Lyda told Tom about the discussion that she had about the church. Tom listened with much interest. This church seemed to teach the same basic principles that that his church did on earth. It seemed to have the same organization. It also had a slight variation of the same name. All of these things worked to strengthen the beliefs of both Tom and Lyda. They spoke of how ironic it was that Tom had to travel all this distance to get his religious beliefs stirring again, and to be part of the conversion of Lyda.
Lyda embraced Tom again, and she expressed how sad she was going to be when it was time for Tom to return to earth. She told him that she had been hoping to find the right man, and now that she thought she had found him, he was just going to leave – never to return. Tom knew this was his chance.Tom told Lyda that he was falling in love with her, and that he was considering not returning to earth at all. He explained how the ship was able to return on its own, and that there was nobody on earth for him to return to. Lyda questioned if he really wanted to give up his life, and his home planet, to remain here with her. He firmly answered that he did, and that it was no sacrifice at all. Lyda told Tom that she did love him, and that having him stay here with her would make her very happy. Their kiss was an expression of love and commitment. They both understood that this decision was a very significant one. Unexpressed doubt or reluctance would not do. They both knew their lives were going to make a fundamental change for the better.The practical mind in Tom began working again in a few minutes. He asked Lyda if the government would allow him to remain on this planet. Lyda laughed. She said that from what she had gathered, the government was trying to find ways to convince Tom to stay as long as possible. The technology of the ship, and Tom’s knowledge of it, was very valuable. She imagined that if Tom was willing to stay, that any necessary arrangements would easily be made.The arrangements were made. Tom would be given a position in the space program, and well paid. The ship would remain on the planet for several months to allow scientists to gain as much knowledge of the technology as they reasonably could. Tom would assist as much as he was able.
Lyda was eventually baptized, and she and Tom were able to attend church together. Tom was able to come and go anywhere he pleased. Arrangements were made for their wedding. There were temples available for that sort of thing.
Eventually the day came to send the ship back to earth. Lyda offered one more time to allow Tom to change his mind. Of course he didn’t. As they watched the ship leave the planet, Lyda asked if he had any regrets. Tom said, ‘I only wish my parents were here to see this. This would make my mom very happy. She would have liked you.’
Lyda asked if he were given a chance to leave this planet to go to another inhabited planet if he would like to go. Tom said that he wouldn’t be interested, he was pretty sure what he would find. More of God’s children, working out their salvation, the same as on other worlds – worlds without number. Besides, Tom now had better things to do.
So, what do you think?