RESURRECTION HALL

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  • #22605
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

     

    Page 8
     .
    The throngs began filing out of this wonder evoking temple, each resurrection group reforming, each one being led by a Pilgrim Receiver to a different abode in the Melchizedek’s sector.  As they were exiting, Saro’s and Will’s two cousins regretfully excused themselves, leaving for a prior commitment and promising to revisit him when schedules permitted.
     
    As they strolled toward their night’s lodging the Receiver said to the pair, “As soon as you are settled, you will be free to begin exploring, and hopefully you will also become familiar with the training regime. You may wish to view the registry of those already here, your deceased relatives and friends. After the initial ten days of ‘vacation’, you will begin the Paradise journey anew. For now, enjoy, explore, and most of all, talk with others. Translators will always be  available should they be required. And one or both of your guardians is always near.”
     
    Both Saro and Kala then recalled that a day in mansonia was almost three times as long as a day on Urantia. That meant they had about a month to explore, learn, observe, discover, connect and revel in this new life, this amazing world!
     
    Their four angels reappeared at that moment, having departed when Kala and Saro entered the Temple, in order to put the successful resurrection of their wards into the records of Mansonia. How interesting the appearance of these guardian seraphim. They had heads, arms, and feet, but their friction shields were compactly set in their backs, only spreading like wings and enfolding their subjects when they acted as transporters. They fairly glowed with an appealing luminescence. They were obviously extremely bright and capable. And they could move very quickly.
     
    Kala asked one of her guardians, “Would you mind unfolding your shields? Can you? Is that permitted?” Without hesitation they fanned out and slowly did so. The group stopped to watch Kala’s and Saro’s reactions seeing angels with ‘wings’ spread for the first time.
     
    Their jaws went slack and they ceased breathing as they witnessed the most amazing double sets of shields unfurl, extending from the seraphim’s heads to their morontia toes. Angels were indeed charming and lovely creatures to behold. “Their wings look more like energy than flesh” said Saro. It was such a thrill for them to be able to see and interact with these amazing beings, these mind ministers and personal carriers who will literally fly every son and daughter of God to Paradise. The Angels rejoiced that their beloved wards were successful, which meant they too were successful. The love among the four angels and their two subjects was now quite obvious, they could all feel it. After a short embrace the angels departed. But first they promised that one of them was “always available”.
     
    As the group approached the pilgrim’s residential area, their eyes widened. How wonderfully charming the architecture here, and the detailing was superb. Nothing was left to chance, no weeds were apparent, only an elegantly appointed area with plants of many varieties, dazzling flowers of colors they had to stop and examine, smell and marvel at. There was a short and winding garden path to the entrance of their lodging. “That is so beautiful”, they said simultaneously, and laughed as they could not stop marveling at almost everything they had seen on this first day, during these first hours as new beings.
     
     
    page 9
     
    The group of relatives continued to watch the pair as they entered the roofless abode, very much enjoying and recalling their first day’s experiences as mansion world progressors. “I don’t think I could ever have imagined morontia material. I’m sure I tried to back on Earth” Kala commented.
     
    Saro was now recalling something that always intrigued him, written by one who was granted a vision of Mansonia. The apostle Paul wrote, and was quoted in the Urantia Book, “They have in heaven a better and more enduring substance.” Then he remembered that Morontia material adds one hundred more elements to the one hundred evolving planets have. And how well the morontians used them thought Saro.
     
    The walls of their lodging were high enough for privacy, but the outer rooms had transparent spaces, mansion world windows. At the center of this magnificently constructed little building was a bedroom without windows. It was no less glorious in appearance than the other enclosures and edifices they had seen. The Receiver touched a panel and instantly the bedroom’s walls became windows. “Have privacy if you like”, she said. Touching the panel again, the walls returned. The bed was laced and layered in a most appealing fashion. The pair anticipated their first night there, on another world.
     
    They then moved into the largest room. It had seating all around, with three tables and chairs in the center, obviously intended for guests and socializing. Artwork embellished nearly every surface and article. Saro and Kala were all but over-awed at this point. To bring things into perspective and break any tension they might be feeling, Will asked his brother, “Hey Saro, how do you get to Paradise?”
     
    “I don’t know Will, how?” he said with a big smile, recalling his brother’s quirky humorous side. 
     
    “PerFECT, perFECT, perFECT!”, said Will with a broad smile and a wink.
     
    They all chuckled. The relatives were recalling that was one of the first memes they learned on Mansonia. Saro and Kala were both classical musicians and, at that moment, realized Will’s quip was a morontia twist on a trick question to aspiring musicians aiming for Urantia’s highest recital hall–How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice!
     
    The Receivers bid them all sit while she spoke a few words of parting to the group. “Enjoy the rest of the day, Agondonters and new friends. Visit with your relatives Saro and Kala, then spend your first night under Mansonia’s stars. Please feel free to become familiar with the surroundings and make yourselves comfortable here. Before they depart for the night, perhaps your friends will show you how to use the lodging’s features and options.” They nodded. “Roam the Sector if you like, I will be by for you tomorrow at dawn. I have a request to make of you two. But for now, relax. Tomorrow will be here soon enough.” On the way out she embraced the pair and they uttered their most profound appreciation. When they paused at the entrance, the Receiver gave them each a small, flat, round device, and said to make any request by simply asking the device. And she assured them a Companion would be available all night adding, “and of course your angels are always just a thought away.”
     
     
    ***
    #22614
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

     

    Page 10
     
     
    “Is this a ‘harp of God”, Saro asked, holding up his device as he and Kala returned to their relatives, who were now comfortable and talking in the lodgings’ beautiful (and absolutely luxurious to their fresh eyes) living room.
     
    Will stood and proclaimed, “It’s official Saro, you two are now morontia creatures!” Everyone applauded and Will proceeded to show them just a few of the rudimentary functions of this amazing but innocuous appearing device. “Depict Jerusem’s main Temple”, said Will to the harp. Instantly a three dimensional image appeared before them. They froze and marveled at it as Will caused the image to rotate. All the sights and sounds coming from it were crystal sharp. “Show the main floor of the Jerusem communication center.” The image changed to an astonishing array of displays, boards, and moving images.
     
    “Is that a recording?” Saro asked.
     
    “No. It’s that easy to watch a live view of events and beings on another world”, Will told them. Saro and Kala were shown other astonishing sights until they could watch no more. It was too overwhelming, so many beings of differing hues and morontia forms to fill their minds, plus endless architecture of breath-taking artistic excellence. Will showed them one more place, the central temple on Mansion two. They watched as temple goers moved about the remarkably intricate, be-gemmed and be-jeweled structure. It fairly glowed with light they were certain no human eye could discern.
     
    “Have you been there, in person?”, asked Kala.
     
    “We have, and went there often” said her grandmother, “before we advanced to Mansion three”.
     
    Her grandfather added, “What you will see between here and Jerusem, Kala, will push back every imaginable limit of the possibilities of creative expression. Enjoy each and every minute to the utmost. You both will easily fit in here. It’s so good to see you again, and to speak English again! It’s been awhile. We almost didn’t make it in time to meet you. It was so sudden, your graduation.”
     
    “Sudden as a bolt of lightening”, joked Will.
     
    Where do you live, mom and pop?” asked Saro of Kala’s parents.
     
    “Mansion two”, they answered together. “So GOOD to have you here, Kala, Saro”, said her mother. “Both your brothers are still sleeping, Kala.”
     
    “I was wondering”, replied Kala. “And you Joy?”
     
    “Also Mansion two. Maybe we can visit Jerusem together! But first we have to get to number three. Your grandparents told me they are about ready to graduate to mansion four, then they can visit five! Kala, you are going to love life here, it was made for people like you.”
     
    “Mansion two is my cloud”, said Will.
     
    The day was long but they didn’t tire of talking, reminiscing, and laughing, especially when piecing together family stories of lessons learned from easy and hard times on Urantia.  More and more memories of their former life were coalescing in their morontia minds as the conversations shifted back and forth, from that life to this one. Of course Saro and Kala asked many questions about mansonia life, but not nearly enough. There was so very much to learn, do and see. On they communed until the sky became dusky, and the first stars of an unfamiliar night sky were seen through new eyes.
     
    Kala’s father walked over to a service counter, touched a small panel twice, and out came a tray of beautiful golden goblets filled with liquid. “Time to toast our new arrivals”, he declared, and passed the tray around. They both were still having trouble adjusting to how young everyone appeared. But it did seem to lessen any distance between the generations.
     
    Holding up his goblet, her father said in a most charming manner, “Kala and Saro, welcome to Mansonia”.
     
    “Welcome!”, they all said in excellent harmony.
     
    “What is it?”, Kala asked her father.
     
    “Time for your first drink of mansion world water, daughter.”
     
    They were all waiting and watching. Kala remarked, “Funny, we hadn’t thought of drink or food until now.” She and Saro looked at one another and made a lovely resonating sound by clinking their goblets together. Everyone held them high, then took a sip.
     
    “That is tasty”, said Saro, “it’s very pure, isn’t it?” Kala took another sip, a big one. Saro followed suit. Then, they both drank it all to the cheers of the group. It was very satisfying. They asked for another, then a third cup. If water tastes this good to their morontia palate, what will mansion world food taste like? But they weren’t hungry, not at all.
     
    The Pilgrim Receiver had arranged for their relatives to stay at an adjacent lodging, in order that Saro and Kala could have time to themselves. When it came time to leave each one in the party congratulated the pair face to face. They exchanged words of love, and feelings of genuine joy over this mansion world reunion. Kala and Saro fondly embraced each one before departing. The oneness of their spirits with these charming people imprinted deeply on Kala and Saro. For a moment Kala contemplated the stupendous possibilities and limitless potentials for personal contact with a whole universe of beings in eternity.
     .
     
    ***
    #22619
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

     

    Page 11
     .
    After walking their guests to the lodgings’ front gate, Saro and Kala slowly ambled back to their new residence, arm in arm, stopping, observing, commenting, and just breathing the magnificent air. Their bodies were exquisitely healthy, and marvelously sensitive, surprisingly strong and responsive. They certainly weren’t tired or needing rest.
     .
    Looking up at the moonless sky, with faint light from several nearby suns, evoked a kind of joy they hadn’t felt before. They kissed under those stars for the first time.
      .
    “Well, seems we are no longer married”, said Saro.
      .
    “I was wondering about that. Think we will be separated?”
     .
    They turned off their house’s lights, and laid down for the first time. On their backs, staring up at the stars from their ample and divinely comfortable bed, Kala wondered aloud, “What direction is Paradise?”
      .
    “What do you think happens to that water we drank?” asked Saro. They laughed at the vast difference between their two questions.
      .
    “These bodies are fantastic, aren’t they! Maybe water is evaporated through our morontia skin.” Kala pinched Saro’s left arm.
      .
    “Take off your wrap”, she said.
      .
    “Take off yours.” They stood up, removed their garments, and looked each other over.
     .
    “No genitals, no anuses”, he noted. “But you still have your female form.”
      .
    “And you are still wedge shaped. And I like your hair.” They ran their fingers through each others’ short manes.
      .
    “Your morontia hair is beautiful”, said Saro.
      .
    “Yours too!”
      .
    “Hair appears to be optional here. No doubt you noticed all we newborns have the same hair. But our relatives have different colors and lengths”, said Saro. “Maybe it’s a choice, but everyone starts out with this.”
      .
    “It is a choice, I asked mom about it earlier.”
      .
    They laid down again, keeping still for long while. Then Saro began massaging Kala. She did the same for him, something they had always done while in human bodies. It was unhurried and especially pleasurable.
      .
    “These feelings and senses of this body, so far, I like very much,” mumbled Saro as Kala massaged his new shoulders.
      .
    “And this is just the first of 570 body versions. Remember that from the book?”, asked Kala.
      .
    “I do. And don’t we get 491 more versions between Jerusem and Salvington?”
      .
    “Oh, that’s right.” She was recalling so much of the fifth epochal revelation, the divine hand that was plunged into the affairs of humanity in mid 20th century Urantia. It was the teachings of this book she had embraced as a child, thanks to her parents. It was a book they both studied and talked about many, many times while traipsing around Urantia disseminating its text and its teachings for 50 years. “Let’s take a walk, Saro.”
      .
    This time they exited from the lodging’s back gate. It was dark out, but they had no trouble seeing under the starry sky, their night vision was excellent. There was a heavenly little park behind their abode, with crisscrossing paths and perfectly formed shrubs, beautiful statuary, an array of trees great and small spread throughout, and a host of lovely flowering plants.
      .
    Along the paths were low walls, some with inscriptions, but in a script they didn’t recognize. They stopped at one, Kala reached out to touch it. Instantly the script translated to English. They looked at each other and smiled. “Should have known.”
      .
    “It says, ‘Human things must be known in order to be loved, but divine things must be loved in order to be known.’ Blaise Pascal, Urantia’”.
      .
    Saro recalled, “that quote’s in the Urantia Book. Wonder who else in Urantia’s history has been to this place.” They noticed another inscription across the path. He touched it.
      .
    “This one is by someone from Anova. Remember, that’s the System’s oldest inhabited world? It says this being was the first one to reside here.”
      .
    They lost track of time, wandering through the park, sometimes stopping and simply taking the beauty in, sometimes sitting quietly watching their passing thoughts and filing away questions. The urge to worship arrested their attention several times that night. It felt good to indulge the urge wherever they were. At times Michael’s and Mother’s spirits felt closer, then God’s. Passersby completely understood, because they too indulged the urge. Apparently it is universal in the grateful resurrected children of God.
      .
    ***
    #22621
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant
    DAY 2. The Welcoming
      .
    Page 12
     .
    As the pair watched their first dawn appear from atop a charming, three tiered gazebo at the park’s center, morontia animals began skittering to and fro. Colorful birds with long feathers flew and sang. It was an unforgettable experience, combined as it was, with the growing realization of the implications of life eternal, everlasting friendship with God, serving forever in the great cosmic family.
      .
    “Guess we’d better return”, said Kala softly.
      .
    “No.”
      .
    She laughed. “Let’s go, you bum. Aren’t you curious what the Receiver wants us to do this morning?”
      .
    “I miss the kids already. It could be a long time before we meet again. What if they have to wait for a millennial, or even a dispensational resurrection?” Saro said thoughtfully.
      .
    The short walk back to their lodging was with few words. The sense of this place was very evident to them by now; here is love, fearlessness, peace. “No war, no weather, no wind”, mused Kala.
      .
    “I feel it just a bit once in while.” replied Saro. “There has to be some atmospheric movement…but the temperature here is just right, isn’t it?”
      .
    It was twilight and the sky was so appealing. They sat, facing each other, on a low sculptured seat that shone like polished platinum, looking over the other’s head at the gradually dawning sky of their first full day on this paradisiacal world.
      .
    The Receiver arrived just as they walked to the back entrance. Meeting at the front entrance, Saro invited her in, “You are a beautiful creature, more beautiful than yesterday.”
      .
    The Receiver smiled and it lit up the room. “Ready to go to work?” she asked.
      . .
    The pair stood silent a brief moment, then simultaneously replied, “Yes!”
      .
    “Your help is needed, but certainly not required. There were several Urantian Anglophones in your resurrection group, but none had ever been exposed to the teachings of the Urantia Book. Resurrection can be a bit of shock to the soul for some. We were hoping you two would volunteer for a short period this morning, before your ceremonial welcome, and briefly convey your understanding of where they are, how they got here, and where they are going, then answer questions they will most assuredly have. We have found hearing it from one of their own sometimes helps ease the impact of transition. You are in no way obligated of course, and this is after all your free time.”
      .
    Kala and Saro immediately let her know they would be delighted to be of service in this way. Then they asked about the welcome ceremony and were told it will be at midday in the great banquet hall adjacent to Resurrection Hall.
      .
    “Please meet me mid-morning at the hall, at the chamber where you resurrected. I will have the group gathered there,” the Receiver said. “Between now and then, you may wish to study a chart of the being-types to be encountered on M1. And a tutorial about your new bodies might also interest you. Your harps will connect you to our central library and all archives.”
      .
    “How will we know it’s mid-morning?”, asked Saro.
      .
    “Your harps monitor the local time beacon. Is there anything else you need?”
      .
    “No, nothing,” answered Kala.
      .
    “No,” echoed Saro.
      .
    “Thanks much to you both. The meeting will not take long. After, we will attend your formal welcoming, from representatives of your creator parents, among others. And from two of your long ago predecessors, the first souls to graduate from Urantia.”
      .
    They thought for a split second, “Andon and Fonta!”
      .
      .
    ***
    #22623
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant
    Page 13
     
    When Saro and Kala arrived at Resurrection Hall on the first morning of their first full day on Mansion I, their Receiver led the group to a relatively quiet, semi-enclosed area where they could be seated. There she introduced the group of 19 somewhat mystified souls (along with their assigned Receivers) to the pair. She informed them that Kala and Saro were fellow ex-Urantians who speak their language.
     
    The Receiver went on, “Speaking for the Companion Corps of Mansonia 1, we hope you all enjoyed your first night on our world–now your world. Your Pilgrim Receivers deliberately put off your less pressing questions until this morning, in order that you might acclimate overnight and somewhat absorb yesterday’s experience before receiving instruction from one of your peers this morning.
     
    The mansion worlds became known on Urantia by contact with celestial agencies present on every evolving planet, and by certain men and women, like Paul of Tarsus, and John Zebedee, disciples of Jesus who sojourned on Urantia well before you incarnated. Some of you are familiar with those teachings, teachings that were expanded on the Earth in a little known revelatory text that Kala and Saro found early in life. In this “Urantia Book”, which was given to your former world as an epochal revelation, there is a description of the seven worlds to which you have ascended. Some of you have a better idea than others about what has happened to you, because your soul was touched by Michael’s Spirit of Truth that now hovers over all evolutionary worlds. The name of the planet you died on is Urantia. And the world on which you now reside is Mansion I. It is not made of cooling star material like Urantia, it was built, constructed for just such a purpose as it now serves. Soul nurseries like Urantia provide ascending souls to the Mansion worlds, where your journey to God continues.”
     
    The Receiver bade Kala and Saro give their history with the revelatory text discovered while on Uranita and its effect on them. Kala related how her parents had discovered the Urantia Book and introduced it to her as a child.
     
    “Saro and I knew each other from childhood, but didn’t really notice one another until college. Right after that I showed him the book. Almost immediately he took to it. After school we married and spent the rest of our lives studying and spreading its teachings, along with our work of course. We were musicians and teachers of music. We are also parents of three who are still on Urantia. Maybe you already have been told your relatives and friends might actually join you again?” All nod.
     
    “This book that we so treasured, and couldn’t stop studying, painted a million word picture of the universe with a God of love at its center, and with his off-spring as co-creators seeding the cosmos with life. There are not only billions of inhabited planets like Urantia, there are billions of galaxies that have billions of stars whose planets might bear life, life of inconceivable diversity. Every part of Our Father’s vast universe is under the supervision of an order of beings. Even your inner life has God at its center”, explained Kala passionately.
     
    They had both done this very thing many times on Urantia–introducing the Urantia Book to small groups. Flashing in their minds were memories of hundreds of presentations of the Urantia Book given to a wide variety of humans during their former lives.
     
    Saro spoke up, “When humans die, their souls can be resurrected on another and better world. We have been reassembled in a new body/mind, but with our original personality and the same fragment of God that indwelled us on Earth. This is what has happened to all of us. Have you been told already that resurrection depends much on whether the deceased person had even a flicker of faith? We learned back on Earth–and you now know its true name is Urantia–of the existence of the seven mansion worlds through the Urantia Book’s revelations. We were taught–and we rightly believed!–that resurrected mortals will gradually pass through these seven worlds on the way to achieving perfection and sometime be embraced by God on Paradise. We’re in different bodies, aren’t we? So this has to be true.”
     
    Kala added, “Michael bestowed himself seven times across Nebadon, from the highest to the lowest levels of our ‘local universe’. He even incarnated on Urantia, as Jesus, the last of seven bestowals.” Their hearers were somewhat stunned by all of this, but they couldn’t deny they woke up in a better place, with beings who seemed to be in charge and know perfectly well what is transpiring in this magical place. They especially liked hearing from Kala and Saro.
     
    The group was attentive to their every word, but not grasping all that the Receiver and the pair were trying to convey. Kala and Saro continued offering revelatory details and personal insights, the Receiver intervening as needed, explaining and reviewing that Nebadon is a creation of Michael and his co-creator mate, the Divine Minister of Nebadon. They create worlds by the number, there will be 10 million inhabited planets when done. These worlds evolve life of a great variety. 
     
    Then began a long series of questions and answers. Some Kala or Saro answered, some the Receiver. This group of 19 survivors were all intensely curious, therefore good and quick students. They had come from several religious traditions of Urantia, but without exception they were happy to be alive and in this peaceful place of amazing appointment. None complained in the least. And they were especially interested in knowing more about Michael and the Divine Minister. They were informed of the greetings from ambassadors of the father and mother of Nebadon at the banquet reception they were so soon to enjoy.
     
    The meeting was ended in order not to be late for their own reception. As they strolled toward the banquet hall, group members continued asking questions of the pair, and the Receivers.
     
     ***
    #22625
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    Page 14

    After escorting the group of newborn pilgrims to the banquet hall’s entrance, the Receivers departed, exhorting their wards to enjoy the remainder of the day, and to be ready early tomorrow for Orientation.
    .
    The hall is an immense low-walled enclosure that can seat up to a million, but open to the sky as are most other mansion world structures. Inside they found the artistry, the sculpture, the interwoven colors and decorations to be more beautiful than anything they had yet seen. Entering the massive room with its diverse and ornate refinements was literally breath-taking.
     .
    As the many groups filtered in, everyone began to feel hunger in earnest, helped significantly by the aromas drifting throughout the hall. The smells of this place flooded their minds with multiple sensations, stimulating appetites and interest in the nature and preparation of morontia viands.
     .
    The seats were reserved in order that language groups could sit together and have a translator always available. Guides were placed at every turn who knew where each language group was situated. The hall filled with sounds of talking and laughter as the pilgrims found their ways. Once all were in and seated, the Chief of Mansion I Morontia Companions ascended the raised stage at the center of the huge arena. She lifted an arm calling for everyone’s attention, then the other arm, signaling the beginning of the ceremony.
     .
    Suddenly a great burst of beautiful sounds seemed to fall from the sky. Morontia music emanated from everywhere. It thrilled the ears and hearts of every pilgrim in the hall. Above the stage word images slowly appeared in mid-air, one after another. Watching them, Kala and Saro soon discovered the word was WELCOME, after several Urantian versions of the word appeared with which they were familiar. This went on until everyone was thoroughly entranced by the mixture of music, aroma, and an artistic welcome in their own language. The whole assembly was taken up in this awe-inspiring auditory and visual experience. They felt like babies; God’s babies.
     .
    The music softened and the Companion on the stage gave another sign. Immediately circular openings appeared inside each ring of tables. Out of the openings service islands slowly arose from beneath the floor, complete with servers. One island was located at the center of each ring.
     .
    Then, more music, low, sweet and melodious, filled the great room. The Companion bowed her head reverently. Without a word’s instruction, all the banqueters and the staff did the same. The sounds harmonized well with the pilgrims’ feelings of gratitude and humility. All this was being done for them. Never are there groups more appreciative of life than humble planetary survivors emerging into eternity.
     .
    After a period of thankfulness the music stopped and a truly heavenly chorus closed the prayer with divine intonations. These rich voices harkened minds and filled souls. When the chorus stopped and heads lifted, a low rumble of over two hundred thousand chattering diners began filling the air.
     .
    Before too long, the Companion once again drew their attention, and signaled the staff to prepare to serve the first course. The music resumed, and in strains that seem to fit this occasion perfectly. Saro and Kala were especially appreciative of the quality, power, and complexity of the music they had heard here, and at the worship service they attended after their resurrection. They wondered what sort of cello might Saro find here, and whether Kala’s piano skills would be adaptable to Mansion world instruments.
     .
    During this pre-banquet prayer on their second day these pilgrims, fresh from many worlds, rose mightily on the wings of spirit uplift. And now, they could feel a great appetite for morontia sustenance growing in their new bodies. It was a good hunger. All of them had tasted only water, and not felt any hunger—until now.
     .
    “Kala, this we will remember”. They toasted the occasion with water that was already set on their elegantly inlaid table, then gazed into each other’s loving eyes until two staffers arrived with the first course on large, beautiful trays, which they handled very skillfully. When all at their circle of tables were served, the staffers withdrew, indicating they should begin the feast. The aroma was simply exquisite. The Agondonter pilgrims from Urantia were really ready to begin their first Morontia meal.
     .
    ***
    #22629
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    .

    Page 15 – The First of Seven Courses

    The first item they were served hit their palates as a bright symphony of flavors and blends. It was immediately apparent that their morontia sense of taste is highly developed and exquisitely sensitive. It was cakelike with a lightness and texture they very much enjoyed, even lingering over it.
     .
    “How can food taste this delicious?” asked Saro rhetorically. “This must be Mansonia bread”, replied Kala.
     .
    After finishing the initial course of what will surely be their most memorable feast, melodious music induced a few to dance in the space between the tables and the center servers. This music easily persuaded Saro and Kala to attempt dancing in these new bodies. They fairly glided in those strong, young, and able bodies.
     .
    But, rather than dance, most began socializing within and without their language group. Evidently an endless supply of translators were on hand, the banqueters need only signal for one. Laughter and joyous conversation began to echo throughout the room in ever greater proportions, as everyone enjoyed their first delightful tastes of this appetizing Morontia “sustenance”, and danced under the cloudless sky. And everyone had a first chance to socialize with the great diversity of fellow survivors, thereby keeping the translators quite busy.
     .
    The pilgrim groups would be served seven courses before the day was over. It became obvious the courses were planned to complement and build on one another. And each course was impeccably scheduled with much time in between for mixing, dancing, and fraternal jubilation.
     .
    After the initial course, the staff cleared the tables to prepare for the first of seven welcoming speakers. As banqueters took their seats, the words “Welcome to Mansion I, Pilgrim!”, appeared in mid-air directly in front of each guest, and in their language. As they marveled at the sophisticated morontia image manipulations, translators were summoned for those few who read no language.
     .
    The Chief of Companions now spoke in words that could be heard and simultaneously translated, directly in front of banqueters’ eyes. And what a lovely language spoken by a beautiful voice. She graciously congratulated the revelers on surviving and added, “What a wondrous time it must be for you all! Only yesterday you were resurrected and it appears that you have accepted this reality, if not entirely integrated it!” A great roar of laughter came from the novice audience, at the absurd notion they could possibly comprehend any more than a small bit of what they had so far witnessed on this new world full of sounds, sights and smells of overwhelming number and diversity. But Kala and Saro were adapting quickly.
     .
    The Companion then ordered that the second course be served. A great round of applause went up. This course of liquid goodness–“mansonia soup”, Saro labeled it–was served and consumed to the growing enjoyment of everyone. Very soon there was more dancing and broader interaction across the group as banqueters became better acquainted, recognizing that love respects no language, and knows no barriers when the children of God celebrate their progress of soul and advancement in spirit. The translators were extremely efficient and discrete in facilitating quality communication.
     .
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    After the second course, the Chief of Companions introduced the Archangel of Resurrection who welcomed them most touchingly. It was a welcome of utmost sincerity and sublimity, saying among other things, “I am an Archangel. It is my voice the guardians of your souls respond to in order that you may take up life again on the Mansion Worlds. My world, the home world of Nebadon’s Archangels, orbits Michael’s abode, Salvington. I have 800 thousand siblings, all direct descendants of Mother and Michael. You now have a family of billions. When on Urantia, Michael declared: ‘there are many mansions in my father’s house.’ You are on the first of countless worlds that you will someday ascend to, until you stand in the Halls of Paradise and meet your Maker at the center of all things. Welcome to Mansonia, welcome to the greater family of Nebadon.”

    The Archangel exuded such a charming presence that it drew every eye in the hall. She went on to congratulate the survivors and encourage them never to retreat. “For there are even greater heavens beyond this. Even heavens of heavens await those who persevere.”

    The third course was heartier tasting to the palates of Saro and Kala, robust and filling. And the artistry of the presentation well-matched the other arresting aspects of life here. The seasonings, the texture, and the aroma sent their senses to new levels. “I can almost feel the energy in this food,” commented Saro.

    “It’s more than food, no doubt”, Kala said as she ate the last of it. “Let’s dance.” What a charming scene it was, this high banquet for lowly pilgrims. But they were feeling completely assured of their importance to the masters and workers of this world. It was already becoming obvious to the pair that the driving motivations on Mansion I are love and service. It was palpable.

    The pair chatted freely with others at their table. As the communal spirit rose, all were beginning to feel quite fraternal and at ease. Kala and Saro were discovering that not all of their fellows were grounded in revelation before dying. But all were well grounded in God, and intent on discovering what was expected of them now.

    Between the third and fourth courses, after the audience had danced and socialized for a long while, the Companion asked everyone to be seated. She then invited a representative from the Most Highs of Edentia to address the room.

    “The Most Highs send greetings and congratulations to you, resurrected pilgrims who took origin on one of the many evolutionary worlds of the Norlatiadek Constellation. Now you are the newest citizens of Mansion I of the System of Satania, whose sovereign is Langaforge. We have entrusted Lanaforge with your safe passage to Edentia, and you may trust him also. And now you are also members of a great family of beings of wide variety and purpose that was inaugurated by Michael and the Divine Minister far, far in the past. Some of you began your journey from quarantined spheres. Even with that handicap your faith carried you through to the third circle of mortal attainment, your guardians were assigned, you died, and were resurrected here yesterday. Quarantined or not, every one of you is to be admired and honored for persevering on the evolutionary worlds, worlds that were designed to test mortals, and to foster the formation of a vehicle worthy of the eternal voyage, even your soul. If you do not give up, this soul, in concert with the other aspects of your being, will someday fuse with the Divine Monitor, that fragment of God who indwells you. You are destined to become full fledged spirit beings, ready to ascend the long stairway to the Abode of God, from Edentia to the paradise of paradises. I was sent here to inform you that the Most Highs look forward with great anticipation to your eventual arrival on Edentia. When you have ascended the seven mansions, when you graduate from the schools of Jerusem, the Most High fathers will gladly welcome you to even greater mansions, to the colleges of Edentia.”

    The banqueters were hanging on the representative’s every word. Not all understood everything that was put forth in the Most Highs’ message, but Kala and Saro were gratified that they had studied the government of God as it operates on various levels of existence. They well knew of Edentia, Salvingtion, Uversa, Havona and Our Father’s Paradise abode at the center of all things and beings.

    When the Most Highs’ representative left the stage, the tables were cleared in preparation for the fourth course. The mood was certainly rising among the celebrants. The great arena was filled with the beautiful sounds of Morontia music and two hundred thousand new beings mingling with each other. And with the Most Highs’ messenger, who condescended to walk among them, greeting and welcoming many as individuals, and as new Morontians.

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      .
    Kala and Saro noted that the portions were not large, but each course packed a great deal of energy. Their nascent bodies were being invigorated by morontia sustenance. Their minds were being filled with these first morontia experiences, the memory of which they will carry into eternity. And their souls were feeling the sublime satisfactions of new emergence. Progress!
     .
    After the fourth course, the main course, was served–and slowly consumed with many lingering moans of pleasure and exclamations of delectability–they settled in for a welcome from two remarkably luminous and perfectly proportioned beings who appeared on stage with the host Companion. She embraced them and said in a touching and fraternal manner, “Most of you know of Urantia by now, number 606 of 619 inhabited planets in this System, planets that are inhabited by mortal beings, as you once were. It is also the planet where Michael, the sovereign leader of all Nebadon and eventual father of ten million inhabited worlds, bestowed himself for the seventh and final time. A million Urantia years before Michael incarnated as Jesus the first two humans emerged. And they were also the first on Urantia to receive divine Adjusters. Listen to their story. They long ago trod the path you are about to enter upon.”
     .
    Kala and Saro quickly realized whose presence they now beheld, even before they gave their names. They were astonished by the duo’s appearance, and by their pronounced beauty, poise, symmetry, and divine composure. They were seeing fused beings for the first time, also born as mere babes on Urantia.
      .
    “We are the ancestral parents of the human race of Urantia. I am Fonta, this is Andon. Welcome to the members of our ever growing family of great grandchildren who hail from Urantia. Welcome to all who ascended from the worlds of evolutionary development and soul-making, you who have endured the test of human incarnation, and come to this place for such honors as you have rightly earned. It was on this mansion, we too were resurrected. And we have since completed the course set for us by our wise leaders and able administrators. You may trust yourselves to their care.”
      .
    Everyone was enthralled by the charm and gracious communications from this long-ago fused beings. Fonta’s words poured into their hearts and a divine kinship grew then and there. All banqueters were now thinking, fusion is our destiny too.
      .
    Then Andon spoke, “After Fonta and I completed the Mansion world program and made the final choice to merge our souls with our Divine Indwellers–the very same Indwellers every one of you now host–we were granted permission to ‘tarry for a season’ in the System, in order that we might greet and encourage ascenders like you who have emerged as new Morontia beings. Yours is a great destiny, and we the Adjuster fused call out to you from Jerusem and beyond, as far as Paradise, and declare that you too can find the oneness of being that is your birthright, and Our Father’s intention for you. Every facility and service you will require has been created and made available. Everyone and everything here will assist you in discovering and achieving your divine destiny, as we have.”
      .
    The entire audience was silent except for the rhapsodic voices of Andon and Fonta. What a worthy destiny they have attained, thought all. The seeds of enthusiasm for the divine path sprouted anew in the hearts, minds, and souls of each pilgrim.
      .
    Fonta added, “We would like to extend a special congratulatory welcome to the Agondonters here, those of you who were born on worlds in quarantine, where the truth has been distorted and where there is no one of celestial authority to whom you might appeal, no physical presence of a descending Son of God to be seen by the ascending mortals. Andon and I were in such a situation once. You relied wholly on faith, revelation, and your divine Indweller, your Paradise Partner, to bring to this world, just as we did. Congratulations.”
      .
    The Companion asked Agondonteers to stand, and they received a generous round of applause. Saro and Kala were reluctant to stand, but did so in their humble way, to honor the acknowledgement.
      .
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     .
    The banqueters were thrilled to see Andon and Fonta leave the stage and enter the dining area. They were followed by a large group of other sets of planetary parents. They waded in and separated, moving singly around the hall. They separated and moved singly around the hall. Before the reception ended they had personally greeted and encouraged each group, each ring of tables, which seat 100. They each spoke to and encouraged thousands, and seemed to grow more brilliant as the day went on.
      .
    Saro and Kala patiently watched and waited, hoping Andon or Fonta might come near. It so happened both Andon and Fonta had been apprised where each Urantian was seated. When it was apparent Andon was nearing their table ring, Kala decided to try to greet him personally. As he approached their tables, Kala took Saro in hand and moved toward this brilliant fused being. When the opportunity presented itself, Kala introduced herself and Saro, adding, “We also were born and died on Urantia.”
      .
    “So was I”, said one in the group standing near, one who Kala and Saro had instructed before the banquet. Several others of that group then declared they also hailed from Urantia.
      .
    In a majestic and even-toned voice, with obvious and tremendous affection, Andon said to them, “You and many others, here and beyond, are family. Fonta and I know you are parents of three. The number of your seed may someday match ours.” They laughed, and immediately wondered if Andon knew the life story of each of his and Fonta’s vast progeny, some 250,000 generations of Urantians. Then Andon hugged Kala. His gentle touch caused her to have an experience of undiluted affection that filled her to the brim, body, mind, and soul. Saro had the same reaction to Andon’s embrace.  “Once again, and I speak for Fonta as well, congratulations and welcome.”
      .
    Andon didn’t appear to be in any way depleted by communing with and embracing so many. He very humbly excused himself from their group, in such a way that sent a message, but without saying it, ‘I don’t wish an entourage to follow’. They all seemed to  understand, even though some thought they had met a fully realized child of God and only wanted to be near him. At the same time, it was sinking in ever more deeply that this would be in their future, to become one with a fragment of the God of all Creation.
      .
    The fifth course gave the banqueters a goodly sample of morontia food plants, and it was quite obviously prepared by consummate artists. The servers informed them all of the course’s ingredients were grown in the extensive gardens that surround the banquet hall. Kala and Saro had remarked on the gardens’ beauty and organization on the way to the banquet. This Mansonia salad was combined in a way—super vegetables and exotic tasting herbs, mixed with fragrant and spicy oils–that made it incredibly enticing. The main ingredients were a variety of vivid colors; violet, red, purple, brown, green, orange, and white, all beautifully arranged in various shapes and sizes. It was literally irresistible to Kala and Saro. The delicate, subtle and profound, taste combinations caused nearly the entire banquet to taste instead of talk. But not for long.
      .
    “At our first chance, let’s tour the gardens”, said Kala.
      .
    “I was hoping we could check the relatives and friends registry on the first liberty day”, replied Saro.
      .
    “Of course! Then the gardens”, she smiled. How beautiful that smile thought Saro.
      .
    After that exquisite, but certainly not heavy course, they felt lighter and more inclined to move. Then, the music swelled, and this time almost everyone felt like dancing. The level of joy and mirth was building as all were taken up in this fascinating, memorable, once-in-a-universe-career, experience.
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    “Who do you think will welcome us next?”, asked Saro, as they slowly danced to the intoxicating music. The artistry of the soundscape continuously stimulated unprecedented moods in every one of the banqueters. It was becoming more and more obvious their bodies had senses and abilities they had only begun to discover. They both felt strong, healthy, and focused, even as these morontia moods and sensations kept surfacing, pleasant and new.
     .
    “Either Gabriel’s emissary or Father Melchizedek”, Kala replied thoughtfully.
     .
    After they sat and before the next welcomer appeared, Kala took off the elegant morontia shoes she and the others found themselves in at resurrection. She enjoyed bare feet and shed the slippers at every opportunity. She wiggled her new toes and observed her sculpted feet. “Perfect for dancing”, she declared.
      .
    The host Companion returned to the stage and called everyone’s attention. “Throughout the Seventh Superuniverse, one class of universe sons is widely regarded as wise men, those who attend to the greatest and most difficult problems that mass soul-rearing creates.  So wise are the Melchizedeks that they are permitted to govern themselves. On their own initiative Melchizedeks patrol all the worlds of Nebadon, indeed they watch over all local universes in Uversa, ever available to aid, assist and enlighten. They have never been known to be disloyal, never once in the superuniverse of Orvonton have these Melchizedek Sons ever betrayed their trust. These are your good friends and external guides. Use them!”
      .
    Nebadon has ten million of these highly versatile and loyal sons, though their work may often go unrecognized by the creatures who inhabit the worlds they supervise. These philosophers, judges, teachers, and trainers maintain headquarters on Jerusem, the System’s capital. And you will certainly pass through their 490 universities on the Superuniverse capital, Uversa. And they sometimes minister directly to the evolutionary worlds, even incarnating as one like you once were. By these incarnations they lead children of darkness into the divine light of true liberty and soul progress, spirit ascension.” The host then invited the Melchizedek to address the throng.
      . .
    “The Father Melchizedek of Nebadon sends greetings and felicitations to the newly resurrected children of Satania.” Applause broke out momentarily. Everyone was immediately captivated by this beings’ bearing and presence. Saro was trying to recall how old the Melchizedek sons are. His memory was still somewhat patchy. He did recall Michael and the Divine Minister began organizing Nebadon four hundred billion Urantia years ago.
      .
    The Melchizedek spoke eloquently and majestically as Saro and Kala shifted their gaze between him and the personalized translation that appeared before each of the celebrants. “I was sent with this message by Father Melchizedek, the First Executive Associate of the Bright and Morning Star, Gabriel, the first born of the father and mother of Nebadon.”
      .
    He continued, “We Melchizedeks congratulate everyone of you on passing the test in the flesh. You worked diligently to gather a soul, and now you reap a reward, eternal life. The choice is now, and will ever be, yours. In all your endeavors, do not fail to see your universe career from the highest possible perspective, the cosmic outlook, Our Paradise Father’s point of view. You each have a unique role in universe unfolding. You are each an indispensable thread in the Grand Mosaic of Eternity.
      .
    The challenges of the moment, the training you will receive here on the Mansion worlds are the raw materials from which you will continue to gather values, spiritual values, the substance of the soul and the currency of Spirit. You are privileged to host the envy of many a universe creature, an actual fragment of Our Father God. After you have fused with this mighty Indweller, you will be prepared to ascend to the Melchizedek worlds orbiting Salvington. It is on Salvington where you sons and daughters of time and space will hear those longed for words, “This is a beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” Heed you well the teachers encountered here and on the way to Uversa citezenship. Listen to their instructions, and take counsel when it is offered by we who were designed to fill just such roles as this. You and I were created for each other, by one who is the Original Wiseman of the Universe.”
      .
    This great being then summoned a large group of fellow Melchizedeks to the stage’s front, and they all descended into the sea of banqueters. There they freely mixed, answering questions, imparting insights and establishing new relations between two vastly different orders of being, newly resurrected pilgrims from lowly evolutionary worlds and ancient Melchizedeks hailing from the commanding heights of Salvington and Uversa.
     .
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     .
    As they unhurriedly moved toward the ring of tables to which they had each been assigned, the Melchizedek sons paused to greet diners. When they finally reached their ring they took a position at its center. And when their Melchizedek entered Kala’s and Saro’s ring, all one hundred remained seated. The rings were separated enough that the sounds from one did not disturb the adjacent rings.
      .
    As a warm and fraternal greeting gesture, Melchizedek bowed to the group ever so humbly. Then he proceeded to answer all questions with good humor and unflagging charm. This period of questions and answers was the longest break between courses. Each answer caused his hearers to have many more questions. This superb giant of wit, charm, and grace radiated a light that could only come from a being billions of years old. Kala and Saro listened intently but asked no questions. Some of the truth, beauty and goodness he taught this group of spiritual babes, this class of cosmic beginners, Saro and Kala had already studied. When he exited, everyone stood and applauded lovingly, for they had all fallen in love. Then and there an enduring interest in the Melchizedek order was germinated in the mind of each pilgrim.
      .
    The sixth course was liquid, a refined elixir that opened up whole new vistas in taste. It was slightly more viscous than water, with iridescent colors that shifted as the goblet was moved. Kala, Saro and all the banqueters observed it in fascination for a moment but didn’t hesitate to take a sip. Their server said, “It is a combination of the juices of seven types of morontia fruit.” It was slightly sweet, supremely flavorful, and very robust. It seemed to satisfy an unrealized thirst. Almost all imbibers sipped and lingered over it, in order to savor it.
      .
    Just as they were finishing, the host asked for the pilgrims’ attention. With a charming smile she asked, “Are all enjoying?” A tremendous roar of approval instantly flooded the reception hall. Her smile grew even bigger. She continued, “In every local universe there is a Mother and a Father. This pair of primary procreators gives life to countless individuals to inhabit their many evolving worlds, spiritual infants who become hosts to the Paradise Indwellers, just as you are indwelt. Sooner or later, you all crave to know your Creator Parents, your universe Mother and Father. And so you shall.”
      .
    When the Divine Minister, the Mother of Nebadon, and Michael were given this region of time and space to create their universe according to the plans of the Architects of the Master Universe, their first born son Gabriel worked alone. When it was time to create assistants for their son, our universe parents brought into being thousands of angels who are now known as Brilliant Evening Stars. Two have come from Salvington to welcome you. Always do they travel in pairs, always do they enjoy ministering to the children of Michael and the Divine Minister. It is a special honor to introduce your Creator Mother’s emissaries.”
      .
    With the word brilliant in their titles banqueters were somewhat prepared to lay eyes on the pair of beings who entered the stage. But brilliant was a vast understatement in the minds of every one of the two hundred thousand who beheld this order of being for the first time. Those who hadn’t already, now realized there are many levels of being, and many kinds of beings who are the toilers in the administration of ten million worlds.
     .
    A truly angelic voice entered their ears when one of the two began, “We hail from Salvington, with affectionate greetings from the Divine Minister. Our Mother of Nebadon sent us to welcome her children to the first of many wombs of space. She entreats you to willingly and joyfully pass through each one gathering what you must, attaining what you require, and then come to Salvington.”
      .
    Her complement spoke adding, “Your Creator Mother wishes you to know that she loves you, that she adores and cherishes every one of you. And the solicitous devotion of her angels will nurture you until you are spiritually fit to advance to Uversa, Havona and Paradise. Come to your Mother on Salvington, receive the milk of eternity, let her embrace you. Her angels will guide you, her sons will teach you, and Our Father on Paradise indwells and pilots you. You cannot fail. And remember always, she is with us. Her Spirit pervades all Nebadon. And Michael’s Spirit of Truth is ever with you. Now your Mother invites you to the abode where she and Michael dwell.”
      .
    This brought some of the hearers to weep with joy. These two beautiful creatures exuded a maternal-ness that plainly reflected their source, the Mother of all Nebadon’s ministering angels and needy ascenders. The words of the pair struck deeply in each pilgrim’s mind and heart. It helped that those words came from such luminous beings as these truly brilliant beings.
     .
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      .
    After the Brilliant Evening Stars were roundly applauded in a long ovation of deep and sincere appreciation, and finally escorted from the central stage, the host Companion signaled the service staff to bring forth the final course of their divine banquet. It was the dessert course.
      .
    Kala and Saro could smell its aroma even before being served, as if it had just been created. This strikingly attractive dessert had seven layers, alternating in color between azure blue on the bottom and cloud white on top. It was perfectly round with three concentric circles, also azure, on its slightly domed top. The base of it was encircled with an artistic arrangement of aromatic flowers and leaves of iridescent hues that changed color according to direction of view, all edible. The staff of efficient servers brought fresh chilled water to accompany this gorgeous piece of food art. When all in their table ring had been served dessert, they began consuming it in unison.
      .
    As the seventh course cast a variety of flavors across their virgin morontia tongues, they all began oozing sounds of sweet delight. And more with each bite, until nothing could be heard in the hall but one great moan of pleasure. After a moment, everyone began to laugh, at the collective moan, and out of sheer joy over their now consummated welcome. They were ready to become Mansion worlders.
     .
    The pilgrims had time to socialize before the final welcome, as unrestrained gaiety and fraternity filled the hall.
      .
    “What could top this feast?” mused Saro.
      .
    “Michael.” Kala replied.
      .
    Not all pilgrims were familiar with the emblem of Salvington, Michael’s crest. Saro and Kala informed their table-mates who wanted to know if the circles on top of their dessert had special significance.
      .
    Socializing went on until the day sky began to wane. Pilgrims danced and conversed, visited other table areas, and in general thoroughly enjoyed themselves without the least self consciousness or worry.  They were all completely satisfied, without thirst, without hunger, and without need of warm and loving family. But they did not in any way feel heavy or lethargic. Quite the reverse, everyone was now more energized than ever, as the day turned into night.
      .
    From the stage the host called the hall to order and patiently waited until all had taken their seats and ceased conversing.
    .
    “Our Michael is the 611,121st being of that order of sonship, and his mate is the 611,121st being of her order. . The Spirit of our Michael indwells you, as do the spirit influences of the Mother of Nebadon, and the fragments of the Paradise Father. There is a trinity of divine ministry living within, urging you on to greater and greater heights. Since Michael’s Spirit is everywhere in Nebadon, He most certainly dwells in you.”
      .
    The host then exited the stage, leaving it entirely vacant. Nothing occurred for a long moment of total silence. The audience could sense something great was about to unfold. They remained silent. Kala and Saro glanced at each other with a smile and simultaneously mouthed the name, “Michael!”
      .
    Soon, a slender shaft of light appeared over the central stage and very slowly descended. As the light grew in intensity, size, and attractiveness, the group’s collective attention shifted entirely to that mysterious luminosity. It gradually increased in brightness and allure until the pilgrims felt this must be the maximum of visual experience. As they sat back in awe, amazement, and fascination, a beautiful voice came to the pilgrims. Some thought they heard it, some thought it occurred in their minds. A translation did not appear before them as before. It was not required because the words were in the language of each hearer.
      .
    “I am the way, the truth, and the life. Follow me.”
     .
    This Presence of Light then, very slowly, appeared to diffuse and expand to embrace the whole hall and all its pilgrims, service staff, and invited guests. None doubted that they were feeling Michael’s embrace, his touch. Everyone realized they were experiencing a divine being of an order that hailed from a much, much higher place, a pure and holy place of unimaginable glory and splendor.
      .
    Kala and Saro were completely absorbed in the moment. They watched in utter bliss as Michael’s luminous presence gently lifted and slowly became less and less visible, until it vanished. But none felt sorrow or loss, for they now had in their possession the experience of an embrace with a genuine God which would remain theirs forever. They all then recalled this God is but one of some six hundred thousand Creator Fathers. Therefore the Paradise Father must be a Person of staggering immensity, dignity, and presence. Saro and Kala were recalling that pilgrims can rise to the level of Michael on Salvington, even to God on Paradise, by the seven-fold ladder of pilgrim ascension.
     .
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      .
    When the host Companion did not return to the stage after Michael’s welcome, the recently embraced pilgrims began talking with one another about that experience with him. It was so personal and unique they found it difficult to describe. But the experience was undeniable, and they had each other as co-experiencers.
      .
    Their joy was supreme, and their souls were in a state of sublime peace at the end of this, their second day as morontian beings on Mansion I. They had all witnessed a spectrum of unalike beings take the stage. Beings who entered their minds and hearts, from the Morontia Companions who serve on this world, to the Michael Son who reigns over millions of worlds on Salvington.
      .
    A lovely strain of soft music was heard, apparently emanating from everywhere. It was perfect accompaniment after such a day. Everyone was virtually aglow by this time and primed to celebrate.
      .
    “Care to dance, my friend?” asked Saro of his one-time wife, and mother of his children.
      .
    “Why, yes,” Kala replied offering her hand.
      .
    Gradually the music swelled and rolled, and as it did, so did the mood. Kala and Saro both were wondering where in the universe there might be a more joyful occasion. Soon, almost every banqueter was dancing. The whole group felt as if they truly were in heaven. Even though it was dawning on all that the road to the highest heaven could be long and perhaps even arduous. Kala and Saro were sure of it, and wholly ready to take on the challenge.
      .
    Gleeful dancing, warm conversations and whole-hearted fraternity filled the time before their departure, even though the evening had a timeless quality. But ere long, the Agondonters from Urantia prepared to depart. As Kala and Saro were sharing hugs with new found friends and making promises to reconnect later, the host once more asked for everyone’s attention.
     .
    In a most charming and loving voice she said, “And now ascenders, go to your lodgings. Be prepared, on the morrow at daybreak, to begin your final day of welcome, Orientation Day, after which you will enjoy ten days of liberty, your time to explore Mansion I. I bid you goodnight, and once again congratulate you on resurrection and survival.”
      .
    Immediately there began a chorus of voices, barely audible at first, then gaining volume until the first of many crescendos stirred the resurrectees to the threshold of prayer and adulation. Some heads bowed, kneeling felt appropriate to others, but all gave thanks for life, for a universe dominated by love, and their heavenly welcome to Mansonia.
      .
    Some didn’t leave the banquet hall after the closing prayer, they remained there for the night, worshipping. Saro and Kala kept dancing until the music faded, then decided to go. For the first time, they were thinking of rest. They had, after all, been in full-bore experiential mode for a day and a half, without ceasing. “That is almost five days on Urantia,” Saro calculated.
      .
    Walking back to their lodging arm in arm, they talked little. They were simply taking in the fascinating sights of this magical place cloaked in the shadows of night. Every structure, every being, every point of light on the surface and in the sky held a special beauty, etching itself into their memories. Their bodies, minds, and souls were completely satiated. And heaven felt a bit like home now.
      .
    They didn’t go directly to their quarters, they strolled the same park where they spent the previous night. Saro and Kala wanted to add one last touch to this day’s experience before terminating it in rest. They found a cozy nook from which they could view a broad swathe of the park. There they sat for a long while, watching others, listening, silently communing with their Adjusters, the Divine Minister, and Michael, ever grateful to God and for each other.
      .
    After their visit to the park, Kala and Saro came home and fell into bed.  After a moment, as they viewed the night sky Saro said, “I’m speechless”.
      .
    “Me too.”
      .
    They took each other in arm and rested in that embrace. Their dreams were heavenly.
     .
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    They were awake before dawn. They remained in bed thinking of the day ahead, intermingled with periods of communing with the God who created the Creators who made this world possible. They made it not only possible but inviting, thrilling, and most of all, spiritually edifying, soul satisfying.
     .
    Kala and Saro each knew when the other was in worship mode. Even though many inspiring thoughts were surfacing in their minds–owing to their upgrade to morontia status, plus the powerful stimulus of this rich environment–worship is always their uppermost thought.
     .
    After a while Saro said, “It feels like my attachment to Urantia is already slipping away. You?”
      .
    “Yes, now that you mention it,” Kala replied. “But I don’t think we will ever forget Urantia, besides our kids and grandkids are still there.  What feels so good here is; this world is peaceful, it knows its purpose, there’s a single focus. I like it because everyone is on the same team, we all have the same goal, the same God. There’s no worry here, at least so far, no one I’ve met seems worried, or fearful. But we must have talked about this back on Urantia, that spirit progress takes work, dedication, perseverance, and in the end, before we can fuse, absolute selflessness. So, does that mean everyone here will make it to the goal? I wonder how many give up.”
      .
    “Not you, nor me, nor any of ours!” replied Saro hugging her firmly. They kissed and smiled.
      .
    “Let’s wake Will up, my parents, and grandparents. They’re all leaving M-1 today.”
      .
    “That’s right. Let’s go,” said Saro.
      .
    They leapt from the bed, pulled on their wraps and shoes, dashed outside and playfully pranced to the adjacent lodge’s doorway. Both were thinking how good a strong, light and healthy body felt. They announced themselves and entered.
      .
    “You’re up!” said Saro, seeing all five sitting around a wide, golden table.
      .
    “Well ‘pilgrims’. Were you properly welcomed?” asked Will. Before they could answer he asked, “We’re about to eat, you two hungry?”
      .
    “Not at all,” said Kala. Saro shook his head no.
      .
    “Did you have your first rest last night?” asked Kala’s mother.
      .
    “We did,” Kala replied. “I had a dream. It was vivid and beautiful, about one resurrection after another until I reached Havona. I was in front of a huge door, knocking away. The door swung fully open and I walked in. That was it.”
      .
    Saro related his, “I dreamed of graduating from the last of the Melchizedek universities on Uversa. There were millions of us in the class. And our angels were standing by, ready to fly us to Havona right after graduation. We were congratulated and certified by the Ancients of Days, immediately enseraphimed, and took off together in a mass launch.” They all laughed.
      .
    “So you both dreamed of Havona,” noted Kala’s grandfather. “I had a similar dream in my first night’s rest on Mansion I. But I was flying and circling Havona’s billion worlds. Then I landed on Paradise and was immediately escorted to a holding area where new arrivals wait to meet God. I was ecstatic. We met, but that’s all I can recall.”
      .
    They conversed until dawn. Saro asked questions about the similarities and differences between M2 and M3. Kala wanted to know how long each of them spent on M1. They both wanted advice about how best to spend their ten day liberty.
     .
    When the day had fully dawned, Will looked out and noticed a visitor approaching, “Here’s your Receiver, Saro.”
     .
    The relatives embraced a final time. All agreed to keep in touch, and to have more reunions with more family members after Kala and Saro had settled and chosen their route to Jerusem. They exchanged fond so longs and Saro pledged to, “catch up to them in order that they might all fuse off Jerusem at the same time.” Kala signaled agreement as they exited, smiling and waving.
      .
    The Receiver walked them to Orientation Hall, answering their questions, telling them some of what to expect on their third day as mansion world citizens, adding that they would be obligation free at the end of the day.
      .
    Orientation Hall, like Banquet Hall, is another gigantic roofless arena connected directly to Resurrection Hall and the Temple of New Life complex. It too was surrounded by stunningly beautiful and perfectly sculpted shrubbery, large flowering plants, and a variety of spreading trees. Many of the plants had violet colored leaves, but all colors were present in one form or another. Jewels, crystals and glimmering metals were hanging from, or embedded in, almost every thing on this world. The pair were realizing that art and beauty are central here, not an afterthought. The Receiver informed them the landscaped plants here are not of the edible variety as are Banquet Hall’s encircling gardens, they are all ornamental. Ornate indeed! they thought.
      .
    The same pilgrims with whom Saro and Kala had spent the previous day were pouring into the orientation arena, each one now eager to enter this new world. Each one feeling they a had had taste of Paradise reality and wanted more. It helped that they were all third circlers, beings long accustomed to following the watchword of the universe—Progress!
      .
    ***
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