President’s Message – September 2016

Chris-Wood-framedI have been thinking lately about the Nodites and the Amadonites. The Nodites descended from the rebellious group of Dalamatians, while the Amadonites descended from the loyal Dalamatians. Cousins really. But animosities between the two groups were passed from generation to generation long after the original split. We are told,

There existed a traditional enmity between the Nodites and the Amadonites. This feud was constantly coming to the surface whenever the offspring of these two groups would try to engage in some common enterprise. Even later, in the affairs of Eden, it was exceedingly difficult for them to work together in peace. [Paper 73:1.4, page 822.1]

That’s more than 160,000 years of conflict! Can you imagine that? I mean, I have five brothers, so I can imagine 60 years or 70 years of animosity easily, but 160,000 years?

This ability to hold a grudge and to pass that grudge on to the next generation is within all of us. It is part of our inheritance as human beings. Of the early Andonite clans, we are told,

Only two things came to occupy the minds of these peoples: hunting to obtain food and fighting to avenge themselves against some real or supposed injustice or insult at the hands of the neighboring tribes. [Paper 63:4.7, page 714.5]

My wife and I gave a presentation once on our thoughts on being parents in the Urantia community and we said that one of our goals as parents is to raise our children with less cultural baggage then we inherited. That is easier held as a theory than enacted as a practice.

Children are permanently impressed only by the loyalties of their adult associates; precept or even example is not lastingly influential. [Paper 100:1.4, page 1094.6]

How many of my loyalties are dedicated to holding onto personal slights and grudges?

Whenever my thoughts turn to the Nodites and the Amadonites and our baser inheritance, I eventually begin to ponder Jesus and his teachings. What would have changed, how would his mission have differed if he didn’t have to spend so much time teaching basic skills of forgiveness? What new levels of teachings could he have imparted? Of course, if we were not so backward then we would not have been chosen for his bestowal. But then I think of The Urantia Book and realize that we now have many of those continued teachings of Jesus and those new levels of understanding. And this is why it is important to actively make choices toward inclusion and away from grudges. We might say the “right things” in public, but if at home we show our true grudges then our children will absorb this behaviour and pass it to the next generation. We must show that our loyalties truly lie with our angels.

Every year we have many opportunities to come together with other Urantia Book students and learn how easy it is to love one new person each day. If you missed the San Antonio conference, there are conferences in Tasmania, Budapest, and Bogota right around the corner, not to mention your local and national events and study groups. Let’s meet and celebrate how far we have come and marvel at how far we have yet to go!

In service,
Chris Wood