The Words of the Daugherty Family

Interview with ICC Conference Director Levy Daugherty

Victoria Clevenger
April 7-15, 1988
31st ICC in Korea

Rev. Levy Daugherty

Question: Since you've been working with the ICC, what have you experienced regarding the specialness of Korea?

Members who come here often have the feeling that they're home, that they're really in the Fatherland. Korean tradition is very close to heavenly tradition. I quickly noticed that our religious lifestyle in the Unification movement is so close to the general tradition of Korean lifestyle that Koreans really can't see the difference.

For instance, when we come before True Parents, we make a full bow down to the floor. Americans never do that. Bowing in America is really making a statement of a religious lifestyle. But in Korea, that's done automatically; children normally make a full bow to their parents as a form of respect. And to Americans, having an offering table at celebrations is strictly Unification Church tradition, but Koreans have been doing that for thousands of years. The tradition of stepping over a fire when coming back from a funeral is also hundreds of years old in Korea.

Question: Are there any differences, then?

There are, but very subtle. If a person hasn't traveled out of Korea, he would think that Father is advocating Korean lifestyle. You know, for thousands of years, Koreans stuck to one lifestyle, despite all the persecution and domination from other countries. King Sejong developed Hangul, the simplest and most elegant alphabet in the world, based on symbols of heaven and earth and the four basic expressions of God: air, water, fire, and earth. Whenever you speak Korean, you are using something from these elements in your conversation.

The traditions involving the spiritual world are very rich and very well- developed in Korea. By and large, I think the Korean people, not just our members, feel that as Koreans they are chosen. I think they get that feeling from the spiritual world.

Question: You've been with these conferences from the beginning, haven't you?

Yes, I started with the Interdenominational Conferences for Clergy when they began in the Bahamas back in 1983. I was just a resource person, and I kind of grew organically into the mission I have now. I got a lot of help from people like Tyler Hendricks and Jim Stephens.

Ministers at the 31st ICC walk up the hill to the Old Chung Pa Dong Church in Seoul.

Question: How do you feel you've changed and grown?

Well, now you're talking about everything from A to Z! When you work with ministers, you quickly discover yourself. You meet people of all different characters and backgrounds and you have to win them over. When you're fundraising you meet a person for a minute or two and then you're gone; but with the conference you're with the ministers for seven whole days -- before that it was 10 days -- and they learn a lot about you and you learn a lot about them. They study your character, and if you're not exactly righteous enough, they quickly let you know! If you argue with them, or you don't answer them with enough love, they will really let you know about it. They may have wrong attitudes themselves, but yet they expect you to be different; they expect you to be better than they are! So you are constantly searching for ways you can become a better person. You are constantly getting criticized, every single day, behind your back and in front of your face. And you continually have to look at yourself and check your motivation for saying things and doing things: Am I really loving purely?

On the ICC you really learn how to love. That's the main point. We constantly try to love the ministers and represent Father to them. That takes a constant effort. When I first came, I was short- tempered and quick to criticize and judge. Now I know I have to be more like a parent. Really loving unconditionally when the ministers put you to your limit is not easy. And even when you do your best, some will still want you to do more. On the other hand, others are extremely grateful even for the smallest gesture of kindness and love, because they've never been treated that way before.

Ministers are all different. Some of them are very sincere; others come for the wrong reasons, but you have to love them exactly as much as the ones who are sincere.

This is where you really come to understand God's nature and character. When a person is very sincere, it's natural to want to spend all your time with him because he is so easy to love, but you have to spread the love out. That's where it really gets tough.

Rev. Kwak has helped us so much to do that. I think Rev. Kwak is the kind of person who has mastered all these things we struggle with. He's a tough, strong leader, but kind and tender and pure-hearted in his relationship with each person. He gives the ministers the highest dignity and respect. And he doesn't like to hear gossip about them; he only wants to hear good things. He has the heart of True Father. He is of course teaching that to us -- how to serve the ministers, how to love them, how to be patient with them, and how to solve the various problems and difficulties they may have.

Question: What have been some of your best experiences on the ICC?

My deepest experience was during the 10th conference, when Heung Jin Nim [through a medium] and Jesus and the Holy Spirit came and completely guided the conference. It was like we were little children learning something new about the spiritual world. People were getting revelations and channeling, and all kinds of things were happening to both the staff and the ministers. It was powerful.

Heung Jin Nim [through a medium] had said that something would happen at the 10th conference, and it did! He would predict that somebody would say this or some minister would say that, and it would happen. We knew the Holy Spirit was there.

Then seeing Heung Jin Nim (Black Heung Jin Nim [Cleophas / Cleopas Kundioni]) in person and getting practical internal guidance from him was a great blessing. We could see ourselves more clearly and begin to remove the gray areas in our lives and in our relationships with the ministers. His guidance has made my relationship with them, and also with my wife and family and with True Parents, much deeper.

The ministers always make you check your well of love to see how deep it is. I used to be constantly hitting bottom, but lately, fewer ministers have confronted me for not loving them enough or because I did something wrong or said something wrong. The ministers can really judge you very well; you can easily find out where you are. And they will try you, even unconsciously.

Brothers and sisters gather at Heung Jin Nim's Won Jun.

Question: Can you think of any specific examples?

I remember one incident where I really grew a lot. We had given the ministers clear guidelines on how to moderate the discussion groups.

We asked the moderators to go around the circle and give everyone a chance to speak. But one moderator began preaching to the group against the Unification Church, monopolizing the time, and not giving the Unification Church member in the group any chance to answer questions about Unificationism. So I came into the room and stopped him because everybody in the group was clearly getting frustrated. I said, "You're not running the group correctly. Please give everyone a chance to speak." He really launched out at me and said, you don't trust my leadership! You put me in charge and then you don't want me to run the group?" I said, "Yes, I want you to run the group, but correctly." Then I left the room. Well, he got up and walked out and left the group, and was negative for the whole rest of the conference. He started to spread all kinds of bad things about me. Finally I had to go and repent to him.

Getting into an argument to prove who is right and who is wrong is not worth it. Even though I may have proven I was right, I didn't love him unconditionally; therefore, he still couldn't follow me. It's best sometimes to lose the argument and just love. We must he humble and loving, and then at the right time, such as at the podium, we can say what is necessary. Otherwise, it's not necessary to say anything along those lines, unless you are asked a direct question. To get into an argument with a minister has no value at all.

It would have been better if I had let him do what he was doing and then shared with him afterwards. To stop him in front of everybody embarrassed him. We don't see Father correcting his children publicly according to what we think is right and wrong. I remember once at a celebration at East Garden, Father was inviting everyone to sing, and one of his younger sons got up and sang a song that I would not have liked my son to sing in public. But Father just laughed and clapped along with everybody else. I saw that Father doesn't chastise or correct his children for singing silly songs, because that is not a sin. Father's lifestyle involves training his children holistically in the Principle rather than chastising them on specific points.

When the children really start to take responsibility for their actions and their words, then they are ready to inherit Father's heart because they have learned based on Father's example and words, rather than just his words.

Question: How has your relationship with Jesus changed?

I have been a Christian since I was young, but my relationship with Jesus became much more real through the give and take we've had in this conference. I've come to understand the limitations of the people Jesus has to work with. Yet he doesn't complain about it. He just says, "This is what I've got; I'm going to do it anyway with these people." A lot of Christians beg and pull on Jesus, saving, "Heal me, Jesus! Save me, Jesus! Give me a car, Jesus! Give me a house, Jesus!" They're just taking from Jesus. That's Jesus' cross -- to bear that and still lift Christians up as his children, as the ones upholding the central religion of the world. That's very difficult. I realized that I really had to pray for Jesus, that he needs our prayers. Who besides Father and us really understands Jesus' situation? Most Christians are just praying to Jesus, and Jesus feels so bad when they do that, because his power comes from God, his Heavenly Father.

Jesus has just been holding on for thousands of years, waiting for Father. Can you imagine? It's like holding on to the cliff of a high mountain and your fingers are just aching but you've got to hold on because you know the moment of the final dispensation is coming. If you let it go, it's all lost. This is the kind of feeling Jesus experiences. He's holding on to the cliff, and all Christians are holding on to him, pulling him off, and many are even complaining to him that not only is he not holding on, but he's not pulling them up fast enough. Jesus has endured a tremendous amount; he has such an incredible heart to continue to love his people and work with them.

This conference, I feel, is truly Jesus' pride and joy -- his offering that he can give to Father. Of course he wanted to do this kind of thing early on in his life, and he couldn't. I know Father gives Jesus the credit for bringing the ministers together. You can see Jesus' spirit all throughout the conferences. Many of our members who come here gain a deeper relationship with Jesus than they ever had before.

Some ministers come to take advantage of the conference as a vacation. Of course, this is rare. I think that when people come with that intention, most of them change and become actual participants of the conference because they realize that they have found a very precious thing.

When the ministers go back, they can't really explain to their family and friends what went on. Sometimes I feel sorry for those who don't bring their spouse, because it's tough when they go back home and say, "Honey, I've just experienced the best week of my whole life." How can you explain that to your wife? She'll say, "You mean to say you're 60 years old and we've been married for 35 years and you've been saved for 30 years and you've been preaching for 20 years, and you go off to a Moonie conference and say it was the best experience of your whole life?" But it is, because they are really experiencing the heart of Jesus, sometimes for the first time. They've seen the body of Christ, all different denominations, races, and cultures coming together under the roof, for the very first time. They've been treated like kings, and they've come to the Kingdom of Heaven for one week. Anyone can see that when they go to the Little Angels School. It's really a taste of Heaven. 

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