Sharing The Urantia Book - Sherry Cathcart Chavis

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Sherry Cathcart Chavis

By Sherry Cathcart Chavis, North Carolina, United States

I have a great technique for sharing teachings from The Urantia Book. It is the very technique that was used with me when I was introduced to the revelation by my aunt Voyette Perkins Brown.

I was a young truth seeker who was delighted to meet my mother’s sister for the first time at a Thanksgiving celebration when I was a senior in high school. Although they had been estranged from one another for many years, my mother invited my aunt to the festivities.

A newly minted Baptist minister from the South, she had been recently saved and converted. At around the same time, she was introduced to The Urantia Book by Dr. James Perry (though I didn’t know about that at the time). Aunt Voyette was one of his patients. He treated her during a critical moment in her life. He had been reading the book then, and suggested she read it as well. She left his practice with a copy of the book in her hand. Thereafter, he invited her to study with him and a few others. (I eventually joined this same study group, which is where I met him and his wife Marion. I’ve been studying with the Perrys ever since.)

But going back to that Thanksgiving, I remember my aunt entering our home. She came through the door with a peace and love enveloping her such that I will never tire of revisiting that moment in my memory. I was awestruck by this woman—she clearly loved the Lord. In fact, I believe she was madly in love with Him.

From that moment until several years into my college tenure, my aunt and I got to know one another. She utterly captivated my attention; so loving, so at peace was she that I eventually began to crave what she had. Whatever “it” was, wherever it came from, I wanted it.

Being raised Catholic, I had a third-party view of God and zero personal relationship with him through our brother Jesus, until I met my aunt. Our time together was spent discussing the love of the Father, who we were to him, and everything in between. I had so many questions, having a natural bent towards metaphysical matters and spirituality in general.

She was patient in responding to the stated and unstated spiritual and emotional needs I had at that time. But the real education of the truths taught in the revelation came through just one avenue: her love and devotion to me and my daughter, who came on the scene eventually.

My aunt’s love was unconditional, it seemed, and I witnessed firsthand how devoted she was to loving and serving her fellows. I had never seen such behaviors, attitudes, and commitments towards the heavenly life, and it stimulated my soul to crave to know the Father for myself.

Understand this: I didn’t know the book existed until some years later, when I visited my aunt from college one semester and saw it lying on her coffee table. Being an avid and prolific reader, I was instantly drawn in. (I have not put the book down since then.)

As I read The Urantia Book for the first time, I’d call her and ask questions about what I was reading. And I remember remonstrating with her one day. Me: “Why didn’t you tell me about this book before now?” She: “Girl, don’t you realize I’ve been teaching you this book since day one?”

Indeed. She was so expert at understanding young people—really, people in general—that instead of handing me the book unasked for, or quoting from the book, she rather encapsulated the teachings by how she related to me. In other words, she loved me.

During those early years, I recall riding in the car with her and saying, “If God is anything like you, sign me up.”

That’s what unconditional love does—it brings us closer to the Father, and the Father closer to us. It makes divine love real and inescapable.

Later came the facts and figures, the concepts in the book that mesmerize me still. But experiencing the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Father’s love for me is what stopped me in my tracks. As a friend said to me recently, “I believe God has your full and undivided attention.” Yes indeed.

So, how do I share the teachings? I attempt to love and serve the way I have witnessed those whom I admire love and serve—my aunt, Dr. Perry, so many others who instill in me a desire to become more like him. And I try to be consistent and allow myself to be human while I do so. Otherwise, how can I be trusted?

I have a girlfriend who is a moral, kind, and loving person. I have known her for 16 years. We’ve witnessed major events in each other’s lives and loved each other through all of them.

But I don’t believe I ever discussed the book with her. That is, until a recent weekend, when we took a beach trip together. As always, we ended up talking about the Father and all we’re learning. We talked about our challenges. As we were leaving the beach, I shared with her how grateful I was to have been able to spend the weekend with her because I had learned so much about her in three days—more than I had in previous years. And that because I understood her better, I loved her more.

And then I quoted from the book:

If once you understand your neighbor, you will become tolerant, and this tolerance will grow into friendship and ripen into love. 100:4:4 (1098.1)

My friend: “Where did you learn that?”

Me: “The Urantia Book.”

My friend: “Do you have an extra copy? I’d like to read it.”

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