The Words of the Iverson Family

Edy Iverson's Testimony


Dedicated To the True Parents, Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon

To my beloved husband Tom, my eternal partner in life and in death,
May our love shine from Heaven and Earth and illuminate the world with True Love.

To my precious son David,

May you know the love from whence you came and create a "Life worth remembering" for yourself and your descendants.

For my loving twin sister Betsy…the "wind beneath my wings"


As I sit looking at the beautiful ocean in Florida, the peace and calm of nature gently staring back at me, I am grateful that, by the grace of God, I made it this far and that God has allowed me to live in this wondrous beauty and rest my tired and weary body from years on the spiritual battlefield to write this book.

But sadly, I think of Rev. Moon at age eighty-nine, and Mrs. Moon at age sixty six, and wish they could be here with me and rest too. I wish I could take care of them after they have taken care of me so lovingly for over thirty one years. In spite of their age and Rev. Moon's recent health problems, they continue to push themselves to bring the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, and to fulfill Christ's prayer, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven".

My prayer is that through this book, you, the reader, will come to know the truth and goodness of this great and noble couple by the work they commissioned my husband and myself to do. Our love was the living testimony to Rev. and Mrs. Moon's continued investment in America and the world. It is through their beautiful selfless hearts and inspiration that we could "Create a Life worth Remembering".

Chapter 1. Where it all began

Growing up in L.A. was not a bad experience, but something I don't look upon fondly with tender memories. It was typical city life. I grew up in West L.A., in Culver City. The product of a Jewish mom and dad, middle class, I would imagine my life was somewhat normal. My mom was a housewife, and my father worked in the motion picture business managing a store that sold movie camera equipment in Hollywood. The most exciting thing about me was that I was in a movie when I was six months old with my twin sister Betsy. After that, my mom was exhausted and said no more.

I was a teenager in the 60's which was a difficult time to live, much different to the era in which my parents grew up. With my grandmother coming from Russia, my mother was extremely traditional and conservative. She felt the most important thing was for her daughters to grow up, get married and have their own children. She was waiting for her grandchildren since we were about ten, probably because she married somewhat late in life and had us in her thirties. My father was strong and responsible. His father died young and he had a hard life in New York, even though his mother remarried. Though my father was a brilliant man and won a top science award, he could never finish college because of the war and I always felt he could never live out the incredible potential he had. I think this gave rise to a great deal of cynicism in him and made him an absolute practical realist. In spite of this, since his brother and father both worked for the opera in New York, he grew up with a love of beauty, the arts and culture, which he instilled in all of his children. To this day, whenever I hear opera it moves me to tears and I think of my loving father.

I remember my father taking us to museums and swimming on weekends and I remember curling his hair with curlers. I remember my mother sitting and watching soap operas and knitting. But most of all I remember the way they loved each other. When my father would come home, my mother would get up and greet him and they would pat each other on the behind and kiss very lovingly. Of all my memories that is my fondest. I think I only saw them fight one time and they loved each other passionately until my mother died at the young age of fifty-five from cancer. In many ways they lived in their own world and could not relate to ours. It was a frustrating time for them and for us as teenagers.

Growing up as teenagers in America, we had everything materially, but we were the least content. Along with every other teenager at that time, we were rebellious. Though my mother wanted me to just relax and get married, I remember being active politically at a very young age during the war in Vietnam. I would sit and watch the war on television and weep. I was involved early on in "sit-ins" at school. My father would say "There is nothing you can do about it, why cry over it?" but I always knew in my heart that war was wrong. I knew from very young that my work in life would be in bringing peace on earth. I feel that is what I was called to do.

Because of the differences in our values and desires, I moved out of the house at 16 when I finished high school, got a job and put myself through night school. I just could not agree with my parents thinking and felt I wanted more from life than just getting married to a Jewish doctor and having children. Of course, I had a boyfriend who was studying to be a "nice Jewish doctor" but I found the relationship empty and unfulfilling even though he was a great guy. I knew I needed more.

Somehow I knew I had to develop myself. I lived with a wonderful gal from Mexico, worked and went to junior college where I studied counseling and psychology to learn to understand people's suffering. I remember being so tired I would fall asleep in Spanish class at night. But by the grace of God my Spanish teacher passed me and to this day, even after only one semester, I have learned to communicate well in Spanish in spite of my sleepiness in class. I think it was through osmosis.

I moved up to San Francisco where I went to college and studied to be a paralegal. I had a beautiful flat on Height-Asbury street (by that time, it was completely restored) and jogged every day in Golden Gate Park. I had a wonderful group of friends and we did everything together. I remember making a pot of soup almost every day and people would come over. Even then I loved to cook and entertain for others. I loved San Francisco, the energy, the excitement, the health food restaurants, the quaintness. To this day, it is still one of my favorite cities. I also took an experimental class in psychology in Sausalito at New College, which I loved. Just going over the bridge to one of the prettiest places in the world was such a joy.

Chapter 2. How I met the Unification Church

I had just recently returned from a trip to Hawaii to visit my twin sister Betsy. It was there that I had my first spiritual experience. I saw my sister after she had been living in the mountains of Hawaii for several years and realized how beautiful and pure she was. It was as if she had purified herself and become very good. Through her goodness, I could see for the first time how cynical, external and Machiavellian I had become. Even in my pursuit of what I felt was good and right, I had become somewhat selfish, ruthless and callous. Seeing her goodness touched something deep in my mind and heart. It was as if my spiritual eyes and senses opened up and I saw the reality of my life and how hard I had become. I was not the type that went searching for God, because all the people I knew that were "religious" or spiritual seemed so hypocritical to me. I also believed that we were responsible for our own destiny and that things were not always in God's hands or God's fault.

I had friends from every faith and spiritual background, but still I was such a total idealist I could see shortcomings in everything. Also I could never understand why, if God was a loving father, he could allow so much pain and suffering in the world, such as the Holocaust, rape, murder and child abuse. It was unfathomable.

After I returned from Hawaii, my sister came to stay with me in San Francisco. One day while walking down the street, she met a lovely middle aged teacher named Erin Bouma, who invited her to a seminar from the "Creative Community Project". Betsy came home and told me about it and I decided to go with her. I loved the name of the project. One night we went to a meeting. It was an extraordinary experience. We heard a talk by Dr. Mose Durst, a Jewish professor at Laney College in Oakland, and he spoke about "creating the ideal world".

He was a brilliant, articulate and warm hearted man with the heart of a Rabbi and I was impressed. But just as impressive was the quality of the people I met there. All were professional and educated, and yet so warm and loving. I remember gathering in a circle where someone prayed. Somehow the goodness of it all touched me in an incredible way. I felt these people were really genuine, there was no falseness in them and their sincerity and goodness were beyond any doubt. I was moved to find out more. I was especially touched by the goodness of the men in the group, who served others quite selflessly. This was something you didn't usually see in the "real" world. I knew they were special. Dr. Durst encouraged me to come to a camp called "Booneville" at the weekend and I said I would think about it. That very weekend I went and studied the Divine Principle, which is the teaching and revelation of Rev. Moon. It was phenomenal.

I was familiar with many religious texts, but the Divine Principle was profound beyond belief. It explained the cause of human suffering, why history repeats itself, in depth details of the spiritual world and life after death, the purpose of life, our relationship to God, how to unite all religions, races and cultures and work together to build the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth in our lifetime. But more than the words were the actions of the community itself. I saw these incredibly capable, educated young people, who were devoted to selflessly sacrificing their life for the sake of others. That this was not just rhetoric or some goofy idea. They were actually living it twenty-four hours a day. I saw it, tasted it and experienced it with my own eyes. It was like being dropped in a spiritual vat of chocolate, and it was delicious beyond anything I had ever experienced.

Certainly these people were not perfect, but their level of understanding and practice of true love was exemplary. For the first time I met men who could see me for what I really was, who looked upon me as a sister, not just an object of their desire. What a feeling! But I was skeptical, analytical and cautious. I have never been a joiner or easily swayed, and when I found out the teachings were from Rev. Moon, I was even more skeptical as I had heard many things about him. But somehow it didn't add up.

If he were some evil man and these people were brainwashed, then why were his teachings so incredibly good and why were the people who were involved with this community so wonderful? If you are teaching something bad, then how could people be so good? They were far too educated and intelligent to be following something mindlessly. That was obvious. I had to find out for myself the truth about what I was seeing and hearing, so I decided to go back home and study the teachings to figure out this controversial organization.

It's funny. To this day, when I meet people and tell them I am a Unificationist, they are always shocked because of their preconceptions. I have always been a very responsible, community oriented leader and businesswoman, and talking with me totally changes their concept about Rev. Moon and the kind of people that are involved with our organization. They are usually amazed.

After several weeks of study and questioning the Divine Principle, I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life and I decided to dedicate myself full time to this extraordinary work. That was thirty one years ago and in spite of years of persecution, misunderstanding, and a life of tremendous hardship and sacrifice, I have never regretted that decision. I feel I am one of the luckiest people on earth. I have lived a life no one could imagine. I am happy to tell my story and hope it will inspire others to overcome their doubts and find out the truth about our organization and its founder.

In the years since, my work has spanned the globe, I have been on three continents, traveled, and met world leaders and religious leaders of every faith and background. I have worked in the poorest ghettos of the Bronx in New York and the poverty stricken reservations of South Dakota as well as walked the halls of Congress and dined with Ambassadors, Vice Presidents and Congressman, and through it all, I have come to learn one important thing.

Inside every human being is a heart that longs for true parental love. If you can reach inside and touch this love, it is the greatest joy in life. I have come to understand that what really matters in life is love and only love. When we stand before God, he will not ask us how great our accomplishments are, about our clothes, our cars, or how much money we made selling real estate. He will ask "Have you loved the people I put into your life, your children, your co-workers, your wife or husband?" And we will see our own lives reflected like a movie and we will be the judge, no one else.

We will see the mirror of ourselves and we will either have regret over the bad things we did or pride in the good things. Despite trying to live a life of loving others, I know all too well my failures to live up to my ideals, yet I am grateful that God has not given up on me and gives me chance after chance to learn to love. That is our lesson in life and this is my school, and I hope I will graduate one day. Learning to love is the hardest lesson. It is agonizingly painful, and takes tremendous perseverance and forgiveness, but the rewards are infinite and eternal. [People] can take away everything, but they cannot take away our hearts, or our commitment to love. I have been in jail many times for my faith for something as ridiculous as fund raising for my church, but I was able to learn to forgive my enemies because of the teachings of Rev. Moon. No matter what you may think or have heard, this is the real story of a real "Moonie" and I hope it will open your mind to the truth of Rev. Moon's goodness. Meeting him opened mine.

Chapter 3. Meeting Rev. and Mrs. Moon

I will never forget my first meeting with Rev. and Mrs. Moon. I had actually been involved with the Church for almost two and a half years when I was asked to go to New York and meet Rev. Moon. I remember sitting close to the front when Rev. Moon was speaking. All I can remember is that for the first time in my life I felt that someone knew me, knew who I was, what I was and understood me completely in one minute. It was an amazing feeling. In the hundreds of times I have seen Rev. and Mrs. Moon since my very first meeting, I have always felt the same way. I believe it is everybody's greatest desire to be understood completely, loved completely and valued completely, and without even words, Rev. Moon has the capability to do this.

I have seen him take the toughest world leaders, or die-hard religious leaders like Louis Farrakhan, or communists like Mikhail Gorbachev, and melt them completely within minutes. I believe this is the incredible power of Christ's love working through him. God's love can penetrate and see into the deepest soul and discover what they need in order to be healed. Though Mrs. Moon is very internal, she is quietly observant of all around her. She is equally as sensitive spiritually to people's suffering and it is incredibly moving to see the kind of support she gives her husband. Most religious leaders work alone, but Rev. and Mrs. Moon almost always work as a team unless they are separated by their schedule of speaking engagements. When they are separated, the one feels a certain longing for the other. It is so beautiful to see. Rev. Moon never ceases to praise his wife and value all that she has gone through. The love between them is so vibrant, deep and passionate.

Rev. Moon is highly animated, energetic and sometimes hysterically funny. I have sat and listened to him talk for up to 17 hours at a time about God, God's Heart and how to restore the world to goodness. He will talk about the most profound and poignant subjects, like True Love and Living for the sake of others, and then he will turn around and talk about sex and the preciousness of it -- with extraordinary humor and insight, making even the most seasoned elder in our Church blush. When people try and hide things, he can always see through them. If there are problems in marriages or a husband or wife has some weak point and he is close to them, he will expose it and point it out and make them face it.

He is so incredibly spiritually sensitive, he cannot eat food that was prepared without love. It is not easy to be around Rev. Moon. He is eighty-three years old and still going strong, completely sacrificing and living his life to bring the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth -- never stopping, and never slowing down. Even those who are younger cannot keep up with him. If you look at a list of thousands of projects Rev. and Mrs. Moon have started, the organizations, businesses, with everything from fishing to the news media, it is almost impossible to believe one man could have created this. Only if you see the astonishing successes of all that he accomplishes, can you begin to understand how God is working through this family to heal this world and to bring all things back to the realm of goodness. 

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