RAISED in a religious family in
the suburbs of Chicago. My father was an
evangelical minister, a circuit-riding
preacher in his early ministry. Before
the Depression, I wanted to be a
missionary or a missionary doctor. In
college I was exposed to what was called
“higher criticism,” which questioned the
authority of the Bible. This caused me
to do a lot of thinking about religion.
Later, I found
a book by a German professor that was
quite profound. I asked my doctor, Dr.
William Sadler on Diversey Parkway in
Chicago, if he had read this book
because I just felt he knew something.
He said he had read the book, then
added, “I’ve got something I think you’d
be interested in.” He told me about the
Urantia Papers, and when I showed
interest he said, “What are you doing on
Sunday? Could you possibly come to the
Forum next Sunday afternoon?” Explaining
that it would take too long to describe
the purpose of the Forum in his office,
the doctor invited me to come early.
Upon joining the Forum, I signed, at the
doctor’s request, a pledge of secrecy
concerning the Urantia Papers.
reading the Papers in 1945. I worked in
downtown Chicago, and after work on
Friday nights I would take the bus to
533 Diversey. Afterwards I’d take a late
train and wouldn’t get home until
midnight. Reading one paper at a time, I
started with the Jesus papers, then
began reading from the first part of the
book. I was convinced that what I read
was true, because the story of Jesus’
life as father to his brothers and
sisters touched on so many of the same
problems I had had in my life.
One time, when
I first began to read. I approached Mrs.
Kellogg, who was the proctor at the
desk, and asked, “Do you really believe
all of this?”
do!” she replied.
afternoon group, which had started as a
discussion group, was called the Forum.
At the time I began attending it had
become an open-house time for readers. I
also belonged to a group called the
Seventy. There were just seventy people
in this group originally, made up of
those who had read the Papers in their
entirety. Within this group was a school
formed to train teachers, which held
evening classes at 533. The problem was
that there were teachers but no persons
to teach at this time. Teachers far
outnumbered new readers.
In the Seventy
group, each person had to write a paper
on a Urantia topic. These were passed by
the doctor and read on Sundays.
who were by then in their seventies,
lived next door to me, and they were
curious about where I was going on
Friday nights and Sunday afternoons. I
finally had to tell them a little about
the Papers. My dad was skeptical, but my
mother was quite open-minded. They both
actually held some of the same ideas as
the book already.
Living so far
away, I wasn’t able to keep up with the
meetings. I was divorced and had much
responsibility. These Papers helped me
raise my children. I also learned that
with disappointment we have another
chance. The Urantia teachings literally
changed my life.
Grace circa early 1940s
Julia circa 1960s
Circa 1980 with her first granddaughter,