Q: I am always searching for the right religion or spiritual practice to believe in. This feels like a never-ending quest, and it’s very tiring! Spiritual writings seem to tell us that we will find peace when we find truth, but I am not at peace—even when I read The Urantia Book. What does The Urantia Book say about the search for ‘real’ religion, and how can I know when I’ve found it?
A: It sounds like you have not read quite enough of The Urantia Book yet. I would strongly suggest that you read the Religion Papers, starting HERE. These papers are some of the most inspiring papers in The Urantia Book, and some of my all-time favorites regarding religion. Read them all carefully, and then, read them again. They go from Paper 99 to Paper 103.
In a nutshell, The Urantia Book‘s teachings on religion boil down to this: you are indwelt by a fragment of God, and this indwelling Spirit is there to help guide you into a knowledge of God’s will, and to help you grow your immortal soul. Your religion is a personal relationship with God, and is manifested and made real by your own personal experience with God.
We like to call this “smart religion,” because it addresses your personal needs for connection to God from within; it is just between you and God – no one else. You have the perfect guide right inside of you; it is very smart to take advantage of this amazing gift
You will not find it from without, but you WILL find it by going within and establishing that personal relationship with God. You can read the words of spiritual writing all day long, but even the teachings of The Urantia Book will not help you unless, and until, you reach up to God, who is ALL Truth. When you do, he will reciprocate by reaching down to you; you will eventually achieve the peace that you seek when you make that effort. You’ll start to find evidence of this “real religion” in your personal experience; it will be meaningful to you, personal and profound.
Some thoughts from the religion papers, referenced above:
“…true religion is the devotion of the self to the service of meaningful and supreme values.”
“True religion is to know God as your Father and man as your brother.”
“True religion is a wholehearted devotion to some reality which the religionist deems to be of supreme value to himself and for all mankind.”
“Since true religion is a matter of personal spiritual experience, it is inevitable that each individual religionist must have his own and personal interpretation of the realization of that spiritual experience.”
“…religion is genuine and worth while if it fosters in the individual an experience in which the sovereignty of truth, beauty, and goodness prevails, for such is the true spiritual concept of supreme reality. And through love and worship this becomes meaningful as fellowship with man and sonship with God.”
Some other helpful quotes: Click on the links to open the text.
(2:6.1) In the physical universe we may see the divine beauty, in the intellectual world we may discern eternal truth, but the goodness of God is found only in the spiritual world of personal religious experience. In its true essence, religion is a faith-trust in the goodness of God. God could be great and absolute, somehow even intelligent and personal, in philosophy, but in religion God must also be moral; he must be good. Man might fear a great God, but he trusts and loves only a good God. This goodness of God is a part of the personality of God, and its full revelation appears only in the personal religious experience of the believing sons of God.
(5:4.2) The great and immediate service of true religion is the establishment of an enduring unity in human experience, a lasting peace and a profound assurance.
I could go on, but it is up to you to make the effort now. Persevere in your quest for God—it is the most satisfying journey you will ever make. Once you begin to have that personal spiritual experience for yourself, you will find what you are looking for. The Urantia Book will give you the tools, but you have to do the work with those tools—so keep reading, and don’t give up!