Sharing The Urantia Book

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Mark H. Hutchings

By Mark H. Hutchings, associate trustee, Nevada, United States

When asked to write a favorite story about sharing The Urantia Book, I humorously thought about the many failures I’ve had. The fact is, I’ve failed time and again when trying to share with those around me what I consider to be the most important book ever written. They usually say they don’t like to read—at least not enough to dive into a two-thousand-page tome that elucidates a master philosophy, religion, and cosmology. More than once I have heard “the book is just daunting—it is so big and densely written and I can’t understand the terms.” Yet I find these same people always eager to hear and receive the golden kernels of truth within The Urantia Book, always appreciative of the profound insights it contains.

My next thought was that I have many stories—but they are of sharing its precious contents through lived experience, not necessarily of sharing the book itself. The following one is about Lee (not his real name), a personable guy with noticeable intelligence and a great personality. He is good looking, funny, tall, and well built. He is also a convicted felon. Lee was a car thief and a burglar. He spent more than 10 years of his life in prison. I met him 13 years ago while volunteering with a program that assists men in halfway houses to reacclimatize to regular society upon release.

When I met Lee, he was like many con men, convicts, and criminals that I have known—a charmer, a good talker, and a manipulator. We started talking about his life. At first, he painted a rosy picture about how he had it all figured out. I said, “That’s fantastic, but if you’re anything like me, nothing will change unless you have God’s help.” I shared with him that I had failures despite my earnest attempts to live successfully.

He must have felt comfortable because he revealed his failures as a father, as a son, and as a member of society. He told me about his father, whom he admired greatly, and how crushed he was when his father died while he was in prison. He told me about his sweet daughter, how she was living with his aunt and uncle and their kids, and how she wept because both of her parents were in prison. He told me of his inability to control his impulses and his desperate attempts to escape his pain through alcohol abuse.

I asked Lee if he believed in God and if he believed he could receive spiritual power from within. He said he did and that he had experienced receiving insight, strength, and guidance from spiritual sources that he believed originated from within.

Lee and I met regularly and often for about five years to discuss the funny and oftentimes tragic thoughts, attitudes, and actions that blocked us from living a full life. We made commitments both spiritual and practical. We lived life prayerfully and often with fingers crossed because we knew we were not able to do it alone, that we needed God’s help.

As Lee and I watched our outer lives transform, we noticed that this was merely the outgrowth of an inner transformation that had occurred. The Urantia Book describes many of these inner transformations, and Lee and I openly discussed many of the concepts in the book that harmonized with our experience.

We learned that: “unreasoned fear is a master intellectual fraud practiced upon the evolving mortal soul,” 48:7.4 (556.4); that “the act is ours; the consequences God’s,” 48:7.13 (556.13); that “the disappointments hardest to bear are those which never come,” 48:7.21 (557.5); that “difficulties may challenge mediocrity and defeat the fearful, but they only stimulate the true children of the Most Highs,” 48:7.7 (556.7); and that “the greatest affliction of the cosmos is never to have been afflicted. Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation.” 48.7.14 (556.14)

Today, Lee is a proud father of five beautiful children. He is a successful business owner, husband, and friend. I watched God transform Lee from a smooth-talking convicted felon into an honorable, hardworking, principled man dedicated to his business, his community, and his family. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anything more remarkable.

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