Springtime for the New El Libro De Urantia

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Víctor García-Bory

By Víctor García-Bory, associate trustee emeritus and Spanish revision team manager, Urantia Foundation, New York, United States

Springtime graces the city of New York as I write this article. It is the season of renewal, rebirth, and the blooming of bulbs planted long ago. Working from home, I glance over at my 12-year-old son, Miguel, who is doing homework on his computer. He is focused yet looking tired after a long day of online classes in this pandemic-era reality. Observing him, feeling fortunate to be together and healthy, I shift my attention away from the human toll of the last year and onto a larger horizon. I am reminded of the many positive things happening around the world. We are transitioning into a more hopeful time, capitalizing on learned lessons as the negative memories fade into the past.

My imagination jumps ahead 12 years to the spring of 2033. I wonder what my son will be like as he emerges out of the springtime of his life, during which he was loved, nurtured, and nourished, and enters into the summer of adulthood. My son is an engaging, inquisitive boy, precocious and trilingual, and I hope we will continue to have meaningful and earnest conversations. Looking back himself, he might very well ask me, “Why did you spend so much time during my childhood working on the El libro de Urantia project?”

He would be right to ask since it has been a full decade of work. And I would be very happy to answer him. It would be an opportunity to share the very essence of divine inspiration and spiritual unity that moved me and a group of dear friends into a unique journey of loving service. And in this conversation, Miguel would expect me to precisely explain what I mean by all that!

I would explain that I did this work for the progress and spiritual unity of our family, our extended family of Spanish-speakers around the world, and the brotherhood of men, women, and angels on earth under our Heavenly Father. I would emphasize that I labored as a member of a team of like-minded religionists seeking to discern the will of God and to be of service. Each of us, having received the gift of divine revelation, desired to give something in return.

I would share with him that since the mid-'90s and into 2021 there had been two Spanish translations of The Urantia Book, and that the first translation began in 1986 when Urantia Foundation worked with a professional translation company. With oversight from several bilingual Spanish- and English-speaking readers, it was finally published in 1993. Miguel then would hear me explain that El libro de Urantia had barely been released when readers in Europe began revising it. This first revision became the European Edition of El libro de Urantia and was published by the Foundation in 2009.

I’d explain to my 24-year-old son that it soon became evident that having two different Spanish translations caused confusion among the readership. After all, there were distinctive differences between them. So, in the spirit of creating one unified, high-quality, Spanish text, I joined Urantia Foundation’s expanded board of trustees in 2010 to assist in this project. We developed a work process and methodology, and then formed a revision team.

He’d look at me attentively, wanting to ask many more questions, but I’d ask him for a little patience and explain that since 2011 this team of dedicated and longtime students of the revelation spent the next 10 years collaborating on a single, in-depth, high-quality revision of the Spanish text. He’d learn of my happiness that the fruits of our efforts were plentiful. But it was not just the work of the revision team, but that of dozens of Spanish-language readers who volunteered to study the text, ask questions, and provide feedback on its clarity and fidelity to the original.

Collectively we represented a diverse cross section of Spanish-speaking countries from both sides of the Atlantic; yet through our work, camaraderie, and friendship we experienced profound spiritual unity. We recalled the discussion at Amathus, when James Zebedee asked, “Master, how shall we learn to see alike and thereby enjoy more harmony among ourselves?” We were reassured by his emotional reply, “James, James, when did I teach you that you should all see alike? . . . I do not desire that social harmony and fraternal peace shall be purchased by the sacrifice of free personality and spiritual originality. What I require of you, my apostles, is spirit unity—and that you can experience in the joy of your united dedication to the wholehearted doing of the will of my Father in heaven. You do not have to see alike or feel alike or even think alike in order spiritually to be alike. Spiritual unity is derived from the consciousness that each of you is indwelt, and increasingly dominated, by the spirit gift of the heavenly Father.” 141:5.1 (1591.6)

And indeed, I’d say to Miguel, this was the case, as each of us can testify. We experienced unity in our service to God, each contributing our unique endowments of mind, body, and soul. We enjoyed the sublime sense of harmony that comes with sharing a common spiritual purpose. As imperfect human beings, we were unified in the desire to do our Father’s will.

As surely as spring ushers in new life, the 2021 edition of El libro de Urantia likewise offers an opportunity for new beginnings, a fresh presentation of the book's meanings and values, and a renewed confidence in its quality and fidelity. We believe that the fruits of our labors will help manifest fruits of the spirit for generations to come.

Once more I rest my eyes on my now enthusiastic 12-year-old, who tells me his homework is done, and he’s ready to play. And I think to myself, “Yes, it took a full decade, but an epochal revelation deserved no less. I did it out of love for our Heavenly Father, and also for you, my son.”

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