Answers to Questions by Readers of The Urantia Book
For many years, I have been answering questions relating to The Urantia Book asked by readers from different countries. Recently I received the opportunity to write this article, including some of these questions and answers, for which I thank our sister Jeannie Vázquez from Uruguay who worked on the selection and reviewed these sets of questions and answers. I am also grateful to the Tidings’ editors for making it possible to publish this article.
Question 1: “I was remembering today a conversation we had about the missing link between monkeys and humans. As I recall, you told me that, according to The Urantia Book, there is no such link. Could you remind me why it does not exist?”
Answer: The scientists say that there should be a missing link between the superior simian (gorilla, chimpanzee, etc.) and humans. But in The Urantia Book we are taught:
Although the evolution of vegetable life can be traced into animal life, and though there have been found graduated series of plants and animals which progressively lead up from the most simple to the most complex and advanced organisms, you will not be able to find such connecting links between the great divisions of the animal kingdom nor between the highest of the prehuman animal types and the dawn men of the human races. These so-called “missing links” will forever remain missing, for the simple reason that they never existed. [Paper 58:6.2, page 669.3]
And so it may be readily seen that man and the ape are related only in that they sprang from the mid-mammals, a tribe in which there occurred the contemporaneous birth and subsequent segregation of two pairs of twins: the inferior pair destined to produce the modern types of monkey, baboon, chimpanzee, and gorilla; the superior pair destined to continue the line of ascent which evolved into man himself. [Paper 62:3.12, page 706.3]
Modern man and the simians did spring from the same tribe and species but not from the same parents. Man’s ancestors are descended from the superior strains of the selected remnant of this mid-mammal tribe, whereas the modern simians (excepting certain pre-existent types of lemurs, gibbons, apes, and other monkeylike creatures) are the descendants of the most inferior couple of this mid-mammal group… [Paper 62:3.13, page 706.4]
The wars within the pre-existent and ancestral race of dawn mammals in which the first humans were born destroyed the superior members of the tribe and, several thousand years later, not one was left alive.
Question 2: “Do you think that the whole Father’s plan, and the journey to “return” to him, is, so to speak, the way to encourage us to endure eternity?”
Answer: The Father’s plan is to “…share the consciousness of all the experience of imperfectness of all the struggling creatures…” [2:2.6, 36.4] Although his plan includes diversion, entertainment, and rest, the Father yearns for all his sons and daughters to use their free will to choose to do his divine will and survive in the eternal life, the career that will lead us to him and to infinity.
Living eternally is not mandatory; every human being freely chooses eternal life or non-existence. The divine plan establishes eternal existence for all children of God who voluntarily yearn for it; we are never compelled against our free will.
Question 3: “God the Father-Mother creates Jesus (Michael of Nebadon) and the Spirit of Truth, thus forming the Most Holy Trinity, and then Jesus and the Spirit of Truth directly created human beings? I find it difficult to read and understand The Urantia Book. I would appreciate it if you give me a summary of this subject, in your own words.”
Answer: The Universal Father, the Original and Eternal Son, and the Infinite Spirit are the three divine personalities that constitute the Paradise Trinity; they reside on Paradise, which is located at the center of all creation.
The Universal Father, in union with the Original and Eternal Son, bring into existence the Creator Sons—the order of Michaels, and the Infinite Spirit personally creates the Creative Daughters, the Mother Spirits. Each Creator Son joins with a corresponding Creative Daughter and together they leave Paradise to create a local evolutionary universe in time and space. (Each of the seven existing superuniverses contains a maximum of one hundred thousand local universes.)
The Creator Son and Creative Daughter arrive at their pre-prepared space and with the help of many specialized beings, begin to create the glorious capital spheres of their local universe. Through the evolutionary technique, galaxies and planets begin to emerge. When a planet achieves the required physical conditions, the Life Carriers arrive on that planet and prepare a germ plasm that they implant into the shallow waters of inland seas. This germ plasm receives the vital spark of life from the Creative Daughter—this is the origin of the first forms of planetary life.
After billions of years of evolutionary progress, the first human beings emerge. On our planet, Urantia, this happened around one million years ago, and the first humans were called Andon and Fonta.
A little over 2,000 years ago the Creator Son of our local universe, Michael of Nebadon, incarnated on our planet as a human being just like us. He was born in the natural manner as the son of Joseph and Mary and came to be known as Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was an extraordinary example of love; his wonderful life was an inspiration as he proclaimed his liberating, uplifting, and transformative gospel. His comforting Spirit of Truth was poured out upon all human beings on the day of Pentecost after his death and resurrection.
The divine plan of God and his Creator Sons and Daughters is for every human being to choose eternal life. For this, we are endowed with a physical body, a conscious mind, and a personality that gives us self-consciousness and free will and can choose the endless life that God offers us. Also, God helps us with the assistance of his wonderful celestial team as follows:
- He has given us a divine spark (or fragment) of himself to indwell our minds. This is referred to as the Thought Adjuster and with our cooperation it guides us to transform our self-centered animal driven tendencies into altruistic spiritual values, which survive after our physical bodies die.
- Our Creator Son, Michael (Jesus) has poured out his Spirit of Truth upon all mankind and when we follow the divine guidance, it helps us to increase our ability to perceive spiritual truth and to choose to do the will of our indwelling Thought Adjusters—the divine gift from the Universal Father.
- Our Divine Mother (Creative Daughter), known in this world as the Holy Spirit, makes it possible for our human minds to be linked to her mind circuits that assist us in our evolutionary progress.
With all this wonderful help that God gives us, our existence makes no sense if we do not decide to cooperate with him and work to motivate our fellows to make the supreme decision: to choose eternal life.
Question 4: “I was reflecting on the variety of information regarding Jesus’ life. I find it strange that, as of today, we have not agreed on this wonderful event. Why do you think there are such different versions of the birth and life of Jesus?”
Answer: I consider that the various views on the birth and life of the great Master of Nazareth are due to the extraordinary and impressive characteristics of the work he did. However, the revelators in The Urantia Book tell us clearly that Joseph and Mary had been married and living in Nazareth, when Jesus …was conceived and was born into the world just as all other babies before and since… [119:7.5, 1317.1]
We also read in The Urantia Book:
Gabriel’s announcement to Mary was made the day following the conception of Jesus and was the only event of supernatural occurrence connected with her entire experience of carrying and bearing the child of promise. [Paper 122:3.4, page 1347.2]
Many Old Testament sayings were so distorted as to appear to fit some episode of the Master’s earth life… Even the passage, “a maiden shall bear a son,” was made to read, “a virgin shall bear a son.” [Paper 122:4.4, page 1347.6]
Many writings describe Jesus as purely divine and others as purely human. The revelators describe him as a person with dual nature, human and divine. And I believe this is the truth because Michael of Nebadon needed to personally experience the human creatures he created through the incarnation in the likeness of a mortal flesh so he may experience and demonstrate that being created imperfect and of animal origin is not an obstacle to achieving maximum spiritual progress when there is willingness and determination to cooperate with God.
Question 5: “Do each of the seven worlds surrounding Jerusem also have seven satellites surrounding them?”
Answer: That’s right. Seven transitional worlds surround Jerusem, and seven sub-satellite planets surround each of these worlds. The seven tarrying worlds are one of these seven sub-satellite groups, and they surround transition world number one, which is called the Finaliter’s World.
Question 6: “I read in Paper 130 of The Urantia Book the history of Jonah, which left me confused because the Bible mentions that Jonah was inside a whale for several days until he was thrown out. Still, in The Urantia Book, Jesus relates it to the duties we must perform during our lives.”
Answer: In the book of Jonah in the Old Testament, it is expressed that God sends Jonah to preach in the city of Nineveh, but Jonah flees in a boat from the presence of God, to avoid fulfilling the divine command. But in The Urantia Book, Jesus explains to Gadiah that Jonah’s account is related to… “seek to escape the present duty of living by running away to far-off enticements.” [130:1.2, 1428.2]
And about the Scripture reference to the “great fish” that swallows Jonah, Jesus explains to Gadiah:
“The escape from the service of light and life can only result in those distressing conflicts with the difficult whales of selfishness which lead eventually to darkness and death unless such God-forsaking Jonahs shall turn their hearts, even when in the very depths of despair, to seek after God and his goodness.” [Paper 130:1.2, page 1428.2]
Jesus perceived that this tradition had greatly influenced Gadiah’s life, instilling in him the idea of trying to run away from duty. Therefore, the Master said nothing that would suddenly destroy the fundamental motivations that guided Gadiah in his life. However, at another time, when Nathaniel asked Jesus about the truthfulness of the Scriptures, the Master answered him:
“These writings are the work of men, some of them holy men, others not so holy. The teachings of these books represent the views and extent of enlightenment of the times in which they had their origin. As a revelation of truth, the last are more dependable than the first. The Scriptures are faulty and altogether human in origin, but mistake not, they do constitute the best collection of religious wisdom and spiritual truth to be found in all the world at this time.” [Paper 159:4.3, page 767.5]
“… If the story of Jonah should not be a fact, even if Jonah had never lived, still would the profound truth of this narrative, the love of God for Nineveh and the so-called heathen, be none the less precious in the eyes of all those who love their fellow men. The Scriptures are sacred because they present the thoughts and acts of men who were searching for God, and who in these writings left on record their highest concepts of righteousness, truth, and holiness. The Scriptures contain much that is true, very much, but in the light of your present teaching, you know that these writings also contain much that is misrepresentative of the Father in heaven, the loving God I have come to reveal to all the worlds.” [Paper 159:4.4, page 1767.6]
“Nathaniel, never permit yourself for one moment to believe the Scripture records which tell you that the God of love directed your forefathers to go forth in battle to slay all their enemies—men, women, and children. Such records are the words of men, not very holy men, and they are not the word of God.” [Paper 159:4.5, page 1768.1]
“Many earnest seekers after the truth have been, and will continue to be, confused and disheartened by these doctrines of the perfection of the Scriptures.” [Paper 159:4.6, page 1768.2]
“The fear of the authority of the sacred writings of the past effectively prevents the honest souls of today from accepting the new light of the gospel…” [Paper 159:4.9, page 1768.5]
Question 7: “How can we rescue Jesus’ religion from his long larval stage? I am of the idea that we should preach the gospel in an organized way (I do not mean churches but work as teams) since I see that Urantia readers invest plenty of time and resources in the formation of study groups and conferences. But it only benefits those who already know the book, that is, nothing is done for the millions of people who do not know the life and true teachings of Jesus. How do we address this problem?”
Answer: Some Urantian leaders think that humanity is not prepared yet to receive this revelation, that everything must be carried on with great calm and patience, and they affirm it by quoting texts from The Urantia Book, such as the quote that refers to the impatience of Adam and Eve. In many respects these leaders are right, but I do not fully agree with these views because there is the great danger that many attitudes of indifference, laziness, and fear can be confused with supposed virtues of patience, serenity, and meekness, which contributes to hinder and delay all planetary progress.
I fully agree with your approach, doing what is possible not to fall into impatience or recklessness. Our sacred duty is to make every effort to organize ourselves and sow this renewed and rejoicing message of Jesus in every person or group receptive to these teachings that we find in our daily lives.
This concern you have has a solution, for this is what I have done personally for 24 years: to share all that God has given me with those who allow me to do so. And I will try to keep doing it for the rest of my life, always inspired by Jesus and the revelators, who gave us stimulating paragraphs like these:
In winning souls for the Master, it is not the first mile of compulsion, duty, or convention that will transform man and his world, but rather the second mile of free service and liberty-loving devotion that betokens the Jesusonian reaching forth to grasp his brother in love and sweep him on under spiritual guidance toward the higher and divine goal of mortal existence. Christianity even now willingly goes the first mile, but mankind languishes and stumbles along in moral darkness because there are so few genuine second-milers—so few professed followers of Jesus who really live and love as he taught his disciples to live and love and serve. [Paper 195:10.5, page 2084.5]
The call to the adventure of building a new and transformed human society by means of the spiritual rebirth of Jesus’ brotherhood of the kingdom should thrill all who believe in him as men have not been stirred since the days when they walked about on earth as his companions in the flesh. [Paper 195:10.6, page 2084.6]
Modern men and women of intelligence evade the religion of Jesus because of their fears of what it will do to them—and with them. And all such fears are well founded. The religion of Jesus does, indeed, dominate and transform its believers, demanding that men dedicate their lives to seeking for a knowledge of the will of the Father in heaven and requiring that the energies of living be consecrated to the unselfish service of the brotherhood of man. [Paper 195:9.6, page 2083.2]
Dear brethren, I hope this article can help you to improve your life. Please share it with other readers if you can. I wish that God and his great heavenly team continue to bless you.
From Merida, Venezuela, receive my fraternal greeting in Jesus-Michael.