In 1924, Mr. Lee Yü-chieh rose to prominence in officialdom; while serving as confidential secretary to KMT’s Minister of Finance Soong Tzu-wen, he completed a draft of China’s First Tax Code.
In 1930 he became a disciple of Master Hsiao Ch’ang-ming, founder of the T’iente Church. Thenceforth he began to make the Tao his life. He founded the Institute for the Study of Religious Philosophy in Shanghai; following the Twenty Words of Truth, combined with quiet sitting and cosmic ch’i healing, he worked to transform people’s hearts and save them from catastrophe.
In 1935, upon instructions from his Master, he traveled to preach teachings in Hsi’an, with encouragement from his mother and the support of his wife Kuo Ch’un-hua. This worthy couple stayed together through thick and thin on the road of life, always understanding each other.
In 1936 he climbed T’ai-pai Mountain and received a message from his teacher’s teacher Yun-lung Chih sheng [“Cloud Dragon Venerable Sage”]: “Next summer a catastrophe will arise; our nation will face a terrible ordeal.” “It is Heaven’s wish that next year on July 2nd you should resign from office and take your family into seclusion beneath White Cloud Peak on Hua Mountain. There you will offer prayers over a long period, keeping watch over the Northwest Gateway.”
On July 2, 1937 he and his wife went to Hua Mountain with their four sons: Wei-sheng (11 years old), Wei-kung (9 years), Wei-kuang (7 years), and Wei-kang (4 years). The household included tutors for the sons. Thenceforth Lee Yü-chieh styled himself as Han-ching Lao-jen. On July 7th, Japanese warlords initiated armed aggression against China with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, touching off eight years of war between the two countries.