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How I Found the Urantia Book—ESTHER WOOD (1974) 

I HAVE loved God all my life. When I was a young girl I went to church every Sunday and to Bible school every summer. I loved the stories about Jesus. Then one summer, when I was around eight or nine, my grandma took me to an evangelical revival where the preacher gave one of those hellfire-and-brimstone sermons, and it scared the hell right out of me. When they called for those wanting to be saved to come up, I went up the altar and gave my life to Jesus that day. I was as sincere as I could be, considering what I could understand at the time.

For a while after that I was “on fire for the Lord,” but the way the “good Christians” in my life acted—gossiping about their neighbors, treating each other with disrespect, their lack of honesty—left me feeling disenchanted. I withdrew from the church and my family—but not from God. Somehow, I still knew that he was the true righteousness. I looked for Him in a lot of unconventional places (my grandmother would shudder if she knew all the places I looked!). The amazing thing was that no matter where I looked, I could see God. That was my first clue that God was bigger than any man-made religion. He did not forsake me, even though I’d gone to some God-forsaken places.

In the early ’70s, after two years of college and a lot of partying in Michigan, I moved to Portland, Oregon. I still read the Bible, as well as many other books about different religions, mysticism, the occult, psychology, sociology, and philosophy. I was spiritually hungry and actively looking for truth. In 1974 I met the man who is now my husband. We talked a lot about life, God, those “interesting coincidences,” and anything else anybody brought up in our search for truth. We invited everyone we knew to join us in our quest.

One day, our neighbor brought over a big blue book and handed it to us, saying, “I think you are ready for this.” He left it with us for two weeks. We looked through it, read portions here and there, discussed it, and read some more. I remember the first time I read pages 1007-8, where the revelators tell us about the five epochal revelations given to our planet. The fourth had been Jesus’ life on earth and the fifth was the Urantia Papers, “of which this is one . . .” Those words hit me with a feeling of profound discovery: If this is true, this is a big deal; if not, it is a big deception.

I laid the book down for a moment and prayed about it. I decided to go back to the Bible. The Bible fell open at 2nd John 4: 1-6. “Believe not every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God . . . . You know the spirit is of God if it confesses that Jesus is the Son of God.” The whole Urantia Book confesses that. We bought a book of our own soon after that.

In 1975 we moved about forty miles south of Portland, to Molalla, where we started our family and our study group. It has been a long process of growing up in the kingdom of heaven, but our Father has been with us through all of our trials, tribulations and joys. I feel very lucky that we found the Urantia Book.

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