Unification News for February 2002
True Mother's Speech at the Opening Ceremony of WSCF 2002
by Dr. Hak Ja Han
It is my great joy to welcome all of you to this opening convocation of the World Culture and Sports Festival Assembly 2002, in my homeland of Korea.
I have seen changes here in Korea in my lifetime that can only be described as miraculous. I sincerely hope those of you who are visiting Korea for the first time will have an opportunity to spend some time experiencing the Korean culture and seeing the great progress occurring here.
We began the New Millennium with great hope that the violence and suffering of the past were behind us and that we could look forward to building a world of peace and prosperity for all, through the power of modern technology. Sadly, the events of the last year have shown clearly that while we may have the material culture, we still have a task to resolve confusions about the spiritual culture and about the universal values which should become the fundamental base of cultural harmony.
Although moral relativism is still all too prevalent, my husband, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, has devoted his entire life to pursuing and teaching moral absolutes: absolute faith and absolute obedience to God, and absolute love for all humankind and the creation.
Although many of you know something of the Reverend Moon because of the many projects and activities he has organized, today I would like to tell you about the Reverend Moon that only I know. After 42 years of marriage, I am sure that only God knows him better than I.
What do the absolutes that he teaches have to do with his life? In the forty-two years that we have been married, I have seen from early morning until late at night his unwavering example of living for the sake of others and seeking to break down all barriers in all spheres of human activity, for the ultimate purpose of breaking down the barriers between man and God.
When I first met him, the world was still dangerously divided into two armed camps due to the cold war of the west and east and this nation of Korea had been tragically torn in two after the Korean War. Almost everything had been destroyed by the years of fighting. The first church my husband built was made of discarded cardboard boxes mixed with clay, with a dirt floor. Still the Reverend Moon never doubted Gods promise to bring peace and prosperity to this land. When he was thrown into prison by the North Koreans and beaten almost to death, and later here in South Korea through the false accusations of jealous leaders of other religions, he never wanted to burden God by praying for help in his difficulties.
Rather, he comforted God and made determinations over and over that he would do his best quietly to accomplish the goal of building the world of peace. In the face of all difficulties -- when we did not have enough food to eat, when it seemed like the churches, the media, sometimes even the government were conspiring to silence him he kept on teaching. Like Gods prophets throughout history, he did not soften his message in the face of opposition he intensified it. He set an example of an absolute faith.
When he was sixteen years old he had a revelation from God that he was chosen for a mission to lead humankind back to life as God originally intended it a life of purity, freedom, and joy. To do this, he had to pioneer that way of life as an individual and as a family, and extend that pattern to the whole world. Gods calling meant a life of total sacrifice for the Reverend Moon, filled with incredible suffering and difficulty. Perhaps most painful were the ridicule and false accusations from the very people he was working to save. Nevertheless, he has never hesitated or wavered in his commitment to fulfill his responsibility. He teaches absolute obedience to God by his own example.
But I think it is his third absolute love that makes him so very different from other religious leaders. Many great leaders and scholars of religion have devoted themselves to spreading their teachings and building up their own religious organizations. Some have done great charitable and humanitarian works. But from the earliest days, the Reverend Moon was different. Even when the Unification Movement was small and beset by financial difficulties, he always taught that we should devote more than two-thirds of our resources to the service of others, before taking care of ourselves. He has devoted hundreds of millions of dollars to supporting inter-faith work seeking to bring all religions closer together because he know this is Gods desire. He has spent far more on interfaith efforts than he ever allowed the Unification Movement to spend on itself. Students at the Unification Theological Seminary, which he founded in 1975, spend far more time studying and dialoguing with other religious traditions than they do on their own.
Even during the very time when misguided elements in the U.S. government were trying to silence him and send him to prison, he founded the Washington Times to support and strengthen America, to help her fulfill her Providential role in the world. He has financially supported many other media organizations, as you may know, much more than he ever supported the publication of Unification Church materials, and continues to do so to this day. His unflagging willingness, and that of his followers, to sacrifice his own needs to live for the sake of others is rooted in Gods nature to love unconditionally the true meaning of love, and the only solution to breaking down the barriers that exist in the world today. He teaches absolute love by his own example.
Absolute love between husband and wife leaves no room for infidelity or divorce and is the only real protection from to the tragic plague of sexually transmitted diseases that afflict so many throughout the world.
Sometimes he has been misunderstood because of the unwavering, uncompromising devotion he has practiced and taught in the pursuit of these ideals. Sometimes, his absolute standard caused jealousy and rootless accusations from those who would prefer an easier path. As time has gone by, however, more and more people have come to recognize that there can be no compromise between right and wrong, between good and evil; no discount in our life and devotion for God.
I have had to share my time with him with others on almost all occasions. We never took a honeymoon in the traditional sense. But I can honestly say that I have received greater love from my husband than any wife has ever known.
His love for our family and his devotion to teaching them to become as absolute in their dedication to God and as universal in their love for humanity has brought amazing results. With our 13 children and more than 20 grandchildren, although we never took a family vacation, my family is thankful to God for His protection.
When we first moved to New York and lived in a church facility with several hundred other church members, he was the one who wanted to learn first how to operate the lawnmower, and he was the one who taught himself how to install the carpets. He cut every blade of grass with the heart to make the lawn beautiful in the eyes of God and therefore man. Every nail in the carpet was the same.
Our life has not been like the lives of others, but as I see the result of his lifelong sacrifice -- the millions of families that have begun to follow in this same tradition, and their children and grandchildren -- I know that God is truly proud of his dedicated son, my husband, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.
It is my joy to have the opportunity to introduce him to you this morning so that I may express my overwhelming love and gratitude to him in public for the first time. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the founder of this World Culture and Sports Festival a true son of God, a true husband, a true father, and a true teacher -- my husband, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.
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