An Introduction from the Editor
It has been a gratifying and educational experience working with Sheila Keene-Lund these past several years. Her intense curiosity and tenacious research into the deepest territory of human thought and divine interplay has challenged and inspired me. Working from her considerable writing talent to wring out precision and maintain focus was an enjoyable exercise. A special friendship has evolved, nurtured by a common touchstone in The Urantia Book and a mutual desire to share its teachings with a world in desperate need of unifying principles.
The obvious question for the potential reader is: Why would any truth seeker in particular, or the population in general, want to adopt these new definitions, offered as revelation without any proof? Why should anyone accept Sheila’s synthesis of The Urantia Book and her reconciliation of its content with our established beliefs, with currently accepted views of origin, history, and destiny?
The answer is simple… Because truth is always reasonable and because reason always salutes the truth. And when truth transcends reason, when it wanders into paradox, that mystery beckons to our super-reason – our capacity to know and grasp the gifts from the superconscious realm. Dancing with divine revelation, whether it is personal or epochal, is an exercise born of the heart. We know the steps because the divinity within us is constantly rehearsing them.
I first “met” Sheila Keene-Lund while working at Urantia Foundation in Chicago. On a regular basis she would phone me with probing questions about the deep concepts of The Urantia Book. Usually I would direct her to the relevant passages in the text and tell her to “dig on her own.” That would elicit her quick humor and faux frustration: “Yes I know… read the book.” We would laugh about this time-honored wisdom and go on to develop a friendship based on our common commitment to growing in God-consciousness.
Sheila did keep reading and digging and calling me with questions that challenged my own grasp of The Urantia Book, honed by over thirty years of study. It got to where I would tease her when she’d call, “Uh oh! I better get ready for tough questions!” Soon she confided that her tenacity of research into the book had a clear purpose: to gain a full comprehension of the teachings. This formidable undertaking was required as Sheila felt called to write a book about her spiritual experiences with an epochal revelation. It came to be called Heaven Is Not the Last Stop – Exploring a New Revelation.
My initial reaction to Sheila’s book adventure was rather subdued. I was familiar with secondary works based on The Urantia Book and found value in some. It wasn’t until she sent me an early draft that I began to realize the scope of her mission. Sheila was writing more than a study aid for The Urantia Book, she was writing a companion book that reconciled a wide swath of human knowledge with the revelation. She was also weaving in her personal insights and thus creating the first book in the spiritual guidance genre to incorporate the incomparable teachings of The Urantia Book. In Section Four of Heaven Is Not The Last Stop Sheila offers a practical guide for developing a personal practice to foster the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man on our troubled world.
Following my years with Urantia Foundation, Sheila asked that I read her latest writing and offer some feedback. She appreciated my editorial suggestions and proposed that I help her with the whole book. Since then the project has evolved in many good ways, along with our friendship. I am very pleased to continue working with Sheila Keene-Lund and have joined the Document It! Publishing team. I am certain that her book and mission of introducing the amazing teachings of The Urantia Book will have a profound effect in our world.
James A. Woodward
Editor, Associate Publisher
Former Manager, Reader Services Department
Former Executive Administrator
Urantia Association International