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?”
answered, “and how might I help you?”
you to have this,” she said, and handed
me a large blue book.
“Emma who?” I
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.
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.
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.
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.
“I am she,”
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
“Ahh, umm . .
. yes,” I replied.
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
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
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.