What I thought about in Hungnam Prison
Sun Myung Moon
June 16, 1967
Speech at Special Gathering at Tokyo District
Question and Answer Session
“Can you share your experience when you worked as a forced laborer in Hungnam Nitrogen Fertilizer factory?”
If I talk about my experiences there, you will all be very serious and tense. Once I start talking about it, I will have so much to share. Each episode is a tearful story. Now that I think about the time, such a time was absolutely needed. It was a necessary time period for myself. Such a time is needed for you.
If someone who is taking responsibility for saving all humanity is hit once, it would be a condition for ten thousand people to escape from being hit thousands of times each. Once you understand such sacrifice in the past, it hurts your heart. Your heart naturally pains. By the same token, God always remembers my bitter experiences. Because you feel pain for me, you are standing in a noble position compared to people who persecuted me in the past. You will stand like a friend of the Teacher (Rev. Moon) at a time looking back at past history. Since the Teacher went through such a time period, you can make a condition before God that you would go back in history and become friends of the Teacher in this time, knowing what he went through. Without a condition, that is not going to happen. So, you need a time of listening to my story and realizing my suffering to shed your tears. So, should I start telling you my story? (“Yes!”)
Rev. Moon went into a prison so many times. So, I am an expert of prisons. I understand the life at the bottom of human existence. I saw the reality of the miserable human life of this class. In the prison, I spent my life together with all kinds of criminals such as robbers. I slept and ate food together with them. I would tell you of the most pitiful people who received the ultimate sentence, namely death sentence. We were all in the same cell, together. I would never forget their thoughts and feelings.
If there is a way for them to avoid death, I would have told any methods or expediency. If there is a way to live and receive an order, there will be nothing that they will not do. For them, it would be most miserable and dreadful to have their names called. Once his name is called, it could have been the last time his name is ever called. So, each of them is shocked to hear his name called. Once called, he would have a deep sigh without knowing what’s next. Observing that, Rev. Moon thought something like this. If a container is filled up to the top with water and you tell one of them, “If you put the container on your head, walk around Tokyo streets and don’t spill one drop of water, you will be forgiven,” it would have been possible for them to do this. Do you understand how desperate they are? If there is a way to live, they will do anything. So, because of their attachment to their lives, even as they sleep they continue to sigh.
As I saw such reality, it was my teacher, comparing me with them. I must serve God a lot more than them. I questioned myself, could I offer my sincere devotion with a more desperate heart than the prisoner’s serious feelings toward his own life? I honestly was not confident. Then, I once prayed through them saying, “I want to have a more desperate heart.” However, I have never been in the same situation, so that I really do not know. Once I am put in the same situation, I can say that it is not a problem for me to die. It will not be the issue. The real question that I think about is, if I can console and comfort God when facing death. I thought about these issues. So, I made up my mind, even if I face a death, I will not ask God to save me. Rather, it is my challenge and question how I can console God. I thought about these thoughts.
Once you stand in a miserable situation, God must know your every feeling and pain. As God loves you so much, He understands every bit of your feelings and sufferings. Knowing God experiences more pains and anguish than you seeing you suffer. How can you pray to Him, “Please save me, God. Help me to get out of this,” since you are his child who should serve Him with filial piety. If you pray like that you are not a filial child. Therefore, I decided to be a filial son who can comfort and console God facing such a situation. The teacher does not pray to God when I am situated in such a position. I made my mind up not to pray. I walked this path with this determination. You cannot imagine how serious I have been. I cannot forget what I thought about at the time.