Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did."
Who was Tabitha?
In Acts 9:36-41, we learn a little bit about "a certain disciple named Tabitha". She was a woman "full of good works and almsdeeds" (v 36). Part of these good works and almsdeeds included making clothing for the poor (v 39). She became sick and died and many people in Joppa came to the Apostle Peter, begging him to heal her. In a miracle like unto the Savior raising Lazarus from the dead, Peter "kneeled down, and prayed". He turned to the body of Tabitha and said, "Tabitha, arise" (v 40).
Tabitha received a miracle at the hands of an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. But this miracle did not come simply because Peter was an apostle and exercised his power and authority in the priesthood. This miracle in Tabitha's life came because of three things:
The Way She Lived
I am so proud and honored to be a member of the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am grateful for the opportunities this organization has provided me to be an "angel of mercy" to those who are suffering, and I am equally, if not more grateful, for the times in which my sisters in the Relief Society have been "angels of mercy" for me.
The Faith of Those Who Loved Her
Because of the way Tabitha lived her life, she had many friends who loved her and who were saddened by her recent passing. "The fact that Tabitha was already dead did not preclude Tabitha's friends from seeking help from Peter" (Olson 147).
These faithful friends took Peter to the upper chamber "shewing the coats and garments" Tabitha had made (Acts 9:39). They stood there weeping, pleading with Peter to save their friend and angel of mercy. This show of "emotional gratitude...and the display of Tabitha's gifts of clothing prompted Peter, moved by compassion, to turn to God for help" (Olson 148). He sent her friends away so that he could be alone with Tabitha in the upper chamber where her body lay (Acts 9:40).
To Help Others Come Unto Christ
The next certain disciple I want to highlight is Lydia. She "holds the distinction of being the first known Christian convert in what is today called Europe" (Olson 279).
What Can We Learn From Lydia?
Once again, Camille Fronk Olson provides some wonderful insight on what we learn from Lydia's story in the New Testament:
"Lydia shines in scripture as a golden convert. She understood the gospel. She listened. She led all of her household into baptism after her. She shared her resources with the missionaries...she was eager to learn as soon as she met the missionaries. She had nothing to gain professionally through her conversion to Christianity and plenty to lose" (Olson 285).
And what are those things that have been seared into my heart so deeply that they can never leave?
I am grateful for the examples of faithful women and men all throughout the Bible and Book of Mormon that inspire me and help me to progress on the covenant path toward eternal life and exaltation.
Olson, Camille Fronk, et al. Women of the New Testament. Deseret Book, 2014.
The Holy Bible: King James Version. Salt Lake City, UT, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2005.
I am loving my second chance at life.
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Copyright Desirae Ogden, www.desiraeogden.com, 2015.
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