On October 15, the 41st Seonghwa Festival for the Heavenly Japan was held at Oze Cemetery (Katashina Village, Tone County, Gunma Prefecture). In his commemorative sermon, officiator President Tomihiro Tanaka spoke about the Family Federation’s view of eternal life and called on the participants to “speak to those that have passed away in our daily lives and carry their thoughts in our hearts, so that we can make effort in fulfilling their heavenly wishes with them.
Words from hoondokhae
People generally think that everything ends when we die, but that is not the case. Because there is a spirit world, life continues as it is. While on earth you need to prepare to enter the spirit world. Since you breathe love in the spirit world, in order to breathe freely there, you should keep love at the center of your life on earth. If you do not center on love during your physical life, you will be unable to breathe freely in the spirit world. Because the spirit world is a world where you breathe love, you can think of it as a world in which love is your air. Your second new beginning is referred to as death. Hence, there is nothing to fear. Death opens the door to a new beginning.
(Cheon Seong Gyeong of CIG Scripture, p. 690)
Mother has absolute trust in the members and blessed families of Japan
Good morning to all of you gathered here, and to the members of the church nationwide who have joined online in the live stream. I would like to express my sincere gratitude for this precious time together with you, as we look back on our senior members and their families who have gone to the spirit world.
A dissolution order against the Family Federation has been requested by the courts. I would like to start by explaining this matter.
I recently visited Las Vegas in America and had the opportunity to commune closely with True Mother. She encouraged me to go forward with dignity because persecuting the Family Federation is the same as persecuting God, and God is confident of (our) victory.
I also received a word from True Mother yesterday, who is currently in Korea. She said, “Tomihiro Tanaka! I trust you completely, so proceed with dignity.” I believe she was not only talking to me personally, but she was conveying her thoughts and trust to all of the members and blessed families in Japan. (Applause)
We received many petitions from brothers and sisters across the country asking the government not to file the request for dissolving (the Family Federation). Each letter was filled with the thoughts of brothers and sisters who love the Heavenly Parent (God) and adore True Parents. Their passionate aspirations, which are a source of pride and love for God’s Will, were overflowing in their words, which shined like a treasure. I could not hold back my tears as I read each letter.
One reporter put it this way:
“Fifty-three thousand people. Including the online petition, 80,000 signatures is no ordinary petition. I could understand that each and every one of you put your heart and soul into the petition and that you are earnestly appealing for help.”
I am convinced that there is power behind the petition, which our brothers and sisters are united behind. As the number of signatures grows in number, we are still receiving many letters from other members and VIPs from all over the world.
True Mother speaks of the members as “heaven’s treasure and weapons”. Even in the midst of the “bombarding storm” that the media has caused, the brothers and sisters—who adore the Heavenly Parent and True Parents and walk with unwavering faith—are undoubtedly the substance of hope for heaven. They continue to give us deep inspiration and great strength.
Today, the 41st Seonghwa Festival for the Heavenly Japan was held in the rain. Today’s rain can be seen as heaven’s tears, but they are not tears of despair. I believe the tears are flowing from heaven as it looks down on us and embraces hope for the future with a strong determination, and to look forward to a new beginning.
The decision as to whether or not the Family Federation is a religious organization that should be dissolved should be based on fair laws, not made by visionless leaders who are driven by the words of the masses. We will now begin the real fight in the judicial arena. Now is the time to demonstrate our strength. Dear brothers and sisters across the country, let us overcome any difficulties by becoming one with True Mother! (Applause)
Conviction in eternal life overcomes anxiety and fear and gives hope to life
One of the brands of the Family Federation is its view on life and death. The Family Federation calls the passing of a person as “sanctification” (seonghwa) and welcomes death not as mere sorrow or pain, but as a moment of joy.
As the words from hoondokhae said, death is the “second beginning.” It is not the end, but it is where people are sent back to the Heavenly Parent after the GwiHwan Ceremony (Returning Ceremony) and the seonghwa ceremony are held in honor of their glorious walk on earth. They will begin a new path in heaven, and we who live on earth will welcome them as our family and comrades, and together we will live toward the fulfillment of heaven’s wishes.
We are convinced that the spirit world exists and that human beings will live (there) forever. This is why we can live our lives with great hope and without fear or anxiety about the future.
We are not born of our own will. We were born into this world by God’s will. Therefore, our value is best demonstrated when we live our lives on earth in accordance with the thoughts, hopes, and heart of the One who gave us life.
True Mother’s autobiography contains excerpts from letters sent to True Parents from missionaries imprisoned while undertaking overseas missionary assignments.
”My last moment on earth is approaching. This is the last greeting I give you here on earth. I will meet you in the spirit world. Please live a long and heathy life.”
(Mother of Peace, p. 105)
That was from a letter written by a missionary in prison, who had never met True Parents directly. I believe that this letter could have been written because the person valued eternal life. This letter taught me how valuable it is to live out this moment in front of the Heavenly Parent, who gave me life, with the conviction that I need to live together with the Heavenly Parent, True Parents, and all of the beloved people forever in the spirit world.
Cultivate the heart of wanting to be together forever, during earthly life
True Parents repeatedly told us that what will be asked in the spirit world is how much love we cultivated on earth. (Your) value in the spirit world will be measured by (your) love. The spirit world is a place where people go after honing their sensitivity to love on earth, and they will live forever breathing love.
I served as the main officiator at a seonghwa ceremony for a wife (of an1800 couple), who was the first cheonbo family member to pass away. The testimony I heard from her husband had a great impact on my outlook on life.
The husband had done a lot of overseas-missionary work. While serving in Leda, South America, he received word that his wife, who was in Japan, had fallen ill and had only six months to live. The wife told him, “If you can’t come back, I will just have to go to the spirit world alone, so don’t worry.” The husband immediately returned home.
His wife refused to be cared for in a hospital and asked to spend the rest of her life at home with her family, or more specifically, with her husband because they had lived apart from for a long time. She spent the last days of her life that way and passed away six months later.
Before her death, she told her husband, “We are each other’s half of an apple, aren’t we? If we put the two together, will get a beautiful shape that is an apple.” This was a common saying of hers.
When she was about to take her last breath, her husband said, “We are half of each other’s apple,” and his wife nodded her head and said, “When you come to the spirit world, look for me.” As a couple, there’s probably never been a more wonderful declaration of love. She was full of desire to be with him forever, so when he goes to the spirit world, she will surely be able to jump into her husband’s heart without him having to search for her.
Married couples must cultivate a desire to be together forever (in spirit world) during their earthly lives. You can’t think that things will work out once you get to the spirit world. When I heard the husband’s testimony, I took it very seriously, and my feelings toward my wife changed. Maybe that was felt by my wife, but I feel that she is often present in public places with me these days. Someone once told me jokingly, “President, your wife is here.” (Laughter)
We live an eternal life by breathing love. With this view of eternal life firmly in mind, let us put all of our heart and soul into our lives here on earth. Let us spend our daily lives talking to those who have gone to the spirit world, keeping their thoughts in our hearts, and striving together to fulfill heaven’s hopes.
Today, I believe we are not alone and that the spirits have come to visit us and spend time together. I hope that this will be a precious time for us to celebrate this day united in mind, and to strengthen our new resolve.