This month we celebrate 100 years since the Revelators’ began speaking to us through the Urantia Book. It began when a Chicago physician and educator, Dr. William Sadler and Dr. Lena Sadler, both of whom had impeccable reputations among the professional class of what was then glorious Chicago at its industrial peak, formed a forum of a few dozens friends and fellow professionals who would gather on Sundays and discuss the politics and social issues of the day.
1920’s Chicago was an exciting place to be at this time.
At the time he had these Sunday gatherings, Dr. Sadler was “treating” a patient. I use quotations because Sadler was never able to properly assess the patients’ actual malady, accept that he spoke highly intelligent thoughts out loud at night in his sleep, and did so for over a dozen or more years.
It was this same “sleeping subject,” who communicated to Dr. Sadler and his wife (who attended the nightly sessions with her husband) that a group of high personality spirit personalities were in a position to provide revelatory information because of the fortunate opportunity of the subjects’ willingness to allow the process to occur.
It was said during one session the sleeping subject posed a challenge in this way: “if you knew what you had before you, you would begin to ask some real questions.”
The Sadlers, being the career skeptics known for debunking supposed spiritualism, one day mentioned their unusual case to friends at the Sunday gathering, and just for fun, one of Doctor Sadler’s associates suggested the good doctor take up the patients’ challenge just to see what the patient had to say.
That was the seminole event that put into place what would be the beginnings of the presentation of an epochal revelation.
Today, the answers to those questions comprise the 2,096 page collection of 196 papers.
One hundred years later, more than a million people from all walks of life and from every area of the world, and who have all kinds of different cultural beliefs and religious upbringings, study the Urantia Book.
It is easy to find information about the book, and there are hundreds of articles, You Tube video’s, social media sites, forums, blogs and Zoom platforms where the book is discussed and shared. Thousands of people are inspired by the books teachings and have produced great inspirational works, much of it available just by typing URANTIA in a search engine.
There is a bit of an underworld-feel associated with the Urantia Book because most mainstream religions either avoid, ignore or challenge the book’s premise of it being a revelation of new truth. But the authors of the papers affirm this is not information “humanly inspired,” and the purpose of the papers is to fill in “missing gaps of historical and spiritual knowledge,” in an attempt to improve our spiritual and intellectual understanding of reality and our place in it.
Ultimately, it is left up to the reader to decide if the book rings true.
People looking to join something will be disappointed, perhaps even disillusioned the Urantia community is not more visible or outspoken, but the growth since 1955 (the year the book was finally published) has been tempered exactly due to its unorthodoxy; it lies outside of the modern religious stream, yet provides the threads that tie belief systems together, even going so far as to synchronize science and harmonize philosophy in the process. It’s greatest appeal is the rich prose which immerses the reader into a grand vista of universal life.
For many readers, they will testify it was their instincts that told them right away the importance of what they had in their hands. I accidentally found it forty years ago and it has never left my thoughts since that time. You never stop growing and you never stop reading because as you grow, your insights to its truth grows in proportion.
Despite the fact that it dedicates one third of its presentation to the life and teachings of Jesus, most modern Christian churches avoid discussing it because they don’t know what to make of it. Is it heresy because it dares to call itself a new and expanded revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, or is it a contrived fairy tell that has no business challenging Church authority or the Gospel?
If you ask a Urantia Book reader they will assert the Book gives Jesus his just do, and why not. Was he not the most important human being ever to be born? Was his life not worthy of retelling by those who know him best, his angels on high?
“God is spirit,” but Paradise is not. The material universe is always the arena wherein take place all spiritual activities; spirit beings and spirit ascenders live and work on physical spheres of material reality.” (Paper 12:8:1)
And if this Urantia book is their testimony, who are we to say whether God would use his angels of light to speak new truth to us?
We can certainly use a little help down here. The world is not exactly in a good place these days, and the last guy they sent, well, we nailed him to a cross, didn’t we?
One hundred years have passed since the angels first began speak to us through the Urantia papers. In those early years as the papers “came through,” hundreds of normal people just like you and me, who will remain unknown, were privileged enough to work with these “unseen friends” so that they could deliver an exquisite piece of literary genius for us to study, learn and grow.
I believe each of those who seek to know God have personal revelations all of the time. It is not hard for me to imagine that God would still speak to us from time to time as a group, as his people, as his children.
The Urantia Book is a memo which says to us: “get ready, now that you are a little older and perhaps a little wiser, prepare yourself for what’s to come in the ages ahead.”
It is our future, after all.