The Urantia Book Fellowship


by Sara Blackstock
Family Day in LA Oct. 24, 1998


Good morning brothers and sisters! Sounds like a revival meeting doesn't it? I grew up in a large family the oldest of 6 so it is easy to think in terms of big family. I greet you today as my family of spiritual kinship, one of my chosen families.

The organization of this Family Day is a living enactment of one of the most fascinating truths of the 5th Epochal Revelation - that when we live in conscious family relationship we are building the living temple of the Divine Mother Supreme..

The First Urantia Society of LA, the School of Meanings and Values, and SURF have worked together to actualize a vision which we can carry with us in our everyday lives. I applaud the work of the leaders of these organizations, and thank all of you for joining us.

On the first page of your handout there is a short grace from Maya Angelou. Let's raise our voices up and read this grace together:


Day by day the portals of the 21st century are opening. We are counting the days. I think there might be 434/435 days left. Let's ask ourselves the question What are going to bring with us through these portals? What do we have to offer that is going to make the world a better place?

YOU DON'T HAVE TO RAISE YOUR HANDS. How many of you in your mind's eye pictured yourself carrying a Urantia Book through these portals? As important as the Urantia Book is, the truths will come alive ONLY through the way we live them. This places a great responsibility on each of us.

When the UB was given to our isolated planet, we received direct word from our spiritual benefactors that we are NOT isolated and they proceed to tell us WHY and HOW as we learn about a Universe filled with RELATIONSHIPS from the elegant relationship God has with His ETERNAL SON to the relationship He has with each us - HIS infinitely loved children. Throughout this revelation God calls us to be brothers and sisters in HIS family, and this is the good news that most have still not heard.

We know about the major secular global networks which show clearly how we are all connected. Information is rapidly shared across the global networks of Economics, transportation, news media, communication, medical, and science communities. The discovery of killer T cells in Finland can affect research and lives in all other parts of the globe with a click of a button.

What is not so obvious and yet desperately needed is for our neighbors and the world to know that we are a global family, and part of God's universal family. "[We] are ever drawn towards his Paradise presence by that kinship of being which constitutes the vast and universal family circle and fraternal circuit of the eternal God. " (71)

This is the GOOD NEWS that we can carry with us through the portals of the 21st century. We can offer the vision of universal family. We can't hide behind our books, because we have to LIVE this truth. And that's what we are doing today.

It may seem that I am preaching to the choir, but I am not sure we understand about the reality of universal family when I hear such things from long time readers of The Urantia Book as: "The use of family is just a metaphor; they have to find a way to speak to our limited human minds." "I don't have any family; what does family have to do with me?" " I am gay and I will never have kids. I don't know how to interact with this concept of family." "If we talk about all of us being family, we will dilute the parent/child family."

I wonder if we are afraid of the intimacy which goes along with being family? If we think the family concept or ideal should be reserved for just those related by blood and genes, if we do not have a vision of the reality of universal family and put it into practice in our every day lives, if we do not know how to live as family in its many manifestations, how can we share one of the most essential truths of this fifth epochal revelation, which we are called to do? How are we going to take up our responsibility and be "The people of another age" and SPEAK to the people of another age? 2000 years ago Michael said to his apostles:

"The people of another age will better understand the gospel of the kingdom when it is presented in terms expressive of the family relationship."? (1603)

We have some work to do. We must develop the ideals and live the realities of HEALTHY family so clearly that we live in conscious family relationship all the time.

In your handouts you will see a depiction of the Temple of the Divine Mother which I have come to believe through my studies of the Supreme is made up of FAMILY, in all of the possible arenas of experience from our inner family to the universal family. Robert Burns has offered his talented artistry in its expression; thank you to Saskia Raevouri's permission to use Chick Montgomery's rendition of Universal Family as seen on the cover of How I Found the Urantia Book. I would like to acknowledge Marvin Gawryn and Dave and Marta Elders for their contribution to the development of this model. Also in your handout you will find the essence of some writings from our culture that are giving us most excellent guidelines for healthy family - especially from Stephen Covey and Deepak Chopra.

To go along with the depiction of the Temple of the Divine Mother, you will find a summary of the 7 arenas of the Family of the Supreme. There may be other models, but I certainly had a lot of fun developing this and working with Robert on the aesthetic aspects. He made it come alive. We offer this as a working structure, a visual image, of how we can contribute to the building of the living temple of the Divine Mother Supreme, which in this model is made up of 7 arenas of family.

This is one way to visualize our connections with each other - our familial relationships from Cradle to Eternity. We are in relationship from the moment we are conceived in the womb of our earthly mother, all the way up through our experience with the Supreme and Divine Mother, where once again we will find ourselves being born into the worlds of service. We read: "As God is your Divine Father, so is the Supreme your divine Mother - in whom you are nurtured throughout your lives as universe creatures." (1288)

EACH OF US HERE TODAY PROBABLY REPRESENT AND EXPERIENCE AT LEAST 4 OR 5 OF THESE 7 ARENAS. Let's do a little show and tell, a living representation of our model; quickly raise your hands in response to the following. You will pump a bit of oxygen. Look around as we do this exercise.


If there is a person sitting next to you that did not raise their hand, try especially hard to make a loving and deep contact with this person, because that person may be feeling unrelated.

To readers of the UB these 7 arenas of family might be obvious. However we can assume that they are not even conceptualized by most of the people on the planet and that's where OUR work is... .to so live that those around us feel that they are in a meaningful family relationship.

I am not going to go into details for about these 7 arenas of family life - that could be a good workshop - but I would like to quickly point out a few things in each.

1. INNER FAMILY ARENA The inner family is the foundational family relationship which will extend outward to all other arenas of family. This is where we experience our relationship with God our Father and with the Eternal Mother Son through the Spirit of Truth. Actually this family is quite extensive and active because I would imagine that it is within this arena that our angels and Thought Adjuster also "live".

Our soul is the home of our inner family. We can consider our soul as our refuge from the isolation of our materialistic ego self and its worldly concerns; we can enter it as our sacred place of peace wherein the Spirit of our Father dwells and communes in loving fellowship with the spirit of his son, the Spirit of Truth." Even just talking about this place makes me want to be there.

As we build up and out from this INNER foundational family relationship, we will construct the glorious living temple of the Supreme Mother through our work in 6 other arenas of family, and it is in these arenas that our souls build their muscle; where our bodies and hearts connect to get some work done.

2. FAMILY OF ORIGIN (BIOLOGICAL FAMILY) Most of us grew up in a family - in our biological family. This arena has provided us with our genetic makeup, some of our abilities and disabilities, our disposition, our talents. Some of us have spent years healing from the wounds experienced in this family. And hopefully most of us maintain intimate connections with members of this family.

3. HOME FAMILY - PARENT/CHILD/CURRENT FAMILY/CHOSEN FAMILY Our HOME FAMILY is the arena of family in which we live NOW - whether we are parents with children in the home, students in a fraternity house, children in an orphanage, or folks in a retirement center. This is our laboratory, our training ground, our crucible. It is here that we experience family in the most intimate ways of association. As individuals, as a society, as a global community, we must support, and uplift the basic home family, the nuclear family made up of parents and kids, for it is in this arena that the long term fundamental paradigms of life and feelings of oneself and the universe are developed. We should do whatever we can do as a "village" to help parents raise their children, and our children.

We are learning to manage families more like businesses. There are habits which apply in all arenas of family relationship which will help us become healthy in our relationships. We will mention a couple of these in a moment.

4. COMMUNITY/WORK/SCHOOL FAMILY Whenever we walk out of our home family door we enter this arena - going to school, the cleaners, the gas station, the grocery store. And we are offered endless opportunities to be in relationship with brothers or sisters. As someone once said, "There is no such thing as a stranger, just a brother or sister we haven't met."

I wheeled my grocery cart next to the melons a couple of weeks ago, and was attempting to choose a ripe one. An old man walked up and right off stated he was alone and was wondering if I knew how to tell if a melon was ripe or not. We discussed and thumped melons for quite a while. We had a relationship, albeit over melons, and I felt such a surge of caring for this old guy, alone, and so desirous of some kind of relationship with another that he would discuss melons with a stranger.

It appears that the work environment is becoming more family like. The term "Work family" is appearing more often. Strong and intimate relationships are developing in the work place, another environmental opportunity for intimacy with brothers and sisters.

I am director of a large school age day care center, and we interact with at least 1000 personalities what with over 200 kids and all of the family members who pick them up. When parents bring a tender little one of 4 or 5 years into such an intense environment they are scared for their child. Once I explain that we all live as one huge family, that image usually erases their fears.

In the school environment it is usually the isolated and lonely ones who are doing terrible things in their isolation. Maybe we can do something about this if our young people are brought up the vision that all are members of God's universal family. This vision perhaps can create the courage to reach out to those who have low self-esteem.

5. FAMILY OF SPIRITUAL KINSHIP - That's us! Those who are spiritually like minded. Being here today speaks eloquently of our desire to be family. We are building the living temple of spiritual brotherhood. Like minded in the sense that most us of read and believe that the UB is the 5th Epochal Revelation to our planet; AND that Jesus was and is who he said he was: t he the Son of the living God. 2000 years ago Jesus said that "....upon this foundation will I build the brotherhood of the kingdom of heaven. Upon this rock of spiritual reality will I build the living temple of spiritual fellowship in the eternal realities of my Father's kingdom. " He calls all who believe this truth the "...human fraternity of the divine spirit." (1748)

Isn't that a beautiful term: "....THE HUMAN FRATERNITY OF THE DIVINE SPIRIT" ? Now there's an organizational name for someone to grab onto.

And Jesus is building that living temple today with all who are self-conscious sons of God as his stones. "And ever since that day this same Jesus has been building that living temple upon that same eternal foundation of his divine sonship, and those who thereby become self-conscious sons of God are the human stones which constitute this living temple of sonship erecting to the glory and honor of the wisdom and love of the eternal Father of sprits." (1748)

6. INTERFAITH FAMILY Our interfaith family is made up of all peoples of the various spiritual paths who are following their highest light. "As the universe looks upon an inhabited world, it likewise discerns two great classes: those who know God and those who do not.." Interfaith movements are gaining great impetus as people of faith are experiencing the desire to come together. I believe that our work in this arena of family, is to learn more about the truths of other religious paths, and how that truth is expressed...kind of like Jesus and Ganid did as they gathered the highest truths from the world's religions. As we honor diversity of spiritual expression, we help build the temple of the Supreme.

7. GLOBAL FAMILY The global family can be summed up in one sentence : Every mortal on this planet who has the capacity of knowing God is a member of the global family, the world wide family of God.

All 7 of these family arenas make up the family of the Supreme (along with the others from all of the other inhabited planets.)

Let's look at what healthy family is NOT: It is NOT being abused or abusing either physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. It is NOT being manipulated or manipulating. Almost any negative form of expression by either child or adult can be an attempt to manipulate the world to their desires instead of the more rigorous work of adjusting to the world. Such behaviors as raging, withdrawing, blaming, shaming, sulking, anger, guilting, seductiveness can be behaviors that in any arena of family can be manipulative ploys. If we recognize these as attempts to manipulate, we will not become victims. It is NOT ooey-gooey/lovey-dovey no problems. We have two media wrought concepts of family - the lovey/dovey one and the 5 dysfunctional things happening all at once like in the daily soaps. Healthy family operates somewhere on a fluid continuum.

You can count on it: FAMILY AT ALL LEVELS MEANS PROBLEMS. Healthy families solve problems not kill each other emotionally.


Our culture now has 50 some years of research on healthy family relationships. From this it appears that much of what has been discovered about the healthy home family can be applied to the other arenas of our model. Healthy families relate, trust, communicate, be silent together, respect space, share goals, work, play, pray, disagree, argue, cry and suffer.

Stephen Covey talks about habits which build healthy families in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. These are listed in your handouts. I would like to point out a just a couple of these:

Habit # 4 THINK WIN WIN - Moving from me to we. In cultivating this habit we want what's best for everyone involved. This is one of the main concepts of the Supreme - desiring the greatest good for the greatest number. Acting in behalf of a whole.

Whether we are acting in our INNER FAMILY, our WORK FAMILY, HOME FAMILY, asking the question 'What can I do to help?' Rather than 'What's in it for me?' will make the difference in whether you create positive or negative energy around you. Deepak Chopra says that when we in our inner dialogue ask the question: HOW CAN I HELP? Rather than WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME? we speed up the unconscious energy fields around us. I am quite sure what that means, but it sounds like a good thing to happen :) :) :)

Another habit Covey says can help make healthy families is habit #5 - SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND AND THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD. Covey tells the story of a teen who was a basketball player and who had developed a good shot from 10 feet away. He helped his team score many points with this shot and received a lot of attention for it. Also on the team was one of his best friends, Pam, who didn't like the attention he was getting and stopped passing the ball to him. After several games played like this, he talked to his father who told him to give the ball to Pam every time he got it. He thought that was the stupidest idea he had ever heard. He set out on a mission to ruin the next game for Pam. He got the ball and was going to give one of his point making shots when he heard his father's loud booming voice from the din of the audience, "GIVE HER THE BALL!" He hesitated for one second then did what he knew was right. She scored two points. He continued to give her the ball whenever he got it; she continued to make points, and THEN she began to give the ball back to him and together got a reputation for winning games as a dynamic duo. (185)

A global vision is developing with the idea that doing small, simple, spontaneous things for others can have profound consequences. Japan has a SMALL KINDNESS MOVEMENT which has handed our more than 3 million awards. It began in 1964 to encourage Japanese to provide a warm welcome during the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. It is now a global group linking with like-minded organization in many countries. The president of the University of Tokyo, Seiji Kaya told his audience to "be brave in practicing small kindnesses, thereby creating a wave of kindness that will someday wash over all of Japanese society." And the Random Acts of Kindness movement is going full speed ahead with an 800 number.

. Jesus smiled as he passed by. These momentary contacts can make a difference. A young man was walking a group of mentally challenged adults across a street. He stood in the middle of the street holding up traffic after all but one had crossed, a down syndrom young adult. He went to the sidewalk where he was and bent down to tie his shoe for him while they waited for the light to change to join the others. As he was on his knees tying the shoe, I told him that I had been there done that and he was doing a great service. I remember him looking up for a moment into my eyes and said that he had done this kind of work in Louisiana and it was hard. I told him as I began to cross when my light came on that the angels are working with you....the light went on in his eyes and I bet he felt of more worth in this difficult job. The Spirit of Truth is always present to keep truth DOERS from feelings of loneliness and isolation.

We are not talking about a complex thing here. It is easy to smile. Look for something that someone wants done, and do it for them. You have heard of the KISS - keep is simple stupid. I always cringed when I heard that; it seems so negative and negating. But it's catchy. So I suggest a bit of a revamp: KISSS - Keep it small, simple, and spontaneous. KISSS EACH OTHER!

WHAT CAN THIS INCLUSIVE MODEL OF FAMILY DO FOR US? If we can visualize something we can do it. The Olympic champions visualize themselves winning a race, jumping the highest or swimming the fastest. My yoga teacher says that if one cannot do a particular position, then just visualizing it can have positive effects. So if we can visualize a working model of family, see ourselves as family wherever we are, then we are more likely to act like healthy family. And instead of evaluating a person on the merit of their dress, their age, their work, their position, their influence, their money, their success, their words, OR THEIR ORGANIZATION, we can look into our brother's and sister's eyes and see the light of God and FEEL THE DIVINE ENERGY FLOWING BETWEEN ME AND THEE.

When we feel and experience that all whom we meet are our brothers and sisters, we will then be able to truly be the "people of another age" that Jesus refers to: "The people of another age will better understand the gospel of the kingdom when it is presented in terms expressive of the family relationship..." (1603)

As the people of another age, and as the active participants and carriers of the 5th Epochal Revelation we are being called to live as family all the time. When we do this we are living in accordance with the trend of the universe and are following the pathway of the Supreme. And then we will be ready to walk through the portals of the 21st century filled to overflowing with the love of God in our hearts, watering the dry ground of craving for relationship all around us.



Talk by Sara Blackstock

Family Day in LA Oct. 24, 1998


A Service of
The Urantia Book Fellowship