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Origin of the Urantia Papers

A summary of remarks by Mark Roser at a meeting in the Boulder School of Urantia,
August, 1985, concerning his
interview with Dr. William Sadler in the late 1950's.

"Dr. William Sadler had an elaborate summer home in Beverly Shores, Indiana, about a half mile from my home on the lake front. It was about 1959 when a mutual friend, who was also a patient of Dr. Sadler's, suggested that I meet him at his home. She was a reader of the Urantia Book at that time, and thought that I would be interested in the subject.

She had urged him to meet me, as well, as she knew that I had been a student of parapsychology for some time and also interested in spiritual matters.

Accordingly, I went with her to his home on a Saturday afternoon where a large number of people were visiting him and having an outdoor picnic. It was in the fall of the year and the weather was mild.

When I was introduced to him in the yard, he greeted me cordially and immediately suggested that we go inside to his private office for a talk. I was impressed at his eagerness to spend some time with me and leave his guests, but subsequent events threw some light as to why.

As we talked he began by sharing some of his professional experiences with me. He said that he was the thirteenth student of Freud and was also a member of the British Royal Academy of Scientists.

When I asked him directly about where the papers came from and who wrote them, he said: 'I don't know', in a matter of fact way, without hesitation or show of emotional defense, indicating that there are many events which do not have a scientific explanation.

Prior to that time I had had some contact with parapsychological phenomena, and I had participated in experiments conducted in the Harvard School of Psychology, which I then shared with Dr. Sadler.

He talked about his long interest in these matters, and how he had 'exposed' some false so-called mediums who had used trickery to impress people. He said that he had published a book about some of these experiments, which he now regretted.

With this common background of experiences, he then spoke freely of his contact with a man, whose name he didn't mention, who met him 'on the street' and asked him if he would be part of a psychic experiment, which would consist of asking written questions on any subject and receiving a written essay on these questions the following Monday. He was told to put the questions on the inside of his roll-top desk.

Dr. Sadler agreed, and proceeded to do so with the help of some friends who met regularly in his home for intellectual discussion. Writing out the questions, they put them inside his desk on Saturday evening, and on Monday morning received written responses to their questions.

After some sessions of following these instructions, and receiving the answers inside his locked desk the following Monday, it dawned on the group that they were contacting, in some unknown and mysterious way, a source of almost unlimited intelligence, but accurate, wise, and well-written in the English language.

In order to ask more appropriate and more profound questions, Dr. Sadler then contacted associates in the local universities who were experienced in scientific, philosophic, and theologic matters, to help write the questions.

The process and the answers continued to enthral the group, and their involvement and excitement continued to grow.

To illustrate the mental state of cautiousness of Dr. Sadler, I remember him saying that in the early stages he became a little concerned when Mrs. Sadler began to regard the answers 'too sincerely'.

Another incident which impressed me of the objectivity of Dr. Sadler was his description of how he once placed the written questions in his locked security box in a downtown bank vault. The answers came as usual on the following Monday morning, with a note to 'please don't do this again as it caused a bit of trouble'.

When, eventually, the papers began to describe the personalities of each of the twelve disciples, the descriptions were so realistic and complete, with such detailed analysis of their human and spiritual natures, that Dr. Sadler decided to share the papers by having them published.

This interview made a deep impression on me, and to this day I have continued to study the papers with an ever-expanding group of associates and friends.

Among the Urantia Fellowship there is an opinion that not too much attention should be focused on the fourth dimensional origin of the papers, in that it might detract from the essential teaching of the book.

I acknowledge the sincerity of this concern. However, in our growing state of awareness of the extra-sensory aspects of spiritual phenomena, it becomes increasingly appropriate to recognize and satisfy, to the extent possible, the natural curiosity of Urantia readers regarding the power of our spiritual Creator to make the wonders of His creation known.

In this spirit I share this revelation, so as to enhance the great blessing which is now offered through the Urantia Papers, to deepen our realization of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man.

In our secular world, with its great pressures to dismiss spiritual experiences, the lessons are of increasing significance. Not only are we better able to understand and appreciate the skill and devotion of the few human beings who assisted in bringing these papers into reality, but we can also experience, more fully, the spiritual nature of the reality in which we live. We can know the Father's love in a more direct and personal way, aware of the consistent, spiritual help which surrounds us, individually and in our associations with one another.

With renewed confidence we can experience, through direct communion with our Creator, a knowledge of who we are, an understanding of the nature of our lives, and acceptance of our ultimate spiritual destiny--if we so choose, banishing forever those feelings of loneliness, fear, and desperation which perpetuate the dark side of our human condition."

Mark Roser
Beverley Shores, Indiana
August 15, 1985