GraceWatcher Outreach
Scriptures, Books and Ancient Text
and paths to ponder

Some things you will find on this site
The book of Mormon
The Lost Years of Jesus
Conversations with God
A Course in Miracles
Eckankar
The Keys of Enoch
The Urantia Book
keep watching this page, I will add new stuff on a regular basi

 


The Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible and other ancient manuscripts. It is a record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible and other books, the fullness of the everlasting gospel.

The book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. Their words, written on gold plates, were quoted and abridged by a prophet historian named Mormon. The record gives an account of two great civilizations. One came from Jerusalem in 600 B.C., and afterward separated into two nations, known as the Nephites and the Lamanites. The other came much earlier when the Lord confounded the tongues at the Tower of Babel. This group is known as the Jaredites. After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians.

The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites soon after his resurrection. It puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come.

After Mormon completed his writings, he delivered the account to his son Moroni, who added a few words of his own and hid up the plates in the hill Cumorah. On September 21, 1823, the same Moroni, then a glorified, resurrected being, appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and instructed him relative to the ancient record and its destined translation into the English language.

In due course the plates were delivered to Joseph Smith, who translated them by the gift and power of God. The record is now published in many languages as a new and additional witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that all who will come unto him and obey the laws and ordinances of his gospel may be saved.

Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book."

In addition to Joseph Smith, the Lord provided for eleven others to see the gold plates for themselves and to be special witnesses of the truth and divinity of the Book of Mormon. Their written testimonies are included herewith as "The Testimony of Three Witnesses" and "The Testimony of Eight Witnesses."

We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3-5.)

Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah.

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For more information about the Book of Mormon or Mormonism or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Check out these web sites
Official sight of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
All About Mormons
Barry's Early Christianity and Mormonism Page


 
The Lost Years of Jesus

Ancient scrolls reveal that Jesus spent seventeen years in the Orient. From age thirteen to age twenty-nine, he was both student and teacher. The story of his pilgrimage from Jerusalem to Benares was recorded by Brahmanistic historians. Today they still know him and love him as St. Issa. Their 'buddha'.

It was a surprise to me that Jesus could have spent half his life in the Orient. It was a surprise that I had never wondered where the Master was all that time. To me he was simply "about my Father's business," as Luke wrote.

But what surprised me most was that this Buddhist acted like he knew Jesus. Not so much historically or theologically. But personally. To hear him speak of "Lord Jesus"-it felt just like Christmas when it suddenly seems appropriate to think of the Mighty God in an intimate and deeply loving sort of way.

For more information go here

The Lost Years of Jesus
 



 

Conversations with God

Deep in the Consciousness of every Living Human is a cellular memory, a knowing, that once there existed a race of Beings so bright, so glowing in their understandings, so total in their acceptance of Love as the Only Reality, that there was no envy, no anger, no fear, no struggle, and no war.  Just people, living together, with love as their only bond, as the only thing they needed and wanted; as the only thing they shared.

After reading the CWG material, most people are touched in a very deep and personal way. Some say the message has changed them forever. Many find themselves looking at very profound questions for the first time. Others want to know more about how to apply the wisdom of CWG in their every day experience. And still others see in this message their last, best hope at a time of real and present crisis in their life.

"Suppose you could ask God the most puzzling questions about existence - questions about love and faith, life and death, good and evil. Suppose God provided clear, understandable answers. It happened to Neale Donald Walsch. It can happen to you. You are about to have a conversation... I have heard the crying of your heart. I have seen the searching of your soul. I know how deeply you have desired the Truth. In pain have you called out for it, and in joy. Unendingly have you beseeched Me. Show Myself. Explain Myself. Reveal Myself. I am doing so here, in terms so plain, you cannot misunderstand. In language so simple, you cannot be confused. In vocabulary so common, you cannot get lost in the verbiage. So go ahead now. Ask Me anything. Anything. I will contrive to bring you the answer. The whole universe will I use to do this. So be on the lookout; this book is far from My only tool. You may ask a question, then put this book down. But watch. Listen. The words to the next song you hear. The information in the next article you read. The story line of the next movie you watch. The chance utterance of the next person you meet. Or the whisper of the next river, the next ocean, the next breeze that caresses your ear - all these devices are Mine; all these avenues are open to Me. I will speak to you if you will listen. I will come to you if you will invite Me. I will show you then that I have always been there. All ways."

Conversations with God", by Neale Donald Walsch, changed my life.  Before I read it, I had opinions and feelings about life, death, good, evil, right, wrong, etc. If I had written those thoughts down, they would have matched exactly with the explanations that God gives to Neale in this book. Most of us develop a fear of God at a young age (thanks to our ridiculous religions) and actually allow that fear to influence our actions and decisions.   "Conversations with God" helped me understand that I can be Who I Am, and God really isn't interested in the effects of that.  God is Love, and Love doesn't judge, or punish,  or intimidate.  If you believe the words of God in this book, and let go of the fear, your life will change too.

Conversations with God" put all the puzzle pieces together that I have learned through the years, and made a complete big picture of how life works. Sometimes reality  is difficult to comprehend, being a human and all. A homecoming for me with regards to my way of thinking about God and religion. This is the way I saw my belief and it was awesome to find this book as a confirmation that I was not alone and my belief was not weird at all. This book (and the others) is a real beauty, full of wisdom and humor. What better lessons can one learn but that from God direct.

For more information about the book or finding study groups, go to these sites
Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch

 



A Course in Miracles

A Course in Miracles is a self study spiritual thought system that teaches that the way to universal love and peace -- or remembering God -- is by undoing guilt through forgiving others. The Course thus focuses on the healing of relationships and making them holy. A Course in Miracles also emphasizes that it is but one version of the universal curriculum, of which there are "many thousands." Consequently, even though the language of the Course is that of traditional Christianity, it expresses a non-sectarian, non-denominational spirituality. A Course in Miracles therefore is a universal spiritual teaching, not a religion.

The Text presents the theory of the Course and has built into its study the development of the experience of forgiveness that is the Course's goal for the student. In this regard, A Course in Miracles states that "its goal for you is happiness and peace." (Text, p. 241) (T-13.II.7:1) The Text also explains the basis for fear and guilt, and how they can be overcome through miracles, which are defined as maximal "expressions of love." Miracles are also defined as the shift in perception from fear to love.

Workbook for Students consists of 365 lessons, an exercise for each day of the year. This one year training program begins the process of changing the student's mind and perception, though it is not intended to bring one's learning to completion. As stated in the Preface to the Course, "At the end, the reader is left in the hands of his or her own Internal Teacher, Who will direct all subsequent learning as He sees fit." (Preface: ix)

The Manual for Teachers is written in question-and-answer form and provides answers to some of the more likely questions a student might ask. It also includes clarification of a number of terms the Course uses, explaining them within the theoretical framework of the Text and for their practical application through the Workbook.

A Course in Miracles was "scribed" by Dr. Helen Schucman through a process of inner dictation she identified as coming from Jesus. A clinical and research psychologist and tenured Associate Professor of Medical Psychology, she was assisted by Dr. William Thetford, her department head, who was also a tenured Professor of Medical Psychology at the Medical Center where they both worked.

A Course in Miracles was first published in 1975, the year Dr. Schucman assigned copyright of the Course to the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP). Since the beginning and as designated, this Foundation has been its publisher, copyright/trademark holder, and disseminator. There are currently over one million copies of the Course in circulation worldwide. Translations in Spanish, German and Portuguese are also available, with other translations in progress.

What in essence, then, is A Course in Miracles? The summary introduction, which appears in its Text, is quite succinct and direct. It reads:

"This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time. The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all encompassing can have no opposite.
This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God."
For more information, go to these sites
Foundation for "A Course in Miracles" Home Page
A Course in Miracles® - ACIM
Miracles Center 1 - ACIM®* Home Page
 



Eckankar
Religion of the Light and Sound of God
History
Eckankar is a unique religious and spiritual path, sometimes called the Religion of the Light and Sound of God. Its name can be translated " co-worker with God". Eckankar members are called ECKists or ECK chelas. ("Chelas" means "student").

Eck teachings have ancient roots. Unfortunately much knowledge was lost to history until Paul Twitchell (Paulji) rediscovered it. He founded Eckankar in 1965 and established it as a non-profit religious organization in 1970. Details of Twitchell's life are obscure: his date of birth has been listed variously as 1908, 1912 and 1922. Eckankar followers believe that he studied under two Eck Masters: Sudar Singh in Paris and India, and a elderly monk Rebazar Tarzs in Tibet. They believe that he received the title of the 971st Eck Master from Tarzs in 1965, thus becoming the latest in a series of Masters which began before recorded history. Some of the past Masters are known historical figures; most have been solitary practitioners or have taught small groups. Paul Twitchell apparently gained additional knowledge from Kirpal Singh, an Eastern Guru, founder of the Ruhani Satsang movement.

After Paul Twitchell's death in 1971, Darwin Gross, the 972nd Eck Master became the Mahanta of Eckankar. (A Mahanta is the spiritual leader of Eckankar, a "living manifestation of God"). Subsequently, Sri Harold Klemp (1942-) became the 973rd Eck Master in 1981; he now heads the movement as its Mahanta.

Eckankar currently has over 50,000 members, who live in over 100 countries. They maintain facilities in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. The main spiritual center is the Temple of ECK, located in Chanhassen, MN near Minneapolis-St. Paul. A public reading room, chapel, fellowship hall, classrooms and administration offices are located on the same site. They publish a periodical, the Eckankar Journal.

Beliefs:
 Sugmad is a sacred name of God. God is perceived as neither male nor female.
 An ECK Current connects every person with the Heart of Sugmad. It flows from the Creator to the lower levels of existence and then returns to God. It is often called the Holy Spirit. ECK manifests itself in two forms: an "Inner Sound", the "Voice of God calling us home". The Sound may be present as a sound of nature or as music.
 an "Inner Light which is a beacon to light our way". During spiritual exercises, the light sometimes materializes as "brightness or colors on your inner visual screen".

 Eckankar believes in the duality of the soul and body. The soul is the inner, most sacred part of an individual. It is eternal, without beginning or end. It lives only in the present. One's soul can exist and travel separately from the body and even from the mind.

 A person is capable of exploring other planes of existence, through Soul Travel. Unlike "Astral Projection" which is taught by other spiritual traditions, Soul Travel is not limited to the Astral Plane; it allows you to go further and explore any of the God worlds.

 Among the 11 worlds there are 5 lower (psychic or material) and 6 upper (spiritual) planes. Each has a regular name; a classical name; an associated sound and light; a Temple of Golden Wisdom and a guardian. The lower planes are: Physical plane: the coarsest material level

 Astral plane: the "source of human emotion, psychic phenomena, ghosts and UFO's".

 Causal plane: where memories of previous lives are stored

 Mental plane: which contains the source of ethics, moral teachings and philosophy

 Etheric plane: this is the boundary with the higher worlds. It is the source of the "subconscious and primitive thoughts".

Before entering the spiritual levels, the chela (student) discards their mind and continues in their Tuza (soul).

 Eckankar has a concept of Karma which is somewhat similar to that found in Hinduism. Through attachment to the five passions (anger, greed, lust, undue attachment to the physical world and vanity) one's bad karma accumulates. This requires a person to be reincarnated at death, in order have an opportunity to work off the debt of karma in their next life. The goal of Eckists is to pay off all of this accumulated debt and achieve Self Realization in their present life. Once this state is reached, at death one need not return and spend another lifetime on earth. One is freed from the endless cycles of reincarnation.

 Eckankar is regarded by its followers as the best (but not the only) path to God realization. Christianity is recognized as an alternate path that can aid a follower to achieve a degree of enlightenment. Christians, and others, may join Eckankar without renouncing their existing religion.

Practices:

 Eckankar does not attempt to evangelize the world by aggressively converting individuals to their religion. They do not actively proselytize. However, they do advertise their presence and distribute literature to interested persons.

 Members generally sing or chant a mantra for 20 to 30 minutes each day. HU (pronounced "hue") is a common mantra; it is an ancient name for God, and is considered a love song to God.

 Various spiritual exercises are promoted by the organization: chanting, contemplation, meditation, singing, trance work and visualization techniques are used to achieve soul travel. Travel during dreams is an area of growing importance in the movement. Dreams are regarded as an important teaching tool; a "look into the heavenly worlds". Members are urged to keep a dream journal to facilitate study.

 Worship Services consist of a readings, singing "HU", silent contemplation and an open discussion. It "may also include music, group singing and talks".

 Initiations mark an individual's spiritual progress within Eckankar. At the Second Initiation, one makes a personal commitment. At the fifth initiation, one becomes a Mahdis (High Initiate) and a member of the ECK clergy.

 Members who have reached the Second Initiation are urged to conduct a partial or full fast each Friday.

 Eckankar considers abortion, divorce, sexual orientation, and a decision to terminate life to be personal matters. They discourage the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. Many followers are active in a community service.

Eckankar Texts
Shariyat-Ki-Sugmand is the Eckankar Scripture. Paul Twitchell wrote many books including Eckankar, The Key to Secret Worlds, Consciousness, The Key to Life, and Stranger by the River.

For more information about Eckankar, go to these web sites
Official Main Site of ECKANKAR. Religion of the light and Sound of God
The HU Page
 



The Keys of Enoch
An Overview

The Book of Knowledge: The Keys of Enoch® is a spiritual scientific textbook that in poetic science states the issues of the future. The Keys not only examine the puzzles of life, but give a spiritual explanation as to why we exist in this reality. It should be pointed out that this text was not "channeled" but given directly to the author in direct face-to-face experience with two beings of Higher Superluminal Intelligence. Now, more than two decades after its publication, people are continuing to learn new things from The Keys of Enoch® which in essence provides both the scenario of an ongoing past/present/future cosmology and a blueprint for a new direction in humankind's evolution into a higher state of consciousness. The Keys of Enoch® teaches us that a greater unity can and must occur between the scientific and spiritual pathways in order for the problems of Earth to be solved. Its ultimate purpose is the advancement of humanity, with the goal of changing our orientation so that we are prepared for a higher spiritual attunement and a quantum leap that will move humanity and the earth forward into the next step in our evolution. In this process an ultimate interaction is foretold, as we discover "greater families of intelligence in the universe who share the same Higher Evolution and the same Divine Source."

The Keys of Enoch® is a challenging work that requires more than a curious browse in order to be grasped, and a commitment in order for it to be understood. The text is a multi-level process of instruction whereby the reader acquires the ability to work with mental pictures, sacred language, and consciousness expansion through which actual transformation takes place in recognizing that life is a process of experiencing multidimensional worlds. Through a desire to know more, an enlightened perspective on earth-based and cosmic issues evolves in the consciousness of the student; with its unique blending of spiritual and scientific principles, both timeless and timely questions are confronted and resolved. The Keys can thus be thought of as a blueprint for the different levels of spiritual consciousness, with a "coding" of these different levels taking place through intensive study.

If the casual reader is a confirmed skeptic, he will dismiss the work as another science fiction account to promulgate and explore unknown realms. However, this work is not a fantasy, nor is it the outcome of "channeled information" nor the product of mediumship. Due to the nature of a direct experience as the basis of receiving the information recorded in The Keys of Enoch®, it is more properly thought of as a revealed teaching--similar to those contained in the Bible and other sacred writings. It challenges us to go beyond our normal three-dimensional thinking of our rational intellect, in order to accept it supra-rationally.

There is no proof that the author's experience was not merely an objective experience, although many of the predictions made, especially in the area of scientific discoveries, have since been confirmed. In point of reality, it is difficult for our concrete thought processes to account for mystical experiences such as that described in The Keys, but, unless we dismiss the notion that no other dimensions exist beyond our own (and relativity and quantum physics give us evidence that there is at least a fourth dimension beyond the familiar three), we are left in the position of having to be at least willing to consider the teachings of The Keys as being possibly true before we can begin to understand them.

This intellectual dilemma, similar to a Kierkegaardian "leap of faith," puts The Keys in perspective for the philosopher seeker. This work has been in print since 1973, and has not only circulated in the popular milieu, but is well known also in scientific and international circles -- something of an irony, considering both the breadth and depth of the work and the way it challenges the reader's preconceptions, whether they be scientific, philosophical or something in between.

It is only by understanding our physical universe as a sub-structure of more sublime levels of creation working through archetypal fractals or "divine letters" of thought-form creation that we can understand the importance of this teaching. This is the great preparation, not only for the grand unification of the material realm, but for the ascension from the material and meta-material realms into the consciousness and spiritual realms of higher creation. In this, the mystery of what Christ referred to as "The House of Many Mansions" is no longer a mystery, but an active revelation of meaning that we are participating in as members of the Hosts.
For more information go to these sites
Keys of Enoch - The Book of Knowledge

 



Urantia Book
The Urantia Book contains a synthesis of the work of more than 1,000 human authors writing in the fields of science, philosophy, religion, history, sociology and theology during the late nineteenth through mid twentieth centuries.
Compiled by an editorial staff of superhuman beings, the text provides a startling perspective of human origins, history and destiny, constituting a major revelation to humanity.
 
 

 
The Urantia Book: Contents

The Foreword -- Deity, Divinity, God, personality and the foundational relationships of the cosmos are described.

Part I: The Universe of Universes -- The nature of Supreme reality and the astronomical-cosmological organization of the universe are described. The Paradise Trinity, along with the Isle of Paradise -- the material and gravitational center of the universe -- is described as the source of all energy, matter, life and personality. An organized hierarchical universe, evolving as process relative to the Paradise Trinity is described. The entire creation is depicted as including millions of inhabited planets in all stages of biological, intellectual, social and spiritual evolution.

Part II: The Local Universe -- The divine plan for creating, developing, and governing local universes is detailed. The presence and ministry of Jesus is the primary universe reality through which everything else finds meaning and purpose. Personality survival is determined by our free will decisions about our relationship with God, by our loyalty to truth, beauty, and goodness as these values are sincerely understood. In spite of this, error, evil, and sin remain difficult realities challenging each of us. Growth toward perfection is seen as the fundamental orientation to life. This growth is evolutionary, cumulative, and virtually endless. It is achieved through loyalty to God and unselfish service to our fellow creatures.

Part III: The History of Urantia -- A brief geophysical history of our planet sets the stage for an overview of our biological evolution. The development of civilization, culture, government, religion, the family, and other social institutions are described from the viewpoint of superhuman observers. The story is told in such a manner that the underlying archetypes of human religious civilization are revitalized, strengthening the foundations upon which further cultural development may take place. A description of human destiny is provided including a description of the worlds we will inhabit immediately following mortal death.

Part IV: The Life and Teachings of Jesus -- Seven hundred pages devoted to the life of Jesus make up the most spiritually compelling biography of Jesus anywhere in print.

The Urantia Book relates over 16 times as much information about Jesus' life and teachings than does the Bible. The literary depth of The Urantia Book clearly reveals and touchingly portrays his combined humanity and divinity.
 
 

 

The Urantia Book: Source

The Urantia Book is an anthology of 196 "papers" indicted between 1928 and 1935 by superhuman personalities whose names are given with their respective papers in the book. The humans into whose hands the papers were delivered are now deceased. The means by which the papers were materialized was unique and is unknown to any living person.

Although the Urantia Papers have been in print for nearly fifty years, no formal religion has sprung from their teachings. The spiritual insights of the book are used by teachers, ministers, and lay persons of many faiths to enrich the highest values in their own traditions. Many individuals outside established religious institutions have developed rich, personal spiritual lives as a result of reading The Urantia Book. An international network of independent study groups continues to develop. Several translations exist and more are currently in progress.

Like all other sacred texts, the contents should not be evaluated by relying on claims of authorship or authority, but rather upon the "fruits of the spirit" which they produce. The new reader might explore the book as a fascinating piece of religious literature until such time as its spiritual quality authenticates its message and its source.

For more information about the Urantia Book, check out these web sites
The Urantia Book, You can read it here
Students of The URANTIA Book
The Urantia Book Home Page

 



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