Inheritance and Bequeathal
by Rev. Won Pil Kim
We know Rev. Won Pil Kim as one of Father’s very first disciples. Yet he would say that many joined Father before he did, but that many were lost during the Korean War; and that he was fortunate to be able to come south with Father. The humble and kindly Rev. Won Pil Kim showed extraordinary faith in the earliest years of the movement, in the 1940s and 1950s when True Father was virtually alone, gathering just a few members. Because Rev. Kim’s heart was open, he inherited great wisdom from True Father, and when, later on, he was assigned to leadership positions, his words to the members reflected this.
From a talk given on July 11, 1986 in Frankfurt, West Germany
This morning I would like to speak about the manner of bequeathing and inheriting. In the field of science, in our daily activities, and in our life of faith as well, the process of give and take is repeated constantly. For example, in a family the first generation passes its heritage on to the second generation, which thus inherits the family tradition, lifestyle, and property. If the process of handing over is done correctly, the family will prosper.
Let’s say a company employee is to become head of a department. The former head will then pass on his knowledge and experiences to the new one. This give and take is very important; if it is done right, the company will grow. In the Unification Church we experience a similar process. If someone in the church moves on from a position in which he was successful, he must teach his way of working to the new leader. Only in this way will church tradition continue.
From the Old Testament we know that Isaac inherited Abraham’s foundation of faith. Abraham’s attitude of faith was handed over successfully to Isaac, and after him to Jacob. In Israel, the kings Saul, David, and Solomon were successful for three generations in the process of handing and taking over the throne, and through this the kingdom flourished. Had that not been the case, great difficulties would have arisen. Also in Moses’ case this principle worked. Why could Moses ultimately bring success in his mission? Why were the second-generation Israelites able to move into Canaan? Because Moses was able to bequeath everything he had to Joshua. In these examples we can see the secret for victory.
The process of succession
Bequeathing and inheriting a mission is a kind of give and take. Because God is eternal, everything He begins must be passed on eternally in a continual process of give and take. In the restoration of a nation, if the first generation is victorious, no problems will be handed down for the next to deal with. But if restoration has to go on for more than two or three generations, the handing over of the responsibility must be done correctly. The restoration of a nation is only possible if there is good give and take in the course of succession. There is no exception.
I would like to talk about how this process of bequeathing and inheriting takes place. In a family we have to learn many things from our elders and strive to continue their tradition. The parents in a family should set the standard, have a common goal, and be united. If they are one unit, all them. That is why True Father said that parents have to walk in the shoes of a servant, shedding sweat for earth and blood for Heaven. Simply said: Parents must serve. Parents should try to teach the right attitude and the right tradition to their children. The second generation will receive everything, good and bad, that the first generation teaches and shows them. But sometimes it is not easy for children to accept their heritage because the parents often leave great debts. The children have to take over and indemnify these debts themselves.
Children may see bad traits in their parents, yet if they complain they lose the right to receive the inheritance. The process of give and take always involves two people; however, from the point of view of the purpose, they represent one person. Therefore, children who complain about their parents in fact criticize themselves. Instead, the person who sees something bad in his parents or his elder brother must think that it is in fact his own problem and his own responsibility. If the children are not willing to take over the debt of their parents, they are not entitled to inherit any of the good things from them. What can we learn from this? The successor in a mission must be willing to take over the remaining part of the responsibility yet undone by his predecessor. At least that should be his thinking.
Now, what happens when one receives a good inheritance from his elders? If the parents have reached a high standard, then their children must strive to live up to that same high standard. This is very important. Otherwise the family will not continue at the same level. God’s expectations are very high. If the children don’t reach at least their parents’ standard, that family will never reach God’s standard. If the children don’t accomplish, then their ancestors in spirit world cannot be happy.
Support from the spirit world
Many people expect support from the spirit world, but there are very few who try to support the spirit world themselves. We have to make effort and thus encourage the spirit world to help us. No human being, not even any spirit man or woman, wants to do anything that produces a negative effect. Of course we know that if we serve or support someone, we always have to sacrifice something that is, seen from an external viewpoint. But why do we continue to serve or follow? Because we know that if we sacrifice something now, in the long run we will get something back. The spirit men in the spirit world also know this. When they help someone on earth who is striving to come closer to God, they know they can also eventually come closer to God. When they have this motivation, they are willing to help us. If we inherit a good standard from our parents and strive to reach their high level, our parents will be happy, and the spirit world will also be happy and willing to support their descendants all the more.
In the history of restoration, God always chooses a central person for a mission. If this central person is totally united with God, his mission will be successful, but if he fails, God chooses another. The new person must then take over the foundation of faith of the previous central figure and try to complete the mission through unity with God.
Of course we know that in the history of restoration, a central person must not only take over the mission of his predecessor; he must also restore that area in which the predecessor failed. Thus he must pay a double amount of indemnity. The True Parents, who came as the third Adam, had to pay a great amount of indemnity because they had to restore the resentments of both the first and second Adams.
Strive to surpass your teacher
I’d like to give you some practical examples of how we can use these principles of successful bequeathing and inheriting in our church. After a leader has transferred everything he knows to his successor, he has-from an external point of view-fulfilled his responsibility. Concerning the internal aspect, however, he hasn’t fulfilled his responsibility if the new leader hasn’t really learned anything from him. Only when the successor completely embraces his teacher’s tradition and reaches his standard will there be a successful transfer of responsibility. But normally one begins a mission at a lower level than the previous leader had reached. Therefore, the new person must strive to reach this level at some point and complete it successfully. The successor must then invest himself to the utmost to surpass the level of his teacher.
Some of us may have had difficulties with our elder brothers and sisters. If we have problems because of their inconsistencies we must forgive and digest their weaknesses. Do you know why we need to do this? If True Father hadn’t been able to digest Adam’s resentment and take upon mankind’s resentment as his own responsibility, he could never have even started his mission. We should not complain that our leader makes too many mistakes. Suppose a leader did his best for the restoration of Germany and God’s providence. If he made mistakes, we must digest them; otherwise we cannot inherit his merit. Do you understand?
Each of you has a mission. Before you started it, there was someone who was already doing that mission. So you all must have learned a lot from your predecessors. Through learning you were able to take over the foundation and begin your mission. The same is true in my case. There were many leaders before me who were responsible for Germany. Since my arrival in Germany I have learned a lot about how the church has developed. I believe, however, that I haven’t yet learned everything I should from them. If I don’t learn well from my predecessor and begin with a sloppy standard, I cannot say that I have taken over his mission. We are now in the Children’s Age. The Parent’s Age is over. So we must inherit everything from our elder brothers and sisters. Otherwise we cannot fulfill our mission, and Heavenly Father and True Parents will not be happy.
If, when you are witnessing, you bring a guest to the center but leave and go somewhere else, another member must take care of your guest and establish trust with him; otherwise that person will not come easily into the family. The same is true for us. If a brother or sister was loved and well taken care of by the former leader, and I, as the new leader, don’t love that brother or sister as much as the former leader did, difficulties will arise between us. Isn’t it true? This is just human nature. This person will be inclined to write to the former leader all the time and continue to seek his love. The former leader will probably feel badly about the situation. But if I love this member more than the former leader did, then we can develop a good relationship. And the former leader will also feel good about it.
Therefore, I ask you to realize the importance of handing and taking over a mission. Every new leader must try to love the brothers and sisters more than the previous leader did.
Rev. Won Pil Kim ascended to the spirit world in 2010.