North Idaho Teaching Mission Group
The Urantia Movement and Leadership
October 27, 2002
* Elyon (Jonathan TR): Greetings to you, this is Elyon again, happy to be among you to share.
You each are guardians of light, though perhaps a more appropriate word would be custodians, for light is in your custody. However, both words serve their purpose, for it is of vital importance to preserve light, to not be one who distorts but one who transfers light with clarity, sharpness. Yet, as one who is in custody of light, it is not a custody of being captured, for you are all motivated -- as I witness this -- to spread light, to radiate, to give it out so that others may benefit from illumination.
I am pleased with your discussion of my suggestion last week, discussing how you shape light. You have brought up good metaphors and illustrations of how this may take place. I will bring one more comment to this discussion, and that is as you share spiritual light be it in the form of conveying knowledge of things spiritual, wisdom gained from your experiences, or the helping hand of one human being to another in need, this broadcast of light takes form as it shines upon another individual. So, as we had discussed that shaping spirit using the metaphor of a balloon or a vessel circles around the shape of spirit within oneself, you also bring shape to light by permitting it to be shed upon another. Letting your light shine, as any source of illumination provides, lights up objects in its proximity. In darkness visible discernment of shape is difficult. With illumination shape is recognized. So, extending beyond oneself you bring form to light by letting it radiate upon another and letting that other be illuminated that their shape be revealed, and in so doing they see within themselves the potential and the degree of actual presence of that light that they too may give out to others.
I have not prepared a lesson. Instead rather I wish to join your prior conversation and make some other comments. You have spoken of service, and I have heard the phrase of serving God as well as the desire to serve others in need. I begin by saying that the easiest form of service to be had is serving God, for each one of you is solely the desire of the Father to be His communion comrade. Though the Father is aware of all that transpires throughout the vast universe, His divine abilities are such that without distraction He is singly focused intensely upon each one of you. And this draw of God towards you is the divine desire for human experience. Therefore, as you rise in the morning you have already begun your service to God.
Michael and Mother Spirit are two creator personalities who have more causes than the Father. The Father’s supreme desire is your experience. On the other hand each Creator Son and Creative Spirit have universes to build and to settle in Light and Life. This begins the ministry service to others. Here enters variety in task, in value, in method. Recall that Jesus said, “Whatsoever you do for these little ones you do for me.” It may be said that living your life is an unceasing service to God the Father who indwells you, and such a conscious practice the human engaged aware of this relationship is developing the skills that Michael and Mother Spirit seek so that you may help their other children.
You have spoken of service as small acts, individual endeavors, short periods of benefit, and you have pondered the value and some means whereby you may engage in apparently bigger acts of service, those that entail coordination of people to effectively reach a service goal or to leave a larger imprint upon humanity of spirit manifestation. These are the considerations that you have that bring delight to the Creator Son and to the Creative Mother Spirit. When Michael was leaving this world he said, “Go forth and proclaim the gospel to all the world”, and this indeed is a large task even on a small world like Urantia. Therefore you and I may take that as priority one, any form of service. It is not to say that tying the shoe of a little child is not service if you do not preach the gospel to that little one, for you know with a short interval of thought that this incorporates doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. The gospel is preached in deed as well as word. Herein is the stumbling point for many an organization that undertakes service, for it is easy to lose track of the primary objective -- in our case, promoting the gospel -- and become mired in the orchestration of the various tasks that result from gospel enlightenment within yourselves and sharing. Soon deliberations begin over the mechanics, how to host a function, how to collect and distribute recycled jackets, how to feed hungry people. I am not saying these ought not to be undertaken, for there is great need on this world for such ministries. I simply stress the prominence in any motivation of revealing the love of the Father to all and demonstrating that among mankind you can love one another. Then it is up to you the degree to which you wish to carry this gospel to the world.
There is an expression I witness many of you say as you leave your residence that you are “heading out”. I find that humorous, for where is the “in” that you are exiting from? As one who has lived quite some time, residence has shifted so often that it does become indiscernible what is home and what is “out there”, for the borders, the boundaries, of home grow increasingly large. In that view, going forth to preach the gospel to the world means that you can be at home and out in the world at one and the same time, that even your small acts within the limitations of a neighborhood are as valuable as crusades across the planet. Conversely, the needs of another halfway around your globe are just as important as the needs of your next-door neighbor.
I applaud your sensitivity and your keen observations of need, for you recognize that human upliftment spans the spectrum from physical needs all the way on up to the most fulfilling of all human hunger, and that is personal intimate experience with God and all the assurances derived therefrom.
Much inspiration has occurred in many lives drawn from the study of the life of the master. His method of ministry and outreach has been repeated, the taking into confidence of a few, the development of a corps, and the extension of that ministry to the multitudes. I know you recognize that it would not be feasible for each of you to undertake preaching tours of the nature of Jesus’ activities of his time. But the principle of engaging others in your task is good, and you know the range of personalities that Jesus enlisted in his corps. Their talents were varied not only horizontally in the sense of what they could perform, how they could function such as a treasurer or speaker or usher, but they were varied in degree of spiritual sensitivity. Some were pacific, some complacent, some nearly militaristic. This variety is beneficial.
As I began by saying that Michael has a cause, and that is Light and Life for Nebadon, each one of you provides the variety for him to complete his task. Saying this, my motivation and goal is for you to recognize that your horizontal talents do not make you greater or lesser than another but part of the team. Never sell yourself short if you feel less enlightened than someone else, for the method that Michael employed here when he was on earth enlisted many individuals that one in an academic sense would say were unqualified.
Well, as any good conversation proceeds, one must not hold the floor for too long. Therefore I am hoping to dialogue with you at this time.
Harold: Is there a set design at work within the Urantia movement? Are we fulfilling all the aspects of it? Are there things we should be doing to motivate progress in this Urantia movement?
* Elyon: I respond by first recalling to your memory how prior to the outreach ministry of Jesus and the apostles they spent many months in training, and that when they were engaged in this training period the apostles grew restless. They were motivated; they had no project as yet. When the missions began then they saw the wisdom of their master. Then the impatience of preparing gave way to the appreciation of the wisdom of becoming prepared. Secondly, they cherished those times when they had the master to themselves, for as the missions unfolded private time became scarce. This was over the course of a few years. The revelation efforts you are engaged in this epoch span a larger period of time, but the principle applies. First, the interval of preparation, and that is the interval you have been engaged in of study, of encouraging others to study, developing a sound and working knowledge of the Urantia Papers. And the movement you speak of has done well in encouraging this undertaking without forcing a ready-made doctrine of interpretation on this revelation. However, picture if you will a box full of sand. It does well to contain the sand until at some time there is a crack in its side. Soon the sand begins to spill, a little at first until it opens wider and then more. And if you have ever experienced the frustration when the bottom falls out there is no holding it back. We are in transition towards this spilling. One day you will look back upon these times of preparation and realize it was an entirely different time than the phase you will be engaged with at that time. The spilling will be small at first and grow increasingly larger.
There has become present within this movement quite a range of skills and talents, not only book writers and publishers, but those who can teach practices found in many of the religions such as meditation, those engaged in healing the physical ailments of others, and also those quite astute in the management of money. And there are many other talents I have not listed. This broad platform is important, for in this era we are not simply working in the area of Galilee; we are working across the globe.
Some within this movement are like the early grain of sand that has left the box. I do not discourage those early grains of sand from spreading out. There will be some grains of sand that never do leave the box. It appears empty but you will find a few still within. There is a twofold nature at work: those who preserve and those who promote, though I suppose you could say there are those who promote preservation. Wringing as much as I can out of this box of sand metaphor, I would like to say that if all the sand left the box, what would all these worldwide ministers have to point back to say, “There is where I found it. There is the answer.” So, taking this revelation to the world not only entails weaving it into the thought-stream present in humanity today, but it must also preserve noticeably its distinction so that you can look back and say, “There is where we found it.”
It is important that the Papers remain available, but warehouses full of books do not transform souls. Therefore that second step of becoming known, present, published, and out in practice is important. Jesus was successful not in the few short years but in the resulting centuries. Many of his followers did not adhere precisely to his teachings, but he was successful.
Today we are engaged in the same actions. Seek inspiration of the Divine Indweller of what you may do, but also trust that your own human interests are valuable. If you wish to write, perform plays, join in hospital efforts, whatever it is, the Father seeks that experience. Michael needs those workers.
The nature of the evolving universes is change, and that applies to your movement. Understanding the balance and the timing of process should alleviate any bickering among fellows as to which is the right way to do it just as was found when Paul and Peter and even Abner had their differences. You have been counseled through your text not to start another religion. As you seek to uplift the religions existent upon Urantia today, remember that not starting a religion does not mean hiding a revelation. Let it be known. The revelation will transform the religion. Some of it will be as the nourishing water of life seeping up from the ground below as it would if each of you were engaged in some religious organization and seeded your thoughts within that context. But as you know not all moisture comes in that way. Much moisture falls from above, and this is what the package of the Urantia Papers does. So, while you engage in efforts of seepage, let it shower as well. Let it be known what source you derive your inspiration from.
There are factions in your society which cannot tolerate difference, but at this point in the evolution of your culture many are able to deal with variety, be it ethnic, cultural, political. You have been exposed to much that is beyond what a small clan of people would tolerate. Being one engaged in the Correcting Time manifesting as the Teaching Mission, I am one who adheres to outreach, so I encourage you to be creative, to help advance this movement.
Does this help?
Harold: Yes. It seems that all religions take origin in a leader. The Urantia movement is almost singly doing without a leader. Is that part of the plan to not concentrate on a leader to direct it, or is that in the process of being fulfilled too?
* Elyon: This undertaking is somewhat different than those you cite. Firstly, small organizations with a leader often dissipate when the leader is no longer with them. Secondly, those movements that do survive often deify their leader. In the case of Christianity they were correct. As you know from your reading of the text each epochal revelation had a pivotal figure or figures such as Adam and Eve. Why I bring up Adam and Eve is so I may segue into my next point, and that is their goal was the education and enlightenment of those who entered the Garden training centers and then to send them back to their clans that they may uplift their own peoples. My point is that this revelation outreach effort is taking perspective of not one powerful leader but a multitude of little leaders. Each of you is like the ones trained in the Garden to return to your homelands. You see this in this Teaching Mission. No one teacher runs the show. No one TR is the sole voice. This is true across the entire Urantia movement. It will be difficult, for this variability of leadership often, given human nature, brings fighting. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? What’s appropriate? What’s inappropriate? But trust me, it is most powerful in its effectiveness and strongest in its durability. If Adam and Eve had traveled the entire world teaching everyone they ran into it would be months or perhaps years before those tribes would have lost the vision after they, Adam and Eve, left.
I point to the Melchizedeks who have no leader. By being such they each have become leaders.
One other note, though it is wise to offer correction to any individual you may note to be on a wayward tangent to the purposes of the revelation, it is also beneficial to support the variety, to tolerate the differences of approach so that those who do have leadership initiative are not squelched or ridiculed. Support them even if their undertakings are not your preferred approach.
Do you have more comments?
Harold: That is clear and interesting. I wish that those in leadership roles now could hear that and accept diversity. It’s been a problem for those in authority.
* Elyon: True indeed. To return to the box of sand, when one is comfortably carrying the box it feels powerful, controlled. When the box starts to leak there is a scramble to maintain that authority. It is natural in human nature, and the transition will be somewhat rugged, but eventually the attempt to maintain the borders will appear useless and futile. So, those like yourselves can offer the ministry of initiating that seed thought that will allow the growth of accommodation coupled with the awareness that each approach is acceptable.
As I have pointed out, the revelation must not disappear. Some personalities are well suited to preservation and will fight to the death to not have the revelation altered or destroyed. This is good, for there will be many who, like Paul the apostle, will weave the revelation into other thought-streams and change the color. And that too is good, for I know each of you found the revelation through these other paths. You within the movement are the ones to plant the seeds of understanding.
Harold: Thank you.
Elyon: You are welcome.
I observe that the grains of sand in the hourglass are falling through, and I will take my leave at this time. I love you all. As our master often said, be of good cheer. Farewell.