Ms. Williams, great-grandmother to 40 great-grandchildren, believes being good-hearted and performing noble deeds comes with great rewards, and warrants the opportunity to enjoy eternal life in heaven.
While reading “How Humankind Came To Be,” an article Falun Gong founder Mr. Li Hongzhi published in The Epoch Times last month, many of the ideas exposed in the article resonated with her Christian beliefs.
A “feeling of kindness […] permeated that article. It just left me with a feeling of peace,” she told The Epoch Times.
“Both [Christianity and Mr. Li’s words] emphasize the fact of Brotherly Love, of caring about each other and treating each other kindly,” she said.
The 90-year-old, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, went on to recall the article’s insight on “the importance of being kind and that our good works are noticed and rewarded,” which deeply resounded with her beliefs.
Although her religion differs in some respects, Williams thinks “the world would be a magnificent world if everyone could adhere to the teachings of Falun Gong,” as she wrote to The Epoch Times in a previous letter.
The moral teachings of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, consist of three core principles: truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. Mr. Li introduced the spiritual belief to the public in China in 1992.
“The Lord speaks to different people in different ways … [When I finished reading the article I was left] with a feeling that God has spoken to this wonderful man [Mr. Li],” she added.
“And I just felt [Mr. Li’s] regard for humankind … our souls are indestructible, they live on,” she said.
In Mr. Li’s article, he postulates the idea that staying kind and grateful amid difficulties can help eliminate bad karma acquired by past wrongdoing.
“I didn’t know how to relate to that, except that … we can overcome … thoughts and errors [we committed] that aren’t good. The good things we do will replace those, they will be forgiven and forgotten,” she stated.
“I know that we are given every chance to change our lives, to repent and to do better. And I know that our savior is quick to forgive,” she added.
Grateful for Each Day
Learning about Falun Gong’s teachings encouraged Wendy Klappenbach to be grateful for each day and remain positive.
“[Falun Gong is] a deep religion [with] very simple values, which is a basis of life that we should all go by,” she said in a recent interview with NTD Television, the sister media outlet of The Epoch Times.
“Taking time for quiet reflection, a better life, always paying it forward … This really makes sense. Now I can see why millions of people are following it,” added Klappenbach, who is retired and living in North Idaho.
“It was inspiring to wake up each day and say, ‘Thank you for this day.’ I’m going to make it the best day I can,” she stated.
Raised Catholic, though no longer attending church, Klappenbach was always interested in why some religions differ from others.
“It’s just the different paths we decided to choose … we all have our paths we lead, but it was neat to learn about this, the Falun Gong religion and their beliefs,” she stated.
She recommended reading Mr. Li’s article with an open mind. “Instead of reading it judgmental, just read it for what it is, as an education to learn about another culture,” she said.
“If people [were more in] touch with their God, or whoever they believe in, would make them better people,” she added.
Passive Belief Being Persecuted
Klappenbach recommended many people to read “How Humankind Came To Be”—which gives an insight into Falun Gong’s spiritual beliefs—because of the persecution its adherents endure in China.
“There’s a group of people that are suffering, just because they believe this,” said Klappenbach.
“The Chinese government is trying to squash this religion … people need to realize that a religion is being attacked … this isn’t the Middle Ages … it’s now happening in modern society,” she added.
Falun Gong gained popularity in China during the 1990s, with estimates putting the number of adherents at 70 million to 100 million. The communist regime, fearing the number of practitioners posed a threat to its authoritarian control, initiated a sweeping campaign aimed at eradicating the practice starting on July 20, 1999, a program that continues today.
“People are forced to give up their religion so they can basically worship and think that the government is the ‘all great,’” she said.
“This seems like such a passive religion and belief, how it could be so persecuted?” she added.
Stefania Cox contributed to this article.