The Words of the You Family
Mr. You is the former I.W. to Europe. One of the 72 blessed couples, he joined the church in 1955 in Seoul. This testimony, excerpts from his life story, was given in Paris to European members in March 1982. Mr. You is now an I.W. in the southeastern United States.
All men want to live longer and longer; that is our mind. Our desire is to live forever, but we cannot live forever with this temporal physical body, so we look for another kind of life, the religious life. Religion existed from the beginning of history. Why? Tonight, through the story of my life, I would like to give you a testimony of my search for eternal life and explain how we can achieve it.
I was 12 years old when my father and mother passed away. They had loved us children very much. As I was sitting beside my dying father, he held my hand and touched my head, telling me with a small voice, "Because of you, I don't want to die." But a few hours later he did die. We grasped my father's hand and touched his dead body, calling, "Father, father," but there was no answer. At that time, I wondered, "What is life? What is death? And how far is it between life and death?"
Just ten days later my mother also died. I had to think about life and death very seriously. Even though still a child, I tried to resolve this question. I went to a Presbyterian church several times, visited a Catholic church, and even went to a Shinto shrine and Buddhist temple -- but no one offered a good answer to the meaning of life.
I desired to study at a university, but I was very poor. Because my family situation was so serious, I couldn't afford a university. Still, my mind was made up. I knew that there would be no future without education. Also, because I had not yet solved the problem of life and death, I thought that someone at the university could give me answers.
One day I stole a bushel of rice from my relatives. At that time, especially in the countryside, there was no way to make much money. Only with rice could one earn money. By selling that bushel of rice I could pay the application fee for the university. Fortunately, I also passed the entrance examinations.
Earning money for the registration fee was another problem. I discussed this with my friends and several relatives, but being poor also, they could not help me. Besides, my relatives asked, "If you go to the university, who will take care of your younger brothers and sister? You'd better not go." Not only my relatives, but many village people felt the same way.
I have an elder brother -- a physical brother who had been adopted by our uncle, so legally, he is my cousin. He had two cows. Many times I had asked him, "Elder brother, I should go to the university, so please give me a cow," but he had always refused, protesting, "If you go to school, who will raise your brothers and sisters? As you know, I am very poor and live in a one-room hut. Stop longing to go to the university."
Becoming pessimistic and depressed, I decided to end my life, to kill myself. I went to the drugstore and bought poison, keeping it in my pocket.
According to Korean custom, people facing major problems or decisions should pray at their ancestors' tomb. Each home in the Korean countryside has an ancestral tomb nearby. Whether to kill myself or not was an important decision, and I went to my ancestors' tomb.
Before my grandfather and grandmother's tomb, I bowed three times, then lay down and cried. After a few hours, I stood up and walked toward the tomb of my father and mother, thinking I would kill myself, in front of their tomb. However, it was getting dark, and I thought, "It's too late to kill myself today; I will wait until tomorrow." Also I wanted to spend this time with my elder brother.
Even though he had always rejected my pleas, I wanted to spend this final evening with him. His wife, who didn't know about either the situation between us or my state of mind, served us a good dinner. Then we went to sleep. The following morning, I awoke resolved to kill myself. I sat down at the tiny meal table across from my brother to what I thought would be my last breakfast. Before beginning to eat, however, my brother sat deep in thought. Then he said, "Brother, I have changed my mind. I will give you a cow."
I was so surprised, for he had rejected every previous request. "Elder brother," I answered, "thank you very much, but I would like to know why you changed your mind."
In a special dream the night before, he had been sitting on his front porch; suddenly the outer gate opened, and three old grandfathers dressed in white appeared. My brother was very surprised, he told me, and asked those dream people who they were. As they drew nearer, he recognized the closest one as our father.
(In Korean custom, older people often show their love to younger people by hitting them on their shoulders.) Our father tapped my elder brother on the shoulder, saying, "Thank you for your hard work, especially in caring for your brothers and sisters. We understand your situation, but I would like to ask something more. Please give your younger brother one of your cows."
My brother has a strict, strong character. In anger, he retorted, "That is not my responsibility. I cannot give him a cow!" He hit the floor with his fists. "Why did you bear so many children? Why did you die? Why do you give me your responsibility?" My father felt ashamed and stepped back.
Then my grandfather drew near and also tapped him on the shoulder. "My grandson, we understand your situation. If you give him a cow, you will be blessed three times more than you are now. You will become three times richer."
"But I don't want to be blessed three times more than I am now. Anyway, I don't want to give him a cow." Each time my grandfather asked, my brother refused.
At last, my great-grandfather approached him, tapping him on the shoulder. "We understand your situation. If you give your brother a cow, you will be blessed, and your brother will be famous throughout the world.
My brother was angry again. "Even men from this small village don't know his name; how can he become world-famous? That's unbelievable."
"Now you may not believe, but in the future you will be able to," replied the old man. Again, my brother refused. For the last time, this great-grandfather spoke, "If you don't give him a cow, your brother will die tomorrow. Which is more precious to you, your brother or your cow? If you think your brother is more precious, please give him the cow. Which is more precious -- answer me!" he demanded.
My brother agonized over the question, but finally made up his mind. "I'll give him the cow, but I won't be able to give him even a bushel of rice more. Please don't let him come back again."
"To give your brother a cow is your responsibility; that is all that is required." The dream ended.
Feeling very strange, my brother awoke. Because he realized he had received this revelation from our ancestors, he explained it in detail at the breakfast table. I didn't know much about dreams, but I was very happy to receive the cow. At the market I sold it, and with that money I went to Seoul and paid the university registration fees.
The next problem was how to survive at school. A few days after school started, a friend who had a little money came by and suggested that I share a room with him and we cook for ourselves. However, after six months we had spent all his money and our rice ran out. Many times we went hungry for days at a time. One evening, we climbed a small hill near the town and there fell into a deep conversation about the Korean political situation and current social problems. Two student girls passed us. To tease them, I picked up a small pebble and tossed it at one of the girls. Hit in the forehead, she was startled and looked back. She smiled, though. Her reaction was unusual, for under the same circumstances other girls would have shouted, "You terrible creeps; we'll get you for that!" These two were smiling.
"Maybe they like us," my friend joked. But we never expected to meet them again.
Two days later, however, the same two girls stopped at our landlord's new grocery shop to buy something. Out of compassion for us, the landlord suggested that the girls help us. (Our landlord wanted to help us because he thought we were intelligent, clever and hard-working. In actuality, we weren't so intelligent or clever.) "Those two boys have had nothing to eat for several days," he explained. "I know you are rich men's daughters; please help them."
We hesitated to beg from girl students, but the landlord persuaded us to go to their place. Without rice or money, we didn't have much choice.
Rather than feeding us, however, one of the girls immediately took out her notebook, picked up a pencil, and began explaining something. Two hours passed. We hadn't eaten, and it was well past lunchtime. We were really hungry, but being Korean men -- and having the strong pride typical of Korean men -- we couldn't tell them we didn't want to hear their lecture.
At the end of the two hours, they asked us if we could understand their explanation.
"We cannot understand anything!" I said; and the girl flushed with embarrassment. Then they brought some candy and some bread. Even though we were so hungry, our pride was stronger. "Oh, it's okay, we have a lot of bread and candy," my friend replied. Neither of us touched it. Before we left, however, we did take some of the bread and candy, which we ate for dinner that evening.
The following day, the girls came to apologize, "We are very sorry about yesterday; we wanted to explain everything well, but we are not good lecturers. We have a center, however. If you come with us, you can hear the Divine Principle from someone else, and you will be able to understand everything. Please, come along with us."
They gradually wore down my resistance, and my friend also agreed to go; but first he inquired among his friends at the university about the Unification Church, telling them about our invitation. Yin Sun University, which my friend was attending, is a famous Christian university. His friends were surprised. "Mr. Han, didn't you see the newspapers? That is a strange church. Don't go. If you do, you will lose your mind. We heard that often the members go crazy; the young people run around naked, they jump up to the ceiling, and sometimes even dance!"
My friend rushed back to our room and related the information. I was surprised, but told him I could not believe such things. "If they are really like that, we should go and check. If those things are true, we should publicize those evils and destroy that church." But my friend no longer wanted to go.
Before setting out alone for the church center, as precautionary measures, I tied two belts around my waist and fastened my sleeve ends and trouser legs securely.
You could hardly imagine a smaller place. Upstairs there were two very small rooms: one was the lecture room, the other, very tiny, was probably Father's, though I only realized that later. The late President Eu gave a lecture to three girls and me.
During the lecture, I kept looking behind me to see what was happening. Who will be naked? I wondered. But nobody was naked. It was still morning, and I supposed it might happen in the afternoon. But the afternoon came and went, and nobody was undressed, even though I checked many times. After the lecture, I approached one of the girls and whispered in her ear, "I heard that if you come here, all the young people will be naked, jumping up and down, and dancing. But nothing has happened. Why aren't you naked today?"
Her face turned red. She too had heard the rumors, she replied. "I'm a Christian, but all the Christians slander the Unification Church and plot against us. Don't believe everything you hear."
Then I thought about Copernicus. Before his time, everyone thought the earth was flat and unmoving. But Copernicus proclaimed, "The earth is round and moves, it rotates." If the earth were round, people feared that everyone would fall off. So he was accused, denounced and persecuted. He proclaimed the truth which he had discovered. Then why did people persecute him? I saw similarities between the situation of the Unification Church and Copernicus, although I didn't then know whether the Unification Church and the Divine Principle were true.
Mr. Eu gave logical explanations. I knew that not all religions explain their doctrines logically or scientifically. I felt I should study more, and if it was the truth, I should spread it to all the world.
Three days later I met Mr. Eu in front of the gate and told him I wanted to hear more. "Mr. You," he replied, "Thank you for coming, but I have something to do right now; how about coming next week?" 1 agreed to his suggestion. On my way home, I saw in the newspaper that he had been arrested, along with Mr. Moon and Won Pil Kim. (This was in July 1955.)
I returned to my village for summer vacation, and when school resumed, came back to Seoul. While preparing to purchase a tram ticket one day, I again met the two girls. They bought a one-month tram pass and gave it to me. "Please use it to come to our church service every Sunday. We have moved to Chungpa Dong."
The next Sunday I came. This time a young man was there, wearing a zippered jacket a couple sizes too large. He had on American army trousers, also much too big for him. His looks immediately struck me as strange. He sat down at the front of the congregation on his knees. Mr. Eu was sitting on a chair, nicely groomed, wearing a white shirt, a tie, and a good jacket. I presumed he was the leader of the church and the other young man perhaps in charge of the youth meetings.
But that Sunday, it was the "youth leader" who gave the sermon -- a sermon bathed with tears and sweat. Only a few words I can still remember. "We will unite all religions; our Unification Church will spread all over the world. Now we are very poor, but in the future we will be the richest church in the world." How could anyone believe that? I like Divine Principle, I reflected, but I cannot believe that young man's sermon.
After that Sunday, I prayed every evening, not for the church, not for God, but for my own situation. One night a couple of weeks later, during prayer, I suddenly lost consciousness of my surroundings and found myself walking through a green meadow. I knew intuitively that if I continued walking, I would meet Jesus Christ. Ahead of me were two tall, straight pine trees, such as I had never seen in Korea. Between the two trees was a big house. Opening the gate I saw three angels. They told me they were waiting for me, and guided me through another door, which opened into a big hall.
There I saw Jesus Christ and his 12 disciples. "You are a very lucky boy," Jesus told me. "Your Unification Church is on earth, in my place. Now it is very small, but in the near future it will be the strongest and most famous in the world. It will be accused and persecuted, but don't worry about that. If you study Divine Principle, you can understand everything. You also will be accused and persecuted, but don't worry. Your church has a new truth; study it. If you do, you will be number one in the world." Then he asked me if I would like to meet God. Very pleased, I answered yes.
The three angels were called back. They came bringing a big round basket-like vehicle, a bit like a flying saucer. I got inside, and one of them steered. We flew far, far away, and in a few minutes landed in a special place. There were three stages covered with golden carpet, but the angels told me I could walk up only two.
Walking through a golden gate, I found a hall with white rays, like rays from the sun, shining from every corner. I entered, and from one corner God spoke. "You are a very lucky boy. I chose you especially tonight. From now on, everywhere you go, I will be with you; whatever you want to do, I will help you. Your church has the second Jesus (At that time, I didn't know what the second Jesus was.) "Your church has the new word which is My word. Now your church is small, but in the future your church will be world-famous and be the strongest of all. It will be persecuted, but don't worry about that."
"You should study My word," he continued. "After going back, take a week off from school and devote yourself to study. If you study My word for one week, you can understand everything. Can you make this promise?"
And I said, "Yes, I can."
"If you study My new word, you will be famous throughout the world," (Actually, these were the same three promises my ancestors had given to my elder brother.)
"Tonight I will give you evidence. Would you like to meet your father and mother?"
I was surprised. How could I meet my father and mother who had died? A few minutes later they both appeared, and I saw their faces. But God cautioned me. "It's not time to speak to each other yet." They only smiled at me; I smiled back, and then they disappeared.
God again spoke, "Can you believe Me? If you believe in Me, you will be happy. Please stop going to the university, and study My new word. Wherever you go I will be with you; whatever you want to do, I will help you."
On the one hand, I was so pleased, but on the other, I felt very strange. Again God asked me, "Can you keep your promise?" I agreed, and returning to the place where the angels were, I was escorted back to Jesus. Jesus told me to go back, and I returned to the two big pine trees and the large meadow. After crossing the meadow, I awakened.
The next morning I was of two minds. My goal was to study, so how could I take a week off from the university? Believing I could study Divine Principle later, I continued attending classes.
But again one day I suddenly found myself walking through the green meadow, where I saw the three angels, and was taken to Jesus Christ. This time he scolded me, "Why didn't you keep your promise? If you keep your promise you will be blessed and be the first in the world." After scolding me for a while, he asked me if I would like to see all of the kingdom of heaven. I was pleased and said yes.
The three angels again guided me into the basket vehicle, and this time we landed in an almost endless field of flowers -- thousands of colors and sizes with butterflies and bees hovering around. The angels took me to many other places more beautiful than anything on earth. There was a stream of crystal-clear water, where I washed my hands, my face and even my feet. (Someday, when you go to the kingdom of heaven, you also will wash yourselves with crystal-clear water. At that moment, remember Mr. You who visited you in Paris and told you about that water!)
I saw many houses, with dome-like roofs. The angels told me that all of the houses were empty, and again I was surprised. There had been many popes, ministers, elders, saints -- were they not spiritual ghosts? (At that time I believed in spiritual ghosts.) But I didn't ask the angels why all the houses were empty.
Returning to Jesus, I was reminded again to keep my promise. I awoke resolved to do so.
The next morning, instead of going to the university, I went to the church. Mr. Eu gave lectures from morning until evening, but around noon that same young man walked into our lecture room. Astonished, Mr. Eu stopped lecturing and stepped aside. Then that strange big-jacketed, American-trousered young man stood at the blackboard and started to explain. He talked about the four-position foundation and about God's heart, but during his explanation I became angry. Why is he interfering with our work? Why does he disturb our lecture? In my mind I wanted to hit him. Just at that moment I heard a voice from above saying, "This is My beloved son. Why do you judge men externally? You should understand them internally." Three times I heard this voice.
Suddenly I remembered that while I had been with God, He had told me that there was a second Jesus. Remembering this, I realized that this man was God's beloved son. With better understanding, I studied Divine Principle more and more.
That was 27 years ago. I am telling you things I heard with my own ears, saw with my own eyes, and felt with my own hands -- I cannot deny my experiences. While some of you were just being born, I joined the Unification Church. Throughout my life I have suffered much persecution, not only from outside the church but also from inside. (Someday you may understand why we should go through heavy persecution even inside the church.)
Some people think I am strange, and I am certainly not handsome. One day Father told me, "Mr. You, you are the ugliest man in the world. When I see you, I don't feel so good, because you are so ugly." And I answered, "That's okay, Father. Let me be the representative of all the ugly men. Will you allow that?" And Father said okay. (So if you think you are not handsome or beautiful, let's get together; I will give you a pass to get to heaven! When I visited Norway, I asked who among the brothers and sisters thought they were handsome or beautiful. No one raised a hand. So I told them that they were really my brothers and sisters! Maybe I can accept a handsome man as my cousin, but not my brother!)
I didn't return to my home village for seven years. As I told you, I had left my younger brothers and sisters there. Of course they were angry. One day one of my brothers set my house on fire. "We don't want to live any more if our elder brother abandons us," they told me. But eventually all of my brothers and sisters, and also my nieces and nephews, joined the church and were blessed. The brother who set my house on fire became one of the 124 blessed couples.
Don't worry about persecution. Without being willing to endure persecution, suffering or even torture, if you still want to receive God's blessing, then you have the mind of a thief. Going through persecution and problems shouldn't worry you. If you unite strongly together, then automatically God will work among you. A son might think that if his father is the president of something, then he can be proud. But who do we have for a father? Our Heavenly Father is God.
On December 25, 1955, we had a heavy snowfall; it was a white Christmas. Father gathered all the Seoul members together, about 70 in one room. We sang and talked together. The other Christian churches celebrated Christmas with candies and cakes, but we were too poor to do so.
That evening we ate popcorn. We called it porn-porn candy, because in Korean the sound of popcorn exploding is called "porn." That year Father received three Christmas presents: a box of oranges, a box of cake, and a box of candies. "I will make lottery tickets and the winners will get them." Everyone was pleased and excited. Father began preparing 70 lottery tickets.
As he was doing this, my grandfather suddenly appeared to me and said, "Tonight you will win the lottery." He spoke very clearly, and I felt so much surprise. Who could predict the winner of a lottery?"
I began to wonder if I was losing my mind, if I was going crazy. People said that's what happens when you join the Unification Church. I checked myself by pinching my leg, but I felt the normal degree of pain. I closed my eyes, and again my grandfather appeared to me saying, "Why don't you believe me? You will win the lottery tonight. Pick out one of the papers from the middle of the basket, not the sides."
By that time Father had finished making the tickets, mixed them up in the basket, and was distributing them to the members. He came to me. Following my grandfather' instructions, I separated the pile of tickets into halves and picked out one from the middle. I grasped it tightly in my fist. At that time my attitude was very serious, thinking that if I won the lottery I would continue with the Unification Church forever; if not, I would say goodbye to it.
A few minutes later, Father told us to open our hands. All the members read their papers. One girl shouted with joy and happiness, for she had number one. She is now Col. Han's wife. A few seconds later a brother shouted out, "Here's number two." He used to be president of Il Hwa. But no one claimed number three. Three papers were still in the bamboo basket, because there were only 67 members in the room, instead of 70. Everyone supposed number three was still in the basket.
I was happy, for I thought I might have the third ticket. Very carefully, I unfolded my fingers and opened the paper. Number three. I couldn't shout. Mr. Han, the former European I.W., was sitting next to me, so I told him I had number three. In my place, he shouted it out, and all the brothers and sisters fastened their eyes on me. The two girl students in particular stared.
I felt so ashamed. I had won Father's lottery prize, but I couldn't bear to shout out in joy. I was very poor. I had no money even to have my hair properly cut. My jacket was worn out, and I had not washed my undershirt for a month and so lice were crawling around underneath it. My situation was very serious. I was so poor I couldn't shout out. The members thought that with my shaggy hair and worn-out clothes, I was a beggar -- undeserving of Father's prize.
But that night Mr. Lee, a high school teacher, composed a song about me. He is now president of the Unification Church in Korea; his wife remembers that song very well.
After this special Christmas eve, I studied the Divine Principle more and more. God guided me spiritually. I went through such persecution and suffering you wouldn't be able to imagine, from both inside and outside the church. If God wants to give you revelation, you must suffer persecution. If you cannot go over that suffering, then God's revelation will be useless, and you will he worthless.
Please believe my testimony. If you believe in my testimony, you will be blessed instead of me. As a small country boy at that time, I wondered how I could ever become famous throughout the world. (I'm not famous yet, but it may happen gradually, step by step.) I am already old, and you brothers and sisters are still young; still, I'm going to study your language, French. You in turn should study Korean.
God has already told me, "Wherever you go I will be with you," so from now on, God is our European God! All the European spirit people will help you.
When I was in Sweden, I visited the tomb of Emanuel Swedenborg. "Mr. Swedenborg," I prayed, "you were the first man to introduce the existence of the spirit world on this earth. From now on you shall witness about our True Parents and about the kingdom of heaven on earth. If you don't do that, I will punch you!"
All the Swedish members were surprised. "How can you give him orders?" they asked.
"I am God's son," I replied; "you are God's sons and daughters; he's only an adopted son, so I can give him an order."
So you French brothers and sisters should have confidence that if you try your best for God, you can do anything. Many problems face you, but as you resolve these problems, your country will be blessed. Without such problems, those blessings cannot come.
If you suffer any persecution, don't worry, for God will automatically be there and help you gain a great victory. Unless you experience persecution and suffering, God cannot give you great blessings.
At the beginning of this talk, I promised to explain how we can enjoy eternal life. The key is witnessing.
The saddest man in the world is the man who has no object of love. In our heart, in our mind, we are full of love, but we need to love a person. We must have an object of our love. Why are we eager to have children? In order to love. If we have no children, we cannot fully express our love. Who is the very best object of our love? It would be our own son or daughter.
The relationship between parent and child is an emotional one; all other relationships can change, but the emotion flowing between parents and children is unchanging. So we need children to love. The saddest man in the world is the man who has no children. In the kingdom of heaven, we will have no need for bread, cheese, clothes, or such things -- all we need is true love. True love is the source of eternal life and happiness.
If you don't have spiritual children, how can you find love in the spiritual world? Our members should find at least 12 spiritual children. It's God's spiritual law that in order to pass through all 12 golden gates of heaven, you need at least 12 spiritual children. When I saw the kingdom of heaven, I realized that. After studying Divine Principle, I went to the countryside to pioneer so I could get many spiritual children.
In order to love your own blessed children, you will need to love spiritual children first. Your own blessed children will be your Abel lineage, and your spiritual children will be your Cain lineage -- you need both.
The purpose of restoration is to restore Adam's family; after the Blessing, you are in the position of Adam -- a small Adam, at least -- and your wife in the position of Eve. In that position, you should gain Cain children and Abel children. Your blessed children are Abel, but in order for them to take that position, you need spiritual children first. By restoring Adam's family in this way, you build your relationship to God. God can only work on a foundation; the kind of foundation you must build as a family.
In Korea, there is a saying, "If you love your child, you should give him the whip. If you don't love him, please give him delicious bread and candies." If I didn't love you, I would let you play ping-pong all day. If I didn't love you, I couldn't punch you, but since I do love you, I shall.
If you witness through suffering, God's blessing will come to you. If you want to live forever, please witness. Can you make a promise to continue to witness, to witness every day? Without gaining spiritual children, you will not experience eternal spiritual life to the fullest extent. Resolve to fulfill this, and please remember your promise.