The Words of Sun Myung Moon from 2010
True Father read this speech at the "Honoring a Legacy of Peace" Memorial Festival of Ascension and Unity banquet at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, VA on April 1, 2010; in the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center in New York, NY on April 2; at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, NV on April 4; and at the Waikiki Beach Marriot Resort and Spa in Honolulu, Hawaii on April 9.
Respected leaders from around the world, distinguished guests from at home and abroad, ladies and gentlemen:
My wife and I, representing our family and the nation of Korea, hereby extend our deep appreciation to the many esteemed guests who have come to this new UN hall amid busy schedules to celebrate this Memorial Festival of Ascension and Unity, making it a great success.
A little over one month ago, I celebrated my 90th birthday and took my first steps toward the hundredth year of my life. This is a very busy time in God's providence. I have been blessed with a long life, beyond the average lifespan in this world. This month, my wife and I will celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary, with people from all over the world.
We have fourteen children; five have graduated from Harvard University. Among our forty plus grandchildren, several of them are already studying there. Moreover, a great number of good men and women from 194 nations in this world have come to attend and recognize us as the king of kings and the True Parents.
Throughout our lives we have established many international organizations and institutions to promote world peace. We have invested unreservedly in many fields including interfaith, projects to benefit society, intercultural activities, sports and education, and we have successfully led these initiatives with the aim of promoting peace and bringing salvation to humanity.
After working to succeed in all these things, people would probably commend us, saying that we deserve to look back at our lives and pleasantly celebrate our birthdays with the good wishes of all people. They would probably encourage me to forget about everything and sit back and enjoy the successes achieved during the past ninety years!
However, the life that my wife and I have led is not a life that can be perceived in such a worldly way. We have had to complete the mission of the actual True Parents, given to us by God, who is Himself the true parent of all humankind. Now, with three years remaining in this mission to complete the substantiation of God's Kingdom on Earth, we are leading each day of our lives with more seriousness than ever before.
Throughout my life, I have offered myself for the liberation of God, the one and only true parent of heaven and earth, and to restore the position of parenthood to Him. For this purpose, I persevered and triumphed over countless tribulations while leading humankind, who are like orphans searching for their parents, while lost and unaware, towards the goal of global salvation. Due to the fall of the first ancestors, people are born from the false lineage. Every one without exception wanders in darkness even now, unable to break free from Satan's bondage. Under such circumstances, how could my wife and I be anything less than completely serious in our lives as we show the 6.5 billion people of this world the way along the path toward the building of God's kingdom on earth?
Ladies and Gentlemen,
God created human beings as his children. As the original absolute, unique, unchanging and eternal being, God invested his love in human beings by endowing them with a soul. If not for the Fall, human beings could be perfect as God is and obtain eternal life.
But unfortunately, human beings are living as descendants of the Fall. In order to live a perfect life, all human beings without exception must receive life from True Parents in the three stages of rebirth, resurrection and eternal life. Rebirth in this context refers to an individual attaining new life. Resurrection is when a family attains new life, and eternal life refers to all of humankind attaining perfection and living forever in God's homeland after establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and in the spirit world by attending True Parents who have attained the position of the king of kings.
We can easily see that each person's life goes through three stages. Everyone is conceived through the grace of God and the love of his or her parents. The first stage of life is the long yet short 9-month-period spent in one's mother's womb. Whether we are conscious of it or not at the time, all of us without exception spend 9 months in our mother's womb. Even though a woman's womb is smaller than some rice cookers, from the perspective of a fetus, it is larger than the entire universe.
What about our birth into the second stage of our lives, which is on this Earth? How could we find words adequate to describe the struggle of a newborn baby as it is faced with a completely unfamiliar new world? The first cry of a newborn baby as it experiences the large and wide world that it finds upon exiting the womb is a blessing and celebration of a new time and space that promises a 100-year-long future. Today we are all blessed to live in the second stage of our lives. Although 100 years is much longer than the 9 months we spend in the womb, please do not forget that even 100 years is an infinitely short amount of time in the face of eternity. Although we have all forgotten the standard of consciousness that we possessed in our mother's womb, and we are now enjoying our lives fully in this big wide world, this is yet merely preparation for the final stage of our lives attainable through eternal life.
The third stage of our lives is in the world of eternal life that we can enter through reaching perfection -- the spirit world. It is a world that cannot be imagined by human beings descended from the Fall. It is a world in which we transcend time and space. Just as the fetus in his or her mother's womb cannot imagine life on this earth, as people living and breathing air in this earthly world, we cannot easily understand the spirit world, in which we will be born as spirit bodies and live breathing true love.
As human beings face death, they may shake in fear, and feel terrified if they do not understand the true meaning of death. Although human history has continued for more than 6,000 years, there has been no one who clearly taught about the truth surrounding death. Now, in the Last Days of human history, I have been able to reveal this truth, this heavenly secret, as the True Parent of humankind.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The word 'death' is sacred. It is not a pronoun that signifies sadness and suffering. Therefore, I have created the term Seunghwa to explain the true meaning of death. The moment we enter the spirit world is the time that we enter a world of joy and victory with the fruits borne through our life on earth. It is a time for those of us remaining on earth to send our departed with joy. It should be a time for great celebration. We should be shedding tears of joy instead of tears of sadness. That is the meaning of the sacred and noble Seunghwa Ceremony. It is the first step toward enjoying an eternal life in God's embrace. The moment of death should be a time of more excitement than that of a newly-wed bride going to her groom's home for the first time.
In order to open the door for humanity to experience this kind of precious eternal life, I held a Seunghwa Ceremony for world leaders who recently passed into the next world at the UN headquarters in New York on March 18. The names of those commemorated were: former secretary of state of the United States of America General Alexander Haig, who saved my life by leading the bombing of the North Korean Hungnam Prison Camp in which I was unjustly imprisoned at the time of the Korean War, former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung, who won the Nobel Peace Prize, Tunisian diplomat and Head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti Hédi Annabi, who died in the 2010 Haitian earthquake, the 100 UN workers who died alongside Mr. Annabi, former president of Costa Rica Rodrigo Carazo Odio, who is widely known worldwide as the "Peace President," former president of Indonesia Abdurrahman Wahid, who gave his entire life for the sake of the great nation of Indonesia, which has a population greater than 100 million people, former Iceland Prime Minister Steingrimur Hermannsson, who helped in bringing about the meeting of former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. president Ronald Reagan which accelerated the end of the Cold War, Hassen Shisse of Senegal, who is respected as an exemplary great scholar of Islam, and Ambassador Laxmi Mall Singhvi of India who is praised as the "Ambassador of Reconciliation and Peace" by the 1.1 billion people of the nation of India.
Although the lives of the people whose names I mentioned have been altruistic and philanthropic, no one born in today's world can be guaranteed entry into the world of eternal life without receiving the Marriage Blessing and the Seunghwa Blessing, which I give freely as the True Parent, bridging the divide between God and humankind which came to be as a result of the Fall of the first human ancestors. Please take this point seriously.
In this age, God has proclaimed the Heavenly Calendar. It is a serious time. Now is a time in which all 6.5 billion people in the world must understand my teachings that I bequeath as the True Parent who is responsible to give eternal life to all of humankind. Now is a time that you can share the good news of the coming of the True Parents across the entire world. I pray that you can experience today's Seunghwa Ceremony as a sacred ceremony, in which we celebrate God's liberation and the liberation of all humankind. It is a ceremony through which the tradition and spirit of the Korean people, of which I am a part, can be honored and inherited. Heavenly tradition should be established through this ceremony, uniting all 6.5 billion people of the world with the United Nations. Through the Seunghwa Ceremony, anyone can inherit the ideology of a holy citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven.
In this way, the ideal of a family based on true love can be completed, and God and human beings, as well as the heavenly spirit world and the earthly physical world can be completely united to open up a world of God's reign of peace. Please take this time to express your gratitude to God for giving the keys of the Blessing and Seunghwa ceremonies to all the nations of this world, allowing for the establishment of the traditions of Cheon Il Guk through True Parents.
Please join me in giving a round of applause to our Heavenly Father for this grace, through which we could receive His Grace of precious life without Him asking for anything in return.
Ladies and gentlemen,
What is the path that humankind should take today? Even now tens of millions of innocent lives are being lost each year to war, disease, starvation and natural disasters that arise in all corners of this world. In every field you observe -- whether it is religion, politics, education, culture or ideology -- individuals and even nations are completely mired in the swamp of self-centered egoism. We now live in a world brought to ruin, where genuine communication has broken down.
Ultimately, the problems afflicting humanity can only be resolved through the vision of "One Family under God," in other words the teachings of true love, which my wife and I learned from Heaven and have championed and taught throughout our lives. This is the only way for humankind to find the path toward peace and happiness.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are living in an historic time of great transition. It is a time for a great historical revolution to unite the spiritual and physical worlds and to create the ideal kingdom of heaven that God has longed for since the beginning of time. We can no longer postpone or prolong the fulfillment of His wish. I have already proclaimed that January 13, 2013 will be a "Foundation Day." That day will be the actual beginning and birth of God's kingdom, which in Korean we call Cheon Il Guk. Yet, less than three years remain until that day.
Therefore, now it is time for all people to be humbly obedient to Heaven's decree. An unavoidable time is upon us today where we must invest ourselves completely in a life or death commitment for the remaining three years under the guidance of the True Parents who carry out the providence on this earth as the substantial representatives of God, the king of kings. All the good spirits in the spirit world are mobilized and are already moving forward, one step ahead of you.
Ladies and gentlemen, do you have any idea how much pain God suffered the moment the first human ancestors, into whom God had invested His complete and unreserved devotion since time unmemorable, fell and disappeared into the darkness, becoming part of Satan's lineage? Are you even remotely aware of how our Heavenly Father -- who endured tens of thousands of years of excruciating heartache so great that God's bones shed tears and His flesh shivered -- had to go through the long, dark tunnel of indemnifying the Fall in order to save His lost children? If you have, I am sure that you will have spent many days and nights in tears, yearning to comfort our Father in Heaven.
Ladies and gentlemen,
God raised and prepared the Korean people over a period of thousands of years. All people of the Christian faith recognize that God sent His true son, Jesus Christ, to this earth 2,000 years ago to save humankind. However, Jesus suffered a miserable fate. The leaders of Judaism and the people of Israel were supposed to receive Jesus as the Messiah and follow Him with absolute faith and absolute obedience. They should never have allowed the crucifixion of Jesus to take place. He unexpectedly left this world, leaving behind the words "It is finished." Yet these words indicated only salvation in the spiritual reality. After two thousand years of preparation, his Second Coming has finally borne the fruits of his labor on the Korean peninsula.
From the past, the Korean people have worshiped God as the highest and primal ancestor of their forefathers. They called that single being and progenitor of all people "The One"; in other words, God. As all numbers began from one, all things begin from the one God. The Korean people served God as their original ancestor and thus the spirit of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universally shared values are alive in the soul and tradition of this race. They have maintained themselves over five thousand years of history, yet not once have they invaded or plundered another nation or people. The spirit of "benefiting all mankind" still flows in the veins of the Korean people.
I have inherited such traditional values as the true filial piety exemplified in the folk tale Shimcheong, about a devoted daughter who offered her life so that her blind father could see; the profound love and fidelity displayed by Choonhyang who overcame the fear of death in order to keep the promise she had made with her husband; and the unbreakable loyalty exhibited by Admiral Yi Soon-shin who gave his life to save his nation and people. The lofty values and traditions of Korea are not just matters of historical chance. Based on these values, Heaven has prepared this people; this was all part of the providence of creating a foundation to send the Messiah. On the foundation of such preparation, and riding on the energy of this peninsula, I finally came as the True Parent of humankind, the king of kings who received the seal from Heaven.
The path that humanity must take is clear. What would give you cause to hesitate in the face of the "D-Day" that Heaven has revealed through us, the True Parents? Heaven's blessings will be with you on your ambitious course.
If you view the flow of history through eyes that focus on God's providence, you can see that the changes of the times can be broadly classified into three stages. First, is the "era of worldly matters," in other words, a time where materialism took precedence. Next came the "era of human affairs," a human-centric era where peoples' knowledge and emotions took precedence and dominated the world.
However, these eras were transitional. They were courses of preparation necessary to enter the era in which human beings could rid themselves of their fallen nature, return to their original selves, and live as one united family where they attend God as their Father.
The "era of heavenly affairs" is the final stage, in which humanity should follow the path of living for the sake of others. They should do this through establishing an absolute standard on the foundation of purifying themselves, both inside and out, through the holy marriage blessing ceremony. The era in which we live today is the time of opening up the era of God's kingdom of Cheon Il Guk, a time in which we can return to the heart of the one true God. Please engrave this point on your hearts again and again.
Once the actual time of Cheon Il Guk begins, the spiritual and earthly worlds will be connected and brought into oneness, and all things will be governed under the Association for the Connection of the Spirit and Physical Worlds which will be established on this earth for the first time. Moreover, the providence will be carried out under the heavenly law and the heavenly way. Elections conducted in a purely secular way will disappear from the face of this earth. All people will become one family through cross-cultural marriage and the World Peace Marriage Blessing and we will enjoy tranquility and happiness in the sacred reign of peace. I am saying that only three years remain until that day.
As part of preparing for that time, a few days ago on February 14, I proclaimed to all of heaven and earth the start of the new "heavenly calendar." The Gregorian calendar and lunar calendar shall now stand in the position of Cain and Abel and serve the role of supporting the heavenly calendar by which we will record and indicate the progress of God's providence.
You must all now engrave my teachings onto your bones and lead a life of practicing them. We have no choice. If we do not prepare now we will surely be left behind. We should learn from the courage and fortitude of the white-necked cranes that fly across the Himalayas, which are more than 7,000 meters high, in preparation for winter.
I already have prepared the last words I will give to humankind. These words have been prepared based on my seven triumphs over life-or-death situations, including six periods of unjust imprisonment. I have left behind eight different volumes of books as the textbooks and teaching materials for humankind for all eternity.
These include over 2,000 volumes of my published and unpublished speeches, Divine Principle, Cheon Seong Gyeong, Pyeonghwa Shingyeong (the Peace Messages and an assortment of messages from the spirit world), the Family Pledge, True Families: Gateway to Heaven, Owner of Peace and Owner of Lineage and a comparative anthology titled World Scriptures. These textbooks are books that you will have to read and study even after you go to the spirit world. They are not just teachings that come from the mind of one human being: they are the textbooks and teaching materials that teach the heavenly way, which God has granted to His suffering children for their salvation.
You should now set up the tradition of Hoon Dok Hae centering on your family; that is, the tradition where three generations of a family start each day by reading the words of Heaven, in order to allow God into their day from its offset and to attend God and True Parents throughout the day. Let's create a world where the spirit world and the earthly world can both attend True Parents at the same time, and read the words of the heavenly path together. Once this happens, no matter how hard Satan may try to worm his way in and infest your lineage, he will have no place to stand in the face of the Hoon Dok Hae tradition. If a family lives aligned with God as at high noon -- where no shadow is cast -- and still does not receive God's blessings, then who would merit them? When such heavenly families fill this earth, this world will automatically become the heavenly kingdom on earth and in the eternal spirit world that fulfills the vision of "One Family under God."
Ladies and gentlemen, last year, my memoirs, which contain an honest and candid account of my life, were published, titled As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen. Through this book I have clearly shown where you can find God's will for humanity and the path that human beings, as God's children, should follow. My life has been a typical model of the saying, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again." I have as much faith in As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen as in the Hoon Dok textbooks and teaching materials I have mentioned. For this reason, I recommend it to you, believing that it will show you about leading life according to true principles. It does not subtract or add anything to the ninety years of my life, which I have led under Heaven's decree. I pray you will carefully read this articulation of true love and find great inspiration.
I have said before that a life of vertical "noon-time" alignment casts no shadow. If we can all shine as we live such a glowing life, there will be no chance for the shadow of sin to be cast. Those who receive the light will be indebted to the light. I pray that we can now wipe away the tears of people in misery and poverty, and lead an illuminated life of eternal true love that dissipates all darkness.
Once again, I offer you my heartfelt thanks for gracing this occasion with your presence to celebrate this Memorial Festival of Ascension and Unity. I pray that you will live in good health and in the abundance of God's love. And I hope that we can offer greater glory and honor to God the next time we meet.
I pray that the blessings of God, the king of kings, will be upon you, your family and your nation. Thank you very much.