Sun Myung Moon’s Life In His Own Words
When I look at that which is central to me and when I look back on the way my family has been living, I come to the conclusion that God is hardhearted and merciless. Sometimes, He gives a blessing, but then... My family received God's blessing at the time of my great-grandfather. However, we paid indemnity in my grandfather's time. One surely suffers indemnity after having received a blessing. The history of indemnity never fails to bear this out.
The Israelites also received indemnity after blessings. When one receives a blessing, he has to receive indemnity to the same degree. To sustain something and leave its seed behind, one has to go through indemnity. What is more, for a family to leave behind a seed not for the family, but for the tribe, Satan brings hardships much greater in degree than the blessing the family received.
Therefore, until I finally received the call from God, there was great confusion in my family. Our family's property was dispersed and there was loss of life. Besides all this, many unfortunate things happened to people around me. Everyone, starting from the key people, was affected.
For three generations, before I began my search for God's will, indemnity was paid. We received indemnity in my grandfather's generation and in my father's generation. In my generation, it came to my older brother. Was this God's providence aiming to destroy me? No. I knew it expressed the love of a God who wanted to begin the process of gaining complete victory. When we look at the historic providence resulting from the fallen blood lineage, we see that this must be so. We never know when Satan will come in through our ancestors, our family, our brothers and or even ourselves. So, one cannot go to the place of indemnity without having the ability to liquidate this invasion and work in place of God. Still, whether we know it or not, indemnity comes.
This is my family. I had three great uncles; the second one, Moon Shin-kook, died in a foreign land. The second sons of all three great uncles died in foreign lands. Yong-gi's father (Moon Kyung-bok) died in a foreign land. In addition, President Moon Yong-gi's grandfather's second son (Moon Kyung-hoon) died of illness while studying in Seoul. The second son (Moon Kyung-ho) of the third great uncle in Paju also died of illness while studying in Hwi Moon Senior High School in Seoul. During those times, my family was in a state of confusion. We were receiving an all-out attack from Satan.
Now, it came to my generation. As you know, I am the second son. This being the case, Satan wanted to strike me, but the fact is I didn't fail. Also, Seung-kyun was the second son and so was Yong-gi. All the second sons were attacked. So, Satan tried all sorts of things. Because of this family history, it was said that smart people die early if they are educated. For this reason, many young people were not sent to school. This was all to protect me.
Seen in this way, it is the fight between Cain and Abel that comprises providential history; and this fight has always been carried out during the course of the providence by Cain striking Abel. At the same time, the providential will has always been focused on expanding the world of Abel by occupying the world of Cain. Satan has always persecuted religion through earthly people, particularly those on the side of Cain who hold sovereign power. Ever since history began, this fight has been continually repeated.
Former president Mr. Eu Hyo-won was the second family among the original three blessed families. Hee-jin was my second son. When the providence reached the age of True Mother, Heung-jin, our second son, died in a foreign land. Hye-jin also was our second daughter. She died eight days after her birth. The law of indemnity works in this way.
Spiritual phenomena do not just happen in the invisible world. We can actually see many spiritual occurrences. So, Satan used every means available in his plan to bring down those related to me. Under these circumstances, something awful happened to my brother (Moon Yong-soo) and sister (Moon Hyo-soon). They became mentally unbalanced. When they were young, there was a spiritual environment and there were problems from the spirit world. By the way, my brother, who we thought had lost his reason, was actually talking to himself, but what he was saying was extraordinary. He spoke in different ways; all day long, several spirit men were coming to speak with him. I could see that at once. All sorts of things happened. For example, my grandfather died and then revived. Everything was being affected...
There is something called ye fang, which you use when your sons and daughters marry. I mean ye-jang of twelve to fifteen sae. (Sae is a unit of the thread length in a woven fabric; eighty lengthwise threads)
When you reel the thread off a spinning wheel, it's called tot-ggut. You keep the tot-ggut all in a jar; when it's enough to make a twenty-five-yard bolt of cloth, you bind the threads of hemp together. In this way, we made cloth.
One night the piled-up hemp cloth was all undone and strung from our century-and-a-half -old chestnut tree to the chestnut tree of our neighbor. Pak. Seung-gyun do you remember that? [Yes.] [Father laughs.] All sorts of unlucky things happened. Mischievous spirits really exist. Here is another example. In the rural parts of Pyong-an Province, into the door of a house, people would cut a small door for ventilation. When my mother kindled the fire in the kitchen, the fire made a sound and passed though that small door. The edge of the eaves caught fire. Can you believe it?
My uncle's dog (Moon Kyung-goo's) bit off a baby's ear and ate it; some big pigs drowned; cows and horses died. Such things happened because of me, one person. All my relatives were affected. What can I say?... By the time I started down this road at the age of fifteen, [Sixteen by Korean reckoning.]only five out of thirteen members of our family were left; the rest had all died.
I had thought that I would do everything I could do for the sake of my younger brothers and sisters, but even that foundation was cut. Not only one younger sister, but also my beloved younger brother was taken away. My brother, who died at the age of seven, was more handsome than I and was very lively. So I thought, "Oh, the fellow is going to be somebody in the future. I will keep up with you. He was a lovable brother. His name was Yong-kuan. This brother died of smallpox. I remember that it was during the period of Japanese administration. At a time when the vaccination for smallpox was not available, Yong-kuan came down with the disease. He had a terrible fever. People used to say that a person with smallpox would die if his feces tasted sweet and survive if they were bitter. I still have a vivid memory of my mother tasting his feces.
Furthermore, Heaven took away all my closest friends. In this way, those friends were actually blessed by Heaven. Heaven got rid of everything, and cut me off from everyone in the world I could trust and rely on. Some of them were from North Pyong-an Province and some of them were from Hwang-hae Province. Heaven took away my closest friends. God was concerned that I, who was to take the will of God upon my shoulders, would share the situation with them. So, He took away everything in the world I might be interested in. I understood these circumstances and therefore changed paths.
From childhood, when I went to other towns, things happened -- people dying or becoming sick, or horses dying or cattle dying. It never failed. It has been this way all my life. Horses died, dogs died, or eagles flew down and took away chickens several times a day. Such things happened. [Laughter] So, I was driven out of town many times. People chased me away for being a weird person who caused these things. Not just me as an individual, but my entire family lived like that.
In 1920, when I was born, Korea had been annexed by Japan. At that time, I experienced, to the bone, the pain and sorrow of a small, weak nation trampled down by a strong nation. In those times, when I was a young man, I couldn't help seriously thinking about a way of saving the world from the misery of war and evil.
Who would take charge of the chaotic state of the world and sort things out? The lives of both individuals and families were hard. It was a time of confusion to the point that no family in any town was happy.
Beyond the community, it was the same for the nation. Beyond the nation, the situation was the same in all of Asia. Beyond Asia lay the chaotic world. Besides, from my boyhood on, I began to worry about fundamental questions of life: Who am I? Where did I come from? What is the purpose of life? Does life continue after death? Does God indeed exist? Is God omniscient? Is He a helpless being? If He is omniscient, why doesn't He solve problems affecting humanity? Why is life so painful?
Looking back, these may sound like trivial memories, but they were very serious at the time. It was a time when deciding on how to live one's life meant risking one's future. Since I knew these questions couldn't be solved by human decisions alone, I thought that if God should exist, I should take the road that would decide the situation in line with God's will over and above human thinking. I still have vivid memories of all I have labored for in my life of faith.
At the age of fifteen1 I had an unusual experience. At the end of a long and tearful prayer on Easter morning, Jesus Christ appeared to me, revealed many things to me, and gave me instructions. He told me many profound and amazing truths. He told me that God grieves because people are in pain. Then he asked me to play a special role in God's work on earth.
It is indeed difficult to put into words all the experiences I had when I was young. In short, the spiritual world unfolded in front of me all of a sudden; I was able to communicate freely with the saints in the spirit world. In the calm of the mountains in northern Korea, I had personal conversations with Jesus Christ several times. The truth revealed at that time constitutes the core of the Unification Principle.
When you see Jesus spiritually, does he smile and say, "Oh, I feel so happy!" Have you seen Jesus like that? Have you met Jesus when he was like that? Even I haven't seen him in that mood. He always appears serious and gloomy; he can't help being so. It is because he knows God deeply, as I also do.
The month of April, as you know, is when Jesus resurrected after he had come to earth and trodden a path of suffering. In the Unification Church, we celebrate Easter on April 17. Everyone knows that April is the most loved month in spring. April 17 is the day, two thousand years ago, when Jesus resurrected. Since that time, there have been many Christians.
Still, they have never known the actual day of Jesus' resurrection. Knowing this, you should realize how heavy and how sorrowful it has been for Heaven that the world is unaware of which day Jesus resurrected on.
You, at least, should celebrate this day representing Heaven and all humanity. I ask you to be Jesus friends internally and externally -- be people who can feel the heart of Jesus Christ. In that sense, you should feel that you are sitting in a precious place, on which Heaven, earth and all things gaze. The memory of Jesus appearing and revealing that this was the day of his resurrection is vivid in my mind.
When I started down this road, I was younger than you are now; I was less than twenty. It was a time of innocence. I had a strong desire to have as my own whatever I saw that was good. I felt compelled to search for and interact with anything unusual.
Ever since that day, when I came to understand Heaven's amazing will, I set off in obedience to the heavenly mandate... When God expressed to me His commitment to this big, amazing task, I knew that I, the one who had to feel that commitment and live with it as my hope, had not yet become a person who could digest it. I fully understood that the task was too big for me to take on and that it was my own responsibility to prepare myself for this very heavy job; beyond that understanding, I could do nothing.
When I set out on this road, I was a young man like you. After I received the call from Jesus, the big problem was the question of how to fulfill this important responsibility. I knew that Noah, Abraham and Moses were much more determined to accomplish their goal than anyone else, in spite of everything.
Men who decide to go on with hope for the future when the way is difficult are wise; those who give up the future for the sake of immediate gratification are fools. Would I have had this kind of thinking when I was young, or not? We are only young once... Which road do you think I chose? I chose the way that a wise man should take. The value of a man and his personality vary according to his standards.
So, does one decide his or her own position? Can one man by himself make promises about tomorrow and guarantee the outcome? This is a most important point -- whether you are determined to be able to establish hope for your own future rather than being satisfied with the present.
God ordained me according to His timetable. Why do you think He did that? For the answer, we have to ask God directly. What I know with certainty is that this mission was bestowed on me. In the course of bringing salvation, God had gone through many difficulties and problems, many of which were still unresolved at that time. Leaving all those problems behind, God visited me right at my front gate. He came to the front gate and chose me when I was a boy, which was when I came to understand God's will and started on this road.
It was not like walking along a street, meeting someone by chance and setting off on this road. Neither was beginning this work like the laying on of hands by a minister. It wasn't as if someone witnessing to me caused me to go this way, either. What was the starting point of my motivation? It was God.
The question "Does God exist?" was one I had thoroughly investigated. Having discovered that He does exist, I finally started down this road. I asked, "God, is there something You want?" and I found out what he wanted. Then, I asked, "God, do You need me?" and found that He needed me. Next, I asked how much He needed me.
There were times when I agonized in my course of faith. I was passing through my teens and going into my twenties. In the meantime, I thought, I shall have to go to Japan. I need to go to America via Japan. I shall have to go to actual places and personally experience what it means for a weak nation to suffer grief and persecution. I thought that should God exist, I would represent Him and pursue the accomplishment of His will. For that to happen, to what extent should I know God? I mean, I would have to understand everything -- from His internal state to the destination He is to reach. I researched these questions in the Christian Bible and all religious books.
It was from the age of fifteen and from a humble position that I began to have the experience of knowing God. At any rate, for the next nine years, I lived with the omniscient God and with Jesus. I entered the spirit world several times. Step by step, God taught me His amazing truth. It was like a long, dark night had passed by and then seeing the morning sun rising. I could see in this truth the dawn of a glorious, new culture. The revelation I received from God is called the Principle, and I received instructions to spread this Principle to the ends of the earth.
The truth we teach here had been previously unknown, as if covered by a lid. It's remarkable that the lid, which has been in place throughout human history, has now been removed, revealing a theoretical system that makes possible conclusions that correspond with actual facts and historical events.
I understood the world well and also Korea's state of affairs. I had already explored the whole of the peninsula when I was fourteen and fifteen. We have to be able to think of our own country. Once a nation is built, the world is... I am a person who had already explored the southern part of Korea when I was fifteen or sixteen. I experienced Jeolla and Gyeongsang Provinces and so on. I had also begged from door to door.
While experiencing things like this, I thought, first, the nation should not disappear due to misfortune; and, second, that there must be hope that the adverse destiny and the sad history of retreating from Heaven that has continued until now through our ancestral lines will come to an end. I saw that there would be a way for Korea to survive if I could somehow raise a flag, rouse the sleeping nation and lead it while boasting to the world of our explosive national spirit.
In my youth, there was no place in Korea I hadn't traveled. I stayed up all night in a truck... The truck driver wouldn't let me into the cab, but I manage to climb up. [Laughter] As I couldn't sit in the driver's seat, I made the effort to get into the truck -- finally -- and sit in the place where the goods were. I thought, "If you want to go without letting me in, you have to kill me first. Letting one person in wouldn't hurt the truck." When I got out the following night, I said to the driver, "Ajoshi, let me pay for dinner." He agreed, and while eating dinner, I poured out my story to him. This won his heart and he forgot that I had said I would pay for the meal. He paid for it instead. [Laughter]
Another time, a lady had made rice for her husband who was working in a field. She was on her way to him with the meal in a basket she was carrying on her head. I stopped her by the roadside and later she somehow ended up serving the rice to me. [Laughter]
You may not know how much I thought before I started down this road. I have shed sweat and blood in order to go this way. I have prayed and devoted my life -- risked my life -- in order to go down this road.
While receiving God, I have never asked, "Am I right or wrong?" I set out on this road with life or death determination. I am a person who thinks in that way. I am still alive, my body hasn't collapsed, and there is still more road for me to go down and another road I have promised to travel. Thinking in this way leaves no room for regrets.
What kind of person does God call? Not someone who has a good character externally or a strong belief internally, but a person who has truth. Though seemingly weak, that person has a sword of love and a loving heart, so that when confronted with hardships he or she can cut through them and continue. Unless we become this kind of person, we cannot go toward our mission's destination and can't be acknowledged for having gone that path that is uniquely ours to go in front of the Being who called us.
I have solved all the difficulties by myself. Consultation with others couldn't give lead to an answer. No one, not even my parents, could understand the course I was about to embark on. What I determined as a teenage youth has today passed through the historic bitter sorrow of restoration and reached the position in which one can open the door to victorious Heaven. When we come to understand that, we see how great the power of a young man who is resolved is.
The direction we go in depends on Heaven. In other words, Heaven's heart doesn't move in accordance with human nature or thinking; human nature should move according to Heaven's heart. It follows, then, that those who are to develop heavenly nature should get rid of human nature. I mean, one should give up humanistic causes for the sake of the heavenly path.
So, I wasn't even able to buy a handkerchief or a pair of shoes for my parents, who love me so dearly. Even today, when I think of that, I know from the human perspective I was not a filial son. However, I changed myself so as not to commit perfidy to God, though I may have betrayed my parents. Since I have dealt with all other things with such determination, I am determined not to rest until my goals are accomplished.
God's work shows that He has been restoring the Cain-like world by taking and sacrificing those He loves most and those who are closest to Him. I haven't been able to speak a word of the Principle to my mother and father. Everyone in my family, including my older sister and younger brother, received some spiritual inspiration. So it was quite probable that the Principle could have been communicated to them directly. Still, since they couldn't listen to it... If I tried to tell them, the words just stuck in my throat. There is a time for everything.
Once one makes up one's mind to do something, he or she should do it. It's same with me. I made a promise to Heaven... Since I determined to go in a set direction, even if my companions betray me, my parents betray me, my wife or children betray me, I am going that way. If my nation betrays me and the Unification Church itself betrays me, I will go even if it means sweeping them aside. I have been going this way ever since I received my calling. I am going this way now, and I will also go this way tomorrow.
Dear Father, the time when You called this innocent child a few decades ago and instructed me seems like yesterday. I am grateful to You that today -- having passed through countless historic crises -- I have been allowed time to feel repentant for the past and to once more think about life.
Your voice was refreshing as You calmly instructed me, though I, who did not know anything, was calling out to You. Rather than the times when I was humming a tune, pretending to be happy, I miss the times I pledged in front of You, biting my lips, blood mixing with tears. I miss the places where I could boast of a bond with Heaven, even though I was being chased out and persecuted. I don't miss the occasions where I just conversed with people. Though other people on earth did not know, I knew the path that sons and daughters were to take in search of Heaven, the conditions for that relationship they had to establish. I also knew that every time I voluntarily went down a road toward death, You made it into one leading to resurrection.
I can't forget the day I was suffering, starving and in dire circumstances after I had come to know Your will. I know that there are many tearful crossroads behind the Unification Church tradition. In retrospect, they have become points of resolve for resurrection and revival that cannot be blocked.
I have gone through the era under Japanese rule, I have been through North Korea, I have been through South Korea, and through America; I have journeyed throughout the world. Having learned why the road to Heaven is accompanied by so much persecution, I can only be grateful to You that You have had me walk that road throughout my life. For this, I offer You my gratitude once again.