The Words of the Lee Family
Here is a speech given at the Peace TV offices by Rev. Jae Seok Lee, National Messiah to Taiwan, one of the 36 couples and a former president of HSA-UWC Korea.
Beloved Brothers and Sisters of Blessed Families Whom I Respect, How have you been?
I cannot imagine how much you have had to suffer for the sake of the building of Cheon Il Guk. I want to apologize to God and True Parents, and to say I'm sorry to my fellow brothers and sisters for the conflict and division in our church, representing one of the elder families and as a person who was once in charge of the Korean church.
More than anything else, the saddest thing about what is happening today is that I am unable to do anything about it.
I am merely taken aback and worried after going through an enormous shock and seeing the unexpected sudden happenings.
If there is no way to resolve this situation in True Parents' family, while True Parents are alive, as Unification Church members, then we must go back to what is essential, take another look at what is happening today, make a new determination and new beginning.
We are hearing many words, reading many documents and seeing shocking videos. Though some things are facts, there are also exaggerations and misrepresentations.
What I am worried about when I see all this information is, regardless of how traditional or righteous one may claim to be, how rational one's theories may be, how legitimate your position is, those types of things are affecting True Parents' status and cracking the tradition of the Unification Church. The people involved must understand this. And what can they hope to gain from this?
When we look back historically, we see that after the Israelites went through the pioneer course in the wilderness and entered Canaan, they distributed the land to the 12 tribes and hurriedly settled the land but encountered various faith-related issues. At the time, a faith rally was opened in Shechem.
People from all the Israelite tribes were brought together and Joshua insisted that they all make a decision. He scolded them severely.
Moreover, if we look at Christian history, starting from the time of Jesus, we can find many things taking place over the course of 2,000 years. There is confusion in what is the true faith. There is conflict, struggle and division. Whenever that happened, Christians asked themselves what it means to be a true Christian and strived to act in that way.
It is because of this tradition that the Christian church has been able to remain united and unique up until now.
In the same way, in the course of True Parents' preparatory course, their public course, and their work up until this day, in this providential history, we have faced problems that we could not have predicted would occur.
The way to resolve these problems was to return to our origin, to our essence, and make a new beginning.
Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
What do you believe is our origin?
The essence of the Unification Church is True Parents.
It is a religion started by True Parents.
What do you think is the difference between the Unification Church and other religions?
It is that we are True Parents' religion. We are a church started by True Parents that attends and worships True Parents as the Messiah.
So we need to reestablish True Parents' status by looking at course True Parents went through to become True Parents.
Jesus appeared to True Father during prayer in 1935 on Mt. Myodu. That is when True Father is given the revelation that he is the Messiah. From then, he became completely immersed in a life of prayer for nine years in order to inherit God's Shim Jung. There were times that he prayed for 12-18 hours a day. Father says that sometimes the tears he shed went through his clothes, collected on the ground and formed a small stream. When we hear this, we can guess how serious Father's prayer was and for how long a period of time he was absorbed in prayer.
Also, during his preparatory period, True Father trained himself in having dominion over himself. He trained to have dominion over the desires for food, sleep and sex. He trained with the motto that he should have dominion over himself before desiring to have dominion over the universe.
Meanwhile, in order to have direct experiences of God's sorrowful Shim Jung (from His work throughout the history of the Providence of Restoration), True Father had actual experiences of God's suffering by living in slums, living as a beggar, and working at a street stall with a handcart, at Kawasaki Ironworks, at a shipbuilding yard, at a salt pond, and at a charcoal kiln.
Even in such circumstances, True Father's heart toward God was that he did not want God to worry about him. His life of faith was to comfort God's heart, "Please don't worry." Even though he was going a difficult path of suffering, he did not think of it as his own problem, but instead comforted God's heart, knowing that God was watching him. How could we ever fully understand his heart of filial piety? The way that he overcame suffering was to not think of it as his own suffering, but to instead realize that he was paying indemnity for the sins of his people and of the entire human race. With that kind of Shim Jung and intent, he was victorious over the way of death while keeping his dignity and commanding presence. We can see that he was honorable and proud even in prison, earning the award given to the most exemplary prisoner every year, sincerely for the sake of God's glory and will.
Even while he was in prison, True Father found 12 disciples for the sake of God's dispensation. Through the Korean War and the bombing by American soldiers, he became a free man and came out of that worst of prisons, narrowly escaping death. He went south and walked with refugees to Busan, then made a mud-walled hut in Beomnaetgol, wrote Wol-li-won-bon, then started witnessing again and founded the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity in 1954. He sent evangelizers out to many areas and invested his heart and mind in evangelizing. Then, in 1960, he went beyond the level of Savior and Second Coming of Christ to walk the way of becoming a True Parent.
In 1960, he met True Mother and held True Parents' Holy Wedding, then started three seven-year courses. In order to go the way of True Parents together with True Mother, he started again on the course of the Providence of Restoration during the long period of 21 years. The first seven-year course was the formation-stage period in which the family foundation was created. The second seven-year course was the growth-stage period in which a national foundation was created. The third seven-year course was the completion-stage period in which the foundation expanded to the world level.
Through the expansion of True Parents' providence to the world level after True Parent's Holy Wedding, the indemnity conditions for the eight horizontal stages are set. Just as True Father became the Messiah and Second Coming of Christ by completing the indemnity conditions for the vertical eight stages, through the three seven-year courses after the Holy Wedding, he was victorious in the horizontal eight stages. On that foundation, True Father holds the Pal Jeong Sik. Pal Jeong Sik signified that the position of True Parent had been attained through victorious restoration through indemnity of the vertical eight stages and horizontal eight stages. Through this, True Father could proclaim Heavenly Parenthood (Cheon Bu Ju Ui).
True Parents' thought in one word is Heavenly Parenthood -- Godism. In order to know our essence, we have to consider both the virtue of Heavenly Parenthood and the virtue of Godism. True Parents then held a ceremony to proclaim True Parents in a tour of the entire world. In this way, the course True Parents took was a rugged suffering course of death and persecution. Next, True Parents hold the coronation for Jesus as the Peace King, but before that they hold the Coronation Ceremony for God's Kingship in 2001, opening up the age of Cheon Il Guk. After Jesus' Coronation as Peace King, the Coronation of True Parents as the Peace King is held. The Universal Peace Federation is founded, the Abel UN and Parent UN are founded, and the Entrance and Coronation Ceremony into Cheon Jeong Gung is held.
In this way, when we look back at the way of the Messiah, the way of the Second Coming of Christ and the way of True Parents, this truly difficult course through which True Parents paid indemnity for all human history was historic and great. It was a miraculous life that they lived. It was a way of death with blood, sweat and tears.
Has there been anyone else in history who received such horrible and severe persecution? We have received individual salvation from the Messiah and Second Coming of Christ. Moreover, we received family salvation from True Parents. There are many religions on this earth. There are six world religions which play the role of bringing individual salvation. The fact that the Unification Church is True Parents' religion shows that the meaning of True Parents is to give family salvation, beyond the level of individual salvation of other religions. This is the amazing work of God.
Therefore, our lives were gained through True Parents' blood, sweat and tears. In the long period of 75 years since he realized his mission, True Father has gone through so much suffering, persecution and desperate struggles in order to find us. He was searching for us. We each truly owe our lives to True Parents.
No matter how much we obey True Parents in our lives, could there be any way for us to repay the hard work and grace of True Parents who saved each of us through their 75-year course of blood, sweat and tears.
What did it take for him to fulfill the mission of the Messiah and the Second Coming of Christ? What did it take for True Parents to fulfill their mission? These noble True Parents found us and gave our families their Blessing. What did it take for us to receive this grace and Blessing?
The fact that we met True Parents is an amazing stroke of luck for us in our lives. Having met God through True Parents is a priceless joy in our lives. That is because God is the origin of love, life, joy and happiness. Whether we continue to receive such grace and blessings is entirely up to us. It is up to you yourselves. The only way for I, who am indebted with my life, and we, who are indebted with our lives, to receive grace and blessings as our own and to retain them is to establish True Parents' status and go the way of absolute obedience to True Parents' will.
True Parents come only once in all human history. The coming of True Parents is a unique event. True Parents did not appear in the past and will not appear again in the future. There are many great cardinals in the Catholic Church. Some attained royalty, governed all of Europe, were in command of kings and became great emperors but does that make them any of them the Messiah? Could any of them become the Messiah? In the two thousand-year history of Christianity, the only Messiah was Jesus. No pope, prophet or other Christian leader could be above Jesus.
It is an amazing fact that the age of the family Kingdom of Heaven could be attained through True Parents' arrival, signifying the realm of the family instead of the realm of the individual. We need to have a new understanding of and reconfirm True Parents' value. The other problem that we must think about together is that True Parents are gradually getting older. It is a fact that our illusions are gradually being shattered.
When True Father would guide the service in the Cheong Pa Dong church and walk up the stairs to the living room on the second floor, we thought he was taking the stairs up to Heaven. We thought that True Father did not use the bathroom. We thought he was a superhuman, a holy and amazing person who could not possibly be compared to us.
But recently, as True Father gets older, we see that it is gradually getting more and more difficult for him to walk. We see that, little by little, he is becoming unable to move about freely. When we attend morning Hoon Dok Hae, we cannot hear what he is saying very well. But he continues for two and three hours. We cannot understand why he does this. Gradually, we are seeing things that we cannot understand. In international conferences, the food is all laid out for the banquet but he continues the banquet speech for over three hours, and does not stop even though everyone is falling asleep and would like him to finish.
When we saw these kinds of things, we started to gradually lose our image of True Father as a mysterious, fantastic and holy person to whom we could not be compared. So we started to think human thoughts.
At this point in time, we need to investigate from a viewpoint of faith how to properly view Father. We believe that Father is the God's substantial body. If he is, then we should meet God when we see Father's face and his holy body. When we see the wrinkles on his face and his inability to move easily, we have to meet God. Do we truly believe that True Father is the substantial body of God? If we believe it, then we have to meet God by looking at his face and his movement. We have to see God. In his wrinkles and his inability to move freely, we must meet God.
To be a true Unification Church member, we should be able to find the image of God, who has guided the miserable history in order to save fallen human beings over the course of six thousand years, in Father's face.
How was Father's life? It has been 75 years since he began his course after accepting his mission from God, and over 90 years since his birth. Most members who are here were probably born after Father began his course. When we think about how much suffering and persecution he endured on the way of the cross and way of death from before we were even born, then we can realize that his face and body reflect the 75 years he went the way of death and suffering to fulfill God's providence.
We read Father's speeches that he gave during his life course. He has designated all his words as textbooks. But what do those textbooks do? They introduce Father. But Father, the true essence of those textbooks, is right here. How could we read all 1,200 books? All that content is solidified in the face and holy body of this one person, our True Parent. We should be able to see that if we are going to say that we believe that he is the substantial body of God.
God is limited by time and space. God is limited. God who has entered the world of relativity is a relative God. The absolute God is in transcendence. What is absolute is eternal, unchanging, absolute, omniscient and omnipotent. God who has entered this world is a God that changes. He can grow to perfection because he changes. If we could not change, then how could we grow?
Therefore, there is a cycle of God's creation. The cycle of creation and the cycle of life are the same. What has been created tries to preserve itself. As it tries to preserve itself, it evolves and after it has evolved, it dissolves. This is the law of God's creation, that all things in the world of phenomena grow, get old and die. This is the law of God's creation. All things in the world of phenomena grow, get old and die.
This is the image of God. When we see True Parents who have grown old, we should understand that they are going in accordance with God's cycle of creation, in a natural way according to the laws of creation. When we see God's face, we should realize that God has worked to save each of us through enduring torture, miserable suffering and persecution on individual, family, national and world levels. Through that suffering course, he has wrinkles and it is getting more and more uncomfortable for him to move around. When we see True Father's face and movement, we should find God and read his course of indemnity and suffering.
Isn't this our faith?
When we see Father's face, we meet God.
God has worked for six thousand years to find each of us.
When we see Father's face, we should
"Thank you, God, for saving me."
"Thank you, True Parents, for saving me."
Father's wrinkles and his footsteps are the proof of the tough 75 years of suffering, persecution, interrogation he went through. When we see Father's face and his holy body, we should feel gratitude, inspiration and joy. That is the reward for our faith, the profit we get from faith, isn't it?
In our faith, we cannot help but shed tears of joy, deep emotion and gratitude for gaining new life and receiving the eternal Blessing. Therefore, don't we have to become children who can return that joy and glory to True Parents for us to have proper faith and go the way of proper children?
Once we truly understand who True Parents are, then we cannot look at True Parents without shedding tears and we cannot meet True Parents without feeling gratitude and deep emotion. When we are able to recognize that God is always with True Parents, then we will come to testify that meeting True Parents has been the most joyful event in our entire lives. Should we not cultivate our faith and our lives in such a way?
The final thing I want to discuss is the essence of our faith. Faith is voluntary. We choose to believe in True Parents and to believe in God. When God comes to us, then God is the subject and we are the object. When True Parents witness to us through the teachings of the Divine Principle, they are in the position of subject and we are in the position of object.
But when we answer to God and True Parents' call, then we are in the subject position of our own faith. We must choose to believe in True Parents. We must choose to believe in God. True Father's amazing charismatic leadership has brought us to remain at his side, as a powerful magnet will attract iron. Therefore, we have not realized that we are responsible for our own faith.
But as we examine the true nature of faith, we must recognize that we are responsible for our faith. Faith is something we must choose for ourselves. Even if our course of faith has been to follow orders, we chose to follow those orders. We chose to attend True Parents. This has been the course of our own lives, not the life of anyone else.
Who is going to cultivate and raise us spiritually? Through hearing Father's words, we experienced unimaginable joy. With that explosive joy in our hearts, we went out to save our people and all humanity. But after running around to save humanity for 20 years or 30 years, we started to feel empty and we felt as though we had lost ourselves.
So our faith became devoid of tears and devoid of deep emotion. This was because we lost ourselves. The way of faith is not to follow. We must stand in the subject position. "I" am the one who chooses to believe, and "I" must allow flowers to bloom and fruits to be borne in my life, centering on True Parents.
When we have problems in our faith, when we go through difficulties, we must think about the course we have chosen. It's "my" life. "I" must protect my faith and allow it to grow until it produces flowers and bears fruit. We must remember the deep emotion we felt when we met True Parents. We should live and die for the sake of God's will. We should be so focused on God's will that we cannot tell whether our feet are on the ground or not. Our life course has been to run forward with only God and True Parents in our sight. Think back on the way we have taken as pioneers in the wilderness.
We were starved and ragged, yet we continued on that miserable course. We felt deep emotion at True Parents' calling, and found the way to find our true selves and to establish a true family, so we just ran forward without thinking.
The next thing we must examine once we have confirmed what our faith is and we have taken the subject position in our own faith is to realize that our lives must be in attendance of True Parents and attendance of God. This must be the way of our lives. We must verify that our eternal love, joy, peace and happiness can be found in this way, and therefore we must all uphold True Parents' status, unite as brothers and sisters in the Unification Family, and make a new beginning at this time.
It is up to us to resolve the issues we face today.
For True Parents' status to be damaged is for us to be smashed.
The rupture of Unification Church tradition is tantamount to our own destruction.
Should we not all unite centering on True Parents and make a new beginning after turning a new leaf?
Comrades in faith who have walked together through harsh suffering, persecution and indemnity during the wilderness course, my eternal brothers and sisters who have received the Blessing!
We must protect our faith. We must establish the status of True Parents, who are the root of our faith. I feel keenly that it is our responsibility, being in the subject position of our own faith, to work together as one centering on True Parents, uphold True Parents' will, and build Cheon Il Guk.
Thank you for listening for a long time. I would like to end today's speech at this point. Thank you very much.
May 7, 1933 -- Birth in Cheongyang, Chungnam Province
July 23, 1956 -- Joining the church while a junior in college
July 20, 1957 -- Pioneer Witnessing in Cheonan
August 1958 -- Graduation from Jungang University
October 18, 1960 -- Appointment as Church Leader of Chungcheong Province
May 15, 1961 -- 36 Couple Blessing
July 4, 1971 -- President of Weekly Religion Company
September 1, 1981 -- Inauguration as 5th President of HSA-UWC Korea
February 4, 1988 -- President of Korean Religious Conference
May 25, 1996 -- Appointment as National Messiah to the Republic of China (Taiwan)
1: Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God.
2: And Joshua said to all the people, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, `Your fathers lived of old beyond the Euphra'tes, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods.
3: Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac;
4: and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. And I gave Esau the hill country of Se'ir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.
5: And I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it; and afterwards I brought you out.
6: Then I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea; and the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea.
7: And when they cried to the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and made the sea come upon them and cover them; and your eyes saw what I did to Egypt; and you lived in the wilderness a long time.
8: Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan; they fought with you, and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you.
9: Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel; and he sent and invited Balaam the son of Be'or to curse you,
10: but I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he blessed you; so I delivered you out of his hand.
11: And you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, and the men of Jericho fought against you, and also the Amorites, the Per'izzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Gir'gashites, the Hivites, and the Jeb'usites; and I gave them into your hand.
12: And I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out before you, the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow.
13: I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you dwell therein; you eat the fruit of vineyards and oliveyards which you did not plant.'
14: "Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.
15: And if you be unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
16: Then the people answered, "Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;
17: for it is the LORD our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, and who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed;
18: and the LORD drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land; therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God."
19: But Joshua said to the people, "You cannot serve the LORD; for he is a holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins.
20: If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm, and consume you, after having done you good."
21: And the people said to Joshua, "Nay; but we will serve the LORD."
22: Then Joshua said to the people, "You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the LORD, to serve him." And they said, "We are witnesses."
23: He said, "Then put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD, the God of Israel."
24: And the people said to Joshua, "The LORD our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey."
25: So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem.
26: And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a great stone, and set it up there under the oak in the sanctuary of the LORD.
27: And Joshua said to all the people, "Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us; for it has heard all the words of the LORD which he spoke to us; therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God."
28: So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance.
29: After these things Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being a hundred and ten years old.
30: And they buried him in his own inheritance at Tim'nath-se'rah, which is in the hill country of E'phraim, north of the mountain of Ga'ash.
31: And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work which the LORD did for Israel.
32: The bones of Joseph which the people of Israel brought up from Egypt were buried at Shechem, in the portion of ground which Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money; it became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph.
33: And Elea'zar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him at Gib'e-ah, the town of Phin'ehas his son, which had been given him in the hill country of E'phraim.