Tom sat nervously in his usual chair. He was very eager to see what the scriptures on this planet would be like. What if they were significantly different? What if they were nearly the same? Either result would be fascinating. He mentally kicked himself once again for not bringing any scriptures with him. He had not read the scriptures regularly for several years, and the ‘powers that be’ on earth apparently had not thought this information was important. For most people on the earth at the time Tom left, religion was thought of as a superstition at best. But that was not much excuse for Tom. He could have brought the content of the scriptures with him without adding anything to the payload of the ship. He just had not thought it was important enough to bring along. What a fool he had been.
The familiar knock was made at the door, and Lyda entered the room. Today she came with only one book, ‘The Sacred Words From God’. They greeted each other warmly, and Lyda took her usual chair at the table.
‘Is it that obvious?’, Tom replied.
Lyda replied that it certainly was. She observed that this was a very large book, and aked Tom where they should start.
‘In the beginning’, Tom suggested. Lyda raised her eyebrows, wondering if Tom was expecting her to read the entire book. ‘OK’, she said, and opened the book to start reading.
‘In the beginning…’, Lyda paused and looked at Tom.
‘You have to be kidding me!’ Tom shouted. He quickly scooted his chair as close to Lyda’s as he could. They read through a creation story similar to the creation stories Tom remembered. He could not remember for sure, but the creative periods appeared to be in the same order given in the Bible. There was a garden, a man and a woman (with different names), a tree of knowledge, a tree of life, the whole thing. Very similar to what Tom remembered.
Tom leaned back in his chair, with his hands behind his head. ‘This is crazy!’, he exclaimed. Lyda asked what was so crazy. Tom explained that there were books that people on earth believed were also words of God that had a remarkably similar creation story in them. Why would there be such similar stories in this book? Lyda shrugged and said it was probably a coincidence. Perhaps there were similar myths about how each planet came to be. ‘Not this similar’, Tom protested.
Lyda asked if she should keep going. Tom suggested looking in the index for something like ‘Jesus Christ’, or ‘Savior’, or ‘Son of God’. Lyda found something that sounded promising. She started reading some of the references. These references began to make it clear to Tom that they were on the right track. Lyda read one reference that really caught Tom’s attention: ‘The Savior appears to the believers’. ‘Go there!’, Tom nearly shouted.
Lyda smiled at Tom again. She placed her hand on his. ‘You are pretty excited about this I see.’ Tom chuckled to himself. He was rarely this enthusiastic about things. Lyda was seeing a rare behavior from him.
Tom explained, ‘Lyda, if my religion is true on my planet, then it would be true here as well. The God of my planet would be very much like the God of your planet. Who knows? Maybe they are the same God. If this appearance of a savior to believers is what I think it is, it will be the most remarkable and wonderful event I could imagine. I have to know.’
Lyda could tell that Tom was serious and sincere. She gave his hand a squeeze as she released it, turned to the reference and started reading. She read of a group of people who had gathered together discussing the signs that the prophets had given which had come to pass. And that as they were talking a voice came from above which said: Behold my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him.
Tom put his head in his hands, and shook his head slowly. ‘Should I go on?’ Lyda asked. Tom nodded and said yes.
She read about the Savior announcing to the people who he was. He eventually invited the assembled people to come to him. Tom interupted, ‘let me guess. He is going to invite them to thrust their hands into his side, and feel the prints of the nails in his hands and feet’. Lyda asked what that was all about, and Tom explained. Lyda stared at Tom for a moment. ‘Read! Read!’ Tom instructed.
Lyda read on, and it was just as Tom had predicted. Lyda looked at Tom. She looked as if she had seen a ghost. Tom looked the same way. Lyda continued and read about the calling of twelve apostles. She read of the savior teaching about repentance and baptism. The savior then began the familiar sermon on the mount. Tom would finish the familiar phrases after Lyda read the beginning of them. He did it without looking at the text. Lyda asked how he knew about this.
‘It’s true Lyda. It’s all true’. Tom had never said anything with more conviction in his life.