Women

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Question: Did the Savior demonstrate His love for the women of his time, and who were the women listed as being at the bottom of the Savior’s cross?

Answer: “It must be comforting to you beloved sisters of his Church to remember that this same Jesus, our Savior through the Atonement, demonstrated his love and concern for the women of his time. He enjoyed the company of women and had close friends among them. One of his great parables was about ten virgins. He blessed children. He honored the poor widow who gave two mites. He taught the woman of Samaria and revealed to her that he was the Messiah. He cast out seven devils from Mary Magdalene and forgave the woman taken in adultery. He healed the daughter of the Greek woman, the one stooped and bent for eighteen years, and healed Peter’s mother of a fever.

“He restored the dead son to his mother, the daughter of Jairus to her parents, and Lazarus to his grieving sisters, whom he counted among his closest friends. As he hung on the cross, his heart went out to his mother, and he placed her in the care of his beloved disciple, John. Women prepared his body for burial. It was Mary to whom he first appeared as the resurrected Lord, and it was she to whom he entrusted the delivery of the glorious message to his disciples that he had risen.” (Howard W. Hunter, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, October 1992)

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Mark 16:1

1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him (finish preparing Jesus’ body for burial).

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Clarification on the three Marys and Salome in the Four Gospels

Here are the three Marys listed to be at the bottom of the Savior's cross:

1. Mary, the mother of Jesus (John)

Listed as Mary the mother of James the less and Joses. (Matthew, Mark, Luke)

2. Mary Magdelene

3. Mary, the wife of Cleophas (we don't know her relationship to Mary). Cleophas and Luke are the two men who talked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus for about two hours and then sat with him for supper as he told them who he was. Luke and Cleopas now knew for themselves that He had risen. They returned to Jerusalem to share their message. Therefore, it is quite evident that Cleophas and his wife Mary were close to the family.

Salome - Then there is also another woman at the bottom of the cross. Her name is Salome, a sister to Mary and the wife of Zebedee, and the mother of the apostles James and John. This makes James and John the Savior's first cousins.

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Because of the poor wording and punctuation of the sentences, it is easy to get confused,

1. John 19:25

"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister [Salome], Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene." You would just need to put an "and" after sister to get the correct meaning. Also, Mary would not have a sister named Mary.

2. Mark 15:40

"There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome."

3. Mark 16:1

"And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him."

4. Matthew 27:56

"Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children." (Zebedee was the husband of Salome. Bible Dictionary: "Zebedee was the father of James and John, two of the Twelve." Bible Dictionary: "Salome - wife of Zebedee”)

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Bruce R. McConkie, p. 223-224 of The Mortal Messiah:

"By the cross stands his mother...With her are three other faithful women--her sister, Salome, the wife of Zebedee and the mother of James and John (who were thus cousins of Jesus); Mary the wife of Cleophas; and Mary Magdalene."

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Matthew 13:55

"Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?" (Also Mark 6:3)

Mark15:47

"And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid." It is not known why three of the gospels chose to describe Mary, the mother of Jesus, as Mary, the mother of James the Less and Joses, but that seems to be supported by three of the gospel writers. John is the only one who lists her as the mother of Jesus.

James the Less or James the Just - Bible Dictionary: Brother to Jesus. He is the author of the Epistle of James and occupied an important position in the church of Jerusalem.

Joses - Bible Dictionary: Brother of the Lord.

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Sources: Come, Follow Me–For Individuals and Families, p. 100; The New Testament Made Easier, Part 1, Volume 2, by David J. Ridges, 156; Bible Dictionary; Bruce R. McConkie, p. 223-224 of The Mortal Messiah; General Conference, Howard W. Hunter, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, October 1992, “To the Women of the Church.”