Women today face a myriad of challenges and expectations both at home and in the workplace. It can sometimes feel like a never-ending juggling act between family life, career advancement, and social obligations. However, women also have many gifts, including the innate ability to lift and strengthen each other.
With that in mind, sometimes it helps to draw strength from the powerful women of faith that have come before us. We can look to the women that faced insurmountable challenges, even when some challenges lasted for many years. We can remember that they were blessed by God for the diligence they showed in the face of weakness or fear.
Here are a few LDS art pieces painted with comfort, courage, and inspiration in mind. Each can be an asset to a Mothers' Day celebration, church lessons, as well as gifts for the loss of a baby.
Women of Faithin the old testament
Weathering autumn by rose datoc dall
What better woman to start with than Mother Eve?
Not a lot is said about the day-to-day struggles of exploring a world well outside of Eden, but Rose Datoc Dall helps us imagine some of the fear, loneliness, and confusion she might have experienced. And yet, Eve remained a pillar of strength and wisdom. She found joy even after the rebellion and tragedy in her family.
Shiloh is a sacred city that is referenced repeatedly throughout the Old Testament. The name itself means: “He to whom it belongs”. The name is believed to be a prophecy of Christ’s birth. In this painting, we see a woman seeking peace, just as many of us are today. She has an empty pitcher, illustrating that she is willing and ready to receive help. The artist wrote:
“The maiden represents all who await the peace only Christ can offer through the Holy Spirit. All those who thirst for such may be filled with that peace of God, which passeth all understanding.”
Rachel was the mother of Joseph who was sold into Egypt and his younger brother, Benjamin. From the time that she first appears in the Old Testament, Rachel is described as beautiful and hardworking.
While we are not told many details about her life as a mother, we know young Joseph could not have gotten his spiritual resilience from a stranger.
Women of Faith in the New testament
The New Testament begins with the stories of two faithful women: Mary and Elisabeth. They were the divinely appointed mothers of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. Both births happened miraculously and required sacrifice on the part of the mothers.
These two women were a great comfort to each other as they struggled with the same fears and challenges. We can similarly minister to each other as we deal with today's struggles.
In this story, Christ accepts the heartfelt service of a woman who was shunned by many of those around her. They saw her as a sinner and it must’ve taken immense courage to approach the Savior in such a crowd.
While Christ did not excuse her wrongdoings, he graciously forgave her and accepted her offering, explaining that: “Her sins; which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much.” We too can find peace and forgiveness as we offer our love and service to the Savior.
“Her sins; which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much.”
It’s good to remember that the women in these stories, by and large, were ordinary wives, mothers, or daughters going about their everyday life.
For example, in the story of the widow’s mite, a woman is simply donating her tithes at the temple when the Savior takes notice. No further attention is called to her, but her quiet example of faith and sacrifice speaks volumes.
Simon depicts the woman described in the New Testament as someone who had suffered from a debilitating illness for most of her life.
However, she demonstrated immense faith in the face of doubt, onlookers, and even the apparent interrupting of the Savior’s current task. She trusted in Christ’s power and goodness. Like her, when we reach out to our Redeemer, we can find hope.
Sometimes when we think of women of faith, we think women of perfection. This is nothing close to the truth. In reality, it is weakness, sin, and imperfection that often causes us to develop faith.
The Savior will never condone actions or behaviors that cause us harm, but He will help us get on the path toward healing.
Women of Faith: Christlike Discipleship
Mourning is the name of the woman in the painting. She grew up as a slave in Virginia.
Generations later, when a family of her descendants researched her and performed the proxy temple work, they felt a special connection to their ancestor.
Though they had no photographs or references for what she looked like, they commissioned Rose to paint Mourning.
In this piece, she is powerfully displaying her freedom from bounds, both physical and spiritual.
Studying the scriptures draws us closer to God. It is one of the ways that we can hear His voice and receive personal direction for our lives.
Through the Holy Spirit, He can give us new insights we might not have considered on our own, or even just a simple feeling of peace.
This painting represents all women of faith. It is a reminder to any woman who has ever sent a desperate plea to Heaven that God is listening. He hasn't forgotten you. As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland put it:
“Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”
Children and teenagers today face many challenges unique to our time. What they are taught in schools may not always align with that they are taught at home or at church, which can make this confusing stage of life even more puzzling.
In this painting, Judy Cooley depicts a young woman who has protected herself with the Shield of Faith. In the book of Ephesians, we read:
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
Women of Faith: Motherhood or Loss of Baby
Abigail Palmer is known for her heartfelt impressionist paintings of Motherhood.
In this particular piece, we see a mother doing her best to care for her children’s needs while seeking guidance from Heaven. As Boyd K. Packer taught:
“There are few things more powerful than the faithful prayers of a righteous mother.”
The Book of Mormon contains the account of an army of young warriors who volunteered to defend their country.
When faced with insurmountable odds, their general was impressed by their courage and faith. They knew God would protect them.
As the young warriors explained: “We do not doubt our mothers knew it.”
Thanks to their faithful and brave mothers, this small band of inexperienced soldiers went on to play a vital role in protecting the freedoms of their nation.
Motherhood brings with it some of the most rewarding moments, as well as some of the most painful.
Lynde Mott beautifully captures the burden of worry and concern that many mothers carry, especially in moments when they face the possible loss of a child.
Pieta by joseph brickey
Even some of the most faithful women and mothers experience tragedy.
Joseph Brickey based this painting off of Michelangelo's Pietà sculpture in Saint Peter’s Basilica, but with more focus on Mary’s face. The highly favored mother appears tired and withdrawn as she holds her crucified son.