Testimonies given at the International Conference
Sun Myung Moon
July 3, 1982
Before Father’s talk to the church leaders and missionaries, he asked for testimonies from anyone whose parents had been particularly changed or moved by the Blessing.
Negative parents who became positive
“My parents were very strongly opposed. Several years ago they almost hired and programmers. When I was engaged two years ago, they began to change. My father asked me, when he heard about the engagement, ‘Please, whatever you do, don’t get a black or an oriental wife.’ My father fought against Japan in World War II. So when I took my fiancée home, he brought that up, over and over again. But this time was truly amazing. They have been softening as time goes on, because we just don’t change. This time, Reiko’s parents came from Japan. My parents and Reiko’s parents had lunch and dinner together, while Reiko translated. My parents could see what good people they were. My parents gave some money to start our marriage, and my dad says he totally supports our marriage.” — Mike Jenkins
“My parents became quite negative since I joined the church, went away as a missionary, and received an oriental wife. Then when I called them for the Blessing, they were negative and very shocked that it was going to be in Madison Square Garden. Then as we were talking, my mother said all of a sudden, ‘Well, maybe we can come.’ I kept pushing, and finally they came. After the ceremony, they both said it was a beautiful ceremony and that they were very impressed. Afterwards, we went out to dinner with my wife’s father, Mr. Yoo, and they also were very impressed with him. They were changed by that. They had a very good experience.” — Tom Field
“One time my parents were very, very negative. They thought about hiring deprogrammers. They started changing at the matching three years ago. When I was matched with my fiancée, Marie Clarke, my father, who was very sick with cancer, was starting to get positive, but my mother was still very, very negative. When we went home, my fiancée visited him in the hospital. She kept visiting him every day. He called me up on the phone and said, ‘Peter, you couldn’t have met a nicer girl here in your home town. Rev. Moon really knows how to pick people.’ He passed away, and I was really glad that he could meet her. About 16 members of my family came to Madison Square Garden. We had a big reception in the Waldorf Astoria.” — Peter Giossi
“My parents were rather negative for about seven years because all four of their children joined the church. When my younger sister got blessed and had a blessed child, they started to change and eventually got closer to the church. At this last Blessing, three of us got blessed. My dad was a little skeptical, but my two sisters were both blessed with attorneys, David Hager and Alan Sayer. My parents were there, and they since have become very positive.” — Matthew Morrison
“I am from the New Zealand family, and a missionary to the Cook Islands; they are very beautiful islands. I was matched last week to an American brother. His parents came to the wedding. His mother was saying she would like to retire to the Cook Islands.” — Gna Lulia
How others reacted
“My fiancée is from Finland, and she could not come at this time. I was a little depressed the first day, but afterwards, I came out and everybody was so happy that I was caught up in the spirit. I wanted to be unhappy, but I couldn’t. My spiritual father and my spiritual son were in the ceremony. I wanted to see them. I had a pair of powerful binoculars, and I was looking closely at Father’s face and Mother’s face and every row passing through. I also heard comments from people around me, because I sat down where there were no family members, just guests. I was so inspired that I began to get choked up, but I didn’t want to cry in the middle of so many people. I saw my spiritual father and all the people I knew who had so many times gone through spiritual struggles. They were there. They finally made it! The day before, my spiritual son had had some trouble, but he was there. I wasn’t unhappy at all. I couldn’t keep from crying. I speak Spanish, and there were Spanish-speaking people around me, but they must have thought I was an American. ‘Oh, he’s sick,’ one said. ‘No, no, he’s crying,’ another answered. I lent my binoculars to some people, and everyone I could see around me was very, very impressed. Some people I know watched the ceremony on television, some people in Spanish and others in English. It was televised all around.” — Ceasar Regaldo
“A professor and his wife who have been deeply involved with ICUS came to the Blessing from England. I talked afterwards with them, and they were very moved and very impressed by the ceremony. They said the whole thing had been very beautiful and very dignified. Afterwards, they went to the reception at 43rd Street Headquarters, where they met about 16 British parents who came over to attend the Blessing of their sons or daughters. All those parents had a positive testimony and were very happy. This professor told me he was very moved and impressed by talking to the parents; many people often write to him, he said, criticizing the church and stating that there were no parents who were happy. So he was very pleased to meet these parents who came to the Blessing and were happy.” — Mike Marshall
“I am from CARP in Germany, and I have a wonderful wife from Spain. Her mother is one of the first parents who became members in Spain. She wanted desperately to come here, and arrived with other parents from Spain. I could see how much she was moved. My mom came from Germany. When I joined the family, one comment she made in the beginning when she saw pictures of our mass weddings was, ‘You should never participate in this kind of mass wedding.’ She is not positive, but she decided to come. She was very impressed while she was here; however, she cannot understand how it was possible for such a thing to happen. She is happy though. She said to my sister, ‘Well, I cannot understand everything, but my son’s wife is even more beautiful and natural than in the pictures.”‘ — Pieter Schmidt
“I was working with the Madison Square Garden people, along with Joe Tully. We had a number of very interesting experiences with the staff of Madison Square Garden. We got to know all the security guards who work there, because we worked together with them. We found that almost everybody who worked there actually liked our family, and they like Father. They kept talking about him. “You mean Rev. Moon?’ I would ask them, and they would say. ‘Oh, yeah.’ I could tell that they like Father, but didn’t want to admit it. One person who came to deliver flowers at the Garden was really negative and saying many bad things about Father and our family, and one older security guard told him to be quiet. The second time, he told the delivery man to shut up. The third time, he took a pipe out of his desk and said something to the effect of, `Don’t you say such things about these people; get out of here!’ After the ceremony, I walked by two of the top staff members of MSG, and one said to the other, ‘Well, it was weird, but it sure was …amazing.’ The most touching thing, however, was an older black janitor who came out after the ceremony and told his friend who was working outside, ‘George, you just missed seeing history in there!’ And George says, `Is that right?’ and the man says, ‘Yes sir, that’s what Dr. King died for.”‘ — Henry Schauffler
“I am a missionary to Africa, and I spent a long time overseas, which my parents have never been happy about. Every time I come home to America, I get into another argument with my father about the church. This time it was very different. I was matched in England, almost four years ago, and when I first introduced my fiancée to my parents, they were really impressed by her. Afterwards, my parents said to me, `Boy, she’s just what you need.’ This time I came to America for the Blessing, I invited my parents and they came. We didn’t see them until after the ceremony. I had never seen my parents in this state of mind or spirit about the church — ever. Every time before, I got into arguments with my father, but this time no arguments. I had never been able to explain about the church to my father. There was a real block. We went to a restaurant for dinner, and my father began to speak about the problems in the world. `It seems like everything is going down and being destroyed; there are problems everywhere; I don’t want to look at the news anymore.’ He’s not a very religious man, but I think deep down he really is but doesn’t want to admit it. He said, ‘Maybe it’s better if God does again what He did in Noah’s time and finishes everything.’ My wife said, ‘God wants to save the people, and the Unification Church is Noah’s ark.’ My father just looked at her. If I had said that, he would have argued. But he looked at her and said, ‘Maybe you’re right.’ She said something that in II years I had never been able to communicate. Thank you very much.” — Ray Mas
“For my family, this experience was a victory over resentment. My parents read the Principle together soon after I joined; my mother joined, and my father left her. That was nine years ago. There was resentment, and my father was very negative at that time. Little by little, he has changed. He married again, and he brought his wife to the ceremony. My mother, who was sitting by herself, had a deep spiritual experience in which Heavenly Father came down and told her that she was also being blessed. My father was deeply touched by the ceremony. A reporter from UPI came to him, wanting something negative, stuck a microphone in his face and asked him what he thought about it; my father replied, ‘I think it’s great.’ The reporter was crestfallen. It as good that my mother had such a deep experience, because she was determined to hold a big reception for us. It was the first time she had seen my father in seven years, and it was the first time she had met my father’s wife. My father’s new wife was so positive! I think my father is worried now! For me it was strange seeing my mother, the old Mrs. Morey, witnessing to the new Mrs. Morey. Many people from my home town have joined our church, people from the same high school, so we were all together. Everybody was commenting on how old-looking my father became and how young- looking my mother became!” — Gail Paine
“Just after the wedding, my wife and I were in the elevator at Madison Square Garden, and one cleaning lady came up to me, in tears, and said, ‘It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. All those brides!’ Right after the wedding, when I was meeting my new parents-in-law, one lady came up and said, ‘I have been a home church supporter for a long time; I am so glad I could come; it’s been just the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.’ Yesterday, I was walking with my new father-in-law, and he asked, `How does Rev. Moon choose everybody?’ He had been so moved by the ceremony and especially the entertainment. He loved Tony Martin. I answered his question, ‘Well, he’s very sensitive. “Hmmm,” he responded. How about those interracial couples? Do they work out okay?’ `Honestly, it’s more difficult,’ I answered, “Sometimes they can’t even speak the same language, and with the cultural differences, it takes a lot of effort to learn how to understand each other. But when they really work at it and overcome it, they become a much greater person because of it.’ He said, ‘Yes, I can see that a lot of what people call love today is just infatuation. If I was young and I was really inspired, I could see the possibility of an interracial marriage.’ He was very inspired.” — Noah Ross
“I was also working with the media, and after the ceremony, I went over to where the media were and one reporter from the Los Angeles Times asked, ‘How was it? How do you feel?’ I was really bold, and I wanted to proclaim my faith, so I said, ‘I am so happy; this is the best day of my life. All my life I was seeking and searching to find God and to find a way to serve God, and God truly led me to find the Unification Church, and Rev. Moon has helped me build my relationship with God. Not only that, but today is the culmination of my life, finding happiness with a spouse I also searched for throughout my life.’ The reporter then asked Connie’s father, who was there, what he thought. It’s not my bag of tea,’ he replied, ‘but I always raised my daughter to make up her own mind and do what she wants to do; so it’s fine with me.’ Yesterday, we went out to dinner, and both Connie and I wanted to make this a very meaningful time for him, a chance to break down the barriers that he had about the church. We had a very deep sharing, in which he began to open up about his own life. He really wanted to communicate with his daughter. I could see where I could help in bridging that relationship. Yesterday, he basically told his whole life story and felt very good and close to us afterwards.” — Richard Erlich
After hearing the testimonies, Father commented briefly:
In a village, everybody becomes excited about the wedding of even one couple. So 2,000 couples getting married is an even more striking event. I Ire police department expected lots of hassle and commotion and even demonstrations, because of the persecution against the Unification Church, but to their amazement there was almost none. This was a shock to the Western world.
I feel you have every reason to be proud and even boastful of our mass wedding. Your wedding was a charming happening, wasn’t it?
When people looked at you they felt insecure. Parents wondered how their well-educated son could do this. They know it is an once-in-a-lifetime event. They knew you weren’t thinking so much about marriage, but within one week, you had a fiance and then a husband or wife. You let me make the most important decision. You aren’t half as insecure as your parents!
Maybe you were even dozing off during that moment!
Now people have come up with a new word: heart-washing! More than brainwashing. A brainwashed person is intellectually brainwashed, but he can be insecure about love or emotions. But how can anyone sleep during such an event without an assurance of heart?
The most important things are happening now, and your thoughts cannot even catch up with you. But as the years go by, their real meaning and significance will fill you.