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How I Found the Urantia Book—SUSAN HEMMINGSEN (1973) 

I WAS living in Sydney, Australia, during the time of the Vietnam War when U.S. troops would come there for R&R. One day I ran into a poor, shell-shocked young American soldier whose money had been stolen, and I offered him a place to stay. While I was at work, he went into a bookshop to purchase paper and a pen with the only money he had left so that he could copy the poem “Desiderata” for me. The shop assistant, seeing how much he obviously wanted that poem, gave it to him, and later on the soldier gave it to me as a gift for my hospitality. He went back to Vietnam a couple of days later and I never heard from him again.

But “Desiderata” rang a bell within me, making me once again consider the possibility that there could be a personal God. Up to that time I had been agnostic. I had explored other religions, particularly the Eastern ones that were trendy back then, but I didn’t like the idea of merging into The One after death; I wanted to stay me. I had discarded the personal-God concept when I was about 18, perhaps after objecting to the injustice implicit in the idea of Jesus’ having to die on the cross to “save us from our sins.”

During those years I had many unanswered questions. For example, if Adam and Eve were the first humans on earth, how could Cain go out into the land of Nod and take himself a wife? Where did she come from? I also believed in evolution and was unable to reconcile this belief with the creation story in the Book of Genesis.

A year later, my partner Dick and I were writing a science fiction novel about a world on the brink of disaster. In our book, special people in some countries could stop time to communicate telepathically with each other when disaster was imminent and act to divert the impending catastrophe, after which time would move forward again and the population would be none the wiser. Imagining such a scenario opened my mind to the possibility that, unknown to us, other universe personalities could be living in our midst. I actually began to sense their real existence, although I had no idea who they could be. (The major characters we conceived for our science fiction story, I later realized, had characteristics similar to those of the members of the reserve corps of destiny, as described in the Urantia Book!)

About this same time, I happened to read an Australian-authored book which suggested that we were allowing the inferior to breed at a faster rate than the superior, and that the intelligence quota in the world was declining accordingly. I later found these ideas amplified in the Urantia Book.

I was just finishing the outline and beginning the first chapter of the novel when a friend showed us the Urantia Papers. I read the cover flap, “There is in the mind of God a plan . . .” (p. 365), then went to the Foreword, “Your world, Urantia, is one of many similar inhabited planets . . .” and continued with, “You humans have begun an endless unfolding of an almost infinite panorama, a limitless expanding of never-ending, ever-widening spheres of opportunity for exhilarating service, matchless adventure, sublime uncertainty and boundless attainment. . . .” (p. 1194).

That was it for me! Bells went off and I knew I had found what I had been searching for. I immediately embraced God as a personal being and went on to read the entire book in three months.

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