On August 25, Bang Sang-il, Regional Group President of Heavenly Japan of the Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community delivered a message at the Eighth Hyojeong Cheonbo 21-day Workshop held at Chiba Central Training Center (Hanamigawa Ward, Chiba City) from August 4th to the 26th. Together with his wife, they called on second and third generation, participating in the event, to the Heavenly Parent (God), the Principle, and the preciousness of their own parents. (Editorial Department)
To all of those participating in the 21-day workshop, good morning!
Twenty-three years have passed since I came to Japan. As my wife just shared with you, she points out my flaws in the Japanese language, such as pronunciation or wordings, every single day. (Laughter.) I appreciate my wife correcting me, but when I come home, my sixth daughter, who is in the first year of high school, always tells me, “Dad, your pronunciation is still weird. Repeat after me, ‘A, I, U, E, O’ (letters of the Japanese alphabet).” No matter how many years have passed, I have yet to master Japanese pronunciation.
Everyone, please try to say this. “Hyun-jin nim” and “Hyung-jin nim.” (Just as the Japanese pronunciation is difficult for me,) these two names are hard for Japanese people to distinguish. This Korean pronunciation has been difficult to teach to Japanese people, even after 20 years.
Every time I say, “Atama, itai (My head hurts),” my daughter would say, “Dad, that’s not the way to say it. It’s not ‘a-da-ma’ but ‘a-ta-ma’ (Japanese for ‘head’). What you’re using is ‘da’ like in ‘me-da-ma’ (Japanese for ‘eyeball’).” For Koreans, the “ta” in “atama” and the “da” in “medama” are exactly the same. So I will use “ta” and “da” interchangeably, so I ask for your understanding. (Laughter)
After coming to Japan, I realized that my spouse is my god
When I came to Japan, the first place I was assigned to was the Aizuwakamatsu Family Church in Fukushima Prefecture. It was a small church of about 40 people.
Before coming to Japan, my wife and I lived together in Korea for about 10 years, so she was fluent in Korean. I didn’t understand a single word of Japanese, so in the beginning, I accompanied my wife everywhere. I would become anxious when she was out of sight, so I felt relieved when she stood by me. When she would go to the restroom I would follow her to the entrance and just wait for her. (Laughter)
Babies are happy when their mothers are around them. I was just like that. I was like a chick stuck to the mother hen. So twenty-three years ago, I was literally like a baby chick for the first six months.
It was then that I realized my wife was the one who was protecting me a hundred or a thousand times more than the Heavenly Parent or True Parents. This is true. True Parents are the Messiah, but I wouldn’t feel uneasy even if they left my side. But if my wife had left my sight, even for the slightest of moments, I felt uneasy.
Therefore, I felt that the visible god (my spouse) was more important than the invisible God. I don’t need to tell you, but of course you know that if the Heavenly Parent or True Parents didn’t exist, then my spouse would not exist. So it goes without saying that the Heavenly Parent and True Parents are more important than anything else.
When I shared this with my wife, she told me that she felt exactly the same when she had first lived in Korea. She said, “I was really anxious when you weren’t there. You were like my god. I felt you were more precious than True Parents.” (Applause)
In actuality, the Heavenly Parent and True Parents have always wanted to create a couple that feel this way toward each other. They had hoped for Adam and Eve to be that couple. God wanted to rejoice together with them and tell them, “You two look so happy and wonderful together.”
When I was in Korea, I wasn’t able to feel this strongly about my wife. I just felt grateful to True Parents for giving me the blessing. I never felt that my wife was my god.
But it was when I had come to Japan, when I was in trouble, that I realized, “Oh, she is my god.”
Everybody here, you probably haven’t realized how great your parents are, yet. Today (August 25th) is the blessing anniversary for the 30,000 and 360,000-couple blessings. Please raise your hand if you are a child of a 30,000 or 360,000-couple and have called your parents today.
You need to call them. You have to be grateful and tell them, “Dad, Mom, congratulations. Today is your blessing anniversary. Let’s celebrate after I finish the workshop. I wouldn’t be here without you.”
The Principle that you are learning in this workshop is not the Principle strictly for the Family Federation. All of humankind must learn these words. These words tell people their way in life, the purpose of life, how we should lead our lives, in what manner we should ascend to spirit world: it teaches us everything.
What kind of being is the God who created the first human beings? You have to know this point very clearly.
God cannot be seen, so it is the True Parents whom He has sent to Earth in His place. I think you have heard that you can’t see God even if you try to find Him in the spirit world. It is said that God appears in the form of True Parents. That is what True Father taught us.
If you were able to see God, that would cause trouble. If you were able to see such a noble God, we would all want to hold onto Him just for ourselves and monopolize (that relationship with Him). You would take all of God only for yourselves, and would not want to share Him with others because if you could hold onto God, all things would be possible through Him.
In the same way, all things would be possible if you hold onto True Parents. We say, “Nothing is impossible if we are one with True Parents.” There is such immense value in True Parents.
God must be seen in husband, wife, parents and children
Everyone here (at the second generation workshop), you were born with your parents having been blessed. However, we are not able to meet the True Parents every day—the ones that gave us the blessing. All we can do is worship them by greeting their portraits. But who do you meet every day? That is your parents.
Some of you may complain about your parents that they did nothing but church work and weren’t there at home. But have you ever thought about what kind of heart they carried on their walk of faith?
Are you grateful that you are able to be here at this workshop? This is not training where you learn how to make money. Through this 21-day workshop you are able to know who God is, who the True Parents are, and who your parents are.
True Father had said, “Look at your wife. If you don’t see God, you don’t love her (completely).” Likewise, if wives look at their husbands and don’t see God, they haven’t loved them (completely), yet.
Furthermore, when parents see their children’s eyes, they must know that they are seeing God through their eyes. When children see their parents, they must be able to see God in their eyes. This is what True Father taught us.
How is it for you? When you see your parents, do they look like demons? (Laughter) When a husband sees his wife’s face, she may appear like an ogre. (For the wife) see may see a tiger in her husband’s face. Parents may see some scary trolls when looking at their children. We cannot say that this kind of family is a true family.
If you don’t feel loved by your parents, that is because you haven’t approached them proactively.
As you may have seen on the news, parents have jumped into burning buildings to rescue their children. There are many stories like this in history. On the other hand, we don’t hear much about children rescuing their parents.
Your parents will risk their lives for you. It doesn’t matter how hot the fire is. All of your parents would do this.
So, all of you here today, first of all, be good to your parents. As long as you have that thought, the number of people doesn’t matter. It is important that even one (extra) person carries such a heart.
Only one Messiah has changed human history. Jesus risked his life for the sake of humankind. Therefore, many people still long for Jesus and worship him. The same can be said of Confucius, Buddha and Muhammad. (These movements) all started with one person.
But for you, your parents are greater than Jesus, greater than Confucius, greater than Buddha, and greater than Muhammad. Your parents are the ones that gave you life. The greatness of your parents should not be forgotten.
If (negative) thoughts arise (about your parents), they must be abolished. You must have genuine respect for your parents. If there is a lack of respect for parents, that would be the biggest crisis for our Family Federation. If parents say something to their children, they should reply, “Yes, I understand,” and put (whatever their parents said) into practice. If they do, the time will surely come when they will understand (why their parents said certain things), even if they don’t fully understand it at the present moment.
Parents risked their lives to give birth to us
If you have received the blessing, please raise your hands. Oh, some of you have already received the blessing. However, even if you have received the blessing, you would not be able to understand your parents’ hearts unless you have children. When you have children, you’d feel deeply moved and feel it is worth more than participating in ten or twenty of these 21-day workshops.
However, how difficult is it to have and raise children? You can’t imagine this, yet, can you?
True Parents once said, “When you give birth to a child, the husband and wife must give birth to it together.” When I heard these words, I didn’t understand what it meant.
When my wife was pregnant with our third child, an ultrasound scan at the hospital revealed that the baby’s fingers could be deformed. When we heard this, we were really surprised and deeply concerned. So my wife participated in the 40-day workshop in Cheongpyeong twice even though she was pregnant. As a result, the baby’s fingers were not deformed.
However, before birth, my wife was so afraid of what the ultrasound scan would reveal, so she couldn’t get the will to go to the hospital. I consoled her and said, “Then, let’s not go to the hospital. If there aren’t any problems with your body, I’m sure the baby will be born normally, so you’ll be fine.” I reassured her many times and looked for a good midwife.
We were able to find a midwife who was 78 years old. She had been a nurse in Japan for a long time and helped give birth to over 20,000 babies. She said that with her experience, she could tell if a baby had a disorder or not just by touching a pregnant woman’s stomach.
After catching wind of this, we paid this woman a visit. She told my wife to lie down, and as she closed her eyes, she began feeling my wife’s stomach. In a few seconds she told us, “Oh, the baby’s fine. It’s really healthy so don’t worry.”
So we thought this maternity hospital was better than the previous hospital, so we decided to give birth there. That maternity center was run by this old lady and her husband, who was a little older than her.
(Before the actual birth) I told the woman, “I am a pastor of a church, and our founder told us that when parents give birth to a child, they have to give birth together, not alone. So, can I join in?”
She then asked who was our founder and I replied, “Sun Myung Moon.”
This lady was so devoted to her work that she hadn’t heard of our church or known about True Father, but she said that he was right; that women shouldn’t be the only ones that give birth; that children should be born with the husband (by the wife’s side). She said that that person (True Father) was a great (teacher) and told me should would like to meet with him.
I then said, “When we give birth to a child, we have to light candles and pray beforehand.” She said, “Sure, go ahead.” So as I prayed she stood beside us and after I was done praying she said, “You are a pastor, after all. That was a great prayer.”
When my wife went into labor she held my hands, as the contractions brought her so much pain, but how painful must they be? I realized that women are much stronger than men. She held onto my hands so tightly that my fingers could’ve broken. Before the baby had come out, I thought the bones in my hands would shatter.
Through this experience, I really felt that the husband and wife should give birth to children together. Our third child was born in this way, with this kind of profound faith.
What I would like to tell you is that your parents are God. They are the God that you can see with your eyes. You have been born with that much invested energy by your parents.
Nowadays, we have hospitals, so even if something were to happen, we can receive help, but when there were no hospitals, a mother literally risked her life to give birth. A mother’s life is in danger when giving birth by herself.
When each and every one of you were born, your parents loved you as much as God did; they gave everything.
Some of you may feel like your parents don’t invest (care) much for you, but that is not the case. All parents (care for their children).
So when you look at your parents, you should be able to see true parents. If you ignore your parents and follow the True Parents? That is not true faith. When your family becomes happy, True Parents will say, “Well done. I really appreciate what you have done.” The Heavenly Parent will say the same thing.
So become one with your parents and share these words with the brothers and sisters who don’t come to church. We must be proud of and share the good things (that we have). (Are we taught to) only keep good things in our own pockets?
When the family comes together and the family is happy, things will flow automatically. If you hold onto God, things will come. Likewise, you’d be able to do anything if you hold onto True Parents. If you hold onto your parents, you’d be able to do anything. We must create such a tradition.
The principles that True Father taught before starting family
Who did I say was greater than Jesus? (“Our parents.”) Yes, your parents. Never ignore your parents. Live for your parents.
Some of you may have grown up feeling lonely and wanting more of your parents’ love. However, your parents put everything into the church believing God would love and protect you. It’s not that they weren’t thinking about you.
Some of your brothers and sisters who don’t come to church may feel that kind of loneliness.
For those of you here that have received a lot of blessing from this 8th 21-day workshop, you must witness to at least three people. Whether you are a blessed second generation or a Jacob’s child, you should establish three children of faith before receiving the blessing.
The omniscient and omnipresent God first created the world of angels and set up three archangels. That was because He needed somebody to protect Adam and Eve, who would come later. This position (of the archangels) is the children of faith.
Therefore, when you get blessed, when you leave home and have children, you must have three children of faith. That is the principle that True Father spoke of. (When driving) we stop at a red light and proceed at a green light. Why? Because of the (traffic) rules. If you give birth to a child without having three children of faith, it is like running through a red light. Therefore, you must have three children of faith and proceed after the light turns green.
You have to practice this and be role models.
There isn’t much people attending this 21-day workshop. It can’t be helped because of COVID, but hundreds of people should be participating. Such a time will come. If all of you put your mind to it, it can be done right away. Our time is coming.
Jesus started this movement by himself, and 2,000 years later, about 2.4 billion out of the 7.8 billion human population have become Christians. In the beginning, Jesus was alone. We are not alone in the Family Federation. We have tens and even hundreds of thousands of members.
So it won’t even take 2,000 years. It will take less than a thousand years—not even 500 years. We can do this in a hundred years. We will establish the nation of God. It may not even take a hundred years. True Mother is trying to accomplish this in seven years.
I think all of you have your own dreams, such as becoming a school teacher, but that alone is not enough to establish God’s country.
Everyone, please dream big, not small. This is the dream of True Parents. True Parents sent missionaries to 194 countries in one lifetime, and he was able to spread the word through this.
After receiving the True Parents and knowing the magnitude of their dreams, would it be alright to just graduate from a university and work at a company, to take it easy it easy after that without hope for something greater? We are not people of that level. We are in the position of restoring God’s nation, of restoring God’s world.
In this regard, we first need to establish three children of faith. Please write down the names of three people (you want to witness to) when you get home. If we firmly keep to this tradition, God’s nation will be restored while we are alive in this age.
(In my family ) we have six children. Two of them are blessed. So I told my wife that our family slogan is that (all of our children) must have six children. “Give birth. Propagate.” If it is difficult (for our children) to witness to three people, they are to give birth to six children since that is what their parents did. “This is the best thing to do,” (I told her).
If my family did that, our offspring would exceed the population of Japan in eleven generations, starting with my wife and I. In 330 years, there would be more than 125 million (of my descendants).
So all of you can take a break. (Laughter) We, as a couple, will educate and protect this country.
If it is difficult to give birth to six children—due to physical reasons, for example—if you can give birth to only three children, then witness to three children of faith. If you can only give birth to one child, witness to five children of faith.
All of you attending today have not started a family or have not given birth (to physical children) yet, so please begin by witnessing. And for those that are physically capable, give birth to six or even ten children.
True Mother gave birth to fourteen children. Unless you give birth to fourteen children, you wouldn’t be able to understand that kind of heart she carries.
Moreover, True Mother has sent four children to spirit world: Hyo-jin, Hye-jin, Heung-jin and Yeong-jin. True Father has also gone to the spiritual world. How does Mother feel? Four of her children went to the spiritual world before she did. What does a parent feel in such a case?
That is why people around the world now call True Mother, “the mother of peace” or “the one and only mother.” She is such a great mother.
All of you here, please don’t just conclude this 21-day workshop and say that it was good. Please visit the second generation who aren’t coming to church and invite them to attend the 21-day workshop. That would be great if you could do this.
If you speak with confidence, the listener will respond. No one will come if you hesitate, stutter and fidget around. Please meet your friends head on with all that you have. Then, they will definitely come.
As a staff member of the headquarters, we will do our best to support you and pray that all of you can establish three children of faith, so let us all do our best.