Greetings fellow Urantia Book readers,

In this November edition of Journal we have several essays that focus on the personal understandings gleaned from studying The Urantia Book. Our first essay, The Purpose of the Fifth Epochal Revelation, was written by members of the Sunshine Coast Study Group, Queensland Australia in 1990. A prominent member of that group back then was Ken Glasziou who is well-known in the Urantia community for his many scientific papers. The essay starts with a very important question, “Why has this new revelation come to us specifically at this time, and not one thousand years hence or whence?” Their answer helps to edify the reason, paraphrasing from Paper 99, “In the past, religion did not have to adjust its attitude to extensive changes in economic and political systems; today the rapidity of changes in living conditions is such that institutional modifications must be greatly accelerated, and religion must quicken its adaptation to an ever-changing social order. We are told that these periods of gross instability will endure for a thousand years; that the human race must become reconciled to a procession of changes, adjustments and readjustments and that mankind is on the march toward a new and unrevealed destiny.”

Another question presented was about how we accomplish the spreading of these truths. Should we be a disciple or an apostle? As a disciple we become a follower or student of a teacher: “One difference between discipleship and apostleship as announced by Jesus is that, in undertaking apostleship, we elect to represent him in the world in the same way that, in his human life on Urantia, he represented the Father. This is certainly a rigorous undertaking, for it is not by the words we speak but by the lives we live that we will represent Jesus to the world.” Our authors succinctly address this directive “to farsighted men and women of spiritual insight and with the necessary skills and abilities, using The Urantia Book as source material, to conduct those secondary works that will permit the teachings of the book to penetrate to all segments of all societies and thus…

…attract all that is good in the mind of man and challenge that which is best in the human soul. [Paper 2:7.10, page 43.3]

Are you a disciple or an apostle?

Our next essay by David Elders, The Personal Experience of Revealed Truth, “is an exploration of the Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS) pedagogy and methodology in response to a provocative question:

“Can our encounter with newly-revealed, epochal truth be facilitated successfully by employing
evolutionary techniques of education or can revealed truth be comprehended using the interpretive teachings of the evolutionary religions of authority?” David offers us a detailed response to his question with an educational rejoinder from UBIS explaining how “Revelation is the fruit of the collaboration of beings from the highest spheres with the objective of expanding the cosmic consciousness and enhancing the spiritual perception of humanity so that every human being can enjoy spiritual freedom and live in full consciousness a better life of consecration to do the Father’s will, produce the fruits of the spirit, and experience the growth of divinity in the soul in a unique and personal way.”

Providing us a history of the development of UBIS, David awards us with the methodology its success has established by following the question and answer lead of Jesus contained in the UBIS promise: “…to facilitate students’ personal discovery of truth before sharing that discovery with fellow students.”

Revealed truth, personally discovered truth, is the supreme delight of the human soul; it is the joint creation of the material mind and the indwelling spirit. The eternal salvation of this truth-discerning and beauty-loving soul is assured by that hunger and thirst for goodness which leads this mortal to develop a singleness of purpose to do the Father’s will, to find God and to become like him.  There is never conflict between true knowledge and truth. There may be conflict between knowledge and human beliefs, beliefs colored with prejudice, distorted by fear, and dominated by the dread of facing new facts of material discovery or spiritual progress. [Paper 132:3.4, p. 1459:4]

David Linthicum delivers our third essay The Eyedropper, Spoon, and Shovel, which is a delightful primer on introducing the fifth epochal revelation to his family and friends. It began with a workshop at the UAUS conference in San Antonio, Texas in 2016 and became fully developed as a 2018 plenary at the Netherlands international conference. David gives us the history of his attempts to spread the truth he found after reading The Urantia Book, many of which failed “dismally.” After participating as a booth volunteer at the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah, he discovered the best way to spread the word: “The magic moment came when a visitor asked me what I thought of the book. That is when I hit my comfort zone. The Urantia Book had a profound impact on my life and I was eager to share what I had learned and how it changed my life. We ended up talking for about an hour. After that exchange I felt energized and confident.”

By using his personal experience and following Jesus’ method of delivery based on his audience “Jesus tempered what he said to others, he used an ‘eyedropper’ of truth here and there to illustrate his teachings. He would give them revealed truth by the spoonful, when they were ready for more. And when he did divulge additional information, as he did with Nathaniel, he charged Nathaniel to ‘tell no man.’ He did not attempt to shovel too much truth; it would have surely overwhelmed them.” Taking this to heart David reminds us as we zealously head out with our book in hand to “bring the eyedropper and the spoon… leave the shovel at home. If you find someone who desires a book, give them one but let them get their own shovel and dig for the truths it contains.”

The final essay, Family Crisis was adapted from a deeply personal presentation given at the Midwest conference in 2018 by Rick Lyon. By learning from his own experience with his family, this heart wrenching account of his struggles with a child who was disabled from birth, he endeavors to impart his understanding of coping with and enduring the difficulty of personal family crisis. In an attempt to understand and survive this difficult situation, “I began writing a newsletter article called, ‘Survival of the Subnormal Minded.’ This article took me a few years to write, beginning a couple of years before my son passed away. During that time my thinking about this topic evolved and so did the article, which is why it took so long to write it. And the reason for writing it took on greater significance with his death.” It is difficult to summarize Rick’s story for you in this introduction, it is even more difficult to feel what he experienced in his search for healing, not only for himself, but for his family. I will let each reader find in their own heart the healing Rick found through his struggle of living through this type of crisis. Thank you Rick for sharing your story, my tears are with you and my heart has been strengthened by your journey of understanding and the acceptance of your resolve through the eulogy
that enlightened and comforted your family and friends. We must all remember, “death is only the beginning of an endless career of adventure, an everlasting life of anticipation, an eternal voyage of discovery.”