Is Devotion Desirable?
Is loyalty —devotion to highest duty—desirable? Then must man carry on amid the possibilities of betrayal and desertion. The valor of devotion to duty consists in the implied danger of default. ~ The Urantia Book, (3:5.12)
Devote your Life...
When they had finished breakfast, and while the others sat by the fire, Jesus beckoned to Peter and to John that they should come with him for a stroll on the beach. As they walked along, Jesus said to John, "John, do you love me?" And when John answered, "Yes, Master, with all my heart," the Master said: "Then, John, give up your intolerance and learn to love men as I have loved you. Devote your life to proving that love is the greatest thing in the world. It is the love of God that impels men to seek salvation. Love is the ancestor of all spiritual goodness, the essence of the true and the beautiful." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (192:2.1)
The mechanistic naturalism of some supposedly educated men and the thoughtless secularism of the man in the street are both exclusively concerned with things; they are barren of all real values, sanctions, and satisfactions of a spiritual nature, as well as being devoid of faith, hope, and eternal assurances. One of the great troubles with modern life is that man thinks he is too busy to find time for spiritual meditation and religious devotion. ~ The Urantia Book, (195:6.7)
In winning souls for the Master, it is not the first mile of compulsion, duty, or convention that will transform man and his world, but rather the second mile of free service and liberty-loving devotion that betokens the Jesusonian reaching forth to grasp his brother in love and sweep him on under spiritual guidance toward the higher and divine goal of mortal existence. Christianity even now willingly goes the first mile, but mankind languishes and stumbles along in moral darkness because there are so few genuine second-milers—so few professed followers of Jesus who really live and love as he taught his disciples to live and love and serve. ~ The Urantia Book, (195:10.5)
Devotion to God
We do not worship the Father because of anything we may derive from such veneration; we render such devotion and engage in such worship as a natural and spontaneous reaction to the recognition of the Father's matchless personality and because of his lovable nature and adorable attributes. ~ The Urantia Book, (5:3.3)
Freewill is Involved With Devotion
The relative free will which characterizes the self-consciousness of human personality is involved in:
- Moral decision, highest wisdom.
- Spiritual choice, truth discernment.
- Unselfish love, brotherhood service.
- Purposeful co-operation, group loyalty.
- Cosmic insight, the grasp of universe meanings.
- Personality dedication, wholehearted devotion to doing the Father's will.
- Worship, the sincere pursuit of divine values and the wholehearted love of the divine Value-Giver. ~ The Urantia Book, (16:8.7)
The Magisterial Sons are Devoted Ministers
At the headquarters of his local universe a Creator Son, especially after the completion of his own mortal bestowal, spends much of his time in counseling and instructing the college of associate Sons, the Magisterial Sons and others. In love and devotion, with tender mercy and affectionate consideration, these Magisterial Sons bestow themselves upon the worlds of space. And in no way are these planetary services inferior to the mortal bestowals of the Michaels. ~ The Urantia Book, (20:5.6)
In the Spirit-Kingdom is Devotion
Notwithstanding this double disaster to man's nature and his environment, present-day mortals would experience less of this apparent warfare between the flesh and the spirit if they would enter the spirit kingdom, wherein the faith sons of God enjoy comparative deliverance from the slave-bondage of the flesh in the enlightened and liberating service of wholehearted devotion to doing the will of the Father in heaven. Jesus showed mankind the new way of mortal living whereby human beings may very largely escape the dire consequences of the Caligastic rebellion and most effectively compensate for the deprivations resulting from the Adamic default." The spirit of the life of Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of animal living and the temptations of evil and sin." "This is the victory that overcomes the flesh, even your faith." ~ The Urantia Book, (34:7.6)
A Devoted Seraphic Commander
There were many noble and inspiring acts of devotion and loyalty which were performed by numerous personalities during the interim between the outbreak of hostilities and the arrival of the new system ruler and his staff. But the most thrilling of all these daring feats of devotion was the courageous conduct of Manotia, the second in command of the Satania headquarters' seraphim. ~ The Urantia Book, (53:6.1)
The Revelators Admire our Primitive Ancestors
The struggles of these early ages were characterized by courage, bravery, and even heroism. And we all regret that so many of those sterling and rugged traits of your early ancestors have been lost to the later-day races. While we appreciate the value of many of the refinements of advancing civilization, we miss the magnificent persistency and superb devotion of your early ancestors, which oftentimes bordered on grandeur and sublimity. ~ The Urantia Book, (64:7.20)
The Devotion of Amadon, a Hero of the Lucifer Rebellion
This seven years of waiting was a time of heart searching and soul discipline. Such crises in the affairs of a universe demonstrate the tremendous influence of mind as a factor in spiritual choosing. Education, training, and experience are factors in most of the vital decisions of all evolutionary moral creatures. But it is entirely possible for the indwelling spirit to make direct contact with the decision-determining powers of the human personality so as to empower the fully consecrated will of the creature to perform amazing acts of loyal devotion to the will and the way of the Father in Paradise. And this is just what occurred in the experience of Amadon, the modified human associate of Van. ~ The Urantia Book, (67:3.7)
The Lucifer rebellion was withstood by many courageous beings on the various worlds of Satania; but the records of Salvington portray Amadon as the outstanding character of the entire system in his glorious rejection of the flood tides of sedition and in his unswerving devotion to Van—they stood together unmoved in their loyalty to the supremacy of the invisible Father and his Son Michael.
At the time of these momentous transactions I was stationed on Edentia, and I am still conscious of the exhilaration I experienced as I perused the Salvington broadcasts which told from day to day of the unbelievable steadfastness, the transcendent devotion, and the exquisite loyalty of this onetime semisavage springing from the experimental and original stock of the Andonic race.
From Edentia up through Salvington and even on to Uversa, for seven long years the first inquiry of all subordinate celestial life regarding the Satania rebellion, ever and always, was: "What of Amadon of Urantia, does he still stand unmoved?" ~ The Urantia Book, (67:8.1)
No national civilization long endures unless its educational methods and religious ideals inspire a high type of intelligent patriotism and national devotion. Without this sort of intelligent patriotism and cultural solidarity, all nations tend to disintegrate as a result of provincial jealousies and local self-interests. ~ The Urantia Book, (81:6.35)
Devotion and the Family
The real test of marriage, all down through the ages, has been that continuous intimacy which is inescapable in all family life. Two pampered and spoiled youths, educated to expect every indulgence and full gratification of vanity and ego, can hardly hope to make a great success of marriage and home building—a lifelong partnership of self-effacement, compromise, devotion, and unselfish dedication to child culture. ~ The Urantia Book, (83:7.6)
A family of some simple sort was insured by the fact that the reproductive function entails the mother-child relationship. Mother love is instinctive; it did not originate in the mores as did marriage. All mammalian mother love is the inherent endowment of the adjutant mind-spirits of the local universe and is in strength and devotion always directly proportional to the length of the helpless infancy of the species. ~ The Urantia Book, (84:1.6)
Human society would be greatly improved if the civilized races would more generally return to the family-council practices of the Andites. They did not maintain the patriarchal or autocratic form of family government. They were very brotherly and associative, freely and frankly discussing every proposal and regulation of a family nature. They were ideally fraternal in all their family government. In an ideal family filial and parental affection are both augmented by fraternal devotion. ~ The Urantia Book, (84:7.29)
It is our sincere belief that the gospel of Jesus' teaching, founded as it is on the father-child relationship, can hardly enjoy a world-wide acceptance until such a time as the home life of the modern civilized peoples embraces more of love and more of wisdom. Notwithstanding that parents of the twentieth century possess great knowledge and increased truth for improving the home and ennobling the home life, it remains a fact that very few modern homes are such good places in which to nurture boys and girls as Jesus' home in Galilee and John Mark's home in Judea, albeit the acceptance of Jesus' gospel will result in the immediate improvement of home life. The love life of a wise home and the loyal devotion of true religion exert a profound reciprocal influence upon each other. Such a home life enhances religion, and genuine religion always glorifies the home. ~ The Urantia Book, (177:2.6)
Primitive religion was largely a material-value consciousness, but civilization elevates religious values, for true religion is the devotion of the self to the service of meaningful and supreme values. As religion evolves, ethics becomes the philosophy of morals, and morality becomes the discipline of self by the standards of highest meanings and supreme values—divine and spiritual ideals. And thus religion becomes a spontaneous and exquisite devotion, the living experience of the loyalty of love.
The quality of a religion is indicated by:
- Level of values—loyalties.
- Depth of meanings—the sensitization of the individual to the idealistic appreciation of these highest values.
- Consecration intensity—the degree of devotion to these divine values.
- The unfettered progress of the personality in this cosmic path of idealistic spiritual living, realization of sonship with God and never-ending progressive citizenship in the universe. ~ The Urantia Book, (92:7.5)
Evolutionary religions and revelatory religions may differ markedly in method, but in motive there is great similarity. Religion is not a specific function of life; rather is it a mode of living. True religion is a wholehearted devotion to some reality which the religionist deems to be of supreme value to himself and for all mankind. And the outstanding characteristics of all religions are: unquestioning loyalty and wholehearted devotion to supreme values. This religious devotion to supreme values is shown in the relation of the supposedly irreligious mother to her child and in the fervent loyalty of nonreligionists to an espoused cause. ~ The Urantia Book, (100:6.1)
Even evolutionary religion is all of this in loyalty and grandeur because it is a genuine experience. But revelatory religion is excellent as well as genuine. The new loyalties of enlarged spiritual vision create new levels of love and devotion, of service and fellowship; and all this enhanced social outlook produces an enlarged consciousness of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. ~ The Urantia Book, (100:6.8)
The certainties of science proceed entirely from the intellect; the certitudes of religion spring from the very foundations of the entire personality. Science appeals to the understanding of the mind; religion appeals to the loyalty and devotion of the body, mind, and spirit, even to the whole personality. ~ The Urantia Book, (102:1.4)
There is a reality in religious experience that is proportional to the spiritual content, and such a reality is transcendent to reason, science, philosophy, wisdom, and all other human achievements. The convictions of such an experience are unassailable; the logic of religious living is incontrovertible; the certainty of such knowledge is superhuman; the satisfactions are superbly divine, the courage indomitable, the devotions unquestioning, the loyalties supreme, and the destinies final—eternal, ultimate, and universal. ~ The Urantia Book, (103:9.12)
Three Forms of Religious Devotion
While the religions of the world have a double origin—natural and revelatory—at any one time and among any one people there are to be found three distinct forms of religious devotion. And these three manifestations of the religious urge are:
- Primitive religion. The seminatural and instinctive urge to fear mysterious energies and worship superior forces, chiefly a religion of the physical nature, the religion of fear.
- The religion of civilization. The advancing religious concepts and practices of the civilizing races—the religion of the mind—the intellectual theology of the authority of established religious tradition.
- True religion—the religion of revelation. The revelation of supernatural values, a partial insight into eternal realities, a glimpse of the goodness and beauty of the infinite character of the Father in heaven—the religion of the spirit as demonstrated in human experience. ~ The Urantia Book, (155:5.2)
The Devoted Thought Adjusters
As far as I am conversant with the affairs of a universe, I regard the love and devotion of a Thought Adjuster as the most truly divine affection in all creation. The love of the Sons in their ministry to the races is superb, but the devotion of an Adjuster to the individual is touchingly sublime, divinely Fatherlike. The Paradise Father has apparently reserved this form of personal contact with his individual creatures as an exclusive Creator prerogative. And there is nothing in all the universe of universes exactly comparable to the marvelous ministry of these impersonal entities that so fascinatingly indwell the children of the evolutionary planets. ~ The Urantia Book, (110:0.2)
The Book of Psalms - A Devotional Treasue
No collection of religious writings gives expression to such a wealth of devotion and inspirational ideas of God as the Book of Psalms. And it would be very helpful if, in the perusal of this wonderful collection of worshipful literature, consideration could be given to the source and chronology of each separate hymn of praise and adoration, bearing in mind that no other single collection covers such a great range of time. This Book of Psalms is the record of the varying concepts of God entertained by the believers of the Salem religion throughout the Levant and embraces the entire period from Amenemope to Isaiah. In the Psalms God is depicted in all phases of conception, from the crude idea of a tribal deity to the vastly expanded ideal of the later Hebrews, wherein Yahweh is pictured as a loving ruler and merciful Father.
And when thus regarded, this group of Psalms constitutes the most valuable and helpful assortment of devotional sentiments ever assembled by man up to the times of the twentieth century. The worshipful spirit of this collection of hymns transcends that of all other sacred books of the world. ~ The Urantia Book, (96:7.3)
The Devoted Jesus
Jesus was an unusually cheerful person, but he was not a blind and unreasoning optimist. His constant word of exhortation was, "Be of good cheer." He could maintain this confident attitude because of his unswerving trust in God and his unshakable confidence in man. He was always touchingly considerate of all men because he loved them and believed in them. Still he was always true to his convictions and magnificently firm in his devotion to the doing of his Father's will. ~ The Urantia Book, (100:7.9)
He denounced slavish devotion to meaningless ceremonials and exposed the fallacy of materialistic worship. He boldly proclaimed man's spiritual freedom and dared to teach that mortals of the flesh are indeed and in truth sons of the living God. ~ The Urantia Book, (149:2.10)
Jesus' devotion to the Father's will and the service of man was even more than mortal decision and human determination; it was a wholehearted consecration of himself to such an unreserved bestowal of love. No matter how great the fact of the sovereignty of Michael, you must not take the human Jesus away from men. The Master has ascended on high as a man, as well as God; he belongs to men; men belong to him. How unfortunate that religion itself should be so misinterpreted as to take the human Jesus away from struggling mortals! Let not the discussions of the humanity or the divinity of the Christ obscure the saving truth that Jesus of Nazareth was a religious man who, by faith, achieved the knowing and the doing of the will of God; he was the most truly religious man who has ever lived on Urantia. ~ The Urantia Book, (196:1.1)
You would be neither shocked nor disturbed by some of Jesus' strong pronouncements if you would only remember that he was the world's most wholehearted and devoted religionist. He was a wholly consecrated mortal, unreservedly dedicated to doing his Father's will. Many of his apparently hard sayings were more of a personal confession of faith and a pledge of devotion than commands to his followers. And it was this very singleness of purpose and unselfish devotion that enabled him to effect such extraordinary progress in the conquest of the human mind in one short life. Many of his declarations should be considered as a confession of what he demanded of himself rather than what he required of all his followers. In his devotion to the cause of the kingdom, Jesus burned all bridges behind him; he sacrificed all hindrances to the doing of his Father's will. ~ The Urantia Book, (196:2.7)
The Teaching About the Kingdom
Love is the rule of living within the kingdom—supreme devotion to God while loving your neighbor as yourself. ~ The Urantia Book, (142:1.1)
"Because my Father is a God of love and delights in the practice of mercy, do not imbibe the idea that the service of the kingdom is to be one of monotonous ease. The Paradise ascent is the supreme adventure of all time, the rugged achievement of eternity. ...It is easy to die in the line of physical battle when your courage is strengthened by the presence of your fighting comrades, but it requires a higher and more profound form of human courage and devotion calmly and all alone to lay down your life for the love of a truth enshrined in your mortal heart." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (143:1.6)
To the Apostles
"Today, the unbelievers may taunt you with preaching a gospel of nonresistance and with living lives of nonviolence, but you are the first volunteers of a long line of sincere believers in the gospel of this kingdom who will astonish all mankind by their heroic devotion to these teachings." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (143:1.7)
Jesus Taught Further on Devoted Living
Forceful ambition, intelligent judgment, and seasoned wisdom are the essentials of material success. Leadership is dependent on natural ability, discretion, will power, and determination. Spiritual destiny is dependent on faith, love, and devotion to truth—hunger and thirst for righteousness—the wholehearted desire to find God and to be like him. ~ The Urantia Book, (156:5.7)
Riches have nothing directly to do with entrance into the kingdom of heaven, but the love of wealth does. The spiritual loyalties of the kingdom are incompatible with servility to materialistic mammon. Man may not share his supreme loyalty to a spiritual ideal with a material devotion. ~ The Urantia Book, (163:2.10)
Consecrated devotion. To pray always for more laborers to be sent forth into the gospel harvest. He explained that, when one so prays, he will the more likely say, "Here am I; send me." He admonished them to neglect not their daily worship. ~ The Urantia Book, (163:4.10)
"To every one who has, more shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him who has not, even that which he has shall be taken away. You cannot stand still in the affairs of the eternal kingdom. My Father requires all his children to grow in grace and in a knowledge of the truth. You who know these truths must yield the increase of the fruits of the spirit and manifest a growing devotion to the unselfish service of your fellow servants. And remember that, inasmuch as you minister to one of the least of my brethren, you have done this service to me." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (176:3.5)
After a few moments of informal conversation, Jesus stood up and said: "When I enacted for you a parable indicating how you should be willing to serve one another, I said that I desired to give you a new commandment; and I would do this now as I am about to leave you. You well know the commandment which directs that you love one another; that you love your neighbor even as yourself. But I am not wholly satisfied with even that sincere devotion on the part of my children. I would have you perform still greater acts of love in the kingdom of the believing brotherhood. And so I give you this new commandment: That you love one another even as I have loved you. And by this will all men know that you are my disciples if you thus love one another. " ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (180:1.1)
"Let faith reveal your light to the world; let the revelation of truth open the eyes blinded by tradition; let your loving service effectually destroy the prejudice engendered by ignorance. By so drawing close to your fellow men in understanding sympathy and with unselfish devotion, you will lead them into a saving knowledge of the Father's love. The Jews have extolled goodness; the Greeks have exalted beauty; the Hindus preach devotion; the faraway ascetics teach reverence; the Romans demand loyalty; but I require of my disciples life, even a life of loving service for your brothers in the flesh." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (191:5.3)
"You shall love one another with a new and startling affection, even as I have loved you. You will serve mankind with a new and amazing devotion, even as I have served you. And when men see you so love them, and when they behold how fervently you serve them, they will perceive that you have become faith-fellows of the kingdom of heaven, and they will follow after the Spirit of Truth which they see in your lives, to the finding of eternal salvation." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (191:6.2)
"Salvation is the free gift of God, but those who are born of the spirit will immediately begin to show forth the fruits of the spirit in loving service to their fellow creatures. And the fruits of the divine spirit which are yielded in the lives of spirit-born and God-knowing mortals are: loving service, unselfish devotion, courageous loyalty, sincere fairness, enlightened honesty, undying hope, confiding trust, merciful ministry, unfailing goodness, forgiving tolerance, and enduring peace." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (193:2.2)
Prejudice blinds the soul to the recognition of truth, and prejudice can be removed only by the sincere devotion of the soul to the adoration of a cause that is all-embracing and all-inclusive of one's fellow men. Prejudice is inseparably linked to selfishness. Prejudice can be eliminated only by the abandonment of self-seeking and by substituting therefor the quest of the satisfaction of the service of a cause that is not only greater than self, but one that is even greater than all humanity—the search for God, the attainment of divinity. ~ The Urantia Book, (160:1.13)
Friendship enhances the joys and glorifies the triumphs of life. Loving and intimate human associations tend to rob suffering of its sorrow and hardship of much of its bitterness. The presence of a friend enhances all beauty and exalts every goodness. By intelligent symbols man is able to quicken and enlarge the appreciative capacities of his friends. One of the crowning glories of human friendship is this power and possibility of the mutual stimulation of the imagination. Great spiritual power is inherent in the consciousness of wholehearted devotion to a common cause, mutual loyalty to a cosmic Deity. ~ The Urantia Book, (160:2.8)
You have told me that your Master regards genuine human religion as the individual's experience with spiritual realities. I have regarded religion as man's experience of reacting to something which he regards as being worthy of the homage and devotion of all mankind. In this sense, religion symbolizes our supreme devotion to that which represents our highest concept of the ideals of reality and the farthest reach of our minds toward eternal possibilities of spiritual attainment. ~ The Urantia Book, (160:5.1)
If something has become a religion in your experience, it is self-evident that you already have become an active evangel of that religion since you deem the supreme concept of your religion as being worthy of the worship of all mankind, all universe intelligences. If you are not a positive and missionary evangel of your religion, you are self-deceived in that what you call a religion is only a traditional belief or a mere system of intellectual philosophy. If your religion is a spiritual experience, your object of worship must be the universal spirit reality and ideal of all your spiritualized concepts. All religions based on fear, emotion, tradition, and philosophy I term the intellectual religions, while those based on true spirit experience I would term the true religions. The object of religious devotion may be material or spiritual, true or false, real or unreal, human or divine. Religions can therefore be either good or evil.
Morality and religion are not necessarily the same. A system of morals, by grasping an object of worship, may become a religion. A religion, by losing its universal appeal to loyalty and supreme devotion, may evolve into a system of philosophy or a code of morals. This thing, being, state, or order of existence, or possibility of attainment which constitutes the supreme ideal of religious loyalty, and which is the recipient of the religious devotion of those who worship, is God. Regardless of the name applied to this ideal of spirit reality, it is God. ~ The Urantia Book, (160:5.3)
I come, then, to worship, not merely the God of existences, but the God of the possibility of all future existences. Therefore must your devotion to a supreme ideal, if that ideal is real, be devotion to this God of past, present, and future universes of things and beings. And there is no other God, for there cannot possibly be any other God. All other gods are figments of the imagination, illusions of mortal mind, distortions of false logic, and the self-deceptive idols of those who create them. Yes, you can have a religion without this God, but it does not mean anything. And if you seek to substitute the word God for the reality of this ideal of the living God, you have only deluded yourself by putting an idea in the place of an ideal, a divine reality. Such beliefs are merely religions of wishful fancy. ~ The Urantia Book, (160:5.9)
Lessons from the Cross
The cross of Jesus portrays the full measure of the supreme devotion of the true shepherd for even the unworthy members of his flock. It forever places all relations between God and man upon the family basis. God is the Father; man is his son. Love, the love of a father for his son, becomes the central truth in the universe relations of Creator and creature—not the justice of a king which seeks satisfaction in the sufferings and punishment of the evil-doing subject. ~ The Urantia Book, (188:5.1)
On millions of inhabited worlds, tens of trillions of evolving creatures who may have been tempted to give up the moral struggle and abandon the good fight of faith, have taken one more look at Jesus on the cross and then have forged on ahead, inspired by the sight of God's laying down his incarnate life in devotion to the unselfish service of man.
The triumph of the death on the cross is all summed up in the spirit of Jesus' attitude toward those who assailed him. He made the cross an eternal symbol of the triumph of love over hate and the victory of truth over evil when he prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." That devotion of love was contagious throughout a vast universe; the disciples caught it from their Master. The very first teacher of his gospel who was called upon to lay down his life in this service, said, as they stoned him to death, "Lay not this sin to their charge." ~ The Urantia Book, (188:5.5)
On other worlds, as well as on Urantia, this sublime spectacle of the death of the human Jesus on the cross of Golgotha has stirred the emotions of mortals, while it has aroused the highest devotion of the angels.
The cross is that high symbol of sacred service, the devotion of one's life to the welfare and salvation of one's fellows. The cross is not the symbol of the sacrifice of the innocent Son of God in the place of guilty sinners and in order to appease the wrath of an offended God, but it does stand forever, on earth and throughout a vast universe, as a sacred symbol of the good bestowing themselves upon the evil and thereby saving them by this very devotion of love. The cross does stand as the token of the highest form of unselfish service, the supreme devotion of the full bestowal of a righteous life in the service of wholehearted ministry, even in death, the death of the cross. And the very sight of this great symbol of the bestowal life of Jesus truly inspires all of us to want to go and do likewise.
When thinking men and women look upon Jesus as he offers up his life on the cross, they will hardly again permit themselves to complain at even the severest hardships of life, much less at petty harassments and their many purely fictitious grievances. His life was so glorious and his death so triumphant that we are all enticed to a willingness to share both. There is true drawing power in the whole bestowal of Michael, from the days of his youth to this overwhelming spectacle of his death on the cross.
Make sure, then, that when you view the cross as a revelation of God, you do not look with the eyes of the primitive man nor with the viewpoint of the later barbarian, both of whom regarded God as a relentless Sovereign of stern justice and rigid law-enforcement. Rather, make sure that you see in the cross the final manifestation of the love and devotion of Jesus to his life mission of bestowal upon the mortal races of his vast universe. See in the death of the Son of Man the climax of the unfolding of the Father's divine love for his sons of the mortal spheres. The cross thus portrays the devotion of willing affection and the bestowal of voluntary salvation upon those who are willing to receive such gifts and devotion. There was nothing in the cross which the Father required—only that which Jesus so willingly gave, and which he refused to avoid. ~ The Urantia Book, (188:5.8)