History behind Visual Oratorio



The History and Intent of the Movie

arranged by UrantianArtist

   I grew up loving Jesus.  My mother made scrapbooks with calendar pictures of Jesus mounted inside.  I spent a lot of time looking at those pictures until I learned to read and then a small red letter Bible introduced me to the ‘stories of Jesus’.  I used to ride our horse, “ole fox”, to take the cows out to pasture and read my little pocket St. Luke when my horse stopped to graze.  I really think I discovered the Urantia Book when I was 32 years of age because of thoughts and desires I had to know MORE about Jesus, as a little girl!

        When I married and had children of my own I wanted them to know Jesus and love him also. After my discovery of the Urantia Book on May 4th 1967, I felt such joy in reading the life and teachings of Jesus, that I began looking for pictures from magazines to illustrate the good news that Jesus taught as well as his life. I was never satisfied with the illustrated Bible books that I saw in bookstores.  I also happened to find a church library that was selling boxes of duplicate Sunday school illustrations.   

    I used a large binder that had posts on the left and would hold legal size sheets. I organized four binders to illustrate the Gospel.  The first book was about our Heavenly Father and his nature and attributes and the Grand Universe.  The second book was about the Universe we live in and the plan for us after we leave this earth.  The third book was about the history of the earth and the growth of religions on the earth.  The fourth book was about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

    In the ensuing years I would occasionally get the BIG BINDERS out and go through the pages and tell my children about the Gospel.  We always hear that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I felt it was a good way to teach my children and grandchildren the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Eventually my binder on Jesus was too big, so I took it out of the binder and put those illustrations in a computer printer box and cut the box so it would open and function like a television screen and I would have the young ones watch as I would turn each picture as I told the story of Jesus. 

    In the 1980’s one of my sons, worked at the media lab in College and said he would make slides out of all my illustrations of Jesus’ life!  I was so grateful to have him do that for me and eventually I organized those slides and showed them at some youth meetings in our church.

    In about 1973 a movie came out which was based on a rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber titled, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’.  I went to see it and was appalled by it.  It was such a put down for Jesus and portrayed him as a weak man and seemed to be making Judas the star!  I was so upset with it that I decided to write an Oratorio which would tell the true story of Jesus!  It was an extremely naïve thing to attempt.  I certainly could not write the music, but it seemed to ‘flow from me’ and using the Urantia Book as my guide, I decided on some basic scenes and wrote words that I thought could be sung. I wrote my Oratorio on our old Remington typewriter and called it ‘THE SON’.   I finished it but alas, had no one to show it to and eventually it was put in my file of writing.

    Thirty one years later, in 2004,  I bought an iMac G4  with a magnificent 21 inch screen and I was thrilled to be able to work on my books and writing using such advanced technology.  In September of 2004 my daughter began to teach me to make imovies.  I made six short two or three minute movies: In an article on the internet it said in reference to the iMovie program that, “It is one of those rare applications that actually changes people’s lives, iMovie has single-handedly made cinematographers out of parents, grandparents, students, teachers, small business owners and many other people just like you who, before iMovie, never imagined themselves producing a movie.  Let alone half a dozen or more.”  How true that is.

    It was really suddenly that all the above things converged in my mind!  A desire grew in me to make a movie about the Life and Teachings of Jesus and I thought how wonderful if I could incorporate some of the plans I had already developed when I wrote the Oratorio!  I moved on in my thoughts and it came to me to call it a VISUAL ORATORIO! An Oratorio is a religious musical composition for voices and orchestra.

    I could write the words and choose the most beautiful orchestras to accompany those words and the viewer’s inner spirit could be the ‘voice’   : )

    I got out the slides I had of Jesus’ life and started scanning them into my computer. I started in September 2004 and worked on it for nine months. I wanted the movie to be thoughtful and meditative so the viewer could feel the Spirit of Christ as they watched the visual presentation.  The movie was in a sense in the ‘foreign language’ of the Spirit and I was providing the sub-titles!  So it requires attentive reading all the way through the movie to be able to receive it’s message of the good news of Jesus Christ. 

    I wanted to show this movie from a Universe viewpoint and I periodically inject the Universe broadcasts and other messages and comments about the Son’s Earth Bestowal. 

    Those not familiar with the Urantia Book will think I took creative license as I organized this movie, as there are some scenes that are not mentioned in the Bible, but students of the BOOK will know I am portraying Jesus as a human being who had a mother and father teaching him, who had brothers and sisters and family who loved him.  He had a young women who admired him greatly and we will not be surprised at his response when she tells him of her devotion to him.  Students of the BOOK will not be puzzled about my imovie account of Jesus’ travel, as an interpreter, before he started the official teaching mission, but to even my family members, I had to say I claimed creative license to suggest those things in my movie.

    There are some things I think most people would have included, which I didn’t.  I did not mention the wise men or the shepherds, or the miracles Jesus performed.  I did not dwell on the events surrounding the crucifixion.  I only had 90 minutes, so I was very limited by that.  I wanted to focus on the good news Jesus taught, but I had to leave out a lot.  At the time I did not know how to add narrative, so there is only scrolling and music to accompany the pictures, but when it was finished I felt it was beautiful and I want to share.

    I concluded my movie with the closing admonitions before Jesus’ ascension and then our Savior’s personal message to each of us inviting us to live a worthy life that we may be able to receive his endowment of Eternal Life and COME UNTO HIM.

    What a joy to have the ‘thoughts of my mind’ and ‘desires of my heart’ actually become a reality in a way completely unexpected.  It was truly a “serendipitous” experience:  Having good goals and then getting something beyond my expectation. When the earlier events intersected with my new skill it really fell into place and I knew this was what I was to do.  It is my desire that I will be able to share my movie with many and it will serve as a living testimony of our Savior to all who watch it.  I know the Spirit inspired me and helped me all the way along.  I can only say, “thank you/ and mahalo” and express my gratitude to Father, Son and Spirit for guiding me to complete this VISUAL ORATORIO of Jesus Christ, my beloved Savior and Master, beloved Sovereign of our Universe, Creator Son of our Father in Heaven.

It is my prayer that each viewer will be touched by the Spirit of this movie.

(movie finished on  March 27th, Sunday, Easter, April 8th, 2005)

I kept this page in my website about my first iMovie, because it tells you a history of how things evolved in my experience with learning how to use the movie program on my computer.  This first movie was like a slide presentation with scrolling.  I had beautiful music and it was a lovely first attempt, but when I learned to use the iMovie 11, I was able to remake the Visual Oratorio and create THE JESUS REVELATION SYMPHONY.  I then took the first one off and replaced it with the new movie.  I left this history because I’m part historian and think it helps people to understand better when they know the history.  ( You know what the Revelation says about ORIGIN, HISTORY and DESTINY ? )

A Urantian Artist