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What does The Urantia Book say about children?

Is parenthood really necessary and important?

No ascending mortal can escape the experience of rearing children—their own or others—either on the material worlds or subsequently on the finaliter world or on Jerusem. Fathers must pass through this essential experience just as certainly as mothers. It is an unfortunate and mistaken notion of modern peoples on Urantia that child culture is largely the task of mothers. Children need fathers as well as mothers, and fathers need this parental experience as much as do mothers. ~ The Urantia Book(47:1.6)

Family life is the progenitor of true morality, the ancestor of the consciousness of loyalty to duty. The enforced associations of family life stabilize personality and stimulate its growth through the compulsion of necessitous adjustment to other and diverse personalities. But even more, a true family—a good family—reveals to the parental procreators the attitude of the Creator to his children, while at the same time such true parents portray to their children the first of a long series of ascending disclosures of the love of the Paradise parent of all universe children.The Urantia Book,  (84:7.30)

There is real danger in the combination of restlessness, curiosity, adventure, and pleasure-abandon characteristic of the post-Andite races. The hunger of the soul cannot be satisfied with physical pleasures; the love of home and children is not augmented by the unwise pursuit of pleasure. Though you exhaust the resources of art, color, sound, rhythm, music, and adornment of person, you cannot hope thereby to elevate the soul or to nourish the spirit. Vanity and fashion cannot minister to home building and child culture; pride and rivalry are powerless to enhance the survival qualities of succeeding generations.The Urantia Book(84:8.4) 

 Social leadership is transformed by spiritual insight; religion prevents all collective movements from losing sight of their true objectives. Together with children, religion is the great unifier of family life, provided it is a living and growing faith. Family life cannot be had without children; it can be lived without religion, but such a handicap enormously multiplies the difficulties of this intimate human association. During the early decades of the twentieth century, family life, next to personal religious experience, suffers most from the decadence consequent upon the transition from old religious loyalties to the emerging new meanings and values.The Urantia Book,  (99:4.2)

The Children of Adam and Eve

The Adamic children attended their own schools until they were sixteen, the younger being taught by the elder. The little folks changed activities every thirty minutes, the older every hour. And it was certainly a new sight on Urantia to observe these children of Adam and Eve at play, joyous and exhilarating activity just for the sheer fun of it. The play and humor of the present-day races are largely derived from the Adamic stock. The Adamites all had a great appreciation of music as well as a keen sense of humor. ~ The Urantia Book(74:6.7)

The children of Adam, except for four years' attendance at the western schools, lived and worked in the "east of Eden." They were trained intellectually until they were sixteen in accordance with the methods of the Jerusem schools. From sixteen to twenty they were taught in the Urantia schools at the other end of the Garden, serving there also as teachers in the lower grades. ~ The Urantia Book(74:7.1)

 And now must all flesh on Urantia take the natural course of life and death. Adam, Eve, theirchildren, and their children's children, together with their associates, all perished in the course of time, thus becoming subject to the ascension scheme of the local universe wherein mansion world resurrection follows material death.The Urantia Book, (73:6.8)

The Adamic children did not take milk from animals when they ceased to nurse the mother's breast at one year of age. Eve had access to the milk of a great variety of nuts and to the juices of many fruits, and knowing full well the chemistry and energy of these foods, she suitably combined them for the nourishment of her children until the appearance of teeth.The Urantia Book, (74:6.3)

The children of Adam, except for four years' attendance at the western schools, lived and worked in the "east of Eden." They were trained intellectually until they were sixteen in accordance with the methods of the Jerusem schools. From sixteen to twenty they were taught in the Urantia schools at the other end of the Garden, serving there also as teachers in the lower grades.The Urantia Book, (74:7.1)

The consequences of the follies of misguided parents are so often shared by their innocentchildren. The upright and noble sons and daughters of Adam and Eve were overwhelmed by the inexplicable sorrow of the unbelievable tragedy which had been so suddenly and so ruthlessly thrust upon them. Not in fifty years did the older of these children recover from the sorrow and sadness of those tragic days, especially the terror of that period of thirty days during which their father was absent from home while their distracted mother was in complete ignorance of his whereabouts or fate.The Urantia Book, (75:5.6)

Children Survive

Here are received and reassembled certain children of surviving mortals, such as those offspring who perished on the evolutionary worlds before acquiring spiritual status as individuals. The ascension of either of its natural parents insures that such a mortal child of the realms will be accorded repersonalization on the system finaliter planet and there be permitted to demonstrate by subsequent freewill choice whether or not it elects to follow the parental path of mortal ascension. Children here appear as on the nativity world except for the absence of sex differentiation. There is no reproduction of mortal kind after the life experience on the inhabited worlds. ~ The Urantia Book, (45:6.7)

 Mansion world students who have one or more children in the probationary nursery on the finaliters' world, and who are deficient in essential parental experience, may apply for a Melchizedek permit which will effect their temporary transfer from ascension duties on the mansion worlds to the finaliter world, where they are granted opportunity to function as associate parents to their own and other children. This service of parental ministry may be later accredited on Jerusem as the fulfillment of one half of the training which such ascenders are required to undergo in the families of the Material Sons and Daughters. ~ The Urantia Book, (45:6.8)

But irrespective of parental experience, mansion world parents who have growing children in the probation nursery are given every opportunity to collaborate with the morontia custodians of such childrenregarding their instruction and training. These parents are permitted to journey there for visits as often as four times a year. And it is one of the most touchingly beautiful scenes of all the ascending career to observe the mansion world parents embrace their material offspring on the occasions of their periodic pilgrimages to the finaliter world. While one or both parents may leave a mansion world ahead of the child, they are quite often contemporary for a season.The Urantia Book, (47:1.5)

The infant-receiving schools of Satania are situated on the finaliter world, the first of the Jerusem transition-culture spheres. These infant-receiving schools are enterprises devoted to the nurture and training of the children of time, including those who have died on the evolutionary worlds of space before the acquirement of individual status on the universe records. In the event of the survival of either or both of such a child's parents, the guardian of destiny deputizes her associated cherubim as the custodian of the child's potential identity, charging the cherubim with the responsibility of delivering this undeveloped soul into the hands of the Mansion World Teachers in the probationary nurseries of the morontia worlds.The Urantia Book, (47:2.1)

Children need mothers and fathers

No ascending mortal can escape the experience of rearing children—their own or others—either on the material worlds or subsequently on the finaliter world or on Jerusem. Fathers must pass through this essential experience just as certainly as mothers. It is an unfortunate and mistaken notion of modern peoples on Urantia that child culture is largely the task of mothers. Children need fathers as well as mothers, and fathers need this parental experience as much as do mothers.The Urantia Book, (47:1.6)

We not only love our children, but our grandchildren

The definite order of family life and the living of one family together in one residence of comparatively settled location date from these times of Dalamatia and were chiefly due to the example and teachings of the one hundred and their pupils. The home as a social unit never became a success until the supermen and superwomen of Dalamatia led mankind to love and plan for their grandchildren and their grandchildren's children. Savage man loves his child, but civilized man loves also his grandchild.The Urantia Book, (66:7.4)

Enduring and continuous human associations have never been founded on biologic affection alone. The animals love their children; man—civilized man—loves hischildren's children. The higher the civilization, the greater the joy of parents in the children's advancement and success; thus the new and higher realization of name pride comes into existence.~ The Urantia Book, (84:7.10)

Quotes from the Jesus section of The Urantia Book

All through these early years of Jesus' helpless infancy, Mary maintained one long and constant vigil lest anything befall her child which might jeopardize his welfare or in any way interfere with his future mission on earth; no mother was ever more devoted to her child. In the home where Jesus chanced to be there were two other children about his age, and among the near neighbors there were six others whose ages were sufficiently near his own to make them acceptable play-fellows. At first Mary was disposed to keep Jesus close by her side. She feared something might happen to him if he were allowed to play in the garden with the other children, but Joseph, with the assistance of his kinsfolk, was able to convince her that such a course would deprive Jesus of the helpful experience of learning how to adjust himself to children of his own age. And Mary, realizing that such a program of undue sheltering and unusual protection might tend to make him self-conscious and somewhat self-centered, finally gave assent to the plan of permitting the child of promise to grow up just like any other child; and though she was obedient to this decision, she made it her business always to be on watch while the little folks were at play about the house or in the garden. Only an affectionate mother can know the burden that Mary carried in her heart for the safety of her son during these years of his infancy and early childhood.The Urantia Book, (123:0.2)

 There were few homes in the gentile world of those days that could give a child a better intellectual, moral, and religious training than the Jewish homes of Galilee. These Jews had a systematic program for rearing and educating their children. They divided a child's life into seven stages: (123:2.5)

The play life of Jewish children in the times of Jesus was rather circumscribed; all too often thechildren played at the more serious things they observed their elders doing. They played much at weddings and funerals, ceremonies which they so frequently saw and which were so spectacular. They danced and sang but had few organized games, such as children of later days so much enjoy. (123:4.2)

Jesus was now seven years old, the age when Jewish children were supposed to begin their formal education in the synagogue schools. Accordingly, in August of this year he entered upon his eventful school life at Nazareth. Already this lad was a fluent reader, writer, and speaker of two languages, Aramaic and Greek. He was now to acquaint himself with the task of learning to read, write, and speak the Hebrew language. And he was truly eager for the new school life which was ahead of him. (123:5.1)

Jesus continued to grow physically, intellectually, socially, and spiritually. His trips away from home did much to give him a better and more generous understanding of his own family, and by this time even his parents were beginning to learn from him as well as to teach him. Jesus was an original thinker and a skillful teacher, even in his youth. He was in constant collision with the so-called "oral law," but he always sought to adapt himself to the practices of his family. He got along fairly well with the children of his age, but he often grew discouraged with their slow-acting minds. Before he was ten years old, he had become the leader of a group of seven lads who formed themselves into a society for promoting the acquirements of manhood—physical, intellectual, and religious. Among these boys Jesus succeeded in introducing many new games and various improved methods of physical recreation. (124:1.13)

His physical development continued; he was an advanced and privileged pupil at school; he got along fairly well at home with his younger brothers and sisters, having the advantage of being three and one-half years older than the oldest of the other children. He was well thought of in Nazareth except by the parents of some of the duller children, who often spoke of Jesus as being too pert, as lacking in proper humility and youthful reserve. He manifested a growing tendency to direct the play activities of his youthful associates into more serious and thoughtful channels. He was a born teacher and simply could not refrain from so functioning, even when supposedly engaged in play. (124:2.8)

Though many of the temple rituals very touchingly impressed his sense of the beautiful and the symbolic, he was always disappointed by the explanation of the real meanings of these ceremonies which his parents would offer in answer to his many searching inquiries. Jesus simply would not accept explanations of worship and religious devotion which involved belief in the wrath of God or the anger of the Almighty. In further discussion of these questions, after the conclusion of the temple visit, when his father became mildly insistent that he acknowledge acceptance of the orthodox Jewish beliefs, Jesus turned suddenly upon his parents and, looking appealingly into the eyes of his father, said: "My father, it cannot be true—the Father in heaven cannot so regard his erring children on earth. The heavenly Father cannot love his children less than you love me. And I well know, no matter what unwise thing I might do, you would never pour out wrath upon me nor vent anger against me. If you, my earthly father, possess such human reflections of the Divine, how much more must the heavenly Father be filled with goodness and overflowing with mercy. I refuse to believe that my Father in heaven loves me less than my father on earth." (125:0.6)

Jesus cheerfully accepted the responsibilities so suddenly thrust upon him, and he carried them faithfully to the end. At least one great problem and anticipated difficulty in his life had been tragically solved—he would not now be expected to go to Jerusalem to study under the rabbis. It remained always true that Jesus "sat at no man's feet." He was ever willing to learn from even the humblest of little children, but he never derived authority to teach truth from human sources. (126:2.3)

For four years their standard of living had steadily declined; year by year they felt the pinch of increasing poverty. By the close of this year they faced one of the most difficult experiences of all their uphill struggles. James had not yet begun to earn much, and the expenses of a funeral on top of everything else staggered them. But Jesus would only say to his anxious and grieving mother: "Mother-Mary, sorrow will not help us; we are all doing our best, and mother's smile, perchance, might even inspire us to do better. Day by day we are strengthened for these tasks by our hope of better days ahead." His sturdy and practical optimism was truly contagious; all the children lived in an atmosphere of anticipation of better times and better things. And this hopeful courage contributed mightily to the development of strong and noble characters, in spite of the depressiveness of their poverty. (127:3.14)

 By this time Jesus and Mary were getting along much better. She regarded him less as a son; he had become to her more a father to her children. Each day's life swarmed with practical and immediate difficulties. Less frequently they spoke of his lifework, for, as time passed, all their thought was mutually devoted to the support and upbringing of their family of four boys and three girls. (127:4.1)

Jesus began wise discipline upon his brothers and sisters at such an early age that little or no punishment was ever required to secure their prompt and wholehearted obedience. The only exception was Jude, upon whom on sundry occasions Jesus found it necessary to impose penalties for his infractions of the rules of the home. On three occasions when it was deemed wise to punish Jude for self-confessed and deliberate violations of the family rules of conduct, his punishment was fixed by the unanimous decree of the older children and was assented to by Jude himself before it was inflicted. (127:4.3)

While Jesus was most methodical and systematic in everything he did, there was also in all his administrative rulings a refreshing elasticity of interpretation and an individuality of adaptation that greatly impressed all the children with the spirit of justice which actuated their father-brother. He never arbitrarily disciplined his brothers and sisters, and such uniform fairness and personal consideration greatly endeared Jesus to all his family. (127:4.4) 

 In general, all of the children, particularly the girls, would consult Jesus about their childhood troubles and confide in him just as they would have in an affectionate father. (127:4.6)

The children were always welcome at the repair shop. Jesus provided sand, blocks, and stones by the side of the shop, and bevies of youngsters flocked there to amuse themselves. When they tired of their play, the more intrepid ones would peek into the shop, and if its keeper were not busy, they would make bold to go in and say, "Uncle Joshua, come out and tell us a big story." Then they would lead him out by tugging at his hands until he was seated on the favorite rock by the corner of the shop, with the children on the ground in a semicircle before him. And how the little folks did enjoy their Uncle Joshua. They were learning to laugh, and to laugh heartily. It was customary for one or two of the smallest of the children to climb upon his knees and sit there, looking up in wonderment at his expressive features as he told his stories. The childrenloved Jesus, and Jesus loved the children. (128:6.11)

And then, in bidding him farewell, Jesus said: "My brother, always remember that man has no rightful authority over woman unless the woman has willingly and voluntarily given him such authority. Your wife has engaged to go through life with you, to help you fight its battles, and to assume the far greater share of the burden of bearing and rearing your children; and in return for this special service it is only fair that she receive from you that special protection which man can give to woman as the partner who must carry, bear, and nurture the children. The loving care and consideration which a man is willing to bestow upon his wife and their children are the measure of that man's attainment of the higher levels of creative and spiritual self-consciousness. Do you not know that men and women are partners with God in that they co-operate to create beings who grow up to possess themselves of the potential of immortal souls? The Father in heaven treats the Spirit Mother of the children of the universe as one equal to himself. It is Godlike to share your life and all that relates thereto on equal terms with the mother partner who so fully shares with you that divine experience of reproducing yourselves in the lives of your children. If you can only love your children as God loves you, you will love and cherish your wife as the Father in heaven honors and exalts the Infinite Spirit, the mother of all the spirit children of a vast universe." (133:2.2)