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Six Examples of Righteous Mothers in the Bible

By Mormon.org
Hannah and Samuel

Often, we can never say enough about the good our mothers have done for us. They rejoice in our triumphs and grieve when we suffer. They work and serve and sacrifice so that we can live happy and healthy lives.

But motherhood isn’t limited to those who physically bear children. Sheri L. Dew said, “Few of us will reach our potential without the nurturing of both the mother who bore us and the mothers who bear with us.”

Here are just a few of the lessons that we can take from righteous mothers in the Bible.

Eve: Humility

Before Eve ever bore a child, she was called “the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). Her choices, even those that came before she bore children, teach us a lot about what it means to be a mother.

When Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, she humbly accepted consequences of her actions and left the Garden of Eden. As a mother, she taught her children to do the same.

Sarah: Patience

When the Lord covenanted with Abraham, He promised to make of him “a great nation” (Genesis 12:2).

To Sarah, it seemed an impossible thing. By the age of 64, she hadn’t had any children and it didn’t seem likely that she would have another opportunity. But as she continued in patience, trusting in the Lord, His promises were finally realized 25 years later, when she was blessed with a son.

“And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and … Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him” (Genesis 21:1–2).

Naomi: Kindness

When Naomi’s husband and sons died, she decided to return to Judea to live among her kin. She encouraged her daughters-in-law to return to their parents’ homes, where she hoped they would find husbands among their own people.

Orpah tearfully parted from her, but Ruth stayed, saying, “Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God” (Ruth 1:16).

Naomi’s kindness as a mother-in-law had bonded Ruth to her, so together they traveled to Bethlehem, where they lived together until Ruth married Boaz, one of Naomi’s kinsmen.

Widow of Zarephath: Obedience

During a famine in Israel, the Lord commanded the prophet Elijah to visit Zarephath, where a widow would sustain him and take care of his needs.

When Elijah arrived, he asked the widow for a drink of water and a morsel of bread, and though she only had a “handful of meal … and a little oil,” she obliged (1 Kings 17:12).

Because she was obedient, she saw a miracle. She “and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah” (1 Kings 17:15–16).

Mary: Courage

While engaged to Joseph, Mary was visited by an angel who told her that she would give birth to the Son of God.

And though she must have had many questions and concerns, she courageously accepted her new responsibility saying, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38).

This courage helped her through several trials that occurred early on in Christ’s life and prepared her for those that would come later.

Dorcas: Charity

Though it is never specified as to whether or not Dorcas had children, she served as a mother figure to many.

She lived her life in emulation of the Savior, extending love and charity to everyone around her. When Peter heard that she had died, he left immediately to pay his respects.

“When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them” (Acts 39:9).

Moved by the great love that they had for her, he raised her from the dead.

These women, these mothers, taught and cared for and nurtured countless people around them. Their stories of faith and fortitude have impacted generations of women who want to follow God.

To learn more about biblical women of faith, click here.