To tell you the truth, I don't feel that I found The Urantia Book. Rather, it feels as if the book found me through a conspiracy of circumstances that I believe was the work of angels and midwayers.
It was January 1970, a time of turmoil, risk, decisions, and changes. I was in my third year of graduate study in clinical psychology at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. I had just decided to separate from my wife of seven years. I was so unhappy in this relationship that I was willing to give up everything material and even live apart from my precious six-year-old daughter. My first task was to find a place to live. Since it was in the middle of the academic year, few inexpensive apartments were available. I finally found a room - actually a second-story, screened-in porch that had storm windows placed over the screens. The furniture consisted of a small cot, a desk, and a closet. I shared a kitchen and bath with two other students.
Coincidentally, the student living across the hall had discovered The Urantia Book during his four-year stint in the Navy. David Jones had just returned to college following his discharge. (He has his own amazing tale of finding The Urantia Book through a woman in the hills of California, but that's another story.)
One of the first evenings after moving in, while David was making popcorn and I was warming up a can of soup, he struck up a conversation with me. After discovering my field of study, he asked, "What do they teach about God and religion in psychology?"
"They don't!" I answered.
"Well, what do you think about God and religion?" he inquired.
"I'm not sure," I responded. "I think I believe there's a God but I just don't know...."
I had been raised in a very religious family in a small town in Iowa. From an early age I attended a conservative Protestant church where The Bible was interpreted literally. If a person were to doubt one part of the literal interpretation of The Bible, then "you might as well throw out the whole thing." The anatomy courses I had taken in college convinced me of the evolutionary process. Pow! Now what do I believe? Not the biblical Adam and Eve story. For about five years I had been living with this unresolved conflict between evolution and The Bible.
That evening, David took the opportunity to suggest that I might want to look at an interesting book he had found while in the Navy, The Urantia Book. He invited me to stop by his room sometime.
It didn't take long before I took him up on it, both of us being somewhat alone at the time. David had a large room compared to mine and he owned a stereo system! All I had were my clothes and books. He began to share some passages from the book. Of course, I was curious about what this book had to say about evolution. Immediately I was impressed. The Urantia Book unified science and religion. I could believe in God and in evolution. What a deal! My dilemma was forever resolved. And the book did so much more.
Little did I know that this was just phase one of the conspiracy. "They [angels] cannot fully control the affairs of their respective realms of action, but they can and do so manipulate planetary conditions and so associate circumstances as favorably to influence the spheres of human activity to which they are attached" (p. 1256)
With a new semester and a new set of classes, I met a student named Barbara Newsom. We became friends. One afternoon we were at a pizza shop and during our conversation I mentioned that my new friend David had shared a very interesting book that I had not heard of before. "I think it's called Uracia or something," I said.
"Not The Urantia Book?!" she inquired emphatically. Suddenly, I felt overwhelmed. The feeling was somewhat frightening. I stood up and walked out of the pizza place into the parking lot, somewhat dazed. What was going on here? Two new friends who both knew of a revelatory book that I had never heard of before?
I came to find out that Dr. Myers of Newton, Kansas, had introduced Barbara's family to The Urantia Book amidst a curious set of circumstances following the death of Barbara's sister. But that's another story as well.
I cannot begin to describe the many ways in which The Urantia Book has changed my thinking, my decisions, and my life. I am so grateful for this magnificent revelation of the nature of the universe and my heavenly Dad, and for the wonderful brotherhood of believers - individuals, couples, and families - that I have had the opportunity to become friends with.