Good morning, it's nice to see you again. To become a great person we need a great teacher. History shows us that great people of the past had someone guiding them: their mother or father, their spouse or God. They were taught by these people and thus could become great. I'd like to tell you a Korean story about a famous scholar, Han Suk-bong. When he was young he lived with his mother who supported them by selling rice cakes. She made them late at night and sold them the following day. She saved money to send her son to a temple to study. When three years had passed he was quite confident he had learned everything and returned home to his mother, whom he missed.
He arrived home after dark and as he approached he could hear his mother at work cutting rice cakes and felt very grateful to her. He opened the door and greeted his mother, "I've come back, Mother. From now on I'll earn the money for us so you can rest." His mother's face remained solemn; even though she had missed her son she didn't express any joy upon seeing him. "So, you think you have completed your studies, do you?" she asked.
"Yes, I have learned many things."
"Very well, I'll test you now," said the mother. She turned off the light and told him to write Chinese characters on rice paper, while she finished cutting the rice cake. They would compete to see who could do a better job in the dark. Some time later she turned the light back on to see the results of their work. Her son could write well, nevertheless some of the characters were larger than others and they weren't in a straight line. Her cake, on the other hand, was cut into perfect squares as if measured by a ruler. "Look at this," she said, "your writing is crooked. You're not ready to leave school yet. You must study more." With these words she sent her son back to the temple. She wouldn't even allow him to stay the night, but sent him back then and there. Through his mother he gained new determination and studied harder, ultimately becoming the most famous scholar of his day.
Likewise all other great men had either a great wife or a great parent whose inspiration and guidance helped them become great. God wants us to become great; He wants to make us His children. We must become great in order to become God's children. That doesn't mean we have to have a high position, but that we should become great people in heart and personality. We should differ from fallen people in every way. We need someone who can teach us as the scholar's mother did. Who can that be? It should be God and His representatives, our True Parents.
This is why True Parents push us to become better people, giving us difficult tasks to fulfill. True Parents give us many goals, not for their sake, but to help us become better and greater people. We should understand this.
We want this world to be open to us; all people should open their hearts to us. We want to be their friends and want them to be our friends. We need this relationship. This would be an ideal world. This world is a cold, wintry world. People close their hearts to others, isolating themselves behind an invisible curtain. It is a world of isolation; this isn't God's ideal. Our goal and God's ideal is one world family. To establish this we must be able to open others' hearts.
We should become experts in either fund raising, witnessing or lecturing. Of course all three would be even better, but we should become experts in at least one. To be an expert lecturer we have to be able to open the audience's heart so they can accept what is being taught.
Likewise in witnessing we must be able to open people's hearts to receive God's word. What must we do to be a good fund raiser? To get someone to open his purse we must first open his heart. If we can't, we won't sell anything. In each case we must be able to open people's hearts. This is the secret of success that we must learn. You are now in training, learning how to open people's hearts. Good fund raisers are also good witnessers, because it involves the same principle: opening people's hearts. We should all be able to open other's hearts so they feel free to come to us. In order to open other's hearts though, we must open our own. If our hearts are closed people won't listen to us; it will be impossible to get them to open their hearts. We must open our hearts first and give, then others will open their hearts and give in return. It seems like a minor thing, but when we learn this we can build the Kingdom of Heaven. This is why Father wants all members to complete the fund raising course. Through it we gain valuable experience we can't get elsewhere. So we fulfill two goals at the same time: we train to become people who can build God's kingdom while making money to support our church. First and foremost is that we become people who can move the hearts of others; we want people to feel free to open their hearts to us. If they feel we are dangerous, however, they will never do so.
We all hope everyone reaches the standard God expects. When you have completed this course you can apply what you have learned in your work and you will certainly succeed. This is our aim. If you have a clear goal and understand what you are doing, you will not tire. Of course you will tire physically, but spiritually you will be able to carry on. If you are spiritually strong and alive, your physical body can also continue and remain healthy. So we should always keep our spirits high. This is important.
In our family, as in others, there are parents and children. In the past grandparents, parents and children lived together under one roof. This was customary. What can we learn from this? In such a family structure you can fulfill the role of both parent and child. You are a child to your parents and parent to your own children. In this way you learn both aspects. As a child you must fulfill the child's role and as a parent that of a parent. This is excellent training. Based on your experience as a child you can understand what your children expect of you and know how to satisfy their desires. You are even more aware of this when in the midway position. When you don't live with your parents, however, you may forget what it's like to be a child; then you cannot fulfill the role of a parent properly. This is why many families break apart.
In our church we are accustomed to having leaders: our True Parents as well as others. We are in the position of children to them, yet we must be parents to our members. So we have two positions: we are children of True Parents and parents to our members. By having two positions we can learn much more than otherwise possible and thus do better. When we only have one position, after some time we may forget what our full responsibility entails. So it's good to have two roles. We know that leaders are important; they must fulfill their mission properly, otherwise members cannot grow. Everyone should become a leader in some way. By experiencing that position we can improve ourselves both as a leader and a follower.
We emphasize unity with True Parents and that we must love them in order to unite with them. We say we love our True Parents and that we long to see them and work with them, but we need some practical way to unite with them. Just saying we want to unite with them isn't enough; we must do something. What should we do? Father defeated Satan through his life. As a result he could proclaim the Day of the Victory of Heaven and the Day of the Victory of Love. The whole purpose of our life of faith is to inherit Father and Mother's victorious foundation. Our life of faith is meaningless otherwise, because without this foundation we remain the same as other fallen people. But when we stand on this victorious foundation we can defeat Satan and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Thus it is of utmost importance that we inherit the victorious foundation Father has made. How is this possible? This is why we live a life of faith.
Jacob was the first man in history to gain victory and thus was renamed Israel which means "he who strives with God". His descendants inherited this name. To do this they also had to inherit his faith. If they lost faith, they might be the physical Israel, but not the true Israel. At the time of the divided kingdoms the people of both kingdoms were Jacob's descendants, but the people of the northern kingdom didn't maintain their faith and thus lost God's blessing. Despite being Jacob's descendants, they were not connected to Jacob's spiritual lineage. This demonstrates that they had to inherit Jacob's faith in order to be the true Israel. Likewise if we don't have the same faith as Father we cannot inherit his victory. We need absolute faith in God, like our Father. This is the first condition, but not the only one. Jacob subdued his brother, Esau, through his heart, love and personality. Likewise when Father worked in Hungnam the Communists gave him a citation for his hard work. Even though he was in enemy territory, Father worked hard and invested his whole heart in his work, becoming a model prisoner. Altogether he received three citations. He didn't love Satan, but he loved the people. People are not Satan, even though Satan works through them. Father gave his love completely just as Jacob did. Father gave everything he had, his material things and his love to the people. As a result he could be saved. We must do likewise.
Father's love comes from God. He loves all people because he has inherited God's heart. We must do the same. Sometimes people persecute you when you witness to them. You shouldn't hate them though. They themselves aren't persecuting you; Satan is persecuting you through them. You should remember this and forgive and love them. To do this you need God's heart. God has suffered for countless thousands of years. Many people have opposed Him, but He has always loved and forgiven them. Such is God's heart. We must inherit this loving and forgiving heart of God in order to love and forgive those who persecute us. If we persevere we can win the victorious foundation. To do this we need absolute faith and God's loving heart. We need a good personality: God's personality.
We are all aware that we have fallen nature and experience many difficulties as a result. Our fallen nature didn't come from God, but from Satan. God didn't intend for man to have fallen nature; He gave us His divine nature. Our original nature cannot function well because it is covered over with fallen nature. We must remove our fallen nature so our original nature can be expressed. Satan wants us to keep his fallen nature in order to keep us from returning to God or inheriting His personality. We can never remove our fallen nature if we live alone. There is no chance to find it or work on it. If we live alone there is nothing to upset us and we don't have to do anything we don't want to. But when we live with others there are many opportunities for our fallen nature to be expressed. When this happens we can destroy it. But if it remains hidden inside us, we don't even know that it's there and can't fight it. It's similar to being sick, unless some symptoms are expressed it's difficult to know what the disease is. But if we can observe the symptoms, we can discover what is wrong and take measures to cure it. So when our fallen nature is expressed, it is a good chance to overcome it; our enemy must appear before we can destroy him. By living together with others we have the opportunity to remove our fallen nature. For this reason alone it is good to live with others. Some members say they want to live alone. If they do this they lose the best opportunity to remove their fallen nature.
Through the Blessing we receive great merit from True Parents; our original sin is removed. Original sin is the spiritual connection through which Satan keeps us under his dominion. By receiving the Blessing our original sin is removed and thus our connection to Satan is severed. Original sin is the basic sin and can only be removed through the Blessing. Our other sins: inherited sins, collective sins and personal sins are not removed through the Blessing. Our connection to Satan is cut, but all other sins remain with us. How can we remove them then? Can Father do it for us? No, we must indemnify and resolve our inherited, collective and personal sins ourselves. This is our responsibility, not Father's. Members often forget this, believing that everything is automatically changed through the Blessing. This isn't true. Even though we are blessed we must continue to indemnify our other sins.
As I said earlier, living together and coming into contact with others provides great opportunities to resolve our sin. To make flour a miller grinds grain between two grindstones; contact and friction are necessary. If you live alone, you move around in a vacuum, but when there are people around you, you can have contact and in this way improve yourself. By living together harmoniously with others, you can broaden your personality. We have a saying in Korea that you can understand your friend only after having traveled with him for a week. Only then is his true nature revealed. You can hide your fallen nature for a short time, but not for very long. Your true nature is revealed when you live with others and you can see where you need to improve. When you know this and make effort to change, you can improve your personality. This is the process we are going through now. By living with brothers and sisters and contacting people we want to improve and mature our personality. Once we are mature we will be accepted by everyone. We shouldn't accept the attitude, "I can get along with some people, but not others." That's not right. We must be able to get along with everyone, only then can we claim to have a mature personality. This is what we want to achieve before passing from this world.
We live in a wintry world. Do you like cold weather? No, you want to live in a spring like atmosphere, don't you? Why do people like spring? Because it is a time of new life and hope; we experience peace, gentleness and harmony. Winter symbolizes the opposite. Through the fall we lost spring and the world became a wintry place, we must restore spring. That is the purpose of God's providence. He wants to restore spring to all nations. Then we will experience spring all over the world. A spring world is a world of open loving hearts: a world of love. We want to experience a cosmic spring on this earth. To bring this cosmic spring we must first bring spring into our centers and wherever we go. We cannot hope to bring spring to this world if our homes have a wintry atmosphere. Our homes and work places should be full of spring. We make great effort to witness to people. If we bring spring into our centers, people will open their hearts when they come. They will find peace and want to return because man's heart is attracted to spring and the source of life. We have difficulty gaining members because we haven't reached this stage yet. Our centers cannot offer this spring like atmosphere to people. We must work to create this atmosphere in our church. In the early days of our church, guests couldn't receive many lectures; we only had one and two-day workshops, but they returned anyway. Once they came they didn't want to leave our centers because they were just like spring; you could feel at home there. We must have homey places, then our witnessing results will improve. Otherwise it will remain difficult to find members, no matter how hard we try.
New members usually have many problems to solve; they still have a strong connection to the fallen world which can hinder their spiritual growth. When the atmosphere in a center is strong they can easily overcome. If our spiritual power is weak, however, they cannot over- come and will be pulled back to the fallen world. We need the power of love. We need a spring like atmosphere in our centers, i.e. good relationships among our members. We know how difficult it is to find members. Only after a hard fight and much suffering can we gain members, so we should appreciate each member's value. Out of millions of people, so few could join; each member represents thousands of people and is so valuable! We must keep this in mind, then we can treat each other properly. We make mistakes when we don't appreciate members enough. We should treat each other with great respect. If we don't do this, who will?
We don't have much time during this workshop. So we want to use this precious occasion wisely. You can share your experiences and discuss things together. If you have some problem, take this opportunity to solve it. Don't keep it inside. Holding it in causes trouble; it grows worse and worse like a cancer. If you discover it in the early stages you can receive treatment and cure it. So we have to give each other this opportunity and those with problems should try to open their hearts. We must be frank; we have nothing to hide. As a family we should share our difficulties as well as our victories, then we can go forward together. We must work together.
We need members and God needs members. But our foundation must be strong first. If we have a weak foundation, then even when God brings more people we won't be able to make good use of them. So we need a stronger foundation, we need deep hearts in order to embrace people when they come. When we reach this state more people will come; God will send them. The important thing is to reach maturity. This is essential. Father explains that where there is a plus, a minus automatically appears. When we become strong subjects a minus will surely appear. The point is to become a strong center: a strong subject. If we concentrate on this we can bring better results. I hope we will all have more time to talk; not just officially, but privately. This is a good chance to get closer and develop deeper unity. Then we can do a better job for God and True Parents. Thank you.