"No Other Success Can Compensate for Failure in the Home!" - David O. McKay
I am just an ordinary person with a very humble family background. Kom Tong Hall (today's Dr. Sun Yat-Sen museum) was my home. It was also the former Asia Area Headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As servants, my parents moved into this magnificent building in my childhood. Some people mistakenly thought we were a wealthy family, in fact, we all lived in the building's original servants' quarters - a single bedroom in the backyard basement less than 100 square feet in area.
Kom Tong Hall is not only a classic house but also a famous historical building in Hong Kong. Its value lies not only in its architectural design or choice of materials but also in the memories we shared, the history we witnessed and the influence we felt there. Many in the world feel despair, depression, frustration, and worry, often out of a desire to learn the purpose of life. While the Church owned Kom Tong Hall many who walked through its doors found answers to their questions. Some changed their lives by giving up bad habits, refraining from drugs, abstaining from tobacco and liquor, giving up gambling, rejecting pornography, cutting off evil thoughts, and ultimately becoming disciples of Jesus Christ.
My father once said that the generation when he was born was most unfortunate because they endured the horrible World War II during their youth and school days, and were therefore not able to receive a normal education. It was very different from today's generation of young people that lead a normal and easier life. My parents suffered from those harsh and unstable days, when they had to flee during the day under alert, and were threatened by surprise attacks at night, always running to and fro, rarely having any peace.
After the war, prosperity, wealth and worldly pleasures numbed the minds of many people. Many seemed to enjoy these luxuries, however, these things brought another form of pain and bitterness. Some even sought power but lost their souls! There is a Chinese saying that perfectly depicts the unsatisfactory life of the worldly chasing after wealth and fame.
“Busy, Busy, unable to quit,
Rise up early, no time to sleep.
Riding a donkey but dreaming of a horse,
Today a knight, and tomorrow a queen!”
Referring to the wealth-seeking people of the time, my father once told me,“I never thought that I would be one of them!” Yet, he added, “I was just like many others in the world, seeking after fame and fortune, and day and night I never stopped! I searched through darkness and thought it was a palace. My life had fallen and I considered myself prosperous. How sad that was!” One is always awakened from false dreams by a sharp and often painful alarm. Although he never went hungry and always had shelter, over time, my father realized that he was not happy. He sensed that he had lost something important. His heart felt empty and his mind was numb. Though preaching had never affected him much, no matter how knowledgeable or scholarly the preacher, when he heard young missionaries with pure motives and sincere words of inspiration, his long-closed heart finally began to open. It was 1955 when he was first contacted by the missionaries. In 1957, he was baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.