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How I Found the Urantia Book—FORREST ADKINS (1972) 


I WAS BORN far back in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, so far back that even the hillbillies made fun of our county by nicknaming it “Booger County.” There were no doctors in Madison County, and when I was born my mother, wishing to be modern, refused the midwife services of my great-grandmother and sent for the veterinarian. So much for my humble beginnings story.

The real beginning occurred with what I believe to be the gift of my Thought Adjuster. I had wandered to the top of a hill where I encountered another little girl. She told me her name and I told her mine. She said she was four and I said, “I’m four and a half.” I have oft times wondered if befriending a stranger was in this situation a moral act, because at that moment the horizon expanded and life seemed adventurous and very, very valuable.

My first conscious reaction to this experience occurred some days later as I was trying to dance a dance that I thought had eternal meaning as a movement language. Years later I recognized how similar the dance was to the dance of Lord Shiva practiced in Hindu ritual. My grandmother used to tell me stories about how, in the early 1900s, we hill folk had hung folks for being hermits, Catholic, or anything besides a bush-shaking Protestant. Luckily I wasn’t born in my grandmother’s day—a little hillbilly girl attempting to dance a Shiva-like dance would surely have raised a hangman’s eyebrow. As it was, I just grew up like so many of us with an “alien complex.”

My second reaction was the awareness of an unseen art teacher outside my body but inside my mind currents. There were no pictures on our walls, just an old calendar with a photograph of a white chicken. I used to stare at it and marvel as I studied it. With this as my cultural inheritance, at age five I was being taught chiaroscuro by my unseen art teacher.

My third reaction was to become a church-hopper. The Pentecostals were sincere and trusted everything to the Father, but I couldn’t stand the hellfire they mixed in. Soon we moved to the nearest city where I could church-hop longer and in many more directions. But compared to my personal religious life, the church experience made me feel “unclean.” At 12 I was dreaming of becoming involved with a “new religion.” In high school I was one of the first members of the Ethical Culture Society in St. Louis, Missouri. I was more determined than ever to “leave no stone unturned” in my search.

In college I found I could church-hop across oceans of time and space by studying world religions. But after a quick scan of the beliefs and sacred writings of non-Christian religions, I ran into a problem. My hopper legs were broken by the Bhagavad Gita. Here I had a belief system I could neither reject nor accept; I was stuck for eight long years reading and rereading the first chapter of this book.

One day, in my sixth year of rereading this first chapter, my husband and I were traveling in our car when he suddenly slammed on the brakes. By the side of the road was a hitchhiker. I happened to be carrying a copy of Geoffrey Hodson’s Kingdom of the Gods, a book that for many years I had considered a treasure. I was thinking of a way to give it to the hitchhiker when I noticed that he was carrying a blue book. I thought it would be a good trick to offer to exchange books.

As it turned out, he was just as anxious as I was; if any words were spoken, I don’t think either of us heard them. It seemed we instantly switched books. I opened it up to where it talks about the six Sangik races of Urantia. I could feel truth vibrating from the pages with a strength I had never felt before. My immediate exultation wrought extreme jealousy in my husband and he refused to let me read the book.

Two years later I was in my eighth year of rereading the first chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. As I read once again the words, “Arjuna, I will tell you again,” a soft, angelic voice accompanied my silent reading. I looked around to see who was speaking but there was nobody there. I few seconds later, my husband popped though the door and called to me, “Let’s go buy a Urantia Book!”

We found a copy in a used bookstore for only $4. After my honeymoon with the book, during which my husband and I read about Andon and Fonta, I began to become critical over tiny details. But after another twelve years of discovering over and over again that I was wrong and the book was right, I grew weary of wasting my time and re-embraced the book. As a friend of mine once said, “After a while it becomes illogical to desire anything but the Father’s will.”

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