THE SUN! When I was very
small I wondered why something so
important could be dangerous to look at.
Angels! My father read the
Bible out loud to us. I was amazed by
the story of the angels in the fire,
preventing Shadrach, Meshach and
Abednego from burning up. Death!
Gramma died of a heart attack when I was
ten. My mom reported that at the end
Gramma opened her eyes and smiled,
saying, “I’m coming, Jesus!”
comprised my childhood spirituality
questions. It may seem funny, but I
never questioned the reality of Jesus.
He was always a very real, living
presence to me.
At eighteen my
spiritual quest began in earnest when I
left home to go to college. It was 1968.
Campuses in were turmoil, the revolution
was in full force—the Vietnam War,
riots, draft-card burning, tear gas,
civil rights, environmentalism, Women’s
Lib, hippies, drugs, and free love.
Where did I fit in?
My life was
changed by a near-death experience. My
heart had stopped. I floated away from
my body and out of the room until I
found myself hanging onto a huge golden
grid somewhere in space. Beings appeared
and led me back to my body. “But I don’t
want to go back!” I begged. “Please,
can’t I stay with you?” “No, Delores,”
they answered, “you don’t know enough
about the world yet.” A dog barked
loudly and it seemed to start my heart.
I believed I had almost died, but after
that I also believed there were helpers
The Great Tao,
where we melt into an energy field and
lose all our friendships and
relationships? I couldn’t buy it. Jesus
didn’t lose his identity when he rose
from the dead.
wheel of reincarnation? In that case,
shouldn’t Jesus have been reborn as a
gnat or a dog or a sacred blue cow? No,
he came back as himself.
Or you die and
there is a big black emptiness of
nothing? Why would God bother with all
this amazing detail if that were the
case? Sorry, that was not for me.
Meditation—what? I need to pay money for
a secret mantra for enlightenment? But I
loved Yogananda’s poetry and the way he
kept saying to keep going, beyond all
the psychic phenomena, beyond the
out-of-body experiences, beyond the
tricks of energy manipulation, until we
find the true connection to God.
And why did
the churches mostly leave Jesus hanging
on the cross, glorifying the sacrifice
rather than the promise of a loving,
abundant life-everlasting? I could never
reconcile the idea of a Father God doing
that to the beloved Son.
wrong there. Drink the blood? Eat the
body? Did the churches know how barbaric
that sounded? What could these things
I liked the
idea that I could take pieces and leave
the rest, so I began to build my own
In early 1973
I was in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania,
working at a movie theater selling
tickets. Some Jesus freaks working the
streets handed me the Bible and told me
it was a “good book,” so I decided it
was time to read it to see what all the
fuss was about. I loved Isaiah and the
Psalms, but the Bible did not have good
enough answers to many of my questions.
just when I’d gotten into the New
Testament chapters, my older brother,
Doug, sent me the Urantia Book. Doug had
received Big Blue in 1972 from Norm Du
Val, his mailman in Missoula, Montana,
who had struck up a friendship with him.
Having just injured his back, Doug had
spent the next few weeks reading the
book intensely cover to cover. He then
passed it on to me, saying, “This book
answers all your spiritual questions,
but remember, you can’t read your way
to receive this Urantia Book while I was
studying the Bible! I began to see that
the Bible was the barest outline of a
much more elaborate and elegant story
presented in the Urantia Book. For a
while I tried to share this great
revelation with my Christian friends. I
brandished the big blue book like a
mighty enlightener, trying to enlarge
soon realized that I was alienating
myself from the churchgoers. Most were
appalled that I did not accept every
word in the Holy Bible as sacred and
true. How could I say there was no hell?
How could I add anything to the
Scriptures? They believed the devil most
certainly was alive and well, and his
best ruse of all was to convince fools
like me that he did not exist! One day I
stopped in weariness from fighting
against these limiting beliefs. I asked
Michael, “What should I do now?” I heard
him quietly reply, “Please, quit scaring
that I needed to embrace the concept of
“wise as serpents, harmless as doves,”
so I gave up my Urantia Book evangelism.
When I returned home to Helena, Montana,
I joined my mom and some others who had
been receptive to the revelation and
started a Urantia Book study group for
those who needed deeper answers to their