I am a BRAND-NEW reader of The Urantia Book. I have some basic familiarity with the concepts, but I feel that some backstory is necessary so my perspective and experience will be known and appreciated.
I was raised in Clay County, WV in an Arminian evangelical background. I definitely grew up with a knowledge of God as a tyranical despot waiting to pounce in judgement and chastisement for the slightest error or “sin.” In fact, the repentance for a sin should meet or exceed that of the sin itself. It probably doesn’t need mentioning that the concept of a substitutionary atonement was the heart of our doctrine as well. “We deserved it, but Jesus died in our place” was the mindset.
When one couples this religious experience with an early teen knowledge of a gay sexual orientation, this is highly problematic. I had migrated into Catholicism by this time (another story), so the approach was somewhat softer, but many of those mindsets still remained.
I suppose I have two questions: 1) When one is just getting to know The Book, should it be read sequentially from cover-to-cover, or more from a topical/systematic point of view?; and 2) I know I may be beating a dead horse, but does the study of The Urantia Book have room for an LGBT-friendly ethos?
Greetings Matty!! And Welcome!
Let’s begin with your second question first….yes indeed!!….depending upon the student and their understanding of the UB. You will find the community of students generally very open minded and tolerant and embracing of personal experience and the expression of that experience. My opinion (and it is not uncommon an opinion) is that the UB says nothing or little on the topic because gender and gender identification have nothing to do with personal spirituality and personal relationship with God and the religious experience. We are all God’s beloved children and our spirituality depends upon many things….but sexual orientation and gender identification are not one of them. Unfortunately, but naturally enough, there are readers who do differ in such opinions regarding politics, morals, and other issues the UB declares to be human enough but not religious. So some are less tolerant of others….reading this book is not enough, apparently, to enlighten some beyond their ingrained prejudices….or not immediately so anyway.
We all come to this book with a set of preconceptions, many of which are misconceptions or concepts which we find contradicted in the UB. Some readers will reject the UB (or any other source of information) simply due to such disagreement with prior belief); some will read on in interest suspending or withholding judgment due to the interesting presentation – especially when they discover many other concepts presented which confirm their own preconceptions and beliefs; and others will discover a presentation of universe reality that immediately appeals to their sense of balance and wholeness and integration in profoundly harmonious and truthful ways which compels them forward in their continued reading. I believe that all who are patient enough and persistent in their reading of the UB will be rewarded with insights and many ah-ha! moments of understanding and illumination.
The UB itself recommends reading front to back…from the largest lens view of perspective to the smallest or furthest away to most local. Some readers even do that. I, and many others, did not. I started in the middle Paper 100 with the personal religious experience section…others often start at the Jesus papers and others the history of Urantia…and some science folk start in the creation and energy and matter stuff! We all have our passion and priorities!!
What matters most is that it is all read. And that, eventually, it is all read front to back. There are some peculiarities you will find in reading this book. It has a meter to its prose and when you find it, the book reads more quickly and easily. Reading tends to bring questions to mind which the book then so often answers soon after…eerily so. No matter how many times one reads the book or any of the Papers in the book, a re-reading often delivers new meaning, understanding, and an enlarged/expanded perspective of truth and reality. The Papers reiterate, integrate, harmonize, and weave together a resulting tapestry of totality that no single Paper or reading might reveal to the student….and as that portrait of universe reality begins to reveal itself, whole book becomes a symphony with so many instruments and notes combining to illuminate, inspire, and transform the reader.
Or so it is for many of us who have been blessed by this wonderful book. Again, welcome!
PS I was raised a Southern Baptist myself! You might be surprised how short a trip it is from there to being a Jesusonian!! Another topic! The Jesusonian Gospel…at the core of all Christianity, including the fundamentalist thumpers…is that God loves us all and that God is a kind, forgiving, and merciful parent and that we are, as his children, to love one another….also unconditionally…and to forgive one another and give mercy, kindness, and service to one another…not just as “neighbors” or even kin….but as children in the same family. This is the Good News of Jesus….even in the Bible!! And especially and specifically and exhaustively in the Urantia Papers!!
Bradly gave you a great response. Re question 1, there is no rule. You may initially read what interests, but for comprehension it is best to eventually read in sequence from the beginning. Note that the first five Papers narrate the One Original Personality, God the Father, or as the book reveals, The First Source and Center. This is the Person we worship and has personally issued a fragment of His Spirit to live in our minds and tirelessly attempt to lead us. This is the Person to whom we express our adoration and in whom we have our being. The book starts at the Top!!! Then the other two Sources and Centers are described. All three are the ultimate Team model. Moving on through the book there are the many celestial sons and relationships to the Trinity and narration of their roles and capabilities. We ascending mortals will relate to and see many of them on our upward and inward journey. (explained by the revelators)
Re question 2, I believe Bradly is correct. What is important is personality and surviving soul. Survival based on gender orientation is not a divine concept or plan. Establishing a home in which children come to know God is a big, huge factor and long ages evolutionary goal.
What you will experience is marvelous new clarity of just about everything. This information comes to Urantia without assistance of any religion. We have the ability and God has arranged for us to have direct relations with Him in spirit. We begin here on Earth and continue life, moving ever onward—-upward spiritually, inward personality as we matriculate through a vast Cosmos of education and service. Our destiny is Paradise.
So, read with confidence God knows about you, loves you, and is supremely merciful to us who err but yet desire to know Him. These factors are profoundly affirmed in the book.
And if you want see my video on Vimeo or YouTube, “Progress; Personal, Planetary”, which is offered to UB readers as a tool to introduce/suggest the book to others.
In the long view, each soul is supremely valued on High.
Welcome to the Forum!
“I suppose I have two questions: 1) When one is just getting to know The Book, should it be read sequentially from cover-to-cover, or more from a topical/systematic point of view?; and 2) I know I may be beating a dead horse, but does the study of The Urantia Book have room for an LGBT-friendly ethos?”
Hi Oh-That-Matty (love the name),
Since 196 papers is quite a mouthful, when I started to nibble I kept dipping into tasty topics, those which “ticked my fancy” rather than expanded my “cosmic consciousness”. Since I already knew well the biblical Jesus, this meant the papers about Melchizedek. And since Judaism, Christianity and Islam all still hold Abraham in high regard, imagine how all three will regard Abraham’s teacher — Melchizedek — once the story gets out
Re: LGBT-friendly ethos, this is a VERY friendly universe!! Regarding sexual orientation, my own belief is that those who care for this nursery world see “sexual orientation” on par with “dietary preference”. Sure, populating a planet is important in the early days. But once civilization sets in, love is the key, not biology.
One other note Matty. Personally, all of the Foreword couldn’t be digested without having read some or most of the text (one complete read should do it). I found it helped to go back to the Foreword periodically (especially with Papers 104-118), and find (to much delight) that more of it is comprehensible, and deeply profound as to how the cosmos appears from the divine perspective. Read on
I have a ub schedule that might be useful. You’ll find it in the topics section of my profile, but in a nutshell here it is.
Read papers 1 through 118. Then read the Foreword. Then read papers 119 through 196.
The first section will explain the forword. You won’t be so confused that way.
Study it, don’t read it.
Don’t be worried about some of the complexities and new concepts. It comes to light in time.
personally, I would start from the beginning and read through to the end. Then do it again, and again. Don’t be in a hurry, be ready to study for years. There are resources to help.
every read through reveals multiple layers of truth.
think about this: parts one through three is the fifth epochical revelation and part four is the retelling (from the revealators perspective) of the fourth epochical revelation. You need to know something about the fourth in order to help with the fifth but the fifth will greatly enhance your understanding of the fourth.
one thing that helps is to have a good dictionary so you can get into the entomology of some words, especially new coined words.
Every word in the book is deliberate and has meaning and value, not to be glossed over.
But the book is not truth, it’s just printed words. Truth happens based on your experience with it.
it will be your partner for life.
Everything I’ve read on this topical subject so far is most profitable.
My grain of salt is that, while I had taken deep interest in reading of the UB from the beginning, and way before I ended reading the whole book, one day I just felt the urge to open the book and at random and I started reading the page I fell upon. The fact is that everything I was reading then and there was totally in compliance with my line of thought. The value of this revelation dawned on me at this point. I read from that point on until the end and when that was done, I re-read the whole book from the start, to re-see all this information all over again.
My message is that: if anything can inspire you in your life to make you feel closer to your Creator, seize it!
Welcome to this platform.
All posts were interested issues. After looking for guidance from our Father what do you feel to begin your reading with ?
As a reader for 30 years, let me tell you, as you are with all your experiences so far + your unique personnal perspective, you’ll know us and we will know you.
Appreciation always is fruitfull sharing one another.
Among readers of Urantia book I knows 2 others guys and 1 women whom are like me LGBT in Montréal area. In 30 years never feel unacepted from readers and I find “group study” very profitable sociable place to make acquaintance with readers.
p.s. Mes salutations Alain content de te voir ici.
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