SEOUL, Korea — The first Family Values Award to be presented by the Church in Korea was awarded to two retired professors who founded an organization that has worked in Seoul to promote and strengthen strong families and do community service.
Dr. Kun Hoo Rhee, M.D., Ph.D., and his wife, Dr. Dong Won Lee, Ph.D., were honored with the award presented by Elder Hyae Kee Min, Area Seventy, on October 30 in the Seoul Korea Stake Center.
Dr. Rhee, a psychiatrist, and Dr. Lee, a sociologist, founded the Family Academia 10 years ago to help establish healthy families and a healthy society in Korea. The organization has 1,200 members, including some Church members. It supports academic research on families, does family education in the community, participates in service in the community, and publishes several books and pamphlets on parenting, grandparenting, and strengthening families.
Dr. Rhee and Dr. Lee were given a commemorative plaque, a porcelain statue of a family reading together, and a framed copy of the Church's Proclamation on the Family.
During the ceremony, Dr. Rhee said, "I'm happy to be here receiving this award, not because the values of the academia have been recognized, but rather because we have come to know of the family values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is spreading the values that we have aspired to in a deeper and wider way throughout the world."
Elder Min spoke about the importance of building strong families in the country. He mentioned many of the programs and teachings the Church has to strengthen men as husbands and fathers and women as wives and mothers.
Dr. Rhee and Dr. Lee have organized many of the professionals and others in the Family Academia to provide service at an orphanage north of Seoul. Through their work, the children there have begun to overcome emotional difficulties, feel more secure, attain higher levels of education, and be healthier. They also built a hall there where Korean culture and arts are taught to the children by hands-on participation.
They raised four children and have four grandchildren.