I was born and raised in a small Wyoming farm town at the foot of the magnificent Big Horn mountains. My parents came from Greek and English backgrounds. A rather shy, Catholic boy, I was definitely being groomed for the priesthood as I performed my altar-boy duties.
Right from the get-go I felt a deep personal relationship with Jesus. But by age 15, having endured much family turmoil and dysfunction, I said goodbye to Catholicism and began my search for personal identity and truth. I could not buy into that particular brand of religion, because I knew somehow, somewhere deep in my soul, that there was more to it than "We're the best and the one and only true religion." Besides, my nuclear family began to disintegrate and I became very confused. How could God allow so much pain in my life and in the lives of those I loved?
From the beginning my quest involved complete separation from the society that I had known up to that point. By 1970, having transferred to Idaho State University in Pocatello, I began taking drugs to get high. I was full of questions: Who am I? Where am I going? What is my purpose? My intellect was always at work questioning, but no answers quite "got it" for me.
One evening I was directed to someone's house to buy pot. I had no idea who this person was but I went with the flow. As we became acquainted and transacted our business, there was something about him, something in the steady gaze of his eyes, that attracted me. I went back to his place unannounced a few days later. We talked for a long time about life and what we thought we were looking for. As I prepared to leave, he handed me this big blue book, saying, "Here. Read this and come back and tell me what you think of it."
As I carried it home, The Urantia Book seemed to have a radiance of its own - it pulsated - and I knew, before I'd even opened the cover, that I had something very good in my 19-year- old hands.
I got home, climbed into bed, and excitedly opened the book. Although the names and terminology were foreign to me, as I skimmed through the pages, mini-lights went off in my head. It all simply and immediately rang true within my being. I knew I had a major tool to help answer those questions of identity and purpose. What relief I felt! What inner peace!
Now, thirty years later, I admit that I still have ups and downs as I captain my ship through both the calm and choppy waters of mortal life. But I have a wonderful pilot by my side; I am never alone. The UB is always close by to offer new insights, even from the same page or sentence that I may have read fifty times previously. And all I can say from my tippy-tippy toes to the toppy-top of my now nearly hairless head is: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!