28 Oct 2016 Fri 20:46 - Москва Торонто - 28 Oct 2016 Fri 13:46   

How I Found Urantia Book And How It Changed My Life.
Part IX 1994-1996

Дата добавления: 2008-02-20

Автор: 35 авторов

JOHN MCKINNEY: My story begins in 1994 when my best friend, whom I had not seen for twenty-five years, came to town for his mother's birthday. Our reunion was short, and as we were giving parting hugs I heard the wonderful phrase, "May God bless you," coming from my friends lips. I can still vividly hear those words. I was in shock because twenty-five years earlier my friend was a professed agnostic.

He said he was going to be back in town in a few months and suggested we get together for a longer visit. I was thrilled to have this opportunity to visit again with my treasured friend. When the time came, we settled into the usual discussion of life's adventures. Then the conversation drifted to religion. I was glad this topic had come up because I was curious to know what had changed my friends beliefs. I was a Roman Catholic who did not agree with a lot of the doctrines of the Church, but I loved God; and although I didn't realize it at the time, I had a parching thirst for truth.

He told me how he had come upon this 2,097-page book called the Urantia Book, and how, once he'd started to read it, he couldn't put it down. He told me of the book's teachings about Jesus being the creator of our world and about the resurrection of the soul on the morontia worlds. Although I didn't tell him so, he had whetted my appetite for truth and I made up my mind that I was going to find this book.

I searched the local libraries for the UB and found three copies listed, but all were long overdue. Months went by but the books were never returned. I found a bookstore that could order the book for $50, but I wasn't going to spend that kind of money on a book I wasn't sure I would like.

But my Thought Adjuster was lovingly urging me on, for I had a constant desire to read the Urantia Book. Then one day the idea popped into my head to search the Web. I typed "Urantia" into my favorite search engine and was led to The Urantia Book Fellowships site, where the full text of the book could be accessed. It only took a reading of the Foreword and I was hooked. While reading Paper 1, I couldn't keep the tears from flowing as I learned about our Father's love for us. By Paper 3 I knew this to be the truth.

This story will end when, after having been swept by the currents of life to the bosom of our Father, I will touch the face of God. Then a new story will begin.

BEU'LAH MARY OMAR: We are all familiar with the term "heart attack." Well, this is my story of the day I almost had a brain attack. It all began back in February of 1994 when I first started to read the Urantia Book. I became obsessed. I would wake up in the middle of the night with the irresistible urge to get up and read it. Then my first thought in the morning was to sit up in bed and start reading it again. For six weeks I spent every spare moment reading this big blue book. I was not especially interested in the books science and history, but I was strongly drawn to the papers on the nature of God. I skipped about and read such chapters as, "The Attributes of God," "The Universal Father," and "Gods Relationship to the Individual."

My religious background was diverse, to say the least. I was raised Catholic, became a Jehovah's Witness, then went on to Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam, to name just a few. My names for God changed as rapidly as people change their socks. I was determined to gain a full understanding of God if it was the last thing I ever did, which it almost was that near-fatal day in April.

I was sitting on my front room sofa, reading, and I really felt that I could not accommodate one more concept. "I can't take it anymore!" I yelled out to God as I keeled over, onto my left side. I was on the verge of breaking into uncontrollable hysteria, but the Spirit in me would not let up. "Just finish this last chapter," it admonished me. "I cannot!" I screamed out, holding my head, which felt as if it were about to burst open at any moment.

"I promise you," the Spirit pleaded, "if you just finish this last chapter you will have the understanding that you seek."

Seeing that the Spirit would not release me, I finally sat back up, regained some amount of composure, and resumed my reading. Several minutes later, having finally finished that particular chapter, I ran into my bedroom and fell flat down onto my bed. I felt myself sink into something like an altered state of consciousness. I may have actually fallen unconscious for a few minutes.

I suddenly envisioned a form of God standing in mid-air before me. I saw, coming out from his seven circles {chakra centers), the seven heavens, the first heaven being the mansion worlds, or bottom circle; then Jerusem came out of his second circle, and so on ... Edentia, Salvington, Uversa, Havona, and finally Paradise out of his seventh center. The Spirit said to me, "Everything that you see in the outside world has come from within me." Now, at last, I felt I understood the saying, "As above, so below; as within, so without."

BUD HUGHES: Born in 1935 into a dysfunctional family, I became a ward of the State in my pre-school years and moved from one loveless home to another. I was taught a smattering of fundamentalist religion at an early age, dropped out of school, and walked on the wild side of life until 23 - not a good background for religious learning! Things went somewhat better after I started a family - I have now been married for 43 years and have three healthy and reasonably happy children and six grandchildren. But more was to come: a triple bypass at 48, then another at 57. Could disability and forced retirement due to a degenerative lumbar be a wake-up call from God or one of his many helpers?

In March 1994 I was on my annual book trade-in at my local used book store, having run out of religious and metaphysical reading material. As I coursed through the bookshelves, up on the top a big blue hardback, bigger then any surrounding it, caught my eye. I left the store with my armload of books and when I got home I picked up the biggest book to examine. After reading the introduction and deciding I had no idea what I had just read, I paged through to the back and - yes! - came to the story of Jesus. Once I started it I never stopped. I completed my first reading of the book in August '94, and it is my constant companion to this day.

CALVIN MATTHEW GORMAN: I found the Urantia Book in the summer of 1994, while working as a letter-carrier for the US Postal Service. At the time I considered myself agnostic but open to truth. A co-worker of mine, who was into the Modern Huminds material, decided that I probably had an open mind, and introduced me to the MH literature and booklets.

It did not take long to see that MH was not for me. However, in reading a bound pamphlet of various articles, I came across an article entitled "Evaluating the Urantia Book," by Stephen F. Cannon. In its efforts to denounce the Urantia Book it actually piqued my curiosity, specifically because it alleged that the book contradicted some of the very issues that were stumbling blocks for me - the atonement doctrine, eternal punishment in hell for sinners, and a heaven of automatic perfection and bliss.

I decided that this book was something I had to read. A couple of months later I was in Austin, Texas, and came across a small pamphlet on the Urantia Book in a metaphysical shop. It contained an order form for the book, and as soon as I got home I sent in my order.

I read the Urantia Book once, read it again, and am now reading it for the third time with a local study group. The Urantia teachings are what I was looking for. They have given me a strength of faith that will serve me to Paradise.

BOB FONTANA: I was led to the book during a bridge game, by a fellow player who had been introduced to me by a mutual friend. My first impression of this person was not favorable. I found him to be antagonistic and overly competitive; however, as bridge players go, he was not unique in this respect.

Some time later, when we got together for a game at this individual's house, I noticed that he had a mess of papers all over the table. While clearing the papers away, he began talking about them briefly - that they had to do with "a group of readers" that he was associated with.

"Readers of what?" I asked.

"Oh, this book that we all read," he replied, and said that he would tell me about it after the game.

I was slightly intrigued by a bunch of people who all read the same book, but didn't give it much more thought. After the game that evening, he invited us into another room where he had some drawings and other material relating to this book. He proceeded to explain some of the concepts the book explored, illustrating his lecture with interesting artwork that depicted the universe in a way I had never seen before. What he was saying wasn't really registering with me; what I was noticing was the remarkable metamorphosis that was taking place in this person as he spoke. I was suddenly witnessing a most generous, giving, honest, and confident person speaking to me. I began asking myself, How could this be the same person that I had just tangled with at the bridge table?

In the days that followed, I remembered almost nothing about what he had said, but I did recall how blown away I was by how much he seemed to change when he was talking about this book. I began considering looking into it, thinking that if this book could have such an effect on this kind of person, there might be something to it.

During a break in our next game, I asked his opinion about a dream I'd had many times in the past, which had to do with a friend who had died years earlier. I remembered that he had spoken about life after death when he talked about this book. As soon as I asked him about it, I saw this same generous, caring, confident person emerge again. I can't express how remarkable that transformation in his character was to me. He invited me to the next Urantia meeting and I accepted, but with misgivings. Some years back I had been involved with a fundamentalist organization, and had left it because I could no longer abide its intolerance of individuality. I feared a situation where everyone would be of "one mind."

At my first Urantia meeting I was apprehensive. After a brief and relaxing meditation, a conversation between two of the people began. This discussion immediately escalated into a disagreement, with others beginning to join in. Within five minutes, it became a heated argument. It was the best thing that could have happened for me. My fears of "one-mindedness" were tossed out, and I suddenly felt at home there. That was six years and a lot of reading ago, and I'm happy to report that our meetings are as colorful now as they were at my first exposure to them. We definitely have "unity without uniformity" down pat.

I have undergone so much growth since then that it is difficult for me to recall how I used to look upon things before coming in contact with the Urantia Book. Perhaps the biggest eye-opener for me was reading about the ascension journey to Paradise. The UB's depiction of life after death expands on the Christian concept, and is so beautiful and logical that it struck me as an epiphany.

SYBIL W. MORGAN: Raised in a traditional Protestant home, during and after college I delved into Eastern philosophy, Egyptian beliefs, and the metaphysical arts. I spent thirty years teaching elementary school, and in the midst of my teaching I always made time to work on my spiritual quest. I discovered that I could relieve people's pain and heal their ailments by using crystals and gemstones and working with the guardian angels of the light. I also spent a number of years studying Native American spirituality.

I was introduced to the Urantia Book in December of 1994. I had been discussing spirituality, philosophy, and faith healing with a teacher friend, a Christian Scientist, when she asked me if I would be interested in looking at a book her father had given to her, one that she had not actually read herself. I said yes, and she brought it to school. I took it home, began reading the Foreword and knew immediately that I had to have my own copy of the book. A few days later - the beginning of the winter holiday break - I purchased one and began reading. I was a bit obsessed during the entire year of 1995, spending every spare moment reading the book. By the end of the year I had read the UB from cover to cover three times! I realized after reading it that my prior exploration of the evolutionary religions of mankind was necessary so that I might more clearly understand my kinship with all my brothers.

GONZALO AND MERCY BANDERA: Since we were married in 1971, and especially since we had our children, my husband and I have been on a constant search to find answers and identify our purpose in our earthly life. Our commitment grew out of a desire to provide a home environment full of love, compassion, kindness, and progress - a "speaking without words." Sadly, few of the answers we sought were available in Catholicism, and the examples set by many of the Catholics we knew closely were not too impressive. We deeply needed the encouragement, advice and inspiration of a group - a study group where we could increase our spiritual awareness and education.

One night, through our children, we had the good fortune to meet a lovely couple, Dr. Hal and Mrs. Lucille Kettell. Their genuine care, the peace they radiated, their kindness and compassion were truly a personal inspiration to me. I wanted to know, what had motivated them to act the way they did, without knowing me? That night in 1994 represented a turning point in my life and consequently in my husbands life.

We started spending more time with the Kettells, and they kindly invited us to attend their Urantia Book study group in their home. Actions speak louder than words, and ones daily performance can be more inspiring than any intellectual discussion or lecture. The actions and reactions of the people we've met in the study group are truly enlightening, and brotherhood is what we share with the other readers.

Our awakening came after search and faith, and this we have found through the Urantia Book.

EDUARDO GUELFENBEIN: January 1995 is when the Spirit of Truth found me and led me to my sister's bookshelf in Milan, Italy, where I discovered an unread Urantia Book. The Divine Monitor had been valiantly preparing me with biblical teachings, making me very spiritually hungry.

The Urantia Book has enlightened me from beginning to end. It is a very delicate celestial gift, for the mind and the heart. It is what it claims to be.

I study the Urantia Book in Spanish and French, and will soon be reading it in Italian. The UB inspires me to pray, worship, paint, sculpt, create art videos on Revelation, and further my knowledge 360 degrees. Sharing the Urantia Book is paramount, like sharing a beautiful experience.

I was born a Russian/Polish Jew in Santiago, Chile, in 1953. I attended English boarding schools and the Brera Art Academy in Milan, Italy. I lived in Australia for six years, in Paris for five, and now I live in Italy by the foot of the Alps on Lake Varese, with my loving wife and two children.

Viva Jesus! He challenges us today and tomorrow!

ALICIA SATTERTHWAITE: When I was young I went to different churches with my mother. I was never seriously involved in any church, but I did "believe." For example, I have always known that death is not just the end of life, but the beginning of something new as well. I knew there was something more out there. But I didn't think I'd find it in the various books that so often consume the minds of different religionists. I maintained a somewhat half-hearted search for something greater than the church experience, or the beliefs and philosophy of my mother. My father, brought up a Mormon, no longer believed Mormon doctrines, nor did he ever express an opinion about any other faith. For many years I never found anything to take my breath away, or even to interest me enough to pursue it. Until.. .

In 1995, when I was 20, I went to a club with friends to listen to a band that performed the music of Pink Floyd. The band was so great that I returned a second night. It was that second time that I met the lead singer and guitar player. I couldn't figure it out, but there was a connection between us so spiritual, the likes of which I had never felt before. We started to talk and became friends. I remember he said he'd noticed a glow about me. He himself was very involved in a "spiritual journey" at the time.

We'd known each other for about a year when he said he thought I was ready to check out this book. He'd waited to show me the Urantia Book until he no longer worried that it would scare me away. Ever since then I have been reading the book little by little, and I have become involved with so many spiritual, kind, wise, and very good people who also read it.

One of the best things about the Urantia Book is that it has helped me become a better, more loving person. Being nice towards our brothers and sisters and learning as much as possible in this lifetime is also a fun, happy, wonderful way to live - the best way of life I can ever imagine.

This book provides a glimpse into the way things will eventually be once everyone realizes and begins living the way of God. I hope to introduce more and more people to this way of life and to inspire them through my own life here on Urantia

JULIE SUGA: Born in Russia in 1952 during the Soviet era, I lived there until I was 25 when I left for Japan to marry a Japanese man. Culture in the USSR consisted of Communist ideology - anti-religious and anti-God-knowing - and times were particularly hard for the young because of the personality cult surrounding Brezhnev. Even so, it was not easy to leave my country for Japan.

Arriving there in 1977, I found Japan to be very complicated, with a difficult culture and language. But the big attraction for me was its large number of traditional religious shrines and temples.

I had been living in Tokyo approximately three years when I decided to have myself baptized in the Russian Orthodox Church. I was 27. The night before my baptism, I received a strange power in my body, as if someone unseen were revealing himself within me. And from this time on, I have always felt joined with someone who is like me. In the beginning I was scared, but I made up my mind that I would find out who this was and what he wanted. From the start I felt this power was male.

My search to understand what this power could be led me to study various Buddhist concepts, and introduced me to many individuals and groups of believers. It was all very interesting, peaceful and spiritual, but still the goal of my search was not revealed to me. I began to grow bored with the very-close-to-true, but not-exactly-true, concepts of Buddhism.

In March of 1995, after mastering certain meditation techniques, I believed myself to be in verbal communication with the one within me. Very often I would hear his voice, and I knew it was not me talking. So many times I was angry with him. Why would he not come and talk to me directly? One day in March he told me that we would meet soon, and that then I would understand who he is and who I am, too. So, for the time being, I put him out of my mind.

I began to suffer from health problems that the doctor could not diagnose. A friend in Hawaii suggested that I travel there to consult a local doctor, and that September I went to Honolulu. The doctor diagnosed a thyroid condition and set up a treatment program. For the first time in my life I enjoyed the beach and the sun.

Every day I would take walks around in the city. One late afternoon I walked into a marketplace with lots of small shops. There were not many people. In the center, astrologers were performing their services. I bought some orange juice and continued my walk. A black lady was sweeping around some chairs. As I approached, I tried to step over her broom, and my feet stopped right in front of her. I tried to walk but my feet wouldn't move. The lady looked down at my feet and said, "Go ahead, please." I said that I wanted to but I just couldn't move. She then looked into my eyes and invited me to sit down in front of her.

"How can I help you?" she asked me.

"I have no idea, " I replied, "but there must be something you can do forme."

She was a meditation and spiritual consultation master named Palmela Waiolena, and it is through her that I heard about the Urantia Book. The day I met Palmela was September 22, 1995. After telling me about the book and its concepts, she gave me the name of the Foundation in Chicago so that I could order a copy. When I returned to the hotel, I immediately realized that the promise to meet my divine mind was soon to be fulfilled. I was very happy.

When the book arrived, I opened it and was shocked by its length and difficult language. Before I started reading, I did not speak English. I said to my divine mind, "Master, who is going to read it?" The voice replied, "Worry not, little one. I will help you." And then I started to read, not by my direct mind, but by intuition.

Today I have very little stress, and when I do I can deal with it easily. In my day-to-day life I don't take things personally the way I did before. I now understand unconditional love; before it was mostly emotional. But the best thing I've gained is great peace and security. I know that many opportunities are given to me to better myself, to be more aware, to be stronger, to conquer my animal nature, and to resist being a slave to my own ego and emotions. I do not feel the limitations of time. I have no more health problems. I feel young again. It is wonderful to know my true self.

The daily life struggle becomes a simple and funny and interesting journey. Thank you, Universal Father. I hope all readers of the Urantia Book will be as happy as I am.

SANTIAGO FLORES: In early 1995 I read an article in a magazine here in Uruguay entitled "Does God Break the Silence?" which briefly described three revelations - the Urantia Book, A Course in Miracles, and Talks to Awake - and a novel, The Ninth Revelation. After reading it, I made up my mind to read the Urantia Book. I began to look for it in bookstores but nobody had heard of it.

Nearly four months later, passing by a bookstore, something caught my attention at the bottom of the window: a big blue book with golden letters - it was the Urantia Book! Eureka!

My wife bought it for me as a gift weeks later. I began reading the Foreword, understanding almost nothing. I then continued through the table of contents; the Lucifer rebellion and its lessons on true and false liberty; the life of Jesus until the beginning of his public ministry; and the history of Urantia until the time of Andon and Fonta. It was then that I felt it was truly a revelation, and that an intelligent purpose lay behind the orderly arrangement of the text. Once I realized this, I went back to the beginning and read through to the end. This took me eight months.

When finished, I returned to the Foreword and said to myself, "Well, let's look at this revelation now in the light of the revelation itself. I read it through another time, which took another eight months. I'm absolutely convinced that the Urantia Book is a revelation, and even though it doesn't contain all the truth that there is, I truly believe it is the most complete, harmonious and coherent compilation of universal truth available to our generation and those to come.

PHIL KAVA: I was born in 1966, the youngest of eleven in a quasi-Catholic family. Refusing to participate in my first confession, I turned away from Catholicism. The church made no sense to me, so I quit going. I continued to be a rebel until I was 20. Smoking dope and dropping acid since I was 12 and using cocaine for most of my teens, I saw a great deal of life in the real world in a very short time. Shortly before I was 21 I knew I had to change or die, so I changed.

On May 10, 1987, I was "saved" at a Southern Baptist church in South Carolina. I truly experienced a spiritual awakening. Enveloping myself in the church, I finished reading the Bible in a few weeks and grew hungry for more. I felt the call to preach, but I met a girl from the church and within a year we got married. My preacher tried to warn me against marriage but I wouldn't listen. In September of 1991 my wife left and I have not seen her since. I was now a 24-year-old single father with sole custody of two boys and a girl ranging in age from six months to two-and-a-half years.

The next several years of my life were very trying. I quickly got involved in another challenging relationship which led to marriage. It was around that time that I first heard about the Urantia Book from a job placement counselor. All I was told was the name of the book and Christ's actual birth name. At the time it sounded evil to me as I was leery of anything which strayed from my limited Southern Baptist religious views. Because of some prior childhood experiences, I believed in aliens and other paranormal phenomena, but I was too afraid of the Devil to delve into those topics.

After my second divorce the kids and I moved to Georgia so I could finish my Bachelor's in social work at the University of Georgia in Athens, but I had to quit when I could no longer afford school and daycare costs. We went through even tougher times after that, even briefly living in a homeless shelter. At times I got extremely angry at God, asking him, "Why?" I knew the Bible and lived a good Christian life as a single father, but I felt there had to be more and I began to pray for it. Then, when it seemed I was out of prospects and with no one to turn to for help, a book found me and gave me hope.

It was in September of 1995 that the Urantia Book was again brought to my attention, this time by my brother's friend's wife. When I tried to find a copy at the local library in our rural Georgia town, the librarian said she had never heard of it, but searched for it anyway. They had five copies, all checked out, but one was on order that was due to arrive the following morning. The next day I got to the library just as the delivery truck was leaving. The five librarians at the desk were all looking at the book, wondering what it was and where it had come from. They could not believe that none of them had known the book was in the library. I told them I'd heard it was a modern version of the Bible.

That evening I read the Foreword and the first five papers. Wow! I went to bed in awe. As I lay there almost asleep a sudden sensation came over my whole body. It was as if I were plugged into a high-voltage power line. I jumped up and shook it off. I lay back down and it happened again. I prayed to God for guidance to help me understand if the Urantia Book was my next step. What I'd read so far seemed to be what I'd always believed - as if somehow I knew. I'd prayed for the answers and found them.

CHARLIE BARDEN: I came to find the Urantia Book through an organization called the Miehi Family Church. Actually, the Miehis are my in-laws.

My wife and I were moving into our own place for the first time. Both of our families met at the Miehis' to help us move. I had been up to my in-laws' home in the mountains of California many times but had no idea that they read such an incredible book. At one point my father, who is a Lutheran/Episcopalian priest, and my father-in-law and I were outside taking a break. We were discussing religion and philosophy, and my dad-in-law mentioned how he used to read science fiction until he found a book that just blew him away. He said that no human being could have written it, and that this was the only book he read anymore.

So, I went to the library, checked it out, and was hooked. Following my mother-in-law's advice, I read the sections in reverse order, which is a good idea for new readers, especially those with a Christian background. To this day I still owe the Kern County library system over $50 in late fees.

Now I understand things that people never dreamed of comprehending and it's really cool!


JEFF ABERCROMBIE: One day several years ago a friend and I were talking over philosophy and religion, and he said some really neat things. When I asked him where he'd gotten his ideas, he pointed to a large blue book on his bookshelf. I had passed by it many times but had never noticed it before. I looked it over, and was immediately struck with a compulsion to read it.

I asked if I could borrow it for a while. He responded that the book was very important to him, and this was his only copy. He stated he had never let anyone borrow it before. He then said it would be fine if I borrowed it. This was a week or two before Christmas, 1995.

A few days after that Christmas, my friends house and everything in it burned down to the ground because of an electrical short in the Christmas lights. Everything he and his young family had owned was lost. He had built the house by hand, over several years' time. Nobody was inside at the time, thank God. Now his only possession - besides the clothes on his family's backs - was a big blue book he previously had not let anyone borrow.

A special smile comes over me every time I see that book still in my friends possession. It sits with all the other stuff he has accumulated since the fire - the only "tattered" thing he owns!

PATRICK MALOY: I grew up in a small town in South Texas where I attended parochial school and church six days a week. I enjoyed learning about God, Jesus, Mary, the angels, and the saints. In my twenties my spiritual beliefs fell by the wayside while career and money became my focus. I kept looking for material things to fill that emptiness inside me. I knew that something was terribly wrong but I couldn't figure out what it was, and in time I became suicidal. Trips to numerous psychiatrists provided little help. I didn't realize that my drinking had become an addiction that disconnected me from a oneness with God. In a final act of desperation I asked God for help. I soon found myself sitting in an AA meeting on St. Patrick's Day and I've been sober ever since.

When my mind began to clear from the effects of alcohol, I realized that divine guidance had led me there. My newfound friends in AA helped open my mind and heart to new ideas and concepts. I was spiritually famished and wanted to know more about the divine force that led me. The phrase I kept hearing was, "Let go and let God."

Later, finding myself at another spiritual/mental crossroad, I sought professional help from Steve Farrell, a psychologist and friend. Steve had been given a copy of the Urantia Book by another colleague. Having had time to read only a paper or two, Steve suggested that I start reading from anywhere in the book to see what I thought of it. After reading a few sentences I knew the big blue book was the source of information I had been looking for. I had to have my own copy and I wanted it right away.

After making a futile search of the local bookstores in Corpus Christi, Texas, I finally found the book in a large bookstore in Boulder, Colorado, a couple of days later. The bookstore had an end-cap display of Urantia Books.

My Urantia Book became a constant companion providing a source of truth, knowledge, wisdom, strength and hope. The big blue book had come to me when I was ready for it, during a time when I was experiencing the transitions of five of my closest relatives, all of whom were dying of cancer. It was also a period when many of my friends were dying of AIDS. I called upon the books beautiful truth while attending the dying and I often read it aloud to them.

I longed to study the book with people who had a better grasp of it than I did from self-study. When I moved to the Northwest, to Portland, in 1996, I received a list of local names and phone numbers from the Urantia Foundation. I started calling everyone on the list until I was able to reach someone. That someone was Joy Brandt. She and the people I met through her became a new family for me, and being a member of that family has added a new and joyful dimension to my life. It made me realize that I am truly part of something incredibly large, that my role is important, and that I'm exactly where I am supposed to be.

SCOTT SMITH: During a conversation about things spiritual with a man and his daughter one Friday night in a little roadside bar outside Massillon, Ohio, the man asked me if I had ever heard of the Urantia Book. My reply was the usual, "Huh?"

Both he and his daughter had read various parts of the book and recommended that I look into it. He had questions about the books authorship (who doesn't?) and some reservations about the celestial hierarchy described in Parts I and II and about the books historical narratives in Part III. But he thought the part about the life of Jesus was absolutely great.

For several months afterwards, I scoured all the bookstores I could find, with no luck whatsoever. In August of that year, my older brother passed away as the result of a traffic accident. It was a tragic blow to my entire family, even though he had been estranged from us for several years. Little did I know what real significance his death was to play in my immediate future.

Questions about what was in store for my deceased brother and for the rest of us still living now began to dominate most of my conscious thinking. It was at this time that the Urantia Book found me in a local bookstore - a store I must have been in once a week for four months! Alongside the new softcover edition was a copy of the third edition of Clyde Bedell's Concordex.

With a delight and surprise that I cannot find words to explain, I went straight to the Concordex looking for clues to my brothers future welfare. Honest to God, life has not been the same since! Although it took me over a year to read the Urantia Book from cover to cover the first time, my relationship with the Father within and my desire to be a more God-knowing person have deepened with each passing day. Knowing that my brother's future is really safeguarded and that the "brass ring" is always in our pocket, that all we have to do is dig deep enough to find it, really makes life worth living.

I find it most unfortunate, though, that I have lost touch with the man and his daughter. Long ago I decided to stop going to bars and clubs. But someday I will have my opportunity to thank them for opening the door to true living.

RODGER BENJAMINS: My eldest brother, Enno, began reading the Urantia Book when I was 16. Nine years separate us, so in those days I had little to do with him. I recall in my early twenties telling some friends about "this book that my brother reads," that it was "the bible of the future" and that there would one day be a new religion based on its teachings. So, while I knew the book existed, I never tried to read it and did not know what it was about.

The turning point in my life came in 1994. What sparked it was the Los Angeles earthquake in January of that year. At that time I was a devout materialist, and feeling on top of the world because I had recently been able to buy myself a condominium. I already had a great car and now I had real estate to park it in! What more could life give me than this kind of happiness? Well, thirty days after escrow closed, Whamooo! -the quake hit. I remember lying in my bed, clinging onto the mattress to keep from falling off, knowing, knowing, that I was going to die. I would soon learn if there was a God or if I was doomed to nothingness. I survived the quake, but I will never look at "things" in the same way again.

I believe this shock was the catastrophic event I needed to force me to look within and begin the great search for truth. I committed myself to weekly talk therapy, a trying but life-changing experience. I was relieved to learn that my parents were not gods but truly human, and I discovered a great deal about myself - mostly, just how wrong I had been.

One of the issues I had to resolve was my anger at society for the injustices heaped upon me by its intolerance of a young gay man. I held this anger deep within me and it controlled every relationship I had. I was especially harsh with my sister who, being closest to me in age, had been my mentor. When she left to get married I felt that my only true friend had abandoned me.

It was during this time of learning how to become self-supporting and self-contained that I first became aware of the currents of the spirit in our lives. When I began to ask my therapist questions she could not answer, I realized it was time to stop. Little did I know that I was getting ready to embark on a path I didn't even know existed at the time, the path to God.

After finishing therapy I felt better than I'd ever felt before, but I was still not free from spells of anxiety and anger. Then something wonderful happened. I met Gerald, the person with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life. We wished to sanctify our love before our family and friends with a "Union Ceremony." After many phone calls we finally found a minister who would perform our ceremony, and invitations went out.

To our great disappointment, my sister, one of my brothers and all of Geralds family refused to attend, and they all made their biased feelings known to us. While I was intensely wounded by my sister's decision, I knew that deep down she loved me, and that it was her own hurt feelings that prevented her from attending. For the first time in my life I saw her point of view rather than mine. I began to see the spirit of her actions, and I was humiliated by my own.

On the day I learned of my sisters decision I told my brother Enno that I believed that all of the worlds problems were caused by this unknowing of other people's true intentions, that at the core of almost everyone's being is the desire to love and be loved. That was when he said to me, "You should read the Urantia Book."

Yes! The sudden, unyielding urge to get the Urantia Book stunned and excited me. It was too late in the evening to find a copy, so it would have to wait until the next day. I slept restlessly, anxious for the morning, and woke up with one thing on my mind: Find a copy of that mysterious book! Locating one was easy, and soon I was sitting on my couch with the Urantia Book on my lap. It was not long before I started to recognize the significance of what I was reading.

Intending to find out what ugly things the Urantia Book had to say about sexuality and homosexuality, I went straight for the marriage papers. The beauty of those papers truly inspired and relieved me. In all that the book says in glorifying the marriage institution, it never resorts to lowering those like me who cannot participate. But I was still not convinced. My next stop was "The Lucifer Rebellion." In therapy I had asked, "What is the cause of all the confusion in the world?" By the end of this paper, I had received my answer. I've been hooked to this revelation ever since.

This all took place in August of '96. For the first couple of weeks I read so intensely that I developed a headache, yet I had never felt more alive in my life. At first the idea of reading the Jesus papers frightened me, so I read "The History of Urantia." With the turning of each page, I felt myself coming closer to the realization of life's true purpose. By the following spring I had read the entire book (except for the Foreword!).

The Urantia Book confirmed for me that God loves us unconditionally, and that to worship him is to love others as he loves them. The Father's love for us has brought my entire family back to me. I have living proof within me that God can do it all.

CURT DAY: One day while in college in 1996, my girlfriend (now my wife) and I were at a local bookstore here in Lexington, Kentucky. This was a store we often went to, but on this occasion I felt something was different. My wife and I were standing in line to purchase our stuff when I felt compelled to turn to my right. It was almost as though someone or something was looking at me. I turned, and directly in my line of vision on the neighboring shelf was the Urantia Book. I took it off the shelf and bought it without even opening it or looking at the price. I had never heard a thing about the Urantia Book before - nothing! My wife turned to me and asked, "What is the Urantia Book?" I very confidently replied, "Everything. Existence."

In the coming months I found that it was everything I knew it to be. Yet, it has been more than I ever imagined.

LINDA BARNETT: I was standing in a New Age bookshop. I had just finished A Course in Miracles. I saw a brown box on the shelf, glued shut, with a book inside and the price on the outside. I felt too guilty to open it, so I bought the box. When I got home and opened it I got the surprise of my life. That was 1996. I still can't read too much of it at one time - tears blind me.

HOLLY CARMICHAEL: One day, my years-long search for truth finally landed me in a little church just up the road from where I live. It happened like this:

Earlier that morning, I had become extremely but inexplicably anxious to go out - but to where? I decided to go to the store. But for some odd reason, I was overdressing myself and the kids, too. As we set down the road to the little store nearby, I tried to figure out what my problem was. Why was I in such a tizzy and in such a hurry to go to the store? I must be crazy, I thought. This staying at home with the kids has finally taken all my brain cells away, and I am completely nuts.

While thinking these thoughts, I scooted past the store and up the road a little further, where I approached two churches whose parking lots became my target for turning the car around. Suddenly, the steering wheel seemed to be turning itself into the parking lot of the first church.

Instead of turning around, I found myself parking and walking the kids up to the pastors entrance. I knocked. The pastor was a wonderful woman who told me of the church's Sunday school for children and its adult Sunday school class which would be starting in a few weeks to study the different Christian denominations. Stunned by this answer, on the spur of the moment I decided to attend the classes and had great hopes of finally learning the answers to my many questions.

I remember thinking that an angel must have guided me there. I had just caught the minister as she was literally on her way out for a couple of weeks. The classes were scheduled to begin on her return. I thanked God over and over for all his help.

After a few weeks in the church, I was invited to sing in the choir. I soon became friends with the choir director and we began to have lots of talks about our families. As our friendship grew, I told him of my concerns about another family member's spirituality. My friend told me about a big blue book called the Urantia Book, and suggested that my family member read it. I myself was infinitely curious about this book, and if it could help my loved one, then I was all for it.

So, one Sunday after church, the choir director came to my house and thoughtfully presented a copy of the Urantia Book to my loved one, who received the book graciously but over the next few weeks came to reject it.

But I didn't. I read the book voraciously from start to finish. I read it twice in one year. Not long after that, when I finally got a computer in my home, my choir director friend introduced me to some electronic study groups for Urantia Book readers. I am now on my third go-round with the book. I still sing in the choir and attend the little church, and with new fervor I seek to gently and quietly spread the truth around by doing good.

SHANE BOROWSKI: All my life I have been a dreamer and a romantic who loves to ponder the unknown. As a child I would observe nature and always try to guess her next move.

Shortly after college I married a beautiful Native American girl. From her I learned about the world and the incredible power of truth. After our separation - in slight part because of spiritual differences - I began to look hard for God.

I started by the reading The Celestine Prophecy - a great beginner's manual for general awareness. After finishing that book I went on a sojourn of sorts, alone, to the Four Corners area, staying mainly in Utah. Using my newfound knowledge from the Prophecy book, I began to really pay attention to the world around me, listening to the trees, the birds, the wind, and just generally picking up on signals. Signals I found, and by following them, I met all sorts of great people. Each person seemed to have the answer to a thought I was holding on my trek to meet them; each answer led me to another train of thought, which in turn led to another chance meeting and another answer. It was beautiful.

In the year or so after the trip, and still lonely from my breakup, I started scanning through the Bible again. I had been raised pretty much a Christian, but had never found satisfaction in the Bible or in the church. Friends of mine who were Christian missionaries had traveled to remote places in hopes of converting natives who were unaware of the Bible to Christianity. "As good a person as a native may be," said one friend, "if they don't know who Jesus is, they are condemned to suffer." I just couldn't come to grips with this philosophy. Aside from that, I found things in the Bible that seemed so true, but expressed in such obsolete terminology. I thought, "What if it could be rewritten for us?"

I then discovered the works of Zechariah Sitchin. He spoke of celestial creatures - aliens - who had visited earth before the birth of civilizations, and had given the human race a boost. His amazing claims were all substantiated by legitimate evidence. The Sitchin books opened my eyes to a whole new world. I had always felt there was more to our history than we had been taught or preached. Still, these claims were not quite the answer for me. They satisfied the science end of my quest but left: my spiritual curiosity dangling.

Then along came the Urantia Book. During one of my weekly visits to Borders Books I went to my usual sections - Spirituality and Metaphysics. I was desperately looking for some new truth. Then I saw a little white box with three blue concentric circles on it. It was sealed shut and said only "The Urantia Book." I pondered it a bit and picked it up, but was afraid to open it. I left the store intrigued and, in a weird way, "touched."

A week went by, and I couldn't stop thinking about that little white box. In all the times I had gone to the bookstore, I had never seen it before. What was in it? What is Urantia? So I went back, and there it was, virtually untouched since I had last put it down a week earlier. I braved up and unsealed the box (it was only $10 - I'd buy it if they made me) and took out a thick, blue book. I opened it up to Part I, which talked about the Superuniverse, and - Whammo! - I knew this was my long-sought answer.

I pummeled through each page - especially Part III, our history - and fell in love. Everything inside me told me Yes! This is it! Every question I had had seemed to be dealt with in the UB. Never had I been so sure about something. What a great feeling! Even better, all my thoughts and concerns about Christianity were addressed in a way that made perfect sense, and my relationship to God and Jesus/Michael was solidified for good. I had found what I was looking for.


CATHERINE HEYNEMAN: In June of 1996 I had been divorced for about a year and was looking for something to plug up the big empty hole in my life. Silly me, I thought I needed a man. Pocatello, Idaho, is a place where the men you meet in bars believe the size of their belt buckle is commensurate with their virility. So, desperate but not that desperate, I decided to answer some personal ads in the local paper.

One ad in particular intrigued me - it was from a vegan. A vegetarian myself, I was really excited to meet this person. We dated for a while, and he introduced me to the Urantia Book as well as to a group of local readers. A very smart man, he didn't shove the book in my face and say, "This is truth!" He simply left it out on his coffee table where I eventually picked it up and "discovered" it for myself. He warned me, "Whatever you do, don't start with the Foreword!" So what did I do? Yup. Put the book down and didn't pick it up again for three months.

But in the meantime, I was attending the Pocatello meetings and was completely blown away by some of the people there, mainly Debbie Roberts and Nancy Kelly. The spiritual energy in that room just took my breath away. It was as though I'd found home. And it was about then that I realized that that big empty hole wasn't a relationship vacuum - it was a spiritual vacuum that desperately needed to be filled.

I'd been tromping all over the country, going to Esalen and to Body and Soul conferences looking for something that would tie together my readings (I'm a big fan of Alan Watts, Fritjof Capra and Carolyn Myss) and my experiences. That something was the Urantia Book and the group of readers, both of which I found in my own back yard. The UBook is the only thing I've ever come across that resonates within me as pure truth. Thanks to all the members of the Pocatello group, past and present, I now have a functional "family of choice" as opposed to the dysfunctional "family of chance" I was born into.

DAVID LINTHICUM: Growing up, I visited my friends' churches and became exposed to many different denominations. Not having been indoctrinated into any one religion, I was free to find my own way.

As part of my search, I spent fifteen years reading the Seth books, authored/channeled by Jane Roberts. I first came in contact with the Seth material when I was in the Navy, stationed in Meridian, Mississippi. I had gone into town to do some shopping with a girlfriend when my eyes landed on a Seth book. I picked it up, read the dust jacket, and bought it. When I returned to base I started reading and couldn't put it down. I read for hours, totally forgetting about a date I had. I look back at the years I spent reading the Seth books and wonder if it was time wasted. I really don't think so. If anything, I feel that I was led to that material as sort of a stepping stone to the next level.

In the summer of 1996 I was visiting an old friend named David who had moved to the quaint little town of Medicine Park, Oklahoma, nestled in the foothills of the Washita Mountains. David and I had similar tastes in life and had shared some memorable experiences. It was during a discussion we were having about the Kennedy assassination that he motioned toward his bookshelf and told me to look for a particular book on Kennedy. While I was searching I stumbled onto this big - and I do mean big - book, and pulled it out of the bookcase. As I plopped it down on the coffee table, I asked, "What is this? It weighs a ton."

The next hour or so was a revelation about The Revelation. He told me a story he had heard about how the Urantia Book came into existence as well as the little that he remembered about the contents of the book. It turns out that David hadn't gotten through much of it before "shelving" it. He suggested I read the last part of the book first and then go back and read the beginning. The whole thing sounded a bit too strange but I decided to read a little of the Foreword and get a flavor of it. Wow! It claimed to answer all of the questions that had nagged me for years. The more I read the more fascinated I became.

When I returned home from my trip that summer I was determined to find this Urantia Book and take a closer look at it. In the neighborhood of the office where I worked was a bookstore called Peace of Mind, which carried a potpourri of New Age, mystical, and religious literature and trinkets, and where the smell of incense was overpowering. One day during my lunch break I went in. I found the Urantia Book prominently displayed, but was surprised to see that it was boxed. Never before had I bought a book in a box.

I didn't follow my friend's advice. Being the stubborn sort I was determined to start at the beginning and work my way through. That plan didn't last long. My curiosity got the better of me. I had to get some answers to my most burning questions, so I tore through the table of contents until I found the listing for Adam and Eve. That is where I would start. It is still one of my favorite sections of the book, along with the Lucifer rebellion. Those were the biggest mysteries in my mind, the ones that had forced me to question what I had been taught and had heard for years. I could never buy into the Bible's version of these events, but the Urantia Book solved these riddles and set my mind at peace. I found my peace of mind at the Peace of Mind bookstore in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Since then I have found a study group in Tulsa where I enjoy sharing with other students of the Urantia Book. Yes, this book has changed my life. I feel a sense of calm now that comes from knowing there is an exciting future ahead for us all - if we choose it.

RICARDO FRANCO: The first lessons from the book came to me when I was 16 years old while reading the first volume of Caballo de Troya (The Trojan Horse), a novel written by J. J. Benitez, based on teachings from the Urantia Book. This series of five books describes the life of Jesus, and it came to me when I needed it most. I felt that the conventional way of seeing God offered by the church was leaving out something essential. I had always been rebellious about it and had problems finding support for my point of view. The refreshing new life of Jesus of Nazareth told in these books was like an answer to my prayers.

The Trojan Horse came into my hands by chance, and after devouring it, I eagerly awaited the next volume of the series. The same author later wrote La Rebelion de Lucifer (The Lucifer Rebellion), which recounts the story of the creation of our galaxy, the organization of the universe, the planting of life on our planet, the birth of Andon and Fonta, and the evolution of man, climaxing with the story of the Lucifer rebellion.

This particular book made me feel new things, because my soul knew the instant I was reading it that it was more than a fantasy. I decided to look for the source of these books. When at last I found the Urantia Book I could finally begin to read from the beginning.

The Urantia Book has given me an enormous, wonderful vision bigger than that taught by any other religion. This revelation has shown me a new dimension of God's love; it has changed and continues to change my life from its foundations. Imagine the incomparable sense of joy that comes from knowing that God wants us to love him voluntarily and not because of fear! Thanks to the teachings of the Urantia Book, I've become a freer human being and therefore able to be more worthy of his love.


PRADHANA FUCHS: I live in the south of South America, in a city in Chile. Years ago a man told me about an incredible book called the Urantia Book. That was all. Then I received a message from the sky, given to me in a dream. They were telling me to go north, so I packed. My first destination was Machupicchu, the hidden city of the Incas, in Peru.

I had almost reached Machupicchu when I stopped in a small town called Pisag. Up on the hills of this town were some Inca ruins. After the bus left, I noticed in a corner of the town a small hotel, so I went in. Sitting inside were some gringos who looked like kind men. As I was walking by, one of them stood up and said, "Hi," and asked what I was doing there. "Just visiting places," I replied, and asked them what they were doing there. One of them responded, "We have a book and we are sharing it. Its the Urantia Book." My ears heard and my eyes were shocked. I said to him, "I want one!"

The next morning my new Urantia friend and I went on a strenuous pilgrimage to the ruins together. Then we made an agreement to travel together on a Urantia Book sharing mission. This decision was taken under a big tree, and from that moment on, I called my friend "Big Tree." I want, through these words, to express my love for this friend, Norman Ingram. We were in so many countries, shared so many experiences together - Norman, me and our celestial Father. It's amazing how so many people got interested in our small blue treasure. I have a beautiful study group here now, and we want to spread our love to the universe.

KINDA FORD: I had a Christian upbringing but could never bring myself to believe that there was a devil in the wings, just waiting to lead me astray. Nor could I comprehend that Jesus died for the sins of mankind, and that to avoid hell I had to become "saved." To me it all sounded like make-believe. I chucked it all, including God, and became an atheist. It made much more sense.

My husband had always had an interest in New Age books, and after much prodding he finally got me to read some of them. For the first time in my life, I was reading things about God that made so much sense that I decided God did exist after all.

My quest for finding out all I could about God had begun. I read every New Age book I could get my hands on. At the bookstore one day I came across a volume entitled The Handbook of Metaphysics. My husband tried to talk me out of buying it, saying that I should get some other book that he had in mind, but I wouldn't budge.

It turned out that this book devoted a whole chapter to the Urantia Book. What it said about it made me so curious that I checked the UB out of the library and began reading different sections. I was amazed that anyone could have this much knowledge about God, and believed that the information had to have come from a higher source.

In 1996 I eventually bought a copy of the book, but soon found out that we needed two because my husband and I were always fighting over whose turn it was to read it. I devoured every page, managing to read it through in about two months. While reading one page, I couldn't wait to see what it had to say on the next one!

The information in the UB has transformed my life. I have truly found God - or did he find me? I have dedicated my life to doing God's will, not out of fear of being cast into hell if I don't, but because I truly love my Father in heaven. And the angels cheered - for little ol' me!

JEFFREY MASON: I first learned of the Urantia Book when my father and I were visiting my sister, who was attending seminary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She introduced me to a classmate named David Pendleton, a hypnotist studying to become a pastor in the United Church of Christ, where most of my immediate family were members. David was seeking to supplement his professional credentials with a seminary degree. Finding him sincere and knowledgeable without being a slave to convention, I immediately felt that I could discuss anything with him.

It was late spring and a singularly radiant day. As our conversation developed, David's two children and my nephew ran back and forth around us yet we stayed focused on a truly unusual exchange that lasted for two hours. At one point I confided that one of my goals was to create a progressive kind of school, utilizing the most advanced concepts and knowledge to design the courses and train the instructors and students.

He looked at me for a moment, then told me about a book that addressed some of the issues I had raised. He cautioned me that it was not your usual book. He further stated that although he'd been reading the book for several years, I was the first person besides his wife with whom he'd shared it. I took that as a challenge.

When David began telling me about his unusual book, I was reminded of an early childhood experience: As a six-year-old, sitting in the sun in the middle of the street, I felt the beauty of everything around me, and was strongly aware of the presence of the Creator, both inside and outside of me. That moment of peace had been the most intense experience of my life thus far. Listening to David describe the book evoked the same sense of spiritual communion.

Then he showed me the book. I don't recall what I opened to first, but something inside me vibrated like an internal Geiger counter, like a seismograph alerting me of a coming earthquake. It was as if an inner alarm had gone off - and yet I was not alarmed.

JAIME ANDRES CUELLO: In 1996 I was reading J. J. Benitez's The Trojan Horse, a book based on the Urantia Book. A friend, also a Benitez reader, told me, "I know of a little book that J. J. uses as a source for his books. Are you interested?" A few days later I was asking for the Papers in a bookstore, but when I saw the UB for the first time, for US$80, I said, "Naaaa! Too long, too expensive, and maybe full of lies!" I left the bookstore.

Five minutes later the salesman in the bookstore was handing me the book in a bag, and that was all. Since that day I feel I am a different guy - a better guy!

VICKI MILLER NEWBY: One Sunday evening in February of 1995 I met an interesting man named Steve Newby. A light seemed to shine from him, and as I got to know him, I marveled over the things he would say. One day, after he'd told me something particularly amazing and beautiful, I asked him, "Where did you get that?"

"Have you ever heard of the Urantia Book?" he asked me in return.

"The what?"

As he explained a little bit about it, he produced his copy of Big Blue.

"Who wrote this?" I pressed him, thumbing through the thick book. Given my penchant for seeking out and studying spiritual works, I couldn't believe I hadn't come across the book earlier in my life. What he showed me, however, went straight over my head. It all seemed pretty weird to me. I wasn't ready for the Urantia Book just yet.

I could tell Steve read this book a lot when I wasn't around. Days rolled into weeks, and weeks rolled into months. He continued to share beautiful and spiritually moving concepts from the Urantia Book with me, so much so, that I no longer needed to ask him where the ideas came from.

In the summer of 1996, to celebrate his birthday, I invited Steve out for a steak dinner but he declined, preferring to celebrate by studying this strange big blue book with a group of like-minded others. When he asked if I'd like to go along, I saw that light that had first attracted me to him, and I agreed to accompany him. I'm glad I did.

And so it was that I began reading the book in the company of the Spirit Jazz Study Group. I had a thousand questions and the group was very patient with me. The first thing I looked up when I got home that first night was Paper 38, "Ministering Spirits of the Local Universe," as I was curious to know more about the unseen help that we receive. Next I read Paper 93, "Machiventa Melchizedek." I had always been interested in this mysterious Melchizedek character who was mentioned in the Bible. One of the study group members had talked about the Thought Adjuster papers, so I read them and fell in love with that little spark of God that loves me so. "The Consecration of Choice" is one of the most moving and meaningful messages I have ever received. What a gift not to have to wrestle my will against God's, to be able to say, "It is my will that your will be done," and mean it!

Having been put off of religion by well-meaning but dogmatic twentieth-century Christians, I might never have read the Jesus papers if the study group hadn't been reading them. My thinking is now open to Jesus and all who love him. These bits and pieces of study have given me a whole new perspective on this life, on humanity, and on my part here.

I've noticed an interesting thing about Urantia Book readers. They still have human problems, but in each UB reader I've met, I see that same light that I saw in Steve the first time I met him. My consciousness of this light in UB readers has encouraged me to look for it in others, and seeking, I have found.

JOSEFINA DE MARTINEZ: One day, while looking for some postcards and magazines in a bookstore in Cancun where I live, I found El Testamento de San Juan (Saint John's Last Will) by J. J. Benitez. It appeared to be the last copy in the store and I wanted to buy it because I had already read his Virgin de Guadalupe and had seen him interviewed on TV. While I was paying for it, I asked the clerk if the store carried any other works by the same author. He called the manager, who informed me that he had never heard of Benitez. I showed him the book I'd just bought, and he told me, bewildered, that the book I had in my hands was not for sale at his bookstore. "It doesn't have our special marks," he said. "Maybe somebody forgot it and left it here." He told the clerk to return my money in case the owner came back asking for the book. I finally convinced him to let me keep it and gave him my phone number in case that someone returned. No problem, since nobody has called me yet.

Later, I went to the dentist and told him the story, and he asked me if I had read The Trojan Horse. Since I hadn't, he offered to lend me his own copy. I read Last Will first, finished it quickly, then began The Trojan Horse. It all was so interesting that I read day and night, till later that week, when a friend and I left for Cozumel to attend a series of lectures on "Superior Consciousness."

In Cozumel we stayed for three days at the hotel where the lectures took place. On the second day, I noticed a table full of books on one side of the room. During the next intermission I went over to that table and was informed that those books had been brought over for the hotel tourists by a woman named June. In that heap of all sizes and subjects I found the Urantia Book - the same book J. J. Benitez had talked about in Last Will. I located my friend, and together we went looking for June. When we found her and asked her about the Urantia Book, she told us to keep it, saying, "I haven't really read it. Somebody left it at my home."

So came the Urantia Book, in English, into our hands. For me it is a wonderful book and I believe in it completely. The account of the life of Jesus answers most of the questions I had asked my parents and the Catholic priests in my youth. I wish to thank J. J. Benitez from the bottom of my heart for bringing the UB to my attention. It is important that this major revelation from the Most Highs be disseminated around the world, and that we all learn what we can from it.

JUAN PAULO VEGA: My encounter with the Urantia Book came at a most opportune moment in my life and in a unique way. For some years I had been looking for the answers to my many questions, and this led me to investigate various religious beliefs and to become associated for a brief time with several religious organizations. However, I never found answers that left me feeling satisfied.

Earlier I had left Chile, forsaking my job, my family and my friends to try my luck in another country. Things abroad did not turn out the way I'd hoped, and I was obliged to return to my family after six months. I came back somewhat defeated, but happy to reacquaint myself with my world - my Andes Mountains, my Pacific Ocean, my Spanish tongue and the love of all the people I knew. The first days back I was quite content, but I soon began to worry because I could not find work in my city and would soon be needing money to pay the bills.

It was then that I felt an urgent need to search for something. With little else to do I began navigating the Internet and came upon the Urantia Book. The name riveted me. I felt an imperative need to investigate what the book was about. Looking for more information, I came to the summary of its four parts. The more I read the more astonished and surprised I grew; I became convinced that I was facing something much larger than a book. I was certain that this was what I'd been searching for.

The next day I called the Urantia Foundation in the United States and was given the address and telephone numbers of two people, Nina Bravo and Oly Tartakowsky, who each conduct a Urantia study group in the capital of my country, Santiago de Chile. They have become my good friends and, in a certain way, spiritual guides. Incredibly, at the same time I was notified of a job opportunity in Santiago. Transferring to that city, I was welcomed by Oly into her study group. Oly gave me my Urantia Book in Spanish, one of five thousand copies of the 1991 first edition. I then began to explore this wonderful revelation that has since transformed my life.

The revelation has broadened my horizons and changed my beliefs. It has quenched my thirst for answers. It has brought me closer to God and to Jesus in a very special way. It has made me understand the reality of the brotherhood of man and the Fatherhood of God. It has opened my eyes to the fact that we're not alone, that we are part of a vast plan of evolution and perfection. Through this book I have met wonderful people, not only in Chile but also in other countries in the Americas and the rest of the world. I'm grateful for that. My desire and challenge for the future is to be able to share this revelation with many people and to lead a study group, to do my share towards the dissemination and recognition of the Urantia Book's marvelous contents.


DIEGO GONZALES MUNOS: Having studied at an Anglican school in Chile, a predominantly Roman Catholic country, I had the opportunity of learning and experiencing tolerance. I was very curious about UFO phenomena and paranormal activity, and an insatiable thirst for truth led me on a search through several religions. One day, a friend told me about The Trojan Horse by J. J. Benitez. I soon read all of the books in the series, devouring them one after the other. I began to read other books by Benitez, including The Lucifer Rebellion, Visitors (The UFOs), and St. Johns Last Will. The latter book talks about the Urantia Book; the author says he has drunk from its waters. But it was not yet the hour.

I was studying at the university in the city of Santiago, three thousand kilometers from home, when one day I saw the Urantia Book in a bookstore, inside its box. Its look was powerful, mysterious. Unfortunately, it was very expensive and I didn't dare buy it. It was not yet the hour. Two months later I made up my mind to purchase it, but I couldn't find the book anywhere. Was somebody playing me the fool?

I was out for a walk with a friend, near a commercial center, when I saw it again. I called my father and very subtly told him about the book I wanted, mentioning that I had not received any Christmas gifts or birthday gifts from him. Mission accomplished!

With money in hand, I took a bus across town to buy my book. After two minutes, I felt an irresistible pull to jump out of the bus, which I did. Feeling embarrassed and foolish for jumping out without a real motive, I began walking a few steps to a bookstore, and there it was in the middle of the table - the Urantia Book, Spanish version. I talked with the bookseller and began to understand that "the hour had come."

I don't believe in chance. For example, I will tell you about a person who came to our study group and told us how he'd found the Urantia Book. He was anxious for us to learn of the strange and seemingly supernatural nature of his encounter. He asked, "Well, what do you think? Isn't that strange?" To which I answered, "It would have been strange if the encounter had not been strange."

GUSTAVO PROANO: From 1976 to 1982 I belonged to a brotherhood that met weekly to discuss esoteric matters. We would often get into trouble because we couldn't find a logical or rational explanation for something. One of our members used to say, "Surely it must be explained in the Urantia Book," as if the book were the last word. This happened many times, and just as many times I would ask him, "What is that book?" He couldn't answer me, since he only knew about it from other people. On several occasions I asked for the book in bookstores and libraries, but no one had heard of it. They asked me for the author, the name of the publishing company, or any other information that would help to locate the book, but I couldn't give it to them.

Many years later, in October 1996, I was in a bookstore looking for a book on marketing. Nearby, in the Esoteric section, a fat blue book caught my eye. I moved closer and saw the name on top, El Libro de Urantia. I remembered the title instantly. It was unbelievable to me that almost twenty years after I had first heard of the Urantia Book, I could finally touch it, feel it, and begin reading it.

What an absolutely extraordinary vision it portrayed of God and the universe, sparking almost as many answers as questions! I must say that when I began reading, I found the book strange and hard to understand, with so many different and unfamiliar names - it was almost impossible to grasp them all; but I did manage to make charts to establish relations among these different concepts and personalities. Even after reading the same things over several times, it seems as though I'm reading a different text each time. But, proceeding slowly and carefully, I try to understand as much as I possibly can.

ROGER IN HAWAII: One day in the summer of 1992 I was painting in front of my gallery in Haleiwa, Hawaii. Around closing time a homeless person, an adventurer, entered the gallery. I could see that he was lonely and hungry, so I asked him to stay the night at our house, which he was very happy to do.

We talked into the night, and talk turned to God, as a good conversation must. At the time I was studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses and was preaching to him. He kept telling me, "God doesn't kill people!" Inside I knew this made sense; I had been struggling with parts of the Bible, and had many unanswered questions such as, "Who was Nod?"

Christopher stayed in Hawaii for two years before returning to the mainland. He told me about the Urantia Papers as well as the Paramony, a book that his friend Duane Faw had put together. Christopher had attended some study groups and a national convention of Urantia Book readers. Although he really hadn't read that much of the book himself, he seemed very confident that the Urantia Book was superior to the Bible.

The Witnesses teach that the Bible warns us that all other books about God - and there are many - are from demons. The day finally came, however, when the Jehovah's Witnesses and I parted. The Bible seemed to have only a part of the truths that I needed to know. One of the last conversations I had with the Witness friend I'd been studying with went something like this: "Roger, the Bible is the Owner's Manual for Life," and my instant reply was, "I believe it may be, but I want the Repair Manual!"

All I can say is, angels do listen to us. I had just read the first Conversations with God book, and at the time it made a lot of sense to me. When I went to the bookstore to buy my own copy, it was sold out. However, on a nearby shelf I spotted the Urantia Book. Was this a book of truth or was it a demon book? I opened it up. The first thing I read was "Our Religion." I didn't know who wrote it, but it sure sounded like something I would say. I put the book back on the shelf, still unsure of its true origin.

Some time passed, and then I had a family crisis. I found out my kids were not vegetarians as I thought they were - they had been eating Big Macs for a long time! I was so hurt by this discovery that I was ready for a divorce. I had been deceived by my own family!

Feeling lost and hurt, I went again in search of that Conversations book. Once again - this time at a different bookstore - it was sold out. I started to leave, but turned to look one more time. It was definitely not there, but up on the top shelf was another huge copy of the Urantia Book, priced at around $75. I looked at it again and this time I wanted it, but not at that price - not today.

Ready to leave, I took one more look, and then I saw the little blue softcover Urantia Book that I now love, and for only $20. I went to a park and read for the next four hours, crying and laughing at this beautiful little blue Repair Manual! When I read the section, "The Talk with Nathaniel," where Jesus says that our Father does not send out armies to kill people, especially women and children, I knew that Christopher had been right, that "God doesn't kill people." I had finally found the God that I had been searching for my whole life - a God of love!

The book saved my marriage and my family when I realized that I was just one of the many mortals of Urantia who are trying to get rid of their animal inheritance, and that we all must do this in our own time. I often think about how the Father works. My friend Christopher was an alcoholic and homeless person who was often abused by society even though he had never hurt anyone; he was looked down upon by most, and yet he had the keys to life on Urantia. I'm glad he shared them with me.

NEL BENJAMINS: I grew up a Dutch girl in Amsterdam, the third of five children. At six I was enrolled in a Christian school. Since my parents were of modest means, I felt privileged and honored to be in such a beautiful school. The first hour of every school day was dedicated to religious teaching, mainly Bible reading. I loved those old Bible stories, although I often found them brutal. As I learned about the life of Jesus, it gave me great joy to realize the love he brought us, but the story of how he died so cruel a death on the cross for my sins troubled me. It didn't make sense, but then who was I to question the adults? The guilt and fear created great confusion within me, but oh, how much I loved Jesus!

Then something big happened. A new teacher, Mr. Keyl, came to our school. He seemed to come straight from heaven, like Jesus incarnate, because he loved us so much. In science class he took us out into the field around our school, to teach us about bugs and other creepy-crawlers, and to pick wildflowers which we kept in empty jelly jars on our desks. He brought in containers with caterpillars so we could observe them transforming into butterflies. The experience of having this teacher in my life made me believe in the possibility of a great love existing somewhere out there. As I grew to young womanhood, while having this conflict about the story of Jesus, I tried to live as much as I could like Jesus and to do the will of the Father.

At 17 my special guy came into my life. We were married and in no time had three children, two sons, Enno and Robin, and a daughter, Sharon. My husband, a Dutch-Indonesian, loved Holland but did not want to live there, so we emigrated to the United States where, after three years, our "native American" Rodger was born.

For me the move to a foreign country was difficult. I did not have a feeling of belonging and began to isolate myself more and more. For many years, while raising my family, I struggled with depression. Now I know that even in my darkest days our Father was always there, lifting me up, guiding me along, compelling me perhaps to see a movie that had an important message for me, to help me visualize his beautiful silvery light in my mind; but at the time I wasn't aware of it.

Some time after Enno got married and had a family of his own, he found a big blue book and started telling us about it. He talked about celestial beings and "Thought Adjusters." My husband and I thought, "What is happening? Is this some kind of cult?" While it was somewhat frightening, at the same time I was fascinated. After a while, however, Enno stopped talking about the book.

Later, when Rodger grew up and faced his own troubles and difficulties, Enno suggested to him that his answers could be found in the Urantia Book. Rodger dared to buy it, and within a few weeks I noticed a great change in him and in Enno, who had started reading again. Now both of them were bugging me to read this book.

Still leery, at the same time I became more intrigued. The two of them conspired to get the book into my house by giving it to me for Christmas 1996. "Oh, no!" I thought, "Not that book again!" I put it in my desk drawer and, although I was aware of it being there, I did not attempt to read it for five months.

Then one day I took the book out, put it on my lap and said to myself, "Its just a book. Its not going to eat me. I will throw it out if I don't like it." As advised, I started with the Jesus papers. Oh, my God - how wonderful it was! I was on the phone a lot asking my sons, "What is Nebadon?" and "Who is Melchizedek?" I had so many questions and it was all so exciting!

Now, after several complete readings, I am a different person. I am freed of my old fears and confusion. I feel as if I am being carried on the wings of the Spirit of Truth, thrusting forward to serve in the kingdom of God - the adventure of eternal life.


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Cover How I Found Urantia Book

Cover About Urantia Book