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How I Found the Urantia Book—BILL HAZZARD (1966) 


IN 1966, about a year after I retired as a captain in the U.S. Navy, my late wife Dorothy and I bought a house in Mission Hills, San Diego, next door to a man named Harry Lavoie. Harry lived alone and was a vociferous reader. He would comment to me on things he had read, and I in turn I would comment to him on things I’d read, and we would exchange books. One day he passed the Urantia Book over to me for loan, but without a single comment.

I soon realized the book was something that could not be digested in a short time, and I found it so interesting that I decided I must have a copy of my own. Since a new Urantia Book cost $15 in those days and I was afraid Dorothy would consider that too much, I phoned around to used book stores and located a copy in Hollywood for $9. (Later on I found out that this particular book had been stolen from a man in San Francisco. Among a lot of scribbling in the book, I recognized a name from the Los Angeles readership, and when I showed that person the book, he indeed turned out to be the rightful owner. It had been given to him by his girlfriend in Hawaii. I returned it to him and only then did I buy a new copy for myself.)

I was deeply interested in this book from the word go because it was about theology and many other interesting topics. And while it was in some sense hardly believable because it was so “far out,” I took the whole book on faith.

One experience I had had confirmed for me that at least some of it was true. This event occurred in 1918, when I was not quite six years old and living in the small town of Placentia, California, thirty miles east of Los Angeles. Another boy and I were what would nowadays be called “hanging out.” Seeing a shiny new car coming into town from the direction of Los Angeles, we both had a primal urge to throw something at it. My friend threw a rock, but I couldn’t find a rock so I threw a corn cob. Both missiles landed on target. The infuriated driver stopped the car in the middle of an intersection and started chasing us. The other boy got away and I tried to flee by climbing a small tree in front of my house, a tree that had been planted on my first birthday. The driver was shaking the tree and demanding to know where I lived.

Although later I didn’t mind disappointing my mother by getting a sailor’s tattoo on my arm, at this moment in the tree, not wanting to break her heart, I pointed to a house a couple of doors away. The man departed in disgust, probably knowing I was lying but needing to get back to his car. Immediately I was surrounded by what felt like a golden aura and a comforting feeling, which for years I couldn’t understand. But I never forgot the experience, and I puzzled over it for some fifty years until I read on p. 1187 about the arrival of the Thought Adjuster and the birth of the soul.

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