Drafted by Clyde Bedell in 1942 and
submitted to Dr. Sadler with signatures of some forum members.
Copyright © 1999 C. Barry Bedell; used by permission
Dear Dr. Sadler:
We, the undersigned, about to address you formally on a matter of vital importance to us all, cannot refrain from taking this opportunity to pay you the homage and respect which -- despite our affection for you -- we have expressed all to ineffectually and too infrequently through the years.
We wish to say to you that -- with the Forum group approaching its first season as an independent informal group with no specifically designed task to sustain through the year -- we are suddenly acutely aware of the preciousness to us of the years we have been associated with you, our friend and mentor.
We wish to apprise you of our sincere appreciation of what you have meant to us personally through the years in which we have enjoyed companionship with you. We have delighted in your humor, your revealing anecdotes and illustrations, your kindness and your supreme devotion to the great experience which drew us all together.
We wish to register how impressed it is in our hearts that you have been singularly honored in connection with the Urantia papers. Our emotions crowd within us when we face the fact that it was through you as an integrating focal point that the magnificent experience of the Forum touched our lives. We are proudly aware that in future worlds, our beloved Doctor of these long and fascinating years, will be pointed out for the part he played in the Urantia Revelation.
Dear friend, this tribute to you has been earned to a degree we cannot express in words. Not one of us whose life you have touched but is better for it. We will be forever grateful for everything you have meant to us in the days which have brought us to this vital, moving, momentous fall of 1942.
We, the undersigned, facing for the first time a season of independent association with each other, you, and the Urantia papers, have been impelled to newly appraise the situation in which we find ourselves, and in which we may ultimately find ourselves, in relation to the Urantia Revelation.
Owing a responsibility to the Revelatory Corps, we view the future gravely and with yearning for an auspicious introduction of the Urantia Book to the world. In a very few years, it may be possible to look upon the printed Book we have so long followed in manuscript form with mingled awe, reverence and thanksgiving.
We know the Urantia Papers plan as been in the making for many years. We know that it has evolved and changed, sometimes radically, in the past. We know the opinions held by the Contact Commissioners in the past, have on occasion been altered or modified under new light and in new circumstances.
We know that the papers themselves, at the hand of their high creators, have been changed and amplified and made to evolve as our mortal minds were put to them. We know that the Angels of Progress are not entirely pleased with what we have thus far done in contemplation of publication, protection and dissemination of the Urantia Revelation.
All of the above emboldens us to suggest that in this vital and pregnant period, the group mind of the Forum should be employed to analyze and appraise the potentials inherent in the coming months.
We believe the Forum people as a group should turn with the most earnest effort toward the consideration and development of as much sound groundwork as is possible in all the practical aspects of this Book's future. Respectfully, but most earnestly, we request an opportunity to know all the facts in connection with, and all the provisions concerning, the Urantia Book and the proposed associated organization as their plans exist today.
To this date, no group opportunity has been offered to study, to freely discuss or to examine charters, articles of incorporation, by-laws, et cetera, of the several contemplated organizations. To this date, earnest Forum members, many with sound experience, judgment and ability, have had no opportunity for frank and full expression of opinions based on familiarity with these organization plans which have been brought to elaborated state by the Contact Commissioners and outside aides.
We believe legal talent is justifiably used in formulating certain instruments which implement the Urantia Book plans. But we do not feel that Forum people should be excluded from full and complete understanding of all instruments identified with the Book for which we have a grave and undeniable responsibility as individuals.
Our responsibility incurred through months or years as Forum members does not drop from our shoulders with dissolution of the Forum as a formal body. All of us will be affected vitally by the future of this Book -- and in view of the responsibility we feel toward it, and which the Book imposes upon us, we feel we have a right to understand all the terms of contracts or of formal organizations which have grown out of our collective experience.
There have been no restrictions on our examining, handling and reading -- individually or in groups -- the Papers which must transcend all the man-created documents to which we have not had free access, and about which our fullest judgment has never been brought.
We believe it is relevant that our questions were sought in connection with the Revelation itself. Our judgments, we have reason to believe, were observed and weighed again and again in connection with matters of great importance to untold unborn generations of men. The Forum has been used as a sounding board against which revealing truths were tried.
We believe our group should be trusted with the very natural task of serving as a human jury in connection with some of the proposals about which we are not fully familiar. We believe there is sufficient intelligence, experience, and good judgment in the Forum group to provide fair analysis and invaluable reaction in the grave matter of the foundation, the brotherhood, the publication plans, et cetera -- which are, after all, the proposals of mortal men.
Respectfully, we submit our opinion that it should be not only the privilege, but the unmistakable duty of the Forum group, to sincerely and prayerfully ponder what is projected in connection with the Revelation to which our hearts, our minds, our hopes and our aspirations have been dedicated.
We, the undersigned, deem it incumbent upon ourselves -- and such others of our group as feel a responsibility toward the Urantia Revelation, but whose wishes we have not ascertained in the matter -- to turn our attention now to friendly and sincere consideration, analysis and appraisal of the man-made plans for dissemination and protection of the God-made manuscript which is so dear and important to us all.
We propose, preferably with help from you, to follow our consciences and promptings in this matter. We seek your permission to discuss these organizations and publishing affairs deliberately, without haste and by arrangements as our group may elect in terms of full meetings, committees, report-backs, et cetera, -- but in any event first as follows: (a) Forum Room, 533 Diversey Pkwy., (b) beginning Sunday, September 13th, 1942, (c) under the leadership of a chairman of our own choosing, (d) with the essential papers, charters, articles of incorporation, et cetera to be made available to a committee later.
We point out and commend to your consideration the following: There is no need for -- and there is great weight of solemn honesty and sincerity against -- precipitant action under present circumstances in finally and formally closing up publishing, and, or any organization, affairs which have been forming for at least ten years.
Forum people cannot have been expected to assimilate from an annual reading the essential forms, many ramifications, connotations and potentialities in a formidable series of documents which legal talent and highly intelligent laymen took months and even years to formulate.
Morally and ethically, those whose lives may be affected profoundly by these organizations and arrangements are entitled to analyze what their years of interest, good faith and forbearance helped to bring into reality.
Legally, those who provide financial support for any collective effort, are entitled to a full accounting and understanding of the potentials of the corporate or other bodies their contributions are used to bring into being, or to which their contributions are entrusted.
Should this specific group be denied the privilege of deliberately considering and fully understanding these subjects because it is feared the group will disagree on details, fail to appreciate the problems involved, or disapprove of some phases of the plans -- that fear augurs ill for the Urantia Book if ever it is launched into the world with such plans for its cradle.
We believe that unity, if not uniformity, should prevail in our small Forum group which has been so signally blest in this association.
We believe that such unity should be achieved as a matter of deliberate accord -- not through blindness, unawareness, or inadequate consideration.
We believe that our unity should come out of frank discussion, magnanimous give and take and a fair humility toward the views of others.
We do not question the sincerity, honesty or conscientiousness of any associated with this matter. We do question the infallibility, the inviolability, the long time perspectives, the soundness and the validity of an complex set of legal plans destined to vitally affect the future of men if such plans cannot stand the scrutiny, inquiry, examination and analysis of men.
Dear friend, may we have full and adequate enlightenment, your further confidence and your cooperation?
[Signed by a (apparent minority) group of Forum members]
A Service of
The Urantia Book Fellowship