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How I Found the Urantia Book—richard omura (1974) 

It was 1974. I was 23 and living in Hawaii in a small, rundown house with two other potheads in a little two-store town called Honouliuli, about fifteen miles west of Honolulu. I suppose you could describe my lifestyle as counterculture. I was basically a hippie with a small pot farm, living an idyllic life. I tended my plants, went surfing, and partied a lot.

Nearby lived a buddy named Fred. He was the unofficial leader of our tiny cadre of pot farmers and surfers. One night, after visiting Fred, I was walking home down a dirt road looking up at the bright panorama of stars. A few days earlier I had seen the movie The Exorcist and it had left me feeling confused and uncertain about God, the devil, Jesus, heaven, hell, and religion in general. I may even have been a little scared. So I gazed up at the stars and spoke out to whatever was up there. I said, “I’m really fed up with this lack of information. If there is a God, why can’t you just tell me everything I need to know in a logical, straightforward way without all the myths, dogma and inconsistencies I find in all the religions? Just give it to me straight and I’ll believe it.”

It was not too long afterwards that I went over to Fred’s house and found a big blue book on his desk. I read the Foreword and knew right away that this was an extraordinary book. I couldn’t believe it was for real. The effect it had on me was not only mental but physical. My head rang as if I were on a drug. As I leafed through it, I became convinced that I must read the entire book. I asked Fred where he’d gotten it.

“Oh, that book?” he said off-handedly. “Bob So-and-so didn’t have twenty bucks for a ‘lid’ so I took the book instead. He says it’s worth more.”

Little did Fred realize what it was really worth. The Urantia Book in exchange for twenty dollars’ worth of marijuana was probably the best deal he’d ever gotten.

After reading the Foreword, I turned to “The Lucifer Rebellion.” Having just seen The Exorcist, I wanted to know what the devil was all about. The UB’s explanation cleared away all the fear and confusion I’d had regarding that topic.

It took me a while before I bought a book for myself. And even after I got the book, I didn’t read it from cover to cover immediately like so many other readers have. I only opened it and read it when I had the inclination, which was sporadically and periodically.

I was not changed by the book in a noticeable way until I’d had it for about ten years, and had decided—and become determined—to practice its concepts and values. Since I knew no one who had read the book or had even heard about it, I entertained for a split second the fantastic notion that I was the only person on earth who had discovered the book and was therefore chosen by God to deliver the message to the world. But since the book had a publisher, that idea was immediately seen for the grandiose concoction that it was.

After having had the book for about five years and with no one to discuss it with, I decided to contact the publisher, Urantia Foundation. I was overjoyed at last to talk to someone else who knew of the existence of the book. The woman on the phone gave me some study group phone numbers but the groups were either in the continental United States or on another island, and I was still living near Honolulu. When I finally had a chance to go to Los Angeles I attended my first study group, at Dick McDonald’s house in Van Nuys. There were about ten readers and I still have fond memories of that time.

For the first twenty-three years I was envious of my fellow UB readers who had successfully turned others on to the book, because it seemed I was unable do so myself. Then in 1996 a producer from the Strange Universe program invited me to speak about the book on TV. I initially had qualms about it but decided to go ahead, with assistance from my friends Don Roark, Norman Ingram and Andrea Barnes. Many, many new readers were introduced to the book as a result of the show. This made me realize that we do not need to be envious of anybody. We just need to have faith that everything comes in good time—because it does!

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