Beyond the Challenges of Our Time: Transforming the Society, Nations and the World
Universal Peace Federation
International Leadership Conference
Beyond the Challenges of Our Time:
Transforming the Society, Nations and the World
March 1, 2015 – Seoul Korea
SUN JIN NIM’s OPENING REMARKS:
Your Excellencies and Distinguished Participants in the International Leadership Conference. Good morning, and welcome to Korea and to the UPF’s International Leadership Conference. Ahnyounghasayoh.
You have come from more than 40 nations around the world, including Asia, the Americas, Europe, Africa, Oceania and the Middle East. I am aware that there are substantial delegations here from the Philippines and Nepal. I mention this because I recently traveled to those nations on behalf of my mother, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. I want to say how much I enjoyed being in these two beautiful countries where we held International Leadership Conferences and Interfaith Peace Blessing Festivals. Mabuhay! Namastay!
I was very inspired and encouraged to see the development of UPF and our entire movement in those nations. I am sure that such development is true not only in the cases of Nepal and the Philippines, but for each of your nations. On behalf of my mother I want to thank you all, from the bottom of my heart for your support and for all the great work you are doing for peace.
My mother has asked me to deliver the Founder’s Address this morning on her behalf. I am so very proud of my mother, and her leadership of our movement since the time of the passing of my father, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon. They worked side by side for 52 years, and I believe they continue to work together each and every day without any separation.
I hope you can give close attention to my mother’s message to you this morning. I pray these words may touch and move your heart, and inspire each of you to become a more virtuous person and to build a balanced and peaceful world.
I will now read the Founder’s Address of Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon:
HAK JA HAN MOON
FOUNDER, UNIVERSAL PEACE FEDERATION
Your Excellencies. Distinguished leaders from throughout the world, representing governments, religions, civil society organizations, and the private sector. Welcome to Korea. And welcome to this International Leadership Conference, sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation, on the theme of, “Beyond the Challenges of Our Time: Transforming the Society, Nation, and World.” Altogether, we have more than 120 delegates from more than 40 nations.
It is winter time in Korea. I know many of you have come from warmer climates in Africa, the Middle East, South America, Southeast Asia and South Asia. I hope our weather is not too cold for you. Please dress warmly, and, in any case, I hope your hearts will be warmed by the content of this International Leadership Conference, which is being convened at a very special time.
Please allow me to share a few words about the significance of this particular time period during which we gather in Korea.
First of all, this is the season of the Lunar New Year. People throughout Asia, and certainly Korea, are celebrating with their families. However, within our worldwide movement, we not only honor our parents and ancestors, we celebrate the Lunar New Year as a day to be dedicated to God, our Heavenly Parent. We call the New Year day, “True Heavenly Parent’s Day.” My husband and I initiated this Holy Day in 1968, and we have been honoring God on this day over the past 47 years.
Secondly, you may also know that just a few days ago, we celebrated my husband’s and my own birthdays. Our birthdays, by the grace of God, occur on the same day, January 6 by the lunar calendar. This birthday celebration is not an external celebration, but a day to honor God’s providence centered on the True Parents. This is a day that God and humanity have longed for throughout history. As a man and woman, a unified couple who embody God’s true love, the True Parents lead the way of restoration and fulfillment of God’s original ideal.
As the True Parents, my husband and I have worked ceaselessly to fulfill God’s providence. Although my husband is now in the spiritual world, we are as close as ever.
Thirdly, the ideal of God, our Heavenly Parent, and the ideal of True Parents is to establish an ideal nation, the Kingdom of God, which is a world of freedom, peace, unity, and happiness. This is the goal of human history. To bring about this ideal, we must “transform the society, nation, and world”, just as it is stated in the theme for the ILC.
My husband and I made a pledge before God, our Heavenly Parent, to build a new nation, as “one family under God.” We call this ideal nation, Cheon Il Guk. The meaning of this Korean word is that “two become one.” In other words, it indicates unity, harmonization, reconciliation, cooperation, and oneness in heart and mind. Cheon Il Guk is a nation of peace that transcends geographical boundaries, as well as boundaries of nationality, ethnicity, race, and religion.
I know many of you honor the day your nation was born and/or the day you achieved independence. In Korea this day is October 3. In the United States they celebrate the 4th of July. For Cheon Il Guk we celebrate Foundation Day on January 13, by the lunar calendar. This year, that day falls on March 3 by the solar calendar. On this day, we pay tribute to our Heavenly Parent’s ideal of building a universal nation, among people of all races, religions, nationalities and cultures, as one family under God.
At the center of Cheon Il Guk is a vision of marriage and family. For, if we are to transform the society, nation, and world, and if we are to create one family under God, we must begin with the family as the cornerstone of any society, nation, or civilization. For this reason, on Foundation Day 2015 we will have a Holy Blessing Ceremony with thousands of couples from around the world in attendance. You are all invited to participate and observe as guests of honor.
My husband and I initiated the Holy Blessing Ceremonies beginning in 1960. Since that time, we have always emphasized the importance of the Blessing as the foundation for peace. The purpose of the Blessing is to link couples directly to God’s heart and God’s lineage. Through the Blessing, we become united as a couple and one in heart with our Heavenly Parent. In this way we extend the realm of heaven’s blessing, and we extend the realm of one family under God.
So, please recognize that we are convening at this time for a very important and heavenly purpose. I hope you can reflect deeply on this point.
I understand that many of you are familiar with the great work of UPF and other organizations of our movement, such as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, the Women’s Federation for World Peace, and many others. Many of you may be Ambassadors for Peace. Whatever your prior experience or current position may be, this conference offers a very precious opportunity to learn and deepen your understanding of the principles that lead to peace.
During the ILC, you will receive presentations on the core teachings of the True Parents, based on Divine Principle, and with application to all spheres of life. I hope you pay close attention to these presentations.
As you know, the great civilizations and the great moral systems of history have their foundation in religion. Thus, the Divine Principle speaks, for example, of civilizations that arose on the foundation of religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, and Islam. These great civilizations have embraced and consolidated a wide variety of tribes, ethnicities, nationalities and races. This is a great accomplishment and reveals the central role that religion has played in human development.
Through religion, our Heavenly Parent has communicated the highest and most important truths to human beings. And, while we often think that history moves primarily according to the power of empires and nation states, or revolutions in technology and commerce, the most enduring forces of history are spiritual and religious in nature.
Thus, when my husband and I spoke at the United Nations in the year 2000, just prior to the Millennium General Assembly, we urged the United Nations to affirm the essential role that religion plays in the lives of the vast majority of the world’s population and establish, within the UN system, an interreligious council, as a complement to the Security Council and General Assembly. The voices of religion and spirituality can be of immense value and support to the UN in its effort to achieve human security and human development,
Of course, we are well aware that, despite the work of the great religions, our world is still very much divided. We are all especially concerned about religious extremism. Some fear the outbreak of a widespread clash among civilizations.
Although it is true that the world situation is unstable, with tragic events unfolding in places such as Syria, Iraq, Libya, eastern Ukraine, northeastern Nigeria, and other places, we can also be assured that the guiding hand of God is at work to weave together the great civilizations, forming one universal family. This is the meaning of the “consummation of human history.”
We are approaching a time when God’s providence and God’s original purpose of creation is being fulfilled. We are standing on the threshold of a great awakening, a spiritual revolution that will impact the entire world. This is the significance of the Divine Principle and the teachings of the True Parents. A new world, a new heaven and a new earth, is being born, even in the midst of many struggles and immense challenges.
This is not to suggest that we do not face serious threats and obstacles that stand in the way of peace. Certainly these threats and obstacles are there: extremism; ethnocentrism; military aggressiveness; corruption; and the poisoning of the air, the earth, and the oceans by manmade chemicals and emissions. These threats and obstacles, however, are not insurmountable. After all, they are all rooted in a common error or mistake. That error or mistake is self-centered behavior. Self-centered behavior derives from being alienated from God and being alienated from True Parents.
In order to build a world of lasting peace, we must each apply a simple, basic principle. This principle is the essence of God’s own nature, God’s own character, namely, the principle of “living for the sake of others.” When we apply this principle in our daily lives—in our families, our communities, our places of work and worship, in our governments and in our businesses—we begin the process of transforming the society, nation, and world.
While God, our Heavenly Parent, is most often described as all-powerful and entirely self-contained, lacking nothing, the truth is that our Heavenly Parent has a heart filled with sadness. This sadness is not due to some flaw in the universe or some part of the natural world. The heart of God is saddened due to the human ignorance and self-centered behavior that came about as a result of the Fall.
When God, our Heavenly Parent, views this world and sees all the suffering, the injustices, and the bitter enmity that exists not only between people of different races or nationalities, but even between brothers and sisters, or between husband and wife, God cannot be at ease. In fact, God cannot rest and will not rest until 7 billion people can be restored and a world of universal peace established in every corner of the earth. Could God, as our Heavenly Parent, have a goal and aspiration that is any less than universal and cosmic restoration? No, certainly not.
God’s handiwork can be seen in virtually all aspects of human history. He has one goal and purpose in mind, namely, to restore his sons and daughters and to create one family under God. In other words, God too wants to transform the society, the nation and the world. God’s desire to achieve this goal is infinitely greater than human beings’.
This restoration process does not begin fundamentally with political, economic, cultural, or social transformation. It begins in the realm of the spirit, the realm of the mind, and our conscience. The transformation of the world begins with the transformation of the self.
True and lasting peace must begin with each one of us.
From the individual it must then extend to the family level. We say that the family is the school of love. This is very true. The family is not only the place where each individual is born biologically. The family is the place where we have our most basic, intimate, and profound experiences, as a spouse, as a parent, as a child, as a sibling. It is in the family that we learn about love, about social relationships and ethics.
My husband and I have taught that the ideal toward which each one of us should strive has three parts, to become a True Parent, a True Teacher, and a True Owner.
True Parent, True Teacher, True Owner
A True Parent is one who connects deeply to the heart of God and takes “God’s point of view” toward all people and all things. The essence of “God’s point of view” is related to having the heart of a parent, a mother or father, who loves their children with their whole heart and soul and mind. God, as our heavenly Parent, does not love simply one tribe, or one ethnic group, or one nationality, or one race. God is the invisible True Parent who loves all 7 billion people of this earth.
Just as each of you may love your own children or grandchildren and want the very best for them—the best home, the best education, the best career, and a life of happiness and prosperity—God wants this for each and every human being on the earth, as well as in the spiritual world. And, just as you will sacrifice for the sake of the well-being of your children, God is no different. In fact, the parental nature that we find in human beings has its origin in God, as our Heavenly Parent.
As we each develop and practice a “parental point of view” toward all people and all things, the world begins to change. We see others in a new light, as brothers and sisters, and family members. We cannot think of abusing or taking advantage of members of our own family. The closer we come to the heart of God, the more we come to understand the heart of a True Parent.
True Teacher: It is not enough to understand only the heart of God. We must also understand the content of God’s will and the direction, principles, purpose, and goal of providential history. Moreover, it is not enough “to know”, but, in addition to knowing we must share what we know. In this respect, we must become a True Teacher, centered on God’s Word and the Principle.
So much of what is communicated, promoted and popularized in this world is antithetical to God’s Word and the Principle. We can say that there are many “false teachings” in this world. These are teachings that uplift self-centered behavior, untrue love, conflict, and injustice, which stand in opposition to God’s ideal. Many of these ungodly teachings are promoted by popular culture, the media, and academia. We identify such traits as part of the “Cain-type” world that obstructs God’s providence, just as the biblical Cain killed his younger brother Abel.
It is very important that voices of truth and goodness are not silent. If we are to transform our world, we must teach truth and practice truth. Not only in schools and classrooms, but in our families, our communities, and the wider society. Whatever our professional field or vocation, we are called to set the example and, in this way, teach others. As we become true teachers we will multiply goodness, and we will transform the world around us.
A person who has cultivated a True Parent’s heart and a True Teacher’s heart is a true Peacemaker.
True Owner: The world created by God is characterized by harmony, balance, cooperation, and sustainability. The world we live in, however, has been widely abused and mismanaged. Many fear that the declining quality of air and water, coupled with climate change, may lead to catastrophic disasters. Such degradation of the environment is a prime example of humanity’s separation from God. Virtually every square inch of the earth is owned by some individual, corporate entity, or government. However, are there “True Owners” who are dedicated to proper care of the natural environment?
Of particular importance is the ocean. Taken for granted by most, if the oceans become overly acidic, and coral reefs deteriorate, and are used as the garbage dump for 7 billion people, our world will be irreversibly damaged.
It is not only the natural environment that suffers due to a lack of True Owners. True Owners are needed on every level of society, in all sectors. True Owners are needed in the fields of business, government, religion, academia, health care, civil society, and so on. The mark of a True Owner is one who takes responsibility and lives for the sake of others, including future generations.
My husband and I dedicated ourselves throughout our lives to fulfill these three ideals; to become a True Parent, True Teacher, and True Owner. The citizens of Cheon Il Guk are each called to strive each day to become a True Parent, a True Teacher, and a True Owner.
Citizens of Cheon Il Guk are also called to uphold three basic moral principles:
First of all, uphold the ideal of true love and the family, by practicing purity prior to marriage and fidelity in marriage.
Secondly, respect and never violate the sacred value and God-given rights of each human being as a son or daughter of God, our Heavenly Parent.
Thirdly, take responsibility for public assets and never misuse these assets.
I think you can agree that these are universal principles. If we affirm and abide by these principles, we can transform our societies, nations, and the world.
I hope you will reflect on these points. Please also take time to study Divine Principle and to read the Cheon Seong Gyeong, Heavenly Scripture, and Pyeong Hwa Gyeong, Peace Scripture, which contain True Parents’ words. Soon we will release the publication of Cham Pumo Gyeong, True Parents’ Scripture.
In conclusion I want to also mention that during this period we will convene a very important media conference, sponsored by The Washington Times and The Segye Ilbo. A healthy, stable nation needs a conscientious, objective media to provide information, analysis, and commentary. When the media loses its professional standards, the nation suffers. That is why my husband and I have established many media companies centered of the highest standards of journalism.
There are many exciting developments to report about the work of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, as it reaches out to young people around the world, raising up young men and woman who will lead a global spiritual, moral, and social awakening.
Together with UPF, a movement is being formed that is truly transformative. Recently, in the Philippines and Nepal, UPF and FFWPU convened major international conferences and hosted Blessing ceremonies for 210,000 couples.
Our UPF peace initiatives are making impact around the world, in Northeast Asia, the Middle East, Eurasia, and South Asia. UPF’s South Asia Peace Initiative, which began when my husband and I visited Kathmandu to launch UPF in 2005, has played a central role in the peace process in that country.
Ten years ago, in 2005, following the Inaugural Assembly of UPF, my husband and I carried out a 120 nation tour—visiting one country each day—launching UPF chapters, holding Blessing ceremonies, and presenting a roadmap to peace. We spoke about the renewal of the United Nations and the creation of an “Abel UN”, a community of nations guided by universal principles in accordance with God’s providence. That dream, and the ideals presented during that tour, is becoming a reality.
I hope each of you can work to re-create your own nations and build an “Abel Nation”, a nation of Cheon Il Guk. As this movement spreads, we will see miracles happen.
Ambassadors for Peace have a great responsibility. Increasingly, God’s providence will overcome all obstacles, and a new world will be born. You are blessed to be alive at this time. Please keep a grateful heart. Please do your very best for the sake of your family, your society, your nation, and the world.
May God bless all of you, your families and your nations.