“Pilate . . . said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born” (John 18:37).

He had the power to save Him from the cross, but he did not do it. He stated and restated that he found no fault in Him, yet he washed his hands of Him.

Nevertheless, Pilate’s wife had told him, “Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him” (Matthew 27:19).

This woman was excluded from the halls of judgment. Earthly power was in the hands of Caesar, of his governors, and of the Pharisees, yet Heaven turned to her, a woman, to warn her husband. She was ministering to her husband for the cause of justice. But the sentence of death was passed anyway. They did not listen to her still, small voice.

What would have been the course of history had this woman’s advice been heeded?

Whipped, crowned with thorns, vilified, nailed to the cross: this was the King of the Jews.
A sheep silent before its shearers, a lamb led to the slaughter, acquainted with grief, He drank the bitter cup until the last drop and then gave up His spirit, finally freed from the agony of the Atonement. He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows, and with His stripes we are healed. (see Isaiah 53:3-5)

Upright women stood in tears at the foot of the cross with their hearts full of love and sorrow for their Master: their faith was stronger than the fear of the soldiers, than the sword that pierced Jesus’ side, than the nails that pierced His hands, than the Pharisees who rejoiced before the dead Christ. They were witnesses. Unheard still, small voices.

Even the elements of nature suffered and were moved by the death of their Creator.

Then it was evening, His body wrapped in linen and laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. Silence. The Sabbath was a day of rest. But what rest could be found in the hearts of those who were not heard? Of those who called for justice and did not obtain it, of those who called for mercy and did not receive it?

The first light of dawn painted the sky pink and the women, ready, on Sunday morning, brought the spices they had prepared in honor of the body of their King. They provided sacred ministry in honor of His physical tabernacle.

But the stone was removed! The tomb empty, the linen folded, but where had they placed the body of their Lord?

Two angels in refulgent robes came to them: “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen” (Luke 24:1 – 6).

What news! What astonishment! The women ran quickly to warn the Apostles, who were locked in fear inside a room. Christ is risen! The tomb is empty!

But, “their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not” (Luke 24:11). Their still, small voices went unheard.

Yet, Peter rose and ran to the tomb with John, and they found things as the women had said.

And Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. A voice spoke to her: “Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away” (John 20 :15).

And then a still, small voice called her by name, “Mary!”

She immediately recognized and responded to that voice: “Rabboni!” which is to say “Master!” (John 20:16).

What an immense joy! What an extraordinary surprise! Her immediate affectionate impulse was gently stopped: “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to the Father: but go to my brethren and say unto them: I ascend unto my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17).

Again Heaven chose a woman for an announcement of great magnitude: “Jesus Christ is risen! I have seen the Lord!” And her voice was heard.

“My dear sisters, whatever your calling, whatever your circumstances, we need your impressions, your insights and your inspiration . . . My dear sisters, we need you! We need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices. We simply cannot gather Israel without you.”[1]

May our voices be raised with loving steadfastness as we minister at home, at church, and in our society. May they be an echo of the whisperings of the Spirit: sweet notes that cheer, comfort, enlighten, and nurture. And if at times they are not heard on earth, let us persevere in faith: we will reap in due time.

Heaven always listens.

[1] Russell M. Nelson “A Plea to My Sisters” October 2015 General Conference; “ “Sisters Participation in the Gathering of Israel” Oct 2018 General Conference.