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How I Found the Urantia Book—FRED SMITH (1976) 

I MUST go back to 1968, to Hiram Johnson High School in Sacramento, California. In the sophomore gym class the teacher required us to stand in line according to the alphabetical order of our last names. That is how I met the incredible guy, Rick Ulvevadet, who would one day introduce me to the Urantia Book. We struck up a close friendship which has lasted to this day.

In 1969 I moved to Modesto, and for a while Rick and I went our separate ways. A few years later I was transferred to Fresno through my work with a restaurant company, and Rick became stationed in Fresno as a fireman with the Department of Forestry. It wasn’t long before we contacted each other, and from then on we often got together to share the details of our lives.

During the early ’70s I became involved in the Pentecostal experience of speaking in tongues and believing in the fire-and-brimstone message of the end times. After receiving my personal revelation of the Rapture and finding God within me two years later, I moved on from that fundamentalist organization and began searching for the answers to the universe. This led me to several different groups of New Age thinkers and seekers.

All the while I was relating my experiences to my friend Rick. New Age beliefs did not sit well with him at the time, as he was still clinging to the traditional Christian doctrine about receiving Christ as your personal savior. Soon thereafter we again went our separate ways when I was transferred to Petaluma to manage a Happy Steak Restaurant and he to work in Columbia, more than 150 miles away.

About two years later, in 1976, I received a call from Rick that transformed my spiritual outlook. Rick had changed. He was telling me about his revelation. It sounded a lot like mine, except that his was much more in-depth about God and the universe. I asked him what had he found to bring about such a profound change in his life and to give him such increased knowledge about the universe. He answered, “I’ve found a book—the Urantia Book! When I first picked it up it felt like I was being energized!”

“Wow!” I exclaimed. “Where do I get one?”

He said that he had checked it out of a library in Sonora, and that perhaps a bookstore would carry it. From what he told me about it, I knew I had to have that book, so I ordered a copy from a bookstore in Petaluma. Twenty-four years later [from 1998], I still feel that same energy and spiritual inspiration every time I read the Urantia Book.

Since I became a full-time artist in 1987, the Urantia Book has become my sketchbook. I’ve drawn a great variety of ideas, thoughts, feelings and doodles in it; now I mostly draw animals—hundreds of them—from insects to elephants. My Urantia Book is truly a work of art, a unique, one-of-a-kind UBook. I do, however, keep several extra copies around for reading purposes.

Now that I live in Southern California I try to attend as many local study groups as possible. I love sharing my experiences and my drawing-filled UB with other readers.

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Fred circa 2000

Samples of Fred's Urantia Book "doodles"

Fred Smith's website►