Opening by Dr. Sprunger
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live; because:
I am the good shepherd.
I am the desire of all ages.
I am the way, the truth, and the life.
I am the way to infinite perfection.
I am the reality of endless life.
I am the open door to eternal salvation.
I am the living link between time and eternity.
I am the infinite Father of my finite children.
Therefore, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
We are gathered here to honor the memory of a departed friend, one whose life on earth is finished. We come, however, not to voice despair over the death of the physical body but to express our whole-hearted faith and rejoice that a human soul has embarked on the career of eternal life in the progressive service of the Heavenly Father; not because life is over but because it has risen to more glorious possibilities; not because the darkness has closed in but because life has opened into the eternal morning. We come to share this common faith, this eternal verity.
Comments by Mr. Kulieke
I became acquainted with Dr. Sadler over thirty years ago. I early realized he was an unusual individual, and over the years my regard for and appreciation of his talents and the many facets of his personality have increased immeasurably. The outside world knew him as an eminent physician, surgeon, psychiatrist, lecturer, and author, but only relatively few of us knew of his prime and prevailing interest in cosmology, philosophy, and religion, especially in the supernal teachings of Jesus and his gospel of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man. In a sense we have come to the end of an era. Our leader and counselor and friend, after almost a century on this planet, has taken leave of us and is now on his way to the mansions that Jesus has prepared for him and for all of us. Poppy - or Doctor - has graduated from this life, and is soon to be reassembled in a new, more glorious form, and is about to experience that glorious awakening, whose profound memory impressions he will, recall throughout all eternity.
None of us has witnessed the fusion of a human being. But I could not help but sense the similarity to fusion as Doctor took leave. His family was with him. He had expressed farewell. And then while some of us were working on Urantia business - the Urantia movement, that he had so much to do with in getting this revelation into print as the Urantia Book and our organizations started - it was at this time that Doctor passed out of this life. On more advanced planets they tell us that the family, friends, and working group of the fusion candidate forgather in the morontia temple to witness the ascension of their loved one in spiritual flames and that it is an occasion of supreme joy, profound satisfaction, and inexpressible hope. It is now my privilege to read passages of comfort and inspiration, many of which were favorites of Doctor Sadler.
We humans have begun an endless unfolding of an almost infinite panorama, a limitless expanding of never-ending, ever-widening spheres of opportunity for exhilarating service, matchless adventure, sublime uncertainty, and boundless attainment. When the clouds gather overhead, our faith should accept the fact of the presence of the indwelling Spirit of God, and thus we should be able to look beyond the mists of mortal uncertainty into the clear shining of the sun of eternal righteousness on the beckoning heights of the many mansions in our Father's house. (p. 1194)
All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. It is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God. And if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom.8)
We should ever remember: There is in the mind of God a plan which embraces every creature of all his vast domains, and this plan is an eternal purpose of boundless opportunity, unlimited progress, and endless life. And the infinite treasures of such a matchless career are yours for the striving! The goal of eternity is ahead' The adventure of divinity attainment lies before you. The race for perfection is on! Whosoever will may enter, and certain victory will crown the efforts of every human being who will run the race of faith and trust, depending every step of the way on the leading of God's spirit and on the guidance of that good spirit of Jesus, which so freely has been poured out upon all flesh. (p. 365)
The Gods are my caretakers; I shall not stray;
Side by side they lead me in the beautiful paths and glorious refreshing of life everlasting.
I shall not, in this Divine Presence, want for food nor thirst for water.
Though I go down into the valley of uncertainty or ascend up into the worlds of doubt,
Though I move in loneliness or with the fellows of my kind,
Though I triumph in the choirs of light or falter in the solitary places of the spheres,
Your good spirit shall minister to me, and your glorious angel will comfort me.
Though I descend into the depths of darkness and death itself,
I shall not doubt you nor fear you,
For I know that in the fullness of time and the glory of your name
You will raise me up to sit with you on the battlements on high. (p. 552)
The consciousness of a victorious human life on earth is born of that creature faith which dares to challenge each recurring episode of existence when confronted with the awful spectacle of human limitations, by the unfailing declaration: Even if I cannot do this, there lives in me the spirit of one who can and will do it, a part of God - the Father of universes. And that is the victory which overcomes the world, even our faith. (p. 59)
The confusion and turmoil of our world do not signify that God lacks either interest or ability to manage affairs differently. The Creators are possessed of full power to make this world a veritable Paradise, but such an Eden would not contribute to the development of those strong, noble, and experienced characters which the Gods are so surely forging out between the anvils of necessity and the hammers of anguish. Our anxieties and sorrows, our trials and disappointments, are just as much a part of the divine plan on this sphere as are the exquisite perfection and infinite adaptations of all things to their supreme purpose in heaven. (p. 258)
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most Highs, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust." He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noon- day. He will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways. Thus says the Almighty: "When you call to me, I will answer you; I will be with you in trouble and show you my salvation." (Ps. 91)
Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting thou art God. A thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Satisfy us in morning with thy steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Let thy work be manifest to thy servants and thy glorious power to their children. (Ps. 90)
I will lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved, he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and for evermore. (Ps. 121)
Memorial Meditation for Dr. William S. Sadler by Dr. Sprunger
Traditionally on an occasion such as this the minister would select a text which is suggestive of the strong and constructive aspects of the life of the person for whom the memorial service is being held.
Dr. William S. Sadler was an extraordinary man, probably the greatest man I have ever known. For some time I tried to find a text which would sum up his life but no single text seemed to be adequate for Dr. Sadler was a composite, complex, and amazingly productive individual. So I have taken a composite scriptural approach to summarize his life as I have known him. First I should like to invite your attention to II Samuel 3:38 where David speaking of the death of Abner said, "Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day."" and to Daniel 12:1...3 where we read, "At that time Michael shall arise...and those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever."
Dr, Sadler was indeed a great man and the fruits of his dedicated service will certainly be recognized by Michael and the spiritual repercussions of his life will echo down through the centuries of the future. As a human being Dr. Sadler was a most unusual personality. Didn't go to school in the normal sense of the word until he went to college.
Made his first speech at the age of 8 to a High School Commencement at Indianapolis, Its title: "The Great Battles of History."
He managed a million dollar charity organization for the Kelloggs by the time he was 20.
He served as a theological professor and was an ordained minister before he completed medical school.
As a physician he became a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons. When he turned to psychiatry he in time became a Fellow in the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychopathological Association, and is recognized as one of the pioneers in this field of medicine.
He served as a professor in the Post-Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Chicago.
For 24 years he was a professor at McCormick Theological Seminary. He was one of the outstanding speakers of his generation and spoke to large audiences throughout the entire country.
He was the first physician of stature to popularize medicine by writing articles for the large circulation magazines.
He possessed an amazing composing ability - is the author of more than 40 books.
I have tried to analyze his dominant personality characteristics:
Tremendous ability Insightful decisiveness Balanced emotional stability Commanding, captivating, and inspiring speaker and teacher Steadfast devotion to high purpose A great sense of humor
To introduce the second aspect of Dr. Sadler's life about which I should like to speak and which has been, in a sense, the hidden and most important part of his life, I should like to invite your attention to Deut. 31: 7-8 where Moses knowing of his impending death charges Joshua: "Be strong and of good courage; for you shall go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their to give them...It is the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you or forsake you; do not fear or be dismayed."
Like Moses and Joshua, Dr. Sadler was entrusted with a special responsibility. The unusual activities with which he was associated were among the most important activities on our planet. The human accomplishments about which we have already spoken would be enough to rank Dr. Sadler as an outstanding human being. He was a pioneer in many things. But as he commented to me one day, the most important pioneering activity of his life he couldn't mention to reporters who from time to time interviewed him. It now seems appropriate to publicly observe that he was the leader of a select group of people who were entrusted with the responsibility of bringing a most unusual spiritual message to mankind. This message is incorporated in a book known as The Urantia Book which was published in 1955. The spiritual quality of this book is of such epochal significance that it will certainly become a major influence on our planet for centuries to come.
He saw the Urantia Book distributed throughout the world. He guided the translation and publication of the French edition, and lived to see the second printing of the English edition.
He gave wise and patient counsel to many of us during these difficult but exciting years. More than to any other human being, I have looked to him as a spiritual advisor - a spiritual father. This is true of many. We shall miss his wise counsel.
During the latter years of his life Dr. Sadler systematically removed himself from positions of leadership to prepare others to shoulder responsibilities after he was gone. That time has now arrived. In all of these activities which were the hidden part of his life and which he carried out so faithfully, he was and is a Man of Destiny.
Finally, I should like to direct your attention to II Timothy 4:7-8. Paul is writing his last letter to Timothy just before his execution. Toward the end of the letter he says, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me but also to all who have loved his appearing."
Like Paul, Dr. Sadler was psychologically and spiritually prepared to terminate his mortal life. On Friday evening he seemed to understand that his earthly life was about to close. With mental clarity he gave a farewell talk to those who were close to him, in which he included the following words: "The transition from this world to the next is very easy. There is no pain. "It is easy to leave the pains of this world for the pleasures of the next. And I am going to enjoy every moment of it. "I am very conscious of everything that is going on here tonight. I could go on visiting with you for hours but it would be no use. The chapter is closed. me last lines have been written; the book is finished. "This world is very real, but the next one is much more real." Then turning to Christy he said, "And now Christy I pass the responsibilities of Urantia on to you. I know you will do well for you have always been a good soldier. When you leave you will pass the torch to the younger members." "I'll tell them all hello up there for you."
On Saturday evening he quietly laid down the burdens of this life. He has fought the good fight; he has finished the race; he has kept the faith. In a sense Dr.Sadler's passing marks the end of an era -- an era which will be discovered by mankind in the decades ahead and which will be looked upon with mystery, fascination, and wonder. Not many of the spiritual leaders of mankind are emblazoned on the pages of history. They are discovered by posterity and revered in eternity.
I should like to leave each of us with the challenge of this man's life. Like Dr. Sadler may we: Dedicate our lives to the advancement of spiritual truth. This is most effectively done by growing spiritually in our own lives - by loving and serving our fellowmen. . May we in this dedication always use wise evolutionary methods as he did in our service to God and man. Never dare we forget the lasting effectiveness of evolution - this is the method of God the Supreme, whose children we are.
May we ever maintain our sense of humor and joy of living while carrying on the serious and significant tasks of the Kingdom of God. So shall we become worthy memorials to this great teacher and friend, William S. Sadler, and bring about our own personality fulfillment and one day hear the invitation: "Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your Lord."
Let us pray: Eternal Father we are grateful that in your plan there is for every individual an eternal purpose of boundless opportunity, unlimited progress and endless life. May each of us strive at each step to anticipate this goal of eternity and perfection ahead. Help us to understand that the door is open to all who live by faith, depending every step of the way on the leading of your spirit mediated to us so freely by our Lord, Jesus Christ. We pray that you may comfort us in our sorrow and give us imagination of heart enough to rejoice that another of your children has entered the larger life in the mansions of your kingdom.