Who is talking with God these days? Does God have a living spokesperson?
On August 21, 2011 this Examiner attended a Urantia Book based event in Salt Lake City – the celebration of the birth of Jesus (the Christian world has theories as to the actual birth-date of Jesus, but the Urantia Book is emphatic, Jesus was indeed born in Bethlehem, August 21stat noon, 7 BC). At this event, the Woods Cross Study Goup enjoyed an actual transmission—a message from Abraham (father of Isaac and husband of Sarah of 4000 years ago) and then a most compelling message from Jesus himself (see below transcript). Abraham has been a ‘teacher’ to this group for 20 years in a campaign known as Urantia’s Teaching Mission – the Correcting Time. It is not unusual that Creator of a universe and fellow Brother, Jesus of Nazareth himself, does stop in from time to time to address his “children” in this Mission group (and other like groups around the world).
This profound event caused me to wonder—who is talking to, and literally hearing from God these days? If other truth seeking people or religious groups ‘are’ literally hearing from heavens then where are the words—the “I the Lord” in first person format words? In today’s high tech Internet-world such words would be so easily shared for all.
It was Jesus who said in the New Testament, “And what I say unto one, I say unto all.” Therefore, should such messages from God, today, be withheld from the people? Or only shared with a few chosen?
As well, in August of 1831, a “revelation from the Lord” affirms this same injunction to today’s generation and is a wonderful example of the Creator of a Universe addressing his children.:
Doctrine and Covenants 61:36
36 And now, verily I say unto you, and what I say unto one I say unto all, be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you.
Has God ceased such revelation to his children? Evidently not — at least to the Urantia Book study group here in Salt Lake City.
Biblically, it was the “prophets of Israel” who were God’s mouthpiece. The LDS (Mormon) Church, based in Salt Lake City Utah, claim they are the ‘restored prophets of Israel.’ If so, many wonder ‘why is there no published directive from God in today’s church in the form of “I the Lord…“ indicative of the first-person format found in the Bible, the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants? There seems no claim of revelation from God from the religions of authority, in first-person format, in over 150 years LDS-wise; and in 2000 years Christianity-wise.
Many must be wondering—has God ceased his interest in wanting to keep in touch with current mankind through the world-religions’ leaders? Could it be that today’s man has rejected God? Perhaps God ‘is’ talking but the membership is not ready for the updates from God?
It is a common local belief that the Lord is talking to his appointed and anointed, yes, but not necessarily in the lingo used in biblical tone or Doctrine and Covenants tone – “thus sayeth the Lord.”
Many religionists will say ‘God has given us his word and we need no more ‘thus sayeth the Lord’ word. Yet, the very scripture Mormonism was founded upon, from the book of James, “If any man lack wisdom let him ask of God, who gives to all man liberally…” suggests any and all and at any time.
Therefore, is any organized religion literally ‘hearing’ from God today? Surely man is “lacking wisdom” these days. Many claim such, but where is the written ‘thus sayeth the Lord’ words such as, “I the Lord am bound when you do what I say; but when you do not what I say ye have no promise.” (D&C 10:1)
In the Christian sector of world-religion most have a basic belief that God talks to them through the Holy Bible. Some, as in the Catholic faith, believe their Ecumenical leader is the spokesperson for God to mankind.
Locally, the LDS adherent has a strong-hold belief that only their prophets of Israel—the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles—receives directives from God who reveals His wishes to the general membership through talks such as presented in General Conference the first weekend of April and October each year. If so then God ‘is’ talking, but why a change in format?
Not only does the LDS church claim to be the direct ‘contact’ from God, so do many other branch-offs from Mormonism scattered throughout Utah and the intermountain West, typically the “fundamentalist” plural wives groups such as Warren Jeff’s group in Colorado City, Arizona.
Jim Jones convinced his people that he was talking to God, and that God directed them on November 18, 1978 to drink the punch (ending in a mass-suicide).
David Koresh convinced his fold of Branch Davidians, Waco Texas, in April 1993 that he was the true branch of the One Vine from God. Koresh convinced many to go down in blaze of glory – a ‘directive from God.’
And, there are the many of the Jimmy Swaggart ilk that have convinced thousands of followers that they are divinely led and are God’s spokesperson. And these are only of the Christian world. Surely each country and each religion has their claimants who are talking to God and are with charge to convey His wishes to the people. What of the Jews—the extension of ancient Israel?
In interviewing a member of the local SLC Jewish faith recently (name withheld by request), his understanding is that since the destruction of Jerusalem, in about 70 A.D., there is no Jewish ‘prophet’ or iconic Jewish leader – such as is the Pope to the Catholics or the Prophet is to the LDS. Each Jewish member is fending for himself. Perhaps that is a wonderful thing.
If any of the above mentioned have current connections with celestials their “thus sayeth the Lord” revelations are apparently not posted to the general public nor on today’s Internet’s search engines.
The Urantia Book, though not a part of any organized religion and printed in 1955, does contain very much of ‘first person format,’ claim of revelation … in fact 2096 pages of such including several hundred from Jesus himself such as this paragraph describing an event just hours before Jesus’ arrest which culminated in his crucifixion:
When Jesus made ready to go into the hills alone, David Zebedee accosted him, saying: “You well know, Master, that the Pharisees and rulers seek to destroy you, and yet you make ready to go alone into the hills. To do this is folly; I will therefore send three men with you well prepared to see that no harm befalls you.” Jesus looked over the three well-armed and stalwart Galileans and said to David: “You mean well, but you err in that you fail to understand that the Son of Man needs no one to defend him. No man will lay hands on me until that hour when I am ready to lay down my life in conformity to my Father’s will. These men may not accompany me. I desire to go alone, that I may commune with the Father.” [Urantia Book Paper 177]
Though the Urantia Book is a most recent revelatory claim—revealed in the early 1900’s but not printed till 1955—still it is chiefly an accounting of earth’s history, our universe’s history and events of yesteryear. Many students of it feel the heavens have given us a current day ‘revelation’ but have left us to decipher it using our logic and Spirit of Truth.
However, the Urantia Teaching Mission students of the Woods Cross, Utah group claim an ongoing relationship with the very celestial overseers and teachers who presented us the Urantia Papers. It is their 20 year experience that the celestial universe government did not deliver a book and disappear, but are available to ongoing students of it as teachers and guides.
This group’s adherents are of various religious backgrounds—LDS, Catholic, Muslim and etc. There is no hierarchy of this Teaching Mission group. Their “transmissions” are posted on the Internet – usually weekly. This Teaching Mission campaign is termed ‘the Correcting Time’ and their transmissions (“lessons”) are in first-person format –usually from Abraham and/or Mary Magdalene. There are other celestial teachers to these Teaching Mission groups around the world. All such unseen celestial teachers claim they are under the direction of Melchizedek.
On one or two occasions per year, Jesus himself addresses the students. The following is one such address – from a class this Examiner attended here in Salt Lake City on Aug. 21st2011:
Aug. 21, 2011
I am Abraham. I am your teacher. Greetings.
What a blessing to gather together on this day of celebration of the Master’s mortal birth. I am able to see on my side what these 20 plus years has accomplished. I know that some of you sometimes see life as going backwards. Now that this world, Urantia, is in the fold of Nebadon and the new circuits are in place, there has been and will be confusion. As the Correcting Time moves forward you participants will learn to live as if the planet were already in light and life.
As we ponder upon the life of Jesus we can see He had no attachments. That may sound a bit harsh, but in all reality the Master lived His life as if the planet had already advanced into a new era. Jesus had a wonderful balance in His mortal life because of His closeness to the Father. Father was somewhat of a safeguard against attachment or addiction. Many have put the Master on a pedestal to try to live up to His perfect style of living, yet that is not what His message was supposed to spell out.
Many of you that have been spiritually aware are learning of detachment and I am not talking about loss, but a vision that extends beyond being mortal. You will be able to see when you are beyond the veil that our careers are eternal and we are simply moving from one classroom to the next. I can understand the frustration of maintaining faith in harsh reality, but I can also advise that the more you run from Father or rebel against Him or blame Him for your troubles, the more pain you will feel. This is not a punishment, no. This is simple truth.
When we are grasping for the material or we are in painful desire or even addiction, we are more distant from Father. He is not in the forefront of our minds. You that have committed to serve in our Teaching Mission have been trained to release your attachments and live on the world as if you were already in an era of light and life. I understand it takes longer for some to learn than others, but remember you have asked to be a part of this Mission. I know that no matter how bitter or angry you may be in any given moment, your heart is still on the side of commitment.
I am touched and with gratitude to be your teacher and friend. This life is somewhat a lesson in bargaining for happiness. You learn to detach from things that the animal side of you desires, while allowing the budding spirit to grow toward a heavenly nature.
Michael (Jesus): I AM in your presence, your Brother/Father/Friend/Parent and Coworker. My loved ones, I am made glad to be so close to you spirit to spirit, yes. I am always in your presence, but not so much in your awareness.
I am sometimes experiencing pain because I cannot get your attention. I am with deep and abiding love for you, children, and I long to be a source for you. Mortal agony is not necessary for the training you must experience.
At this point in time we are helping mortal minds to see beyond this life, to make this life and the next, one. Our Correcting Time is showing us where our priorities should be.
In the end of this life can you not see who is there for you? It is not material attachment, addiction, pain—physical or mental, no. It is Spirit. It is parental love. It is a sigh of the soul, knowing that you are about to glimpse more joy than you have ever known.
You can witness for yourselves the unraveling of man’s power. The things that seemed important in our culture or society is changing. Money is literally becoming worth less and the God-connection, and the connection you have as brothers and sisters, is a living, growing energy – and that is where you find true comfort. Not escape, no, but a family feeling that you are loved and watched over and deeply cared for.
The lessons you experience that are causing you pain, give them to me. Allow me to help you grow the soul within. Allow me to broaden your vision. Allow me a place in your lives as your Brother/Father. I cannot take away your pain, but you can. Allow me my place. Allow Father His place and allow us to teach you the skills you need to advance your own soul and be a light to others.
Our Mission is not fading. We are not hiding. We are diligently working and you are helping to build a bridge toward a new and better way of thinking. I am touched by your willingness to celebrate my mortal birth and bring me into your thoughts. I love you.
I need you to unsheathe the sword of faith and move forward. Do not roll around in your pain. Take up your sword of faith and push through. Live as if our blessed planet was already in light and life. Carry on.
I am Abraham with you again. We are thanking Michael for His words, His display of affection. When we are aware of this affection we are able to do so much. I am asking you each to find for yourselves – whatwould it look like if you were living as if you were already in light and life? Ponder that and we will have further discussion. Know that there are many of us at hand and ready to help.
With that I shall take my leave. I give you my unending love and bid you to go in peace. Shalom. [Woods Cross Transcripts, 8/21/2011]
What a comforting message. What a marvel—to actually experience the heavens are alive and personal to anyone who seeks. How wonderful if anyone in all churches could experience such regular and current to daily living messages from the very Divine Caretakers they claim to worship. Why not? That is a most sobering question—why not?
Perhaps an answer to the ‘why not’ is that man has been convinced by the religions of authority that God only talks through their chosen leaders.
Again, the very foundation of the LDS church was built upon a biblical verse, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally, and upbraideth not and it shall be given unto him.”