During Empath's first visit to the Smurf Village, on the night before the Winter Solstice, when Empath was safe with the Smurfs again, all the young Smurfs had gathered around inside Papa Smurf's house for the annual telling of a story from Smurf legend. Every Smurf eagerly sat and listened as Papa Smurf began his story.
"'It was very long ago, when nothing existed, that there were two beings smurfed into existence. One was a male spirit, the other a female spirit. One wanted to direct the order of events, the other wanted to create beauty and life. These spirits realized that they could smurf together as one and produce something that would smurf both their needs. And so from this union, the universe was smurfed into being.
"'First they created the heavens and the earth. At first they were both smurfed with nothing. They were empty and this didn't please either of them. The Spirit of Time decided that there should be a sun, moon, and stars to smurf the days, months, years, and seasons. The Spirit of Nature decided that there should be living things on the earth, plants and animals, that would produce life by themselves.
"'And so the both of them, with the powers of creation they smurfed at their disposal, created the things that they would smurf into being to make the universe complete. The Spirit of Time put the sun, moon, and stars in place. The Spirit of Nature made the land, sea, and sky, and on them and in them she created all plants and animals, from the greatest to the smallest. The sun, moon, and stars would direct the order of events in this creation. The land, sea, and sky would smurf life to all who were living on the face of the earth.
"'And when the Spirits of Time and Nature were ready to complete creation, they created man and woman together as a unity of strength and beauty. The man would be the provider and the woman would be the nurturer. They were blessed with love for one another so that they would smurf together as one and create children that would smurf what we call the human race.
"'Then the Spirits of Time and Nature, realizing that creation itself needed a father and a mother to guide them, smurfed down among us in the form of man and became the Father of Time and the Mother of Nature.' And that, my little Smurfs, was how the First Day came to be."
All the Smurfs sat there in silence for about a minute, not sure of what to say about the story. Then Empath stood up and said, "That is a very interesting story about the world was created, Papa Smurf, but is there any way to validate that what you have told us is true?"
"I'm sure there is, Empath," Papa Smurf said. "We can go ask Mother Nature herself, since she smurfs in the same forest as we do. She and Father Time should be able to smurf us what they both know."
"Your gods actually live among you, Papa Smurf?" Empath asked.
Papa Smurf chuckled. "I'm not sure they would like to be called gods, Empath. They like to smurf of themselves as just mere guardians. They guide us and protect us from smurfing any harm to ourselves and others. They remind us that we are created for a reason and that we should honor them with what we're gifted with. They also remind us that we are mortal beings and that we will pass on from this existence, either to join our fellow Smurfs in the smurfy hereafter of Tartarus or to be smurfed down below to Tartarus."
"Elysium? Tartarus? I don't believe such things even exist, Papa Smurf!" Hefty said.
"I hate being smurfed to Tartarus," Grouchy said.
"Well, whether or not you believe they exist does not change the fact that they do, Hefty, and someday you will come to find out for yourself and then it will be too late for you," Brainy said.
"Gosh, Brainy, but what if Hefty is right, that those things don't exist?" Clumsy asked.
"Trust me, Clumsy, Hefty is only smurfing in denial because he refuses to believe that he will be judged for the very things that he has smurfed in his life," Brainy said.
"You Smurfs can believe what you want," Hefty said. "It's not going to change what I smurf about life and death."
"Regardless of what Hefty thinks or believes, my little Smurfs, we should try to smurf good and productive lives for ourselves and each other in the time that we have been smurfed in this world," Papa Smurf said. "And that is where I will leave you tonight as you smurf off to sleep and wait for the dawn of the Winter Solstice. Now hurry off to bed...you don't want Santa Smurf to catch you still smurfing awake when he smurfs!"
"YES, PAPA SMURF!" all the Smurfs said together.
As they left Papa Smurf's house to head to their own sleeping quarters, Empath and Tapper were talking to each other. "This smurf noticed that you didn't say anything about what your beliefs were after Papa Smurf had told the story about the creation of the world," Empath said.
"I do not feel that it's yet my place to challenge Papa Smurf about his beliefs, however different from the truth they may actually be, my dear Empath," Tapper said. "He's been smurfed with the beliefs of the Smurfs for so long, that it would take the power of the Almighty smurfing in his life to open his eyes, ears, mind, and heart to receive the truth."
"So you are praying for some kind of spiritual enlightenment to happen in Papa Smurf's life before you are ready to give him what you believe is the truth of your beliefs," Empath said.
"I'm also praying for that with my fellow Smurfs, and also with you, Empath," Tapper said. "This season is the right time for all of us to know the truth of the Almighty, that He created us, loved us, and sent His only begotten Son into the world to die for us. And I won't stop until the Almighty says that I'm finished."