I was teaching music at the Yeun University students' summer festival, I invited three friends -- a Bible teacher and two students -- to come and hear lectures at my house. All of them were moved and came the next day to hear Hyo Won's lectures again. Teacher spoke in the evening and nurtured their spirits.
After three days, they began to witness and brought so many people that the house looked like a hotel! Every evening after lectures Teacher would talk to us; being with him was like having a party. My heart was so moved by Teacher's love and compassion as he welcomed the newcomers. I felt as if I were on a cloud. I wanted to serve with everything I had. Truly heaven was at hand!
The early 1960s. Mother holds Ye Jin Nim as Mrs. Won Pok Choi looks on.
Question: You composed a number of holy songs. Can you tell us the process through which they were composed?
Most of the holy songs I composed came through spiritual experiences. Once I had a strong vision of Jesus, from the time he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane until he was sent to the cross and crucified. While Jesus was on the cross, a whirlwind came up about him and his image became pure and white like marble. I could see the wounds in his hands and feet.
This vision came quite suddenly -- as utter revelation. At the time I was a tutor for the children of Mr. Chan Kyun Kim, who is now the regional leader of New York. Strangely, I cried out to Mr. Kim, "Let me be crucified! Jesus is a man; we need a woman to be crucified!"
Somehow that kind of thought accompanied the vision. Mr. Kim was very worried, and ran to get Father so that he could talk some sense into me. I usually listened only to Father!
In that vision I received the basic musical theme for the holy song entitled, "Suffering Jesus," and I sang it -- as if I were a radio or a simple receiving instrument. From that moment on, for about two months, I thought about the words and wrote them down.
Even in my dreams I would receive melodies. I would keep paper and pen next to my bed so that when I awoke I could write them down and not forget them. "That Amazing Love," song number 38 in the Korean Holy Song Book [not in the English song book], came from a dream. In the dream, a girl about 12 years old danced around a small, beautiful hill. In this case, a melody did not come directly from the dream, but rather the dream inspired me to compose one. "Day of Glory" also came from a dream; in this case the melody and the central idea came in a dream, and I wrote the words later.
Usually, from the visions or dreams, the main idea or feeling would come first, then the basic musical theme. From that point, the music could be developed and the words written. Many composers create their works on the foundation of a preexisting poem or melody, but these songs are unique and original, stemming from spiritual experiences.
Often Father would be the one to christen the songs with an appropriate title, for example, "Pledge." I wrote this song between October 1955 and January 1956. The church center had moved far away from my house, and I had felt very lonely. I sang the song for Father's birthday, and annually for three years again after that.
The words for song number nine in the Korean Holy Song Book, "Principled Soldier," were written by Father, and then Father asked me to write the melody. I wrote one melody, but Father rejected it, saying it was "for juveniles"; so I had to write another. I liked the melody that I had first composed, and I later created words for it. It became "Song of the Banquet."
Question: What is the role of music in the restored world, and in spirit world?
Father told us that if we restore this world to the original ideal, there will be nothing but music and dancing. There will be no more sorrow and no more tears. We will be able to play more than work.
This world is a shadow of the spirit world, so the role of music is similar in both worlds; however, music is more useful in the spirit world. On one occasion in 1955, Rev. Won Pil Kim started to dance. So Father danced and the other members began dancing, too. Then somehow, the dancing became more strong and hot and exciting, like a fire. Even the members who couldn't dance, danced, and I felt as if I were flying! Our dance was really shared and influenced by spirit world. In our church family on earth we use music to stimulate unity; in spirit world the purpose of music is to generate joy -- joyful give and take.
When Father was young, he listened to a lot of music, especially popular music. Most of the songs would express love between lovers, and Father would compare his love for God with the love expressed in such songs.
Father has always asked me to sing many songs. I really like to do it. I love all songs, not just holy songs. In the church in the early days it was unusual for members to sing popular songs, but I would. I think Father likes my singing because I have a lot of experience in singing itself, but also because I have experiences in listening to God and sustaining spiritual experiences.
Question: Could you share with us more about your experiences with Father?
Father never really gave us direct advice in the beginning. He just told the members that they should try to get answers to their questions in prayer. So they would pray, and then they would take their hunch or intuition to Father and ask him if what they wanted to do were right or wrong. If he smiled, it meant it was acceptable; if he didn't, it meant it was wrong.
If Father had commanded us, "Do this," or "Do that," then the members would have had to pay indemnity if they failed to do it. Since the Blessing of True Parents in 1960, such indemnity has decreased quite dramatically. For example, if a rich person joined the church in the early days, he would become poor. Now, however, a poor person who joins the church can receive money. So now the situation is quite the opposite of what it was before Father was blessed.
Question: Were you present at True Parents' Blessing?
Yes, and I sang a song that I composed. I was extremely happy on that day, because the Bible says that if you are present at the marriage supper of the Lamb, you can avoid the Last Judgment. Everybody was dressed in white robes, but only a few members attended. Mr. Eu was the master of ceremonies. Afterwards we all changed into Korean clothes, sang songs, and danced together. Father had the members drink milk, signifying that they had been reborn and fed as babies. Father also gave out holy salt that day. Five days later Father blessed the Three Couples, using the same offering table as that which had been used at his own Blessing.
God has given all secrets, all revelation to Rev. Moon. I have received a lot of revelation from God, too, but often I would listen to Father as if listening to God Himself. Not only has Father received the Principle, but I have also experienced that his premonitions are always correct. They have always come true.
Question: What can you tell us about True Mother?
I remember Mother when she was 16 years old according to the Western style of reckoning. Honestly, when she was blessed she was so young that I worried about her, but I came to realize that she was really full of wisdom. I was relieved. She is very kind, and very beautiful.
Father is getting rather old now. It is good that Mother is still young, because she can support him. If they were both aging at the same time, she probably wouldn't be able to support him so energetically. She gave Father many children, and she feels that this was really God's will.
Many of the sisters thought that perhaps they would become Father's spouse. Actually, if Father had chosen one of them, there might have been a lot of jealousy. But nobody expected someone her age.
Often I felt a kind of pitying love for Mother, because she was always pregnant. Many times she couldn't follow Father on trips because of her physical condition. When Mother bore Hyo Jin Nim, she and Father were living in a very humble house. The heating system was not very good, and it was a very cold winter. Shortly after the birth, Mother went outside to greet Father when he returned home one day, and she was exposed to a very cold winter wind. I feel that because of that, Mother is very weak and easily chilled. It is very important that a woman take care of her health for one month after she has given birth.
Question: What does Father expect of Mother during the time he is in prison?
He expects Mother to share true love with the members and with True Children. I think that Mother manages her role very well. She often takes members shopping, especially those from abroad, and buys them gifts. I can also see that Mother is trying to unite the Cain and Abel children. Many blessed couples and blessed children visit the True Children, and they spend a lot of time together.