A Firm Foundation for Growth

Submitted by Cheryl Zents

As a young wife and mother-to-be, I left the University of California at Santa Barbara and, together with my husband Richard and all our belongings in a pickup truck, we headed for Denver, Colorado, where Richard had grown up. We rented a small apartment in Northglenn, Richard took a job at a grocery store, and we settled in to prepare for family life. In January 1971 the first of our three children was born, and with not much money, we frequented the public libraries for entertainment.

I had spent my high-school days enthralled by astrology, witchcraft, mediums, psychic phenomena, prophecy, and paganism. In college I believed that everything was relative and that there was no God. Then during my pregnancy my mother-in-law lent me Except for Thee and Me by Jessamyn West, and I was so intrigued by this story about Quaker life and their socially active yet peace-abiding ways that I began attending a Quaker “silent service.” About this time I also started to wonder about Jesus, and bought Jesus, Son of Man, by Kahlil Gibran.

One day late in 1971 I was in the library browsing the titles in the Occult/Religion/Philosophy section when I noticed a very large book that I had never seen before. I opened it to page 167, which lists the number of superuniverses, constellations and local universes in the cosmos, and somewhat indignantly thought to myself, “By what authority do they number the universes? Oh well, I’ll just take it home for a good laugh.”

A few days later, I began to read about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. I always knew there must be more to the story than the snake and the apple, and even though the book seemed kind of strange, here was an account that made sense. The more I read, the more I was intrigued, and somewhat grudgingly I became convinced that it was all true . .. that this book really was the revelation that it purported to be. This all happened within a matter of days, and I began to skip around in the book as my interest led me. By this technique, it took me quite a while to piece together what a Thought Adjuster was, but I was thrilled and amazed to find that the beloved Jesus of my childhood was the actual creator and ruler of our local universe. I used my birthday money to order my own precious copy of the third edition in early 1972. At that time, $15 was a lot to pay for a book.

I tried to interest my husband and in-laws in the book but had no success whatsoever. We moved to Southern California, and after studying alone for two or three years, I finally wrote a dramatic letter to the Urantia Foundation in Chicago: “My family scorns me, my friends ridicule me. Is there anyone else in the world who reads this book besides me?” I got a very understanding and informative letter back from Christy, telling me all about the Foundation and the Urantia Brotherhood, and referring me to Julia Fenderson, who was the West Coast Field Representative. Through Julia I became active in the Urantia Society in Los Angeles and attended wonderful study groups.

The Urantia Book is a profound gift, but I have learned that a gift can only be given where it can be truly received; not everyone is ready or willing to receive a revelation of Gods love in this form. I also enjoy A Course in Miracles and The Dances of Universal Peace, which I’ve been able to share with others, some of whom are also open to The Urantia Book.

I feel that the book has provided a firm foundation for growth in all areas of my life, and I will always be grateful for the light that it has shed upon my path.

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