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Personal stories & experiences

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Majeston
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« on: March 12, 2007, 01:47:30 pm »

 I am a Colorado country boy, chiseled out of the snow and rock of these mountains.  The year I was born, my father, who was raised in Chicago, moved our family to a dairy ranch on the side of a 9,000-foot-mountain pass in Colorado.  The stormy weather at the ranch proved too harsh for the cattle, so that spring my father moved to us to Palmer Lake, a little mountain town at an elevation of just over 7000 feet—still high by most standards—where I spent my childhood.   
  When I was two years old, my mother was killed by a drunk driver, leaving my traumatized father to raise three young children alone. Although my father, a self-styled Jewish John Wayne, was deeply religious, he had always led an unconventional spiritual life. He’d married my mother, although she was a Protestant, and felt closest to God while riding horses in the mountains; he prayed by the rivers and spent little time in formal religious environments.  At home his religious word stood supreme, at least in his presence. But like my dad and his father before him, I grew up curious about religion, unconventional in my ideas, and in quest of deeper spiritual meaning.  As a consequence—and to the terrible annoyance of my dad—I asked a lot of questions about God and religion. During my formative years I was especially troubled by the apparent conflict between science and religion over the subject of evolution.
 I spent my last two years of high school living at a Catholic monastery and attending their college prep school.  I entered the monastery school as a confused agnostic and graduated as a searching Christian.  At the monastery, one of the priests introduced me to the teachings of the brilliant Catholic theologian, Teilhard de Chardin.  Chardin’s elegant writing on the relationship between religion and science propelled me to read a broad array of books on evolution.  Before long, Charles Darwin became one of my life heroes, and his theories laid the foundation for my thinking on the subject.  While searching bookstores for books on evolution, I also scoured the religion sections.  I spent a number of years reading a wide range of religious books at an almost frenetic pace, ranging from Norman Vincent Peale to Taoism.  The more I read on religion and science, the more I was convinced that science reflected the divine nature of God, rather than contradicting it. I wanted to understand how the world was the way it was. The idea that the universe was created in six days, or even 6,000 years, was something that wasn’t working for me. I was rapidly moving toward centrist Christianity with a complete endorsement of scientific fact.
 It was in 1969 at age 19 that I first encountered The Urantia Book. A number of friends had praised its teachings on evolution, and that Christmas a girlfriend gave it to me. I was surprised at its daunting size: 2,097 pages long.  What confounded me the most was that the book contained 875 pages on the life and teachings of Jesus, including the missing years of his life—from age one to twelve and then from age thirteen to approximately thirty—not chronicled in the Bible.  How strange and intriguing, I thought. Dinosaurs and Jesus all in one text.  I didn’t read it right away; instead, I lent it to a friend. But over the course of the next few months, people kept telling me about The Urantia Book. So late one night, after hearing, “You really have to read this book,” for what seemed like the hundredth time, I knocked on my friend’s door and told him, “I need my book back.” For the next year, I was absorbed in reading it—and I’ve been reading it ever since. Even today, I still host a weekly Urantia Book study group at my home.
 Initially, I found the Foreword to The Urantia Book utterly confusing, but I kept reading anyway. What followed was a fascinating intellectual and spiritual adventure that shook up everything I thought I knew. The first two parts of the book describe God, the Trinity, the organization and structure of the universe, life on other worlds, life after death, angels and other personalities, and Heaven. When I read Part Three, I felt as though I’d won the lottery. This section deals with the origin and history of our world, starting from the origin of our sun over six billion years ago—when it spun out of the disintegrating Andronover Nebula—and ending with the birth of Jesus.  From ice ages to saber tooth tigers; from the first human family to the evolution of modern government; from the story of Adam and Eve to the birth of prayer--The Urantia Book presented a logical story of physical and social evolution. It was the bridge between science and religion that I had been searching for, and I was finally at peace with the subject that had consumed me for years.  
 The fourth section of the book recounts the magnificent life and teachings of Jesus. Before I read The Urantia Book, I loved the story of Jesus in the New Testament, but I had always felt disappointed that it only covered a few years of his life. I wanted to know his entire life story and have it fit into a bigger context. Being born to a Christian mother, raised by a non-conformist Jewish father, and having spent two years in a Catholic monastery, my smorgasbord of religious education had taught me to question everything. How did the idea that Jesus was the only son of God relate to Moses, Buddha and other prophets? And if you were born in India and had never heard of Jesus, would you really go to “hell?”  When I read the section in The Urantia Book about Jesus, I was profoundly moved: Jesus—both the human being and the Son of God—came alive in the most superbly written biographical literature that I have ever come across. In addition to reframing Jesus for me, it made me far more respectful and appreciative of my childhood training in both Judaism and Christianity. 
 Simply put, Part Four transformed my life from one of doubt to one of faith, from one of insecurity to one of trust in God—with Jesus as the lens in which God becomes visible. As a spiritual adventurer, I was thrilled that the Jesus of The Urantia Book built upon the Bible, and then took me a hundred miles further.
 The Urantia Book changed three major things inside me. First, it made me examine my values and commit myself to doing something worthwhile with my life. After college, studying and peace marches were replaced by the ordinary tasks of living: making money and raising a family. After studying the teachings in The Urantia Book, I knew that it would feel selfish and wasteful to simply focus on material success. So, as a young man, when I began thinking of what I could do to make a living, I immediately turned to the health food industry. I was adamant that whatever product or service I sold should be healthy and make a positive difference in people’s quality of life.
 Growing up in Colorado, I had developed a love for hiking and spending time in the mountains. Not long after I read The Urantia Book, I decided to start collecting the herbs that grew wild in the canyons and valleys of the mountains around Boulder. With the help of friends, I collected and dried 500 pounds of my first blend, called Mo's 36 Herb Tea®. It was packaged in hand-sewn muslin bags and sold to a local health food store. This was the start of Celestial Seasonings Teas, which today is the largest manufacturer and marketer of specialty teas in the North America.
 Like all business people, I have had to make choices every step of the way.  My materialistic side could easily have hardened me, forming me into one tough businessman. But the ideals I internalized from The Urantia Book kept pushing me to choose good over greed and to care about the people I worked with as well as the people who bought our products. In fact, those ideas were the inspiration for the uplifting quotes we print on the side of our tea boxes and on our teabag tags!
 The second thing the book for me did was instill the importance of family. One line in the book reads, “The family is man's greatest purely human achievement.” Everything I have done since reading The Urantia Book—from my career to my mountain-climbing—has been influenced by my decision to put my family first. I vividly remember the moment when I first understood the choices this commitment required. It was December 24th. I was 26 years old and was sitting in the beautifully appointed office of the first billionaire I’d ever met. It was an important meeting: the billionaire and another executive in the company—also extremely wealthy—were talking to me about investing in Celestial Seasonings. Although the offices were emptying as employees departed to celebrate Christmas Eve, these two men just wanted to talk to me. It was snowing like crazy and I realized I might get stranded at the airport if I stayed much longer. I thought, “I’m going to miss Christmas with my wife and three young children…chasing after money!”
 After a while, when the building was empty except for us, I asked one of the men where he was spending Christmas and what he was doing that night. He broke down and told me of his many divorces and how his children hated him. It turned out that he had nowhere to go. The billionaire also had been through multiple divorces and had no one waiting for him at home. They were hanging around their luxurious offices, entertaining a 26-year-old kid—because they didn’t have anywhere better to go. The combination of the snowstorm, the two lonely men in that super-rich office and the quote in The Urantia Book about human achievement and family hit me hard. I asked myself, What’s important in life?  
 The answer was obvious. I stood up and said, “Excuse me, I’ve got to catch a plane.” I left them, those two sad older men, and went home to spend the holiday with my wife and kids.
 The third and most valuable thing that The Urantia Book did for me was to make God real. I once saw a sign on the inside of a friend’s front door that said, “God is knocking on the door; let’s see whose face he’s wearing this time.” I loved that idea, but it wasn’t yet my experience. Finding God on an everyday basis—and in everyone I met—seemed an almost impossible task for me.  After reading and absorbing The Urantia Book’s specific and detailed teachings about the real fragment of God that dwells within all of us, I slowly grew to trust that a very real part of God has been implanted in our minds to guide our decisions toward God. This part of God—the still small voice of Christianity and Judaism, the Atman of Hinduism and the Tao of Taoism—lives with us in our joys and our sufferings.  Experiencing God as something real and tangible inside of me and inside of you, and not just some kind of wispy spirit, was pivotal for me. This reality has shaped every single day of my life since that time.
 When I first heard people discussing The Urantia Book, they said it was a revelation, written not by human beings, but by angels, which I thought was just the goofiest thing I’d ever heard. I ended up reading it in spite of all that. After I read it, I was not concerned about who had written it or how it had been written because it was so powerful. I’d wanted bold; I found bold.  I’d wanted spiritual adventure and I was on the ride of my life.  I’d wanted truth and the book was loaded with it. Since that time, I have looked into it deeply and I cannot find any author associated with the book. But that is not the point, because I love what it says and I’m a much better person because of its teachings. I’ve learned not to pick fights with the books I read—I’m appreciative and I grow from them.
  
  
  
 Mo Siegel
 Capitol Peaks
 Boulder, Co. 80302
 In Quest of Life's Summits
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"melody has power a whole world to transform."
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Harmony is the speech of Havona.

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Majeston
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2007, 02:00:47 pm »

LARRY MULLINS
    
Clyde Bedell, a man who I consider to be “great in the invisible kingdom,” handed me a copy of the Urantia Book in California back in 1968. He was 72 years old at the time and had been acquainted with the Urantia Papers since 1924. I knew Clyde as a pragmatic, tough, brilliant advertising expert, author and businessman, so he shocked me when he said he believed the text had been produced and materialized by celestial beings. This put me off. However, he added a mitigating comment which I recalled later: “But forget all of that. Judge the Urantia Papers by their content. If I told you that I knew for sure they were written by angels, it would be the worst reason of all for you to believe them. There is a part of God in you that will tell you whether they are true or not.” I was impressed to some degree by the material, but I was sure I did not need it. I had already settled all of these questions in my mind, or so I believed.
A couple of years later, I watched Clyde give a talk on books for a women’s club in Santa Barbara. Clyde had an astounding library, and showed slides of first editions and unusual books, some of which were worth a fortune. He even had handwritten tomes from the Middle Ages. I was a bit surprised when Clyde’s final slide showed a copy of the Urantia Book. I was concerned he would empty out the place when he started talking about it. He said, “If I had to relinquish all of these books but one, this is the one I would keep.” He said very little else about it but none of the audience left. Nor did anyone seem to care very much.
 
I thought at the time that Clyde had made a rather radical pronouncement. On that sunny Santa Barbara afternoon I had no idea what lay in store for me. I was about 35, full of energy and confidence. I had no conception that in a few years I would lose Vicki, one of my beloved daughters, and that my wife would die of cancer. I had no idea my life would come apart at the seams and that I would descend into a hopeless, indescribable darkness. It was in this despair that I truly “found” the riches of the Urantia Book.
The Urantia Papers proclaim that personality realities transcend all the other realities. In those days in Santa Barbara I could not have grasped such a philosophical construct. Yet, it is this notion that has assured me I shall see Vicki again; it has taught me to deeply appreciate my new wife Joan and my two other daughters, Kathleen and Michelle. It promises me that one day, in another plane of existence, I will embrace in peace all of those I have loved—and those I have contended with—in my life upon this difficult planet.
The book Clyde handed me many years ago is rather sad-looking today. The pages are marked up and crumbling on the edges, and the cover has come off. I don’t use it anymore, because every time I open it more pages fall out of the binding. Yet, I believe its condition is evidence of a noble veneration for the gift Clyde gave me. If I had to give up every book I own save one, I would choose to keep that 1955 copy of the Urantia Book that Clyde Bedell handed me so many years ago.
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"melody has power a whole world to transform."
Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits.
Harmony is the speech of Havona.

http://mercy.urantia.org/papers/paper44.html
Majeston
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2007, 02:11:20 pm »

RUTH RENN
   

IN MY EARLY YEARS it was difficult for me to accept the message of being redeemed by the blood of Jesus. I was constantly on a quest for truth. I searched in many libraries for books that might give me what I wanted and needed. On the radio, Preston Bradley in Chicago came the nearest to imparting the truth I was seeking.

In 1925 I went to the Chicago Institute of Research and Diagnosis on Diversey Parkway for a complete physical examination. One appointment was with the co-owner, Dr. William Sadler, for a psychological test. He asked me many questions regarding my thoughts and desires. The question about religious beliefs was, “Do you believe in a Creator?” The conversation led to truth. I mentioned that I would like to be closed in a room to read and read until I found the truth I was looking for. I remember the doctor’s face as I said this. He seemed to have a satisfied spark in his eyes and he nodded his head up and down. Not long after that I received a note in the mail inviting me to attend a Sunday meeting called the Forum at the Sadler home.

One Sunday I persuaded my husband to attend a meeting with me to see what it was about. As we ascended the stairs of the building at 533 Diversey Parkway, my husband made the remark, “You will never get me down here again.” We were greeted by Dr. Lena Sadler, the doctor’s wife, who said, “These beings told us to build the scaffolding; they would do the rest.”

When the meeting opened we were fortunate to hear Paper 1, “The Universal Father.” I was astounded. Never had I realized that we could be told so much about God. All the following week I was remembering little snatches of what I had heard about our heavenly Father, his love and mercy. I had found what I had been searching for.

The following Sunday my husband Roy was preparing to go to the meeting with no thought of what he had said the week before about never going again. Our lives were changed from that time on. And, for over sixty years, I have endeavored to be a faithful disseminator of the Urantia teachings.
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"melody has power a whole world to transform."
Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits.
Harmony is the speech of Havona.

http://mercy.urantia.org/papers/paper44.html
Majeston
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2007, 02:19:33 pm »

JULIA EARLY FENDERSON

Julia circa 1960s



IN 1939, after teaching school for ten years in New Mexico, Julia Early found herself in Chicago, a single mother with two young sons and unable to find a teaching job. One Sunday morning she attended services at a Methodist Church and heard the name Dr. William S. Sadler mentioned, not only as a world-famous psychiatrist but as a counselor who had successfully guided a number of people. She said, “I was quite shy but I was also very poor and in despair, so even though it was Sunday, I went out to the church parking lot and called Dr. Sadler from a pay phone.” Dr. Sadler agreed to see Julia the following day. He helped her find a job and gave her some books to read, including The Mind At Mischief, but did not mention anything to her about the Urantia papers.

Julia read every word, and when she went back to see Dr. Sadler on the third floor of 333 Diversey Parkway she questioned him about the case he referred to in the Appendix to The Mind at Mischief. Sadler was evasive but Julia was so persistent that finally, in near exasperation, he said, “Julia, sit down and I’ll tell you the whole story.” He told her about the Urantia papers and she didn’t sleep that night.

Julia said, “I was skeptical. I’d been brought up in a scholarly home. I’d been raised in the Methodist Church and had always had utter faith, but I’d also been taught not to believe that there was only one way to think.” She remembered the old Sioux Indian saying: “Don’t judge anyone until you’ve walked ten miles in his moccasins.” This was nearly sixteen years before the Urantia Book was published.

Julia became an avid student of the papers and a member of the Forum. “The more I examined them the more I came to believe,” she said. The caliber of people who read with her also furthered her belief in the Urantia papers. She described Dr. Sadler as “one of the brainiest men I ever met.”

There was also Sir Hubert Wilkins, an English authority on Arctic exploration. Julia frequently read with him in between the Sunday meetings and she asked him why he believed. “It is their utter consistency from beginning to end,” he said. “No human being could have written these papers with so much consistency of detail . . . there would have been a crack someplace.” Marian Rowley was appointed Julia’s “friendly helper,” someone new readers could talk to about questions, and the two became close friends.

At a Sunday Forum meeting during the winter in the early 1940s Dr. Sadler asked all those felt committed to the papers and really wanted to work with them, to come up the following Wednesday night. That night was cold and snowy. Exactly seventy members arrived and signed their names in numerical order. Julia was number seventeen. The purpose of the meeting was to sign up for special training and courses of study to better prepare members for the future of the Urantia movement. However, Julia felt that it was was necessary to be cautious about becoming too organized. “Basically,” she said,  “The Urantia Book is between the reader and God; it’s an individual thing.”
[ellen montgomery interview, 1980]
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"melody has power a whole world to transform."
Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits.
Harmony is the speech of Havona.

http://mercy.urantia.org/papers/paper44.html
Majeston
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2007, 02:23:02 pm »

GRACE KOLZE WALKER

I WAS RAISED in a religious family in the suburbs of Chicago. My father was an evangelical minister, a circuit-riding preacher in his early ministry. Before the Depression, I wanted to be a missionary or a missionary doctor. In college I was exposed to what was called “higher criticism,” which questioned the authority of the Bible. This caused me to do a lot of thinking about religion.

Later, I found a book by a German professor that was quite profound. I asked my doctor, Dr. William Sadler on Diversey Parkway in Chicago, if he had read this book because I just felt he knew something. He said he had read the book, then added, “I’ve got something I think you’d be interested in.” He told me about the Urantia Papers, and when I showed interest he said, “What are you doing on Sunday? Could you possibly come to the Forum next Sunday afternoon?” Explaining that it would take too long to describe the purpose of the Forum in his office, the doctor invited me to come early. Upon joining the Forum, I signed, at the doctor’s request, a pledge of secrecy concerning the Urantia Papers.

I began reading the Papers in 1945. I worked in downtown Chicago, and after work on Friday nights I would take the bus to 533 Diversey. Afterwards I’d take a late train and wouldn’t get home until midnight. Reading one paper at a time, I started with the Jesus papers, then began reading from the first part of the book. I was convinced that what I read was true, because the story of Jesus’ life as father to his brothers and sisters touched on so many of the same problems I had had in my life.

One time, when I first began to read. I approached Mrs. Kellogg, who was the proctor at the desk, and asked, “Do you really believe all of this?”

“I certainly do!” she replied.

The Sunday afternoon group, which had started as a discussion group, was called the Forum. At the time I began attending it had become an open-house time for readers. I also belonged to a group called the Seventy. There were just seventy people in this group originally, made up of those who had read the Papers in their entirety. Within this group was a school formed to train teachers, which held evening classes at 533. The problem was that there were teachers but no persons to teach at this time. Teachers far outnumbered new readers.

In the Seventy group, each person had to write a paper on a Urantia topic. These were passed by the doctor and read on Sundays.

My parents, who were by then in their seventies, lived next door to me, and they were curious about where I was going on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons. I finally had to tell them a little about the Papers. My dad was skeptical, but my mother was quite open-minded. They both actually held some of the same ideas as the book already.

Living so far away, I wasn’t able to keep up with the meetings. I was divorced and had much responsibility. These Papers helped me raise my children. I also learned that with disappointment we have another chance. The Urantia teachings literally changed my life.
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"melody has power a whole world to transform."
Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits.
Harmony is the speech of Havona.

http://mercy.urantia.org/papers/paper44.html
Majeston
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2007, 02:27:14 pm »

WESLEY R. JAMES


I’ve never had the experience of finding the Urantia Book. That distinction belongs to my grandmother, Elizabeth James, and to my parents, William and Mary James. Because of their efforts the UB has always been a part of my life.

In the late 1920s my grandmother began searching for answers to religious questions that troubled and intrigued her. The answers her Bible and church background provided lacked consistency as far as she was concerned. There were even questions she was told should not be asked, because they showed a lack of faith. She studied the philosophies and attended the meetings of a number of cults and isms that were popular in Chicago in those days, from the Swedenborgians and Rosicrucians to the Silver Shirts of a Dr. Pelley.

At one of these meetings my grandmother mentioned to some people her growing concern that none of the groups she had found thus far had the answers she was looking for. These people—Mrs. Jessie Hill and Fred and Alice Leverenz—suggested she might be interested in a group they belonged to that met on Sundays at 533 Diversey Parkway in Chicago.

After meeting Dr. Sadler and learning about the purpose of the Forum, my grandmother signed the pledge and became a member. Years later as one of the Seventy she was often praised for her prodigious memory and ability to quote verbatim from the unpublished papers which later became the Urantia Book.

The change in my grandmother after she joined the Forum so intrigued my parents that my mother wrote Dr. Sadler asking if they too could become Forum members. In response, Dr. Sadler asked my grandmother if she wouldn’t like to have her entire family in the Forum, and so my mother, father, and uncle, Wesley John James, became members.

As our family grew, my parents weren’t able to attend Forum meetings regularly. My grandmother almost always came for Sunday dinner after the meeting and would share with us what had been discussed. My oldest brother and I were very young, at most in first or second grade, and it was assumed we wouldn’t understand, but I can still dimly recall parts of what was said. I can definitely remember the strange looks and laughs my brother and I got when we told the neighbors’ kids that there had once been blue, green and orange people!

Early in her association with the Forum my mother asked Dr. Lena Sadler if they should teach their children the advanced UB ideas before the book was published. Dr. Lena replied that if they didn’t, both they and the children would miss the chance of a lifetime. So, although we went to regular Sunday school and church, at home religious questions always received UB-oriented answers.

When I was 15 my grandmother asked me if I would like to become a Forum member. Coincidentally, the Sunday I signed the membership pledge and went to my first meeting, Alfred Leverenz, the son of Fred and Alice, was also attending his first meeting as a new member. While I completed reading all the papers on my own, I can’t say I understood a great deal of what I’d read. Even after my grandmother had me memorize the various orders of angels, the names and capitals of the superuniverse divisions, and the difference between “triata” and “ultimata,” the teachings still didn’t always strike me as true. I was a “UB burn-out” at a very early age!

It was after the book was published and I started attending a study group founded by Al Leverenz, that I began to acquire a fuller understanding of the teachings. It was now possible to read the book as slowly as I wished, and to talk to others in various stages of reading and understanding, and to listen to their stories of how they’d found the book. This is when I more fully began to appreciate the UB myself—not the facts, but the truths of the book.

Finding these truths has been an ongoing process. Truth expands as one’s ability to comprehend expands, until in eternity we find the Source of Truth.
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"melody has power a whole world to transform."
Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits.
Harmony is the speech of Havona.

http://mercy.urantia.org/papers/paper44.html
Majeston
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2007, 02:34:35 pm »

JACQUES WEISS

    

AMONG THE PERSONS who were studying the typed manuscript of the Urantia Papers between 1935 and 1955 was a Miss Caroline Brown, a well-informed spiritualist with whom I had long conversations in New York during the winter of 1947-1948. At that time Miss Brown never alluded to the existence of the Papers.

In the early fifties this group received a celestial message stating that because of advances in planetary communications, the number of potential readers had become sufficient to justify the publication of the Papers in English with an initial printing of 10,000 copies, and that a translator in another language would be found to make it a truly worldwide work.

During Christmas time in 1955, as soon as the Papers appeared in English under the title of “The Urantia Book,” Miss Brown sent me a copy and hinted that the publication message might be meant for me.

It took me the first months of 1956 to read the book.

Like many French people, I had been searching for a philosophy that could unite science and religion. After a thirty-year quest, I found it in the Urantia Book. Well aware of the difficulty of translating the book into French and publishing it, I nevertheless decided to consider myself, from that time on, as being on a mission. I translated the whole text by hand in twenty-nine large notebooks, constantly receiving immense aid from the invisible world—collaboration, health, inspiration, and money.

When the manuscript was well on the way, I asked my secretary to undertake the typing. Then I wrote to the Urantia Foundation, telling them that I had translated the book into French and requesting permission to publish it. There followed an endless period of negotiations and controls which finally resulted in an agreement for which it was necessary for me to go to Chicago in 1960.

When I arrived there on August 21, Dr. Sadler introduced me to an assembly of around seventy Urantians with the following words: “We received the order to publish the Urantia Book in 1955 because the time had come and because there would be a translator. I introduce to you today this translator, whose potential the spiritual world knew of before the translator, himself, knew of the existence of the work.”

Naturally these exceptional circumstances led me to form a great friendship with Dr. Sadler in 1960. He was then 85 years old. In leaving him, I asked for his promise to stay alive until I could come again to see him and deliver to him in person the international fruit of the work. He kept his word.
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"melody has power a whole world to transform."
Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits.
Harmony is the speech of Havona.

http://mercy.urantia.org/papers/paper44.html
Majeston
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2007, 02:36:33 pm »

MEREDITH J. SPRUNGER


MY SPIRITUAL PILGRIMAGE began at the age of four when I recall saying to myself, “There is something about life that I do not understand, but I’m going to find out.” During the years that followed, my life was shaped by a series of peak experiences that led me through academic majors in philosophy and theology preparatory to ordination as a minister in the United Church of Christ.

After years of developing sermons and papers formulating my own spiritual experience that was centered in the religion of Jesus rather than the religion about Jesus, I realized that a new spiritual approach was needed in mainline Christian theology. I tentatively outlined a couple of books which needed to be written, and after some procrastination, I finally committed myself to the discipline of writing these books. Shortly after making this decision, the Urantia Book was placed in my hands.

In December of 1955 my wife Irene and I had stopped in to visit our friends, Dr. and Mrs. Edward Brueseke, in South Bend, Indiana. In addition to his pastoral activities, Ed served as chairman of a theological commission in the Evangelical and Reformed Church (later united with the Congregational Christian denomination to become the United Church of Christ). During the course of the visit Ed picked up a big blue book and handed it to me, saying, “Judge Louis Hammerschmidt (a member of his congregation) gave me this book. Some businessmen think this is a new Bible.” I looked at the table of contents and read chapter headings like “The Messenger Hosts of Space,” written by One High in Authority, and “The Corps of the Finality,” authored by a Divine Counselor and One Without Name and Number! As I handed the book back to Ed, we had a hearty laugh about businessmen thinking they had a new Bible. I assumed that that would be the last I would see of the book.

At the time I was vice-president of the Indiana-Michigan Conference and Judge Hammerschmidt was the layperson on our conference board. In January I picked up the judge to attend a board meeting in Jackson, Michigan. During the trip Hammerschmidt brought up the topic of spiritualism, which he did not accept, and was a bit surprised that I had made a study of it. After a pause he turned to me and said, “Say, I’ve got a book that I would like to have you read and tell me what you think of it.” I knew he was referring to the Urantia Book, but to avoid hurting his feelings I replied, “Okay, Judge. Send it to me.”

When the book arrived I set it aside, not wanting to waste my time reading what appeared to be either esoteric nonsense or some elaborate system of theosophy. Periodically, I would read a bit in it here and there but I was not impressed. That summer I took it along on vacation but things didn’t get boring enough for me to look at the book. In September I realized that I would be in a meeting with Hammerschmidt in October and I had to read something and tell him what I thought about it.

Looking over the table of contents, I saw it had a section on the life and teachings of Jesus. I thought that with my theological training I could make short work of this section. As I started reading I did not find what I’d expected to find—something like The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, by Levi. The story of the early life of Jesus was more believable than the accounts one finds in the apocryphal stories of the boyhood of Jesus. It was something that might reasonably have happened. As I proceeded to that aspect of the life of Jesus covered by the New Testament I was even more impressed. Some of the traditional theological problems were handled by the events of the story in a way that made more sense than anything I had ever read. I found the Urantia Book’s narrative to be solidly rooted in the New Testament realities. There were times when I read with tears streaming down my face. When I finished reading “The Life and Teachings of Jesus” I was theologically and spiritually inspired. Whoever had produced a life of Jesus of this quality, I thought, must have something significant to say in the rest of the book.

Thus motivated, I started with the Foreword and read the entire book. I discovered that the first three quarters of the book was even more amazing and profound than “The Life and Teachings of Jesus”! The teachings of the Urantia Book resonated and harmonized with my experience and highest thinking. The substance of the two books I had planned to write was expressed far better here than I could have possibly done. If this is not an authentic picture of spiritual reality, I said to myself, it is the way it ought to be! Science, philosophy, and religion were integrated more effectively in the Urantia Book than in any other philosophical or theological system known to me. There was no doubt in my mind that this was the most inspiring and authentic picture of spiritual reality available to humankind.

I gave copies of the Urantia Book to around a dozen of my colleagues and all of them except one—who admitted that he hadn’t read it—confirmed my evaluation of its high quality. Our clergy group spent several years interviewing the people connected with the publication of the book and researching events associated with its origin. Since then I have devoted myself to sharing the Urantia Book with college students and the clergy of mainline Christianity.
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2007, 02:39:39 pm »

GENE JOYCE
    
IN THE SPRING OF 1956 my husband and I stopped by to pick up our friends Agnes and Bob so we could all attend a performance of the Theater in the Round at Fair Park in Dallas. I don’t remember the play we saw, but I can still recall Agnes’s exact words as we entered their house: “Gene, come and see this crazy book a friend of Bob’s sent him from Australia!” It was accompanied by a note that read, “This book has meant so much to me and my family that I wanted you to have a copy,” and it was signed, “Clyde Bedell.”

Even without time to peruse the book, I was impressed by its size, the excellent bindings, and the quality of the paper. A quick glance through the table of contents whetted my interest. What was this Urantia Book? Considering what it must have cost to produce a book of such quality, this was no fly-by-night scam. The following day I ordered two copies from the publisher in Chicago—first printings, no less—for $10 each!

It seemed quite a coincidence that scarcely two weeks later, while having dinner with my friend Helen (who was executive secretary to G. B. Dealey, head of The Dallas Morning News), she mentioned the word “Urantia.” For some time she had been telling me stories about a fascinating man named Bill Sadler who came down from Chicago periodically to visit his business accounts in Dallas. As it happened, Bill was in town and it was part of Helen’s job to schedule his appointments while he was here, giving her a chance to get to know him.

Only that morning Mr. Dealey had asked her to find out from Bill some charity or foundation to which The News could give money in memory of Bill’s son, Billy, who had recently died. After some persistence on her part, Bill Sadler finally said, “Well, if you insist, they could make a donation to the Urantia Foundation.”

“Why, Helen, that’s the name of that crazy book!” I said, and told her the story about Clyde Bedell sending the Urantia Book from Australia to Bob’s family in Dallas.

From the time I was nine years old when my mother died, questions about survival after death and matters relating to religion had been plaguing my mind. I wanted to know why we are here, where we are going, and what is the purpose of it all. Although I believed that Jesus was the Son of God I didn’t much like the version of his personality as given in the Bible. Through the Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists, Congregationalists and Lutherans, I searched for acceptable answers to my questions. They either didn’t have answers or the answers they gave didn’t make sense to me.

After reading the Urantia Book for ten years as superb science fiction I decided it was exactly what it said it was and it began to change my life. Jesus as presented in the book was such a revelation to me that it allowed me to come closer to him and to appreciate him as the perfect model of the Father’s love. He became my hero and the example of all the attributes I admired and could try to emulate.

The Urantia Book enabled me to abandon anxiety and eliminate my fears. It also helped preserve my sanity when my son Christopher died at 19. I thank our Father for this revelation every day of my life
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2007, 02:56:29 pm »

HAL KETTELL
   

SOMETIME in the early ’60s I was working on a fine elderly gentleman in my dental chair. His name was Fred Squires. We talked about philosophy and religion. I was searching even then. In my youth my mother had exposed me to Christian Science; I had been a Sunday school teacher, superintendent, Christian Education chair, elder and trustee of a large Presbyterian church; I had looked into reincarnation, Edgar Cayce, pyramids, and UFOs, but something was always missing and I was ready for something new. At one point I made the “mistake” of taking my hands out of Fred’s mouth long enough for him to say, “I have a book that I think you might be interested in.” He then told me a little about it. It sounded quite interesting, so I asked if I could borrow it.

“No way!” he replied, “But you can buy one at the bookstore.”

 I was not in the habit of buying everything recommended to me in the office, but I guess my guardian angel—or midwayers or my Thought Adjuster—must have been needling me, because I made a trip to Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena to buy one. At the time, of course, I had no idea that I had a guardian angel or Thought Adjuster, but something motivated me to pursue the issue.

At the bookstore, when I asked for the Urantia Book (Fred had written the name down for me), the salesgirl said, “The what book?” When I repeated the name, she said, “Okay, I’ll look it up.” She soon found that it could be ordered from the publisher in Chicago, but that it would cost $12.50. Feeling like a big spender, and having made a special trip to the store, I told her to go ahead.

In about two weeks I received a phone call saying my book had arrived.

“What book?” I asked.

“The Urantia Book you ordered,” came the reply.

Well, that was the start of a new adventure into the universe for me. After thumbing through the table of contents and scanning the list of authors with all of their weird names, I decided I had an enormous, expensive, paper-pack of science fiction. I enjoyed science fiction, so I started with the geological development of our planet. It was fascinating, and within a couple of weeks I was hooked on the Urantia Book as fact and not fiction.

Fred subsequently invited me to a study group at Helen Steen’s home in Pasadena. Helen, Fred, and Fred’s sister Julia Fenderson were all from Chicago and had been a part of the Forum with Dr. Sadler. It was a fascinating study group, whose members prepared charts for daily reading, summaries of the apostles, lists of Jesus’ earth family, and some beautiful color drawings of the universes by Georgia Gecht.

After I had read enough to know what it was about, I bought several more first-printing copies and gave them to my relatives. The results were predictable: one fundamentalist sister burned the book, calling it the work of the devil; one brother put it on the shelf of his library, and it was years before he blew the dust off it. So I learned. Now I just occasionally sow a few seeds in the hope that they will take root and grow. Since then, a couple of my siblings have graduated to the mansion worlds, and I’m sure they were surprised on arrival.

Now the blanks in my faith are filled in—the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed. I have complete faith and trust in God as my Father and friend as I search to reach him. He is personal and real to me now, rather than a man in the sky with a long beard, waiting for me to make a mistake so that St. Peter can write it down in my book of life. Best of all, the book has given me a real concept of Jesus as Michael of Nebadon, my elder brother and creator. My life is now becoming fulfilled, and I am more at peace with the real world of the spirit. What more can I ask for than to enjoy the journey?
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2007, 03:11:41 pm »

STEFAN TALLQVIST
    

FINLAND received its first copy of the Urantia Book in the early 1960s. It was sent by Margit Mustapha, a woman from Santa Barbara, California, to a Finnish group calling themselves the Interplanetists. Some of the members of this group who became interested in the Urantia Book were Joel Rehnstrom and Kerstin Dyhr. Rehnstrom very soon started a project to translate the book into Finnish. Others made translations of varying quality at an early stage. Dyhr was the treasurer of a long-established Finnish association for psychic research, Sallskapet for Psyksisk Forskning i Finland r.f., which was founded in about 1908 at the University of Helsinki and is one of the oldest of its kind in the world.
Interested in physics, astronomy and parapsychology, in 1961 I started my studies at the University of Technology in Helsinki and soon joined Sallskapet for Psyksisk Forskning, later serving as chairman for about ten years. In 1965 I found the Urantia Book through that society and saw it in other places as well. Joel Rehnstrom gave me my first book in 1967 as soon as the second printing appeared. At first I found the book highly interesting, but after discovering what I thought were errors in some astronomical matters, my interest for several years was only mild.
In the early 1970s I worked on my Licentiate thesis in radio technology (antennas) and astronomy, and in 1974 took an active part in the construction of the first Finnish microwave radio telescope. I worked as an engineer and astronomer for a long time. As the years passed I grew to know more about astronomy, and several of the “errors” I’d found in the Urantia Book were vindicated by developing astronomical knowledge. As a result, I became seriously interested in the book, and have been so ever since. Several Finnish newspapers wrote about my involvement with it in the early 1980s, focusing particularly on my model of the electron which I derived from the book.
I have participated in UBook discussion on the Internet since 1993; lately I have been dialoguing with the Skeptics in Finland.
The large amount of scientific material, and the scientific convergence of facts, that I have investigated over the years from a variety of branches of human knowledge, undoubtedly point to the fact that the Urantia Book is a genuine cosmic message to humankind.
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"melody has power a whole world to transform."
Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits.
Harmony is the speech of Havona.

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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2007, 08:48:05 am »



Majeston:

Your personal experience with Urantia is missing. 

How did you come to it?


Love and Peace,
Bianca
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2007, 09:54:38 pm »

Quote
Majeston:

Your personal experience with Urantia is missing. 
How did you come to it?
Love and Peace,
Bianca

Bianca my dear,  now how would you know that? 

I thought I included mine right in the beginning.  Smiley LOL
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"melody has power a whole world to transform."
Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits.
Harmony is the speech of Havona.

http://mercy.urantia.org/papers/paper44.html
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2007, 12:51:43 pm »




Well.............I'm psychic?

Seriously, if you don't mind, why did YOU become a 'convert"?

I read Urantia many, many years ago.  It was not for me.  I am glad you draw
obvious joy from it, as does Sevens.

Love and Peace,
Bianca


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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2007, 06:32:57 pm »

A Cosmic Parenting Manual

Submitted by Michelle Klimesh

It was the story of the Lucifer rebellion that saved my life. When I found The Urantia Book in 1974, I was deeply depressed, and didn't want to live here any more. I couldn't understand how to believe in a God that could create such a mess as I saw our world to be. I didn't understand the rules of being human, couldn't understand why people valued things I thought were useless, and why they ignored what was obviously precious. I was in a lot of pain and I just wanted out.
Learning that our planet was screwed up, that we had gone astray, that this wasn't God's plan for us made perfect sense to me, and helped me believe that God hadn't abandoned me.
The second most profound impact the revelation made on the course of my life was learning how Jesus raised his family. The idea that the creator of Nebadon would set aside universe affairs to be a good parent to his father's children made it crystal clear to me that nothing I would ever do in my life was as important as doing right by my children. My beautiful daughters are grown now and I feel so grateful that I had Jesus' example to light my choices during those long years of motherhood.

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"melody has power a whole world to transform."
Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits.
Harmony is the speech of Havona.

http://mercy.urantia.org/papers/paper44.html
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