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How I Found the Urantia Book—LARRY WATKINS (1975) 


MOST PEOPLE will never hear the word “Urantia” at any time during their life. I heard it twice. The second time changed my life forever.

I grew up in the 1950s in Coos Bay, on the Oregon coast. After a year of college I left Oregon and moved to Los Gatos, California, with my parents. Because of a chance encounter at a metaphysical bookstore I found myself sitting in on channeling sessions with a man who claimed to be in psychic contact with UFOs, which he said were prevalent in the area. (Neither I nor anyone but him ever saw them). He’d go into a deep trance, his voice and features would change, sometimes he’d speak in a galactic language, and he’d transmit important messages and predictions from outer space visitors (none of which came true as far as I can remember, but it was exciting nonetheless). I transcribed the sessions and even participated with him in a stage play about UFOs at a community theater in San Jose.

In 1961 I saw a big blue book on his coffee table. He told me it was a book given to us by our cosmic friends. I picked it up, thumbed through it and lighted on descriptions of angels. Angels weren’t a big item in my life then and I told him the book seemed too Catholic for my taste. I wouldn’t meet the book again for another fourteen years.

In 1975 I was living in Jericho, Vermont, and attending a graduate course in Silva Mind Control—a technique for improving one’s psychic sensitivity—when I came into contact with the Urantia Book a second time. Although I was comfortable with my New Age beliefs and thought I pretty well knew all the answers to life’s spiritual and religious problems, I still felt a deep-down restlessness.

During a break, an encounter with another course attendee led me to mention that I still didn’t feel that I knew Jesus as well as I wanted to. She said, “I’ve been reading a book that I take everywhere with me. In fact, I’m on my third copy of it because I wear it out and write so much in it. If you really want to know Jesus then you have to read the Urantia Book.” I said I’d seen the book long ago but hadn’t been interested in it. She said that maybe now was the time for me to begin to read it. I took her home to have lunch with my family, and even photographed her with my children, but I never heard from this red-haired angel again.

I studied the Urantia Book for nearly ten years on my own, reading it through several times, much of it out loud to my family, and talked about it to anyone who’d listen and to a lot who wouldn’t. Afraid of being disappointed by other Urantia Book readers, I hesitated to reach out to them, but I eventually did attend my first study group.

I believe the book itself is the revelation. You have to read the book yourself in order to feel the revelation’s true power. In a similar way, during the times of Jesus, hearing rumors and stories about him was no substitute for sitting with him and learning firsthand. We may wish for our lives to inspire and transform others because of our association with this revelation, but to my way of thinking, the revelation is personal; it is transmitted through the interaction between the words on the printed page and the reader’s inquiring mind.

The Urantia Book: you have to read it to believe it!

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Larry circa 2007