Testimonies from the Las Vegas Original Divine Principle Workshop
By Doug Burton
The Original Divine Principle workshop (the Education Session Proclaiming the Completion of the Liberated Realm of the Portion of Responsibility in God’s Providential History) was a great success. 386 Unification Church members gathered at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 4-8, 2009.
The workshop is part of True Parents’ dedication to change the culture of the entire world starting in Las Vegas. From 5am until 9pm or later every day, members listened to lectures on the Family Pledge (by Rev. Ki Hoon Kim), the Original Divine Principle (by Rev. Michael Jenkins) and True Parents’ Life Course (by Dr. Chang Shik Yang). The lecturers had been directly appointed by True Parents to represent them. Also included in the schedule were daily viewings of Lovin’ Life Ministries services.
One special highlight of the workshop was a sightseeing tour of Hoover Dam. True Parents have recently visited Hoover Dam many times as part of a special jeong seong (jung sung) condition. Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle are all included as part of the Pacific Rim.
TESTIMONIES FROM MEMBERS WHO ATTENDED
After the first lecture of the Original Divine Principle workshop on Saturday morning I felt an incredible urge to call home. I called and my wife was in tears. She had just woken up from a dream. As I had been hearing one particular lecture from Rev. Jenkins, my wife was having a dream of True Mother back home in Miami at the same time. The lecture was on spirit world and the connection we have as center of cosmos. As Blessed couples we are guided by spirit world to confirm God’s work in the world. True Mother was giving direct words on how to guide our tribe in the spirit world and granted blessing and grace from heaven. It confirmed the connection between my wife and I, and with True Parents and us, and Heavenly Father guiding us directly.
The next day, True Father and True Mother came to speak. I felt such love from them, that as they left, I burst into tears and cried uncontrollably, which is very unlike my character (I am not a crying person). I just missed them so much and yearned for them so much.
I am still reviewing the material we received from the lectures. The day I returned, I shared with my wife and two daughters. We discussed how we can experience God in a very real way on a daily basis. Now we have hope to get a real answer because we have received of the Original Divine Principle.
As Dr. Yang mentioned, “Father already brought total spiritual victory so we are blessed to support our True Parents by substantializing an ideal world through applying absolute faith, love and obedience.
By us attending the Original Divine Principle workshops in Las Vegas we set conditions to change this world’s culture into an ideal family culture and just as communism was toppled through education we can bring a victory again.
The promise of us reaching perfection is real now and our heavenly parents will help us to achieve it and we can truly become one as husband and wife.
I am grateful to True Parents for giving the membership in America the opportunity to attend this important Original Divine Principle workshop.
Although I do not feel I was able to comprehend or digest all that was presented to us, I did feel there was something very special in the opportunity our True Parents gave us to stand in the original positions of Adam and Eve before the fall to receive this workshop.
I felt the spirit world was very close in a way I had not experienced it for many years. Each day I found myself in situations that seemed to be set up by God that I could not have maneuvered by myself. It was a clear example of how each day of my life should be!
Many things I heard from the Original Divine Principle were new to me. Not only the new points that were now included for the first time, but other points that were just presented differently than I had heard them, gave me a deeper understanding.
I was grateful to hear that when we talk about creating an Ideal Family we are talking about our whole family, not just one or two of our children who are doing well. Often members say things like ‘if at least one of our children keeps God’s lineage….’ I have never been able to accept such a way of thinking. I don’t know how I will accomplish this great task before me, but I know I don’t want to settle for anything less.
Something I may have understood, but forgot, is the importance of continually making conditions to remove my fallen nature. I was the person who thought exactly like Rev Jenkins mentioned it “Why can’t we all just love each other?” For some reason I forgot the Foundation to Receive the Messiah, is the same Foundation to Remove the Fallen Nature!!!
The beautiful unity between Rev Jenkins and the members was truly inspirational. Rev Jenkins offering to complete the lecture series was completely received and supported by the participants with love and understanding of fulfilling the requirements God was asking of this particular workshop. This was a beautiful example of who we can be. Leaders and members, Cains and Abels, brothers and sisters united with one goal, to bring joy to God and True Parents.
Thank you to all who invested in this workshop, especially our beloved True Parents.”
I am very grateful to Heavenly Father and True Parents for this historical first Original Divine Principle Workshop in Las Vegas which renewed my faith and deepened my understanding of True Parents and the Divine Principle. I felt like I was receiving God’s love shower during the Original Divine Principle lectures, which cleansed my spiritual body so it could be refreshed.
Who am I? ‘God can relate to me because I received a lineage from God. Whether I do very well or not, still I am a child of God.’
We don’t have anything to do with past identity. We should stop feeling bad about ourselves. We should start loving God through educating by God’s word and applying it to our daily life to have experiences with true love.
I was so grateful that True Parents came on Sunday morning to our Hoon Dok Hae. They came even though they didn’t sleep after arriving to Las Vegas and (I heard) True Mother had a bad cold for almost 30 days. But they came with such a big smile on their faces, happy to see us. They enjoyed seeing us. Then I could feel how much this original Divine Principle workshop is significant for us and for True Parents. Father’s first word was “Study Korean language.” We have heard many times but how much we take seriously. Without a common language, we are not able to have deep understanding with each other. By the same token, if we don’t study God’s Words, we can’t understand the deep contents of God’s Shimjung.
I could witness that moment with my own eyes. What is a heart of a child who loves True Parents? Because usually we want to receive love and attention from True Parents but now as we are mature children we take care of them and to carry on our shoulder our responsibility with our heart and pride as True Children of God.
I am so grateful that I could attend this workshop. I really want to express my heart to True Children and True Parents and God. Thank you very much.”
Thank you Heavenly Parent, True Parents, Dr. Yang, Bishop Kim, Rev. Jenkins and all the staff that made this a truly great awakening.
It was amazing to feel the spirit, love and energy pouring out to each one of us in the reading and explanation of the Original Divine Principle. We are called to worship in both spirit and truth. Bishop Kim, Dr. Yang and Rev. Jenkins really made great efforts so that we could feel True Parents’ heart. We were moved to feel God working through history. Mix this with the new energy, love and spirit building under the guidance and love of In Jin Nim and the Lovin’ Life Ministries, and we have a new American awakening on our hands!
In reflecting on what affected me most, it is hard to pinpoint any one experience. There was a continuous river of life flowing into me for 3 days so some barriers had to give way!!
This left me with the profound feeling of having been remolded and definitely revived by the Word and spirit! Now it’s up to me to live in a greater awareness of God’s hand and presence in my life and to share this gift with my family and friends. It goes without saying that the icing on the cake was being able to see True Father and Mother looking well and happy to see all of us.
Thank you again. In a heartbeat I would do this again!
Love in TP’s.
Having a Divine Principle workshop in Las Vegas was intriguing to me, knowing the stigma attached to Las Vegas. But I can understand how Heavenly Father and True Parents want to change that stigma, and therefore asked us to attend a seminar there, especially centered on absolute sex education!
I received so much inspiration from this workshop, from all the lectures, from the videos of Lovin’ Life Ministries, from the visit (even though it was short) of True Parents, from renewing relationships with brothers and sisters. It was, without a doubt, time and money well spent…. priceless, in fact.
True Parents showed us so much love during their visit. It was very uplifting. I could truly feel and witness the love between Father and Mother. It was very tangible, very real. How sad I felt that I could not understand directly Father’s words! I used only 1 ear phone, so that I could just listen to True Father’s voice and watch his expressions! I felt I was looking at God, at the expression of His Shimjung.
We started the workshop with Bishop Kim’s lecture on a deeper explanation of the Family Pledge. Then Rev. Jenkins gave all the lectures on the Original Divine Principle. He spent almost 2 days on the Principle of Creation, and I think he could have used a few more days!!! There is so much content. I could discover a little more deeply about God’s Shimjung, about the importance of lineage, the responsibilities of the fall, and the incredible suffering course of Heavenly Father as He determined to save us, His children, and to finally experience Love through the True Parents. I understood also better about His pain and Jesus’ pain 2000 years ago. True Father has gone through an incredible suffering course to discover all those secrets!
The lectures and lecturers also made us feel so special, so privileged to be living on earth as the same time as the True Parents, and witness with our own eyes their lives and their hearts. Of course, it also gave us a sense of sadness, knowing how little we have done still, and how far from perfection we still are! Yet, I received a new sense of hope and determination.
The Lovin’ Life Ministries videos were very inspiring. They also give us a new hope, a new window of opportunity through which we can reach many people, young and old. I think that In Jin Nim and Hyung Jin Nim’s ministries have touched a lot of our 1st Generation members who were “slowing down” or “settling down”, and for some, were getting discouraged. It is giving us new life.
Dr. Yang’s presentation about True Father’s life was very touching, and unfortunately too short. Time ran out, and we could not finish or go more in depth. But it gave me a renewed pride in True Father, and tears for all the suffering he had to go through, for me and for humankind.
Bishop Kim gave the last lecture, on God’s Providence and Us. He wanted us to reflect and make new determination. How do we turn the “sin” city into the “shining” city? People need to be educated about absolute sexual morality! Compared to Father, we are still young! “We are [still] the Youth, Soldiers of the Truth, called by Our God on High”. Now, more than ever, we need to “march to the world, sounding the battle cry”. “Too long the dark night of sin (especially in Las Vegas), has held in fear the people of the world”… “We’ll drive the darkness away, bringing in the new day (the shining city!!)”. We must march with our True Father, and True Mother, and our Second Generation, so that “heaven and earth be made anew, blessed by the light of God, until evil and sin vanish away, burned in the holy fire”.
I definitively want to encourage everyone to attend. Nobody can say they already know the Divine Principle and do not need another workshop. They will meet God there!
As this workshop was announced, I was attracted by several concepts in the invitation.
First of all this was part of the Truth that was not given at the time of the publication of the Divine Principle. This made me very curious. As we are now living in the Age After the Coming of Heaven I was also very interested in another focus of the workshop, which is how to live in the Kingdom of Heaven. We have Make it substantial and real. We need to be educated as God was going to guide Adam & Eve how to live had they not fallen.
The cost was for sure a serious obstacle. Especially in manufacturing, business activity has slowed down to very little. So orders for now and the future had to come in to make it possible for me to afford to go to Las Vegas. But business had been slow, so I hesitated. However, I felt I need to go for the sake of God’s will.
I decided to hope for the best and go in faith. I wrote the three checks and brought them during lunch time to the FFWPU office. When I returned to my business office in the afternoon, I found three Orders had come in at almost $90,000.00 gross.
Of course the highlight was True Parents’ visit to the workshop. The night before, I had a very sincere prayer. It helped reflect on my relationship with True Parents. Despite seeing so many shortcomings in myself in terms of being a son that can comfort True Parents, it was also clear in the prayer that no matter what, True Parents have invested themselves in each one of us as if we were their children. They have literally done everything for us so that we can become true sons or daughters. This prayer really cleared up a lot in me and made me wake up at 2.30AM. The lecture hall was supposed to open at 4.00 AM. But I went anyway at 3.00 AM. The lecture hall was open and so it was that I got the front seat which I am usually way to shy to pursue. I felt comfortable. It was an incredible experience of being loved by True Parents as if I was their own son. The prayer told me the truth and here the next morning I experienced this for real. This fulfilled what the workshop promised us: that God Himself, through True Parents, would talk to us as Adam & Eve before the fall.
The content of the Divine Principle is very strong and straightforward. There are indeed quite a few new understandings brought out. The introduction exposes right away how much the new truth is needed and brings it very quickly to the point of lineage. It makes the DP very direct and cutting-edge in its analysis of the world.
In fact, it is such an advanced combination of the Divine Principle and Father’s latest guidance as well as Unification Thought that it will take some serious study to inherit. The explanation of Shimjung and lineage was very profound. In fact, there is so much to understand. But when we make that effort we will be raised up by the word of God and True Parents.
One of the strong inspirations I got from this workshop is that with a teaching and learning revolution of the Original Divine Principle, the whole world can really change and will go through a massive spiritual awakening by 2013.
Let’s wrap our heart and mind and lifestyle around this Original Divine Principle and then “go and tell the world.” There is so much more to tell, yet I could never fully explain the entire experience.
I would like to offer my deepest gratitude to Heavenly Father and True Parents.
Also, I am very grateful for Bishop Kim, Rev. Jenkins, and Dr. Yang who gave wonderful lectures. I could truly feel their deep and strong filial piety and unity with True Parents. I felt so much of God’s love and True Parents’ love throughout whole workshop. I realized that God’s Shimjung has constantly been flowing and coming to me ever since we received the blessing because our lineage was engrafted onto God’s lineage. I really have to repent before Heavenly Father because I haven’t always been living closely to God’s heart, and it seems that I sometimes ask a lot from God. After realizing that Jesus was the first person that God could come and dwell within, I could really see how much God had suffered from Jesus’ crucifixion, even more than he had suffered at the time of the Fall of Adam and Eve.
Now, True Parents, the horizontal God who brought victory over Satan, are giving so much love and forgiveness, for example through this workshop, so that we will stand strongly and march forward toward Cheon Il Guk with the Divine Principle as our base. My new determination is to live according to the Divine Principle and to have absolute faith in it. I will also strengthen my commitment to True Parents who are always trusting and waiting for us to bring victory. I will make this occasion a new starting point in my life. Thank you.
When the word was out that True Father wanted to hold workshops in America to teach the Original Divine Principle, at that time I had already made up my mind that I or someone from my family would attend the workshop. Interestingly enough, before the dates were announced for the workshop in Las Vegas I had already scheduled time off at work for the exact dates that were set for the workshop. I did not have any vacation plans; I just submitted a request to take time off, not knowing why. God truly does work in mysterious ways, as Reverend Jenkins often stated at the workshop. It is amazing how once we make up our mind to move in God’s direction, then a plan is laid out before us, like stepping stones on the path of life.
I am ever so grateful to True Parents for the standard of unconditional love that they have constantly shown to us. I also want to thank Archbishop Kim, Dr Yang, and Reverend Jenkins for all of their efforts in delivering the Word of God to us from the text of the Original Divine Principle. Reverend Jenkins barely paused to breathe, as he so urgently spoke to us. I sincerely felt that he was well prepared and invested a lot of effort into studying and understanding the text, and delivered the message with all of his heart, and soul.
When I first heard the principle and joined the Unification Church (January 22, 1978) I believed that I would be perfect in 3 years. This was my understanding of the formula course. Somewhere along the way I lost sight of perfection. It was like I was walking in a constant fog, surrounded by fallen nature, and the dream of perfection seemed far off in the distance. I began to wonder if I would make it into the land of settlement, the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, or if I would be just like Moses who wandered in the wilderness and in the end was unable to enter into Canaan. One of my goals for this year is to believe in perfection. When we studied the Principle of Creation section at the workshop it once again became so clear to me that yes, we can be perfect. We are meant to be perfect and that God wants to dwell in each one of us. I now not only believe in the goal of perfection, but I also have renewed hope and determination to grow towards perfection.
Just like at the time of Moses, God is giving us His Word to live by and it is up to us to unite with and follow His Word. There is so much more detail and information that is revealed in the Original Divine Principle text. I came to realize how incredibly important it is to read and study the word of God. It is through that process that we grow closer to becoming perfected beings. Study and practice is the key. Of course I have known this all along but again that fog that surrounded me kept me from seeing that the answer always existed in the Divine Principle. Now the truth has been brought to life with greater detail.
True Father is the greatest architect for the design of perfect human beings. He also has the deepest understanding of the Bible. I grew up in the Catholic faith, longing to know more about the stories in the Bible. Only True Father has been able to quench my thirst for the truth behind all the stories in the Bible and I am ever grateful to him for that. The Original Divine Principle text provides further detail and more references to the Bible. It is so incredible to finally be able to understand the history of mankind.
I want to encourage everyone to attend the Original Divine Principle workshop. It is such a precious opportunity to renew your faith and energize your spirit. It is such a gift from Heaven. Please make up your mind to go without hesitation or reservation. Just make the decision to go and attend with the heart of a child longing to know God, our Heavenly Parent more deeply. Once you make the decision to go everything will fall in place. This I believe, because this has been my experience.
Thank you True Parents.
I was moved by True Parents’ Shimjung during Hoon Dok Hae on June 7. When I heard that they did not sleep the night before, I realized that True Parents may have made so many conditions on behalf of us which even we do not know. As I grow, I really need to consider more deeply about True Parents and find out their situation more voluntarily, so that I to support them to a greater degree. At this point, I appreciate Dr. Chang Shik Yang for sharing deep stories about True Parents, especially about Young Jin Nim, which gave me deeper understanding about True Father – how he is absolutely public-minded and totally sacrificial for the sake of God’s providence.
As for the Divine Principle, lectures about the Absolute Sexual Ethics gave me a chance to consider how I can improve my relation to my wife and family. Through the lecture, I became more clear about shimjung and lineage.
Finally, I appreciated the opportunity to fellowship. During meals, and the time between lectures, I had many opportunities to talk to people whom I did not know before, and I learned many things from them.
I am very grateful to True Parents, Bishop Ki Hoon Kim, Dr. Michael Jenkins and Rev. David Rendel for giving me a chance to renew my faith and start anew.
Aaron Urbonya (second generation)
At first, I wasn’t planning on going to this workshop, but a few days after I heard about it, I prayed about whether or not I should go and God told me that I was definitely going. I didn’t know how because I didn’t enough finances to go because I am also visiting my wife this month, but to make a long story short God showered many blessings upon me to allow me to attend this workshop AND also visit my wife.
I am so grateful that God and my ancestors worked so hard to get me to this workshop. Being taught Original Divine Principle was very enlightening for me. The Exposition of the Divine Principle was very difficult for me to understand, but now, after hearing Original Divine Principle (ODP), I have a much more clear understanding. What surprised me about ODP was how clear, blunt and straight forward it is and also how it helps you to come to understand how God and True Parents think and visualize.
I’m very grateful to Rev. Michael Jenkins for working so diligently in his study of the ODP, and for his determination to offer his best effort in lecturing to us. And also thank you to all the staff for organizing the event; for the being the 1st ODP workshop in the U.S.A. everything ran quite smoothly. I was also very grateful to see True Parents again since the Blessing. I had an enormous feeling of euphoria when I saw True Parents again; they feel more like my mom and dad than my own parents. Overall I had an awesome experience and I am now even more excited about the movement.
Thank you: Heavenly Father, True Parents, all the lecturers and staff, and everyone who attend the workshop.
Jario Vincenz-Gavin (second generation)
Departing on July 4th, I still wasn’t sure if what I was doing was really the best idea. I’m plagued with so many things going on in life, putting four workshops together, just finishing Il Shim, and many financial and life worries, so I thought, “how can I just take off 5 days for this workshop?” “If only it were more convenient,” “if only it was a little less expensive…” But there I was, going anyway.
Arriving just before 4 PM in Las Vegas I was hit with heat and exhaustion, but all ready for the workshop. I still had no idea what would happen to me. At 7 PM, the program began. Archbishop Ki Hoon Kim opened with welcoming remarks and informed us of how important it is to study the Original Divine Principle at this time, especially here in Las Vegas. It never occurred to me how backwards this city is, but also how doing this education here has the capability of educating the spirit world in Las Vegas. Fathers’ desire is to transform this city into a city where God can dwell and families can enjoy vacations. Archbishop Kim really poured out his heart to us on behalf of True Parents and we all felt warmly welcomed.
The next morning we arrived in the lecture hall for our first Divine Principle lecture at 5 AM. Starting with a lecture about the Family Pledge, I could see how revolutionary this workshop was going to be for my life and the life of our movement. The simple reality of God in our lives is so refreshing. Throughout almost the whole day we worked to get though the first section of chapter 1, just starting section 2 by dinner. I never knew how much is really there in the personality of God, of course I know He is BIG but how wonderful He is really struck me through these lectures.
One of the most intriguing aspects for me was how the Divine Principle really unlocks the bible. Throughout this workshop both the Divine Principle and the bible really came alive, with both giving new insights to the other, and more importantly unlocked God’s personality.
The following days were filled with wonderful insights of how we can live the heavenly standard of life, what it means to live in this age and how we contribute to God’s Kingdom here on earth. I came away feeling that education truly has the ability to transform all lives. The miracle is how one can change absolutely through understanding God’s heart and the Divine Principle. I feel strongly that if we all study and grow our own selves, we will see incredible growth in our movement, and more quickly see a new world. If our hearts and minds can expand, then we can expect our children to grow in a world where God’s truth is the norm and our children can grow more naturally.
On Sunday morning our True Parents came to visit. This visit was such an amazing experience – being there listening to the words of the Messiah while he is here on this earth. How often people talk about what it would be like to be around Jesus 2,000 years ago. Well I was around True Parents this weekend, the Messiah returned, and it was awesome. Sometimes I forget how incredible this time we are living in is, but Sunday morning I certainly knew. True Parents had stayed up all night in preparation for meeting us. How incredible it is that the Messiah was making conditions to meet us, his children, and share his heart. The content he shared with us that morning was amazing, and his love for us really miraculous. I thank God that he chose me to be living in this time, and I hope that I can develop the kind of heart our True Parents have for us.
Finally, we somehow got through the whole Divine Principle, and began to look in to the life of our True Parents. This was presented by Dr. Yang who has so much insight on how our True Parents lived and overcame this world, to set a foundation for us. How amazing it is to see how Father had such unstoppable faith, when he had to face insurmountable obstacles at every step of the way. If he would have given up along the way I would not have been surprised because the cards were certainly stacked against him. Nevertheless, he knew God, and had an unstoppable trust in His way. True Parents have overcome this world and showed the power of uniting with God. I really felt God’s love for us through the life course of our True Parents, and hope that I can follow in their standard of faith.
Bishop Kim came to close out this awe-inspiring workshop. He described the foundation of America to receive our True Parents. This country was truly founded by God in order to restore this world. Father saw this and has been investing himself completely for the resurrection of America, not simply for America but that America can really save this world. I was surprised to hear that out of the 120 Holy Grounds True Father created, 70 of them are right here in America. This really shows how important America is to God, and how much responsibility this nation has.
This workshop was really life-giving for me. I felt that God has still so much in store for us. The more that we can understand Heavenly Father and the Divine Principle, the more we can change this nation and the world. This is truly the last World War, whereby through education we can conquer once and for all the ideology of human-centered living. We need to think about how much we use the Divine Principle in our daily life – is it really our guiding light? It must become the foundation for our decisions so that we can live according to the heavenly standard. Sorry I won’t go too much into my own insights because I want you to go to Las Vegas and see for yourself. Trust me, though – it’s worth it!
I would like to thank Heavenly Father, True parents and my insistent district director, Rev. Rendel, for bringing me to this life-changing workshop.
I was most impressed by the passion and love of all the lecturers toward us. They really invested their hearts and love toward us. It reminded me again of the Japanese brother, Mr. Machida, who walked coast to coast across America on behalf of True Father. I really want to learn his standard of love and dedication toward True Parents.
“We were privileged to be given the opportunity to participate in the Original Divine Principle Workshop led by Archbishop Ki Hoon Kim and Rev. Michael Jenkins. Our gratitude is first to God who allowed all things to be just in the exact place for us to be there. We made this our absolute priority as husband and wife, because we felt that God and True Parents wanted to impart something very precious to us as Blessed Couples and as new Adam and Eve couples in the restored Garden of Eden. Hearing the Truth of the Divine Principle gives the power of resurrection. And then seeing True Parents was an even greater blessing. This morning, when I opened the Cheon Seong Gyeong, the part I read amazingly helped me to understand what Father said four days ago. So after all that, what did it really boil down to in terms of my own daily life?
First, that the Blessing from True Parents is truly God’s most incredible gift. Second, that my spouse is the most precious being for my life. Third, that I must educate my children properly through Hoon Dok Hae and practicing a life of attendance to God and True Parents as a family. Fourth, that eventually, we have to live to become the embodiment of the Word, the Divine Principle. And True Parents have shown us that that is possible in our lifetime. And fifth, that I must absolutely learn to speak and write and think in Korean if I am to become one with our Beloved True Parents in this world and in the next. For this, I am religiously bringing my daughter to Mrs. Shin’s one hour Korean class per week and hopefully through her, our whole family can also be taught Korean.
Thank you most specially to In Jin Nim who moved the workshop from Korea to Las Vegas making it possible for more of our church members to attend. We are amazed at how each member of the True Family takes leadership in their different fields with excellence. Praise and glory to Almighty God! And to the True Parents of Heaven and Earth. Aju!”
San Jacinto, CA
Having worked with Gregg Smith on AV, I gained an interesting perspective. In observing our leaders, to a person, I saw a magnificent growth in patience and grace. When Rev. Jenkins presented God’s han and Father’s han and how they deal with it, I saw the same attitudes among our leaders. This gives me tremendous hope in improving myself. I have goals to become a much better person. If I feel this way, I have greater confidence to reach out to others in order to illustrate a lifestyle for improving life, love, and lineage.
The Principle presentations provide deeper insight. To say that God has masculinity and femininity is one thing, but to say that God has both sex organs takes the understanding much further. A spouse owning the other’s sexual part requires more consideration now. Another point, upon consideration of human responsibility in relationship to angels, the implication that man is responsible for creating feminine angels is based upon the perfection of a person. This is particularly comforting to see how all issues of the Fall are being resolved. Finally, the realization that my perfection through my spouse and the blessing establishes a true linage happens to be a daunting task but at the same time doable.
Father’s Life Course supplies a deeper connection to the value of True Father to God. This time the relationship that Father establishes through the years becomes more evident. I recall from Mother’s first speaking event in San Diego how Father treated Congressman Bob Wilson through a phone call. Father referred to the congressman by asking to speak “to my friend Bob Wilson.” I never think of Father relating to us on both the horizontal and vertical basis. I am beginning to see it with In Jin Nim and our leaders. This expands the understanding of divinity. As a result, God and Father are closer than previously considered.
Joseph Ferch (18-year-old 2nd generation)
Las Vegas, city of the lights, party city, sin city, this is what inspired me to come to the Las Vegas workshop at first. Being a second generation chained up to my parents will of following God and True Parents, Las Vegas would be a great chance of escape. I came by myself through my own free will at little request from my parents. Over the past year, I have been less and less attracted to the church and beginning to live my life with no rules. I was attending a Catholic high school and I was attracted to Catholicism and the other religions I was exposed to. My view of God was mixed, my views on love and sexuality were confused, and I was at a point of denial in life. I was giving Catholicism a chance to lead my life, and I was interested in the many religions of the world.
The Original Divine Principle workshop was one of those life changing and mind opening experiences. Lost and ignorant with a negative attitude towards the workshop, I arrived in Las Vegas ready to sleep and walk around at night. The workshop began at 7 p.m. on Thursday. The moment I walked into the lecture hall and took a seat in the back, my heart melted, I saw all the laughter and smiles of the older generation. Even though they were all dressed in a way that I would turn my nose up to, I saw beyond that and met some cool first generation. I also met other second generation including one who was living a life similar to me.
The lectures were excellent. Though complicated and boring, they went right through me. I had many questions about the Divine Principle and the true way of living. The parts I was most skeptical about were the parts I was wide awake for. I heard the words and lectures and in disbelief I was thinking “No Way” or “That’s wrong and stupid.” I looked over the powerpoint and notes and it made sense. Lineage, love, and sex were my greatest misunderstandings. I was trying to disprove it intellectually, but the lecture and words were consistent.
I was repentant and felt lost even more, I prayed and stayed deep in thought most of the night. I saw the smiles, I saw a second generation couple. I wanted to be like them. I have to let go of my old lifestyle to become the better happy person which I want to be. This workshop has inspired me to be an example and change myself for the better. I want to fulfill God’s providence of restoration. The world is suffering, millions are dying each day and families are breaking down. I want to fix the world’s problems and make a difference.
My advice to other second generation: give the Divine Principle a chance. I know many of us do not like it or enjoy listening to it and want to see the other side of life. I have seen the best and the worst of the fallen world, Vegas can show you that. Spiritually I struggled. Now I am getting back on track, just by opening my heart and listen to myself and not the world around me.
If you go to Vegas you will find God not sin!!
San Leandro, CA
There is immense gratitude in my heart for having the privilege to participate in this workshop.
The Original Divine Principle content, especially the first chapter, provided a much deeper explanation how God, True Parents and humankind need to relate. The fact, that it is not enough to be a blessed couple by title, but that we have to live a rich love life here on earth impressed me deeply. The lectures had valuable internal guidance, showing how to apply the theory into practical life and new life style.
The seminar awakened in me emotions similar to the ones when I first joined our movement. It is because the reality for True Father to be recognized during his lifetime became clearer through the workshop. The lectures brought out a sense that God and True Parents are in charge and that I must deeply trust them and collaborate with them, now.
The lectures helped me to gain a renewed sense of worth and value, something, which we of the first generation need desperately, because as I see it, we have been living with a sense of depressed self-worth for a long time. (We need to re-learn the attitude “We can do it”)
It became clear to me that God and True Parents are providing this Original Divine Principle Workshop as a “Providence for the Start” – to help us dust ourselves off and get on “the same page” with True Parents again, bringing us with one mindset to 2013.
Rev. Jenkins and Dr. Yang explained real life information about True Parents and True Children, which made it more relevant for me to connect with them on a new level. I am deeply grateful for this.
For me it is incredible to think that the King of Kings chose to work and live in the deepest Hell on Earth – Las Vegas. This surely has a great influence on Hell in the Spiritual World. The fact that True Parents are doing this now just feels so ‘right’. Surely this gives True Parents the greatest freedom to move about everywhere once they go to that world.
Many times during the lectures uncontrollable tears were pouring down my cheeks, especially listening to True Parents Lifecourse. Put together and presented by Dr. Yang each event and station of True Fathers life left an indelible impression in my heart.
When the workshop concluded, I and three sisters went to the Encore Hotel to look at it’s incredible design. Taking pictures and talking with my daughter, as I looked over her shoulder I saw True Mother coming along passing us by!! Then we went to the gaming area watching visitors at the slot machines. About 15 minutes had passed and I just glanced around when I saw True Father passing by guided by Peter Kim!
Las Vegas is filled with games of chance; though I was not very good on the penny slot machine – with this episode I felt I really struck the jack pot!
I am more than 100% appreciative for being able to attend Original Divine Principle workshop in Las Vegas.
My greatest struggle was how could I become a perfect person (mind & body unity). I felt it almost impossible to achieve such a level. But through the Original Divine Principle workshop, I realy felt that God & True Parents have a strong conviction that we can become God’s true sons and daughters. Also, I felt the same atmosphere that I felt when I attended a Cheong Pyeong workshop. It cleaned my spirit body. I am not an intellectual person who can understand the Divine Principle deeply. But this time I strongly felt the heart of God & True Parents – how much they love us (me in particular).
Thank you to God & True Parents, Rev. Ki Hoon Kim, Dr. Yang, Reverend Jenkins, and all the staff who worked hard there.
Los Angeles, CA
What I learned the most from this workshop is how much True Parents truly love us. They came all the way from Korea to see us, never resting a moment. I was moved to learn how much True Parents have been making conditions for the Las Vegas providence. I’m reminded how serious they are to fulfill God’s desire for all mankind.
Another thing that I learned is how important the understanding of lineage is.From the ideal of creation, through the providence of restoration, the purpose is for the creation of God’s lineage. How precious our blessing and the blessed children are, I realized.
One point that I was moved to learn is that God has secured His ownership of mankind by giving us an original mind, which is always connected to him and that God cannot abandon us because we have an original mind. This reminded me that I should relate with the original mind of each person I meet.
I’d like to share about my recent participation in the Original Divine Principle workshop. I went spurred by the usual reasons: I like to say yes to most all of our movement’s efforts to bring change both personal and public; my wife was clearly dead serious about my going; I still believe in my value to participate in this historic providence connected to God despite my shortcomings; it appeared to be pretty high on the to-do list (namely, led by True Father himself); and True Children’s recent endeavors have given me some new hope and propagated willingness. I also faced the usual barriers: as a man, I hate debt, which I already have, so it is truly hard to add to an already existing wound; getting time from work is never a comfortable proposition; the tribulations of life have me a little exhausted.
And so I found myself at the workshop on June 4. What happened by the very next day led me to give my first report about it to my wife: if I had to do the previously unthinkable thing and charge $6300 (the remaining portion of the originally requested donation/condition asked by Father), I feel I could do that without flinching. I’m trying to convey how powerful the understanding was that I gained. I was able to do something remarkable for me: to crystallize what life in the UC is about, what True Parents are about, what my inner self is about.
Such a thing is not easy, considering the countless branches of our movement, the voluminous amount of words to read, the varied courses I’ve gone through, and just suffering itself. Yet finding that essence is vital. There are things I read all the time, hear all the time, but don’t know how to explain to anyone, even myself.
I realized we can regain the one thing we lost that keeps us from a good life, that keeps the world from being a heaven, that keeps God Himself from a life of joy; and this was lost by the only way to lose it, the severing of lineage via the Fall; and this one thing is the best thing a person can ever acquire: a heart with shimjung, just like God’s, infinite longing to love an object partner; further, once we lose shimjung, it is nearly impossible to regain, and only by the changing of lineage based on True Parents; from that point, the chance to have shimjung operating inside the heart needs to be protected; the key for its protection lies in absolute sexual morality; however, only a realization and declaration at one moment in time cannot last, and so, continued education is necessary, namely Original Divine Principle; and fortification by daily Hoon Dok Hae becomes our best security; succeeding in this, more and more people can have shimjung like True Parents; they won’t be able to help themselves but will seek to love others daily; at last with a real shimjung, personal struggles won’t permanently stop them, and fallen nature will not repeatedly sabotage them; but if we don’t get shimjung back on earth, we’ll never balance anyone’s budget or any nation’s budget, we’ll never stop hurting each other, and we’ll never uncover the shining elements each has inside.
I just can’t express enough how important this new educational providence centered on Las Vegas is. My prayers are for great expansion by the next August 6 conference.
Clint J. Woods
My brief reflection is that the conference was an overwhelming success as a new “providence of the start” for America, centering upon Las Vegas, with True Parents taking full responsibility to secure the world through America by restoring Satan’s core offering table to God’s offering table using True Love, sacrifice, and education.
The Original Divine Principle is, it seems a content level worthy of nearly a 40 day workshop at minimum. Therefore, that Rev Jenkins had a fraction of that time to convey this level of information was really a challenge that he embraced with honor and fulfilled with dignity.
His presentations were laced early on with the most valuable of stories and sharing that help all of us to relate to the heart of God, True Parents, True Family, and the current dispensation. Quite naturally, the personalization of the presentations makes it all about establishing a new level of relationship with True Family, the living word.
The In Jin Nim videos were INVALUABLE and integrated nicely. Very personal in touch and flavor, professional in production, and connected in expression of parent child heart conveyed.
True Father’s mention that we should really like ourselves and see our value was, it seemed to me, a frame of reference entirely new. For me it signified the reality that at this conference, True Parents truly did relate to all blessed central first and second generation as if we had no sin. It was as if we were standing at the top of the growth stage, in the original Garden of Eden, receiving what God wanted to tell them at that time and was never able to do.
Rev Yang’s ability to share stories and focus on defining moments of providential history, and the real people that were participants, brings a window for connecting correctly with the current time frame we live in, in relation to God and True Family.
Archbishop Kim’s frame of reference using the Global Positioning System as an example of how we can find our place and know our direction was helpful. His ability to integrate content from the “sphere of life” as well as from the “sphere of public” was most poignant and unifying in its essence. Helping us realize that a “New Awakening” can and will happen was a powerful message.
That True Parents could come after being awake all night really demonstrated True Parent’s heart to be with us even though it must have been physically so arduous. As always, True Parents exemplified the living word made flesh and continue to show, by example, the most ideal way of life for all to visualize, experience, and inherit.
After the entire workshop schedule was complete, I went out to the strip to take a walk with a couple of sisters from the Mid-west region, since there was plenty of time until our late flight. One sister suggested that we go to Encore where True Mother sometimes sets conditions.
We thought that we might get to greet True Mother and felt excited at that possibility. So we went and played for a short time.
When we were about to leave through the hotel entrance, we saw a big car parked in front of hotel entrance. And what do you know? True Father came out of the car with two security brothers! He noticed us and smiled at us and took out some pocket money and gave it to us.
We were so shocked to see True Father there accidentally or by the guidance of Heavenly Father. All of us shed happy tears in response to his love. We really met the embodiment of truth after we learned the Original Divine Principle. We were so inspired and delighted with this unexpected encounter. We felt so lucky.
I really thank True Parents and In Jin Nim for organizing this workshop for us. I could not decide to go to the workshop right away. However, now I really think spiritual world pushed me to go there to learn the Original Divine Principle. I thank Rev. Jenkins for his hard work and inspiration. I gained spiritual energy from the Original DP.
Now True Parents have presented us a new providence to recreate Las Vegas.
This is a great idea to destroy Sodom and Gomorah in the U.S. Still I do not know how. True Parents have been walking around the whole city and praying and making a heavenly plan for this city. And I hope I could contribute to it in some way.
I can honestly say that this was one of the best workshop experiences I have ever had. Reverend Jenkins did a great job in the Divine Principle presentations, and Dr. Yang and Bishop Kim were also deeply inspiring. Most of all, I felt the spiritual presence of True Parents the entire time, and I realized how serious Father is to restore America by claiming Las Vegas, “Sin City,” for Heaven. Father has not given up on America’s responsibility to bring this world to God. I felt His deep appreciation for the Blessed Central Families who have invested so much blood, sweat and tears for so many years.
I have to mention my experience after the official closing of the workshop. I went with a group of sisters to visit some of the casinos before we left for home. Inside the first place we visited, who should appear but True Father himself! He walked directly up to us and gave us each $100! I was so moved to think that even though he is over 90 years old and he has difficulty even walking, he is investing himself in visiting and praying in the casinos and reaching out to brothers and sisters. I remember that Bishop Kim told us that he stayed up all night before he came to speak with us at the workshop. I realized that, in Father’s mind, when he saw us in the casino, we represented all the brothers and sisters and he wanted to show his gratitude and encourage us to be a part of the great victory that will be accomplished in these final four years. Let’s go forward with True Parents to accomplish the victory!
“Heaven in the Meadow”
Returned now, resurrected (onward, upward) from my surprising return sojourn (last time for Tyson-Holyfield I) to Las Vegas (The Meadow) I suddenly understand the attraction of the “Wild” West (and East, too).
It is romance and adventure, firstly.
But what . . . . what “naturally,” once youth, energy and enthusiasm is
spent (and all fortune, too . . . sometimes) follows?
As the Conestoga wagon trains of settlers began their inexorable journey
westward across the desert toward golden California, what really, truly
propelled them forward?
Who do we belong to there, in C-a-l-i-Canaan?
Why do we yet follow and/or yet remain engaged, entwined and even, emerged?
The Divine Principle (lifestyle), not mere doctrine of “The Unification
Church” as the Original Workshop material notes prominently in yellow
highlight, leads us as well as the world, the very universe — to God, Our
Most Precious, Primal Parents.
And heaven . . .
Life (and death) becomes eschatology, but without any final apocalypse and
in full knowledge and awareness of the many tragedies — and victories —
which have already occurred.
We drink at the oasis and are refreshed.
The Original Divine Principle (ODP) workshop gave me, personally, some new
expression(s) (or inner framework) to The New Expression given us via Our
True Parents over 60 years ago.
A testimony: My father in spirit world awoke me the day True Parents came to
greet and see us.
And one new emphasis or expression from the workshop that stands out right
now: The original revelation received by the young Korean middle schooler,
then a student of Jeongju Public Elementary School, while fervently praying
on the slopes of Mt. Myodu was not simply from Jesus.
It was from God.
And so it remains.
New York, NY
Since I was on the workshop staff I could not attend all the lectures. However, I could join many lectures for brief intervals. When I walked into the lecture hall in the middle of one lecture, I was taken back spiritually to the National Messiah Workshop I attended in 1996 at Cheong Pyeong. I felt the very same spirit from that workshop here in the Original Divine Principle Workshop in Las Vegas. It helped me understand the significance of what was taking place here.
Rev. In Jin Nim’s Sunday Service DVD presentations added a wonderful flavor to our Original Divine Principle workshop. The music was great and her messages were heartfelt, deep and profound.
First of all, I offer infinite gratitude, glory and praise to True Parents for the special grace of allowing me to attend this workshop, even though I didn’t meet the qualifications to attend this workshop. True Parents themselves set the special conditions for everyone to attend.
We have received many gifts from Heavenly Father for example:
The New Skin Pouch within us for New Truth (Original Divine Principle) through Rev. Jenkins’s lecture,
The New Strong Mind Set within us came through Dr. Young’s lecture,
Absolute Love, absolute faith, absolute obedience within us came through Bishop Kim,
and the greatest one is
New life, New hope, New joy through Rev. In Jin Moon’s Loving Life Ministry.
best of best of course is
True Parents’ beautiful beautiful smiles which totally united with Heavenly Father. Because of great impression, I couldn’t stop crying.
Lastly, Hoover Dam was great. To build this Dam, 700 people became a sacrifice. With these tremendous sacrifices, Las Vegas shouldn’t be the sin city, should be the shining city as In Jin Nim wants.
Heavenly Father has planted these gift seeds in my heart and mind, so my portion of responsibility is take care and protect these seeds from all the negative power, and bring them up to giant plants. And use the energy from giant plants to advance toward January 13, 2013.
Mark and Kayo Alexander
Seeing True Parents and hearing the whole Principle from a deeper view provided a one two punch to our creaky hearts in a deeply wonderful way. Meeting old and new friends at the International Buffet further iced the cake for us.
Attending the workshop with my wife added additional breakthroughs. Despite my wife’s rather weak health lately, she was able to follow the full schedule and run through the halls to wave good bye to True Parents. Also, I never saw her laugh so deeply and long as she did on the “karaoke” bus ride to Hoover Dam. There are so many amazing talents among our brothers and sisters.
Maybe something unique that happened to me was the resurrection of my uncle, who passed away about 12 years ago. He was a very good Christian who helped me on my path to find God, but unfortunately, he never could connect to True Parents and was negative. I even had dreams of him from SW in which he had his back to me and looked miserable. I always felt sorry, because without him, I would never have joined the church. The clarity of the ODP presentation really was excellent from a Christian (and Jewish) point of view. It must have resurrected him. Driving home to LA, he and other close ancestors embraced me spiritually with love and happiness. They kept me awake on the long drive back. It was a beautiful Jacob and Esau moment from the SW.
These lectures will resurrect you, your marriage, family, ancestors and everyone within their sphere of influence. After Las Vegas I also had a much more loving and productive attitude toward students and coworkers at my school. Educating ourselves and SW through workshop and Hun Dok Qae is the first step to the Kingdom of Heaven. At the beginning of the workshop the non member guests at the casino hotel looked rather sad and lonely, but at the end of the workshop they started to look like our brothers and sisters. The atmosphere of the whole casino elevated. You can have a Cheong Pyung experience in the heart of Las Vegas. God has blessed us all, everyone.
Bay Area Family Church
Thank you for organizing this conference and inviting me. I am deeply grateful to be here, attending this historical event.
I believe many of us may have been stuck spiritually and needed re-birth; new life through God’s word, the Original Divine Principle. I sure was. This was a new beginning for me in my faith, renewing a strong desire to actively participate in this new educational providence.
It was a wonderful blessing to see and be with True Parents, even briefly.
We have a great responsibility to bring the spirit, energy and content back to our brothers and sisters and especially to our second generation. Everything here, all conveying of content happened so rapid-fire, we will need some time to quickly digest, review, discuss among our alumnus and figure out the best way to translate or convey this experience to others.
In addition we need to understand clearly how to prioritize our “next steps” or action items for not only these next four years but for this immediate period from now, through August 8 and beyond.
Rev Jenkins did an incredible job of whipping through the mandated content at warp speed, and yet with beautiful stories, anecdotes, and muted levity. This must have been extremely difficult.
This was an abundant, surprising, and timely blessing for me and all of us. We will “spread the word.”
I am so grateful to be here. Thank you God and True Parents for calling us to this providence with deep love. It’s very difficult to express how much we receive blessing and revitalize my spirit. I was praying what I can do until 2013, often with tears. I don’t have so much ability before God. But at least I want to do something for God and True Parents. I determined once a week to fundraise for Kodan.
Through this precious Original Divine Principle workshop I gained lots of love and spiritual food. I was given a deeper understanding of God’s word and God’s shimjung. I could see more clearly where I was and feel more aligned to my original mind.
I could feel how much True Parents have invested in helping my husband and me become a BCF and how much we owe to others to have this great opportunity.
I repent and restart with motivation to make God and True Parents happy.
Thank you True Parents for this workshop! This has been for me a very moving moment and turning point in my life of faith. The presentations have helped me to understand more clearly True Parents’ heart and the providential path True Parents are walking. Also I have been given insight into the ways I must change to fit the vision True Parents
have for this country of America.
True Parents, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Santa Barbara, CA.
There were so many wonderful brothers and sisters at the workshop. The general atmosphere was so loving. There were so many old and new friends to be with. Although I was a little on the edge in the beginning to decide to come, it was a perfect decision to come. As soon as I was informed that True Parents would be there I felt encouraged to come. Although I had prior commitments and responsibilities with work and family, I still was able “to make room” to go.
Through this workshop the Principle made more sense than ever before. My 21-year-old son Preston had a similiar experience.
There is something about becoming more God-centered that makes the workshop fee ever so worth the value. It was worth $2400.
That Hoover Dam was something to see. It was a first time experience for me.
The buffet sure was fun. I had so much to eat every meal. I’ve been trying to gain weight because I am so skinny. But it didn’t really help.
The giant swimming pool was 250,000 gallons of fun.
The warm air in the evening was so embracing. It was like getting a hug from the air.
The bed was so comfortable I felt like I could just melt right into it.
Thank you to everybody who contributed to make this workshop so very valuable.
Any Unificationist is welcome to call me if they want to hear more. 805 895-8584