The Words of the Pak Family
Good afternoon, brothers and sisters! Yesterday we came back from Japan. This time we went to Yokohama and it was really a wonderful experience. In the middle of winter we could see red flowers blooming, so I thought this is really a wonder of Heavenly Father. Now is Christmas Season and we are hoping that you will have a wonderful time with your family and friends.
We are always honored that we can have you here in this sanctuary. We hope that this time will be a great time and that you can receive Heavenly Father's grace and love. For those who are joining us via internet we are welcoming you as well. Welcome brothers and welcome sisters!
Welcome brothers and sisters! We had a meeting today and I will tell you what it was about. True Father was talking about the value of the blessed family and especially about the preciousness of life on earth. He was saying that there is only one chance and that lifetime is so valuable that it can not even be traded for the universe, that not even God Himself will let go of that value.
Let's remember how precious this lifetime is. It's such a short chance, maybe 70 or 80 years. But during this time it is required of us to walk with God and be able to actualize His purposes, help Him in the promises that He has given to us and to be able to liberate Him along the way as well.
Before we start service let's always remember that we need to start service seeing ourselves from the Heavenly perspective, not from our personal, limited perspective. We have to see ourselves from the Heavenly perspective and we have to remember the divine value that is placed within us. There are times that we go through doubts and frustration, times that we feel that it's just not working out.
But in those periods and times it is even more important that we realize and give God praise and thanks. It's easy to give God thanks during the good times when everything is set straight and all the relationships are good, but it is during the hard times where our faith is challenged, where the archangels would come, working to steal our joy and enthusiasm for life.
So in those periods it's so important that we are able to give God glory even though we are walking through the valley. Then when we make it through, we realize that we have always been in the palm of His hand.
Brothers and sisters, let's start with that kind of heart, and if we do that, I believe that we will give glory and joy to God and True Parents during this service. Once again, welcome brothers and sisters!
Heavenly Father! Thank You for this day that You have offered us here in this beautiful sanctuary. We feel the chill of winter coming upon us, but we are not afraid and we are not frozen in our tracks. We are alive and moving, we are creating history and footprints that all generations will follow.
Let us realize this amazing task that You have called us to do. Let us realize this amazing mission and calling to which You have brought us. We pray that in this beautiful season we can notice the beautiful waterfalls that You have prepared for us, that we can notice the beautiful snowflakes that You have created one by one to bring us joy. We pray that we may notice each passing footstep and know that it is being guided by Your holy hand.
Heavenly Father, in this time of ending the year of 2008 we pray that we may gather our hearts and regain our confidence. As we approach 2009, this year which You have prepared for us, we pray that we may enter into the year with more joy, more confidence, more dreams and more hope, that the year of 2009 will be the best year that You have prepared. It will be a year of blessing, of break-through, of promotion and rising, of overcoming circumstances and situations. It will be a year of entering into Your presence.
Every single year let us realize that You have prepared us, that You have given us the tools that we need to overcome and be victorious in this new year. Thank you Father, for all that You have done. We pray and we offer thanks, we repeat that as we breathe. As we breathe in we realize that we are alive, and as we breathe out we offer You a glorious Thank You.
Thank You so much Father, for this glorious day. We hope and desire that You may bless each and every one of the families here today, that they may truly feel the warmth and the joy that You have shared with them through this year. We pray that You may give them the strength to be able to bring You joy in the coming year. We pray these things with everlasting hope and a truly profound gratitude. In our own names as blessed central families. Aju!
Brothers and sisters, today we have one of our distinguished elders that will be speaking to us. Dr. Pak was born on August 18th, 1930, and had a distinguished career; being in education and teaching at elementary and high school, Foreign Service, studying abroad. In 1950 Dr. Pak entered the Korean Military Academy as a Cadet, and he has had a very distinguished military career. From March 1952 he studied in the United States at a time where not so many Korean Cadets were overseas in the States. He was at Fort Benning Georgia and he has served as special assistant to the Chief of US Military Advisory group in Seoul, Korea. He was special assistant for the Vice Minister of Defense in Seoul, Korea. He served as assistant Military Attaché in the Korean Embassy in Washington DC etc.
He has had a very distinguished professional career as well, working in the Korean Culture and Freedom Foundation, the Little Angels; he has worked as the president and chairman of the Universal Ballet as well. He has been chairman and president of Song Hwa Education Foundation, publisher of News World Daily, president of CAUSA International, Washington Times Co., etc.
Over the many, many years that he has served True Parents he has done an amazing amount of work for True Parents. Especially our brothers and sisters from the States will have a very dear and warm memory of Dr. Pak as he traveled with Father constantly, translating for Father. Whether that be in the Washington Monument speech where millions gathered, Dr. Pak was always accompanying True Parents in speaking and also living right near True Father, attending True Parents, letting True Parents' words flow through him and being communicated through him, so that our brothers and sisters in the States could engraft unto that.
He has received so many Honors during his lifetime in his career, the Hwarang Medal of the Republic of Korea, the Gold Star Medal for bravery in combat; and in 2003 he was awarded the National Cultural Silver Medal for the contribution to the promotion of national prestige in the nation of Korea.
Dr. Pak has truly been one of the pillars of our early movement and continues to revive and inspire people as he is now traveling around the country in Korea, giving his testimony, talking about his experiences and how Father saved him when he was going through tribulation and tough times; how Father came to him in spirit world and was able to resurrect his spirit and life, how he came out of that ordeal in victory, bravery and health.
So, we warmly want to invite Dr. Pak to the podium. Let us recognize that he has been doing his utmost, he has been on the frontline, really trying so hard to help everybody and work towards building the temple. I'm sure he will share that with you today but he has truly been on the frontline, stepping forward at all times, even at the cost of his own health and body.
Because he has always been sacrificing himself for True Parents, God has given him a new life, a new anointing and a new spirit that he will communicate to all of us today. Brothers and sisters, lets offer a warm welcome to Dr. Pak.
Thank you, Rev. Moon, for the kind introduction. That was an enormous introduction which I don't deserve. Thank you anyway!
Good morning everyone!
My dear brothers and sisters!
Our Senior Pastor Rev. Hyung Jin Moon asked me to deliver today's sermon. Therefore, I feel deeply honored to stand before you today on this podium.
There is one notable tradition in the sermons of our Senior Pastor Rev. Hyung Jin Moon. It is that he always begins his sermon with a funny story. I am not good at telling funny stories. But since it is the tradition of the Senior Pastor, I, too, will begin with a funny story. Even if the story is not funny to you, you must laugh.
The story goes like this:
A Catholic priest and two nuns were riding up to the monastery on the mountain top. The priest sat in the middle of the backseat of the car, and the two nuns sat on either side of him.
But the nun sitting on his left was an ugly woman with a pitted face. On the other hand, the nun sitting on his right was one of the greatest beauties of the world. The mountain road was a winding one, and the car swayed a lot. Once it would sway to the left, and once it would sway to the right. It swayed so hard that when it swayed, the man and woman would almost have to hug each other. The priest continuously prayed.
When his body swayed to the left, towards the ugly woman, he prayed:
"Lord! Lead me not into temptation!"
When his body swayed to the right, to the beauty queen, he prayed: "Lord! May Your will be done, Amen!"
How was that?
I have one more REAL life story of mine. I was an interpreter and was traveling with Gen. Matthews, chief of US advisory group in Korea. I was his special assistant, and my job was to translate for him. He was always going around the military bases of the country, one after the other, and speaking to the Generals, the Colonels and the major leaders. Like our Senior Pastor, General Matthews always started his speech with a joke, with a funny, American joke. At that time I was not fully aware about the American culture and simply couldn't understand the jokes sometimes. Sometimes I could understand the words but not the meaning. It did not seem funny! What can you do when it's not funny?
So I stepped forward to the Korean Generals and said: "Gen. Matthews kindly will tell you an American joke to entertain you. However, I simply cannot understand. So, in a courtesy to him, please laugh as big as you can!"
Gen. Matthews simply couldn't understand how I could translate so quickly; just in a few words everybody would break out in big laughter. On our back way home Gen. Matthews would usually sit in the back of the car, I would sit in the front. On that day he asked: "Bo Hi, how did you do that, how could you translate my joke so quickly?" So, I confessed the truth. Then Gen. Matthews started laughing and saying: "Well, Bo Hi, your joke is better than mine!"
Beloved brothers and sisters!
The sermon I will give you today is entitled "Three Miracles in Our Lives". All of us should think it a great blessing to have Rev. Hyung Jin Nim and Yeon Ah Nim as the head of our world Unification Church and the Senior Pastor of the Headquarters Church.
As the old saying goes, "You will know the tree by the fruits." Who would have imagined, even in their wildest dreams that a child of True Parents would start at the very bottom in the church, as the low man on the totem pole, that is, as the pastor of Mapo Church. Not only we ourselves but the entire world was astonished.
At the very moment our Senior Pastor stood at the pulpit of Mapo Church, dressed in humble, reformed Korean costume, he had conquered the world. "What is this? He is the son of True Parents, and yet!" There was not one person who did not exclaim thus.
How about Yeon Ah Nim as well? When she stands on the podium with her clear and pure smile and looks down at her audience, at that very moment she conquers her audience. The audience becomes entranced in her comfortable and beautiful smile. On that account, the world media, which has said only evil things of True Parents for half a century, has been mesmerized by their simple, clean and pure characters.
Ever since they have stood at the pulpit, not one newspaper, not one broadcast, and not even one magazine have carried an adverse article. They are the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven in every sense of the word, and more than anyone else they are evidencing and glorifying the True Parents, our Savior, through their eloquence and their deed.
Now the future of our Unification Church has already been determined. Our Senior Pastor Hyung Jin Nim and Chook Sa Jang (Chairperson of the Blessing) Yeon Ah Nim are in themselves the evangelists of the Kingdom of Heaven. Consequently, could all of us help but become citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven as well? Do we say Aju?
Therefore, ask not where the Kingdom of Heaven is, for it is right here. Shouldn't we say Aju?
In Matthew, Chapter 5, a report of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount is given. It is written there: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God, (Matt. 5:8). Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5)." Our Senior Pastor Hyung Jin Nim and Chook Sa Jang Yeon Ah Nim have seen God and inherited the earth. Aju!
I can never forget the famous saying by Dr. Andrew Murray, the famous American theologian: "False Pride is death, Humility is life, false pride is all hell, Humility is all heaven." From the meekness and humility of our Senior Pastor and Chook Sa Jang Nim, we see heaven again and again, and learn about it.
Would you kindly give them your big applause, please!!
Now I will proceed to the main issue and give you the answer to the question, "What is the first miracle in our lives?" The first miracle is that we have met the Messiah, the Lord of the Second Advent, the True Parents, during our lifetime. We have seen the coming of the Lord.
What could be more miraculous than this? How blessed are we to be born at the very time in which the Lord is coming in the course of the perpetual history which has been going on for billions of years. We hit it right on the dot! You know very well how difficult it is to win the lottery. But that is nothing compared to meeting the Lord at his coming.
How many great religious people have there been in the course of the 2000 years of Christian history? How many Christians longed to meet the coming of the Lord? How many martyrs were there? The prayers of all of them without a single exception asked to be able to receive the coming of the Lord. The disciples of Jesus also believed that the Lord would come before they died.
However, it was we, you and I, who received this great fortune unexpectedly. Compared to the piety of the martyrs, the religious lives we have led are as nothing. What better fortune could there be? What greater miracle could there be?
However, the coming of the Lord is not something anyone and everyone can see. It is only the meek and the humble that can see him. But we have undoubtedly seen the coming of the Lord! We were humble like our Senior Pastor. That is the one thing we did right! This is our first miracle.
There is a second miracle in our lives. It is that we have received the Holy Blessing of True Parents. What is the Holy Blessing? It is ridding us of original sin.
In the course of history it has been impossible for anyone to accomplish this, for getting rid of the original sin can only be done by the True Parents.
All of us have received the Blessing of True Parents and rid ourselves of original sin. Ridding ourselves of original sin signifies our being restored to the position of Adam and Eve right after they were created in the Garden of Eden. But did Adam and Eve go straight to the Kingdom of Heaven? No, they didn’t. They fell.
Adam and Eve, free from sin and innocent, were naïve and pure right after they were created. From there, Adam and Eve should have climbed the ladder of formation, growth and completion through absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience, and thus grown into maturity.
If you say, "I have received the Blessing" or "I am as good as in the Kingdom of Heaven” or "The Kingdom of Heaven has already become my own," then this is a sure sign that you may fall.
Just like Adam and Eve we, too, from the moment we have received the Blessing, must climb the ladder of formation, growth and completion. Though Adam and Eve fell at the completion level of the growth stage, we should go beyond the point where Adam fell and reach completion. That is possible only when we serve True Parents. It is only then that we can become citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven.
After receiving the Blessing, we need to fulfill our portion of responsibility. The Kingdom of Heaven is not a place where you can go automatically just because you have received the Blessing. This is the commandment we blessed family should bear in mind.
When you have received the Blessing, you need to follow the path of absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience, and practice true love by living for the sake of others. That is the way our blessed families can reach completion; no other way.
The third miracle in our lives is the amazing fact that we are taking part in the construction of Cheon Bok Gung, the Universal Peace Temple.
Chun Bok Gung is the temple that our beloved True Parents will build once and for all as the last temple in human history.
We are being allowed to engrave our names forevermore in this historical temple.
The Universal Peace Temple, Cheon Bok Gung, is the temple of God which will be built for the first and last time in the Completed Testament Age. True Parents have already proclaimed the construction of the 210,000 altar in Seoul, the capital city of Korea, which is the fatherland of faith. The Universal Peace Temple is the place in which the 6.5 billion people and all the races beyond their color and creed will be able to come together and worship God together. Nothing like this in history, and nobody can claim such an incredible dream of God, only True Parents.
Now our Senior Pastor Rev. Hyung Jin Moon and Chook Sa Jang Nim are trying to realize this dream. This responsibility has fallen on our shoulders. This is the third miracle in our lives.
What a joy to be able to build this temple, Cheon Bok Gung, during the lifetime of the True Parents! Can you imagine how many people now, in the past and in the future of human history can live at the same time as True Parents here on earth? Very little! We are one of them!
What a joy to be able to build Cheon Bok Gung through the joint efforts of the Unification Church members worldwide, under the leadership of Kook Jin Nim, the chairman, and Hyung Jin Nim, our World President, and Yeon Ah Nim! If this is not a miracle, then what is? Such is the greatest honor that has fallen upon our shoulders.
You know, I have been not a good son to my physical parents.
I failed to keep vigil by the deathbed of my physical father and mother. Now I have one hope and wish. That hope is to engrave the names of my physical parents in the wall of Cheon Bok Gung somehow. I thought this was the last act of filial piety I could perform as a son.
In Dogo Myeon, Asan Gun, Southern Choong Chung Province, there is a place called Gambat Kol, and this is where my birth house is, a very humble place, which my parents left behind for me. It is the hometown I grew up in, as well as my younger brother.
I came to realize that there was no better way of glorifying my physical parents in the spirit world than making my birth home a part of Cheon Bok Gung. So I discussed this with my wife, and she said, "Wonderful! How did you come up with such a great idea?", and she exclaimed, "Hallelujah! Aju!”
I discussed this also with my elder son Joon Sun Pak, and he also exclaimed "Aju!"
So this idea unanimously passed our family congress.
With help from God the sale of that house was made swiftly. The only pity was that it was a house in such a remote place in the countryside that the sale price did not amount to much. After the taxes were paid, we were left with 253,626,070 won!
So on December 3rd of this month I went to the Unification Foundation and made an offering of the total amount to Kook Jin Nim, foundation chairman, as the contribution for the construction of Cheon Bok Gung. And then I returned to the Headquarters Church and made a report to our World President Hyung Jin Nim.
Everyone was very delighted about it. However, the most joyful person was me because of the thought that I had performed an act of filial piety to my physical parents, however small it may be.
Chairman Kook Jin Nim and World President Hyung Jin Nim promised to engrave in Cheon Bok Gung the names of my physical parents. Though I had not been a filial son in their life time, now the names of my physical parents will be engraved in Cheon Bok Gung, and their descendants for generations to generations to come will see their names there forever and ever. What greater honor and joy could there be? Aju?
In the future, henceforth, Cheon Bok Gung is going to be my home. For me, going to Cheon Bok Gung would be the same as going to my home. When I go there, I will be able to meet my rejoicing Mom and Dad. Moreover, Kook Jin Nim and Hyung Jin Nim said they will make a report of this to True Parents. What a greater glory could there be than to have True Parents remember my physical father and mother in the spirit world?
My brothers and sisters!
What you are seeing now is the only photograph from my childhood. I was an ugly country boy. Well, my parents still really loved this ugly country boy.
This is the only photograph with my Mom and Dad taken at my birth home. At that time I was a teacher in the countryside elementary school, and the boy sitting in front me is my younger brother No Hi Pak.
My family originally comes from a lineage of Confucianist nobleman, and my Dad was the fourth son of a great landowner. However, at the time of the Japanese occupation the land reform was carried out, and all the land passed into the hands of tenant farmers. To survive, my parents had to cultivate just an acre of land by themselves. It was the law. However, neither my father nor my mother knew how to till the land. So I thought I would learn farming myself in an agricultural school and let them rest.
However, as it is said, when good comes evil blocks. When I had become a good farmer and was about to become a good son to my parents, I was drafted as a soldier.
In Korea military draft system began with those who were born in the year 1930. I was born in 1930.
And after I passed all the physical examinations, I thought, "Oh well, why not, if I have to become a soldier, it would be better to go to the military academy."
So on June 1st 1950 I entered the Korean Military Academy. But only 25 days later, the Korean War broke out. That very day I went to war as a soldier, without a serial number or even rank, only as a Cadet, to the foremost front line where we had to block the North Korean tanks with our bodies. I was only 19 years old.
In only three days out of my 330 classmates 89 were killed and more than a 100 wounded. I lived in the living hell of the battlefield of the Korean War for two years.
For a long time I did not know what had happened to my parents, and they, too, did not know what had become of me, whether I was alive or dead.
I was able to return home after the two years and see my parents. I could not raise my head and look at them, because they had grown so old during that time of tribulation. My mother held me and wept. I had gone out to the fields with zeal to help my mother and father in farming, but since I had been called by my country, I had no choice but to leave to become an instructor in the Korean Infantry School.
This is a picture of those days. At that time I was a captain in the army, but my household was absolutely poor. Leaving behind my parents in my home village, I felt as if my heart was breaking up into pieces. This was before I met the True Parents. So I did not even know how to pray!
I climbed Mt. Dogo located behind my home at dawn and whispered to the sun and to the spirit of the mountain to keep my parents healthy. When the moment came for me to leave, Mom said to me "Don't worry about us too much. You serve the country with all your might and honor!" My mother was very brave.
Not long after I had begun working as an Infantry School instructor, a telegram came for me bearing the message: "Mother Deceased". "What! No way, this can't be! This cannot be for me. It is some mistake." Thinking like this, I looked at the telegram again and again but still that telegram bore the message: "Captain Bo Hi Pak. Mother Deceased."
The sky seemed to fall down on me. I rushed home and found the whole household weeping in lamentation. I was told that my mother had overworked herself with too much exertion and had collapsed while working with the mortars. And her last words had been, "Don't call the doctor!" I know why she said this!
Mom was determined not to leave a debt behind her in our poor household. At that time she was only 49 years old! I lost my mother without having her receiving a single dose of medicine. Even now, I cannot think of my Mom without tears come to my eyes.
For my mother, her son was her religion. I was her religion. If it was for her son's good, that she did anything and everything. She went to Buddhist temples, churches and even to the shrines of sacred rocks. She also prayed all night long at the pottery jar stand with a bowl of clear water in front of her. She only wished the best for her son!
Thanks to Mom, I am able to live to this age of 79, 51 years of which I have served True Parents, and I am still in excellent health. Oh, the grace of my Mom is like the vast ocean.
After I joined the Church in 1957, my father read the Divine Principle avidly and came to Seoul to make a bow before True Parents. Before he passed away in 1967 at the age of 61, he said to me: "Son, I'm glad that you joined Unification Church and met the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. I took a bow to him."
When he passed away I was in the USA on a performance tour of the Little Angels by the wishes of True Parents. Therefore I could not come to my Dad's Seunghwa Ceremony.
Knowing the circumstances I was in, True Parents made the preparations for my father's Seunghwa Ceremony and made payments for all expenses.
How could I ever forget this grace shown by True Parents? With such a background, it is all the more joyful to think that at this time the names of my physical Mom and Dad will be engraved in Cheon Bok Gung.
My dear brothers and sisters, the portrait before you is that of my parents. I am now 79 years old, and I am ready to leave anytime God calls me.
You know, that I live at the age of 79 is another miracle. Because True Father told me one time: "Bo Hi, be careful with your health because your family was not a long living family." It's true. My mother died at 49, my father at 61 and I'm 79, almost 30 years more than my parents. It is another miracle. Why did I have this blessing? It's simply because I met True Parents. Aju?
It has become the greatest joy for the remainder of my life to think that when I go to the spirit world and meet my Mom and Dad I hope I will hear: "You have done a good job, my son. We are grateful to you."
Everyday this thought makes me the happiest person under the sun. The rest of my life I'm going to help Rev. Hyung Jin Moon and Chook Sa Jang Yeon Ah Nim to build and complete, as quickly as possible, during the life time of True Parents. It is our mission, it is on our shoulders. You and I can do it and will do it. Aju!
Heavenly Father, truly beloved True Parents! Thank You for the great moment to bring to You and True Parents and this congregation. Bless our Senior Pastor Rev. Hyung Jin Moon as well as Chook Sa Jang Nim Yeon Ah Nim, the head of this church and the head of the Unification Church, so that we together totally devote ourselves to build the Cheon Bok Gung as quickly as possible during the life time of True Parents. We are determined and we pledge all our support and total dedication and do whatever we can to meet this goal. Thank You, Heavenly Father, and I pray all these things in the name of the blessed person Bo Hi Pak and Ki Sook Park as well. Aju!