The Words of the Yun Family
Yun Jung-un was born in 1938 and joined the Unification Church in 1957. She was blessed among the thirty-six couples to Kwak Chung-hwan four years later. They have six children. In her younger days, she was an active church member in northern Seoul and participated in the historic three-year mobilization of blessed wives that began in December 1970. A familiar figure, seen on many holy days with her husband as he offers the reporting prayer, Yun Jung-un is a pioneer of our movement, a pioneer of blessed marital and family life. We are pleased to present here the first half of her testimony, which was published in Korean in 1989.
Father, here is a story of true love, of the pure spirit of a girl deeply engraved in the heart of Father forever. Though even light and sound travel in waves, there once was a flow of love that knew no such ups and downs. You alone know of this song of love, this long song that lasted 5,400 days.
I write this with a heart of prayer. When I think that I have experienced the incredible love of God within me but I am too small a vessel to have transferred that love to others, a feeling of repentance fills my heart.
My father was the second son in the PaPyung Yun family, who were farmers. [PaPyung is the origin or "head" family of this Yun clan; they are Irun Nonsan, South Chung Chung Province.] He had studied theology; he was wise, clever and full of benevolence. My mother (who passed away when she was fifty-seven) was the eldest daughter in her family. After coming down from northern Korea, she worked her way through a college of theology. She was smart and was especially talented artistically.
After tying the knot in a love marriage [not one arranged by parents or a matchmaker], they harbored hopes that their love would remain fresh as an evergreen. They ran a farm in Gyeong-gi Province and immersed themselves in teaching farmers as volunteers in a government-inspired program. Surrounded by farmland and children, they made a sweet home for themselves and nurtured their dreams on earth.
I was the first-born child of parents who were full of dreams. Because my parents were religious people, I was raised in an atmosphere of devout faith. We were a middle-class family; so I grew up without knowing much hardship. My parents had two more girls after me.
I enrolled at Ewha Woman's University at the age of nineteen. I was a freshman, living in the garden of Ewha with my rainbow-colored dreams, when one fine autumn day on the beautiful campus, I listened to a special lecture from a fellow student. She was a girl who had always been especially nice to me by reason of our being from the same hometown, Gangneung; she saved a seat for me in every French lesson (Eon Seon-ja, who was later blessed among the seventy-two couples). On that day; the French lesson had been canceled, so as things turned out, I heard her lecture instead.
She also asked me whether she could take me with her to a nice place, the next day, which was a holiday. Without much thought, I agreed to meet her on the following day at Gwanghwamun. So, on October 9, 1 followed her docilely where she led me. We passed many side streets until we came to a house with an old wooden gate. Only after we had gone into the house and several people had come out of a shabby room did I have the feeling it must be a church. Walking across the floor and climbing a set of stairs, we found ourselves in a room with straw matting.
Some time later, a lame man came up. [Rev. Eu Hyo-won, who lectured many hours each day even though he was lame.] He gave a passionate speech, though I was the only listener. The lecture, which began in the morning, ended at sundown. My friend then told me that the first part of the lecture was over and that I should come and hear the second part the following day. I agreed without a second's thought.
I had been so moved by the lecture of the day before, that as the lecture began on the second day my heart overflowed with joy. I was still only nineteen years old; I had never experienced such great joy as I did then, even though I had felt joy before. That was why; though I should have studied hard in the second semester of my freshman year, I allowed myself to skip classes to go listen to Divine Principle lectures instead. Considering my past and the way I grew up, my missing classes was unimaginable, but nothing on earth could restrain the power of this joy.
Needless to say the first person I wanted to share my beat elation with was my own sister Jeong-hye. Since elementary school, we had always studied in the same year and the same class. At that time, we were at the same dormitory at Ewha, though in different rooms. On my return to the dormitory; the first thing 1 did was to call her out and ask her to accompany me the next day.
Indeed, heaven and earth were not the heaven and earth I had known. I was not the same person as the day before; I seemed to he living in a different world. It couldn't have been any more different if I had died and cone back to life. The next day was Sunday. Those living in the dormitory customarily attended Sunday Service in the auditorium. If a student wanted to go to some other church, outside the school gates, she needed to get signatures. My sister and I tried to find our way to Seoul Station, our destination being the Chungpa-dong church. We did not know our way around Seoul, so we finally found the church only after wandering around, but the Sunday service had already ended.
My sister and I continued attending lectures after that. One day; we were in the main room, the sisters who were Myeongwonhwae members having asked us to spend some time with them [A now defunct sisters group formed by the very early woman members] (After the Ewha expulsion incident.. I was the first Ewha student to join the church, so they were especially fond of me). While I was with them, a middle-aged man wearing a coat and a hat came into the room, and the sisters, who had been loitering freely until then, all stood up in two rows and offered a courteous bow. When they did that, I wondered whether they would do as much if the President of Korea were to come in. The sisters took his coat and hat and hung them up, and he sat down on the warmer part of the floor. After the sisters had introduced my sister and me, he began speaking to us all. It took him a while to speak, but when his spirited words began to flow out of him, a ball of flame as big as a platter seemed to enter my mouth and settle in my heart. I felt all hot and startled, and my body went rigid. I had never experienced such a thing before.
Seon-ja would meet me in school between church visits and take care of me. I dream a good deal, and even after I came in contact with the Principle, I had several dreams. One day 1 dreamed that my father was the king, my mother was the queen and I was the princess. The king, the queen and all their loyal subjects were in the palace reception room at a great banquet. Before the meal began, we offered a prayer. I also put my hands together and offered a prayer to Heaven. Then in one corner of the ceiling, a square hole formed, and through it appeared the Virgin Mary; who beckoned me toward her. Without my being aware of it, my body floated high into the air. The Virgin Mary held my hand; surrounding us on either side were cherubim. Alter settling on the date, time and place we should meet again, we parted. On the promised day, I, the princess, took my lady-in-waiting with me to the appointed place. After I woke up and reflected upon it, I realized the meeting place was the lecture hall of the central church in Seoul.
Sometimes in dreams, I played with birds in the most beautiful places. When I told True Father about this, he said, "You must have seen paradise!" One day as I was listening to the Divine Principle, Sa Gil-ja said, "It is better to be born a woman." As soon as her words struck my ears, something flashed through my head. At that moment, I felt as pure and clean as the Virgin Mary. After I came to know the Divine Principle, the pure love within my mind was full of my adoration for Heaven. I could find peace in my heart only when I followed wherever True Father went.
At the time, for reasons known only to himself, True Father came almost every day to the student church center. Aware of neither the passing night nor hunger, we listened to him speak there, drawn to him by the power of love. Living at the student center at that time were about twenty young women, less than a third of them paid rent, so there were many instances of students having to go to school in the morning on an empty stomach. Missing lunch as well, they would come home starved, only to find that there was nothing to eat there. At such times, they almost felt like crying but were able to sustain themselves on the power of love, food for the soul, given by True Father, who came to the student center often, as if it were the second church.
Living in the dormitory, I had difficulty finding time to go to church. I could not go as often as I liked, so after making some excuse to my parents, I rented a room near Ewha and lived alone. Afterward, I was invited by Sa Gil-ja to live at the church student center. At the time, the only places I was familiar with were the school, the church and my parents' home. I did not know my way around Seoul at all, but true Father took us to mountains and fields, so I was able to see many other places. I would skip classes rather than miss the chance to go where he took us.
As soon as school was out for the day; I would stop by at the student church center, fling my bag down there and go to the church; this was my daily routine When Father happened to be away from the church, I would he so disappointed. One misty, moonlit night, I had come to the church to find that True Father was not there. With a prayerful mind, I directed my steps toward Hyochang Park. After wandering around in the big park, I found True Father seated all by himself. I moved toward him slowly and quietly. Before I reached him, though, a few hooligans passing between us saw me and made fun of me. That caught his attention, and he noticed me.
True Father told me to sit next to him, with the words, ""Others may say had things about you!" He went on to ask me, of the moonlit nights, which was the most beautiful. and told me he found the misty, moonlit night the most beautiful.
Sometimes he asked us, Will you become daughters, or daughters-in-law?" He said he knew which of the two was better, but could not tell us. One day, the student center gang (we were better known by that name) accompanied True Father to Dobong. As evening drew on, the Moon cast its light on us. What True Father told us that day seemed to hold special meaning. Every word he spoke stirred my heart. I could not hold bark the tears that welled up inside me, so I made my way out of there. Clinging to a large rock, I cried my heart out as 1 looked up at heaven.
When we were at the student church center, Sung-jin nim. who was in grade school then, came to visit us quite often. We worried about him.
Making use of the summer and winter vacations, I was able to participate in the service and witnessing program carried out by the church in the countryside. During one summer vacation, I went to Seonghwan in Gyeong-gi Province. On the very first day, it rained and I could not find a room to rent, so I slept curled up under the eaves of someone's house. The room I rented the next day was next to the toilet, so until the last day of witnessing I struggled with the stench coming from it. I recall it took me three hours to cook steamed barley for the first time and another few hours to eat it, because it was very slithery.
I still have a clear memory of visiting a cattle ranch with an itinerant worker and other members. It was the first time in my life I had seen such a big place. It was a natural, orderly ranch amidst mighty nature, where big trees cast even bigger shadows that made one forget instantly that it was summer.
During winter vacation, I went to teach and witness in South Gyeongsang Province. I did my best to teach the young people. While there, I washed clothes in a cold stream. I cannot forget returning home and crying my eyes out as I asked my landlady to rub my hands because they were almost frozen. I was experiencing such things for the first time in my life, but deep within my heart was the love of Heaven, which had completely taken root and filled it, so I could overcome all difficulties uncomplainingly with a joyous heart.
Four years had already passed since I entered Ewha University. That meant that the time had come for me to graduate. Traffic police came through the school gates to keep order among the guests, and the entire campus overflowed with waves of congratulations. In the midst of it all, the graduates, wearing caps and gowns they'd long dreamed of, went on stage and received their diplomas from the chancellor.
As I enjoyed to the full the sense of achievement, in the hall of my dreams, which I had cherished deep in my heart since girlhood, I gave thanks to God and my parents for looking after me thus far. Most precious to me was the fact that my worldly dream had been transformed into a heavenly one. I had lived four years in the land of dreams, but the most beautiful dreams of the world vanished like an afternoon's shadow after 1 had come to know Heaven's will and love.
After the graduation ceremony, we eight graduates were even more delighted to find that True Father had come to see us in person. He even bought us carnations. It saddened me a little that my parents, who had come up from Gangneung, were disappointed in me for associating with the church members including True Father. They actually cried, asking how my sister and I could treat them like that, when they had worked hard for four years in the countryside to send two daughters to college and had come up with pleasure to attend our graduation ceremony. They were hurt because as soon as we had taken a picture with our parents to comply with their wishes, we had made excuses, left them and gone to mingle with our fellow members. True Father also took pictures with us, as a group and separately. It was truly an honorable graduation ceremony.
We had made him a suit to commemorate our graduation, and he took us to eat roast beet and even to see a movie.
Even after graduation, we did not go back to our own home, which caused a great commotion. We didn't budge, even after two or three telegrams had come for us saying our mother was seriously ill. In the end, True Father told me to go home for a visit. He said we should persevere. Since he had not told Jeong-hye to go, I went home alone. At that time our family had moved to Chuncheon. At one point while I was there, my mother took a big knife from the cupboard and threatened to commit suicide. I did not even blink an eye at that, but just sat still, which appalled her even more. She asked me how I could do this to her. My father too became angry, and even struck me with a bell. I was not afraid at all, though, because everything had been the work of Heaven.
On February 24 1960, I had luckily stopped by the church to attend the Wednesday evening service. True Father ordered a large piece of paper bought and brought to him. He tore it into many pieces, wrote a number on each piece and handed them out to us, telling us to keep them safe. I was the only person there from the student center, so I was the only student who received this holy paper.
Some time later, on April 11, we celebrated the day of True Parents' Holy Wedding, a unique day in six thousand years. How Heaven had toiled to bring about this day! Because one woman had failed to fulfill her responsibility, a nail had been driven into Heavenly Father's heart; at last, we were welcoming the morning of the Holy Wedding, in which emerged one new woman. On the shabby floor of the Chungpa-dong church, a ceremony was carried out that turned heaven and earth upside down. True Father was dressed like a young boy in jade green pall, Korean traditional trousers, and a hat. True Mother looked so beautiful, all made up for the occasion, draped with a white veil and wearing a bridal tiara. How sacred, how mystical, how beautiful she looked!
So much deep emotion was in my heart that as the choir sang, I was sobbing, blinded by tears. The explosions of flashes and the sound of the cameraman stepping back all seemed to belong to a different world. How True Father and True Mother danced at the reception! "Heavenly Father! Cry your heart out unceasingly. Ease Yourself of the grief and sorrow of six thousand years! Heavenly Father! Laugh endlessly! Rejoice boundlessly!" In my heart, I was shouting these words with all my might. True Mother, seated on a high platform, chose me out of the crowd to be the first to sing. I cannot express how honored and joyful I felt.
True Father, who had always gone about alone, was always accompanied by True Mother from that time on. When True Mother was large with child, she moved into a private home in Chungpa-dong, where she gave birth to the first princess. None of us knew what to do, so great was our joy. Some-times we held Ye-jin nim. Sometimes True Father would say to True Mother, "Mother, compare your height with Jung-un's!" What was extraordinary was that after the Holy Wedding, my affection for True Father transferred to True Mother. Love of True Father transformed into love of True Mother, so True Mother appeared many times in my dreams and poured out her love to me.
Even after the Holy Wedding, True Father frequently visited the student church center to speak to us. True Mother and Mrs. Choi Won-pok usually stayed on the second floor. True Mother, while lying down, would embrace me warmly. True Father often came up to the second floor and personally wrote his name in my notebook, and said, "This room is very much like the room I stayed in when I was studying in Japan." Sometimes he did calligraphy for us, and sometimes he drew for us; he once said the picture he had drawn was of Jung-un's husband.
I was living in a state of bliss, unaware of anything but my enchantment in the love of Heaven. I had nothing to complain about, when a thunderbolt unexpectedly struck me down. That is to say, we were told we had to get married as well. At first, I did not like the idea; it meant having to leave True Father's side, but we were told we would he able to attend him longer if we married at that time.
True Father gathered us and began the engagement ceremony. After passing through a screening process, I was matched to Kwak Chung-hwan, who was the most popular man at that time. At two o'clock in the morning, we received the internal blessing prayer to Heaven in True Father's room. He made us compare our heights and conclude the engagement with a handshake. I was dressed in the skirt and jacket I had worn at my university graduation ceremony and my hair was long. Next on my agenda was introducing my fiancé to my parents, who were then staying in Incheon, where my father was the principal of Songdo High School. I met them at a coffee shop and told them about him. At first, they said.. "Since you like him, he must be a good man, but he is jobless, and a preacher What will you live on from now on?" I told them I wouldn't make them worry about that and pestered them to give their permission. My father was so dumbfounded that he kicked my foot, shouting, "You fool!" He was disappointed and didn't know what to do.
I heard afterwards that my two aging parents cried endlessly over my situation. They wept because they were mortified at my disappointing them again, after disappointing them the first time at my graduation.
On May 15, 1961, the day of our blessing finally dawned. It was held three days after the engagement, which meant I had given my parents only three days' notice. This is incomprehensible according to a worldly way of thinking. My parents said that they had thought the Unification Church was out to steal our hearts, but now they realized it was about to steal our bodies as well. True Father explained that since Satan had stolen Adam and Eve, at least the thirty-six couples should go through the process of being snatched back from the world. Moreover, we were told we had to take wedding invitations to our parents. My parents, who had raised their daughter with love and care, were furious. The man who was to become my husband had come to see them in clothes he'd borrowed from someone. He offered them his card, but my mother tore it up, and tested him by telling him lo write down his address and name. My fiancé must have been upset, because he left after saying only a few meaningful words.
I later came to learn my mother had wanted a very handsome son-in-law, and since I had small eyes, she had expected him to be a man with large eyes. My father consoled my mother, telling her that my fiancé’s looks were as good as could he hoped for.
As important members of the community; my parents had envisioned holding a large wedding for their eldest daughter with many guests. On the contrary; they were given just two invitations to come and see the wedding, which they did almost against their will.
Though it was the sacred day of the blessing, there was pandemonium outside, created by the families who had cone to make a racket. I was on the second floor, preparing for the ceremony with other brides and grooms; my heart was filled with dread, and the thought flashed through my mind, "Oh! We won't be able to receive the blessing now!"
However, the blessing, which seemed to he in a different world from of the raucous one outside, was calmly carried out. My husband was not dressed in white, though that was the custom, and he was only wearing a traditional Korean overcoat over his clothes. In the midst of it all. my parents met his parents at the ceremony; and they exchanged greetings before leaving.
We were overjoyed and grateful for having concluded the ceremony even in the midst of all that calamity. Even my mother told me that as I came down from the second floor, I looked beautiful, like an angel, and that the officiators also looked beautiful.
After the Blessing Ceremony; which was a victory for Heaven, there was a reception that night. True Father made us kiss in public, and presided over the Indemnity Stick Ceremony. I believe he intended to make this historical night the most enjoyable ever. When a bride or groom ... People pointed to someone among the other couples, the chosen person had to stand in front of Father and Mother and kiss his or her spouse. Mr. Hwang Hwan-chae pointed to me, so my husband and I had to come out of the crowd, and I had to kiss my husband. The truth is I had grown up not knowing even the shadow of a man, and since I had joined the church in my freshman year of college, I had never dated anyone before. Since joining I had lived immersed in the will of God, with my gaze only on True Father, so I had not even ventured to greet other men in the church properly. Even at the time when True Father was screening us for the blessing, when he had asked me, "Whom would you like?" I answered, "I would like the man you love the most," and he responded, "Aren't you greedy!"
No matter how much I braced myself to approach my husband, come up to his face and kiss him, my heart recoiled. I felt as if I couldn't do it even at the threat of death, so I ran away. In the end, True Father brought out a stick and threatened to beat my husband to pay for my shyness. In other words, True Father said he would beat the groom if the bride refused to kiss her new husband! Still I refused. hearing that, True Father gave the stick to my husband and told him to beat me until I kissed him. Eventually, with True Father more or less pushing us together from behind, our lips brushed by way of a kiss. It must have been very funny. True Father laughed aloud and the onlookers laughed even harder, clutching their midriffs. Brides with more daring than I kissed their husbands without making a fuss, and some men had everyone laughing by imitating scenes from movies. Rev. Eu Hyo-won later said that he regretted not having caught my kiss on film.