Stop to Remember the Miracles
By G.G. Vandagriff

In this slip-slidey world of ours where treasures have indeed grown slippery as predicted in the Book of Mormon, there are things that remain to which we can still tether our hope. Miracles.

Miracle upon miracle is recorded in the book When Hearts Conjoin , co-written by Erin Herrin and Lu Ann Staheli, about the wondrous birth, survival, and first-time in the world separation of the co-joined Herrin twins. This book is not about easy faith or perfect people. It is about people who have committed sins, repented, and moved on to build faith that flew in the face of all known medical knowledge of the times.

Beautifully and rivetingly written, this account begins with a marriage on its last legs, and the sudden unwelcome news that Erin was carrying conjoined twins. Not only was their survival way against the odds, the risk to Erin during delivery was enormous. In order to properly deliver the twins by C-section, she would lose tremendous amounts of blood. However, both Erin and her estranged husband Jake felt strongly that the twins should not be aborted (even though the church’s stand of putting the health of the mother first would make it acceptable). They both believed from the very beginning that these girls were part of their eternal family. Erin already loved them. Her pregnancy was extremely difficult, to say the least. However, during that time, Jake miraculously returned home and helped her all along the way.

This tale could have been told sentimentally, leaving out all of the difficulties and the humanness of the struggle. But it is told truthfully, in great detail. As a result, the miracles that this couple faced stand starkly against their trials. Their faith shines brightly against the odds that the girls would 1.) survive gestation, 2.) survive delivery, 3.) survive the first years of their lives, and 4.) would survive the never-before-tried separation. I give this away in this review, because their story is well-known the world over. It is also well known that this 26-year-old mother, Erin, who subsequently had given birth to another set of twins, gave one of her own kidneys to her daughter Maliyah, who had none after the separation.

What is not known are the difficulties that tried their faith, the way Jake and Erin chose to honor their temple sealing, the tales of angels from the other side helping the girls to cope with their many surgeries.

This is a miracle to rejoice in, a triumphant tale of the latter-days, a joy to inform us that even in the bleakest of times, the Lord is still there with His angels.

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