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How I Found the Urantia Book—VIRGINIA LEE HALLOCK (1966) 

MY RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND was eclectic. My father, an intellectual, had been a Christian agnostic but an inveterate searcher for truth. My mother was a Southern Baptist, and it was the Baptist Church and its Sunday school that I had attended in Washington until we moved to Oregon when I was 13. Finding the Baptist Church too conservative, I drifted over to the Episcopal Church most of my friends were attending. Subsequently, I was confirmed by the Bishop of Eastern Oregon and became a pillar of the Episcopal Church, remaining so for several years. I was president of the Altar Guild, and was the only woman in the state on the Bishop’s Committee.

My studies, I must add, had not been confined to Episcopalianism. I had read Emmett Fox, Ernest Holmes, Judge Troward, and had even studied with the Rosicrucians. When I moved to Salem, I visited both Episcopal churches, where I felt the emphasis was more social than spiritual. So, for a time, I church-hopped. I even attended some Baha’i meetings which I thoroughly enjoyed. A friend introduced me to Woodland Chapel, which was a Religious Science church. The minister was a thinker, a real searcher for truth, so I lingered there long enough to take three years of metaphysical philosophy.

On waking one morning I’d meditated as usual and carried a special thought for truth, asking for a more poignant answer than I had heretofore found. Before I even glanced at the morning paper, I picked up the Urantia Book that my friend Marion had left for me the night before. I had known Marion only a few months, but she was a responsive and generous friend. Knowing my interest in religion and philosophy, she had left a stack of books from her own library on my table while visiting me the previous evening.

Scanning the table of contents and perusing it further, I was hooked. I started to read from the beginning, and unlike all the other literature I had assimilated, this book really made sense. I could read, at first, only a few pages at a time. I called Marion and told her that it would take me at least two years to read the book, and that I hoped she wasn’t in any hurry for it.
As my interest in the book developed, so did hers, and we decided that I should get my own copy. None of the bookstores in Salem had it in stock, and only one had even heard of it.

The Ruff Times investment group, of which Marion was the leader, met at her house monthly, and at the September meeting one of us mentioned the Urantia Book. Surprisingly, Bob, one of the members, overheard the comment and told us of his long acquaintance with the book. It was through him that we visited a study group in Corvallis and met Julia Fenderson. It has been clear sailing since then.

I am not sorry for my searching and my studying. All the years of various church experiences and omnivorous studying paved the way for my acceptance of the Urantia Book.

The book that Marion lent me, by the way, had belonged to Helen Steen whom Julia Fenderson knew well from their days together in Chicago as members of the Forum. Helen’s son had given it to Marion along with other books from Helen’s library.

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