Latter-day Saint Life

Mary Magdalene’s faith changed her life. Use these 5 questions inspired by her to fortify yours

Like Mary, each of us is also a witness of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection.
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The first witness of the resurrected Savior was Mary Magdalene. She gives us a powerful example of what discipleship means. If she lived now, we’d be standing alongside her, our unshakable faith next to hers.

“Many have asked why Mary Magdalene received this remarkable experience. We could just as easily ask, Why not? We do not need a unique calling, title, or relationship with the Savior different from that of any other disciple to receive a spiritual witness. We need a broken heart, faith in him, and an opportunity for him to teach us. If for no other reason, she may have received this blessing simply because she lingered in a quiet spot rather than running off to talk with others. ... Mary Magdalene teaches us to be still and learn that he is God,” writes Camille Fronk Olson in, Women of the New Testament.

Like Mary, each of us is also a witness of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. We recognize who Christ is in our lives and what it means to have a Savior. Not just during Holy Week, but every week, we are hopefully striving to be close to Jesus Christ and following inspiration to be His hands for each other.

Let’s explore five inspiring examples of Mary Magdalene’s commitment to Jesus Christ to show us how we too can be powerful witnesses of His name. In each section, you’ll find a short scripture passage, quote, and question to journal or ponder. Complete it any time and at your own pace, be that all in one sitting or over a few days.

We hope this is something you come back to again, a reminder of the strength we can find in our personal testimonies of our beloved Savior.

Part 1

Luke 8:23

And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,

And Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.

“We don’t know when Mary’s discipleship began, but it’s safe to assume that this miracle performed by the Savior had a profound effect on her life. It freed her of an unthinkable burden and left her with a deeply personal and unforgettable witness of the Savior’s divine power, mercy, and kindness.” Margot Hovley, “Mary Magdalene—Tower of Strength,” Church Magazines June 2019.

The word “profound” is defined as something with deep meaning. A small moment, a tiny miracle, or a quiet whisper can all be deeply meaningful in our lives. As disciples of Christ, we see Him in all things great and small.

  • When have you felt or seen the profound effect of the Savior’s hand in your life?

Part 2

John 19:25

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

“The Gospels unanimously attest that Mary Magdalene was among the Galilean women who followed Jesus to Jerusalem and became active witnesses of his crucifixion. The male disciples scattered; the women of Galilee stood as sentinels and witnesses.” Camille Fronk Olson, Women of the New Testament 

When we yoke ourselves to Christ, it is easier to stand with Him because His strength sustains us. As disciples, we can stand together in His name and share His goodness, mercy, and love.

  • How has standing with other followers of Christ strengthened your testimony of Him?

Part 3

John 20:12

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

“Prepared to anoint the dead body of Jesus for whom she still mourned, Mary and perhaps other Galilean women were confused when they looked into the empty tomb. The pre-Resurrection world could explain the absence of the body only by a theory involving tomb robbing. When the two angels at the tomb told them that Jesus was not there but had risen and that they must tell the apostles what they had learned, Mary was eager to obey.” Camille Fronk Olson, Women of the New Testament 

Mary ran through the dark. She knew where she needed to go, but it might not have been easy to navigate the path. As Christians, we often act on promptings trusting that the light will come as we move forward.

  • How has following Christ helped you navigate through dark paths in your life?

Part 4

John 20: 1113

But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,

And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

“With Mary Magdalene alone at the tomb, John directs the reader to follow her quest and subsequent revelation. Undoubtedly other disciples could have testified of their own parallel experience of seeing the resurrected Christ, but it is Mary’s personal encounter with the resurrected Christ that is preserved. According to John, after everyone else had run away, Mary remained at the empty tomb, seemingly determined not to depart until she learned what had happened to the body of Jesus. She continued vigilant, ever loyal.” Camille Fronk Olson, Women of the New Testament 

There are times when it seems impossible to pause and be still because there is so much required of each of us. Even through busy times, we can be vigilant disciples of Christ when we keep a prayer in our hearts so that He is always with us.

  • What does a moment of sacred stillness look like to you?

Part 5

John 20: 1416

And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

“Mary Magdalene did not recognize the Savior when he first appeared and spoke to her, calling her by the nonspecific term “Woman” (John 20:13). The generic term may invite each of us, whether man or woman, to put ourselves in her place to become a potential witness of truth. She did not at first recognize Jesus and assumed that he was the gardener. Perhaps her eyesight was blurred by tears, or perhaps Jesus’ physical appearance had been purposely changed to forestall recognition. The risen Lord may have wanted her to first know him through her spiritual eyes and ears rather than through her physical ones.

When the Lord then said her name, ‘Mary,’ her spiritual eyes were opened (John 20:16). Suddenly her encounter with the resurrected Lord had become very personal.” Camille Fronk Olson, Women of the New Testament 

Jesus Christ knows each of us by name. But He knows so much more than that—He knows our hearts. He sees our efforts to do good in the world. He knows the burdens we carry and can make them light. He knows the joys of our souls and wants us to have peace.

  • What do I know is true in my life because of my Savior Jesus Christ?

Hear more about Mary Magdalene's example on the Magnify podcast.

► You may also like: Did you catch the inspiring examples of the 20 faithful women who labored with Paul?

Women of the New Testament

Author Camille Fronk Olson focuses on many of these remarkable women and explores the influence of Jesus Christ and his gospel on women living in the meridian of time. It may be surprising to learn that their challenges and personal struggles are not unlike our own. From his beloved mother, to a quiet woman in a crowd, to two sisters each desiring to serve the Lord in her own unique way, to a woman weighed down by sin, they bore a powerful witness of the Savior before and during his earthly ministry. Others, including Lydia, Phebe, and Prisca, proclaimed truth and labored to spread the gospel after his Resurrection. Amid traditions that frequently marginalized women or restricted them to certain roles, often defining them by their relationship to men, Jesus saw them first as individuals with agency to choose how they would use their God-given gifts.

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