Origin and History



The Origin of The Urantia Book

from The Meredith J. Sprunger Archive. April 1979. Revised December 1997.

Years of experience reveal that the first thing people wish to know about The Urantia Book is who wrote it. What are the circumstances of its origin? It does little good to tell them the book should be judged by its content, not by claims of authorship. Because of the conditioning of our culture, we are naturally inclined to depend on sources and authority when evaluating publications. Religious literature, in particular, is appraised in this way.



Meredith Sprunger's Notes on the Origin of The Urantia Book

The Historicity of The Urantia Book (From an article in The Spiritual Fellowship Journal, Fall 1994)

A Personal Account of Finding The Urantia Book (Circa 1960)



The Origin of the Urantia Papers

A Brief Account

Ernest P. Moyer

This paper looks at the difference between the so-called "Sleeping Prophet" Edgar Cayce, and the Sleeping Subject described by William Sadler in the Appendix to his book, "The Mind at Mischief". The latter is suspected of being involved in the creation of the Urantia Papers. The author describes the sequence of events which led Sadler to investigate the behavior of the Sleeping Subject, and how that relationship developed into the Urantia Papers.



The Plan for The Urantia Book Revelation

Carolyn B. Kendall. April 1996.

The author states: There was a master plan for The Urantia Book, and I believe it is still in operation. Its features were specific. They guided the content, the quality, the publishing, and the protection of the Fifth Epochal Revelation. It decreed the establishment and the function of Urantia Foundation and Urantia Brotherhood.  



Development of The Urantia Papers

The Contact Personality

Functioning of the Contact Commissioners

The Delay in Publishing The Urantia Book

Assignment of Responsibilities

The Timing of The Urantia Book

The Plates of The Urantia Book

Urantia Foundation - Publication of The Urantia Book



How were the Urantia Papers Materialized?

Kristen Maaherra - November 14, 1997





Instructions Purportedly Received By Contact Commissioners
. November 22, 1951


Instructions Purportedly Received By Contact Commissioners
. August 21, 1952



This list of quotations from the Urantia Papers tells of the mandate followed by the revelators in compiling and authoring the Urantia Papers. 

The language handicap of revelation: Page 1, par. 2

The Foreword by an Orvonton Commission: Page 1, par. 4

Supplementation of planetary knowledge: Page 17, par. 1

Priority given to existing human concepts: Page 16, par. 8; Page 1343, par 1

Restrictions placed upon revelation of truth: Page 1109, par. 4

Spiritual wisdom versus genetic knowledge: Page 215, par. 2-9

The Midwayer's connection with the Urantia Papers: Page 865, par. 6, 7

The human subject transmitting the Urantia Papers: Pages 865, par. 2; 1208, par. 7; 1209, par. 1

How the Urantia Papers were put in English: Page 1258, par. 1

Concerning the inspiration of revelations: Page 1008, par. 3

The Divine Counselor knows whereof he speaks: Page 32, par. 2




Historic Timeline of Events in the Urantia Community 
Index to historic documents according to date
Compiled from varied sources by David Kantor

1875 - 1900 

1901 - 1925

1926 - 1950

1951 - 1965

1966 - 1980

1981 - 1995

1996 - 2003


The author says: I would like to offer the view that what this history shows is a dynamic, growing, vital readership which has boldly experimented with multiple approaches to introducing The Urantia Book to a distracted world.

This document is the work of the author and should not be mistaken for an "official" history. Neither should any views expressed herein be mistaken for those of any organization or individual other than the author.

Further reference material can be seen at History Archive.


A History of the Urantia Movement 

There is some uncertainly about the authorship of this history. See below for further information.

…the phenomena connected with the personality, who was later associated with the Urantia Papers, was in no way similar to any other well-known type of psychic performance - such as hypnosis, automatic writing, clairvoyance, trances, spirit mediumship, telepathy, or double personality.

…the antecedents of the Urantia Papers were in no way associated with so-called spiritualism -- with its seances and supposed communication with spirits of departed human beings.

Contact Activities Preceding The Urantia Papers

How The Urantia Papers Started

How The Forum Started

Introduction Of The Forum To The "Contacts"

The Forum Begins To Ask Questions

The Forum Becomes a Closed Group

How We Got The Urantia Papers

How We Did Not Get The Urantia Book

Reason For Silence Respecting Details Of The Origin Of The Urantia Book

The First Urantia Papers

Receiving The Completed Papers

The Delay In Receiving The Jesus Papers

Functioning Of The Contact Commissioners

The Seventy

The Publication Mandate

The Urantia Foundation

The Urantia Brotherhood


Activities of Urantia Brotherhood

Distribution Of The Urantia Book

Information about the authorship:

The above document was submitted to the court by Urantia Foundation in the Maaherra case and was represented as having been written by Dr. Sadler. The assumption of originality is based on the nature of hand-written notes which appear in the margins. There is no signature nor is there any indication anywhere on them that Dr. Sadler is indeed the author.

To study this matter in greater detail, see:



A History of the Urantia Papers

by Larry Mullins with Dr Meredith Sprunger

In addition to providing new details and insights into the known stories about the origin of the Papers, the Mullins/Sprunger book also chronicles the development of the text through its various printings since 1955. The authors also examine in detail the apocryphal stories which have been used in the creation of proprietary entitlement attitudes toward control of the Urantia Papers.

A collection of reference documents corresponding to endnotes in A History of the Urantia Papers

by Larry Mullins with Dr Meredith Sprunger.
Compiled by David Kantor .



Articles about the History

This is an extensive range of material in a well presented format.



How The Urantia Book Came into Existence

William S. Sadler, Jr.  (February 18, 1962).

The following is transcribed from a tape recording made in the home of Berkeley Elliott on February 18, 1962 in Oklahoma City in the U.S.A. On this occasion, William S. Sadler, Jr., one of the "contact commissioners", was talking with the study group there assembled. What follows are comments which he made on this occasion concerning the origin of The Urantia Book.



Gardner, Moyer, and Mullins: Three Histories of The Urantia Book 

Matthew Rapaport

Comments on three publications:

  1. URANTIA: The Great Cult Mystery by Martin Gardner. 1995
  2. Ernest Moyer’s THE BIRTH OF A DIVINE REVELATION: The Origin of the Urantia Papers. 2000
  3. A History of the Urantia Papers by Larry Mullins. 2000.



The Urantia Book Historical Society 

The purpose of this organization is to collect primary and secondary source materials and oral histories. The library went on-line to the public in July 2007. The Society continues to scan and add donated documents to the library. It also keeps up with current publications and organizational records of Urantia Book organizations.  

Includes: First Twenty Years 1955 - 1975. History of the Urantia Brotherhood

Written by Marian T Rowley, Secretary-General 1955-1975

 Channelling at Urantia Foundation?

From: Birth of a Divine Revelation.   Go to Chapters 30 – 33.

These chapters present an opinion about channelling within the Urantia Foundation subsequent to the publication of The Urantia Book.


A History Of The Urantia Movement 

This is a copy of a never published history put together by members of a Publications Committee in 1980. It was originally conceived as a slide-tape presentation but was never developed beyond a prototype.



Urantia Movement History

Presented on the Square Circles web site.



The Sherman Diaries

In five volumes with another two in the planning.


The following sites give commentaries on The Sherman Diaries:

A Response to What Appears to be a Commentary on the Urantia Movement

in a Book Entitled "How to Know What to Believe", pages 58-96.
By Meredith J. Sprunger, President URANTIA Brotherhood, September, 1976.

A Response to a Thinly Disguised Attack on The Urantia Book

Abridged from a talk made under the auspices of the First Urantia Society of Oklahoma 
Sunday, September 5, 1976, by Clyde Bedell.

A Report on The Sherman Diaries

This is an editorial by Larry Mullins and it appeared in The Spiritual Fellowship Journal, Volume 13 Number 2, published in the Fall-Winter of 2003 – 2004.  GO TO FALL 2003.

What was the "Sherman Rebellion"?
A collection of related writings and correspondence

Special thanks to Ken Raveill for access to his archive of Sherman materials,
to C. Barrie Bedell for access to Clyde's materials,
and to Matthew Block for access to his personal archive.



A Thesis prepared for the Seventy

Marian Rowley March 9th, 1945.

This essay looks at possible methods to teach The Urantia Book.