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How I Found the Urantia Book—CLYDE BEDELL (1924)

HOW CAN A MAN OR WOMAN be so fortunate as to become intimately associated with an epochal revelation—as every reader-believer of this generation is?

My story begins in Chicago in 1921, when I was 23. I was working at the Walter Hoops Advertising Agency. My best friend there was Lister Alwood, much my senior, and a gifted writer and poet. While at Hoops I also met a lovely creature who joined the company after I did. I asked her for a date, she told me “soon,” and I gave her a rain check. But before the rain check could be honored, I left Hoops to join an agency in San Francisco.

After two years on the coast, I received a wire from Alwood urging me to apply for an $8000-per-year job he had applied for unsuccessfully. (I was making only $400 a month, and $8000 was a mint of money at that time!) I agreed to return to Chicago for a personal interview. When I told my boss of my dilemma that good man said, “Go get it if you can, and God bless you. If you don’t get it, come back and go to work and forget about it.” I got the job.

The first evening back in Chicago I had dinner at Alwood’s home. He asked if I would like to attend with him, on the following Sunday, a meeting at the home of a famous psychiatrist—a Dr. William Sadler, a great speaker and teacher. Perhaps there would be some reading, but interesting discussion and conversation for sure. I accepted. Before Sunday came, I had a date with the “Hoops lovely,” making the rain check good. We had not corresponded, but I had carefully kept the address.

The first Sunday I was back in Chicago—the last Sunday in September, 1924—I attended my first Sadler Forum meeting. Afterwards I asked the doctor if I could bring a young woman the next time. He consented. The following Sunday Florence Evans went with me, and from that day to this we have been identified with the Forum that later received the Urantia Papers.

In 1955 Florence and I knew the first Urantia Book would issue from the presses while we were on a round-the-world trip for me to do some work in Australia and New Zealand. Dr. Sadler’s brilliant son Bill, a fantastic student of the Papers, agreed to airmail a book to us as soon as he could lay his hands on one. That copy is now so underlined that the underlining has no emphasis. It bears in the front this inscription:

“First Urantia Book! Glimpsed in Rome, 11:40 a.m., October 1, 1955. Clyde and Florence Bedell.” An addition reads: “First reading completed 4/22/56. San Francisco, 10:48 p.m.”

Florence departed this sphere for the mansion worlds in 1979, a week after our fifty-third wedding anniversary.

My life, with the enthusiastic approval of both my sons, is dedicated to help, in every way I possibly can, “promote, improve, and expand the understanding of the peoples of the world of the teachings of Jesus.” We should all pray that all people in our movement, from Chicago outward over all the earth, might discover those quoted words from the Foundation’s Declaration of Trust.

How many people in a millennium can be early recipients of an epochal revelation? It is our duty to bring its message to all the spiritually deprived people we can reach, in keeping with the character of our book.

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Clyde Bedell circa 1933 [courtesy Barrie Bedell]

Clyde Bedell's Concordex