What The Urantia Book Means to Me - Andrea Barnes

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Andrea Barnes
Andrea Barnes and her son, Dan.
Andrea Barnes and her son, Dan.

By Andrea Barnes, California, United States

I was very fortunate to discover The Urantia Book when I was nineteen years old, although it threw me into a real tailspin for many years. Growing up, I was a very inquisitive child. I always wanted to know what was really going on. Religions left me with too many questions that did not seem to have logical answers. Even so, I did become involved with the church and decided that perhaps faith was necessary to my “buying” that preposterous story about the blood sacrifice. When I was about fifteen, my minister was arrested for embezzling church funds, and that just tore my little heart to pieces.

I denounced the church and all “believers.” In my mind they were simply sheep that needed to be placated with pleasant fables. I was not interested in any more churches, and religion seemed like a waste of time. I suppose there was still a part of me that wanted to believe, but if it did not make sense, I was not going to be involved. I never dreamed I would find something with answers I could “buy.”

One night, at a local pub in Fort Collins, Colorado, I sat down with a new friend, and we discussed religion and philosophy. He said he had recently started reading a big book with a lot of answers. So I proceeded to ask one question after another until dawn. I was simply astounded at the answers he gave me. They were clear, made perfect sense, and rang true in my heart. He did not have the book with him, but I did see it the following week. All week I dreamed about seeing the book, holding it, and getting a copy of it. I was so disappointed that it was a blue book with little circles. I had anticipated a large leather book with gold embossing and cursive writing—something with enough flourish to reflect what was in the book.

I was, however, immediately thrilled with what I read, and I started driving ninety minutes every week to attend a study group in Denver. I had such high ideals about everything and tried to live up to them. What I realize now was that I was a tadpole trying to be a frog.

I married the friend who told me about the book, moved to San Diego, and had three sons. I spent years devoted to raising our family but always made time every week for study group. But after my children left home, I busied myself with other things and did not attend a study group for about five years. But the truths that I had gleaned from The Urantia Book were always a part of me. I felt as though I had made a lot of mistakes in my life and did not feel worthy to be part of the movement anymore. Then one day I was listening in my car to a minister who was talking about that very subject. He said that if you have a desire to serve, that is proof that you are worthy. He said there are so few laborers, and the fields are ripe. He spoke to my soul, and I was so moved. I pulled over and cried.

I decided to attend the Urantia Family Festival in Montreal, Canada, in 2010. From there I went with a group of readers to visit study groups, to talk about the book to whomever we met, and to develop new outreach methods. The following year I was elected to the General Council of The Urantia Book Fellowship. I felt so honored to be a part of something so special. Even though I could see that we were but a human institution, still we were religionists devoted to a higher purpose.

I was elected to be the chairperson of the Fellowship’s Outreach Committee in 2012. I followed what had been done by previous chairs. In addition, I arranged to have booths at various book expos to share The Urantia Book with the public. Over the years we have had the opportunity to tell thousands of people about the book in a one-on-one setting. Finding out where a person is in their spiritual journey is the first thing I do before telling them anything. We must realize that we are not here to change anyone's beliefs but only to add―in a delicate and wise way―to their beliefs. Is this not the Jesusonian method? There is a real art to sharing the book, and this art takes time to develop.

Often I do not mention the book but ask people questions and then embellish on what I consider to be their higher thoughts. This is “sharing the gospel.” Simply loving others is sharing the gospel. Not everyone is interested in this book nor should they be. We are all at different places on our journey. Having respect and affection for each person is the key.

In 2014 my middle son lost his battle with drugs at the age of twenty-eight. Although I constantly worried about him, when something like this happens, you are never prepared. My life felt as though it was over. The amount of regret I felt was inconceivable, and I thought I might lose my mind. Nonetheless, through prayer and indulging feelings of gratitude, I managed to steady myself and stay on course, despite the extreme pain.

Whenever I ask for help, I receive it. I feel that the Universe Mother Spirit is with me at all times, looking for ways to comfort and hold me. I literally visualize her presence, count on her, and love her in return. My meager faith had to rise to the levels of real trust that would carry me through the pain. The revelators tell us that there is “no growth without psychic conflict and spiritual agitation.” I try to remember that, to be thankful, and to know that something good will come out of it all. I know that I shall definitely see my son again and shall be able to spend as much time with him as I want.

Without The Urantia Book, the death of my son would be a burden that I believe I could not bear. I was immensely helped by recordings of the Symmetry of Soul team (http://www.symmetryofsoul.org/). I listened for hours to the sections on personality survival and then went on to other broadcasts, and my knowledge of the fifth epochal revelation grew as it had never done so before.

I am so thankful for the Urantia Revelation, for personal revelation, for my family, for all of my brothers and sisters, and for the blessings of life on this sphere.

Peace be with you.

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