Father’s Life in His Own Words – Part 2

This story is Father’s personal testimony. It consists of extracts from Father’s speeches given over 5 decades, drawn from his own account of his life and personal experiences, and patched together to create a memoir. The books were originally compiled and published in Korean, and this is the English translation with additional material from separate sources.

The series originally ran in Today’s World monthly magazine from 2007 until 2012. The content is being slightly re-edited for the International HQ Mission Office website.

Part 2

Earlier installments are available here for reading

The love of one’s hometown

No matter how far a person goes, he cannot leave his origin. The feelings in his heart don’t change; he cannot sever the emotional attachment he has to his origin, right? No one can live separated from his roots, so inevitably we long for our hometown. From this perspective, my life is connected to my hometown and it is important as the place where I received 80 percent of my education. Therefore, no one can cut off from his destined relationship to his or her hometown. Isn’t that true?

If I come to my homeland from overseas, where will I want to go on arrival at Incheon airport? Even though Korea is my homeland, I would not go to Seoul, even though it is at the center of my native land. I would go through Seoul to my village in North Pyong-an Province, in Chongju County, where my home still stands in the midst of the hills and nearby streams. That is where I want to go. My journey would end there because that is my origin.

I want to use the hometown, where I was born—the yard that I grew up in, the village that I played in—as a classroom, a place to enlighten people. Therefore, before you die, you must hear the story directly from me of the time I spent playing at the foot of a mountain. You must have a precise understanding of my history. Once you are in the spirit world, you will feel ashamed if you haven’t visited this place. In the future, those who understand Unification Thought will think of that place as our church’s Mecca, as similar to Jerusalem in relation to Christianity.

For you to become a royal citizen of heaven, you must be able to say that you attended the True Parents from the beginning to the end. For that reason, you must visit True Parents’ starting point. True Parents only come once in the course of history. At that one visitation, you are in a position to accompany the teacher on a visit to his hometown, the rightful hometown of all humanity. This is precious…. You must understand this fact and be determined to go there even if you must look death in the face.

A Moon clan tradition

Is the Unification Church’s Rev. Moon the product of any special place? [Laughter] I am the product of Pyong-an Province, am I not? Do you know where the ancestors of the Pyong-an Province Moon clan come from? We are Jeolla Province people; from Nampyeong in Jeolla Province [the southern region of South Korea]. That root hometown, Nampyeong, is next to Naju. From that way of thinking, I’m a Jeolla Province man.

When I looked into the ancestry of the Moon clan, it struck me that the Moon clan began from an illegitimate child. When we look at the family tree, there was a certain king at the time of the Shilla Dynasty, King Ja-bi, who through a prophetic dream learned that a special child had been born in the country. The dream instructed him to go to a certain place, to a rock now called Moon’s Rock, where he would find a crying baby. That was how we began.[1]

Because there were many patriots from the Moon clan, an imperial decree later dictated that in the future, descendants of the Moon clan should never be used as servants. Also, because members of the Moon clan are smart, they have occupied important positions in organizations. Moons are intelligent but also stubborn…. Among the Moon clan are frighteningly stubborn people with a strong conscience; and they will never deal with anything unrighteous. The descendants of the Moon clan now number four hundred thousand, and it was from that lineage that I was born.

Moon Hong-gwan! [Yes.] What did Confucius say about something coming from the Moon clan? [He said that a saint would emerge from the clan.] What more was said? I don’t know if Confucius really said that…. [Yes, there are many old sites related to the Moon clan. Each of these sites has its accompanying strange legend. There are stories that come down from the Nampyeong Moons, from the tomb of the Chungsook Moons, and the tomb of Grandfather Moon Ickjeom of San-cheong that a saint will come from the Moon clan.]

The rock inside Moon Am Kak is said to be the original Moon Am. In 1975, Father gave financial support for the rebuilding of the structure as it appears in this photograph.

The family tradition of serving guests and beggars

One family tradition that was passed down through the generations is that a hungry guest should never leave empty-handed. Whenever a guest visited us, he would never be turned away empty-handed, even on a celebration day. We had that kind of family tradition.

Thus, we fed so many people from everywhere. During the time of the Japanese occupation, people were robbed of everything, thus they had no choice but to flee to Manchuria for shelter. During that time my mother fed so many of these refugees passing by our house. My mother fed an average of about thirty to forty such people every day. Though she did this almost every day throughout her life, I did not hear her complain even once.

We owned a flour mill. It was very warm because there was a small fire burning. It was occupied most of the time by one poor beggar or other. Though we asked them not to stay there, they would always come back because they could not find any-where else they would be fed. As a result, I became very close to the beggars.

During the winter, when a beggar came asking for food, either my mother or my sister-in-law would rush to the kitchen to prepare food. If they could not find any food, they would offer the beggar food from their own table. In this way, sometimes they would be left without food themselves.

A family that feeds beggars will never be ruined; it will have descendants who will be welcomed by people everywhere. That is why a person like me was born, isn’t it? I am also someone who would feed the people of the world. During my lifetime, I have given countless sets of my clothes away and fed countless people. Why did I do that? This is because I am always thinking about equality in love and life.

Great-Grandfather Moon Jeong-heul (1841-1918): If you follow me, you must know my history and know about my ancestors, especially the story of my great-grandfather. From my great-grandfather to my generation is four generations. At that time, my great-grandfather moved to our present location, Sangsa Hamlet. His family left its original hometown and later, while enduring many difficulties, was blessed by Heaven and became quite successful.

My great-grandfather had three sons. Among them, my grandfather Moon Ji-kook was the oldest. Next was Moon Shin-kook, followed by Moon Yoon-kook, who lived in Paju. Our house was the eldest son’s house and during my great-grand-father’s time, they lived quite well. They were quite a respected family in that region because through Heaven’s blessing, their inheritance was great.

To be continued next week.

[1] The rock is now housed in a small pavilion, for the rebuilding of which True Parents gave money in 1975.

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