As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen

 The Autobiography






My Wife,

Hak Ja Han Moon


(Page 190)


The first time I saw my wife,

she was a young woman of fourteen

who had just graduated

from elementary school (sixth grade).

She was a quiet girl 

who never raised her voice

and never sought to bring 

attention to herself.

She always took the same route

to and from the church.

When she was first introduced to me, 

I was told she was the daughter 

of one of our early church members,

M r s. S o o n  A e  H o n g.


"What is you name?"  I asked her.

"My name is Hak Ja Han," 

she answered in a clear voice.


In that moment, 

before I knew what was happening, I said,

"So Hak Ja Han has been born in Korea!"

I said this three times in repetition, 

and then prayed, saying, 

"God! Thank you for sending to Korea

such a wonderful woman as Hak Ja Han."

I then looked at her, and said:

"Hak Ja Han, 

I'm afraid you are going to have to do

a lot of sacrificing."


All these words came out of my mouth 


Later, Mrs. Hong told me 

that she thought it strange 

that I would say the same thing three times

after meeting her daughter for the first time.

My wife has told me that she also

remembers the first, short meeting.

She told me she remembers everything 

that I said then as if I had 

delivered a sermon just for her,

and she kept it in her heart.

She said she felt like she had received 

an important revelaton about her future

that she could not forget. 


(Page 191)


Her mother was from a faithful 

Presbyterian family, 

so she was raised in a Christian home.

Her hometown was Jeongju,

which is my hometown as well,

but she had lived in Anju 

until coming to South Korea

during the Korean War. 

When Mrs. Hong 

first began attending our church,

she lived a very faithful life 

in Chuncheon and 

raised her daughter strictly.

My wife attended a nursing school

that was operated by a Catholic Church.

I am told that the rules 

of this school were so strict 

that it was as if 

she were living in a convent.

She had a gentle character, 

and during the time 

she was raised by her mother, 

she never went anywhere 

except to school and to our church.


I was forty at the time, 

and I sensed that the time had come

for me to marry again.

All I needed to do 

was wait for God to tell me,

"The time has come, so get married,"

and I would do as I was told.

Seung Do Ji, 

an elderly woman in our church, 

began an effort in October 1959

to prepare for my engagement,

even though

there was still no bride-to-be.

Another church member

 who had been praying for seven years

about a wife for me 

told me one day that she had a dream

in which she saw that 

Hak Ja Han was my wife.


Mrs. Ji told me about 

a strange dream she had,

"What kind of dream is this?"

she exclaimed.

"I saw hundreds of cranes come flying.

I tried to wave them away with my arms,

but they kept coming 

and they finally covered you 

with their white feathers.

Is this some kind of omen for the future?"

The "Hak" in Hak Ja Han 

is the Chinese character for crane.


(Page 192)


Then Hak Ja Han herself had a dream

in which I appeared and told her,

"The day is near, so make preparations."

My wife later told me

that in her dream she said to me

in a humble tone,

"I have been living until now

in accordance with the will of God.

In the future, as well,

I will follow God's will as His servant,

no matter what that will may be."


A few days after my bride-to-be

had this dream, I asked Mrs. Hong

to bring her daughter to me.

This was our first meeting

since she had been introduced to me

at age fourteen.

That day, I asked this young lady

many questions.

In every case, she responded

with composure and spoke clearly.

In this meeting, I asked

my future wife to draw a picture.

Without hesitation,

she picked up a pencil and started

drawing on a sheet of paper.

When she had finished

and placed her picture before me,

I was very impressed by what I saw.

I then looked at ther face,

and her shy expression was

very beautiful.

Her heart was as wonderful

as the picture she had drawn.


We were engaged on March 27, 1960,

and had our marriage ceremony

barely two weeks later,

on April 11.

I did not set a date at the time

but when I called Miss Han

several days later, I told her,

"Tomorrow morning,

we will have a marriage ceremony."

She responded simply, "Is that so?"

and did not ask any questions

or try to speak in opposition.

She seemed entirely obedient to Heaven.

That was how pure and gentle she was,

Then as now,

when it comes to the will of God,

she has a strong determination.


At the marriage ceremony

I wore a samokwandae,

the formal dress of government officers

that now is commonly used in

traditional wedding ceremonies,

and she wore traditional Korean attire

that included a jokdori bridal tiara.

My bride, who was then seventeen and

more than twenty years younger than I,

looked confident and radiant with

her tightly closed lips and pretty face.

During the ceremony

I told my bride that she was about

to embark on a difficult course.


(Page 193)


"I think you are

already aware that marrying me

will not be like any other marriage.

We are becoming husband and wife

to complete the mission

given to us by God

to become True Parents,

and not to pursue

the happiness of two individuals,

as is the case

with other people in this world.

God wants to bring about

the Kingdom of Heaven on earth

through a true family.

You and I

will travel a difficult path

to become True Parents

who will open the gates

to the Kingdom of Heaven for others.

It is a path that no one else

in history has traveled, so even I

don't know all it will involve.

During the next seven years,

you will experience many things

that will be difficult to endure.

Don't forget, even for a moment,

that the life we live

is different from others.

Don't do anything,

no matter how trivial,

without first discussing it with me,

and obey everything I tell you."


She responded,

"My heart is already set.

Please do not worry."


I could see

in her expression that day

that she had made a strong


Her difficult challenges began

the day after our marriage.

The first difficulty she faced was

that she could not see her mother

as freely as before.  My wife, her mother,

and her maternal grandmother

were all only daughters.

As a result the relationhip

between mother and daughter

was particularly strong.

In order to take on her public mission

and develop the proper focus,

I asked her to live

what amounted to an ascetic life

for three years.  That meant

she could not see her mother

or any of her relatives for three years.

She lived in a room

rented from a church member.

She came to church no more

than once a day,

usually in the evening.

So as not to create disruption,

she left through the back door.


(Page 194)


I myself was often involved

in worship services

or praying through the night

and was rarely at home,

but the separation

was not for practical reasons.

The separation was to establish

a spiritual condition

of unconditional devotion

to her mission.

As the outragious rumors

about me continued to circulate,

this separation

from her relatives and me

made it ever more difficult

for my young wife to endure.


At the time of our marriage,

the Unification Church

already had been established

in over one hundred twenty

communities around Korea.

Even in our church, however,

there were those who

were critical of our marriage.

Some envied her, some hated her

and many stories circulated.

As if that were not enough,

she lived in someone else's home,

while older women of our church

followed me everywhere I went.


Eventually, my seemingly cold

treatment of my wife

brought an end to all the

criticism and envy against her.

In fact, people began

to sympathize with her.

For example, many members

criticized me when I couldn't go

to see my wife even though

she was suffering postpartum illness

and was shivering

in a poorly heated room after

the birth of our first daughter.

Some of them said, "How can he

even call himself her husband?"


"You're going too far, sir,"

I was told.  "If you married her,

You should live with her.

What are you doing

making it difficult for her

even to see your face?"

The people who had been

criticizing my wife

one by one began to

take her side instead.


In spite of her young age,

it was necessary that my wife

 receive harsh training.

During the time we lived together,

the pressures on her were relentless.

She never had even a single

free moment for herself.

She constantly was on edge,

as if she were walking

on a thin layer of ice, wondering

"Will today be peaceful?"

Will tomorrow be peaceful?"

Because she had to obtain

God's standard of motherly love,

I corrected her for

even a single wrong word.


(Page 195)



even her affections for me

had to be curtailed for the sake

of her eternal mission.

It was all necessary

for her to become True Mother,

but I am sure it caused

much grief in her heart.


I might say a word in passing

and not think much of it.

She, however,

had to harmonize herself

with my every word, so I am sure

her suffering was great.

It took us seven years to

conform ourselves to each other.

I relate these things because

the most important thing

in a marriage relationship

is trust.

It is what makes it possible

for two people to become one.




An Incomparable

 Inner Beauty


(Page 196)


My wife and I

made a promise to each other

after we were married.

We agreed that

no matter how upset or angry

one of us might become,

we would not allow anyone to think,

"It looks like

Rev. & Mrs. Moon had a fight."

We agreed that no matter how many

children we might have,

we would not let them see

any sign that

we might have had a fight.

Children are God. Children are God

with very small hearts.

So when a child says,

"Mom!" and calls,

you must always answer,

"What is it?" with a smile.


After going through

such a harsh course for seven years,

my wife became a wonderful mother.

All the gossip about her disappeared,

and a peaceful happiness

came to our family.  My wife

gave birth to fourteen children,

and she has embraced

each one with so much love.

When she is away from home

on our speaking tours

and mission life,  she sends

letters and postcards

to our children every day.


While it was difficult for her

to raise fourteen children

over the course of over forty years,

she never complained.


(Page 197)


Several times, I had to be overseas

when my wife was about to give birth.

She had to bear such times alone.

There were days when

I could not do anything for her.

Once a member wrote me

about my wife's

difficult financial situation.

There was concern

over whether she was getting

sufficient nutrition.

Even then, my wife never

complained about her difficulty.

Because I sleep

only two or three hours a night,

she has dutifully done the same

throughout our life together.

These sorts of matters

pain me to this day.


My wife has such a tremendous

heart of love and care that

she even gave

a special ring I bought her

to someone in need.

When she sees someone

in need of clothes,

she buys that person clothes,

or gives them some of ours.

When she comes across someone hungry,

she buys the person a meal.

There have been many times

when we have received

presents from others

that she would give away

to someone else she felt

needed them more.


Once we were

touring the Netherlands

and had a chance to visit a factory

that processed diamonds.

Wanting to express

my heart of regret toward my wife

for all her sacrifices,

I bought her a diamond ring.

I didn't have much money,

so I couldn't buy her a large one.

I picked out one I liked

and presented it to her.  Later,

she even gave away that ring.

When I saw the ring

wasn't on her finger, I asked her, 

"Where did the ring go?"


She answered,

"You know by now I can't keep

something like that when

someone has a greater need."


On another occasion I saw her

pulling out a large wrapping cloth,

and she was working quietly

to pack some clothes.

"What are you going to do

with those clothes?" I asked her.


"I have a use for them," she said.


She filled several wrapping cloths

with clothes without telling me

what she planned to do with them.

When she was finished

she told me she was getting ready

to send the clothes

to our missionaries

working in foreign countries.


(Page 198)


"This one's for Mongolia,

this one's for Africa, and

this one's for Paraguay," she said. 

She had a slightly

self-conscious smile that

made her look so sweet

when she told me.  Still today,

she takes it upon herself

to look after

our overseas missionaries.


My wife is the patron of the

International Relief  and Friendship Foundation

established in 1979.

It has done service projects

in numerous countries,

such aS Congo, Senegal, and

Ivory Coast.

The foundation gives food

to impoverished children,

medicine to those who are sick,

and clothing to those in need.

In Korea, she created

the Aewon charity organization

in 1994.  It's activities include

managing a canteen

serving free food to the poor

and supporting low-wage earners,

the handicapped,

children taking care of

families in place of parents,

and others.  It also provides aid

to the North Korean people.


My wife has also been active

in women's organizations

for some time.

The Women's Federation  for World Peace,

which she established in 1992,

has branches in some

eighty countries and is

in general consultative status

with the Economic and Social

Council of the United Nations as a

nongovernmental organization.


Throughout history,

women have been persecuted,

but I predict this will change.

The coming world will be

one of reconciliation and peace

based on women's maternal character,

love and sociability.

The time is coming when

the power of women

will save the world.


Unfortunately today,

many women's organizations

apparently believe that

standing in opposition to men

is the way to demonstrate

the power of women.

The result is an environment

of competition and conflict.


(Page 199)


The women's organizations

my wife leads, on the other hand,

seek to bring about peace

on the principle that

women should work together,

take initiative, and empower

one another across traditional lines

of race, culture, and religion to

create healthy families as the

cornerstone of the culture of peace.

The organizations she works with

do not call for a liberation

of women from men and families.

Instead, they call for women

to develop and maintain

families filled with love.


My wife's dream is to see

all women raised as true

daughters with filial hearts

who can create peace at home.

The women's movement

being carried out by my wife

serves the goal of true families,

which are the root of peace

in all areas of life.


During one of the most intense

periods of my public work,

our children had to live

close to half the year without

their parents.  In our absence,

they lived in our home,  

cared for by church members.

Our home was always filled with

church members.

Every meal in our home

had guests at the table,

guests who always received

priority over our children.

Because of this environment,

our children grew up with a sense of

lonliness that is not experienced

by children in other families.

Even worse was the suffering

they had to endure because of

their father.

Wherever they went, they were

singled out

as sons and daughters of

"the cult leader Sun Myung Moon."

This suffering sent them through

periods of wandering and rebellion,

but they have always returned home.

We were not able to support them

properly as parents,

but five have graduated from

Harvard University.

I could not be more grateful for

their courageous accomplishments.

Now they are old enough

to help me in my work, but even

to this day, I am the strict father.

I still teach them to become

people who do more than I do

to serve Heaven and live

for the sake of humanity.


(Page 200)


My wife is a woman

of incredible strength, but

the death of our second son,

Heung Jin Nim,

was difficult for her.

It happened in December 1983.

She was with me

in Kwangju, Korea, participating

in a Victory of Communism rally,

when we received

an international phone call

that Heung Jin Nim had been

in a traffic accident and had been

transported to a hospital.

We boarded a flight the next day

and went directly to New York,

but Heung Jin Nim was lying

unconscious on the hospital bed.


A truck traveling

over the speed limit as it came

down a hill tried to brake and

swerved into the opposite lane,

where Heung Jin Nim was driving.

Two of his best friends were 

in the car with him at the time.

Heung Jin cut the wheel

to the right so the driver's side

took most of the impact

from the truck.   By doing so, he

saved the lives of his two friends.

I went to the place near our home

where the accident occurred,

and the black tire marks veering

off to the right were still visible.


Heung Jin

finally went to the heavenly world

in the early morning of January 2.

He had turned seventeen

just a month before.


Words cannot describe 

my wife's sorrow

when she had to send a child

she had raised with love

to the heavenly world before her.

She could not cry, however.

In fact, it was important that she

not shed any tears.

We are people who know

the world of the eternal spirit.

A person's spirit does not

disappear like so much dust,

just because

the physical life is lost. 

The soul

ascends to the world of spirit.

As parents, the pain of knowing

that we would never be able to see

or touch our beloved child in this

world was almost unbearable.

My wife would not cry;  she could

only lovingly put her hands

on the hearse that carried

Heung Jin's body.


This tragic accident occurred

as we planned for the betrothal

of Heung Jin to Hoon Sook Pak,

who was studying ballet.

I had to speak to Hoon Sook about

his departure from this world

and find out from her

what she wanted to do.


(Page 201)


I told her I knew it wouldn't be

easy or fair to her parents if she

chose to go ahead with

such a marriage.

I told her it was best to forget

the betrothal.

Hoon Sook was adamant, however,

"I am aware of the existence

of the spiritual world," she said.

"Please let me spend my life

with Heung Jin."

In the end, Hoon Sook became

our daughter-in-law fifty days

after Heung Jin's departure.

My wife and I will never forget

her bright smile as she

was accompanied by a framed

photograph of Heung Jin

throughout the spiritual

marriage ceremony.


It would seem that

my wife would be devastated

each time she faced such

difficult situations, but

she always remained unshaken.

Even in the most difficult and

unbearable circumstances,

my wife never lost her serene smile.

She always crossed over life's

most difficult peaks successfully.

When church members ask my wife's

advice on raising their own children,

she tells them:  "Be patient and wait.

The period when children wander

is only temporary. 

No matter what they do, 

embrace them, love them, and

wait for them.

Children will always return

to the love of their parents."


I have never raised my voice

toward my wife.  This is not because

of my character, but because my wife

has never given me cause to do so.

Throughout our life together

she has labored to care for me

with complete, loving devotion.

She is even

the one to care for my hair. 

So this great saint of world affairs

is also the best barber in the world.

Now that I am old

I make many new demands on her,

and she alway responds.

If I ask her to cut my toenails, 

she will do it cheerfully.

My toenails are mine, 

but I can't see them very well.

She sees them perfectly well,

though.  It's a strange thing.

The older I become, the more 

precious my wife is to me.    




Promises That Must

Never Be Broken


(Page 202)


During our matching

and marriage ceremonies,

I ask the brides and grooms

to make promises to each other

that must never be broken.

First, a husband and wife must

always trust and love each other.

Second, they must not

cause any pain

to the heart of their partner.

Third, they must educate

their children to maintain

sexual purity.

Fourth, all members 

of their family must help and

encourage each other so that

they become a true family.

Chastity before marriage

and fidelity in marriage

are of utmost importance.

This is what I teach so people

can live to their highest potential

as human beings, creating and

maintaining healthy families.


Marriage is more

than a simple coming together

of a man and woman.

It is a precious ceremony 

of commitment to carry on

God's work of creation.

Marriage is the path by which

a man and woman become as one,

create new life,

and establish true love.

Through marriage, a new future

is created:  Societies are formed;

nations are built.

God's world of peace is realized

with married families at the center.

It is in the family that

God's Kingdom of Heaven

is brought about.

So husbands and wives must be

centers of peace.


(Page 203)


Not only must there be love

between the husband and wife,

but the couple must also be able

to bring harmony to their

extended families. 

It is not enough

that the husband and wife

live well together in love.

All the relatives

must love each other as well.

I tell brides and grooms

to have many children. 

To bear many children and

raise them is God's blessing.   

It is unthinkable that

human beings apply their own

standard of judgment and

arbitrarily abort precious lives

given to them by God.

All life born into this world

embodies God's will.

All life is noble and precious,

so it must be cared for

and protected.



a husband and wife must

maintain mutual trust

and nurture their love.

The promise I emphasize the most

to people planning to marry is

"teach your children to maintain

sexual purity."


This is an obvious promise,

but it has become difficult to keep

in today's society.

The worse the world becomes,

however, the more important it is

to strictly keep the promise

of sexual purity.


The perfection of human beings

and peace in the world

come about through the family.

The purpose of religion is for

everyone to become

people of goodness who can then

bring about an ideal world of peace.

No matter how much politicians

may put their heads together,

they will not bring about peace.

Formidable military power

will not bring peace.

The starting point

for bringing about peace

is the family.


When I arrived in America

in 1971, the wind

of promiscuous free sex

was blowing across the country,

and the entire society was

in the midst of confusion.


(Page 204)


Young people who had received

wonderful educations

were being destroyed one by one.

Sexual immorality was so bad

that it was becoming the norm.

Sexually transmitted diseases

were beginning to skyrocket.


The seriousness of the problem

was compounded by politicians,

academics, and clergy. 

They knew about this problem,

but most of them ignored it.

They tried to look away

from the ugly reality

because they themselves had not

maintained sexual purity.

People who are not sexually pure


cannot urge their children to be so.


The degradation of sexual morality

among adults

destroys families and lead to

the ruin of children.

Immorality and licentiousness

in the personal lives of adults

ultimately destroy the lives

of their children.

The reason today's society

does not have a level of happiness

to match its level of

material affluence is that

families are being destroyed.

To save families, adults

must first live proper lives.

Then it is possible to raise children

in sexual purity.


The mother is the fortress

that protects the family.

No matter how much society

may change, the family can stand

as a healthy and peaceful family

only if the mother has the heart

to sacrifice and serve.

It is in such a family

that beautiful children can grow.

In educating our children,

what the children see and learn

in the family is most important.

A crab that walks sideways

cannot tell its offspring to walk

straight ahead.  The parents

must show a good example.

True children

come from true families.

Truth is always very simple.


The most

difficult aspect of  family life

is raising children properly.

We give birth to them in love

and raise them in love, but

they don't necessarily grow up

the way their parents desire.


(Page 205)


What's worse,

today's materialistic culture is

destroying the innocent minds

of young people.

Young people who should be

growing up to become

responsible adults

capable of extraordinary things

are being lost to drugs.

Drug induced states make people

lose touch with their own spirit.

Young people

who have lost thier spirits

eventually can only fall into

crime and sexual immorality.


During adolescence, children

think everything should be

centered only on themselves,

and so there is the tendency

to rebel against

things the parent may say.

If the parent does not respond

with undertanding,

there is the possibility that  

the child may

go to self-centered extremes.

On the other hand,

a child in adolescence can be

deeply moved by anything

that seems to connect

with his heart.

Perhaps on an autumn day,

the child will see a persimmon

fall from a tree

that has lost all its leaves.

The child cannot explain it,

but somehow it connects

 with his heart and he will smile

and experience happiness.

This is a sign that

God's original character

is dwelling in his heart.


But if

adolescents involve themselves

in sexual relationships

their perceptions become clouded

and their power of judgment


When an adolescent boy or girl

meet and start talking

with each other,

they can feel flushed

and there may be a change

in their heart rate.

If their minds are not brought

into harmony with God's standard

in that moment, they will surely

be moved in the direction

of self-centeredness.

They lose the means with which

to control their bodies.


During adolescence,

our cells open wide all the doors

of love in both the

physical body and the spirit.

The desires of our mind

and the desires of our body

are meant to become one

and function together.


(Page 206)


When we acquire

the nose of love,

we start to love smells that

we used to hate.

When we acquire

the mouth of love,

we start to love tastes

that we used to hate.

We want to listen all night

to the stories of love.

We want to keep touching

the person we love.

Adolescents start to think

they can be happy simply by

entering into a love relationship.


However, the doors of love

are designed by God

and are to open only

when the time is right.

Children must understand

that they need to wait

for the right time.

Parents must teach these things

to their adolescent children

very carefully.

Love is a process by which

we grow to resemble God.

Despite what

the world may tell us, it is not

something to be enjoyed

any time we please.


During adolescence, a child may

want to try really hard to copy

the activity in a thrilling movie.

People ask, "What's wrong with that?"

It is wrong because

irresponsible actions lead to


When children mature and

acquire wisdom and knowledge,

they can control their social and

environmental experiences

and are truly free to do so,

but not during adolescence.


Why do we say, 

"Do not give a knife to a child"?

It is because the child would 

wave it around.

The child might understand

how to cut with a knife,

but he cuts without control.

The child might even cut

his mother's fingers.

Because children do not yet

fully understand consequences,

we do not give them knives.


The combination of parents

not teaching their children

the value of purity

and children rebelling

against their parents

leads to broken families.

Because of this,

societies are being broken.

Because of this,

nations are being destroyed.

Because of this,

humanity is being destroyed.




To Love Is

to Give and Forget


(Page 207)


The family is the only

institution created by God.

It is the school of love

where people can learn

how to love each other

and live together in peace,

and it is the training center

where we practice

how to build a palace of peace

in the world.

It is where we learn how to

become a husband or wife who will

live for the sake of our spouse and

how to become a husband and wife

who will travel

on the eternal path of love.

The family is the base camp

for world peace,

and it must be such that

the children will say,

"We have never seen

our mother and father fight."


We come up against

all sorts of things in life.

Even the most loving couple can

have times when they may bicker

with each other, become angry,

and raise their voices.

When the children

come into the room, however,

it all must stop immediately.

No matter how angry

a husband may be, he must

relate to his spouse in peace when

the children are present.

The children must grow up thinking

their family is filled with joy

and their parents always

love each other.


Parents are like a second God

to their children.

If you ask your young children,

"Whom do you like better---

God or Mommy and Daddy?"---

and they say they like

their mom and dad better, then

that means they also like God.


(Page 208)


The most precious education

takes place in the family.

You won't find happiness

and peace in some other place.

The family is intended to be

the Kingdom of Heaven.

It would not matter if a person

possesses incredible wealth and fame

or even possesses the whole world.

If all is not right

with that person's family, then he

cannot be happy.

The Kingdom of Heaven

begins in the family.

If a husband and wife are bound

together in true love

and they build an ideal family,

this will connect directly

with the world.


I saw something interesting

when I was in Danbury prison.

We were using a bulldozer

to level a slope

and make a tennis court.

When it rained,

we would wait for it to stop,

and start up again 

when the sun came out.

This process of starting and stopping

went on for months.

We had a long stretch of rain

for one period, and we couldn't work

for twenty consecutive days.

When the rain cleared and

we went out to start work again,

we found that

some kind of waterfowl

had created a nest where there were

some water weeds.

It was a place

not more than a few meters from

where the prisoners  

would walk for exercise.


At first, we didn't even realize that

the bird was there.

Its camouflage was so perfect that

the bird's feathers could easily

be mistaken for the water weeds.

Once the bird laid its eggs,

though, we could see there was

a bird in among the grass.

The bird was sitting on some eggs

that looked like

pieces of black gravel.

Once the chicks hatched,

the mother

would go find some food,

bring it back to the nest, and put it

in the beaks of the chicks.

When the mother was returning

to the nest with food, however,

she never flew directly to the nest.

she would land a little distance

from the nest and then walk

the rest of the way.

Each time,

she approached the nest

from a different direction.

This was her wisdom

to make it more difficult

for others to find out the location

of the nest where the chicks were.


(Page 209)


The chicks ate the food

their mother brought them

and grew larger.

Sometimes, when a prisoner

would walk near the nest,

the mother would fly out

and chase him away

with her sharp beak.

She was afraid the prisoner

might harm the chicks.


The waterbird understood

the true love of parents.

True Love is willing to give up

its own life,

and there is no calculation there.

The heart of the bird that was willing

to sacrifice its life, if necessary,

to protect its offspring was true love.

Parents go the path of love,

no matter how difficult it becomes.

A parent is prepared, if needed,

to bury his life for the sake of love,

and this is true love.


The essence of love

is to cast aside any thought

of having others live for oneself,

it is to live for the sake of others

and give for the whole.

Love gives, but then forgets

even the fact that it has given and

continues to give without ceasing.

This is a love that gives in joy.

It is the heart that a mother feels

when she takes her infant 

in her arms

and lets it feed from her breast.



will suffer for their children

until it seems their bones are

going to melt away, yet they never

feel that the work is difficult.

That is 

how much they love their children.

True love begins with God

and comes to us from God. 

So when the parents

say to their married children,

"When you like each other,

it is because of

the grace of your parents,"

the children

must be able to respond,

"If you had not

found such a spouse for me,

I don't know

what I would have done."


The family is a bundle of love.

When we

go to the Kingdom of Heaven

and unpack that bundle,

a wonderful father and mother

will jump out.

Beautiful children will jump out.

A benevolent

grandfather and grandmother

will jump out.

This is the bundle of love.

The family is the space in which

God's ideal is realized

and the place where we can see

the completion of God's work.


(Page 210)


God's will is to bring about a world

in which love is made real,

and the family is the place

where God's love overflows.


We only need to hear the word


for us to begin smiling.

This is because the family

is overflowing with true love that

truly lives for the sake of all members.

True love gives love,

then forgets even the fact that it gave,

and then gives again.

The love that has parents living for

their children and grandparents for

th grandchildren is true love.

The love that

lets a person give up his or her life

for the country is true love.




The Peaceful Family Is the

Building Block of Heaven


(Page 211)


Many Western people live truly

lonely lives.

Their children leave home

once they turn eighteen, and

the parents

may only get to see their faces

at Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Many children

never visit their parents just to

find out how they are doing.

Once people marry,

they live with their spouse,

independent from their family,

 until their parents become so old

they can no longer

take care of themselves.

At that point,

they move their parents into

a nursing home.


So it is understandable

that some Westerners envy

the culture of the East.

Many elderly people in the West

think, "In the East, the grandparents

live with the family

as the senior members of the family,

and it is really wonderful.

The children respect their old parents.

This is how people are supposed to live.

What good is it

to be lying in a nursing home,

not able to see my children,

not even knowing what day it is,

just staying alive?"


Unfortunately, though,

the Eastern family structure

is also gradually deteriorating.

We too are abandoning traditions

that have been handed down to us

for thousands of years.  We have

thrown away our traditional clothing,

our food, and our family structure. 

The number of senior citizens

living alone in Korea is on the rise.


(Page 212)


Each time I see stories in the news

of senior citizens alone,

it makes me sad.

The family is where generations

live together. 

If family members are scattered

and the parents are left alone,

then that is no longer a family.

The extended family system

is a beautiful Korean tradition.


I recommend that three generations

live together a one family.

This is not simply because it is a way of

maintaining our country's tradition.

When a husband and wife have a child, 

they pass on all they can to that child.

There is a limit, however, to how much 

the parents can pass on. 

The parents represent the present 

and the children the future. 

The grandparents represent the past. 

So it is only when the grandparents,

parents and children live together 

that the children can inherit

all the fortune of the past and present.

To love and respect your grandfather

is to inherit the history of the past 

and to learn

from the world of the past.

The children learn precious wisdom

from their parents 

on how to live in the present, 

while the parents prepare 

for the future

by loving their children.


The grandparents 

are in a position to represent God.

No matter how intelligent

a young man may be, he cannot

know all the secrets of this world.

Young people cannot know 

all the different secrets of life 

that come to us as we grow older.

This is the reason the grandfather

represents the history of the family.

The grandfather

is a precious teacher who passes on

to the grandchildren

all the wisdom he has acquired

through the experiences he has

accumulated during the course 

of his life.


The world's oldest grandfather

is God.

So a life of receiving

the grandfather's love and of

living for the sake of the grandfather

is a life of coming to understand

God's love and of living for His sake.

We need to maintain such a tradition

in order to open the secret storehouse

of God's Kingdom

and receive His treasure of love. 


(Page 213)


Any country

that ignores its old people

abandons its national character and

ignores its roots.

When autumn comes, the chestnut tree

gradually loses its moisture,

and its leaves begin to fall. 

The outer shell of the chestnut falls off,

and even the inner shell

that surrounds the actual nut dries up.

This is the cycle of life. 

Human beings are the same way. 

We are born as infants,

grow up on the love of our parents, 

meet a wonderful partner,

and get married.

All this occurs in the chain of life

made up of love.

In the end, we become like chestnuts

becoming dry in the autumn. 

Old people are not a separate category 

of people.  We all become old. 

We must not treat old people 

disrespectfully, no matter

how senile they may become.


There is a saying,

"Anything can be accomplished

when there is harmony in the home."

When there is peace in the family,

everything goes well.

The peaceful family is the

building block

of the Kingdom of Heaven.

The family

operates on the power of love.

If we love the universe

as we love our families, then

there is nothing to stop us from

going anywhere we want.

God exists in the center of love,

as the Parent of the entire universe.

That is why the love in the family

needs to link directly to God.

When the family is completed in love,

the universe will be completed.




Ten Years of Tears Melt a

Father-in-Law's Heart


(Page 214)


Not long ago the Korean media

carried a story about a Japanese woman

living in Milyang, Korea,

who received an award

for her filial service to her family.

The article said that the woman

had come to Korea as the wife

of a Korean man who had met her

through an introduction

by a certain religious group

and married her despite opposition

from his family.

The Japanese wife had cared for

her Korean mother-in-law,

who had difficulty moving around,

and her aged father-in-law

with great devotion.

The people in the community then

recommended her to be recognized

for her filial actions, the article said.


The mother-in-law was paralized

from the waist down and classified by

the Korean public health authorities

as being in the second-highest level

of physical handicap.

From the first day of her marriage,

the daughter-in-law carried

her mother-in-law on her back

to different hospitals

so she could be treated.

Because she spent so much time

devoting herself to her parents-in-law,

she rarely had time to visit

her own family in Japan.

When she heard that she was going to

be awarded for her actions, 

she protested, saying

she was merely doing what was right.


(Page 215)


This Japanese daughter-in-law

in the news is Kazuko Yashima.

She came to Korea

through the international and

intercultural marriages of our church.

These are marriages where

men and women are matched across

religious, national or racial differences.

There are many young men

in Korea's rural areas

who cannot find brides.  The brides who

come to Korea in these international

and intercultural marriages

do so unconditionally.


They care for their aged parent-in-law,

inspire their husbands

to have strength and hope, and bear

and raise children.

They go to live in the rural communities

that Koreans have left behind

because it is so difficult to live there.

What a wonderful

and precious thing they are doing!

This program has been going on

for more than thirty years.


Thousands of women 

from other countries have settled

in Korea through such international

and intercultural marriages.

In rural Korean communities where

the young people have left for the cities

and the sound of a baby's cry

has not been heard for a long time,

the old people are overjoyed to see

the birth of babies to these couples,

and they treat the babies as if

they were their own grandchildren.

In one elementary school

in Choongcheong Province,

more than half the eighty students

 are children of the international and

intercultural marriages

arranged by our church.

The school's principal has said

the school will have to close if

its student body declines any further,

and so he prays daily

that our church members will not

move away from the community.

In Korea today, some twenty thousand

children of international and

intercultural marriages are enrolled in

elementary schools around the country.


(Page 216)


Every year around the anniversary

of Korea's independence from Japan,

television new programs carry stories

about some very special Japanese who

stand before the camera and apologize

for the actions of their country in Korea

during the period of occupation.

They themselves

did not commit those crimes, but

they apologize for the actions

 of their ancestors.

Most of these people

are members of our church

who have torn down the walls 

separating nations

by means of interntaional and

intercultural marriages.

Because of their actions,

the walls in the hearts of Koreans who

think of the Japanese as our enemies

are increasingly crumbling.


In 1988,

a young and well-educated man

who had joined our church

wanted to get married

and sought to be matched.  He was

matched to a Japanese woman.

The father of this young man

reacted very negatively to the match.

"Of all the women in the world, you

have to marry a Japanese?" he said.


During the Japanese occupation,

the father had been

one of the Koreans conscripted into

forced labor and taken to a coal mine in

Iwate Prefecture in northeastern Japan.

He risked his life to escape the mine

and walked for well over a month

to Shimonoseki, where he was able

to board a ship back to Korea.

He harbored

a tremendous hatred for Japan.

On hearing the news of his son's match

to a Japanese woman,

he threatened to disown him.


"You betray the family," he said.

"I will have your name

taken out of the family register.

No woman from that enemy country

will ever set foot in this house,

so take her and go away.

She is not right for you,

so I don't care whether you go

or  whether you die."


The family was adamant.

The young man, however, went ahead

aand did what he felt was right.

He married the Japanese woman

and took his bride to his hometown

in Nagan, Korea.


(Page 217)


The father would not even open

the front gate for them.  Sometime later,

he reluctantly accepted her marriage,

but his persecution

of his daughter-in-law continued.

Every time she seemed to have difficulty

with something, he would say,

"That's nothing compared

to what your people did to me.

You should have expected as much

when you

decided to marry into our family."


Every time the relatives

would gather for a major holiday,

the father-in-law would have her

sit near him, and he would tell her 

all the things that were done to him

in the Iwate coal mine.

Each time the daughter-in-law

would respond by saying, "Father,

I apologize to you on behalf of Japan.

I am sorry."  She would shed tears

and ask his forgiveness.

For as long

as he would vent his anger at her,

she would listen to him tell

the same stories over and over

until he was finished,

and she would continue to apologize.


The went on for about ten years,

and then it stopped.

Relatives noticed that his cold attitude

toward his daughter-in-law

had become much warmer and that

he even seemed to like her.  So

they asked him, "Why are you behaving

so kindly toward your daughter-in-law?

She's a Japanese woman.

Don't you still hate her?"


"I don't hate her anymore."  he said.

"All the hatred that had accumulated

in my heart has gone away.


"I never really hated her," he added.

"I was just venting on her all the hatred

that was in me for having been

conscripted to work in the mine.

Because of her,

the hatred has all disappeared.

From now on,

I'm going to be kind to her, because

she's my real daughter-in-law."


The daughter-in-law

paid for the sins of the Japanese.

This in an example of

the path of redemption that will lead

humankind into a world of peace.




The True Meaning

of Marriage


(Page 218)


The international

and intercultural marriages

are the quickest way to bring about

an ideal world of peace.

Things that would take

seemingly forever

can be accomplished like miracles

through these types of marriages

in just two or three generations.

People should marry across national

and cultural boundaries with people

from countries they consider to be

their enemies

so that the world of peace can come

that much more quickly.

A person may hate people from

a certain country or culture and think

he never wants to set eyes on them. 

But if someone from that country

becomes his spouse, then

the person is halfway to becoming

a person of the new country.

All the hatred melts away.

If this is repeated

for two or three generations,

the roots of hatred can be eliminated.


White and black people

will marry each other;

Japanese will marry Koreans

and people from Asia.

Many millions are entering into such

international and intercultural


A completely new lineage

is being created as a result. 

A new kind of human being that

transcends white, black and yellow

is being born.

I am not just referring to marriages

across international boundaries.

The same is true

for marrying people from other

religions and denominations.


(Page 219)


In fact, marriages

between people of different religions

are even more difficult than 

international marriages.

Even if two religious groups have

been fighting each other for centuries,

it is possible to bring

harmony between them by having

their followers marry each other.

In such a marriage, one spouse will

not close himself off from the other

just because he or she

was raised in a different tradition.


It is most important

to teach young people about

the sanctity and value of marriage.

Korea today has one of the

lowest birthrates in the world.

Not to have children is dangerous.

There is no future for a country

that has no descendants.

I teach young people that

they should remain sexually pure

during their youth,

receive the marriage Blessing and

then have at least three children.

Children are blessings

given to us by God.

When we bear children and

raise them, we are raising citizens

of the Kingdom of Heaven.

That is why it is a great sin

to live immorally and to abort babies

conceived in this lifestyle.


We marry not for ourselves

but for the sake of our partners.

When looking for a spouse, it is wrong

to look only for a beautiful person

or for a person living well.

Human beings must live for the sake

of each other.

We should apply this principle

to marriage, too.  No matter how

uneducated or homely

your prospective spouse may be,

you should marry with a heart

that you will love him or her

even more than if the spouse were

educated and beautiful.

God's love is the most precious

of all blessings.

In marriage, we receive

that blessing of love and put it

into practice in our own lives.

We must understand

this precious meaning of marriage,

conduct our lives in marriage

in the context of true love,

and bring about true families.


From this perspective, world peace is

not such a huge undertaking.

It starts with peaceful families

who create peaceful societies and

eliminate conflict among countries.

This will lead to world peace.


(Page 220)


This example shows the importance

of families that are intact

and the immense responsibility

such families must bear.

The thinking that says

"It's enough that I live well and that

my family lives well"

is completely alien to me.


Marriage is not something that

involves just the bride and groom.

Marriage creates a relationship

between two families,

and it brings reconciliation

between clans and countries.

Each accepts

the other's different culture and

overcomes the resentment and

hatred built up through history.

When a Korean and Japanese marry,

it contributes to reconciliation

between the two countries;

when a white person

and a black person marry,

it contributes to reconcilation

between the two races.

They represent a new beginning

for humanity

that transcends the races.

When this continues

for a few generations,

division and hostility among

nations, races and religions

will disappear, and

humankind will become one family

living in a world of peace.


In recent years, more and more

Koreans are marrying foreigners, and

we see more families with people from

different nationalities and religions.

Koreans have even

coined a phrase for it that means

multicultural families.

It is not easy

for a man and woman who have 

been raised in different cultures

to create a family and 

live with love for each other.

Particularly in Korea,

which traditionally has had 

a homogeneous culture, 

the partners in such marriage

need to make extra effort to

understand and care for each other.

The reason our members 

who enter into international and 

intercultural marriages succeed is 

because they live together 

centering on God.

Various social welfare groups in Korea

try to encourage the success of 

multicultural families 

by offering program that teach 

Korean language and culture.


(Page 221)


Such efforts will be useless, however,

unless our concept of marriage changes.

Whoever thinks,

"Why did I marry this man?

If I hadn't married this man,

I would have had a better life,"

is setting the tone for a marriage

that will be hell.

Coming to a correct understanding

of marriage is more important than

learning Korean language and culture.


Marriage is not a simple matter of

a man and a woman

of marriageable age coming together

and combining their two lives.

Marriage is something built

on the basis of sacrifice.

The man must live for the sake of

the woman and the woman

for the sake of the man.

As you continue to live for the sake

of your spouse, your selfish mind

dsappears completely.

The heart that seeks to sacrifice

this way is the heart of love.

Love is offering up your life.

If you marry you must do so

on the basis of your determination

that your life is for your spouse.




True Love Is Found

in True Families


(Page 222)


No matter how much a man and

a woman may love each other,

a complete and happy family

must have parents

who act as a protective shield

around the home, and

there must be at least one child

for the parents to love.

When a family is protected,

it become a meeting place

for happiness.The

Even a person

with great success in society

will have an unhappy family

if this protection collapses.


The bais of love is the heart

that sacrifices everything

for the sake of the other.

The reason parental love

is true love,

is that parents are willing to give

everything to their children, and

when they have given everything,

the want to give even more.

Parents who love thier children

do not remember

what they have given.

No parent would keep track

of all the shoes and clothes

he bought for his child and say,

"This is how much I spent on you."

Instead, a parent gives

everything he has and says,

"I wish I could do more for you

than I have, and

I'm sorry that I cannot.


As a child,

I would follow my father around

as he tended to his bee colonies,

and I saw how the bees behaved.

When a bee 

flying around a flower garden

caught the fragrance of a flower,

it would place its legs firmly

on the flower.

It would then stick its nose

deep into the flower, so that

its rear end was pointing upward

while it sucked up the nectar.


(Page 223)


If you grabbed the bee on its rear,

it would not let go of the flower.

It risks its life

to keep its hold on the flower.


The love of

parents cultivating a family is like

the honeybee attached to the flower.

Even if

a parent should lose his own life,

he would never let go of

the bond of love

that ties him to his child.

Parents wil lay down their lives

for the sake of their child and then

forget that they had done so.

This is the true love of parents.

No matter how far or dangerous

the path may be,

the parent will gladly travel it.

Parental love is the greatest love

in the world.


A person can live

in a wonderful house and

eat exotic foods from

the mountains and the oceans,

but if he has no parents,

there will be a large void 

in his heart.

A person who has grown up

without receiving parental love

has a lonliness and emptiness

in his heart that cannot be filled

with anything else.

The family is the place where we

receive true love

and learn true love.

Children who do not receive

true love when they are young

live their entire lives

hungering for love and suffer

emotional pain.

Not only that, they don't have the

opporutnity to learn

the lofty moral duties that they must

fulfill for the family and society.

True love is a value

that cannot be learned any place

other than in the family.


A true family is a place where

a husband and wife

each love the other and live for 

the sake of the other,

as if the spouse were his or her

mother, father, or sibling.

It is a place where the husband

loves his wife as he loves God,

and the wife respects her husband

as she respects God.

We cannot forsake our siblings

no matter the difficulties we face.

Neither can we forsake

our mothers.

So the term divorce

cannot even exist.

The husband is in the place of

the father and older brother

to the wife.

Just as a wife could never

forsake her father or older brother,

she can never forsake her husband.


(Page 224)


In the same way,

a husband could never

forsake his wife.

A true family is a place where

each spouse lives

with acknowledgment of the

absolute value of the partner.


It doesn't matter if

a husband and wife come from

different races or cultures.

If they have formed a family

after having received God's love

then there can be no conflicts

of culture among the children

born into this family.

These children will love and

value the culture and tradtion

of their mother's country and 

father's country with the same

love they have for each parent.

Resolving conflicts

in multicultural families

is not a matter of providing them

with particular knowledge.

Instead, it is a matter

of the parents of these families

raising their children in true love.

The parents' love soaks its way into

the flesh and bone of the children

and becomes the fertilizer

that enables the children to accept

their mother's country and

father's country as one and become

wonderful citizens of the world.


The family is the school where love

for humanity is taught & learned.

When children who are raised 

in the warm love of their parents

go out into the world, they will

care for people in difficulty

in the manner they learned

in their home.

People raised in loving relationship 

with their own brothers and sisters

will go into society

and share their caring hearts

with their neighbors.

People raised in love will look upon

each person they meet in the world

as a member of their own family.

The starting point toward

a true family is the heart of love

that treats strangers as family

and shares with them.


Another reason

the family is important is that

it expands to become the world.

A true family is the basis for

forming a true society, true nation

and true world.

It is the starting point toward

a world of peace that is

God's Kingdom.


(Page 225)


Parents will work for their children

until their bones melt away.

They are not working just to

feed their own children, however.

A person whose heart

overflows with love is capable

of working for the sake of

others & God.


The family is where we receive

so much love that it overflows

from our hearts.

The family protects its members

in its embrace,

but its function is not

to prevent love from getting out. 

In fact, the love in the family

should overflow

into the surrounding community.

No matter how much love

may overflow, the love in the family

will never go dry.

This is because it is received

from God.

The love we receive from God

is such that

we can continue to dig it out

but never see the bottom.

In fact, the more we dig, the more

love wells up like pure spring water.

Anyone who has been raised

in this love can lead a true life.




Leaving Behind

a Legacy of Love


(Page 226)


A true life is a life in which

we abandon our private desires

and live for the public good.

This is a truth taught by

all major religious leaders

past and present, East and West,

whether it be Jesus, Buddha or

Profit Mohammed.

It is a truth that is

so widely known, that sadly,

it seems to have been devalued.

The passage of time or changes

in the world cannot diminish

the value of this truth.

This is because the essence

of human life never changes,

even in times of rapid change

all around the world.


The teacher with whom

we have the closest relationship

is our heart.

Our heart is more precious to us

than our closest friends and

even more precious than

our parents.

So, as we live our lives, we need

periodically to ask our hearts,

"Am I living a good life now?"

Anyone can hear

his heart speaking to him.

If he comes to the realizaton

that his heart is his master,

he "polishes" his heart and

maintains a close relationship

with his heart

throughout his life.

If a person hears the sound

of his heart tearfully sobbing,

then he needs to stop immediately

whatever he is doing.  Anything

that makes the heart suffer

will ruin him.  Anything

that makes the heart sad

will eventually make the person

fall into sadness.


(Page 227)


For a person to polish his heart

to the point that it becomes

as clear as chrystal,

he absolutely must spend time

in direct conversation

with his heart

in an environment where

he is away from the world

and alone with his heart.

It will be

a time of intense loneliness,

but the moment that

we become close to our hearts

is the time

of prayer and meditation.

It is a time

when we can take ownership

over our hearts.

When we isolate ourselves

from the noise around us

and allow our thoughts to settle,

we can see into the

deepest parts of our hearts.

It will take a lot of time and effort

to go all the way down

to where the heart has settled.

It will not happen in a day.


Just as love is not for

our own sake,

so happiness and peace

are not for ourselves.

Just as love cannot exist

without a partner,

happiness and peace cannot

exist without a partner.

All these can exist only in

the context of a relationship

with a partner.

Nothing can be accomplished

if we live alone.

We cannot be happy alone

or speak of peace alone.

Since a partner

is what enables us to have

happiness and peace,

the partner is more important

than we are.


Think about a mother

carrying a baby on her back,

sitting at an entrance

to the subway in Seoul,

selling homemade snacks

to the people passing by.

To be at that spot in time

for the morning rush hour,

she will have to spend the whole

night preparing the snack and

then put her fussing child

on her back

to come to the station.

People passing by might say,

"Oh, you could get along well 

if only you didn't have that child

to care for," but

it is for the sake of the child

that the mother lives her life.


Today people can expect to live

about eighty years.  Eighty years

of joy, anger, sorrow, happiness,

and all the other emotions

mixed together

may seem like a long time.

But if we take away

the private time a person spends

sleeping, working and eating, and

then the time we spend

talking, laughing, and having fun

with family members and friends,

attending wedding and funerals,

and time spent lying sick in bed,

only about seven years will remain.

A person may live eighty years

but spend only about seven years

living for the public good.


(Page 228)


Life is like a rubber band.

The same seven years,

given to two different people,

can either be spent

as seven years or as seventy.

Time by itself, is empty.

We need to put things in it.

The same is true about

a person's life.  Everyone

wants to live his life with

a comfortable place to sleep

and good things to eat.

Eating and sleeping, however,

are simply

ways of letting time slip by.

In the moment that a person

has lived out his life and

his body is laid to rest

in the ground,

all wealth and glory become

nothing more than a bubble

and disappear at once.

Only the seven years that he

lived for the public good

will remain and be remembered

by posterity.

Those seven years are all

that is left in the world of a life

that lasted eighty years.


We do not

come into this world, or depart

from it, of our own accord.

We have no ability

to make choices with regard

to our fate.

We are born, though

we did not choose to be born.

We live, though we did not

choose to live .

We die, though we do not

choose to die.

We have no authority over

these aspects of our lives, so

how can we boast that we are  

somehow better than others?

We cannot

be born by our own wish,

possesss things

that will forever be our own,

or avoid death.

So any boasting on our part

would only be pathetic.


Even if we rise to

a poisition higher than others,

the honor is ony temporary.

Even if we gather

more possessions than others,

we must leave them all behind

at the gates of death.

Money, honor, and knowledge

all flow away from us in time,

and all disappear

with the passing years.

No matter how noble and great

a person might be,

hi is nothing

more than a pittiable life

that will end the moment he

loses hold of his lifeline.


(Page 229)


Human beings

have always struggled

to understand who we are and  

why we must live.

We must realize that just as we

were not born of our own accord,

we are not meant to live our lives

for our own sakes.

So the answer to the question

of how we should live our lives

is simple.

We were born of love,

so we must live by traveling

the path of love.

Our lives were created by receiving

the boundless love of our parents,

so we must live our entire lives

repaying that love.

In the course of our lives, this is

the only value we can choose

on our own.

The success or failure of our lives

depends on how much love

we pack into those eighty years

that are given to us.


At some point, everyone will

shed his physical body

like old clothing and die.

In Korean, "to return" is

a common expression for dying.

To return means to go back 

to where we came from,

that is, to go back to 

our fundamental roots.

Everything in the universe 

moves in cycles.

The white snow

that collects on the mountains 

will melt and flow down the slopes,

first forming streams

and then a river, and eventually

go into the ocean.

The water that flows into the ocean

will absorb the heat of the sun's rays,

become vapor water, go back up

into the sky, and prepare to become

either snowflakes or drops of rain.

To return to our original place

in this way is what we call death.

Then, where do we human beings

return to when we die?

Body and heart come together

to bring about human life,

and death is the act

of shedding the body.

So we go to the place

from which the heart came.


We cannot talk about life

without also talking about death.

We must accurately understand

what death is, even if we do so only

to understand the purpose of life.

The type of life that has true value

can be understood only

by the person who finds himself

in a difficult situation

when death appears imminent

and he cries out to Heaven

in desperation,

pleading to be allowed to live

even just one more day.


(Page 230)


If our days are as precious as this,

how should we live them?

What are the things we must

accomplish before we cross

over the boundary line of death?


The most important is not to

commit sin and lead a life that is

without shadows. 

There is much religious and

philosophical debate

over what contitute sin, but

what is clear is that we shoud not

engage in acts

that prick our conscience.

When we do things that give us

a guilty conscience, it always

leaves a shadow in our heart.


The next most important thing

is to resolve to do significantly

more work than others have done.

All of our lives are limited,

whether that limit is sixty years,

seventy years, or some other

time period.  Depending on

how we use that time,

we can lead a life

that is two or three times

more abundant than others.

If you cut your time into segments

and then live each segment

in a meaningful way,

your life will be truly precious.

Live with an attitude of devotion

and diligence, telling yourself,

for example, that you will plant

two or three trees in the time

 it takes others to plant one.


Do not live for yourself. 

You must live not for yourself

but for others; for your neighbors

more than for your family;

for the world more than for

your own country.

All sin in the world comes about

when the individual is put first.

Individual desires and ambitions

harm a person's neighbors

and ruin the society at large.


Everything in the world will

eventually pass.

The parents we love,

the husband or wife we love,

and the children we love

will all pass away.

All that remains with us

at the end of our lives is death.

When a person dies,

only his legacy remains.


Please consider for a moment

what you can do to show that

you lived a life of value. 


(Page 231)


The possessions

and social position you have

accumulated during your life

will pass away from you.

Once you cross the river of death,

such things will have no meaning.

Because we were born in love

and lived our lives in love,

love is also the only thing

that remains with us

when we are in our graves.

We receive our lives to love,

live by sharing love, and

return into the midst of love.

It is important that

we live in a way that we can

leave a legacy of love behind us.




Table of Contents