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Growth in religious insight has been plagued with even greater resistance and suffering. The prophets have been stoned; the saviors are crucified - by religious men and women who believe they are doing the will of God". For proof of this we need only look to the time of Jesus, John the Baptist, "the greatest of the prophets of the old order.

Jesus of Nazareth, the personal representative of the ever living God, who said, "He who has seen me has seen the Father," p. The Fifth Major Epochal Revelation was different than any of the four that had preceded it, for it was in book form. And, being in book form the Revelation carried with it the danger of textual re-writing and modification. As it would happen, that very danger was all the more emphasized by a certain European nation which approximately simultaneously with the presentation of The Urantia Papers was burning books by the tons and re-writing others to conform to the deranged thinking of a clique of gangsters who had somehow risen to the control of a one-time proud and mighty nation.

It was evident that The Urantia Book, like so many books before it, including the books of the Bible, would be defenseless under the indiscriminate pen of irresponsible and unprincipled people, unless it were properly protected. Moreover, the Contact Commissioners, who were not only aware of the sad history of the planet, but who had also watched the destruction of literary, philosophical and scientific efforts of great genius in that certain European nation, were specifically warned concerning The Urantia Book.

The early leaders set out to provide and perfect the necessary means of protecting the new Fifth Major Epochal Revelation. Their problem as if it were not trying enough was made even more difficult by the fact that The Urantia Book was a religious document of a high caliber, and the Contact Commissioners knew the plight of one of the best religions as it had been traditionalized and over-organized by perhaps sincere but misdirected believers down through the years.

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They had only to look at how the religion of Jesus had been changed into the religion about Jesus, with all the trappings of ecclesiasticism, to realize that over-organization had to be avoided in the religious movement that was sure to grow up around the teachings of The Urantia Book. The dangers of formalized religion are [among other things]: fixation of beliefs and crystallization of sentiments;.

It is difficult for religion to survive as the private practice of isolated individuals. This has ever been the error of the religious leaders: Seeing the evils of institutionalized religion, they seek to destroy the technique of group functioning. It was therefore clear that while overly formalized and over-institutionalized organization was undesirable - because it would stifle the progress of the individual believer, nevertheless, without an organization there would be no sure way to assist in the transmittal of moral values and spiritual ideals from generation to generation.

A religion no matter how worthy and pure will become submerged in the older evolutionary beliefs, or it will simply disappear for lack of renewal and material support, if it has no formal organization. Their strategy was twofold. In order to protect the text from editing, alterations, and distortions, they foresaw the necessity of placing The Urantia Book under the United States and International copyrights, thus guaranteeing future generations the privilege of having the unadulterated Fifth Major Epochal Revelation. To that end the Urantia Foundation was formalized and the Book was lawfully copyrighted in its name.

To avoid over-organization and thus to permit each individual "to enjoy religious liberty in the full expression of his own personal interpretation of the truths of religious belief and the facts of religious experience" p. Its purpose was to provide a vehicle for the socialization of the Urantia Teachings and to serve as the scaffolding for the development of a real brotherhood, which would act as the living transmitter of The Urantia Message.

The simple social organization would be an effective safeguard. To date it appears that the leaders have done their job well. The Declaration of Trust, which created the Foundation was well drawn and permits the Trustees the fullest latitude in accomplishing the objects as set out in the Declaration of Trust, including the protection of the text of The Urantia Book. The Constitution of Urantia Brotherhood is, in my opinion, one of the most consistent, liberal, fair plans that have yet been devised for any movement. I do not necessarily mean to say that it is perfect, but it does provide for its own amending, and in the meantime it is accomplishing the purposes it was designed to accomplish.

The wisdom of the early architects of Urantia Foundation and Urantia Brotherhood has already been shown. I am very sorry to say that indefensible assaults have indeed been made on the control and integrity of The Urantia Book, and some - much to the disbelief and consternation of their family and close friends - have already sought to disrupt and confuse Urantia Brotherhood.

While it is not the most pleasant of tasks, I can report that these problems have either been dealt with or they are presently being attended to. The message of The Urantia Book is for all religions and all mankind. But please remember: The Urantia Book was not placed on the planet so that it could be summarily butchered at the hands of shortsighted and selfish individuals who would wish to control The Urantia Book to make a name for themselves, or worst of all, who would wish permanently to distort the Urantia Teachings for commercial gain or to conform to their own prejudiced and humanly limited point of view.

Yes, The Urantia Book is here to be used by all mankind, but used with sane and proper safeguards to guarantee its continued existence and the purity of its text. One great advantage of having a revelation in book form and protecting its integrity is that few factual compromises need be made with evolutionary cultural beliefs and with the creeds, doctrines and beliefs of evolutionary religions.

The chances are minimal that the true and clear teachings will be mixed indistinguishably with the garbled thought of mere humans whose viewpoint is necessarily subject to distortion, prejudice, unclear thinking, emotionalism and even psychic illusion. The Urantia Book is the most balanced, consistent and fair presentation of spiritual truth and universe fact ever available to the human race in book form.

Mark you well: Any human commentary on the Urantia Teachings runs the very real risk of distorting and diluting the purity - if not of the text, then of the meaning of the text. No one wishes to prohibit or discourage responsible comment on The Urantia Message so long as it is kept clear from what is from The Urantia Book, and what is the product of human thought.

That is the reason for the copyright. The teachings of The Urantia Book distorted through indiscriminate plagiarism, must not be permitted to be foisted upon sincere truth seekers in the name of Truth. In diluting The Urantia Book with all manner of editing and misquoting, one can only revert to former error: truth is compromised to fit in with the preconceived - and perhaps ill-conceived - ideas of one individual or a group of individuals. Let us not slip from the sublime to the ridiculous. The Urantia Book is designed to be read, studied and considered as a whole, not to be seen in limited, fragmented pieces.

Fragmentation has been the great problem of the past where individuals have one seen glimpses of truth and spirit realities, and have failed to see the balanced, consistent, fair and unified presentation as is given by The Urantia Book. Can anyone rationally deny that for thousands of years the world has cried out in anguish for an authentic standard of spiritual understanding and planetary development?

Finally, we have such a standard, but there are those who threaten to modify it to suit their own whimsical tastes, if only by the subtle twisting of a phrase here and there, or by quoting out of context. In the United States, the common standard of lineal measurement is the yard, or very precisely defined subdivisions thereof. The yard itself is carefully defined in terms of the meter. Now, custom has it that originally the yard was defined as the distance from one's nose to the tip on one's outstretched arm and index finger. Imagine today what it would be like if everyone defined a yard - the basic unit of measurement - and the distance from his nose to the tip of his outstretched arm and index finger.

No one could agree on anything. You could not buy parts to fit your car; you would not be able to buy drapes to fit into your home - if your home itself fit together. In our sophisticated society we would have a complete economic breakdown. In The Urantia Book we have a clear and concise standard which not only gives us a starting point to judge our individual spiritual progress, but it also tells, among so many other things, what is best for our individual souls, and in what direction we should go, where we are going, and how we ought to get there.

The Urantia Book also gives us a wonderful intellectual understanding of the Father, the cosmos, and our planet. We finally have a standard on which we can build our lives and after which we can order the world. How presumptuous, how unfair for an individual or a group by willfully distorting and diluting The Urantia Message to sully and besmirch the Fifth Epochal Revelation. That is why a dependable standard whose authenticity is guaranteed is necessary. That is why The Urantia Book was copyrighted, and that is why the copyright shall be enforced. Is there any work of the magnitude of The Urantia Book that can approach its symmetry, balance and consistency?

Honorable and loyal members who are sincerely interested in the welfare of The Urantia Book will do everything possible to protect the integrity of its superlative message. If we do not, we can only watch in this life or look back from The Mansion Worlds - and look on with shame - as The Urantia Book is dismembered and cannibalized by clever and corrupt individuals and groups, all of who will, of course, insist that they are working for peace and progress while they tear and rip away at the dead flesh of the once living and vibrant Urantia Book.

Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing. Did not Lucifer insist that he was working for progress and liberty while at the same time he denied the very existence of the Universal Father and rebelled against the divine plan? Let us use The Urantia Teachings continually to fertilize our spiritual and moral thinking as we cultivate the inner garden of truth.

But, let us preserve the purity and integrity of The Urantia Book lest we suddenly find we are sowing our garden with the compromise-weeds of former evolutionary thought and human prejudice. So far I have talked mainly about The Urantia Book and early organization, emphasizing the importance of protecting the integrity and purity of the text of The Urantia Book.

Now let us take a closer look at organization and the role of Urantia Brotherhood. When you think of Urantia Foundation, think of copyright and legal ownership of the text of The Urantia Book. When you think of Urantia Brotherhood, think of a social and fraternal organization. The Urantia Foundation is composed of five Trustees who are elected for life.

In addition, there are at present, two Trustees Emeritus. These people deal with protecting the name Urantia, publishing The Urantia Book, and watching over the technical and legal requirements of protecting the text of The Urantia Book. The Trustees have been given an important job. They have been entrusted with a sacred responsibility. The Urantia Brotherhood is composed of individual Urantia Societies to which you or I or another interested person may belong. Briefly, the following is a description of the governmental mechanics of organization.

The Urantia Societies, which constitute the basic constitutional building blocks of Urantia Brotherhood, are largely autonomous. Every three years each Society elects a delegate and an alternate to represent that Society at the Triennial Delegate Assembly. It is at this Assembly that twelve General Councilors are elected to the General Council, the deliberative body of Urantia Brotherhood.

The General Council is composed of thirty-six members with staggered terms of nine years for each Councilor. The Executive Committee of Urantia Brotherhood is elected from the General Council and through its monthly meetings, carriers on the business of Urantia Brotherhood. There is a third group, which I should mention, and that is Urantia Brotherhood Corporation. This corporation serves as the fiscal agent of Urantia Brotherhood, handling various monetary matters at the direction of the Executive Committee.

These groups are thoroughly cooperative and noncompetitive. Their mutual objective is the protection and wise dissemination of The Fifth Major Epochal Revelation, and they have always worked harmoniously to that end. While copyright matters are important, and while the brotherhood emphasizes this through the education of its members, Urantia Brotherhood, being a social and fraternal organization has additional purposes. But it is to be hoped that the ardent and sincere efforts of these future prophets will be directed less toward the strengthening of antireligious barriers and more toward the augmentation of the religious brotherhood of spiritual worship among the many followers of the differing intellectual theologies which so characterize Urantia of Satania.

A chief purpose of Urantia Brotherhood is to augment the growth of a religious brotherhood among the many followers of the differing religions of the world. Urantia Brotherhood claims no specific religiosity. It does not wish to stifle or hinder the efforts of other sincere religionists who may or may not have heard of The Urantia Book but who honestly and unselfishly labor for the spiritual uplift of their fellows by bringing God to man and man to God.

URantia Brotherhood and its individual Urantians wish to work in confraternity with these sincere religionists. This is amply demonstrated by the fact that individuals of diverse religious backgrounds may at one and the same time belong to their own formal religious organization and Urantia Brotherhood. Urantia Brotherhood is not exclusive. Many have enriched their own lives and have more thoroughly understood and appreciated the truths in their own evolutionary religion because of contact with The Urantia Message.

But how is Urantia Brotherhood to achieve this purpose of augmenting the growth of a free spiritual brotherhood? Is it to be another church with all the risks of stifling and oppressive over-organization? Or is it to be just another narrow, provincial religious sect? To put answers to these questions and to place matters in perspective, I would like to draw upon the very first President's Triennial Report to the General Council of Urantia Brotherhood, by William S. Sadler, Jr.

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Another sect? To this question, a negative answer has always been given, 'No, the Urantia Brotherhood is neither a church nor a sect. It is simply a social group which has a religious objective. God alone is spirit sovereign. At the present time, we suffer from a plethora of churches and a multiplication of sects. If we can clearly see how we differ, then perchance we can maintain such differences. And, if we can maintain these differences, then we may be able to preserve our organization as a distinctive Brotherhood; we may be able to avoid a possible evolution in the direction of a church.

So as long as we do not claim these things we can hardly become a church. A Urantian could be a sectarian religionist; he could be a religionist who is primarily dedicated to the propagation of The Urantia Book. Would such a dedication, however, be a valid dedication - in the light of what we all know?

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The writer submits that such a dedication is not valid as a primary dedication. Such an exaltation of a most worthy secondary dedication to primary status could well transform a religious Urantian into a sectarian Urantian - a Urantian who has allowed the importance of The Urantia Book to take precedence over the importance of God. The writer believes that both of these unfortunate developments can be avoided if we are careful in distinguishing between Means and Ends.

This is another way of saying that we should be careful not to confuse our Secondary loyalties and our Primary loyalties.

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The writer would accordingly submit for the careful consideration of the Brotherhood the following philosophy of action:. God is the only true End. Our primary spiritual loyalty and dedication is to the Universal Father, and to Him alone. When we encounter some spiritually hungry brother, our first objective is to bring him closer to his spiritual Father. This we may attempt with, or without, the Book. All other things are secondary and subordinate to the acquisition of this one 'pearl of great price' - the realization of sonship with God.

The Urantia Book as a Means to the End.

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The Book itself is not an End - it is a most important Means to an End. It is designed to bring God closer to man and to bring man closer to God. We may minister to our spiritually hungry brothers with or without the aid of The Urantia Book. But, if the Book ever becomes mandatory in our ministry, then we have truly become sectarian.

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Our primary objective, as Urantians, is the service of God, and the Book is an important Means to that great End. Here we should make a vital distinction between that which is value and that which has value.

Academic Tools

Thanks to the internet, Weingarten said, people no longer have to travel to see beauty trends from all over the world, nor do we need to wait for them to make their way to us. Because of that, we learn about trends that are popular in other parts of the world more quickly than we ever would have in the past, and we can participate in them.

Just think about Korean beauty and how quickly it exploded in the U. You can even buy specialty products at CVS and Walgreens. If you had African-American hair, that made you look a certain way. In that sense, the look is accessible, which is perhaps why so many people online conform to it. And speaking of conforming, people want to fit in. It makes people feel confident. Obviously filters and editing apps play a role in this trend, too. For Weingarten, Brustein and Engeln, the emergence of this homogenized expression of beauty can be problematic.

On one hand, some people may find that conforming to a beauty standard can help with confidence and self-esteem. That confidence boost, though, will likely be short-lived, especially if you become increasingly obsessed with presenting an altered version of yourself on social media.

It should be noted that not everyone who participates in the current Instagram trends will find themselves sinking into a black hole of dissatisfaction with their own lives. It is sad. That kind of denial hurts people. It makes them feel erased, and for women in particular, it makes them spend God knows how much time trying and trying to reach that look that they may be genetically unable to reach.

Social media is democratizing in some ways. Real Life. Real News.