Recently published – Article on LDSliving called ” Did you catch the inspiring conviction of 20 women who worked with Paul?”

I have been studying about these women for a few years and recently put many of them on a map to help us visualize them in this early Christian church era. Their lives, examples and faith inspire me! Read more about it here in this article I wrote from LdsLiving: Seriously, look at how many there are in scripture. The first map includes the women in Galilee and Jerusalem who knew Jesus during his lifetime and the second map features just the women post-resurrection.

Map 2 –featuring the women who worked with Paul. It is incomplete. There are still more!! Specifically the women in Caesarea, and the four daughters of Philip who prophesy.

Easter Recipes

Just like at Christmas time we may have favorite recipes just for that time of year, Easter can be the same way. If you are looking for food that has religious meaning, then eating broiled fish and honeycomb on Sunday afternoon can remind us of what Jesus ate when he appeared to his disciples Sunday evening. Luke 24: 41-43 “and while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.”

Incorporating broiled fish and honeycomb as part of your Easter food allows for a good time to talk about how Jesus wanted his disciples to really know His was a resurrected body, that He wasn’t a spirit. In our house, I often will make fish as part of the meal and if I can’t find honeycomb at a health food store, or I don’t want to spend the money on it, I will just serve it with a bowl of honey.

Other food that can be unique to Holy Week is Passover food and Mediterranean style food. This may mean hummus, pita, grapes, cheeses, dried apricots and lentil soup. The Joe and Janet Hale’s Easter book has some practical recipe and meal ideas. Here is a lentil soup recipe but there are many options online. It is obviously easiest to just buy pita bread as your unleavened bread or it can be made at home or use matzah crackers. Here is a tip I learned the hard way: even though probably dark grape juice was used at the Last Supper, we have been much happier serving white grape juice when spills are likely.

In many places and cultures people fast (go without food or water for 2 meals) on Good Friday and you may want to incorporate fasting as part of your holy week commemorations.

Hot Cross Buns are also a Good Friday food. Here is one recipe, one from Oh, Sweet Basil! and this site shares that one tradition is the spices used in hot cross buns represent the spices brought to the tomb by the women.

Crown of thorns snack idea; Easter Story cookies; Easter story snack mix great for younger kids

Here are two recipes just for fun that remind us of the sweetness Jesus’ life brings! Spring salad and eclair cake

Here is a google doc with a compilation of Easter recipes and it includes recipes from other countries. Thank you Elkridge stake for sharing!

There are many versions of Resurrection Rolls (its a basic roll that cooks with a marshmallow inside so it’s hollow like the empty tomb). Here is one simple take using Pillsbury dough.

Easter Music

Music testifies of Christ in a powerful way, especially at Easter. I hope we enjoy inspiring and holy music throughout the Easter season! Some of the below pieces are geared toward younger children and some not. There is praising music for Palm Sunday, music connecting us with the crucifixion, and music that pertains to the entire season. Handel’s Messiah was originally written as an Easter anthem. Here are few of many possibilities:

In Christ Alone filmed at the Garden Tomb in Arabic, Hebrew & English

Tabernacle Choir singing Hosanna; Tabernacle Choir Handel’s Messiah Hallelujah Chorus

He is Risen, From Stories of Jesus Album Melanie Hoffman, available on Apple Music for purchase

Risen by Shawna Edwards; The Miracle by Shawna Edwards

Tabernacle Choir He is Risen; Easter Concert with the Tabernacle Choir 60 min

Rob Gardner’s Lamb of God 80 min

Hilary Weeks wrote a new Easter song in 2024 here on Instagram, I haven’t seen sheet music yet.

Music Especially for Palm Sunday along the theme of hosanna and praising: Ain’t got time to die (my favorite, it is fun and catchy; Hosanna from Children’s songbook; Praise to the Lord, the Almighty; All Creatures of our God and King with the tabernacle choir; Hosanna from Lamb of God; Hallelujah in Hebrew that is just moving!!! How Great thou art

Here is a great post about Christ-centered music throughout the centuries

Spotify playlist called Jesus Christ Crucifixion playlist–scan the qr code below.

What is your favorite music for the Easter Season? Please share your ideas in the comments!

Check out this page for music related to Holy Thursday.

Good Friday

Commemorating Good Friday in Creative Ways. Here is an LDSliving article I wrote called “An Easy Good Friday tradition for your family with food, simple symbols, and scriptures.”

For more than 1,600 years Christians have been documented as celebrating Good Friday. What is this holiday, why is it important, and how can we make it meaningful?


Good Friday marks the day Jesus Christ died for our sins (3 Nephi 11:14). The “Good” in Good Friday is derived from the word holy; Elder Jeffrey R. Holland called it “Atoning Friday.”  Thus, it can be called Good, Holy, Atoning Friday. 


Why is it important to commemorate Good Friday?  The answer is simple: Our relationship with the Savior is deepened as we reflect on his greatest act of love (John 15:13). Jesus himself has asked us to remember His death (Luke 22:20), view His death (Jacob 1:8) and behold His wounds (D&C 6:37).  I believe He asks us to do this because He knows remembering His death can help us feel His love. 

I have often felt perplexed in how to commemorate this day due to the intense and contrasting emotions–sadness and solemnity in the painful process of crucifixion, profound love in Jesus giving his life to atone for our sins, and victory in what Eliza R. Snow termed the “triumph of the cross” in conquering Satan. It can be worshipful to take time for and value each emotion. 


How can we give “a greater and more thoughtful recognition of” Good Friday as Elder Gary E. Stevenson taught? One idea is to highlight the people and events in the narrative.  Like candy canes or paper angels remind us of people of Christmas, simple items can connect us with the people and events of Good Friday. For example, a judge gavel (for Pilate), gold crown (for Herod), crown of thorns (for Jesus), pretty ribbon (for Pilate’s wife), whip (Roman soldier), cross (for Simon of Cyrene), purple robe; vinegar, large nail, and large beam. 

Such items can help us look at the day’s events from a particular person’s point of view or think of a lesson we can learn from them. For example, handcuffs for Barabbas can remind us that even though we are all guilty like Barabbas was, we are all set free because Jesus was not set free. A sword for the centurion at the foot of the cross can remind us of the Centurion’s declaration that Jesus truly is the Son of God and inspire us to testify like he did. Eight different colored scarves for the women at the cross can point us to their example of continued faith and inspire us to choose to stay with Jesus even when things look bleak. Aloes and myrrh point to Nicodemus’ devotion when he brought 100 pounds at the burial and cause us to contemplate what we do to show our love for the Savior.  

Visuals can also connect us with events of Good Friday. White linen, like the burial clothes, can draw our mind to that tender time of burial. A large piece of purple, red, or blue fine material can point us to the temple veil which was torn in two at Jesus’ death, signifying that now all of us can return to the holy presence of God. Darkness (turning off the lights in our home for part of the day) reminds us of the 3 hours of darkness in Jerusalem while Jesus was on the cross and the 3 days of darkness in the Americas.  

These and other items engage the interest of the young and old with the scriptural accounts found in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23 & John 19. Similar to the tradition of reading Luke 2 at Christmas, we can read the Passion accounts on Good Friday! Each account’s details slightly differ: Mark’s is the shortest; John’s account includes Jesus speaking to his mother; Luke has Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross; and Matthew contains detailed signs of Jesus’ death. 

The suffering Savior teaches us that he connects with us in our deepest heartaches or intense physical pain. If we are too quick to get to the Risen Lord of Easter Sunday we miss the Loving Christ of Good Friday.  Even the resurrected Lord points us to His death. In his first appearance to the Nephites, He said, “Come forth…that ye may know that I…have been slain for the sins of the world” (3 Nephi 11:14). 

Just like it would be very limiting to try and fit all of our Christmas devotionals, activities, and celebrations to one day, perhaps we can extend our Good Friday discussion. This might mean highlighting the narrative of Good Friday in the weeks leading up to Holy Week, during Holy Week, and on Good Friday.  However we decide to commemorate this day, I hope we feel its holiness and deepen our conviction of the goodness, power and reality of Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice.


More Good Friday resources

For scripture references, a list of items to represent these people, and a sample reader’s theatre see this page. If you are looking for a simple Devotional Lesson Plan for Good Friday you are welcome to use this one I made! Images also connect us with the people and events of Good Friday. You can find images in this Ppt presentation link or you can do your own search online for images you like. I suggest keeping your searches specific; for example search: image of Pilate’s wife; or image of soldiers casting lots at the cross.

FOOD: Special foods on significant days can help make them even more memorable. Hot cross buns are a fun treat. See this post for recipes for the entire Easter season including food ideas for Good Friday. Christians in many faith traditions fast on Good Friday. 

ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN: Eat a meal in darkness (Hales book); Carry a beam (Hales book); Make a crown of thorns with Playdough & toothpicks (Rosbourough book); Handle Objects to tell the story; Make sugar cookies or bread in shape of cross or heart or both; Dress up as people of Good Friday and do a readers theater; Coloring pages of the seven final statements; Coloring page of veil of the temple in purple and red and tear it in half and explain that the veil torn in two at Jesus’ death signifies that because of his atoning sacrifice we can now enter the presence of God.

Here is a PowerPoint presentation I have created to help teach about Good/Holy/Atoning Friday. You are welcome to use it! I hope these resources are helpful to you in understanding and teaching the important events of Good Friday!

If you are looking for an in depth dive into Good Friday my husband’s book Considering the Cross is wonderful. It’s a great read for the Easter Season.

For more tips on keeping Jesus the center of the Easter season see this post. Happy Easter! He is Risen! Go and Tell!


Below are a few lists: People of Good Friday, Events of Good Friday, link to ideas for young children, food ideas for Good Friday and a PowerPoint link. Scripture references for the events & people can be found on this page.

Elder Stevenson said, “a more Christ-centered Easter…includes a greater and more thoughtful recognition of ….Good Friday as practiced by some of our Christian cousins. We might also adopt appropriate Christ centered Easter traditions found in the cultures and practices of countries worldwide” (The Greatest Easter Story Ever Told, Liahona, May 2023)

Holy Week

Events of Holy Week are found in almost 40% of the entire Gospel of John! Each Gospel writer differs slightly in their details of Holy Week; the outline below is a common view of the days of Holy Week. I came up with the word for each day and the title of Jesus; it’s one way to remind us of the many titles of Jesus.

TITLE of Jesus, basic timeline of events, ONE WORD, a couple words & one
scriptural phrase for each day of HOLY WEE

Palm Sunday– King of Israel. Jesus enters Jerusalem. HOSANNA!  (Praise, King) “Blessed is he …. who cometh in the name of the Lord (Mark 11:10)”

Monday – Son of God. Jesus cleanses the temple and curses the fig tree. CLEANSE (Temple, hypocrisy) “My house…is a house a prayer (Mark 11:17)”

Teaching Tuesday – Bridegroom. Jesus teaches in parables. WATCH (Prepare, Seek after) “Ye know me not (Matt 25:11)”

Spy Wednesday/Anointing Wednesday – Anointed One. Jesus is anointed by a woman prior to his burial. Jesus praises her. The chief priests and Judas make a plan for Jesus’ arrest. ANOINT (Betray, compassion) “She hath done what she could (Mark 14:8)”

Maundy Thursday – Servant Leader. Jesus introduces the First Sacrament, eats the Last Supper, washes disciples’ feet, teaches, sings a hymn, enters Gethsemane, asks that the bitter cup be removed, prays in agony, strengthened by an angel, betrayed by Judas, arrested, trial before Caiaphas and Jewish leaders. REMEMBER (Eat, Serve) “Remember me in this hour (Mark 14:24)”

Good/Holy/Atoning Friday – Atoning Sacrifice. Jesus is denied by Peter before the sunrise. Jesus is tried before Pilate and Herod. Barabbas set free, Jesus is whipped, mocked, carries the cross, nailed to the cross, hangs on the cross for 6 hours; 3 hours of darkness, says his 7 last statements on the cross; earthquake; graves open; veil torn in two; Centurion proclaims Jesus is the Son of God; Joseph of Arimathea offers his empty tomb, Nicodemus brings 75 lbs of aloes and myrrh. Women at the cross watch where Jesus body is laid. ATONE (Mocking, Calvary) “It is finished (John 19:30)”

Saturday – Mediator. Jesus body lays in the tomb. Women rest and prepare spices. WAIT (Rested, Prepared) “Prepared…and rested (Luke 23:56)”

Easter Sunday – Risen Lord. Earthquake, Angels come, Roman guards flee; Women run to the tomb very early in the morning bringing the spices they had prepared; Angels declare “He is Risen” go and tell the others. Jesus appears to the Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, to Peter, to the 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus; to the disciples behind closed doors in the evening and eats fish and honeycomb with them. HALLELUJAH! (Risen, Angel) “He is Risen!  Go and tell! (Mark 16:6,7)”

 PDF one page print out of the TITLE of Jesus and one word for each day of holy week above. Enjoy! 

Sister Amy Wright’s 2024 Instagram posts for each day of Holy Week

Here is a PowerPoint file I use to teach about Holy Week. You are welcome to use it (note-it is a very large file!) It highlights events from Palm Sunday to Thursday of Holy Week and includes ideas to help our families learn and feel the scriptural accounts. See my Good Friday page for a ppt just on Good Friday.

Elder Stevenson also said, “I observe a growing effort among Latter-day Saints toward a more Christ-centered Easter. This includes a greater and more thoughtful recognition of Palm Sunday and Good Friday as practiced by some of our Christian cousins. We might also adopt appropriate Christ centered Easter traditions found in the cultures and practices of countries worldwide” (The Greatest Easter Story Ever Told, Liahona, May 2023)

For more ideas on Celebrating a Christ-Centered Easter see this Easter page.


I am often asked to share resources for celebrating the Easter season. The scriptures are the most important resource of course!!!

Here’s a day by day reading plan for each day of Holy Week.

Here are some additional ideas to help us focus on Jesus Christ during the Easter season. Clearly, we do not need to use all of these! It can become overwhelming if we try to do everything. Pick and choose what best suits you, your phase of life and your vision for feeling the sanctity of the Easter season.

These ideas can be done by yourself, immediate or extended family members, as part of church classes, or in other ways. Let’s celebrate the Easter story with “the same balance, fulness, and rich religious tradition of the…Christmas story” (Elder Stevenson April 2023)!!

President Russell M. Nelson said, “This Easter Season let us worship and praise Him for the peace, hope, light and truth He brings to us.” Here are some ideas to worship and praise Him for Holy Week, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, the Last Supper and many more. Enjoy!

Posts: Holy Week — A timeline and overview; Palm Sunday -Ideas to celebrate including crafts, activities and sample Palm Sunday church program; Last Supper for Holy Thursday and Passover Simplified; Good Friday-Its importance & ideas to commemorate it with children and adults. Music favorites for the Easter Season, most of which is free online. Recipes/Food for the Easter Season, from simple to complex.

IMAGES are so helpful in overviewing events of the Easter Season. Here are posts with high quality images including detailed events. For Holy Week, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and the weeks following including Book of Mormon Easter images.

If you would rather watch something: a video of a podcast I was on with Ben Hancock with For All the Saints; and a shorter video of my husband and I sharing Fun ideas for a Christ-centered Easter

DECOR IDEAS: Purples, Golds, Green Colors including palm branches and any spring blooming branches budding or flowering; Greek Easter table scape with red and white eggs; use some of the Good Friday items for display. Risen banner; Or make your own Hosanna banner for Palm Sunday and use the word of the day for each day of Holy Week as display; use the 7 final statements for Good Friday dinner table display or make it into a banner.

Church blogpost I wrote on Ideas for Extending the Easter Season. Liahona article I wrote on Lessons we can learn from the women at the cross and tomb. Blogpost I wrote on the women of Holy Week.  

PROPHETS SPEAK ABOUT HOLY WEEK: A video a day from Prophets; Prophets speak about Holy Week, Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter in 2023 and 2024. In this a short video President Nelson invites us to think of the peace and hope that Easter brings “because of Him” and (at minute 2:55) to think of the Palms of Jesus’ hands this Palm Sunday and (at min 3:25) he gives us another invitation for Holy Week. In this Video President Nelson encourages us to forgive during the Easter season. Elder Stevenson’s conference talk on “The greatest Easter story ever told.” And Elder Gong’s talk on “Hosanna and Hallelujah

A FEW ADDITIONAL resources that cost: People in Easter Story Cards– digital download. I made theses cards as a resource for young children, teenagers and families to help us see/learn/discuss the people from Gethsemane on Thursday to the Resurrection Sunday. You choose in your own printer setting what size you want to print them. My daughter made the 7 final statements of Jesus on the cross digital download. Display them in the shape of a cross on the wall, in a banner, as part of your table decor, or make a paper book. Use these or make your own but somehow let them be part of your Easter discussion and decor. A friend made this Easter Journey game (also a digital download) I am going to try for the first time this year.

A Christ-Centered Easter by Joe and Janet Hales  an informative, practical book that lays out day by day activities for Holy Week. This was my first introduction to a more Christ focused Easter. Highly recommend! Also, Holy week for Latter-day Saint Families book can be found at Deseret Book or Amazon.

More FREE online resources:

Really cool Compilation of Easter ideas from the Friend and Liahona magazines on the church website. Ldsdaily Blogpost with lesson plan day by day of Holy Week; Easter Week day by day at the church website & Holy Week day by day at church website; PDF Printout Interactive Lesson for Easter Sunday; Short video – LdsLiving Easter with David Butler and Emily Freeman; there are multiple videos. This blog has print outs of scriptures to go with items in an Easter basket. And here is religious subway art decor.

For friends in Utah, here is one Easter Walk idea a friend recommended.

Motivating Easter Quote –Let’s do it!! Elder Gary Stevenson quoted New Testament scholar N. T. Wright as saying, “We should be taking steps to celebrate Easter in creative new ways: in art, literature, children’s games, poetry, music, dance, festivals, bells, special concerts. … This is our greatest festival. Take Christmas away, and in biblical terms you lose two chapters at the front of Matthew and Luke, nothing else. Take Easter away, and you don’t have a New Testament; you don’t have a Christianity.”  Elder Gary E. Stevenson, Liahona, May 2023

Three Lessons from the Faithful Women of Paul’s Day

Early Christian Women: Christlike examples of Consecration, Commitment and Conviction

Lani Hilton

When we think of faithful New Testament women our first thoughts probably go to Mary the mother of Jesus, or to Mary Magdalene the first human witness of the resurrected Savior (Luke 2:7, John 20:11-16). While these two Marys are stalwart disciples, we can also find inspiring examples in the women converted soon after Jesus Christ’s resurrection who were essential to the growth of the early Christian church.  Many of these women were well known in their communities; they heard Paul preach in the synagogues, by rivers, and in busy city centers (Acts 17:4, 12, 16-17). A mix of Jews and Gentiles, they were powerful witnesses of Jesus Christ whose lives of consecration, commitment, and conviction can deepen our own discipleship. As we study the final Pauline epistles in Come Follow Me, we can find great value by reflecting on their contribution.

In an informal social media survey of 254 church members, while 99% said they knew something significant about Mary Magdalene, only 4% knew something significant about Damaris, and only 1% something about Lois or Euodia. This is not surprising given that the information about these women is often sparse and some of their names are hard to pronounce. In this article, we will explore the examples of early Christian women who chose to consecrate their resources, commit their lives, and show deep conviction to Jesus Christ. (Note: Throughout this article, scripture references come from the King James Version, KJV unless otherwise indicated.)


First, the early Christian women lived lives of consecration. They used their resources (Mary the mother of John Mark, Acts 12:12), their kindness and service (Tabitha, Acts 9:36-43, Phebe, Romans 16:1-2), their spiritual gifts (four daughters of Phillip, Acts 21:8-9), and their lives (Priscilla, Acts 18:2-3 & Romans 16:3-5) to build the church. While many early Christian women converts exemplified lives of consecration, in this article we will explore principles we can learn from Phebe, the four daughters of Phillip, and Priscilla.

Phebe is the only person for whom Paul tells the saints to, “do whatever she tells you to do.” (Romans 16:1, 2 New International Version (NIV)). To give that open directive, Paul must have known her well and had confidence in her. Paul writes that Phebe helped many of the saints including himself. Her hometown was Cenchrea, near Corinth, and Paul trusted her to deliver his letter to the Romans. Paul puts his stamp of approval on the work she is doing and is appreciative of it. He describes Phebe as a “servant of the church, (Romans 1:2, NIV)” focusing on her significant efforts to build up God’s kingdom.  When we think of Phebe we would do well to pause and ask, “Could I be described as a servant of the church?” or, “Am I trusted and serviceable in a way that a church leader would tell other members, ‘Do whatever she tells you to do?”’

The four daughters of Philip may not be well known to us, but they are known in Caesarea for their spiritual gift of prophecy (Acts 21:8,9).  Joseph Smith taught, “No man can be a minister of Jesus Christ except he has the testimony of Jesus; and this is the spirit of prophecy” (Teachings of Joseph Smith, 193) Elder James E. Talmage wrote, “No special ordination in the Priesthood is essential to man’s receiving the gift of prophecy…this gift may be possessed by women also” (Articles of Faith, 228-229).  Perhaps the four unmarried daughters of Philip are boldly sharing their testimonies of Jesus Christ, or perhaps they are prophesying the future, or both. Whichever it is, they are known for their spiritual gift. We could ask ourselves, “Am I sharing my spiritual gifts and abilities in a way that is blessing others?”

Consecration can be seen as dedicating your whole self to God. It appears from the moment Priscilla first encountered the apostle Paul that she lived a life of consecration, devoting her life to the Lord. With her husband Aquila, she hosted Paul in her home for a year and half in their hometown city of Corinth. “Because [Paul] was of the same craft he abode with them… and continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them” (Acts 18:2, 11).  Priscilla likely took advantage of the 18 months with Paul to learn doctrine; this became apparent later in Ephesus. When Paul traveled to Ephesus for more missionary opportunities, Priscilla and her husband Aquila came with him.  After Paul departed, Priscilla and Aquila stayed in Ephesus. A talented preacher named Apollos came to Ephesus and drew the attention of the Ephesians, but he did not have all his facts straight.  “When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the Way of God to him more accurately” (Acts 18:26). Priscilla and Aquila corrected false teaching and did so appropriately and graciously.

Furthermore, at some time in their missionary journeys, they risked their life for Paul. This may have been in Ephesus when the city was in an uproar or perhaps it was a different situation when Paul’s life was in danger. Being willing to put their life on the line for Paul showed their dedication to the cause. Paul wrote, “Greet Prisca [Priscilla] and Aquila, who work with me in Christ Jesus, and who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles” (Romans 16:3-5). The phrase “all the churches of the gentiles” (my emphasis) is comprehensive!  It implies Priscilla and Aquila must have traveled to additional cities or served the many church congregations in other ways, since they all felt appreciative towards this missionary couple. 

Not surprisingly, Priscilla and Aquila also hosted church gatherings at their house.  Paul writes, “Greet…the church in their house” Romans 16:3-5. Priscilla’s deep conversion is evidence in her life of consecration. She opened her home to Paul for a year and half. She left her home and occupation to travel with and assist Paul. She knew the doctrine and was bold enough to correct false teaching and did so politely. She risked her life for Paul and served in a way that all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks to her.

When women and men today allow the Lord to use their talents and abilities even when it stretches them, they show devotion to Jesus and his message. Sister Michelle Craig taught, “When your faith, your family, or your future are all challenged—when you wonder why life is so hard when you are doing your best to live the gospel—remember the Lord told us to expect troubles…I am learning that Heavenly Father is more interested in my growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ than he is about my comfort” (Wholehearted, Liahona Nov 2022). 


Learning of the early Christian women shows us that, their conversion to Jesus Christ showed total commitment as seen in Damaris (Acts 17:34), Junia (Romans 16:7), Lois and Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5) and Rufus’ mother (Romans 16:13). Damaris, in Athens, is a prime example of commitment. She chose to listen to a servant of God, not common culture and her belief brought adherence to Paul. When Paul preached to her of a living God, and taught that we are his offspring, Damaris believed his preaching even though it differed greatly from the many unapproachable Greek gods in her city and culture (Acts 17:23-27).   “Certain men clave unto [Paul], and believed…and a woman named Damaris, and others with them” (Acts 17:34). Clave means “to strongly adhere to” meaning that Damaris’ conversion brought commitment to Paul and the doctrine he taught. Her conversion is relevant to our day. Damaris was surrounded by a culture that preached everything but the one true God, yet she recognized the truth of Paul’s testimony and allowed that testimony to alter her life.

A second woman disciple who exemplifies commitment is Junia, whose imprisonment for Jesus showed that she was willing to suffer for Jesus Christ; also, Paul shared that her service was “chief among the apostles” (Romans 16:7). Interestingly, in Greek, apostle means “one who is sent” and did not always connote the person held the priesthood office of apostle. Like the term apostle implies today, it does mean she “went forth,” and witnessed and taught of Jesus (Meyers, Women in Scripture, 107). It may imply she had seen the resurrected Jesus, perhaps being among the 500 who saw the resurrected Jesus after his resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:6). Junia, showed commitment in going forth as a witness of Jesus Christ and enduring imprisonment.

While Junia’s conviction was seen in the public eye, Lois and Eunice’s commitment was seen in their own home. When his mission companion Timothy needed encouragement, Paul reminded him of the faith of his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice. He wrote, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded is in thee also” (2 Timothy 1:5). Either Paul worked with Lois and Eunice in Lystra when he first met Timothy, or he knew enough of their reputation to point Timothy to their profound faith. Timothy’s father was a Greek which may imply he had not converted to this new sect of Christians; suggesting that his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice were the main gospel teachers in his home (2 Timothy 3:14-15).

Often, our commitment to a cause is demonstrated in a willingness to serve others, even outside of our families. Paul traveled, preached, and seemed to be always on the go. Not surprisingly he appreciated the service rendered by Rufus’ mother towards himself and other saints, “Greet Rufus… and his mother, who has been a mother to me too” (Romans 16:13).  Like they did anciently, today women with and/or without children of their own, who are mother figures to others, make a profound difference in their own family life and outside of their family. 

As Elder Bednar taught, “brothers and sisters who look for and sit next to people who are alone in Church meetings and in a variety of other settings…[who] consistently strive to ‘comfort those that stand in need of comfort,’ without expectation of acknowledgement or praise,” are devoted disciples of Jesus Christ and are the strength of the church (In the path of their duty, Liahona Nov 2023)


A third lesson was can learn from the early Christian women is that they lived with conviction as seen in those who chose to believe even when persecution raged around them, they worked hard for the Lord, and they opened their homes. Merriam Webster dictionary defines conviction as the “the state of mind of a person who is sure that what he or she believes or says is true.” In this time of opposition and misunderstanding to be named as a believer showed faith and courage. Despite the Jewish rulers doing everything they could to stop the work in Jerusalem, miraculously, the numbers of the church increased dramatically as seen in Acts 5:14, “and believers were the more were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.” This was also true for the areas outside of Jerusalem like Samaria and Caesarea. After the ascension, when Phillip traveled to Samaria “both men and women” were baptized there (Acts 8:12).

Our level of conviction can be shown in what we are willing to put our energy into. Paul described Tryphena, Tryphosa, and Persis who “work hard in the Lord” (Romans 16:12, NIV), and Mary of Rome who “worked very hard for you” (Romans 16:6, NIV). Anciently, the rigors of daily life likely required more physical labor than they do today, however Paul wanted his fellow saints to know that these women believers were working hard for them and for the Lord

Working hard for the Lord in some cases included opening homes for church gatherings, including all that hosting entails. Specifically, at least six women were lauded for opening their home: Mary the mother of John Mark in Acts 12:12; Lydia in Acts 16:40; Chloe in 1 Corinthians 1:11; Priscilla in 1 Corinthians 16:19; Apphia in Philemon 1:2 (NIV); Nympha in Colossians 4:15 (NIV). 

Lydia, the first Christian convert in modern day Greece,demonstrated her deep conviction initially with her humility in accepting Paul’s testimony as truth and then by sharing her financial resources and leadership with the church.  She listened to Paul by the river where women had gathered for prayer. Her whole household was converted, and she welcomed Paul and the believers to her home.  She was a businesswoman and a woman of means; she used those means to build the church. She was humble enough to allow the Lord to open her heart and brave enough to open her home for gathering and strengthening saints (Acts 16:12-15, 40).

Living a life of discipleship frequently meant working alongside other brothers and sisters in the church. In Paul’s words Euodia and Syntyche worked hard “at my side” (Philippians 4:2,3 NIV). What did Euodia and Syntyche do as they worked alongside of an apostle and missionary?  They likely strengthened new converts, taught, ministered, spread the good news of the gospel, and served however it was needed. Paul writes that Euodia and Syntyche’s names are in the book of life, a strong endorsement of the important work they did (Philippians 4:2-3).

  In Berea where many men and women believed Paul’s words, they “received the message with eagerness and examined the scriptures daily to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17: 10-12, NIV). This is one of very few places in scripture where the people are specifically noted as searching the scriptures daily.   President Nelson taught how essential being in the scriptures daily is when he said, “With frightening speed, a testimony that is not nourished daily “by the good word of God” can crumble. Thus, the antidote to Satan’s scheme is clear: we need daily experiences worshiping the Lord and studying His gospel. I plead with you to let God prevail in your life. Give Him a fair share of your time. As you do, notice what happens to your positive spiritual momentum” (The Power of Spiritual Momentum, Liahona, May 2023). The Berean converts exemplify seeking to know the truth from the scriptures and searching them daily.

In the present day, saints throughout the world today show conviction in their beliefs as they too work hard for the Lord, open their homes, and work alongside other saints. We may open our homes when we welcome our ministering brothers or sisters, or welcome new converts or others who need their faith strengthened.  We may open our homes by having youth over for a wholesome activity. We work alongside other saints when we contribute to council meetings and serve side by side. We work hard for the Lord as we focus on Jesus Christ and serve others.  President Camille Johnson taught, “Jesus Christ is relief…We can partner with the Savior to help provide temporal and spiritual relief for those in need—and in the process find our own relief” (Jesus Christ is Relief, Liahona May 2023).

While we wish we had more information on each group of women converts and each individual sister, we have ample details to get a glimpse into the devoted discipleship of the early Christian saints.  When Paul departed from the cities after teaching, the newly baptized members were left to build the church in that area. Their belief in Jesus Christ compelled them to minister and to share their witness. Clearly, everywhere the gospel message went, women were a vital part of it.

Perhaps we can we discuss the contributions of these faithful early Christian women more than we do?  When we think of Priscilla, we could ask ourselves, “Does my belief in Jesus Christ motivate me to devote my life to the Lord? or Phebe, “Am I a servant of the church?” or Tryphena, Tryphosa, and Persis, “Do I work hard for the Lord?” or Lydia, “Have I allowed the Lord to open my heart?” or Lois and Eunice, “Am I passing on my faith to my children and/or grandchildren?” or the four daughters of Phillip, “Do I share my spiritual gifts in a way that is known and blesses others?” or Junia, “Do I minister and share my witness of the good news of Jesus Christ?” or Damaris, “Do I listen to a servant of God, not common culture?” When we remember the love and compassion they possessed, the work they engaged in, the fearless faith they fostered, the tenderness they exhibited, and the joy they experienced, we find in them inspiration to go do as they did in being valiant in our testimonies of Jesus Christ.  

Stepping back and looking geographically, we see that the early Christian women were all throughout the Roman empire, as illustrated in this map. Today, female disciples of Jesus Christ likewise circle the globe, blessing lives and building the church.

 As taught by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, no matter where we are serving in the kingdom of God, our role is important and needed (Lift where you stand, Liahona 2008).  By looking at the holistic view of the faithful women on the map, we can see it was not just one person or a couple of people growing the early Christian church. There were hundreds, some well-known, others lesser known, but all essential. How tragic it would be if one person thought her efforts were not important or needed! Every saint anciently who made and kept covenants made a remarkable difference wherever they served. The same is true today.

Note for the chart below: This chart only includes faithful women, not every woman mentioned. For example, the female soothsayer in Philippi, or the women and men who cast Paul out of their city are not listed as part of the faithful women below.

Chart one: Faithful Women in Asian Minor and Macedonia. Female Disciples Early Post-Resurrection period in Asia Minor and Macedonia: Sorted by name, place, role and scripture reference.

NamePlaceHow they believe, minister and witnessScripture Reference
Apphia Colossae, Phrygia, AsiaWelcomes church members to gather in their homePhilemon 1:2
NymphaColossae, Phrygia, AsiaWelcomes church members to gather in their homeColossians 4:15
Grandmother LoisLystra (Asia, Galatia)Conveys her faith to her grandchild2 Timothy 1:5 2 Timothy 3:14-16
Mother EuniceLystra (Asia, Galatia)Conveys her faith to her child Timothy2 Timothy 1:5 2 Timothy 3:14-16
Tryphena Iconium (Asia)Works hard for the LordRomans 16:12
TryphosaIconium (Asia)Works hard for the LordRomans 16
Lydia & householdPhilippi (Macedonia, Greece)Welcomes church members to her home amidst persecution; the Lord opened her heart, uses her means to strengthen the churchActs 16:12-15,40)
EuodiaPhilippi (Macedonia, Greece)Works at Paul’s side, Works hard for the Lord, works with other saintsPhilippians 4:2-3
Many honorable women convertsBerea, GreeceExamined the scriptures dailyActs 17:10-12
Chief women not a few in ThessalonicaThessalonica, GreeceBelieved with conviction; faith is known everywhere1 Thessalonians 1:5; 2:1; 1:8; Acts 17
DamarisAthens, GreeceBelieved Paul’s testimony about a living God, Clave unto PaulActs 17:34
ChloeCorinth, GreeceWelcome saints to her home1 Corinthians 1:11
PriscillaCorinth, Greece; travels to Ephesus, AsiaHosts Paul in her home for 18 months; travels to Ephesus with Paul and corrects false teaching; risks her life for Paul; all the congregations of the gentiles are grateful to her; Acts 18:2-3, 11, 26; Romans 16:3-5
PhoebeCenchrea, GreeceServant of the church, Paul tells the saints to help her anyway she needsRomans 16:1-2
Women converts in ColossaeColossae, AsiaHave faith in Christ and love for othersColossians 1:2,4 (NIV)
ClaudiaLocation unknownBeliever2 Timothy 4:21
Mary of RomeLocation unknownWorked hard for the Lord; served people in RomeRomans 16:6
Mother of RufusLocation unknownMother figure to Paul and many othersRomans 16:13
PersisLocation unknownWorks hard for the LordRomans 16:12
Sister of NereusLocation unknownBelieverRomans 16: 15
JuliaLocation unknownBelieverRomans 16:15
JuniaLocation unknownChief among the apostles; Imprisoned for JesusRomans 16:7

You are welcome to use this pdf of a PowerPoint it if it is helpful to you.

Audio for teaching children

Do you ever want to just turn push a button and know your children are entertained AND learning AND no screens are involved? They learn while they listen and dance around! It is really the best! I want to share some of my favorite fun, informative, uplifting audio resources for children. I am not getting payment for any of these recommendations; these are just ones I have loved for a lifetime! Many of these albums were published decades ago which makes them a little harder to find out about, but they are still accessible and relevant today! I put these in order of what I personally would purchase first, but I highly recommend ALL!!!


Stories of Jesus

MY FAVORITE VALUABLE RESOURCE is “Stories of Jesus” music CD by Roger and Melanie Hoffman.  I LOVE this CD because it contains song after song of events of Jesus’ life in such fun, upbeat, meaningful tunes.  The popular song “Gethsemane” is on here.  Some of my other favorites are “Loaves and fishes” “He is Risen” and “See the joy.”  These songs don’t just tell the story but help listeners feel and understand the story.  I will play certain songs at Christmas that go with his birth (See the Joy) and certain songs during the Easter season that go with his death and resurrection or all songs on a Sunday afternoon.  I promise you will not be disappointed.   This entire album will teach and testify of Jesus Christ in a way only inspired children’s music can.  Find it at Deseret Book or at the Hoffman music site.

It is also available on apple music and as digital download from the Hoffmans site.


Scripture Scouts Book of Mormon

I cannot recommend Scripture Scouts highly enough for elementary age and preschool children.  I grew up listening to and singing these songs.  I loved them then and still find meaning in them as an adult! When my children were younger we listened to these songs during the day or as bedtime listening.   These dramatizations help children not only know the names of the scripture characters but also learn the lessons found in the storyline.

In addition to the Book of Mormon Scripture scouts, there are scripture scouts albums for other books of scripture including, the New Testament, Old Testament, the Articles of Faith, and The Family Proclamation, and all available at Deseret Book. I found the Book of Mormon scripture scouts CDs on amazon, and it and the other scripture scouts albums are fore sale on the Desert Book website. Unfortunately, I have not found digital albums though.

A 2021 review of the Book of Mormon Scripture Scouts album: “We have absolutely loved scripture scouts! They have made particularly our car rides fun! Driving to and from grandmas house or longer distances feels different! I can turn them on and know that the entertainment they are getting doesn’t get any better than scripture scouts! The songs are so catchy and teach doctrine and principles of the gospel. We are so thankful for the Hoffman family for taking the time to create such a wonderful resource.” –Haley W. (Mom of a 7, 4 and 6 month old boys)


Would you like your family to listen to songs about the real, the fun, and the ideal family roles with catchy, inspiring tunes?  This is what Scripture scouts sing along—my family and me is all about. I love the powerful doctrine the songs teach–and all about the family!


Power Tunes

I grew up listening to this cassette tape and learned so much from the values each song teaches. We played them while we did our Saturday chores. Particularly the song, “Work like beaver” was great to do our work to.Each song is catchy and and upbeat and teaches important values. This is not a religious music album–just important values everyone child should learn about. For years this album has been hard to locate but there is now a digital download available at Deseret Book. Totally worth it!!

Of course, this list is not complete. I wanted to share some oldies that are still so wonderful. Hopefully I can add more soon, but these are definitely my top picks! Please leave any of your favorites in the comments below.


Conference Cake

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Conference Cake is a special family tradition we have each General Conference. Here’s the recipe! Our family usually doubles or triples the below.

Conference Cake

For 1 9×13 pan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan.


2 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup oil
4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons salt

Beat eggs, stir in milk and oil.

Combine the dry ingredients and then mix them in with the wet ingredients just until flour is moistened. Batter should be lumpy – do not over mix.

Put half the batter into the pan and then sprinkle a little topping. Then put in the rest of the batter and the rest of the topping. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the topping is crisp.


1.5 cups brown sugar (packed)
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
1.5 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup butter or margine, soften.

Mix first four ingredients, then cut in butter until well mixed.

Fruits of the Spirit–Little Jolly People Keep Green Grapes From Mashing Snakes

Have you ever wanted an answer to one of these questions: What is a result of having the Spirit with you?  How can you tell if you are feeling the Spirit in your life?  What does the Spirit feel like? How do I know if I don’t have the Spirit with me?

Galatians 5:22-23 is such a valuable resource. It lists simple descriptive attributes that help us know if we have the Spirit of the Lord in our life.

I love to teach this to children and teenagers but the list can be a challenge for them to remember. I came up with a fun saying that helped me remember them in order:  Can you see how it matches up with the attributes?

Little Jolly People Keep Green Grapes From Mashing Snakes

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control: against such there is not law. Galatians 5:22-23  

 There are two options for the last attribute because the final word listed in the King James Version is temperance, a word not commonly used, so I substitute self-control which has the same meaning but is more understandable. Little Jolly People can keep Green Grapes from Mashing Toys instead of Snakes if you prefer the word temperance in the list. Feel free to change the mnemonic device or create a better phrase of your own. 

Songs or sheer repetition may help your children more than a fun saying. If so, you may enjoy one of the youtube links below.  Whatever method we choose, I hope the fruits of the Spirit can become more a part of our vocabulary, and most importantly more a part of our daily thinking and living.    Colorful, catchy   Geared to preschool age, include signs (ASL)    May help older children memorize it

Just a few a verses before these in Galatians 5 is a list of the “works of the flesh” or the result of not having the Spirit. This is also a valuable reminder of what to avoid. Fighting, arguing, jealousy, giving everything a sexual connotation (lasciviousness) are not fruits of the Spirit.

What can we do to feel more of these delicious fruits of the Spirit in our lives and avoid the yucky works of the flesh?