89. See My Parents for Who They Are
Since I was little, I always saw my parents as role models for believing in God. I had the impression that they were really ardent in their faith and willing to make sacrifices. Not long after accepting the work of Almighty God in the last days, my mom left a really good job to do her duty full time. She had some skills and knowledge and was willing to pay a price, so she always had important duties in the church. Our family was sold out by a Judas later on, so my parents went into hiding with me while I was still young in order to avoid arrest by the CCP. Even so, they kept doing their duties. Along with this, they led simple lives, and their general behavior appeared devout and spiritual, and I often heard church members say my parents had good humanity, that they were true believers, and that they were people who pursued the truth. I had to be separated from my parents when I was 10 because of the Party’s oppression and although we had no way to see each other anymore, I always maintained this grand impression of them. I really looked up to and adored them and I felt like they had tremendous faith, that with all their sacrifices, they must pursue the truth and have good humanity, and God must approve of them. I even felt they were people who could be saved. I was really proud to have parents like that.
Later, all of us ended up fleeing abroad because of the Party’s persecution. When I got in touch with them shortly after that, I saw that they were still doing duties abroad. Especially when I found out my mom had been a supervisor on quite a few projects, I looked up to her even more. My parents had been believers for so many years, had experienced so many things, and now they were carrying out such important duties. I felt certain that they were pursuers of the truth, that they had stature, so after this, whenever I had any kind of state or difficulty I could go to them for help. It was great.
Later on, we would fellowship about each of our own recent states sometimes. Once, my dad said he was doing a task that, in his eyes, didn’t require any technical skills, and that he was always hoping to switch to a different duty. It just so happened that I was living in the same state at this time, so we fellowshiped with each other and shared some of God’s words to enter into together. Over time, by eating and drinking of God’s words, I came to realize that I was being nitpicky about my duty, and that I was willing to perform duties that granted me access to name and benefits, but if I couldn’t gain these things I was sloppy. I had been so selfish, contemptible, and lacking a sincere heart toward God. I came to hate and despise myself and I managed to get out of that state. But my dad remained stuck living in this state, and he just couldn’t get motivated to do his duty. I was confused. Since he’d been a believer for over a decade, he should have some stature, so why couldn’t he resolve this problem of being picky with his duty? I also realized that often when I talked to my parents about my difficulties and problems, although they’d send me some words of God and fellowship their view of things, what they said didn’t actually resolve my problems. I started to get this vague sense that they didn’t really understand the truth like I’d imagined. Later on, brothers and sisters were all writing experience essays to testify to God. I figured as long-time believers, my parents must have lots of experiences, especially my mom. She’d been oppressed by an antichrist and mistakenly expelled from the church, but she kept spreading the gospel to the best of her abilities. After being admitted back into the church, she put her all into whatever duty she had. She had also experienced being dismissed and reassigned several times, so she must have a wealth of experience. I figured she should write about these experiences as soon as possible to testify to God. So I started urging my mom to write an essay as soon as she could, but she kept avoiding doing so, saying that she wanted to, but that she was too busy in her duty and couldn’t calm herself to do so. I kept on pushing her, but she never wrote anything. Once, she told me that she wanted to write an essay, but that she couldn’t organize her thoughts and didn’t know where to start, so wanted to discuss it with me. I was so happy. I really wanted to hear about all her experiences over the years. But I was really surprised that after talking about the things that had happened to her and the corruption she’d shown, she didn’t speak about any true understanding, but instead said lots of negative things, delimiting herself. Recalling some of her past experiences seemed really painful to her, as if she’d just submitted without a choice. I didn’t hear her talk about anything real that she gained from it. I felt really put out after our talk. I’d thought that if she really had acquired understanding or gains, no matter how painful or negative the experience might have been at the time, so long as she ate and drank of God’s words, sought the truth, came to understand God’s will, and gained true knowledge of herself and of God, then eventually there would be some sentiment of sweetness and some enjoyment in the end. But in talking about her past experiences, she still seemed very pained and negative, and it seemed like her understanding of herself was deeply sentimental and impractical. Did this mean she lacked real experience? It suddenly dawned on me—no wonder she was so reluctant to write an essay testifying to God. Saying she didn’t have time was just a cover. The core matter was that she hadn’t attained the truth or made any real gains, so she couldn’t write an experiential testimony. As for my dad, though he was willing to practice writing essays, his attempts were full of trivia, and there wasn’t much about his true self-knowledge or what he’d gained from his experiences. It didn’t seem to match up with his years of faith. I remembered God saying: “Whether you can be saved does not depend on how great your seniority or how many years you have been working, and much less does it depend on how many credentials you have built up. Rather, it depends on whether your pursuit has borne fruit. You ought to know that those who are saved are the ‘trees’ that bear fruit, not the trees with lush foliage and abundant flowers that yet yield no fruit. Even if you have spent many years wandering the streets, what does that matter? Where is your testimony?” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Practice (7)). That was a wake-up call for me. It’s true. No matter how long a person has believed in God, how much work they have done, or how many things they have experienced, if they haven’t made any real gains from what they have gone through, and if they haven’t gained any truth and they are unable to bear testimony, that means they lack life. That kind of person can never be saved, even if they believe until the very end. When I realized this, I can’t describe the feeling I had. The image I had of my parents as people who “understood the truth” and “had stature” fell apart for the first time. I didn’t understand. After all those years of faith and all their sacrifices, why had they still not gained the truth? In private, I couldn’t help but break down in tears. Though I didn’t admire them as much after that, I still thought that no matter what, after all those years of sacrifice, this at the very least meant they had decent humanity and were true believers. If they could perform a duty well and start pursuing the truth now, they could still be saved. But then some things happened that changed my view of them again.
One day, I found out my dad had been dismissed because he was always perfunctory, avoiding difficult tasks, and wasn’t getting good results. Not long after that, I found my mom had also been dismissed for having poor humanity, not upholding the church’s interests, for having a particularly arrogant disposition, and for not playing a positive role in her duty. At the time I was shocked and could hardly believe it, thinking to myself, “How could this happen? Isn’t not being able to do a duty basically tantamount to being exposed and cast out? Do they have poor humanity? Everyone who knew my parents before always said they had great humanity; otherwise, how could they have sacrificed so much?” I was really in turmoil, and all sorts of worries and apprehensions kept coming to the surface. I wondered how they were doing, if they were in pain or suffering. The more I thought about it, the more gloomy and depressed I felt. Though I knew the church must have arranged this based on principles, and that it was appropriate, I struggled to accept it, thinking to myself, “My parents have believed in God for so many years, they have been through so much, they have had to go into hiding because of the CCP’s persecution, and ever since I was little, we’ve been apart longer than we’ve been together. I hoped so much that we’d be able to reunite in the kingdom after God’s work concludes. But now…. After going through so many years of hardship and doing so much work, how could they be dismissed so readily?” The more I thought about it, the more upset I became, unable to stop myself breaking down in tears once again. Over those few days, I couldn’t help but sigh and I had no motivation in my duty. Whenever I thought about the matter, I’d feel upset and all the strength would just leave my body. It was as if I’d suddenly lost all motivation for pursuit. I knew my state was wrong, and I kept telling myself rationally, “Mom and Dad’s dismissals must have been appropriate, God is righteous.” But I just couldn’t accept it in my heart and I couldn’t help but try to reason with God, thinking, “There are brothers and sisters who haven’t made any real contribution to the church’s work or done any significant duty, and they are still doing their duties, so why have my parents been dismissed? Whatever issues they had, even if they hadn’t achieved anything all those years, they still tried hard, so can’t they get another chance, given all their suffering and the work they’ve done?” I knew this state of mine was wrong, but my heart remained unyielding, and I didn’t have any motivation to seek the truth. So I came before God and prayed, “God, I am in so much pain. Please enlighten and guide me so that I may understand Your will.”
I went on to ask a sister about how to resolve my state, and I couldn’t help but cry as I explained it all to her. She fellowshiped with me, “Your parents were dismissed, but they weren’t cleared out or expelled. Why are you so upset? You should see that God’s love is within this. This is God giving them a chance to repent.” My eyes finally opened when she said that. It was true. God has never said that a dismissal means a person has been exposed and cast out. A great deal of brothers and sisters only start to reflect, regret, truly repent and change after they’ve been dismissed. After that, they take on a duty in the church again. In any case, having a duty doesn’t guarantee you can be saved. If you don’t pursue the truth, you can still be cast out by God. In reality, being dismissed was God giving my parents a chance to reflect and repent, but I had thought being dismissed was the same as being exposed and cast out. This view isn’t in line with the truth! When I thought about it this way, I felt a bit better, but I was still very upset about it whenever I thought about it later. I kept feeling like the church had been too hard on them.
Later, I read God’s words: “The more you lack understanding in a certain matter, the more you should have a God-fearing and pious heart, and frequently come before God to seek God’s will and the truth. When you don’t understand things, you need God’s enlightenment and guidance. When you encounter things that you do not understand, you need to ask God to work more upon you. These are God’s good intentions. The more you come before God, the closer your heart will be to God. And isn’t it true that the closer your heart is to God, the more God will dwell within it? The more God is in a person’s heart, the better their pursuit, the path they walk, and the state in their heart will become” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Treasuring God’s Words Is the Foundation of Belief in God). I felt a bit calmer after reading God’s words. God says the less you understand something, the more you should seek the truth with a God-fearing heart. Only in this way can your state keep improving. Thinking on my parents’ dismissals, I knew from doctrine that it had to be suitable for the church to do that and I shouldn’t complain or make judgments, and I was trying not to dwell on it, but I still hadn’t really resolved my misunderstandings or my distance from God. Whenever I thought about the matter, I still had this inexplicable sense of hurt and pain. At this point, I came to understand that when we encounter something we don’t understand or comprehend, we need to actively seek the truth, not hold to rules and restrain ourselves, and let things pass in a haze—problems can’t be solved that way. In reality, I didn’t actually know my parents very well. I just saw them outwardly making sacrifices and expending themselves, and heard others say good things about them, but this was really narrow and one-sided. I should hear more about them from the brothers and sisters they’d been in contact with recently, not just rely on my own feelings. I started to look into the specifics of my parents’ behaviors in their duties. I read their essays and others’ evaluations of them. They said my dad was perfunctory in his duties and shirked anything difficult, and that he was unwilling to put much into anything that involved physical suffering, and that although he had skills, he’d always been passive in his duty without achieving much. He’d been dismissed and transferred several times, but he didn’t do any of these duties he’d been transferred to well. When he preached the gospel later, he was still perfunctory and shirked hard work. He didn’t get anything done without the supervisor’s oversight. When brothers and sisters pointed out problems in his duty, he didn’t self-reflect, and always made excuses, saying he was getting older and had health problems, and that duty didn’t play to his strengths, so it was normal that there were issues, and the others were expecting too much from him. As a result, he was dismissed when he never got good results in his duty. And though my mom seemed really energetic and could pay a price in her duty, she only did superficial work and was really just muddling through most of the time. She didn’t do practical work, and delayed the work’s progress. Though she did a lot of work, there were a lot of problems, which brought great losses to the interests of God’s house. In addition to this, she was always covering her own back and protecting her own interests instead of those of the church. For example, some things needed to be handled promptly, and it would be best for her to go, but she’d send someone else, afraid of offending someone, holding up the work of the church. Brothers and sisters also said she had a really arrogant disposition and that she was obstinate. She used her experience as a crutch, doing whatever she wanted without discussing things with others. She was also incapable of accepting others’ suggestions, possessive over her own work, and lacking in transparency, and brothers and sisters weren’t sure of the specific details of how she did a lot of things. And the moment someone did something that wasn’t in line with her wishes, her temper would flare up and she’d scold them angrily, causing them to feel constrained by her. One brother felt so constrained that he said to her, “Sister, I’m lacking caliber. Working with me must be such a pain for you, I’m sorry!” And some others said: “If it weren’t for my duty, I’d never want to interact with someone like her.” She was unwilling to accept it when others pointed out her problems. She was also really biased and resistant to the sister who oversaw her work. She always thought it was always other people making life hard for her and that they were incapable of treating her fairly. I was shocked when I read these assessments. I just didn’t want to believe my parents were actually like that.
Later on, I read this from God’s words: “Conscience and reason should both be components of a person’s humanity. These are both the most fundamental and most important. What kind of person is one who lacks conscience and does not have the reason of normal humanity? Generally speaking, they are a person who lacks humanity, a person of extremely poor humanity. Going into more detail, what manifestations of lost humanity does this person exhibit? Have a go at analyzing what characteristics are found in such people and what specific manifestations they present. (They are selfish and mean.) Selfish and mean people are perfunctory in their actions and stand aloof from anything that does not concern them personally. They do not consider the interests of God’s house, nor do they show consideration for God’s will. They take on no burden of performing their duties or testifying for God, and they have no sense of responsibility” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. In Giving One’s Heart to God, One Can Obtain the Truth). “When a person has a good humanity, a true heart, conscience, and reason, these are not empty or vague things that cannot be seen or touched, but rather they are things that can be discovered anywhere in daily life; they are all things of reality. Say a person is great and perfect: Is that something you can see? You cannot see, touch, or even imagine what it is to be perfect or great. But if you say someone is selfish, can you see that person’s acts—and does he correspond to the description? If someone is said to be honest with a true heart, can you see this behavior? If someone is said to be deceitful, crooked, and base, can you see those things? Even if you close your eyes, you can sense whether the person’s humanity is normal or despicable through what they say and how they act. Therefore, ‘good or bad humanity’ is not an empty phrase. For example, selfishness and baseness, crookedness and deceit, arrogance and self-righteousness are all things that you can grasp in life when you come into contact with a person; these are the negative elements of humanity. Thus, can the positive elements of humanity that people should possess—such as honesty and a love of the truth—be perceived in everyday life? Whether someone has the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit; whether they can receive God’s guidance; whether they have the work of the Holy Spirit—can you see all these things? Can you discern them all? What are the conditions that a person must be possessed of to gain the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, receive God’s guidance, and act in accordance with the truth principles in all things? They must have an honest heart, love the truth, seek the truth in all things, and be able to practice the truth once they understand it. Having these conditions means having the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, being able to understand God’s words, and being able to easily put the truth into practice. If someone isn’t an honest person and doesn’t love the truth in their heart, they will struggle to gain the Holy Spirit’s work, and even if you fellowship the truth with them, nothing will come of it. How can you tell if someone is an honest person? You must not only look at whether they lie and cheat, but most important is to look at whether they are able to accept the truth and put it into practice. That is what’s most key. God’s house has always been casting out people, and at this point, many have already been cast out. They were not honest people, they were all deceitful people. They loved unrighteous things, they didn’t love the truth at all. No matter how many years they believed in God, they couldn’t understand the truth or enter into reality. Even less were such people capable of genuine change. Therefore, their being cast out was an inevitability. When you come into contact with a person, what do you look at first? Look at their words and deeds to see if they are honest, if they love the truth, and if they can accept the truth. These are crucial. You can basically see a person’s essence as long as you can determine whether they are an honest person, whether they are able to accept the truth and put it into practice. If a person’s mouth is full of sweet-sounding words, but they do nothing real—when it comes time to do something real, they only think of themselves and never of others—then what kind of humanity is this? (Selfishness and baseness. He has no humanity.) Is it easy for a person without humanity to gain the truth? It is difficult for them. … Pay no attention to what such people say; you must see what they live out, what they reveal, and what their attitude is when they perform their duties, as well as what their internal state is and what they love. If their love of their own fame and gain exceeds their loyalty to God, if their love of their own fame and gain exceeds the interests of God’s house, or if their love of their own fame and gain exceeds the consideration they show for God, then are such people possessed of humanity? They are not people with humanity. Their behavior can be seen by others and by God. It is very difficult for such people to gain the truth” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. In Giving One’s Heart to God, One Can Obtain the Truth). I saw from God’s words that to evaluate whether someone’s humanity is good or bad, we have to look at their attitude toward their duty and the truth. Those with good humanity love the truth and consider God’s will in their duty. They treat their duty responsibly, are trustworthy, and protect the church’s interests. Those with poor humanity are really selfish and vile, and only think of their own interests. They muddle through their duty, they try to slack off, and are all talk, without getting real work done. They may even disregard or sell out the interests of the church for the sake of protecting their own interests. Looking at my parents’ behavior in light of God’s words, I saw they really weren’t people with good humanity as I had thought they were. Just like my dad—though he made some superficial sacrifices, he didn’t have a burden in his duty, instead being perfunctory and shirking hard work. When there was a price to pay, he’d find lots of excuses to care for his flesh, and not consider the church’s needs. In his duty he needed constant oversight and urging on. He was really passive. As for my mom, though she was constantly busy, could suffer and pay a price for her duty, and it seemed she got some work done, there weren’t any real results from her duties at all, and she did them just for show. She seemed incredibly busy and focused on efficiency, but she was really just looking for quick gains and it was all for her own name and status. She lacked a God-fearing heart in her work and this caused great losses to the interests of the church. In things involving the church’s interests, she knew she was the best person for the job but insisted on others handling them. I saw that she didn’t protect the church’s interests in crucial matters at all, and that she wasn’t of one heart with God. I just saw she’d completed a lot of tasks and paid a big price, but I wasn’t looking at her motives in paying this price or whether she’d achieved anything in doing these tasks, if she’d really contributed anything to the church, or if she’d actually done more harm than good. I finally saw that evaluating whether someone’s humanity is good or bad isn’t about how many sacrifices or efforts they appear to have made, but it’s more about whether their motives are correct, whether they’re sincerely thinking of the church’s work or doing things for their own name and status. People with truly good humanity may not understand the truth, but their hearts are in the right place and they follow their conscience. They are of one heart with God’s house and are able to protect the interests of the church when things happen, so they can attain good results. But as for those with poor humanity, no matter how much they appear to suffer and toil, or how well they speak, in reality, they’re perfunctory in everything they do, only considering and planning for their own interests without sincerely thinking of the interests of the church at all, so they have lots of oversights in their work and don’t really accomplish anything real. Maybe they can get some things done by temporarily relying on their gifts or experience, but in the long run, the losses involved in using this kind of person outweigh the gains because their humanity and character are substandard. They’re unreliable and don’t do real work. You never know when they might bring about losses to the church’s work. When I realized that, I became totally convinced that my parents lacked good humanity.
I’d always thought about how much they gave up in their faith, including a really comfortable life, consistently doing their duty through nearly two decades of challenges, and that even if they didn’t pursue the truth, they were at least true believers, and people with good humanity. But really, there are so many people who can make a show of withstanding hardship, but each person’s motivations and essence in doing this can vary. I didn’t see what was driving them to suffer and expend or whether they really achieved anything in their duties. I just looked at their surface-level sacrifices and efforts and thought they were true believers with good humanity. I was really superficial and foolish in my views! As believers all these years, though we’ve suffered persecution of the Communist Party and the pain of having our families torn apart, we’ve also enjoyed so much of God’s grace. God not only bestows upon us so many truths, but He gives us abundant sustenance for what we need in life. Someone who truly has conscience and reason should do their utmost to perform their duty and repay God’s love. But after all those years of faith and understanding so much doctrine, my parents still didn’t have the most basic sense of burden or responsibility toward their duties that they should have had. They didn’t even protect the church’s interests. Based on how they’d acted, the church dismissing them was entirely God’s righteousness! Handling them in this way was not only good for the church’s work, but it was also good for them. If stumbling and failing that way could help them reflect on and know themselves and turn toward God, change their attitude toward their duties, that would be salvation for them and a turning point in their path of faith. If they kept acting as they had been, without any self-reflection, repentance, or change whatsoever, they really could be exposed and cast out. I thought back on something God said: “The amount an individual must suffer and the distance they must walk on their path is ordained by God, and no one can really help anyone else” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Path … (6)). At this point, all I could do was point out the problems I saw and do my best to help them, but as for what path they chose, that wasn’t something I should worry about. I felt much brighter in my heart when I understood these things, and I no longer felt upset or hurt on their behalf. I was able to approach the matter correctly.
I read more of God’s words later: “You must know what kind of people I desire; those who are impure are not permitted to enter into the kingdom, those who are impure are not permitted to besmirch the holy ground. Though you may have done much work, and worked for many years, in the end if you are still deplorably filthy, then it will be intolerable to the law of Heaven that you wish to enter My kingdom! From the foundation of the world until today, never have I offered easy access to My kingdom to those who curry favor with Me. This is a heavenly rule, and no one can break it!” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks). “I decide the destination of each person not on the basis of age, seniority, amount of suffering, and least of all, the degree to which they invite pity, but according to whether they possess the truth. There is no other choice but this. You must realize that all those who do not follow the will of God shall also be punished. This is an immutable fact” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Prepare Sufficient Good Deeds for Your Destination). These passages were really moving for me. God’s only standard for judging whether people can be saved is if they possess the truth and have transformed their dispositions. God has worked all these years and expressed so many truths, giving such specific and detailed fellowship on the path of entering the truth reality and achieving salvation. So long as someone can love and accept the truth, there’s hope for attaining God’s salvation. But, if someone is satisfied with making superficial sacrifices even after years of faith, without practicing the truth or changing their corrupt disposition at all, then they don’t accept the truth, but they are sick of the truth. For someone like that, no matter how much they sacrifice or how many years they work, or how many important duties they have performed, if they haven’t gained the truth and life or had any change in their corrupt disposition in the end, and still resist and rebel against God, disturbing and disrupting the church’s work, they can’t be saved. Those who do lots of evil will be punished by God, and that’s determined by God’s righteous disposition. Thinking on that, I gained more clarity on how my parents had gotten to this point. Though they’d given up their home and jobs, and worked hard, they didn’t love the truth. They were perfunctory and willful in their duty, and didn’t reflect on or know themselves based on God’s words. When brothers and sisters pointed out their issues, they didn’t submit, made excuses, thought the other person was trying to make life hard for them, and that others expected too much from them. This showed me that they were sick of the truth and didn’t accept it, which is why their corrupt dispositions hadn’t changed even after their many years of faith. Instead, as their time as believers and work record accrued, their arrogant disposition became increasingly severe. I could see from their attitude toward the truth that all their sacrifices weren’t to gain the truth and life, but they were made reluctantly, for blessings. Just like Paul, everything he did was to make a deal with God. He wasn’t a true believer who sincerely expended himself for God. It finally became clear to me that whether someone sincerely believes in God, has good humanity, and can be saved should be judged by their attitude toward the truth. It is not correct to judge them by the quantity of their superficial sacrifices, how much they’ve worked, or what kinds of duties they’ve done. Though some brothers and sisters may not make great contributions to the church, and their duties look insignificant, they’re steadfast in their duties, they put all their heart and strength into them. Their focus in their duty is seeking the truth and reflecting on their corrupt disposition, and having come to recognize this, they can have personal regret and practice the truth, and make changes in their corrupt disposition. This sort of person can stand firm in God’s house. The more I thought about this, the more I came to see that God is truly righteous. God’s standard for evaluating people has never changed. It’s just that I was thinking wishfully about salvation. I’d always thought God shouldn’t forsake or cast out those who’d ostensibly made great sacrifices and worked hard, even if they hadn’t contributed anything. But I really saw God’s righteousness from my parents’ case. God doesn’t do things based on man’s emotions or notions and imaginings, but He uses the standards of the truth to judge and view each person. Even people who’ve held important roles in God’s house are no exception. Realizing these things, my heart felt brighter and more free.
I read a couple more passages of God’s words. God says: “One day, when you understand some of the truth, you will no longer think that your mother is the best person, or that your parents are the best people. You will realize that they are also members of the corrupt human race, and that their corrupt dispositions are all the same. All that sets them apart is the physical blood relationship with you. If they don’t believe in God, then they are the same as the unbelievers. You will no longer look at them from the perspective of a family member, or from the perspective of your fleshly relationship, but from the side of the truth. What are the main aspects you should look at? You should look at their views on belief in God, their views on the world, their views on handling matters, and most importantly, their attitudes toward God. If you assess these aspects accurately, you will be able to see clearly whether they are good or bad people. One day you may see clearly that they are people with corrupt dispositions just like you. It may be even clearer that they are not the kind-hearted people who have real love for you that you imagined them to be, nor are they able to lead you to the truth or onto the right path in life at all. You may see clearly that what they have done for you is of no great benefit to you, and that it is of no use to you in taking the right path in life. You may also find that many of their practices and opinions are contrary to the truth, that they are of the flesh, and that this makes you despise them, and feel aversion and hatred. If you come to see these things, you will then be able to treat your parents correctly in your heart, and you will no longer miss them, worry about them, or be unable to live apart from them. They have completed their mission as parents, so you will no longer treat them as the closest people to you or idolize them. Instead, you will treat them as ordinary people, and at that time, you will completely escape the bondage of emotions and truly emerge from your emotions and family affection” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only Resolving One’s Corrupt Disposition Can Bring About True Transformation). “Many people needlessly suffer emotionally; in fact, this is all unnecessary, useless suffering. Why do I say that? People are always constrained by their emotions, so they are unable to practice the truth and submit to God; in addition, being constrained by emotions is not at all beneficial to doing one’s duty or following God, and is moreover a huge obstacle to life entry. So, suffering the constraint of emotion has no meaning, and God does not remember it. So how do you free yourself from this meaningless suffering? You need to understand the truth, and see through to and understand the essence of these fleshly relationships; then it will be easy for you to be free of being constrained by the emotions of the flesh. … Satan wants to use affection to constrain and bind people. If people do not understand the truth, it is easy for them to be deceived. Quite often, for their parents’ and loved ones’ sake, they are unhappy, they cry, they endure hardships, and they make sacrifices. This is their benighted ignorance; they take it on the chin, and they reap what they sow. Suffering these things is without value—a futile effort that God will not remember at all—and one might say they are going through hell. When you really understand the truth and see through to their essence, you will become free; you will feel that your previous suffering was ignorant and benighted. You will not blame anyone else; you will blame your own blindness, your foolishness, and the fact that you did not understand the truth or see matters clearly” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only Resolving One’s Corrupt Disposition Can Bring About True Transformation). Reading God’s words was really emotional for me. God understands us so well. All my tears and my needless suffering were because I was too emotional and didn’t see things clearly. Before, I didn’t understand the truth or have discernment over my parents, and just thought they were really great and admirable, that they were my role models, and that I should try to be like them. I even thought they were people who understood the truth and who were close to being saved, but when I looked at them in light of God’s words and the truth, I finally realized how incredibly wrong my views had been and I finally gained some discernment of the sort of people they really were. I saw many things in them that I not only didn’t admire, but I despised. I stopped adoring and looking up to them, and I stopped suffering and crying for them. I became able to see them objectively and accurately.
Through the exposure of this situation, I finally saw that I was too emotional. When I lived within fleshly affections, I was only thinking about how much my parents might be in pain and suffering, and I couldn’t accept how the church had handled them. I was full of resistance, and even complained that God wasn’t righteous. I now understand why God hates emotional ties between humans. It’s because when people live in these emotions, they confuse right and wrong, good and evil, they become distant from God and they rebel against God. I didn’t know myself before. When I saw brothers and sisters in tears for days over their relatives who had been dismissed, cleared out, or expelled, I looked down on them. I thought that if such a thing ever happened to me, I wouldn’t be so weak. But when I actually faced that very thing, I was so much weaker than anyone else, and I fell apart. I didn’t just cry a few times, but I lived in negativity and it impacted my duty. I was truly foolish and naive, and also somewhat unreasonable. Through this experience, I finally gained some understanding for those brothers and sisters who struggled to escape their emotions, and I gained some shame for my past ignorance and boasting. I also learned that there’s truth to seek in everything that happens, that there’s always a chance to develop discernment and learn a lesson, and that we need to treat everyone around us, even our own parents, in accordance with God’s words and the truth. Then we won’t treat them according to our emotions and imaginings, or do things to resist God. Thank God!