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URANTIA MOVEMENT HISTORY
VARIOUS HISTORIES
MOVEMENT NEWSLETTERS
harold & martha sherman
Articles and controversies
pdfForum Data and Apocrypha
Appendix of The Sherman Diaries, Vol. 2
 
The Forumites
compiled by Saskia Praamsma
pdfHow the Papers Came Through
Chapter 8 of Sherman Diaries, Vol. 2
 
The 1942 Petition
Presented to Dr. Sadler by 48 Forumites
pdfForum Days
from How I Found the Urantia Book
 
533 Diversey Parkway
compiled by Saskia Praamsma
pdfChildhood at the Forum
by Mark Kulieke (SGH, August 1993)
 
pdf"I Remember the Forum"
Early HIFTUB stories with pictures
 
pdf"Until We Meet Again"
Compiled by Saskia Praamsma
 
pdfPlan for the Urantia Book Revelation
by Carolyn B. Kendall 
 
Major Growth Steps in the Urantia Movement by Meredith Sprunger
How I Found the Urantia Book
Compiled by Saskia Praamsma
My Own HIFTUB Story
by Saskia Praamsma
GO
The Split - A Blessing in Disguise
by Saskia Praamsma
What is the IUA?
Descriptions from two official sources
No Urantia Church - Not Yet!
by Saskia Praamsma
onlineA History of the Urantia Papers
by Larry Mullins
 
Open Letter to Larry Mullins
from Niann Emerson Chase (2003)
Three Histories
by Matthew Rapaport
pdfSeparate Publishing of Part IV
Is Harry McMullan breaking copyright laws?
 
pdfThe Jesus-A New Revelation Debate
Readers' pro and con viewpoints
 
A Box of Chocolates
by Phil Geiger
The Value of an Accurate History
by Saskia Praamsma
HAROLD SHERMAN
Harry J. Loose
Mysterious Forumite and Sherman mentor
 
Harold and Martha Sherman
and their relation to the Urantia work
 
Part One: Book Publishing
Sherman's 1942 suggestions for Dr. Sadler
 
Part Two: Organizations
Sherman's 1942 suggestions for Dr. Sadler
The ARA Messages (1941-42)
Sherman's TA communications
"Pipeline to God"—Chapter V of How To Know What to Believe by Harold Sherman
onlineRebuttal to "Pipeline to God"
Clyde Bedell's lengthy response
 
onlineResponse, "Pipeline"/HTKWTB
Meredith Sprunger's comments 
 
Editor's Note for Sherman Diaries
Saskia Praamsma
The Sherman Diaries
Editors, Saskia Praamsma, Matthew Block
pdf Letter from Ingo Swann
Friend of the Shermans shows appreciation
 
pdf Editorial, The Sherman Diaries
Review by Larry Mullins
 
Postscript to Urantia, The Great Cult Mystery Martin Gardner, 2008
Translation histories  
[English] The Italian Translation Project
[Italian] La Storia de Il Libro di Urantia
pdfJ.J. Benitez: J.J. The Baptist?
by Rosey Lieske and Olga Lopez
 
pdf Translations 2010
Urantia Foundation News
 
Coming soon  
SIR HUBERT WILKINS
HISTORICAL IMAGES
 

HOW I FOUND THE URANTIA BOOK
by Saskia Praamsma


<Here is where I was sitting on April 18, 1977, the day my life changed.

RELIGION
was an unpleasant topic in my family when I was growing up. My mother regarded all religionists as either hypocrites or fanatics, so when my father joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses and began preaching door to door, there was trouble. A truce was called, and from then on my dad rarely mentioned his beliefs. When the taboo topic did crop up once in a while, it would lead to shouting and bitterness.

What I heard about religion and God from my friends sounded like a fantasy. How could anyone worship a phantom God who kept himself hidden? Certainly not I! I automatically dismissed such concepts as the blood of Christ washing away my sins and Jesus dying for me on the cross; I could not fathom anybody falling for such ideas or worshipping a God who was always angry and who showed less tolerance for humanity than an ordinary civilized person would. I reasoned that the Creator should at least be wiser and more mature than his creatures.

And why, if he wanted us to know about him, would he give us only one book that was written thousands of years ago and that I couldn’t decipher? And why would he make it a sin to add anything to it? Why wouldn’t he give it to us straight? If human beings were capable of making themselves understood, then why did God—who created the human beings—insist on talking in riddles?

Religion, I decided, was not for me. I didn’t even try searching along those lines. I had rarely attended church, barely skimmed the Bible, knew nothing about God and Jesus, and made fun of people who prayed and turned to God for help. The idea of a God upholding the universe appealed to me, but unless someone who really knew the truth could explain it to me properly, I had nothing to pin my hopes on and would have to remain agnostic.

Like everyone else, I sought happiness. I would set my sights on something, acquire it, then find myself holding a big, empty balloon. I spent a great deal of time shopping, mainly for clothes. I tried to get ahead at work. I changed the color of my hair often. I thought that if I got married I’d be happy. Once married, I realized I needed a divorce to be happy. I had a string of relationships. I moved from country to country. I became more and more frustrated. I was doing everything within my power to be happy and nothing worked. At night I lay awake wondering where it would all lead. Would I simply die one day, and would that be the end of me? Miserable as I was, I still wanted to live forever.

I enjoyed reading and had managed to fill my head with earthly knowledge that represented a giant pile of jigsaw puzzle pieces that didn’t fit together. The more I learned, the more confused I became. I had many questions but no answers.

My brother Michael Praamsma had begun his search a couple of years earlier and in the process had found the Urantia Book. “You would love this book!” he insisted. But when I saw that it talked about God and Jesus I refused to look at it. The last thing I needed was to be converted to some wacky religion.

When yet another relationship ended, I was forced to temporarily move in with Michael. Several times I went along to visit his friends in Topanga Canyon, David and Barbara, who had given him the book. They all radiated a certain peace whereas I usually felt extremely agitated; the contrast was noticeable, even to me.

One evening the book lay open on Michael’s dining room table to “Dawn Races of Early Man.” Years earlier I had helped my parents put together an educational filmstrip that dealt with this topic, and in our research we found that the available human knowledge was largely conjecture. But the way this was written, the authoritative tone in which the subject matter was presented, impressed me and I couldn’t stop reading. They—whoever they were—were stating facts and clearing things up for me.

When I reached “The Survival of Andon and Fonta” light bulbs exploded in my head. This book is telling me the truth! We will not die! There’s a big universe out there that is fully under control, and there is a God after all! All the knowledge I had accumulated over the years clicked together, the pieces of the giant jigsaw puzzle forming a coherent picture of the universe that resembled a detailed tapestry. The astounding thing was that I recognized the picture as something familiar, something that deep down I had known all along but couldn’t see because it was blocked. Now the veil was lifted. I saw angels going from one planet to another carrying beings around in their arms; everything was connected with ladders and invisible wires, and I was a part of it! This life was not the end at all-it was the beginning!

Although I still had two thousand pages to go, I knew that this book would give me it to me straight. That was the happiest day of my life, April 18, 1977. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” I wept tears of joy and relief.

On that day I turned my life around 180 degrees. All my attitudes and values were changed in one fell swoop. I read the book for three months straight, barely coming up for air. I learned where I came from, where I was going, and why I was here. What I had believed to be important was meaningless, and that’s why happiness had eluded me. I discovered that there is no happiness apart from God. The stress and tension dropped away, the furrows in my brow relaxed, and I still hadn’t read a word about Jesus-that came much later. In fact, I resisted reading about him until I had exhausted all the other papers. But when I finally did, I was ready to accept him and his teachings wholeheartedly. Since that day I have had peace of mind-the peace which passes all understanding.

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