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From The President

Richard Keeler
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From The President

The decision of the Board of Trustees of Urantia Foundation to re-issue the 1955, first printing of The Urantia Book brings a floodtide of memories over me. Vividly I remember my sense of amazement and awe when first I opened this huge tome. It was bigger than any of my college textbooks.

It was at the University of Kansas in 1959. That was the year I found The Urantia Book. Elvis was the King. The guys wore blue suede shoes, flattop haircuts, and ducktails. The girls wore ponytails and poodle skirts to "sock hops."

I had an odd, guitar-picking friend from near Dodge City who used to ramble on about God, infinity, eternity, and time and space. One night in the freshman dormitory (the room in which about 20 of us slept), he remarked that the way electrons orbit the nucleus of an atom is similar to the way planets orbit the sun in the solar system. He said, "Doesn't that suggest that both were designed by the same cosmic mind?" I was intrigued. He said he had a book that he thought would interest me.

When he first opened his Urantia Book and began to show me some of the topics it explored, my fascination was immediate. Thus began for me a scientific, philosophic, and spiritual journey that still thrills me today as it did back then--43 years ago.

My sentimental attachment to the first printing of The Urantia Book will never perish. To this day, I can still open my original book, with its multitudinous notes and poly-chromatic pen markings; the fragrances of a thousand study groups and conferences are there. If I open one of the Foundation's few remaining pristine copies of that same 1955, first printing, my emotions are still stirred as they were in 1959. There is no greater adventure for the truth seeker than truth finding.

Before the discovery of printing, progress was relatively slow since one generation could not so rapidly benefit from the achievements of its predecessors. But now human society is plunging forward under the force of the accumulated momentum of all the ages through which civilization has struggled. (912:1)

Re-issuing that first printing is like coming home to me. When I go back to my home town of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, drive down those old familiar streets, and pull up in front of the house where I grew up, the memories that flood over me are like my thoughts when I open that old, original Urantia Book of mine.

I feel a similar nostalgia when I visit Tennessee Street at Kansas University and remember finding The Urantia Book there. It was the book in my hands the day I first met the folks at 533 Diversey Parkway in Chicago. It will ever be my most precious and special material possession. Needless to say, the book is not to be worshiped but studied. It is not an end in itself but a means to the end of worshiping God and loving humanity.

Back in Oklahoma, they say you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. No, but you can make him thirsty; you can give him salty oats. The book is like salty oats; it can make people who read it thirsty for a closer relationship with God.

To me, The Urantia Book is my favorite knothole in the fence through which I can glimpse the larger playing field of eternity. That is why I am especially and personally delighted to announce that the Trustees have decided to re-issue that 1955, first printing of The Urantia Book.