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Journal – May 2018

In This Issue

Journal Editorial May 2018

Suzanne Kelly, USA

Greetings, fellow Urantia Book readers. In our May edition, we have several essays that focus on the personal spiritual experience between man and God that The Urantia Book so eloquently tries to convey. Seek and you shall find, and as you read these incredibly introspective epiphanies perhaps you might feel what the authors felt as they wrote their reflections down, leaving the energy there for us all to find and absorb.

Our first essay is A Jesusonian Calling by Dr. Bruce Jackson. It is difficult to encapsulate just one phrase of this undertaking as it is much more than just an essay, it is a mission. It is a spiritual, physical, earthly and visionary mission. Dr. Jackson has accepted the mission and if anyone else is so divinely inspired his vision goes from possible to reality. “First and foremost, any Urantia Book based educational institution should be Christ-centered and spirit-led God’s-will focused organization. For readers of The Urantia Book that means a sincere focus on the following:

  1. Seek first the will of God, the First Source and Center,
  2. Commit fully to the leadership of our sovereign Michael,
  3. Actively seek the deep guiding presence of the Spirit of Truth,
  4. Request the support of our unseen planetary helpers and leaders,
  5. Empower and cooperate with the efforts of our beloved angelic friends,
  6. Request the engagement of all Thought Adjusters to be deeply involved together, and
  7. Pursue and support the wholehearted dedication of the will of each individual to seek a union of souls embracing spiritual unity in an effort to be a Jesusonian in the best sense of the word.

Dr. Jackson has gone the first mile, laid down the path to the second and made the third mile possible. He says, “The Urantia Book clearly calls Jesusonians to this task. The fifth epochal revelation has not been entrusted to us to hide under a bushel for our own spiritual enlightenment or private enjoyment. Consider the following quote, and instead of ‘Christianity,’ insert ‘Jesusonians’”:

Religion does need new leaders, spiritual men and women who will dare to depend solely on Jesus and his incomparable teachings. If Christianity persists in neglecting its spiritual mission while it continues to busy itself with social and material problems, the spiritual renaissance must await the coming of these new teachers of Jesus’ religion who will be exclusively devoted to the spiritual regeneration of men. And then will these spirit-born souls quickly supply the leadership and inspiration requisite for the social, moral, economic, and political reorganization of the world. [Paper 195:9.4, page 2082.9]

Doing the will of God by Bob Ghen, Sr. falls nicely into place as the next essay in the personal experience genre. Bob light-heartedly takes us on a personal journey to “find the will of God” in his colorful daily existence. He says, “Yet for a time, I continued to falsely believe that doing the will of God was somehow about figuring it out at each and every turn, every fork in the road. After all, aren’t we also taught that we advance spiritually, decision by decision? But uh-oh, what if I make the wrong one? Sheesh! But after taking a closer look at the quote:

The doing of the will of God is nothing more or less than an exhibition of creature willingness to share the inner life with God . . . [Paper 111:5.1 page 1221.2]

Bob was able to succinctly examine just what that meant. By asking, “But do what exactly, and how? And establishing a habitual spiritual pulse with intelligent prayer and sincere worship.”  This was the beginning of the plan that brought him to an enlightened and uplifting epiphany, “Doing the will of God has led me to my overarching spiritual beacon, the Jesusonian ideal of ‘unbroken communion.’” His erudite conclusion will speak to your will as well.

The next contribution is a tribute to the “seek and you shall find” personal experience of truth that The Urantia Book has given to everyone who has studied its pages. Susan Lyon has assembled some heart-warming encounters with truth seeking souls who have found God within its pages and their hearts, in her retrospective Inspiration & Healing from The Urantia Book. She says, “One common thread among those people who praised The Urantia Book was the effort they had put into searching for the truth for many years, or that they had experienced bitter disappointments in life, or in general felt they were lost. They perhaps didn’t even know what they sought until they had found the peace and comfort of faith. One thing was sure; for them, discovering the book seemed much sweeter because of the valleys they had walked through in their lives, and the dead ends that they had encountered in their search. One person spoke of their journey in this way:

“I am a new student of The Urantia Book and already, after a couple of years, my life has been transformed tremendously. This book will challenge you to examine what you think you know about the world, spirituality, God and all of Creation… Being a student of The Urantia Book has caused God to bloom in my spirit and love to guide my life. This book will change everything and answer many deep questions if you let it.”

The final essay is another compelling article adapted from a presentation given by Gaetan Charland, titled The Urantia Book and Us. Gaetan expresses what every new reader feels upon feeling the first moment of spiritual freedom: “When people find The Urantia Book, they experience new enthusiasm upon discovering something bigger and truer than anything they had ever known. Very often, a first reaction is to share this same enthusiasm with all those surrounding us. To our dismay, we readers quickly find people are not interested in our discovery or our experience.” But the spirituality in each of us was alive and the transformation had begun. “Without personal spiritual transformation, the task ahead would be practically impossible; at most, we would be impostors. Learning what can help transform us is not that complicated. Learning efforts might seem arduous and impossible if we try to do it all alone. Have we heard it is not well for man to be alone? What better way to start this work than by joining a group seeking personal and world improvement while helping prepare for the opening of the next spiritual era!”

Gaetan has trodden the trail each new reader took and expressed confidently, “We found The Urantia Book because we were searching for the truth it contains. The responsibility for sharing truth now rests with us. We must make this truth live in our hearts as we team together in unselfish service, helping inaugurate this next era of liberty.” If we sincerely desire to improve the world in which we live, each of us must put our grain of salt in it.

You are the salt of the earth, salt with a saving savor. But if this salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is henceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men. [Paper 140:4.2, page 1572.2]

A Jesusonian Calling to Go the Third Mile

Dr. Bruce Jackson, USA

A proposal for the development of a curriculum based on The Urantia Book for the certification of teacher/scholars, and the certification of community, regional, and international leaders.

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 emphasis added]

This familiar and challenging passage found in Paper 195 actually defines the name of the lifestyle and religion presented in the fifth epochal revelation: Jesusonianism. Here the individual Jesusonian is challenged to follow the teachings presented in The Urantia Book. It is easy to stop at the level of this quotation and focus entirely on the inner spiritual life of the individual. However, the fifth epochal revelation suggests throughout its text, a third mile that is about community service and world-wide spiritual outreach.

It is this third mile that this paper will explore. It will start with a musical metaphorical definition of each mile. It will continue with an examination of the educational needs of our Urantia movement by suggesting the cultivation of an online teaching institution prepared to develop curriculums that support programs designed to certify teacher/scholars and leaders. It will briefly evaluate the two main online institutions: The Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS) and the Urantia University Institute (UUI). It will note their current roles in the Urantia movement, and will offer a vision of their important place in relation to the teaching curriculums proposed in this paper. The paper will offer models on which such a curriculum might take shape. It will demonstrate the need to adopt a real sense of urgency to begin this work. It will conclude with a call for participation in this massive endeavor.

This paper is a call to Jesusonians to strive to go the third mile in all the many different roles that individuals play in the development of an educational system tasked with the mission to support and propagate The Urantia Book. This paper will not address the debate as to whether or not the Urantia movement should certify teacher/scholars, and leaders, or if the propagation The Urantia Book on a worldwide scale is even desirable.

A Musical Metaphorical Example of the Third Mile:  The Composer and a Symphony

Preparation: It is easy to dream of being a great composer. It is not difficult to buy and master computer software that will set up the score and transpose parts with mere keystrokes. Actually, writing a full symphonic score by hand is so yesterday! We live in an age where to dream is easy. The first step of the first mile is to actually start the process of realizing that dream.

The First Mile: While having the insight and vision of a symphonic work is only a little more difficult than the preparatory work, there exist many models and templates upon which a trained musician might be able to formulate a score. Movements are standardized, motivic development is understood, harmonic progressions are well defined, and even the most unique melodies do not actually have to be your own to sound “original.” We live in a “cut-and-paste” world where cookie-cutter composition is ubiquitous. Plug-and play is not all that tough. One simply has to have the patience to do the real work. In composing music, writing a novel, or painting a work of art there is a long process of experimentation, editing, refinement, and crafting into a polished product before completion. For most artists this is an endeavor that requires starting the work, patience, sequential thinking, creative evolution, an understanding of consequences, and sticking with the project until it is done. Here ends the first mile.

The Second Mile: The second mile is much more difficult. It is in that second mile where the composer must put it all “on the line” by sharing the composition with other musicians. This is a harder task because it requires letting go of many heartfelt, even sacred compositional decisions that a composer might be deeply invested in. Sometimes others will reject the work, and that really hurts. Other musicians may suggest, even demand significant changes, and that hurts even more. Ambivalence, the lack of any response at all, is by far the most difficult experience for a composer. The second mile is not achieved until that composition is performed for an audience, and thus is shared with the world.

If the composer is to go the second mile, then he/she must believe that they have something to offer an audience. A composer does not wait to hear what the audience wants, but presents a new idea that appeals to something within the heart of the listener. In the first mile there is never an assurance that his/her composition will do that. To go the first mile takes bold faith and a willingness to invest in something that has no certainty for success. How many symphonies have been written that have never met the light of day? Far more than those we listen to today! It is in the bold second mile that acceptance, indifference, and outright rejection is met, evaluation is accepted, necessary changes are made, and the fate of the composition is submitted to the Will of God: “let go and let God.”

The Third Mile: It is in the third mile where there is a response to the Jesusonian calling. Here begins the dialogue: the editing of method, the refinement of message, and the learning from the new perspective of others. The third mile embraces mutual growth beyond the mindset of the individual. Community is born. In The Urantia Book section on universal artisans, it is revealed that music, art, light, and many other mediums merge into a larger communal activity, and the results thereof have the power to enrapture billions of souls.

So, for the composer and musicians the third mile is not about the loss of identity, but the contribution to the greater whole. That is the power of a beloved symphony. The audience goes beyond the admiration of the composer and musicians and embraces a much deeper level of music. This, my friends, is the experience of worship. To achieve this level of experiencing high art is a significant antidote to spiritual egoism which is such a challenge for first and second milers.

It is in the third mile that real spiritual growth will take place for the individual and the community. It is here that a union of souls emerges. In the harbor “the tide raises all ships alike.” This process of communal spiritual maturation is a critical step because the first mile only produces the basic work and the second mile is largely introductory. The third mile engages the common cause, the advancement of spiritual purpose, and the setting of new goals beyond mere completion of that second mile (a reading session if you will). Here, ambivalence is turned away and truth emerges.

It is with the third mile that the very best symphonies take root in society while lesser works fall on rocks or are choked out by weeds. True, it takes many first milers to produce a few successful second mile experiences (much like selling insurance), but that effort must be engaged to attain any hope of going on to the even more difficult third mile. In the third mile truth is fostered, prayers are lifted, worship is achieved, beauty is experienced, and love becomes the foundational force of life for the community.

The Educational Needs of the Urantia Movement

In the past sixty-plus years, the Urantia movement has made excellent progress in developing online educational centers of Urantia Book focused training. Even so, it is time to begin working on a new online curriculum that will strive for the establishment of higher-level educational programs that are truly focused on The Urantia Book. Such a curriculum would support the strong work that has already been done by the Urantia movement. It will be a part of a larger system of schools uplifting each other in the outreach mission of the fifth epochal revelation. It will also attempt to reach out to the many other religions and faith expressions of the world in the effort to promote and uplift the spiritualization of this planet to universally ascendant levels. A true union of souls will become the focus of this common cause.

This paper proposes three programs for consideration:

  • To prepare unique spiritually called individuals, families, and groups to spread the message of the fifth epochal revelation in local, regional, and international settings incorporating everything from one-on-one outreach to world-wide media methodologies depending on the skill sets and calling of the individual, family, or group. Such teachers will be prepared to represent the spiritual truths of The Urantia Book to honest seekers of truth. They will encourage new readers to become involved in the Urantia movement, and help them find mentors and communities where new readers may grow, learn, and practice spiritual living. Also, they will be prepared to reach out to individuals of other religious faith traditions and spiritual practices. This program would be completed with a spiritual calling to families and groups, and a more advanced process for exceptionally dedicated individuals.
  • To train teachers and scholars to mentor students of The Urantia Book in a way that will foster a culture of lifelong learning through the engagement of significant scholarship of The Urantia Book, the Bible, and other important religious texts. This work is to be shared with other educational institutions, religions, and the world at large with the goal of strengthening the spiritual understanding for the universal upliftment of the planet. This program would be completed with teaching certification upon the acceptance of a major academic project. It will continue to support the spiritual lifelong learning of our scholars.
  • To prepare leaders to work for the establishment of local organizations, engage in regional development, and cultivate an international presence of The Urantia Book. It will offer a sequential individually designed curriculum to train leadership to be an effective liaison within the Urantia movement and with other religious institutions and faith-traditions in an effort to strengthen the spiritual renaissance of this modern age. This program would be completed based on three levels of leadership certification: local, regional, and international.

While there may be many other educational programs that our Urantia Book-based schools will offer, the objective is to go the next mile in the development a curriculum tasked with the mission for fostering the training of teachers and scholars, and preparing leaders. In this effort we need to cultivate an educational methodology that responds to the individual needs of each student rather than enforcing some form of institutional dogma or program. There are models for doing that, and we don’t have to repeat the mistakes of other institutions as we have the opportunity to learn from one of the best textbooks on the planet: The Urantia Book.

Consider the many basic questions such a program raises. What is it that makes this effort a uniquely spiritual endeavor? What are the mission, values, and goals of a Urantia Book-based school that provides a curriculum designed to foster the training of teacher/scholars, and prepare leaders? How will its spiritual calling be represented and practiced? What are its educational objectives and measurable outcomes for its students? What would a core curriculum look like? What specialized programs and supporting courses need to be developed? What will its instructional methodology and teaching philosophy be? How do we avoid the pitfalls of institutional dogma or programmatic thinking? How would such a school take advantage of articulating courses from other institutions? How do we train our students in a way that will meet their needs and expectations, not just graduate students from “our program?” What will be the time frame necessary to achieve those goals for the “average” student? How will we manage costs so that third world students may prepare to take the revelation to their communities and their continents? And again and again we must return to this most fundamental of all questions: how can this endeavor be a truly Spirit-led enterprise that focuses on the union of souls?

Any academic institution responding adequately to these questions is not, nor could ever be the work of any single individual. It is, by definition, a massive cooperative endeavor that will require hard work, many volunteers, and the best minds of the Urantia movement. It will need to be focused on collegial cooperation in a true spiritual collaboration based on the union of souls. Big egos, persons seeking a reputation in the Urantia movement, and any sense of spiritual ownership or self-aggrandizement will not only be problematic, but will truly hinder this undertaking. The exemplification of the union of souls may well become one of the most important lessons that our Urantia Book-based educational system may demonstrate to the world in our current spiritual renaissance age.

The Role of Current Schools: The Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS) and Urantia University Institute (UUI)

Today there are a number of educational enterprises sharing The Urantia Book with the rest of the world. Because I do not live in Colorado I have no real knowledge of the recently restarted Boulder School. As I have only participated in a few discussion groups with the Gospel School, I recuse myself from any analysis thereof. I have been somewhat engaged with the development of Ascension University (AU) which is planning to open around 2020 and already has a number of online projects and discussion groups underway. However, I have taken the four UUI classes based on each Part of The Urantia Book and have over three years of experience with UBIS. Therefore, I will focus my analysis on them. I apologize if I have omitted any other educational enterprise and gladly invite those organizations into this discussion. We are, after all, looking to develop a system of schools to support the fifth epochal revelation.

UBIS: Though by design UBIS is not a traditional school with an organized curriculum that results in some form of certification beyond the individual classes, it is a great first Urantia Book-based school because its entire focus is on the development of readers of the fifth epochal revelation. UBIS has some of the best teachers in the Urantia movement and presents an online forum where new and highly experienced readers mingle and learn both as teachers and students. Though its study group format is informal, the online medium demands fairly good reading and writing skills for students and teachers if the classes are to be successful. Their website is limited and tad old fashioned in appearance, but it serves the curricular format that their instructor/facilitators use. UBIS is an excellent training ground for future teachers who need experience in writing about The Urantia Book in an online forum. UBIS is well established, has a lot of history, and offers a wide variety of classes.

UUI: A newer school, UUI tends to look more like many online schools with a sequential curriculum and electives. Its website is outstanding and offers many different student/teacher opportunities for engaged learning through worship, prayer, discussion, chat, instructor developed videos, many links, live webinars, and other highly useful resources. Though the core courses are set, the electives appear to be instructor dependent. UUI tends to be open to other religions and cites a variety of religious writers on its website. UUI is in its early stages of development where classes tend to be small. Consequently, discussion may be somewhat hit or miss. This will improve over time as their teachers cultivate educational experience and additional courses and objectives are developed.

Relationship with a new school: Both schools offer a unique and highly valuable foundation for the proposed curricular programs. They provide an educational system where students seeking advanced learning may be prepared for a higher educational level of study resulting in certification. Both schools will be strong sources of teachers trained to present The Urantia Book to a variety of levels of students and even to other religions and institutions. Frankly, without the foundational work of UBIS and UUI, any new school would have a very difficult time getting off the ground. It is quite possible that UUI might be able to evolve into offering some or all of the curriculum that is proposed herein.

Together UBIS and UUI comprise an excellent online educational system even though they have yet to develop strong articulation arrangements. For example, it is entirely possible that after experiencing a variety of UBIS online courses exposing students to fifth epochal revelation-focused discussion groups, a committed Uranta Book reader might progress through the UUI core curriculum which may be transferred into a new training programs of certification of teacher/scholars, and leaders. These things will evolve as the need arises.

Envisioning a New School Based on The Urantia Book

First and foremost, any Urantia Book-based educational institution should be Christ-centered and Spirit-led, a God’s Will-focused organization. For readers of The Urantia Book that means a sincere focus on the following:

  1. Seek first the will of God, the First Source and Center
  2. Commit fully to the leadership of our sovereign Michael
  3. Actively seek the deep guiding presence of the Spirit of Truth
  4. Request the support of our unseen planetary helpers and leaders
  5. Empower and cooperate with the efforts of our beloved angelic friends
  6. Request the engagement of all Thought Adjusters to be deeply involved together
  7. Pursue and support the wholehearted dedication of the will of each individual to seek a union of souls embracing spiritual unity in an effort to be a Jesusonian in the best sense of the word.

The effort to develop a real teaching environment committed to share The Urantia Book with the rest of the world will take many people and a number of schools with different missions to accomplish. There is absolutely no interest in hampering or even competing with the already established Urantia Book-based schools. We need to build on and improve what we already have, while new schools emerge to fill in additional needed areas of study. Our schools should not only work in unity with each other, but should be open to other faith expressions and spiritual educational enterprises. No one school has to be the only deliverer of the education offerings to certify teachers, support the ongoing lifelong learning of scholars, and prepare leaders for community, regional and world-wide spiritual service. Articulation agreements between Urantia Book schools and with other spiritual and secular educational institutions should be encouraged, and may well become common practice.

In our educational endeavors we do not need the one-size-fits-all approach to instruction that is observed in most of our American colleges and universities. In contrast, we should focus on curricular flexibility to meet the specific educational and cultural needs of our diverse students. This means looking at different educational models such as European schools (and perhaps Empire State in New York.) While they might provide interesting and workable models, we do not have to be a slave to them. Our focus must be on fostering lifelong learning and equipping for spiritual service. This does not have to be based on three-plus year seminary programs for ordination, but there is much we may learn from many established seminaries (such as Unity Village and Oblate School of Theology.)

We don’t have to start big; just focusing on each individual student will be sufficient for now. If our classes have only a few graduates, that will be a success if they become effective Jesusonian teacher/scholars, and leaders. Our curriculum needs to be flexible, changeable, evolutionary, and molded into what is needed for each individual seeking our help.

The first task we need to do is to develop a catalog where each curriculum is defined and broad course descriptions are presented. This catalog only presents a broad road-map where individual teachers will have the opportunity to imprint their own expertise as courses will be unique depending on the teacher’s leadership and student composition. Teacher/scholar training may involve more traditional class formats, articulate outside courses, might require an education degree or equivalent experience before admission, and should cultivate a major scholarly project. Leadership training is found in many secular and religious institutions and the military. Such a program might require an individually mentored curriculum where applied work may include projects such as the start and fostering of a community organization, working with major Urantia movement institutions, and promoting the international presence of The Urantia Book through media.

All this needs to be organized, well presented, internationally publicized, open to all sincere seekers of spiritual truth, doable in a reasonable amount of time, and affordable to any called to the spiritual service for the fifth epochal revelation. A new school should not only focus on readers of The Urantia Book, but also should reach out to and learn from other religions and sincere faith practices.  All Urantia Book-based schools should truly be a Spirit-led endeavor focused on the will of God, the instruction of our Master, the leadership of the Spirit of Truth, in cooperation with our unseen universal helpers and angels, and dedicated to universal service with our Thought Adjusters in unity seeking join together in a union of souls.

The Need for a Sense of Urgency

Members of the Urantia movement need to be aware that there is a tremendous world-wide shortage in the northern continents for trained church leaders. Consider the following examples. My church is well-to-do, has a marvelous facility, has fine music and educational programs that range from the cradle to the grave, is populated with highly educated university folks who are willing to volunteer, is liberally minded, social justice oriented, and very tolerant, is located in a low-cost medium sized university/college town, and pays its staff quite well. After the trauma of firing our full time Education Minister last fall, and after conducting a national search, we have had only one applicant. My underqualified son with his degree in chemistry just landed a gig as piano accompanist for a very nice Methodist church because he was the only applicant in an area that has a university with a Ph.D music program and three colleges with music departments offering degrees in piano. Catholicism is experiencing a major shortage of priests and lay leaders. Other liturgical denominations are now ordaining women to their priesthood to fill their depleting ministerial ranks. Smaller protestant churches all over North America have to share pastors if they are lucky enough to find one. Finally, in music, old rockers, tired of being bar rats, are increasingly moving into the comfort of their weekly church band gig as they jealously guard their guitar slot by actively refusing other musicians (no matter their qualification) a place in the band to the detriment of the cultivation of the next generations of musicians. Scholars who study the Christian church have known about this trend for years, and it is predicted to get much worse in the near future. All this is going on during the most significant spiritual renaissance in world history.

There is an urgent need for the Urantia movement to start the work that will produce certification programs teacher/scholars, and leaders. The Urantia movement needs to understand that the project proposed herein will be a massive effort that will take years to develop and cultivate. Just consider the hard effort that it has taken to get UBIS and UUI to be where they are today, and more than triple that effort for this proposal. It is quite likely that most of the folks engaged in the early development of these programs will have to volunteer their expertise without any form of recognition. Again, this cannot be the work of any single individual, but will take the Urantia movement’s best minds working together in a Spirit-led union of souls to accomplish.

A Call to Go the Third Mile

Going the third mile is absolutely doable. For five years I taught at a historically black university that was started in 1866 by four ex-slaves, which was housed in a shack, and had around a dozen students. Those visionary teachers were determined to go the third mile in believing they could start a successful school for recently freed African-Americans. It was hard, the school was small, there always was a lack of funds, furniture, and books, the teachers often worked for free, and they experienced many trials and hardships before it stabilized. But together they had a vision and dream that they acted upon. They had the fortitude and backbone to start the first mile, labored through the second mile, and the courage and perseverance to walk the third mile even when the Jim Crow South raged against them. Because they were willing to do the heavy lifting, Lincoln University of Jefferson City, Missouri is alive and well today.

So, how do we Jesusonians go that third mile? We need folks like YOU who are willing to step up and go beyond the first mile into the second mile of presenting a real working model: a catalog template where such a school may be formulated and evolve into a reality. While UBIS, UUI, and AU have well developed platforms upon which to offer online courses, what we truly need is the curricular vision that would establish an excellent core curriculum and develop programs resulting in some form of certification. We need strong institutional articulation agreements designed to provide a wide variety of student experiences that will foster outreach , train Urantia Book-focused teachers/scholars, and prepare leaders for community, regional, and international service to the Urantia movement and the world at large.

The Urantia Book clearly calls Jesusonians to this task. The fifth epochal revelation has not been entrusted to us to hide under a bushel for our own spiritual enlightenment or private enjoyment. Consider the following quote, and instead of “Christianity,” insert “Jesusonians:”

Religion does need new leaders, spiritual men and women who will dare to depend solely on Jesus and his incomparable teachings. If Christianity persists in neglecting its spiritual mission while it continues to busy itself with social and material problems, the spiritual renaissance must await the coming of these new teachers of Jesus’ religion who will be exclusively devoted to the spiritual regeneration of men. And then will these spirit-born souls quickly supply the leadership and inspiration requisite for the social, moral, economic, and political reorganization of the world. [Paper 195:9.4, page 2082.9]

Most of all, we need to do the work and begin to walk the third mile. If not us, then WHO? If not now, then WHEN? The fields are ripe, and the laborers very few. God is calling us now. Who will say “SEND ME?”

Doing the Will of God

Bob Ghen Sr., USA

The Urantia Book unequivocally declares:

The doing of the will of God is nothing more or less than an exhibition of creature willingness to share the inner life with God . . . [Paper 111:5.1, page 1221.2]

What? Seriously? That’s it?

When I began The Urantia Book journey so many years ago, that was my initial reaction. At that time, my search for spiritual meaning among various groups of well-intentioned seekers often presented a particular “spiritual path” through a more or less convoluted series of spiritual hoops and progressive “states of consciousness.” Each with an inviting promise of future mystical rewards, yet each a necessary prerequisite before one could experience God directly. Doing God’s will for me personally would require a level of divinity recognition only available to those who had at last arrived at the very pinnacle, the greatly coveted, “Enlightenment.” And from which vantage one finally became faultless, pure, holy, and perfected, a literal saint. Not to mention of course, becoming so much more “highly evolved” than mere un-enlightened mortals. Yes, if I could somehow get to that ultimate state, my search would be fulfilled. For the moment, alas, such enlightenment remained an elusive, spiritual carrot.

Ah yes, those early years . . . (sigh)

As a Urantia Book novice I believed in God (in his existence), yet I was still seeking to intellectually discern his will for me in terms of each individual decision, but without actually knowing him. What did he want me to do about this, or about that? What should I do next? Should I take this job? Should I rent this house? Should I end my troubled marriage? Should I . . . should I . . . the list never ended. However absurdly impossible, my fanciful spiritual wish was to wake each morning with an explicit to-do list directly from God at my bedside. How else would I ever know for certain what his will was on every occasion? Truth be told, it was frustrating and stressful. Yet for a time, I continued to falsely believe that doing the will of God was somehow about figuring it out at each and every turn, every fork in the road. After all, aren’t we also taught that we advance spiritually, decision by decision? But uh-oh, what if I make the wrong one? Sheesh!

Gradually of course, I did come to recognize that doing God’s will did not mean foisting a quandary of psycho-spiritual struggle on myself over every choice that life presented. With that simple, authoritative declaration in The Urantia Book, I progressively realized that doing God’s will was not at all what I thought. Increasingly, I found my personal experience aligning with this profoundly elegant quote. I was realizing that “doing God’s will” is more of a place to come from, than it is a place to get to.

To be clear, none of this should be taken as an “official” representation of Urantia Book teachings; there are no such official representations. I merely represent here my best effort to share the essence of my own experience that it might provide a little clarity to some from a purely personal perspective.

Let’s Take a Closer Look

The doing of the will of God is nothing more or less than an exhibition of creature willingness to share the inner life with God . . . [Paper 111:5.1, page 1221.2]

What, then, does this actually mean? Let’s dissect it a bit:

The doing of the will of God This clearly states that what we are talking about is performing action with respect to the will of God; that’s what “doing” means. The will of God is something we do.

…is nothing more or less… This phrase is specifically definitive, narrowly and purposely defining the scope of its intent. It unambiguously means: It is this, and only this, and nothing but this.

…than an exhibition of creature willingness… An exhibition is not simply a wish or a desire on the part of the creature. It is a showing, a demonstration of willingness by way of action. Again, it means doing something.

…to share the inner life with God. This refers to the highly intimate, subjective, and progressive spiritual experience of one’s intentionally active personal relationship with the indwelling spiritual presence of God.

The Solitary Messenger presenting this sublime truth makes it crystal clear that, sharing the inner life with God involves explicit action on the part of the individual. He thereby also implies that a purely passive attitude is flatly ineffective.

But Do What Exactly, and How?

The Urantia Book specifically teaches that, spiritual growth depends first upon maintaining a living spiritual connection with the ever present, inner spirit nucleus, our divine God fragment. THAT is the action we must DO! We must actively engage, personally, with the father who, so near to us, patiently awaits our personal attention. And we must keep on engaging. Personal relationships only mature and ripen with the ongoing sincerity of mutual commitment to the trust of intimacy.

When we are thus actively sharing this inner life with God, we are in truth doing his will. Maintaining this active relationship is the “exhibition” of our willingness to share the inner life, and that exhibition, that inner spiritual sharing is, “The doing of the will of God.” Nothing more, nothing less.

As the growing value of this inner personal relationship extrapolates into the outer social arena, our naturally self-centered decision-making is incrementally imbued and superseded with increasingly higher motives, with God’s motives. Thus, doing the will of God in each particular life situation naturally becomes less perplexing, progressively self-evident, and makes it easier to habitually “do the right thing.”

Doing the Will of God as a Living Spiritual Experience

Now that we have intellectually analyzed our Urantia Book quote as a statement, and mentally grasped something of its meaning, let us shift our attention to its equally intended value level, i.e., its active application as a living spiritual experience.

With this shift we move into a whole new realm, not so easy of explanation. Here we must continue to use the language of words to portray what is essentially an ineffable, subjective, spiritual experience; a living, fluid, multi-faceted, profoundly intimate, personal relationship. One that ebbs and flows with the resilience of our courage, and the ever-fluctuating depth and sincerity of our commitment. We can understand the meaning of the words, but the Truth of it must be lived to be comprehended. Thus, any attempts to intellectually elucidate such a living experience will necessarily be reductive on its face. Still, words are what we have, so we press ahead trusting our inner partner to reinforce our intention to grasp, as well as convey, such an intellectually elusive, experiential, spiritual value level.

Establishing a Habitual Spiritual Pulse

Experientially then, by what means do we establish and maintain such an active spiritual relationship with the inner spirit of God?

Consistently sharing the inner life with our divine partner is both a subjective, highly personal, private experience, as well as an objective, socially expressed experience. These are complementary aspects of the same living experience, wherein the private, spiritual sharing in the subjective inner life is “lived out” in the objective social arena, most effectively through unselfish service to others. Such an established practice fosters a living spiritual pulse that nourishes the progress of our highest motives, decisions and goals, and thereby contributes directly to the growth of our souls.

With few exceptions, all life pulsates between these periods of rest (energy intake), and activity (energy output). Natural sleep, we know for example, replenishes the natural energies we exhaust during the day and reinvigorates us for tomorrow’s activities. The cycle is foreordained; it is programmed into our mammalian DNA.

But spiritual renewal is neither automatic, nor biological. Restoring spiritual energy must be chosen. It must be a deliberate, personal choice, a free will decision—each and every time! And those frequent decisions, made sincerely and persistently as the months and years unfold become a spiritual habit. And it is this purposive habit that establishes the living spiritual pulse that freely replenishes our depleted spiritual energies as we come and go about our busy days in the outer social arena.

Consciously attending to this habit of input and output, to our personal spiritual pulse, nourishes and sustains a life of increasing spiritual intimacy. Such a persistent practice is the very essence of an active and progressive exhibition of creature willingness to share the inner life with God.

Sincere daily practice yields lifelong results—eternal results!

Intelligent Prayer and Sincere Worship

These are the personal practices most closely associated in The Urantia Book with the maintenance of this living spiritual connection of increasing personal intimacy with true and genuine Deity, with our Thought Adjusters.

To be clear, I am not referring here to any mystical experience of “oneness” or “nothingness” or “the Absolute” nor any other experience in which there is no sense of Other. All external and internal input has been silenced and I am alone with myself in the inner sanctum of my own awareness. A discussion of the plusses and/or minuses of this experience is beyond the scope of this discourse. Suffice to say that such mystical experiences, in and of themselves, are neither spiritual nor religious.

Contrasting sharply, both intelligent prayer and sincere worship are specifically spiritual-religious practices. They are predicated on an intentional personal relationship with the inner spirit of God, i.e., on the actual spiritual content of genuine religion. And The Urantia Book presents much to enhance our comprehension of these two highly subjective, spiritual-religious experiences.

Intelligent Prayer (Spiritual Communication)

Intelligent prayer is distinguished from all other forms in that intelligent prayer is that prayer which is consistent with the divine principles that govern such spiritual communications. Prayer inconsistent with these principles will be unavailing. It will not rise with the spiritual currents, and will simply fall flat. Selfish, materialistic praying is neither intelligent, nor spiritual. The Urantia Book revelators offer some pretty strong language on the subject:

That prayer which is inconsistent with the known and established laws of God is an abomination to the Paradise Deities. . . [Paper 146:2.3, page 1638.3]

Intelligent prayer is both an intellectual and a spiritual-religious communication. It seeks to intelligently communicate one’s finite self with infinite deity, with God. It is the sincere expression of all that we would communicate to him were he sitting directly in front of us, at the kitchen table so to speak. There is no formula for such a private conference. Intelligent prayer is the spontaneous and wholehearted effort to reach out to the universal parent as he spiritually resides in the superconscious (consciousness of consciousness) region of our own personal minds. Here, in mutual regard, sincere expressions of gratitude, and all spiritual supplications for ourselves and others are offered in trust and faith. Increasingly as our souls mature, an intellectually inexplicable experience of spiritual assurance begins to permeate such sincere and heartfelt efforts.

I Experience It This Way

With intelligent prayer, my purposeful intent is to communicate with God, my inner spirit partner; to talk things over in all sincerity, to bare my soul and share my innermost self with nothing held back, to express gratitude for his many blessings (most of which I am surely unaware), to petition only for those worthy spiritual needs and desires for myself and others, to increase our intimacy, to seek counsel, and wisdom, and courage, and a fuller measure of faith. I also pray that I might be led into life circumstances that will temper my immature will into the level of consecration that he intends for me. I do all I can to muster my whole self to the present purpose, ever returning my wandering attention gently to being together with him.

I recognize and acknowledge with sincere gratitude that, despite how harshly I may judge myself, and I do, the very person who I actually am is precisely the personality who my inner spirit is laboring 24/7 to become. This is profoundly humbling to me.

Daily intelligent prayer keeps me sane. It keeps me from straying too far afield from my overarching spiritual beacon, the Jesusonian ideal of unbroken communion.

Sincere Worship (Spiritual Communion)

The Urantia Book teaches that sincere worship is entirely distinct from all formal, ritual, ceremonial, and every other material form of worship. Neither is the urge to worship an intellectual construct. It is an action of the soul. The call to sincere worship is a call from the soul as the urge to be personally immersed in divinity; to give one’s whole self completely, without reservation, to the plan and will and presence of God. It is a spiritual invitation to cease resisting and allow Deity to fully embrace us.

When we recognize and submit to this craving of the soul, when we mentally choose to allow it, only then does the soul initiate the worship experience. And now, with the divine inner Adjuster thus engaged, it is he who actually conducts the worship on our behalf, directly relaying our personal devotion to the Universal Father at the center of all things. The Urantia Book teaches that this is the natural, subjective, experiential sequence that leads the personally praying mind up through intelligent prayer into the sincere worship experience.

Such a creature choice is not a surrender of will. It is a consecration of will, an expansion of will, a glorification of will, a perfecting of will; and such choosing raises the creature will from the level of temporal significance to that higher estate wherein the personality of the creature son communes with the personality of the spirit Father. [Paper 111:5.5, page 1221.6]

I Experience It This Way

While deep in prayer, I usually become conscious of my option to engage in sincere worship as the culmination of my devotions. Absorbed in the prayerful depth of my supplications, I begin to sense an increasing urge to “let go,” to relinquish ALL self-interest and allow myself to simply be with my inner partner. And I recognize that this urge is the feeling soul part of me as distinct from the thinking mind part of me. My higher morontia self, my soul, is craving to be fully immersed in the divine presence, and it’s making me conscious of that. I now realize that I have an option: Shall I resist this urge and redirect my attention—or shall I cease all resistance and allow my soul-self to initiate a true worship experience? With the growth of my soul over decades, my own stubborn resistance has thankfully waned, and I am increasingly eager to say “yes” to such a generously offered, soul-felt invitation.

True worship validates my faith and ameliorates my natural human tendency to be self-centered and self-important. I am gradually becoming fit to be—forever, i.e., to fuse with my divine Adjuster. God is having his way with me, and together we are co-creating our singular, new, eternal self. Together, we are becoming one.

Faith as a Mode of Living

Doing the will of God produces profound, creative changes in life perspective as the intimacy of relationship grows. While the unifying propensity of mind increasingly coordinates the inner and outer aspects of progressive spiritual experience, such a living faith matures into the predominate motivation, and one’s principal mode of living. We begin to recognize and appreciate the spiritual content and counterpart behind ALL of our worldly experience, including all of the really hard stuff.

Witness:

Your anxieties and sorrows, your trials and disappointments, are just as much a part of the divine plan on your sphere as are the exquisite perfection and infinite adaptation of all things to their supreme purpose on the worlds of the central and perfect universe. [Paper 23:2.12, page 258.11 emphasis added]

Our whole life, and everything in it becomes a testament to our genuine religious experience, to our sincere effort to know God and to live according to his will. Even when our personal world collapses around us, in our darkest hours, we can know for sure that there are better days ahead. If not possible in the time left on this world, then most certainly on the next.

Such an intimate, living faith catalyses all other available Spirit influences to function fully in our lives, e.g., the Spirit of Truth, the Holy spirit, and even the seraphim and cherubim. When we open the spirit channel from our side, we allow the vast store of spirit blessings to begin flowing freely into our lives. Best of all, an increased opportunity for soul-satisfying service.

There is nothing in life more satisfying, more gratifying, more profoundly rewarding for me, than when I become aware that I am being allowed to personally play a role in the larger plan to uplift, better, or further the true well-being of other fellow humans. I like lots of other stuff, but that tops the list for me. This is how doing the will of God increasingly manifests itself in my experience.

Unbroken Communion: The Overarching Spiritual Ideal

Doing the will of God has led me to my overarching spiritual beacon, the Jesusonian ideal of “Unbroken Communion.” My spiritual North Star is ever an inspiring guide as I sort my way through the earthly travail of current planetary conditions. I am repeatedly uplifted when I pause to reflect on this someday-attainable goal. With our personal spiritual progress evaluated on high by our persistent spiritual strivings, and (thankfully) not by our actual, current status, I am tremendously grateful for such a divine ideal upon which to set the course of my strivings.

When all is said and done, true religion is the personal, conscientious maintenance of a living spiritual connection with the ever present, inner spirit of God.

Or stated otherwise, true religion is “Doing the will of God.”

Inspiration & Healing From The Urantia Book

Susan Lyon, USA

Susan GrzeskowiakRecently I went online to purchase some sports items for my son-in-law Tim’s birthday. A few years ago I set up an Amazon-Smile account. Every time I need to shop for birthdays, holidays or any special event for my family, I can do something that has been very difficult financially for me to do in the past; I can support a cause. Raising my four children as a single parent made it nearly impossible for me to give to worthy charities and causes such as Urantia Foundation and all of their translation projects. Now Amazon helps me to accomplish this by taking 0.5% out of their profits for my total purchase amount, and then they send it to Urantia Foundation. When I need to shop for someone, first I check Amazon-Smile to see if they have something that would be an appropriate gift, and generally they don’t disappoint me. I appreciate the great variety available and reasonable prices.

I know some of my friends have set up similar accounts with Amazon-Smile to support Urantia Association International. I would encourage everyone to take advantage of this great opportunity. Many people acting as a large network collectively giving their resources and time can be much more effective than a few wealthy donors carrying the heavy load of expense and doing all of the work of planting the seeds for the fifth epochal revelation.

Amazon is thanking their customers for all of the wonderful success they have had, and they are giving back to the community by allowing each customer to use their purchasing power to support one of their own passionate causes. We all have family and friends to shop for throughout the year, so it’s a perfect chance for all of us to make a big difference!

We all know how the Internet works – you go to your computer to shop or to look up something online and all of that intuitive marketing stuff goes to work behind the scenes to suggest your next item to click on. It’s a little creepy but the Internet is also a great source of information, so we all tend to be willing to pay the price of the intrusion of our privacy. Well, on this particular shopping occasion, a suggestion came up for the soft cover edition of The Urantia Book on Amazon. I noticed that there were over 500 reviews on that particular item so I decided to check them out. I ended up spending a couple of hours and barely made a dent in them. So many reviews had been added since I submitted a review of the book myself about three years ago. I was interested to see what the current reception and responses to the book Amazon was receiving from the general public nowadays. A few years ago Mo Siegel put out a request for all of the believer community to put a review of the book on Amazon, so there are many glowing testimonies that you would expect from long-time readers that we all know or have heard of. What I found most compelling was that there is a huge treasure trove of new reader comments revealing that these people have been greatly impacted and transformed by reading The Urantia Book. They might not have always ranked it as five stars, but I was inspired when I read through some of these brief reviews. All of the wonder, enthusiasm, and praise reminded me of my own feelings back in 1978 when I had the profound experience of reading the book the first time. It was the one great lasting influence that changed the course of my life. It was the basic foundation that I built my faith upon, and influenced the person I have grown to become. It is the reason I met the love of my life ten years ago, and together we use it as a powerful tool to renew our hope and faith each day. It provides a pattern for all loving healthy relationships, and a real vision of what the world can become; one where all mankind can live in peace. One five star reviewer expressed my sentiments exactly: “there aren’t enough stars to rank it – this book is epic!”

There are always going to be a few detractors who are critical, but you know I had to laugh out loud at one particular fellow that wrote: “This book will make you give up reading all together, don’t know what I was thinking.” That poor soul obviously didn’t know that he was tackling a 2097 page book when he ordered it! Too funny, but I was really astounded at the number of people who posted an honest review of the book admitting that it was more than they expected in size and difficulty, yet still many expressed that they felt it was worth the effort of reading through to the end of the book just because of the high praise it was receiving from other readers. They also had the feeling that it was something very important. One reviewer wrote: “Difficult to read, but fascinating…. makes you keep picking it up and reading.” Another person added: “Feels like truth. Answers to questions you didn’t even realize you had.” And one other reader said: “Most important book ever, even if some of it is difficult to comprehend.”

One common thread among those people who praised The Urantia Book was the effort they had put into searching for the truth for many years, or that they had experienced bitter disappointments in life, or in general felt they were lost. They perhaps didn’t even know what they sought until they had found the peace and comfort of faith. One thing was for sure, for them, discovering the book seemed much sweeter because of the valleys they had walked through in their lives, and the dead ends that they had encountered in their search. One person spoke of their journey in this way:

“I am a new student of The Urantia Book and already, after a couple of years, my life has been transformed tremendously. This book will challenge you to examine what you think you know about the world, spirituality, God and all of Creation. It sure challenged me. Because of this I’d like to urge everyone who reads this book to read, lay it down, read, think and absorb and read again. It takes a while for the unusual language to flow through your mind but once I opened to the messages contained in this epochal revelation I’ve never been the same. I say this as someone who has held nothing but contempt for Christianity and as a life-long searcher for a faith I could commit to. Being a student of The Urantia Book has caused God to bloom in my spirit and love to guide my life. This book will change everything and answer many deep questions if you let it. I highly recommend reading this book. A wonderful companion book to this is Sheila Keene-Lund’s book Heaven Is Not The Last Stop which puts the nuts and bolts of The Urantia Book into plain language. Both have made my life rich and meaningful in a way I couldn’t have anticipated.”

One gentleman had such an unusual calm and poise when he was about to go in and face heart surgery – this calm “no fear” attitude he expressed in his review below is a common benefit associated with faith…

“About 18 years ago I came across this book, just a short time before I had to undergo heart valve replacement. When my doctor questioned my state of mind / anxiety the night before, I told him my only concern was having a stroke but that if I died on the operating table I wasn’t worried because I knew where I was going and what was in front of me. He had the most profound look on his face and I could almost read his thoughts, “Maybe I should operate on this guy’s head instead of his heart.” Do I fear God? No – why should I fear pure Love, Understanding and Mercy? Am I afraid of going to Hell when I die? No, why should I fear someplace that doesn’t exist? You’ve read about Lucifer, Satan, the Devil, Beelzebub, etc. and you think they’re different names for the same entity but they’re not – all different entities. Curious isn’t it? It’s pleasant to read about a Creator Son of God of the Michael Order who lived a mortal life here as Jesus of Nazareth (profoundly interesting the ‘why’ of it). In the middle of the book, just tucked away, is a description of the Star of Bethlehem which notes the birth of Jesus as August 21, 7BC. What the book states is that the ‘star’ was really the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter on May 29th, September 29th and December 5th. Well, I asked a computer literate friend to check that out for me and look from Cairo, Egypt. Using mapping software called Mystars he checked. His reply? “The conjunctions took place and are viewable at 0200 hours on May 29th, 1800 hours on September 29th and 1300 hours on December 5th.” Quite amazing! This might cause people to wonder why such a verifiable fact would be just ‘tossed in’ a tome of 2097 pages. Part III was a significant ‘validation’ for me in that the book was put together in the 1934/35 time frame, originally published in 1955, and every day, in ways too numerous to mention, that ‘old’ information is being validated by modern day science. Of course you don’t have to read it, but if you have a curious mind and are adept at using logic and reasoning, this book is a genuine Gold Mine.”

One story stood apart from the others in my opinion. Somehow in one paragraph, an American veteran of the Vietnam war era touched my heart and moved me to a better understanding of the tragic effects war has on our troops – good people who have all lived through the unimaginable – and then come home to realize that everything seems changed. But it is they who have changed, and they don’t know how to heal their pain or regain their peace. Their experience was earned and paid for with their blood, their injuries, and their innocence. It is too important to let go of, and therefore it is inseparable from their identity. This vet spoke of finding his way through a maze of many dysfunctional techniques that he used to deal with his pain, and literally – he moved my soul to compassion. His alternating strength and hope hammered out on the anvil of despair and hopelessness were a normal part of existence until he found the healing light of truth in The Urantia Book. I believe that we are creating a legion of brave heroes every time we go to war, but in the process we are creating an enormous painful reckoning of lost or broken lives. The cross they bear is one they carry all of the way home with them, indeed if they return home at all. We all know about the suicide rate for our returning troops because they cannot find a way through the pain to re-establish their lives. Read this story of a true American hero. What a victory of faith.

“For many years after my return from Vietnam, I searched for a way and a means to try and restore my peace and my sanity. Something that could help me make sense of what I had just experienced. I went down many paths, self-destruction and denial being the longest running. I made attempts at finding answers through many means, none of them were right and I knew it in my heart. I struggled with depression, self-medication and a feeling that something needed to be right in my soul; I thought that I had lost a piece of myself. One day I entered a public library not knowing what I was really looking for, no real purpose in mind. As I walked the aisles my eyes locked on a book with concentric blue circles. I can only say that I was drawn to it, I knew instinctively there was something important about it. I opened it randomly and settled on a paragraph from a paper and began to read. Immediately and without a doubt I knew I was reading truth. It’s hard to describe the feeling that went thru me, it was like slowly dying from thirst and suddenly being saved by a clear cool spring. I read no more than that first paragraph and immediately went to the counter and checked it out. When I arrived home, I opened it and began to read; what I found was so profound and so intense I realized there was no way I could ever complete this book in the normal two week check out time. I then went to the contact information, called the Foundation and ordered my own copy. I believed I needed to start at the beginning which I did and read every written word. I have fairly rapid reading skills yet I could not read more than a few paragraphs at a time without falling asleep totally exhausted by the effort. It took me one year to finish the book reading it nearly every day. Almost all of what I read seemed nearly incomprehensible to me at the time but I knew instinctively that it was truth. By the time I had finished it I realized I had read the most profound book of my life … and yet I felt as if I had hardly absorbed it at best. I immediately went back to the beginning and began reading it all over again, the second time it took approximately six months to complete. I began to understand more and more as time and pages went by. That was many years ago now and I read a paper or a portion of one from the website every day. The reading of The Urantia Book is a life journey, to become a part of your everyday existence. I think of portions of it at all hours of the day, often times as I wake each morning. To say it changed my life would be an understatement. Some of you will find it to be the same.” By Zane Gregg, October 11, 2015

I believe this is not only an opportunity, but a sacred obligation for the Urantia community, to help in whatever way we can. I invite you to read through the reviews on Amazon. You will see that the seeds we have planted over the course of many years are beginning to take root and grow. We are seeing results in our own lifetimes, something we may have doubted would ever happen as we ministered to others as we passed by. Enjoy reading as many of them as you like, I hope you will take the time to be blessed, and then go wherever your heart leads you to serve our human community. Forget not those who are in prison, the sick, the helpless, and the poor. Sharing the truths and facts of The Urantia Book is important when there is receptivity, but there are so many who are in need (like our veterans) and we have the recipe to help them find a full recovery to live a life with bountiful fruits of the spirit. We really only need to share the recipe with them, and then I believe we will begin to see a marvelous transformation in their lives!

FEAST OF BROTHERLY LOVE – INGREDIENTS

1. A generous helping of our loving and merciful Heavenly Father – one-on-one, a personal connection.

2. A thick slice of the “Bread of Life”– the true Jesus that everyone needs to know.

3. A full pitcher poured out of the Spirit of Truth – ready for one and all to receive.

4. A caring community who serve and give our hearts to all who are hungry or “weary and heavy-laden.”

DIRECTIONS

Stir with love. Make sure to allow enough time to bake to golden perfection, and soon your kitchen will be filled with the most delightful spiritual fragrance.

Of course I am preaching to the choir, but just like you would expect everybody you know to line up for a gift if you hit the Powerball jackpot, for years it has puzzled me why those same people don’t eagerly read a book that we tell them will absolutely change their lives? How many ways can we say it? I hit the lottery of truth in 1978. This book is a true gift from heaven. Fear not, God has seen our need and He has literally responded to it. He is alive and powerfully involved in this world. We are not alone or forgotten. God has spoken in a modern way that is brilliant, compelling, and accessible to everyone. He is our Heavenly Father just as Jesus told us 2000 years ago. If only people would realize what a profound experience they are cheating themselves out of by ignoring The Urantia Book. We who have read the book know that what seems impossible and unbelievable is possible, and thankfully, our referrals on Amazon are beginning to be heard by others. It is so encouraging to know that people all over the world are beginning to awake and discover this transcendent gift of truth.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+urantia+book

The Urantia Book and Us

Gaétan G. Charland, Quebec

When people find The Urantia Book, they experience new enthusiasm upon discovering something bigger and truer than anything they had ever known. Very often, a first reaction is to share this same enthusiasm with all those surrounding us. To our dismay, we readers quickly find people are not interested in our discovery or our experience.

Towards one o’clock in the afternoon, while the one hundred and twenty believers were in prayer, they all realized a strange presence in the room. At the same time, all these disciples became aware of a new and profound sense of spiritual joy, confidence, and security. This new consciousness of spiritual strength was immediately followed by a powerful impulse to publicly proclaim the gospel of the kingdom and the good news that Jesus had risen from the dead. [Paper 194: 0.1, page 2059.1]

It seems that this passage from The Urantia Book illustrates well a typical mental condition when first discovering the book. So, why did it not produce for most of us the same effect as it did for the apostles and disciples? These early believers convinced hundreds and thousands of others to accept the good news. I believe part or many of the answers are found in the narrative of the life and teachings of Jesus. More answers may be in ‘The Publication Mandate.’ *

If we review Jesus’ strategy, we can easily see he prepared a solid foundation well in advance of his public life. He perfected his methods and teaching style for sharing truth. He improved his ways and gained more knowledge of humankind throughout his pre-baptismal life as he journeyed around the Mediterranean Sea. He knew how to avail himself of every possible opportunity, sowing seeds of truth, preparing for his later disciples and apostles’ ministry after his departure from this world.

Jesus trained the apostles and disciples over nearly four years after his baptism, while providing spiritual edification and practical experience. We also know the apostles were ordinary men, not formally advanced scholars. They were people like you and I with an average education of their time.

There is something else that is interesting from this era—as the revelators tell us, the planet has never known a period as conducive to the spiritual awakening as during the time Jesus lived. It seems that Machiventa Melchizedek’s teaching 2000 years earlier also prepared people for Michael’s appearance on Urantia. He helped to create a spiritual climate favoring an upgrade from Jesus. Could we compare this past receptive period to our time? How might we be as effective today at sharing the upgraded teachings of Jesus?

Additional considerations emerge upon reflecting and thinking on the challenges about possible solutions. Let us attempt a better understanding of the present era and what we are invited to do. The revelators say The Urantia Book is the latest of five epochal revelations. None of us have had any prior experience with epochal revelation dissemination. Few of us in the past 2,000 years have gained experience in disseminating spiritual or religious teachings. This task was reserved almost exclusively for priests or other religious educators. Rare are those who acquired experience as a professional teacher; even less as a religious teacher.

Can we compare the present epoch to the time of Jesus? There are several differences and challenges preventing us from directly copying techniques of the past. The Publication Mandate states:

The book belongs to the era immediately to follow the conclusion of the present ideological struggle. That will be the day when men will be willing to seek truth and righteousness. When the chaos of the present confusion has passed, it will be more readily possible to formulate the cosmos of a new and improved era of human relationships. And it is for this better order of affairs on earth that the book has been made ready. [Publication Mandate]

What can we deduce from this statement? Probably the present epoch of ideological struggle is far from over and most people today are not yet ready to seek truth and righteousness. People would be much more receptive to The Urantia Book teachings if we had no trouble in the past. Expert opinions or surveys are not needed to see how far the world today is from that future time when the battle for freedom will have been won. We could look at the present world situation to make our own evaluation of wars between religions, terrorism, and the rise of atheism, social inequalities, and dictator regimes in many nations, illiteracy, and many other prevailing conditions.

So, what shall we do if the time in which we live is not the right one? Here is the answer from ‘The Publication Mandate’:

But the publication of the book has not been postponed to that (possibly) somewhat remote date. An early publication of the book has been provided so that it may be in hand for the training of leaders and teachers. Its presence is also required to engage the attention of persons of means who may be thus led to provide funds for translations into other languages. [Publication Mandate]

We could respond to this statement by telling ourselves that we do not have the qualities to be a leader or even less a teacher! And I don’t have a lot of money to fund translations. So why bother? What can we do? Or, we could step up to the challenge!

Once again, The Publication Mandate offers food for thought:

This book is given to those who are ready for it, long before the day of its world mission. Thousands of study groups must be set up and the book must be translated into several languages. [Publication Mandate]

Here again, mention is made of the period in which we live, and especially our relationship with the book. Interestingly, in this passage there is also a temporal time dimension and again the need for translations. Are we really the ones who are ready for this book or will there arise more gifted people for this mission? Each person must decide for himself.

The teachers of this new religion are now equipped with spiritual weapons. They are to go out to conquer the world with unfailing forgiveness, matchless good will, and abounding love. They are equipped to overcome evil with good, to vanquish hate by love, to destroy fear with a courageous and living faith in truth. [Paper 194:3:11, page 2064.3]

What may seem difficult at first could easily be accomplished if each one of us contributed repeated and meaningful efforts to support the Revelation in our lifetime. It is not a question of making clever or brilliant strokes, convincing the masses, or even convincing our whole family, friends, fellow workers and neighbors; but simply and gradually sowing the seeds of truth through our life example. We could offer encouragement for bestowing ourselves in loving service.

Jesus gave us a phenomenal amount of practical and spiritual examples. The Publication Mandate invites us to explore its lessons:

The future is not open to your mortal comprehension, but you will do well to diligently study the order, plan, and methods of progression as they were enacted in the earth life of Michael when the Word was made flesh. [Publication Mandate]

Not only do the Urantia papers teach us how Jesus did it, but also they give us invaluable lessons on personal spiritual life transformation.

Without personal spiritual transformation, the task ahead would be practically impossible; at most, we would be impostors. Learning what can help transform us is not that complicated. Learning efforts might seem arduous and impossible if we try to do it all alone. Have we heard it is not well for man to be alone? What better way to start this work than by joining a group seeking personal and world improvement while helping prepare for the opening of the next spiritual era!

If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, then you have to go as a group. [African proverb]

Study groups can offer the privilege of fraternizing while promoting spiritual growth. Effective growth must be validated by and in service to others. In Paper 48 we are informed:

You have not really acquired a virtue until your actions have made you worthy of it. [Paper 48:7.19, page 557.3]

Unfortunately, it is often too easy to fall into intellectual understandings and fail to achieve spiritual transformation. Jesus told us to appeal to the spirit in man. Genuine spiritual experience through loving service to others is very important. Study groups are effective if participants are actively engaged in personal transformation. A desire to help transformation our wider society is very important. Does not The Urantia Book itself tell us that once we are born of the spirit we have a desire to serve others?

If we sincerely desire to improve the world in which we live, each of us must put our grain of salt in it.

You are the salt of the earth, salt with a saving savor. But if this salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is henceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men. [Paper 140.4.2, page 1572.2]

In addition, what better way to do that than by participating in a dissemination project of The Urantia Book teachings through service to others? Jesus gave us many examples with his life model on how to do this and by his exhortation to his apostles and disciples. He taught them to practice his lessons by giving back to others what they understood, thereby gaining a better understanding of his spiritual values.

True, he continued his teaching, but his personal work consisted mostly in ministering to the sick and the distressed, while his apostles did the work of public preaching and baptizing believers. [Paper 145.3.13, page 1633.4]

Let us not forget that we live in the era of the Supreme and that nothing can be acquired without experience. If we are to be the sowers of truth and the lights of this world, each of us must engage ourselves in multiple and diverse ways in dissemination projects. We must find ways to realize these experiences so that we can progress in our mission.

Here are a few examples:

  1. Be part of a study group or become a study group host.
  2. Participate or become a facilitator in The Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS) courses or other training courses available on the Internet.
  3. Volunteer in an activity that suits your personality.
  4. Write articles or comments without naming sources in national or regional magazines or newspapers when the topic is of interest to you and the teachings can be used as a solution.
  5. Get involved in a political party.
  6. Get involved in a church in your neighborhood.
  7. Become a coach for a hockey or baseball league.
  8. Become a member of an association such as the Optimists, Lions, and Rotary.
  9. Read to the sick or blind people or simply visit them at the hospital.
  10. Minister to dying people during their last days in this world.
  11. Read the document titled “101 Ways to Introduce The Urantia Book” by Vern Grimsley and spread spiritual truth. Put some of his advice into practice.
  12. Give your name for an activity that appeals to you in the volunteer center in the city where you live.

Let me tell you a little story about an episode of the time when I was President of the Urantia Association International (UAI). During one of my many trips to Colombia, I was invited to a dinner organized by a world-renowned international social club, I believe it was the Rotary Club. The person who facilitated this invitation, Tamila Ragimova, then President of the Urantia Association of Medellin, had taken great care to seat us at the table of Presidents, which gave me the opportunity to be seated next to the outgoing President of this association. During supper, I asked him about the importance of social clubs such as  Rotary in Colombia and his response really surprised me. He said without these social clubs the country would find itself in financially and intellectually poorer conditions, while facing many problems of social inequality. He then said that the United States, thanks to the presence of many associations of this kind, could enjoy a cultural and economic wealth superior to many countries by promoting the sharing of cultural, religious, artistic, and information resources.

The world abounds with many various associations sharing an unimaginable number of exchanges of all kinds. This sharing would aid the world’s cultural and religious evolution adventure. Each person should participate in one or more organizations or projects to sow seeds of truth. We can “fertilize” the ground thus helping to prepare the world for our time.

Thus will the book be in readiness when the battle for man’s liberty is finally won and the world is once more made safe for the religion of Jesus and the freedom of mankind.  [The Publication Mandate]

The important thing for us is to be systematic and consistent in our actions. There is no need to travel the world or be scholars to make a grain of salt; but simply to recognize available opportunities “as we pass by” in our lives. We may live a salty life regularly sowing the seeds of truth from our souls. There is nothing more powerful and rewarding than unselfish loving service. Neither do we need to convince them to read The Urantia Book. When they are ready they will find it like you did, because the angels will be ready to harvest the seeds you so lovingly scattered.

Opportunities to influence family, friends, fellow workers, even managers and bosses, might emerge if we truly desire service.

You cannot truly love your fellows by a mere act of the will. Love is only born of thoroughgoing understanding of your neighbor’s motives and sentiments. It is not so important to love all men today as it is that each day you learn to love one more human being. If each day or each week you achieve an understanding of one more of your fellows, and if this is the limit of your ability, then you are certainly socializing and truly spiritualizing your personality. Love is infectious, and when human devotion is intelligent and wise, love is more catching than hate. But only genuine and unselfish love is truly contagious. If each mortal could only become a focus of dynamic affection, this benign virus of love would soon pervade the sentimental emotion-stream of humanity to such an extent that all civilization would be encompassed by love, and that would be the realization of the brotherhood of man. [Paper 100:4.6, page 1098.3]

We found The Urantia Book because we were searching for the truth it contains. The responsibility for sharing truth now rests with us. We must make this truth live in our hearts as we team together in unselfish service, helping to inaugurate this next era of liberty.

About the Journal

The Journal is produced twice yearly and contains articles and study aids by readers and for readers of The Urantia Book.  To read current and past issues click here.

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The Journal is available electronically free of charge for anyone with an email address. Join our mailing list to receive free electronic copies.

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Journal Team

 Journal team is currently seeking reporters and submissions.

Submission Policy

The Journal editorial team welcomes all article submissions for consideration for current or future issues. Any submissions not used in the current issue are kept on file for potential future use. Urantia Association International does not compensate any author through payment or in any other manner for such voluntary submissions. The Journal editorial team reserves the right to edit materials, as it deems necessary, for publication and will notify the author of such changes for their approval.

Please send correspondence or article submissions for the Journal to the above Chicago address or email the Chief Editor, Suzanne Kelly at [email protected]

We ask that submissions follow our quotation guidelines when quoting from The Urantia Book e.g. [Paper 1:5.10, page 28:7] where the first set of numbers refers to paper, section and paragraph, and the second set refers to the page and paragraph of the editions of The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. If you wish to emphasize words that are not already emphasized in The Urantia Book please add “emphasis added” at the end of the page reference.

Any interpretations, opinions, conclusions, or artistic representations, whether stated or implied, are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Urantia Association International, the National or Local Urantia Associations, or the editorial team of the Association’s Journal.