Latter-day Saint Life

Mary Magdalene: Powerful Insights into This Strong Disciple of Christ


On the western shore of the Sea of Galilee was the city of Magdala, an important fishing settlement and the hometown of Mary Magdalene. In Hebrew, the word Magdala means “tower,” and indeed, Mary Magdalene became a tower of strength, both to her fellow disciples and to us today as well.

Mark and Luke report that Mary was possessed of seven devils and that Jesus cast them out of her (see Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2). 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.

Later, Mary was among several women who witnessed the Crucifixion of Jesus. Matthew, Mark, and Luke say that the women watched from afar (see Matthew 27:55; Mark 15:40; Luke 23:49). But in the Gospel of John, we learn that Mary Magdalene stood near the cross, along with Mary, the Savior’s mother (see John 19:25). Whether near or far, what’s clear is that Mary felt compelled to be with the Savior as He endured immense agony and suffering. Even in—and perhaps especially in—this dark hour, her devotion to and love for the Savior were manifest. She would remain His disciple to the end.

Article by Margot Hovley; illustrations by James Johnson,
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