Angel Falling Softly

Chapter 29

Action is the proper fruit of knowledge

Laura and her father were watching football for family home evening. David bounded up to the kitchen at the end of the first quarter to get a pop and popcorn refill. Rachel said, making a point of retrieving her purse from the counter as she spoke, “I’m going to stop by and see Jennifer.”

A factually awkward statement. She’d have to drive halfway across Salt Lake to “stop by” Deseret Children’s Hospital. She could have said, “I’m going to see Jennifer.” It wasn’t the going she was dissembling about, but the why. There was no way she could explain the why, and lies had a way of piling up like a house of cards.

“Do you want me to come with?”

“That’s okay. I won’t be long. Stay with Laura. Be a dad.” She touched his arm and smiled.

He grinned and nodded. “Give Jenny my love.”

She waited till she was seated in the minivan to sigh mightily in relief.

Rachel thought about the why as she drove north. What she was doing—what she’d asked Milada to do—was beyond bizarre. Mormons believed in faith healing. How bizarre was that? They just didn’t believe in the Pentecostal, Bible-thumping brand. But holy books written on golden plates, angels and visions, God appearing to a boy in a grove of trees—nothing wrong with all that, though.

So it was no great shakes for her to believe six impossible things before breakfast. She believed them. She looked inside herself and found no doubt at all. And if she’d come to believe as well that the albino lady down the street was four-plus centuries old and could perform a miracle on her dying daughter that no doctor could? Why not exercise that faith?

Yes, this was peculiar, a word Mormons had once used to describe themselves, back when different was good. A lot of the things we do are strange, she thought. The temple, for starters. Any given fast and testimony meeting. If they were romping around a Brazilian rainforest dressed in coconut palms and surrounded by National Geographic photographers speaking into microphones in hushed, reverential tones, they’d be an ethnographic curiosity pored over in anthropology journals.

Was doing strange things a sign of faith? Doing what was out of the ordinary? Faith without works is dead. By which Mormons meant: faith without work is dead.

She was working as hard as she could.

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