Dr. Young-ho Yun’s Message to International IHQ Members
March 12, 2019, Yeosu, Korea
In 2019, members of the IHQ staff attended a 2-day workshop in Yeosu with the purpose of learning more about Father’s and Mother’s course. Dr. Young-ho Yun, then Secretary-General of the FFWPU International HQ, who reports to Mother every day, shared his thoughts and feelings with the staff members, from department heads to young interns. It is one of the few times he has spoken about his personal experience and thus presents us with a chance to understand him better. Given as we geared up for the final push for Vision 2020, his words are likely relevant today as we embark on a new 7-year course.
Dr. Yun began by reading a section from Mother’s speech at the closing ceremony of the 2019 Cheon Il Guk Leaders’ Assembly on February 15, 2019 at the HJ Heaven and Earth Cheonbo Training Center.
Seeing you all gives me much strength. Following Father’s ascension, I cannot truly describe the position I stood in. I was the only one left. Though there were many elder members, there was no one with whom I could discuss things as they also do not know everything about the providence. Taking into consideration True Parents’ status, Father’s Seonghwa Ceremony should have taken place on a national foundation with heads of state from all countries coming to pay their respects. Yet, this did not happen and it was under such circumstances that I had to lead the providence. I was all alone. My heart felt desperate, as if I were trying to find one tiny needle in a sandstorm in a desert, where you can barely open your eyes. Have you ever experienced such a heart?
Alone, under such unimaginable circumstances, I was able to find that needle. In order to realize Heavenly Parent and True Parents’ dream, all 7.6 billion people of the world must be established as Heavenly Parent’s children through True Parents. The history of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity began at the very bottom with no supportive environment whatsoever. This was because it was a providence that began after the Christian foundation, which God had prepared for 2,000 years, did not receive the returning Messiah. I proclaimed a new era, the Foundation Day of Cheon Il Guk, but we must create a Cheon Il Guk that we can substantially and realistically show to humanity.
After Father’s ascension, I made a promise with you all in front of Heaven to achieve national restoration by 2020. FFWPU-Korea, are you confident? Regional presidents, are you confident as well? I said that we must restore at least 7 nations. I am talking about a ‘national restoration’ that is not only words but a substantial one that Heavenly Parent can remember…
We must move as one system and speak with one voice. I am asking you to work efficiently. As for regional presidents and leaders, in particular, it is my hope that you can all work, not centered on yourselves but thinking of the whole.
Dr. Yun: When Mother heard we were planning on having a workshop she gave us permission to come here to Yeosu. She sent us all this message:
“I hope you can further accelerate your efforts for 2020. May each department plan and research meticulously, as well as bond together even more strongly, and bring good results!”
These are Mother’s words of encouragement for this workshop. True Mother particularly asked that we offer sincere prayers to Heavenly Parent, True Father, and the good spirit world. True Mother feels the love you have for her, and tremendously misses you all. She is offering devotions in prayer every day. She also has not forgotten to do her “10,000 steps” condition for her health. She is praying that this Cheon Jeong Gung Staff Workshop will be a joyful and meaningful time for everyone.
This is our first time to meet like this. We have gathered here to have a workshop, and didn’t come just to enjoy our time. This is very serious, as we now have only 332 days until February 6, and we must restore 7 nations during this period. We also have to prepare for the 2020 events. And True Father’s Seonghwa Anniversary event is coming up.
I haven’t been able to sleep as a result, mulling over how we can really achieve all this. Meanwhile, I read over all the messages True Mother gave during True Parents’ recent birthday celebration (February 2019), reminding myself of her message one more time. In her message, Mother spoke about how, even when no one could believe, she believed and pushed ahead. Just as Heavenly Parent created the world with absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience, I also felt that Mother must have had firm conviction in her faith, her thoughts, and vision. In other words, Mother is also like this.
At the time Father ascended, I was working at the Korean Church Headquarters. We planned the Seonghwa Ceremony for the 13 days, beginning from how the floral tributes were to be made, how to address VIPs, many things. Father ascended at 1:54 a.m. and I heard the news 7 minutes later. We were called to Cheongshim Hospital. When we got there and began making preparations, I felt as if I were the only one who was sad. My mindset was: “Though I am sad, I’ll endure the sadness, and make sure that Father is well attended and his Universal Seonghwa Ceremony well conducted.”
Now that I think back over this time, however, I realize of course that it wasn’t simply my own sadness. All of us including the staff of the Korean headquarters and Cheon Jeong Gung museum, as it was back then, were saddened by the events. Everyone was concerned about the future of our movement. The Korean headquarters staff had been suppressing their stress, or you could say their sadness, for thirteen days, and by the end, everyone was quite sensitive; it was probably an expression of the sadness they were feeling. Now that I calmly reflect on this, I feel we were a little immature. We didn’t really think enough about how sad Mother was. Or was that just me?
One of my greatest joys after coming to Cheon Jeong Gung international headquarters was that, when speaking with Mrs. Wonju McDevitt on the phone, I could sometimes ask after True Mother: “Did Mother have lunch?” During the time I worked at the Korean HQ, Mother was more like the mother of my faith, instead of my real mother. After I came to Cheon Jeong Gung, however, every single word Mother spoke and every part of her life began to deeply touch my heart.
Likewise, your small actions and efforts such as the testimonies or letters you write to True Mother give her much strength. You probably haven’t thought about it before, but it is true.
I don’t cry so easily. I didn’t cry so much even when my own father was terminally ill. Now, ever since I came to Cheon Jeong Gung, I find I am quite often in tears.
I am sorry to bring up such a topic, but the day will come when Mother will ascend, and yet I cannot think about such a day. If I had heard of news of Mother’s ascension while working at the Korean headquarters or as a professor at the graduate school where I had studied in the past, I would have been sad and thought, “Ah, Mother has ascended.” However, I wonder if my heart would have ached, if I would have cried and missed Mother as much as I would now.
I just want to say that Mother thinks of those with public missions in this way. She thinks of everyone as her children, and as children who are following this way with her. Some of us see Mother while she is exercising, we see Mother smiling, and at times, we even see her without any makeup on. This is how much True Mother is trying to open up everything to us….
Yesterday alone, I attended 6 or 7 meetings since the morning hours. Anyway, during one recent meeting with Mother, Mother gazed at me for quite some time. I felt apologetic, as I had been unwell and had been unable to come for a few days. Then Mother asked, “So are you feeling better?”
I replied, “Yes, I am getting better.”
Then Mother said the following: “That body is no longer your body, isn’t that right?” This is true. This is my body, but at the same time, because I am attending Mother, it isn’t mine. Mother is not in Korea at present. But from the moment Mother departed, I began regretting my actions and repenting for not being able to attend Mother for those three days, feeling I should have done so no matter what. But I felt this only after Mother had left. Yesterday, while speaking with her on the telephone, I began crying. I wanted to see Mother and missed her. Don’t you feel so too? [Yes.]
Wouldn’t Mother have felt the same when Father went to the spirit world? When Father was preparing to go to the spirit world, he offered his final prayer with labored breathing. In his prayer, Father said he had accomplished everything. You have heard his final prayer, haven’t you? Father offered this prayer in circumstances when prayer was impossible. My grandfather’s lungs also failed, and so I have some experience with this condition. Why do you think Father offered that prayer? Father was certainly talking to Heavenly Parent, but he was also giving us his final will. How did Mother feel in her heart when she heard this prayer? Wouldn’t Mother have felt that his words should have been realized while Father was still on earth? Wouldn’t Mother have thought that nations should have at least established a condition of restoration by standing in the position of offering a greeting to True Parents?
I have heard that Mother sang the song, Sa-rang-he Tang-shin-eul [“I love you”], by Father’s side when he ascended. Everyone present wept as they listened to Mother sing. This was one reason we continue singing this song during True Parents’ Birthday celebrations. This isn’t just Father’s story; this is also Mother’s story.
Of course, I hope Mother can be with us for another twenty to thirty years in good health. I also hope she gets to see our many expressions of love. We probably give her a lot of headaches through our mistakes, but she will also be able to see how diligently we can work! Don’t you want to show Mother how we can work together and achieve something with one heart? How grateful we must be for being able to do so. However, if you think Mother will wait for us, that is a big miscalculation on our part. Father was also with us. However, when he ascended to heaven, he didn’t tell us in advance, “I’m going now.”
Recently, my mother and I cried together: I had wanted to listen to my father’s voice. He did not speak a lot. I hoped that there would be at least a recording of his voice somewhere, but we could not find even one.
We need to make resolutions every moment of our lives. That resolution could be for ourselves, for our families, and for the Cheon Jeong Gung Headquarters as an organization, but I realized that wasn’t what mattered. Kierkeggaard spoke about the absolute and only one standing before God. If we do not make resolutions in front of the absolute and only ones standing in front of God—that is, the True Parents—every moment of our lives we will certainly regret it.
I sometimes thought that I want to resign my position. “My family is having a hard time and I am also exhausted.” Many a time I had such thoughts. Sometimes, it got so hard and utterly exhausting, I wondered how I could possibly continue on this path. I struggled with such thoughts endlessly. This time around, however, I realized that I had forgotten something. I had forgotten True Mother’s heart when she had to say farewell to Father, and the heart with which we will one day need to say farewell to Mother. Without that heart, the future of our Unification Movement looms grim. There would be no tradition. Mother’s filial heart at the time of Father’s ascension led the providence to spring forward in quantum leaps. Don’t you think so? From this viewpoint, if we do not have such a filial heart when we send Mother to the spiritual world, our movement will be in a crisis, and a great one at that.
The tradition has always been with us. There is no need to look for it outside or from some system. That tradition must begin from our hearts. But are we so important that, upon hearing the report that we would be going to Geomun Island, True Mother remembered us, sent us a message, and expressed concern for our safety? This is Mother’s heart. But are we all sitting here with that same heart as well? Are we thinking of Mother, wondering what she may be doing?
Just as Mother said in her message to us, prayer and devotion are essential. But are we praying for True Mother as well? We need to reflect on this. For whom are we trying to achieve national restoration? True Parents said they are doing it for us. I once asked True Mother: Mother, why are we trying to achieve national restoration in 7 countries? She replied that she was doing it for us and for the Heavenly Parent. What about us? Why are we trying to achieve national restoration? Are we doing so for ourselves? No, we are doing so for Heavenly Parent and True Parents, aren’t we? We may set up big goals and make beautiful presentations of our strategies, but I would like us to reflect over whether we are praying for True Parents, who are our essence, and particularly for True Mother, for even one minute, or perhaps for ten minutes, during the day.
I am saying this as it is part of my confession of faith. Before leaving my home, I pray for about 30 minutes. Then when I arrive, I pray in front of Il Song Jeong [the tree in front of Cheon Jeong Gung]. This has now become part of my life. But when I reflected on whether my heart actually thinks of Mother as much as Mother thinks of us or me, while I pray, I felt quite apologetic. As I thought about Mother’s message at the Leaders’ Assembly, I realized that she had been all alone. Try and close your eyes in a desert in the middle of a sandstorm with almost no visibility. Your eyes are closed, there is no one around, and you cannot see how vast the area is as a result. How can you fathom how big, how high, or how wide a land is when your eyes are closed? It’s like this absolute space and absolute time. It is in such a place that True Mother was looking for one needle.
Mother is asking us through her message to become people who, on this foundation, can uphold True Parents in front of God. I sincerely hope that we can do so. During this workshop, we will do some sports, offer fishing “devotion,” and have an opportunity for departmental meetings. Fundamentally, it is essential that we find our center through this 3-day period. Otherwise, the 332 days will quickly pass by. We now do not have even 365 days. We must advance like there is no tomorrow or yesterday with this center, every single moment of the 332 days. If we live every moment of this period with absoluteness, then there is hope.
Today, I have something in particular that I really want to speak about. At the center of heavenly tribes, heavenly nations, a heavenly world, and a heavenly cosmos is the individual. The three great blessings include individual perfection, family perfection, and perfection of dominion over the natural world. In Confucianism, there is the norm that “Only by achieving moral self-cultivation will someone be able to regulate their family, govern the state, and rule the world.” Under this idea, there are various concepts such as sincerity, justice, and gaining knowledge through study. The concept of the self implied in “achieving self-moral cultivation with no connection to evil” includes the spirit as well. The idea that moral self-cultivation is followed by regulation of the family, and then governance of the state, and finally that of the world, is not correct. I believe that governance of the family, state and world all lie within our own moral self-cultivation. With regard to individual perfection, can I say I have really achieved individual perfection when I have a bad relationship with my wife? They would be empty words. I am speaking about this because we must all become individuals who substantially attend Heavenly Parent to bring about a heavenly world and a heavenly cosmos.
True Parents should be alive and present in front of us and be part of our lives at all times even when they are far away in the United States, like at this moment. Only then can a person say he or she is living with True Mother, True Parents, and Heavenly Parent. This is quite essential.
Though this is a bit at a tangent, I would like to speak about why I studied Confucianism. I wanted to study Gongbu-ron [the theory of study]. The term ‘to study’ is kungfu in Chinese. Kungfu is also the martial art we are all familiar with. This, however, implies that gongbu or ‘to study’ not only signifies the time we spend studying, but also the training of the body.
There is a Bible verse that quotes Jesus as saying, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” This explains that simply thinking lustfully is adultery. Here, Jesus is addressing two types of sins – sin and crime. ‘Sin’ is the moral sin committed in our hearts, while ‘crime’ is the actual delinquency. In this quote, however, Jesus uses the term ‘commit,’ which is the vocabulary of criminality. Hence, looking at a woman lustfully is a crime. This may not make sense, but there is something remarkable about this. I had a big realization while studying Confucianism. Upon that realization, I felt I could then stop my studies. Among all women are many different types of women. There are women who are like our grandmothers, and others who are like our daughters. There are woman professors. Looking lustfully at a woman means you are regarding her as a potential sexual partner. Such a person may often have lustful thoughts, watch pornographic videos, or speak immorally.
You probably know Pavlov’s dog experiment. When it was time to feed his dogs, he would ring a bell at the same time. Later, the dogs would drool just when they heard the ringing of the bell. This showed that a reflex follows a conditioning stimulus. Likewise, a man who always thinks promiscuously will have lustful thoughts upon seeing a woman, and view women as being essentially sexual.
If we do not align our every single thought and word in our daily lives to Mother, True Parents, and Heavenly Parent, it will certainly be impossible to practice absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience. It then becomes only theory and proclamation. We must therefore truly study every single moment based on the center. We must first put True Parents, True Mother, at the center and on that foundation have our organization, departments, and the Cheon Jeong Gung Headquarters in alignment. This is my sincere and urgent request to you all.
While gathering for this workshop, some of you might have been excited and thrilled, while others might have been looking forward to some time to recover. But I would like to ask that we use this time to offer devotions, reflect one more time on our lives of faith, and on what attitude we should have as part of the Cheon Jeong Gung headquarters staff.
True Mother, our Heavenly Parent, and True Father in heaven desire that we aspire to a great cause. They hope to see national restoration, which has never been achieved in 6,000 years. And we can do it. There is only one method. If we become one with Mother, we can achieve it. And we, the Cheon Jeong Gung HQ, are serving such a Mother. This is why I am also serving you. I am supporting all the directors, team leaders and members who are here. Let us all bring about victory at the end of this time. It is my hope that we are all able to do well and say to Mother, “Mother, though we are inadequate, we were able to achieve this.”
Three years ago, the museum, the security office, True Parents’ inner entourage, and the mission headquarters were not all one entity. What about now? Haven’t we become one body? This is because Mother is with us.
So let us all believe in Mother and bring victory through these remaining months. We have all come to this workshop to yield such victory. It is right here [in Yeosu] that Father did hoondokhae for 23 and a half hours. Father did the unbelievable through that hoondok session and offered devotion through it. Father also went out fishing to offer devotion, enduring strong waves and wind in the process. Mother is doing these things as well.
Then, what about us? What should we do? Let us all unite with and attend Mother, and bring about victory for Vision 2020 with one heart.