A HISTORY OF THE Urantia MOVEMENT
The Urantia Book Fellowship Publications Committee
Note: This is a copy of a never published history put together by members of the Publications Committee. It was a controversial project, details of which may be reviewed at http://urantia-book.org/archive/history/h_timlin_5.htm#1980 . It was originally conceived as a slide-tape presentation but was never developed beyond a prototype.
“The true perspective of any reality problem – human or divine, terrestrial or cosmic – can be had only by the full and unprejudiced study and correlation of three phases of universe reality; origin, history, and destiny. The proper understanding of these three experiential realities affords the basis for a wise estimate of the current status.”
Five Epochal Revelations
Among the countless stations of time and space, our world Urantia, number 606 of Satania, is a seemingly insignificant little planet moving in its courses about the periphery of the Grand Universe. We are a mere speck in a vast universe of universes spanning millions of light years and encircling the enshrouded Central Universe of Perfection – Havona and Paradise. Nevertheless, our small and lowly world is “precisely administered and lovingly fostered” by numerous celestial beings. In the million year human history of our planet, we have been blessed to receive five major epochal revelations of truth as part of the celestial plan of evolution.
On this experimental sphere, the “romance of biologic struggle culminated in “man’s ascent from seaweed to the lordship of earthly creation.” Nevertheless, mortal man made little spiritual progress and generally languished in cultural darkness for almost 500,000 years, until the arrival of the Planetary Prince and his staff. The Prince, Caligastia, made his headquarters at the headwaters of the Persian Gulf and established the city of Dalamatia almost 500,000 years ago. For 300,000 years, the light of truth as well as the arts and culture of Dalamatia radiated outward from this center to encompass all races of man.
All too soon, however, most of the benefits of this first revelation were swept away in the confusion consequent upon the Lucifer Rebellion and the Caligastia Betrayal. There occurred a departure from the normal evolutionary plans, and while there temporarily appeared an illusion of progress, the long-term effect was to plunge the planet into darkness for many thousands of years. Van and Amadon, at their headquarters near the Caspian Sea, kept alive the traditions of Dalamatia for over 150,000 years – until the second bestowal of truth to our planet – the Adamic bestowal.
Once again truth and culture began to flower on our world, centered this time in the Garden of Eden at the Eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea -- “the most beautiful natural creation that Urantia has ever harbored.” Adam and Eve were sent not only to spiritually and culturally advance mortals, but even more importantly to follow a program of biologic upliftment for all races. Again the gains were short-lived by the early and tragic default of Adam and Eve – just a little more than 100 years after their arrival – the result of impatience and the miscarriage of wisdom. The two bravely struggled on for several hundred more years and made some valuable contributions to world advancement. However, their disheartening misstep once again confounded and confused our world. The mortal races now labored under a double deprivation. The gradual deterioration of the Adamic culture continued for the next 30,000 years.
The concept of monotheism was well nigh extinguished when approximately 4,000 years ago, Machinventa Melchizedek made an emergency bestowal, the third revelation of truth to our distraught world. Melchizedek taught and trained his missionaries for 94 years and they courageously carried his message of the one God across the Eurasian continent, resulting in a tremendous advancement of truth throughout the eastern hemisphere. Melchizedek’s missionaries would have been much more successful had they not attempted social reform along with spiritual uplift. Even so, the teachings of these missionaries were sufficiently powerful to provide the stimulus for the origin of many of the world’s religions. Most important, Melchizedek’s mission prepared the soil for the Fourth climactic revelation of truth to the people of Urantia.
Two thousand years ago, the sovereign of our local universe, Michael of Nebadon, lived a normal life in the flesh as Jesus of Nazareth. In the short 36-year span of this life, an entire universe witnessed the spectacle of man seeking God and God seeking man unified in the human-divine personality of Jesus. His mission was for all worlds in His universe, revealing in Himself “the way, the truth, and the life”. Jesus raised the concept of truth on our own world to a vastly higher level with his teachings of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
Tremendous spiritual progress has resulted from the bestowal of Jesus. However, soon after his crucifixion and ascension, his life-giving teachings were so diluted and compromised as to lose much of their savor. “The teachings of Jesus, even though greatly modified, survived the mystery cults of their birthtime, the ignorance and superstition of the dark ages, and are even now slowly triumphing over the materialism, mechanism, and secularism of the twentieth century. And such time of great testing and threatened defeat are always time of great revelation.”
Once again, in the twentieth century after Christ, our world was ripe for a revelation of epochal proportions – The Urantia Book. This latest revelation consists of 196 Papers, spans 2,000 pages, and is authored by various celestial personalities from the planetary, local universe, and superuniverse levels. All prior revelations have included the material bestowal of superhuman personalities – even divine. The revelation is in book form. We do not know why. No doubt the celestial authorities have many good reasons. Perhaps it is simply in keeping with the character of the times. It is just 500 years since the invention of the printing press. Only in the last century has a major portion of the world become literate. Libraries, book selling and distribution, travel and communication have just recently advanced to a point where a book of truth could effectively penetrate most world cultures.
The origin of the Fifth Epochal Revelation is the history of our planet and the previous Four Revelations; they all collectively gave birth to the Fifth. The Four Revelations of truth, which preceded the Fifth, had each been attenuated or effaced by betrayal, impatience, and ignorance. Evolution working with revelation was the historical cortex out of which the Fifth epochal revelation was born; and into which it is now sent to stimulate spiritual and cultural advancement.
In an effort to “expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception”, the Fifth Epochal Revelation provides a recital of the previous four revelations, as well as presenting new truths. One of its most vital purposes is to provide illumination about the real nature of the life and teachings of Jesus.
“A new and fuller revelation of the religion of Jesus is destined to conquer an empire of materialistic secularism, and to overthrow a world sway of mechanistic naturalism. Urantia is now quivering on the very brink of one of its most amazing and enthralling epochs of social readjustment, moral quickening, and spiritual enlightenment.”
Revelatory truth is bestowed by the hand of God – but it must be nurtured in the fallible hands of mortal man. The Urantia Book came from the spirit, through the flesh, to the printed page. No human being endorses it; no human source is claimed. “Revelation is validated only by human experience.” If its teachings are to be verified at all, such affirmation must come via the Spirit of Truth within you.
The celestial overseers do all in their power to engineer advantageous circumstances for the spawning of revelatory truth. We now from The Urantia Book itself how carefully previous revelations of truth have been planned. Not only timing, but also location, culture, traffic, specific human personalities and many other factors have been carefully considered. For Prince Caligastia’s staff, Adjuster guidance coordinated the convergence upon Dalamatia of one hundred superior human beings from various and distant parts of the planet. Van’s volunteers spent three years determining the location of the Garden of Eden for the Adamic bestowal. Human families embodying the potentials of leadership were carefully observed before Machiventa Melchizedek chose Palestine and the family of Abraham in conjunction with his activities. The world was searched for suitable families in which our local universe Creator Son could be born. From three possibilities, Gabriel selected Joseph and Mary.
We don’t know what research and techniques were used in selecting the time, the site, and the human resources for the inauguration of the Urantia Book. No doubt celestial analysis and painstaking care and coordination went into the effort as was done in prior times. What we do know is that the language used was English, that Chicago was “the city of this visitation’, and that the roots of the transmission of The Urantia Book reach back to the early parts of the twentieth century.
The Revelatory Commission functioned through a human contact personality whose identity will remain forever in obscurity. They want no St. Peters or St. Pauls associated with the Urantia Revelation a thousand years hence. “Mortal man is so prone to venerate, even to deify, his extraordinary compatriots and superhuman superiors.”
A handful of people formed the contact group, which acted as the liaison between the Revelatory Commission and the larger group known as the Forum. Both the contact group and the Forum pledged to observe certain rules of secrecy for the duration of their lives. The leader of the contact group was Dr. William S. Sadler, a physician and psychiatrist who lived and practiced at 533 Diversey Parkway in the mid-North area of Chicago. Dr. Sadler was also a professor, lecturer, and author. In the 1920’s he led a group of friends and associates who met at his home every Sunday afternoon to study and discuss various scientific, philosophic, and religious topics. It was therefore a natural evolutionary step when the transition was made from the study of those topics as to the contemplation of other truths of epochal significance. These truth-seekers posed many questions as the revelation took shape. Thus it came to pass that the Forum participated in the development of the Urantia Papers, and helped to foster these Urantia teachings in t heir infancy.
In 1934 and 1935, Parts I – III of The Urantia Book were indicted and put in the English language by a technique unknown to us.
Any spreading of interest during the Forum days occurred quietly and confidentially among relatives and close friends. Closely supervised by the contact group, the Forum grew slowly as people were invited one by one. Dr. Sadler personally interviewed each new member. Members pledged not to discuss the content of the papers outside of the Forum until such time as they would be published. They also pledged not to discuss any aspects concerning the transmission of the papers. All that can be known about the origin of The Urantia Book is presented by the revelators in the book itself.
Meetings were held every Sunday afternoon from 3:00 to 5:00. Papers were read aloud by a leader and then discussed by the group. Papers could only be read on the premises of 533 through all the years prior to 1955. Members of the Forum attended each week year after year. Some dropped away. Many did not stand the test of time. In all, approximately 300 people came in contact with the Urantia Papers prior to 1955.
A group of seventy dedicated students of the Papers formed a weekday evening class in 1939, which continued until the publication of The Urantia Book. They participated in more intensive study of the Papers than the format of the Sunday meetings provided. This class came to be known as “The Seventy.”
Little is recorded either in words or pictures of these early days. The people of the Forum served quietly through the vital incubation period of the Urantia Papers. A subtle process of growth and evolution was at work. There was much social closeness arising out of the unique situation of this group. What survive in pictures from those days are predominantly photographs of the picnics, which were held at least once a year. The picnics could perhaps be regarded as the precursors of our current day conferences.
The year 1941 saw an exciting forward step when a contract was entered into for the typesetting of The Urantia Book. The typesetting and proofreading continued for nearly a decade.
It was foreseen that organizations would be needed to foster the spread of the Urantia teachings once the book was published. Research on the form organizations continued for many years and included an examination of religious and social organizations as well as consultation with attorneys. Ultimately the format for the Urantia organizations closely paralleled their progenitor’s. Urantia Foundation became heir to the Contact Commission while sometime later, Urantia Brotherhood was born out of the Forum.
Through these vital formative years, the outside world was reaping “the dire harvest of materialism and secularism.” “The human race must become reconciled to a procession of changes, adjustments, and readjustments. Mankind is on the march toward a new and unrevealed planetary destiny.”
The Public Dissemination of the Fifth Epochal Revelation
Think not that the Fifth Epochal Revelation was bestowed “suddenly and spectacularly as an earthquake tears chasms into the rocks.” The evolutionary process can be likened, rather, to the formation of a river: tiny rivulets trickle together to form streams, which join one by one to form a broad-flowing river. Many years of preparation resulted in the public establishment and dissemination of the Urantia Papers in the 1930’s.
Under the guidance of the Revelatory Commission, Urantia Foundation was formed on January 11th, 1930. The Declaration of Trust was signed by the original five Trustees – William M. Hales, the first President, Dr. William S. Sadler, Jr., Wilfred C. Kellogg, Emma Christensen, and Edith Cook. William M. Hales served as president until 1972, when he was succeeded by Thomas A. Kendall, the current President.
Urantia Foundation is intended to act as a shield for the Revelation. It was charged, “to perpetually preserve inviolate the text of The Urantia Book.” including any translations and derivative works. It has the ultimate responsibility “to disseminate the principles, teachings, and doctrines of The Urantia Book.”
The copyright to The Urantia Book, and the registered marks Urantia and the Concentric-circles symbol are important legal defenses for the preservation of the text, and the dissemination of the teachings. Hand in hand with legal authority, support and friendship from many readers has always been essential. Almost immediately upon its formation, the Foundation sought funds for the printing of The Urantia Book. Adequate funds for the printing of 10,000 copies were received from the few hundred Forum members.
The typesetting of the Book had been completed by the time the Foundation was formed. The Trustees determined other specifications such as paper and binding. Finally, on January 2nd, 1953 the Trustees signed and announced their “Declaration of Intention to print The Urantia Book.” Manufacture of the book was completed by R. M. Donnelly & Sons Company at their Crawfordville, Indiana plant early in the fall of 1953.
On Wednesday, October 12th, 1955, the momentous transaction took place – the publication of the Fifth Epochal Revelation. Many years of waiting were over for the Forum members. At last they could read The Urantia Book anywhere and anytime they chose.
The day made a lasting impression on many people. It has been described by those present as a “thrilling” and “awesome” moment. Another said, “I still remember men excitedly leaving the building with boxes of books carried on their heads.” One woman recalls mixed feelings including “sadness.” She said, “I felt than an era was ending and none of us knew what we were facing.”
Until the time of its publication, The Urantia Book had been under the guidance of the Revelatory Commission. While celestial interest in the project certainly continues, the special contact maintained during the early years no longer existed.
On the same day that the Foundation announced its “Declaration of intention to print The Urantia Book”, January 2nd, 1953, another important event was taking place – the formation of Urantia Brotherhood. ON this day, 36 members comprising the original General Council met and signed the Constitution inaugurating the social organization concerned with the study and dissemination of the Urantia teachings to the world. Officers and committee members were selected that day. Thus the Brotherhood began to operate a few months before the Word was made Book.
The social organization of Urantia Brotherhood is not to be confused with the kingdom of heaven or the spiritual brotherhood of men. It is a human organization, a human association of religionists. “There is no such thing as a chosen people.”
On October 1st, 1956, Urantia brotherhood Corporation was brought into existence as the fiscal agent of the brotherhood and to act as the distributor of The Urantia Book for Urantia Foundation. Its officers and members are identical to the Executive Committee of the Brotherhood.
The flavor of the times is provided in a publication of the period which said: “Already numerous problems have presented themselves, from obtaining stationery and record books to the matter of granting charters to Urantia Societies, and though we are one in purpose and united in goal, our reasoning on many matters is greatly diversified. We are learning the inestimable value of group thinking.”
Since the founding of Urantia Brotherhood, the organization has functioned under the leadership of eight different presidents. William S. Sadler, Jr., was elected the first President of Urantia Brotherhood on January 2nd, 1955, and served one term. Warren R. Kulieke was next elected and served until his death in 1962. James C. Mills served a short term as Acting President. Emma L. Christensen served a full term from 1963 to 1967, and again for a few months as Acting President in 1973. Alvin L. Kulieke came to office in 1967, and served until his death in 1973. Paul Snider served one term from 1973 to 1976, and Dr.
Meredith J. Sprunger served one term from 1976 to 1979. John Hales was elected in 1979 and is the current President of Urantia Brotherhood.
The Brotherhood was designed as a representative body. Its individual building blocks were to be largely autonomous Urantia Societies, which elect delegates every three years to a Triennial Delegate Assembly. These delegates elect members to the General Council – the governing body of UrantiaA Brotherhood. In turn, the General Council elects members from its ranks to serve on an Executive Committee as well as electing members to the nine standing Committees which carry out the manifold objectives of the Brotherhood. These nine committees are: the Judicial Committee, the Charter Committee, the Fraternal Relations Committee, the Domestic Extension Committee, the International Fellowship Committee, the Education Committee, the Publications Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Special Projects Committee. Committee chairmen must be members of the General Council. The remaining committee positions can be filled by a member in good standing of the Brotherhood. The selection of the first members to the General Council was of necessity, a “bootstrap” operation. From the Seventy, 16 members were selected to serve for the first nine years of the Brotherhood until URAWNTIA Societies could be formed to send delegates to the first Triennial Delegate Assembly.
The First Urantia Society was installed in Chicago at 533 Diversey Parkway on June 17th, 1956. It consisted primarily of long-standing members of the Forum and thus was it truly said at the time: “The Forum no longer exists; in its place the First Urantia Society was established…”
There are currently four societies [in 1980] in the Chicago area. Other societies are located in Fort Wayne, Indiana; Central Connecticut, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Wenatchee, Washington.
The societies are the fundamental organizational units of Urantia Brotherhood. They have begun to provide regional leadership wherever they have been established. The societies will be increasingly looked to as an anchor and focus of regional grass root activities.
Dedicated individual readers and small study groups have always preceded the formation of societies. Experience at the small group and society level is important for the training of leaders and teachers.
There were five societies functioning when the First Triennial Delegate Assembly met in l964. For this one and only time, the delegates elected all 36 members of the General Council. Terms were staggered so that all subsequent assemblies would elect one-third of the General Council. Triennial Delegate Assemblies have been held every three years since 1964.
The first decade witnessed gradual growth. Only about 30 Urantia Books per month were sold or otherwise distributed in the first ten years. Only five societies were established. There were hardly a score of study groups meeting. A Urantia Brotherhood School had functioned for some years in Chicago but did not operate nationwide.
The mid and late 60’s brought change and more rapid growth. Starting in 1963, Summer Study Sessions were held at 533. For a couple of days each year, approximately 100 students from around the nation had an opportunity to study and fellowship together. Six Summer Study Sessions were held from 1963 to 1972.
In 1966, sales of The Urantia Book began to climb dramatically. Around 700 books were sold that year. By 1973, the figure was almost 10,000 per year where it has reached a plateau once again. Many study groups sprang into being. Several more societies were chartered.
The growth necessitated several adjustments, which began early in the 1970’s, and persist in the current day. There has occurred an increasingly intricate networking of individuals and groups. One of the chief avenues for fellowship has been the conference, both regional and general. When 533 Diversey Parkway was outgrown, a Summer Study Session was held in 1974 at Kendall College in Evanston, Illinois, and attracted 300 people. In 1973, 400 students of The Urantia Book attended the first General Conference of Urantia Brotherhood at Kendall College. In addition, Urantia Societies hosted large conferences in Los Angeles in 1973, and in Oklahoma in 1976. Regional conferences began to proliferate and are now regularly held in every part of the United States, as well as several Canadian provinces. In 1974, a larger general conference took place in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Almost 600 people were present for a variegated week=long program. Colorado is the site of the 1981 General Conference.
Concurrent with the spread of conference activities, newsletters began to proliferate. Three publications now emanate from headquarters – Urantia Brotherhood Bulletin, The Urantia Journal of Urantia Brotherhood, and UrantiaN News from Urantia Foundation. Over a dozen regionally sponsored periodicals issue from all parts of the country. The Agondonter is the oldest of the regional newsletters having started in the early ‘60’s with a movement-wide scope. All others began in the 70’s.
One of the most important developments of the 1970’s was the rapid multiplication of study groups. Estimated numbers range from 200 – 300 groups worldwide. The study group is the fundamental unit for the conservation and socialization of the Urantia teachings.
A small office staff has serviced the day-to-day matters in the Brotherhood-Foundation office for many years. In the early days, it was entirely volunteer. A few salaried employees have been added. These workers currently answer several thousand letters and inquiries each year, greet several hundred visitors annually, send out approximately 10,000 Urantia Books, as well as perform numerous other administrative duties.
Believing that healthy growth lies in a person-to-person dissemination of the Urantia teachings, it has been the policy not to advertise The Urantia Book. In addition, an important concern of Brotherhood and Foundation leadership has been to prevent or curtail publicity and sensationalism from being attached to the Urantia teachings of the Urantia movement.
Through its first 30 years, Urantia Foundation has maintained an attitude of vigilance with regard to the text of The Urantia Book. It has entered several legal contests to protect the copyright to The Urantia Book, and the registered mark Urantia, and has thus far emerged successfully. Many ongoing legal concerns and complexities regularly demand the Trustees’ attention.
Urantia Brotherhood continues to expand its activities of study and dissemination. The nine standing
Committees are engaging in more energetic programs and frequently working in concert with one another. The Urantia movement is beginning to fill out the Constitutional structure of the Brotherhood.
International spread of the Urantia teachings started almost immediately after publication of the Urantia Book with the donation in 1956 of 100 books to various libraries outside the United States, by the International Fellowship Committee (then named Foreign Extension Committee.) The recipients were five English-speaking countries of the world: Canada, Australia, Great Britain, South Africa, and New Zealand. Over the past 25 years, the foreign sale and distribution of The Urantia Book has generally been heaviest among these countries. Many other donations of books by Urantia Brotherhood, Urantia Foundation, as well as by individual readers, have, over the years helped to place the book in more than 100 nations and territories of the world. More than 5,000 copies of The Urantia Book are in lands outside the United States.
Pockets of readers have arisen and study group activity has occurred in a number of non-English-speaking areas, including Finland, France, Belgium, Quebec, Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, India, and Colombia. A study group in Helsinki, Finland has been studying The Urantia Book the past 15 years, and the group’s activity has included steady work on a Finnish translation of The Urantia Book in cooperation with Urantia Foundation.
A French translation of The Urantia Book, however, due to a court action by Urantia Foundation against the translator-publisher for enforcement of the terms of their contract, the work became unavailable in the early 1970’s. Urantia Foundation is now laying the groundwork t once again make a French version available. Nevertheless, French-speaking students have continued to study and grow, form groups, and interest new people I the Urantia teachings. There are several regular French-speaking study groups in France, Belgium, and Quebec, Canada.
While international growth in the first 25 years has been modest, the destiny of the Urantia movement lays in the dissemination of the Urantia teachings to all peoples and to all nations of our spiritually beleaguered planet.
“All Urantia is waiting for the proclamation of the ennobling message of Michael, unencumbered by the accumulated doctrines and dogmas of nineteen centuries of contact with the religions of evolutionary origin. The hour is striking for presenting to Buddhism, to Christianity, to Hinduism, even to the peoples of all faiths, not the gospel about Jesus, but the living, spiritual reality of the gospel of Jesus.”
“It is forever true: the past is unchangeable; only the future can be changed by the ministry of the present creativity of the inner self.”
“The call to the adventure of building a new and transformed human society by means of the spiritual rebirth of Jesus’ brotherhood of the kingdom should thrill all who believe in Him as men have not been stirred since the days when they walked about on earth as Him companions in the flesh.”
What can we anticipate for The Urantia Book and the Urantia movement? Both are clearly still in their infancy and it is many years before the time of robust maturity. We must bear in mind that our revelation is intended to stimulate mortals for the next thousand years.
We must not circumvent evolution in our haste; at the same time, we much not obstruct it through our sloth, like the unfaithful steward. We know it is appropriate to strive for a burgeoning network of study groups. We know it is vital to make The Urantia Book available to people of all languages. We know it is proper to zealously protect the integrity of the teachings and of the Book itself, even while we work to establish a firm base, which will withstand adversity.
Perceptions concerning the healthy growth and expansion of the Urantia movement have varied widely. At one time, it was thought by some, that there would be 10,000 study groups in existence by this time. Others adjust slowly even to the growth we have experienced. Handling an epochal revelation is new and challenging for everyone. The Urantia Book itself provides a wealth of material on how a revelation may best proceed:
Van was loyal and courageous, steadfastly maintaining a clear picture of the true purpose of all his efforts. “The wise man is able to distinguish between means and ends; otherwise, sometimes over planning for the
future defeats its own high purpose.”
We should strive to be like Van and his later followers, carefully tending the seeds of our teachings now, in anticipation of their eventual flowering into the worldwide acceptance of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man.
We may not see the revelation of “life everlasting, incorruptible, and immortal” come with great power. It must be our purpose simply to be true to the highest principle that we know from day to day. “The act is ours; the consequences God’s.”
What lessons do we have from Adam and Eve? First, we know that isolation gradually wore down their spirits. Isolation is best avoided whether as individuals or as groups.
We also know that Adam and Eve would have been successful “…had they been more farseeing and patient.” They did not settle down to the “long, long endurance test.” We are told, “…stagnation is certain death, but that over-rapid growth is equally suicidal.”
Melchizedek missionaries and the followers of Jesus were party successful in their efforts. Where their teachings failed, it was due to the fact that they attempted too much. They became entangled in the “…cause of reforming the mores,” and “…their great mission was sidetracked…”
“Jesus chose to establish the kingdom of heaven I the hearts of mankind by natural, ordinary, difficult, and trying methods, just such procedures as His earth children must subsequently follow I their work of enlarging and extending that heavenly kingdom. For well did the Son of Man know that it would be ‘through much tribulation that many of the children of all ages would enter into the kingdom.”
Our work of extending the Urantia revelation will not always bring peace, but sometimes many joys and sorrows.
The following philosophy of action was suggested during the early years of Urantia Brotherhood:
“God is the only true end. Our primary spiritual loyalty and dedication is to the Universal Father, and to Him alone.” “The Urantia Book itself is not an end – it is a most important means to an end. It is designed to promote the Book, and the Book is designed to bring God and man closer to each other.” “Here we should make a vital distinction between that which is value and that which has value.” ”Not since the Gospel of Jesus has there appeared on earth such a dynamic nucleus about which could be built so many organizations and which would attract so many differently activated men – good, bad, and indifferent.”
“Religion does need new leaders, spiritual men and women who will dare to depend solely on Jesus and his incomparable teachings. If Christianity persists in neglecting its spiritual mission while it continues to busy itself with social and material problems, the spiritual renaissance must await the coming of these new teachers of Jesus’ religion who will be exclusively devoted to the spiritual regeneration of men. And then, will these spirit-born souls quickly supply the leadership and inspiration requisite for the social, moral, economic, and political reorganization of the world.”
“Future religionists must live out their religion, dedicate themselves to the wholehearted service of the brotherhood of man.”
While The Urantia Book lists numerous dangers of institutional religion, it also recognizes that “there is a real purpose in the socialization of religion,” and that no religion has thus far succeeded without it. In the current day, organization is needed to deter other organizations. May we strive to blend the idealism of Abner with the ideism of Paul. In our movement, both must have a place.
A generation has passed since the Urantia revelation was injected into the stream of humanity. It has sometimes met with narrow-mindedness and intolerance; it has been submerged in the doldrums of theological complacence. Best of all, it has slipped quietly into many a far-away place that we have never seen, found a kindly welcome; and brought back messages of good cheer from unknown friends.
Even so, the Fifth Epochal Revelation is still in its beginnings and we are privileged, if we choose, to play a part in world advancement.
The future is not open to our mortal comprehension, but we will do well to diligently study the order, plan, and methods of progression as they were enacted in the earth life of Michael when the Word was made flesh. We are becoming actors in an ensuing episode when the Word is made Book. Great is the difference in these dispensations of religion, but many are the lessons which can be learned from a study of the former age.”
“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 of 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.”
“Thousands of study groups must be brought into existence, and the Book must be translated into many tongues. Thus will the Book be in readiness to comfort and enlighten the peoples of many languages when the battle for man’s liberty is finally won and the world is once more made safe for the religion of Jesus and the freedom of mankind.”
“Be not discouraged; human evolution is still in progress, and the revelation of God to the world, in and through Jesus, shall not fail.”
A Service of
The Urantia Book Fellowship