Woman at the Well

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Sisters, when we have become distracted, doubtful, discouraged, sinful, sorrowful, or soul-stretched, may we accept the Lord’s invitation to drink of His living water, as did the certain woman at the well, inviting others to do the same as we bear our own certain witness: ‘Is not this the Christ?’”
 
Linda K. Burton, Relief Society General President
Certain Women,” April 2017 General Conference
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I have read and passed over the seemingly unremarkable expression ‘certain women’ numerous times before, but recently as I pondered more carefully, those words seemed to jump off the page. Consider these synonyms of one meaning of the word certain as connected to faithful, certain women: ‘convinced,’ ‘positive,’ ‘confident,’ ‘firm,’ ‘definite,’ ‘assured,’ and ‘dependable.’
 
“As I pondered those powerful descriptors, I remembered two of those New Testament certain women who bore positive, confident, firm, assured testimonies of the Savior. Though they, like us, were imperfect women, their witness is inspiring.
 
“Remember the unnamed woman at the well who invited others to come and see what she had learned of the Savior? She bore her certain witness in the form of a question: ‘Is not this the Christ?’ Her testimony and invitation were so compelling that ‘many…believed on him.’
 
“Following the death of her brother, Lazarus, Martha, the beloved disciple and friend of the Lord, declared with what must have been great emotion, ‘Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.’ Consider her certainty as she continued, ‘But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.’ She further testified, ‘I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.’
 
“We learn from these sisters that certain women are disciples centered in the Savior Jesus Christ and have hope through the promise of His atoning sacrifice.”
 
Linda K. Burton, Relief Society General President
Certain Women,” April 2017 General Conference
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“…the Savior, the Master Healer, has the power to change our hearts and give us permanent relief from the sorrow caused by our own sin. When the Savior taught the Samaritan woman at the well, He knew about her serious sins. However, ‘the Lord looketh on the heart,’ and He knew she had a teachable heart.
 
“When the woman came to the well, Jesus—the embodiment of living water—said simply, ‘Give me to drink.’ Our Savior will likewise speak to us in a voice we recognize when we come to Him—for He knows us. He meets us where we are. And because of who He is and what He has done for us, He understands. Because He has experienced our pain, He can give us living water when we seek it. He taught this to the Samaritan woman when He said, ‘If thou knewest the gift of God and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.’ Finally understanding, the woman responded in faith and asked, ‘Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not.’
 
“After the Samaritan woman had this experience with the Savior, she “left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,
 
“ ‘Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?’
 
“She had received a witness—she had begun to partake of the living water—and she desired to witness of His divinity to others.
 
“When we come to Him with humble and teachable hearts—even if our hearts are heavy with mistakes, sins, and transgressions—He can change us, ‘for he is mighty to save.’ And with hearts changed, we can, like the Samaritan woman, go into our own cities—our homes, schools, and workplaces—to witness of Him.”
 
Carole M. Stephens, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
The Master Healer,” October 2016 General Conference

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“The Samaritan woman looked into the face of Christ, listened to His voice, and recognized Him at a time when most others rejected all He taught. We know Him too, or we can, if we allow His healing power, His nourishing strength, His peace and joy, to flow through us like ‘a well of water springing up into everlasting life.’ ”

 
Kathleen H. Hughes, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Blessed by Living Water,” April 2003 General Conference

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“Christ taught clearly that regardless of our living conditions, or our marital status, or our gender, we may know his love. When he met the woman at the well, as he crossed Samaria on his way to Galilee, she couldn’t believe he spoke to her. She was a Samaritan—he was a Jew. Her awareness of their differences, no doubt the legacy of long tradition, complicated her understanding him. He engaged her in a thoughtful conversation, and she began to sense that this visit had meaning far beyond the importance of drinking from a well. The exchange itself freed her from the inhibitions she expressed when he first spoke to her. When he offered the living ‘water springing up into everlasting life,’ a new awareness came upon her, and she began to hear what he was teaching ‘in spirit and in truth.’ ”

“Her hearing became her knowing, and her testimony brought other Samaritans to him.”

Aileen H. Clyde, Second Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
The Mission of Relief Society,” April 1992 General Conference

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“Before anyone else saw Him, He made know His victory over death to this devoted and humble woman, whose name was Mary. She was the first one on earth to see a resurrected person, the first to greet the risen Lord as He emerged from the tomb—the first of all mankind, this lovely woman.
 
“All the hosts of heaven had looked forward to this great event. The ancient prophets had spoken of it and yearned for it. But who was favored to see it first? A woman—a faithful, believing woman, Mary—there in the garden, near the tomb, where the angels spoke to her.
 
“The Savior’s atonement was the most important thing that has ever happened. His resurrection was the crowning achievement of it all. And it was shown first to a righteous, believing woman.
 
“Then does Christ honor womanhood?
 
“His mother was a wonderful woman who nurtured Him through infancy, guided Him in His childhood, found Him in the temple when she thought He was lost, and initiated His first miracle when He became a man.
 
“Oh, how He honored His mother!
 
“And it was to a woman—a Samaritan woman by Jacob’s well—to whom He positively identified Himself as the Messiah when He said, ‘I that speak unto thee am he.’
 
“When Lazarus, His dear friend, passed away and the Lord visited the grieving family, it was to a woman that He made one of the most significant statements of His entire ministry: ‘I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.’
 
“It was a woman who bathed His feet with her tears. A woman anointed His head with costly ointment, a thing so significant in His eyes that He said that her act of adoration would be made known wherever the gospel is preached.
 
“It was a woman who received of His mercy when through her repentance she was told to go her way and sin no more.
 
“It was to a sick and suffering woman that He said, ‘Thy faith hath made thee whole.’
 
“It was a woman who begged Him to heal her daughter and in her pleading even likened herself to one eating crumbs under the table. His divine approbation distilled upon her, and He said: ‘O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.’
 
“It was out of compassion for a grieving widow that He raised her son from death. It was another widow whom He praised when her two mites were cast into the temple treasury.”
Mark E. Petersen, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Even As I Am,” April 1982 General Conference
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