Sharing The Urantia Book - Geri Johnson

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Geri Johnson

By Geri Johnson, associate trustee, Hawaii, United States

As students of The Urantia Book, we know it is our great privilege to share truth, to further the understanding of God to this confused world, and to live the message of God’s love for all his children. It is not a question of do we spread the fifth epochal revelation. It is only a matter of how we do it.

Collectively we hold a treasury of valuable lessons in how to share The Urantia Book, which we will offer as a new series in the newsletter. Many of us learned how to talk to others about this revelation by first learning what not to do. The good news is that we benefit from experience—our own and that of others. Our worst experiences may have been our best teacher. Today I would like to tell you about my worst and best experiences in sharing The Urantia Book.

The Worst—My Sister

Before you read these next paragraphs, let me say in my defense that I was in my early 20s, well intended, thoroughly inspired by the teachings of The Urantia Book, and totally inept.

In trying to impart to my sister what I had discovered in this remarkable book, I committed several grave errors, such as offering too much too soon and not being perceptive of the listener’s reactions and needs. I had that “crusader zeal” to share the book. Having recently accepted the teachings within The Urantia Book, I could not stop talking about it and unfortunately, I did so in an authoritarian manner.

In a gush of words (stories, concepts, ideas), my sister heard about our planet being one tiny world in a vast organized cosmos, about all the spirit helpers, about where we go when we die, and our journey to Paradise. I continued with the history of Urantia, particularly the events surrounding the first two epochal revelations. I utterly failed to notice that her politeness in listening did not mean real interest. As I spoke of Adam and Eve her skepticism initially eluded me, though it later became obvious that she was not believing me. As she started to get that overwhelmed glaze over the eyes, did I stop? No! I changed topics and began telling her about Jesus’ life and that he was really our Creator Son.

By now she was probably thinking two things: “When will she stop talking?” and “She’s out of her mind!” It did not help that I constantly quoted “The Urantia Book says . . .” In my blind enthusiasm I could not imagine anyone, especially someone as close to me as my sister, not loving this book. To my sister’s credit she continued to love me, though she never spoke to me about God or The Urantia Book ever again.

The Best—a Friend

Fast-forward a good 35 years.

A friend and I enjoyed Sunday morning walks along a coastal path and then rewarded ourselves with coffee and pastry. This friend had a Christian background, though she continued to explore other religions and new age concepts. She was open and searching. As she expressed her thoughts, I would search for and reinforce the truth contained, expand upon her thought, or bridge to a related idea. By this time in my ministry, I had assimilated Jesus’ admonition to not take something out of a person, only to add to their thinking.

In such manner, I might say something like “I share that belief too, and here are some things I think about.”  Alternatively, I might offer an open-ended question of “Have you thought about . . . ?” or “Do you think it is possible that . . . ?”

During one of our walks, my friend began talking about Jesus and I asked, “What do you think he did during the early years of his life?” and later “Do you think Jesus always knew he was the Son of God, or did he have to grow into that knowledge?”

We once talked about the continuity of life, as she assessed the merits of reincarnation vs. the Christian heaven and hell. And then she asked me what I thought. Given a direct question, I shared my belief. Trying to keep it simple, I explained that after we leave this world, we awaken in a new form, taking with us what we learned of truth, beauty, and goodness that resides in our soul and personality. This is our new starting point. United with our indwelling spirit, we progress, sphere by sphere, to Paradise. Our goal is to know God and to be like him.

 “How did you get that idea?” she asked. And I replied, “I read a lot.”

The next week, she started the conversation with “What is the name of the book or books you read?” We spent the next two hours talking about The Urantia Book. The next day I handed her a book and a week later, with a third friend, we began a study group that lasted for five years and ended only when we both moved to different cities.

One More—the Third Friend

Having recently moved to a new city, I was open to making new friendships. Seemingly having much in common, a colleague and I made social plans for dinner. While I do not remember the original conversation or how it got to this point, I asked “What do you think happens after we die?” My colleague began to explain the mansion worlds to me. She did not use those terms as she talked about the progression of our soul and personality, our experiences and growth in the universe as we learn to become one with God, and then our eternal life of service. I could feel the smile on my face getting bigger and bigger. When she finished, I told her I believed everything she had just said and added that I read The Urantia Book. I only got that far in my statement when she smiled and said, “I do too.” This is the third friend mentioned above. While our study group saw other members come and go, the three of us remained the consistent corps. Of course, now we have an eternal bond despite our now living in different locations.

Join Us

We invite you to submit your favorite story of sharing The Urantia Book. You might include your best, worst, either, or both. It can be a paragraph or several. What you contribute may help others as we continually grow in our efforts to disseminate the fifth epochal revelation to humankind. You may send your stories to Tamara Strumfeld ([email protected]) or Geri Johnson ([email protected]).

Foundation Info

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