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How I Found the Urantia Book—JAMES IRWIN (1963) 

In 1963 I was working for a supermarket as a part-time stocking clerk in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. One evening, as I was gathering baskets from the parking lot, a woman approached me and asked, “Is your name James? James Irwin?”

“Yes,” I answered, “and how might I help you?”

“Emma wants you to have this,” she said, and handed me a large blue book.

“Emma who?” I asked her.

Emma Christensen,” she replied, then turned around and walked away. To this day I have no idea who the person was who delivered the book to me.

When I returned to the store, I opened the book to the first page and wrote Emma Christensen’s name inside. I was only 17 at the time, but any book of a theological nature always caught my attention. Immediately after receiving it, I began to read it non-stop, day and night, until I finished it. I even took days off from work to complete it.

The Urantia Book has been my companion through all of my life’s events. It went with me during my tour in Vietnam, on railroad trips to Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Thailand, and on side trips to Korea, Cambodia, Laos, and China. (One time it took a side trip without me, but that’s another story.) The Urantia Book has served me well these 35 years. Many kind folks have offered to replace it for me, as the cover has long since come off, and pages that came out are tucked inside, but I consider I’m only just beginning to break it in.

Eighteen years after the book had been given to me, I decided it was time to thank “Emma,” so I called the Urantia Foundation in Chicago. I knew nothing of the Foundation, Emma, or anything else surrounding the book’s origin. The purpose of my call was to thank this kind lady for giving me the book. Although people have since told me that Emma didn’t answer the phone at the Foundation anymore by then, on that day she did. I asked if I might speak to Ms. Christensen.

“I am she,” she replied.

The next few moments were extraordinary. “My name is James Irwin . . .” I began, but before I could add, “But you probably don’t know me,” she exclaimed, “Then you got the book?”

“Ahh, umm . . . yes,” I replied.

“I’m happy that you called,” she said, “even if it has taken you a while.”

We talked of many things—the midwayers and their presentiments, the celestial hosts, various spirit beings, Michael-Jesus. She expressed her belief that her time was almost at an end here, and we spoke of the morontia life yet to be experienced.

It has been my privilege, honor, and humble opportunity to have had this book for these many years. I may be deluded, but I am convinced that my Thought Adjuster, guardian angels, and other hosts unknown to me placed these theological concepts in my life’s path. Although I never met Emma face-to-face in this life, I look forward to our morontia life meeting. I do not know how Emma knew of me, but I shall always treasure our unforgettable phone conversation. Shortly thereafter, Emma left us to continue on in her life’s journey.

Emma was the last living member of the six contact commissioners, and was the individual who typed the entire Urantia Book from the original manuscript.

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