Publication Mandate

COMPILED BY: Certain members of the General Council of Urantia Brotherhood

FOR: The files of the Executive Committee of Urantia Brotherhood

PRESENTED: 4 April, 1955

It seems appropriate, a second time, to bring to the attention of the Executive Committee certain wise comments and advices which have been gathered over a period of years and which pertain to the future problems of The Urantia Book. These advices could well be presented under the general caption:

The Timing of The Urantia Book

(Generally designated as “The Publication Mandate”*)

“We regard The Urantia Book as a feature of the progressive evolution of human society. It is not germane to the spectacular episodes of epochal revolution, even though it may apparently be timed to appear in the wake of one such revolution in human society. 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.

“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.

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Study Group Hosting Hints

(This document has been adapted from Urantia Foundation’s brochure titled Suggestions for Beginning a Study Group.)

Introduction

The early leaders of the Urantia movement were advised to form thousands of study groups. Perhaps this was because the study group environment is considered to be the most effective place for The Urantia Book teachings to take root in the hearts and minds of the participants while developing a social bonding of friendship among readers. Ideally, participation in study groups allows a natural growth of understanding to develop in a friendly, family-style atmosphere.

Study group hosts embark on a journey that is filled with many rewards as well as some difficulties. Some study groups flounder while others thrive. Successful study group hosts have found that the basic keys to success are consistency, dedication, patience, understanding, love, and effort.

This document is designed to assist readers who would either like to become Urantia Book study group hosts or who are already hosting a study group. It is a significant decision to make a commitment to lead a study group as you must be prepared to share these papers, that are so near and dear to your heart, with people you hardly know.

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Historical Study Group Material

Much has been written over the years on the value of Study Groups. Here you will find links to some historical articles that were written about Study Groups by some of the early leaders of the Urantia Movement.

Why a Study Group

by Julia Fenderson

On Study Groups

by Julia Fenderson

Effective Study Groups

Have you ever wished you had been alive in Jesus’ time, to walk Galilee with him? If only we could have seen Abraham with Melchizedek, or labored with Van to prepare the Garden, what opportunities we would have had to grow our faith and to be of service!

Unlike most people who have ever lived, we are alive in a time of epochal revelation. The chances to be of service to this revelation are almost unlimited, but we must prepare ourselves. In my opinion, there is no more important task at this stage than the development of leaders and teachers motivated by love and the desire to serve. We must know the book (the facts) and teach the book (the meanings) so that we can live the teachings of the book (the values).

The living laboratory from which teachers naturally emerge is the local study group. Here the in-depth study of difficult material can be attempted in a supportive family of other readers.

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The Value of Study Groups

Table of Contents of this Article

Click on the section title in the list below to jump straight to it:

Gard Jameson

There are many joys associated with becoming part of a group of readers which has as its main purpose a thorough study of The Urantia Book. A Study Group has the potential to “expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception.” (1.2) 0:0.2 And these are the two exalted purposes of the Fifth Epochal Revelation.

If you are considering a study group you have made a decision of great consequence. You have decided to participate with a group of fellow human beings in an endeavor which has eternal implications. We live in a society which has a difficult time discussing religious or spiritual subjects, let alone universe cosmology. The Papers of The Urantia Book are precious and the opportunity to share them with others provides an experience of great learning and inspiration!

An Historical Perspective

Balanced participation, shared openness, intellectual discovery, a heightened sense of values, warm fellowship and good cookies: what could be a more superb focus for study than The Urantia Book?

In the early years of the revelation we were asked by the revelators to form thousands of study groups to enable this great message to evolve into the consciousness of the population. There are hundreds now in existence with many more on the horizon as many foreign translations of the book find their way into the hands of souls hungry for an enlarged perspective on the meaning of our existence. The need for more study groups is great. And so are the rewards for the group, the individual, and the planet.

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Video Part 4D: Ancient Orvonton, and a Young Cosmic Web

The Urantia Book presents a cosmology that stirs the soul: a central and perfect universe, fringed by spacetime shallows in which finaliters are born—finaliters, destined to launch from this cosmic continental shelf into oceanic depths, seeding the light and life of personality throughout nested levels of outer space.

Soul stirring indeed! A cosmology pervaded by meaning and value, eclipsing in its scope our finest Sci-fi. What a relief from the consensus-materialist models that native science has managed to evolve.

However, right after having thus stirred our souls, the authors pour cold water over our expectations.

…within a few short years many of our statements regarding the physical sciences will stand in need of revision… [Paper 101:4.2, page 1109.3]

“Will stand in need of revision.” When compared with current consensus cosmology of a young universe beginning with a hot Big Bang, the cosmology of The Urantia Book is so unorthodox, and so apparently wrong, that some students of these papers now see this cosmology as little more than decoration for the book’s more important themes: its spiritual and philosophical revelations. But take another look at the “Limitations of Revelation” discussed in Paper 101. Immediately after stating that they were limited in what scientific facts they could reveal, they go on to list a number of things they were permitted to do. The first of these is especially interesting.

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President’s Message – December 2021

Enrique Traver

“Be you perfect, even as I am perfect.”

God-knowing creatures have only one supreme ambition, just one consuming desire, and that is to become, as they are in their spheres, like him as he is in his Paradise perfection of personality and in his universal sphere of righteous supremacy. From the Universal Father who inhabits eternity there has gone forth the supreme mandate, “Be you perfect, even as I am perfect.” In love and mercy the messengers of Paradise have carried this divine exhortation down through the ages and out through the universes, even to such lowly animal-origin creatures as the human races of Urantia. [Paper 1:0.3, page 21.3]

When I read this paragraph for the first time, many emotions and doubts filled my mind. There are so many truths in this text that it’s difficult to choose which to focus on.

One thing that gets our attention is the perfection of God. When we think about God, his perfection, and our desire to fulfill his command to be perfect as he is, we can become confused.

A first thought would be the mistaken idea that reaching the perfection of God is the same thing as “becoming a God.” Of course, it is a mistaken idea since God is much more than a perfect being. His perfection could perhaps be summed up as his unity and balance, the unity of the physical, mental and spiritual energies divinely coordinated by personality. Yes, this is something we can achieve if we wish. Yet God IS, not only the unity of these energies, but he is the source of them. We can achieve balance and unity of our physical, mental and spiritual energies but we will never become the source of those energies. Yes, we can be perfect as he IS in our spheres of action, but we would never “be God.”

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Hand in Hand with Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS)

The mission of Urantia Foundation is to seed The Urantia Book and its teachings globally. The mission of Urantia Association International is to foster the in-depth study of the book and the dissemination of its teachings—teachings which have the potential to rejuvenate spirituality in this world and enhance the comfort, happiness and well-being of every person. I have the privilege of serving in both organizations, and it is no coincidence that we overlap, especially in the area of educational outreach.

Urantia Foundation’s online school began in the late nineties, when the internet was still in its nascency. The vision of trustee Georges Michelson-Dupont became a reality thanks to a team of enthusiastic and dedicated readers who in turn recruited students to join as staff members and fellow facilitators.  And it still works that way. UBIS has always fostered peer-to-peer facilitation, rather than the credentialing of teachers. We offer training in the art of group dynamics and in the development of insightful questions that help students explore layers of facts, meanings, and values. Every individual has a unique experience of the revelation, and the soulful sharing of these insights and new-found truths animate our course discussion periods.   

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The Meaning of Christmas

Image by Kerut

As most of us know, Christmas began as a celebration of the birth of Jesus, and to many it still is. On Christian websites, the meaning of Christmas is said to be a celebration of God’s love for the world, or the celebration of the God-man who came to earth for the salvation of all people. And on other sites, it is a time to glorify God and Jesus.

For those who are not so religious, Christmas has come to mean something a little different. The meaning of Christmas in more secular circles also includes a celebration of love (but not God’s love), and other meanings center around friends, family traditions, helping others, and peace on earth. These are meaningful interpretations of Christmas but they do not represent the whole truth.

Fortunately, those of us blessed with the revelation have a more profound understanding of why Jesus bestowed himself on our world. Christmas, even though it does not coincide with the actual birth date of Jesus, is still a great time to celebrate, especially for the people of Urantia.

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The Journal Publication—Latest News

journal

Urantia Association International’s Journal has been in publication for over two decades and is published in four languages (English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese) twice yearly (May and November.) It contains in-depth essays, articles, and study aids by readers and for readers of The Urantia Book.

Over the years, many students of the book have expressed their appreciation of this publication and value the many thoughtful insights contributed by their fellow students. We publish articles about personal spiritual experiences as well as fresh insights and new perspectives of the Urantia Book teachings. Also of interest are thematic studies and articles that compare, evaluate, or integrate other research (scientific, social, religious, or otherwise) with the teachings of The Urantia Book.

Recent times have impacted our social interactions, even halted our in-person study groups so it’s a great time to catch up with your reading and subscribe to your very own hard copy of the Journal. Although it is available electronically free of charge, we have recently upgraded and redesigned the hard copy version for those who prefer to read this kind of in-depth publication offline. (See below for subscription details.)

Calling for Submissions

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The Jesus Museum and The Jesus Metaverse

We’d like to share with you two projects we’ve been working on for some time now: The Jesus Museum and the Jesus Metaverse

The world needs a new vision of the Master’s life on earth. 

Urantia Book students are now building the Jesus Metaverse—an online portal that will offer an immersive presentation of Jesus’ entire life as portrayed in The Urantia Book.  Jesus’ story and teachings will also be featured in the planned Jesus Museum, near the Sea of Galilee.

Have you ever dreamed of visiting a museum entirely devoted to Jesus? Have you ever dreamed of building a temple to the unseen Father?  Such a venue, situated at a most befitting location, will focus on our heavenly Father (as revealed by The Urantia Book and Jesus) and promote the religion of Jesus. 

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Irmeli Ivalo-Sjölie – Obituary

Irmeli Ivalo Sjölje passed away on November 28th in Helsinki, Finland at the age of 92. She will be greatly missed around the world by the Urantia Book reader community and many others from all walks of life. In 2007, Irmeli was appointed an Associate Trustee of Urantia Foundation and also served as a Urantia Book ambassador for the Foundation. She traveled widely, attending conferences and study groups, and assisting with many bookfairs.

Over the decades, Irmeli worked faithfully to disseminate The Urantia Book in her home country of Finland as well as in Brazil, Hungary, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. She lived in Brazil for 20 years and played a significant role in facilitating the printing of the Portuguese translation. After teaming up with Werner Sutter (a German/Canadian Urantia Book reader) in 1999, they devoted their lives to assisting with book distribution in Europe. Irmeli was also instrumental in the creation of a book placement project in Dallas, Texas.

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Reflections: Ibero-American Urantiathon – November 2021

A Spiritual and Fraternal Feast

The Ibero-American Urantiathon held by Urantia Association International and sponsored by Urantia Foundation on November 20th and 21st, 2021, was a beautiful showcase of study and discernment, with presentations offered by sixteen Urantia Book students of all ages from many Ibero-America countries, in Spanish and Portuguese with simultaneous translations into Spanish, Portuguese, and English.

The theme of this Urantiathon was “Leadership and Spirituality,” offering a wide range of interesting views on the challenges of leadership in the Urantia movement, service, spirituality, the reality of religious experience, leadership in everyday life, and more.

Below, we present the pearls of thought shared by some presenters:

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2021 ANZURA Virtual Conference Report

This year’s 2021 ANZURA conference, hosted by our Sydney team was held as a virtual Zoom conference on 2nd October. Once again, for all the “new normal” reasons we had to cancel our in-person event. We had high hopes all year that we could meet face-to-face as we saw our case numbers rapidly diminish to almost zero and then… as we all know, Delta hit and cases soared, so it was back to square one. Nevertheless, since we are told that disappointment is actually good for us, we joyfully knuckled down to figure out how we could adjust our plans accordingly.

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2024 Urantia Association International Conference

29 to 31 March 2024
Maritime Conference Center, Baltimore, Maryland USA

The Nature and Nurture of the Soul

Faith is to religion what sails are to a ship; it is an addition of power, not an added burden of life. [Paper 159:3.8, page 1766.4]

Mind is your ship, the Adjuster is your pilot, the human will is captain. The master of the mortal vessel should have the wisdom to trust the divine pilot to guide the ascending soul into the morontia harbors of eternal survival. [Paper 111:1.9, page 1217.4]

Come set sail with us!

Mark your calendars now for the next exciting Urantia Association International Conference in 2024! This will be the 12th International Conference of the Association and is being organized by Urantia Association of the United States (UAUS). 

The conference will be held at the Maritime Conference Center in Baltimore, Maryland; an interesting and historical city located near Washington D.C. It is a fabulous, affordable, non-profit facility, with gourmet food, close to several international airports.

The date of the conference will be at the height of the famous cherry blossom season and falls on the Easter weekend in 2024. What a joy it will be to celebrate our Master’s resurrection in-person together as we also explore The Nature and Nurture of the Soul.

View promotion trailer by clicking here.

Editor’s Note – November 2021

Welcome to the November 2021 edition of the Urantia Association’s Journal, a publication dedicated to the thoughts, observations, and experiences of Urantia Book students from around the world.

Our first article, Safe and True by David Kulieke, is a tribute to his life as an educator and a scholar. As presented here, this article is an edited version of the original publication (Urantia Foundation), one that truly deserves a wider audience. David was a passionate advocate of improving education and critical thinking skills. While teaching English literature and writing, he often introduced his students to concepts and ideals expressed in The Urantia Book, giving us some valuable lessons for spreading the teachings without necessarily using the book.

The second article, A Urantian in Second Life by Jean Ascher, also demonstrates how the teachings of the book can be dispersed in an active but casual manner, although in an entirely different context. Jean is an artist and a performer who uses every opportunity to integrate Urantia Book philosophy with his (virtual) circus performances.

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Safe and True

(Editor’s Note: David Kulieke sadly passed away recently and we send our sincere condolences to his wife, family and friends. David was a long-time reader, educator and scholar and will be sorely missed in the Urantia Book reader community. This article is an edited version of a presentation he gave at The Urantia Book Seminar on Education, March 2017.)

The fifth epochal revelation has been presented before its time. Even if its believers were more successful in finding new readers, only a small fraction of the world’s population is ready to read The Urantia Book. One might validly ask whether, even at the height of its influence many years from now, a large portion of humanity will actively read the book.

Yet epochal revelations are integral to the slow progress of Urantia towards light and life, especially given all of the missteps this planet has taken. If The Urantia Book is to be of significant influence in bringing light to Urantia, both in its own regard and as a vehicle to revivify aspects of the fourth revelation, its followers must not only bring the book to those who are ready, they must find ways to convey its teachings to the rest of the world.

It takes transformed individuals to transform the world. As The Urantia Book puts it, “The social characteristics of a true religion consist in the fact that it invariably seeks to convert the individual and to transform the world” [160:5.5].

The book also suggests that education is one key to transforming those individuals. We are told, “Culture presupposes quality of mind; culture cannot be enhanced unless mind is elevated” [50:6.4].

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A Urantian in Second Life

(Editor’s Note: Jean Ascher is the translator of Urantia Bogen, the Danish version of The Urantia Book. He also assists students of the book by translating their articles and secondary works into Danish. Jean is a talented circus artist and uses his creative talents in unique ways to spread the Urantia Book teachings.)

My show name is Yman Juran and I was born inside my first real life virtual game, called Second Life (SL) on the 27th of February 2007. I was almost like a newborn babe, had never before played any computer game, and knew absolutely nothing about any game, its ethics, way of function, style, or what I was able to do and experience, but I was soon to learn.

Second Life is a virtual space where imagination, fantasy, fiction, and historic reality can be expressed with beauty, goodness, and intelligence. But before we start the journey into Second Life, into the grid and on the many simulators (sims), the reader needs to know a few basics. A sim is 256 m x 256 m (65,536 m²) of land and total grid size is 2065 km2. You initially join the world by creating yourself as an avatar. Whatever you select to be, you can always change later. An avatar is basically just a living creature, and you can be whatever you like from superhuman, to angel, magician, elf, yourself, robot, mermaid, dragon, beetle, crow, or even animals such as a seadryke or a snail.  But be aware that behind each living creature you meet is a living personality sitting behind his or her computer somewhere in the world. You can either chat (type) or talk directly with them, even Skype.

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Application of Scientific Thinking to Cosmology in The Urantia Book

Ken Glasziou was a scientist and student of The Urantia Book who took pains to make his reasoning comprehensible to the general reader. As one of those general readers, I was often interested in what he had to say. Recently my attention was drawn to something he wrote in an article in 2002 entitled “Mathematics and Science Catch up with The Urantia Book,” where he was pointing out the significance of mathematics and some of its limitations as well.

Science develops so rapidly that I don’t really know whether his comments are still relevant, but it led me to think about the application of scientific thinking to cosmology as The Urantia Book explains it.

Scientists have been trying to develop a theory which accounts for everything in the cosmos, both large scale and small, from the largest clusters of galaxies to the smallest particles within atoms. Some of the most accomplished physicists and mathematicians have given themselves to this effort, so far without success, since they restrict themselves to consideration of only a part of the whole of which the cosmos consists.

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A Cosmic Vision

My reflection began during a reading of the magazine Science & Vie published August 2021 where there was a photograph of the center of our galaxy in the direction of the constellation of Sagittarius taken, initially, by the Chandra satellite of NASA equipped with an X-ray telescope. Then, Daniel Wong, astronomer, superimposed another picture of the same region in radio waves taken by the South African radio telescope MeerKAT. The combination of the two wavelengths gives a glimpse of the high energy phenomena that prevail there. We can distinguish gigantic magnetic bridges distributing their energy from the galactic center to the other regions of the Milky Way. All this reminded me of the work of the Supreme Power Centers described in Paper 29 of The Urantia Book.

Energy in all this!

God is not only spirit, he is also energy. It is precisely this image of the center of our galaxy that inspired me to see more clearly the role of the Universe Power Directors, principally their descendants who are active in the universes of time and space, the Supreme Power Centers of the grand universe. They operate in seven groups mentally controlling the whole vast network of functions performed by the Master Physical Controllers and the Morontia Power Supervisors [29:2].

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