April 10th is National Siblings Day, so what better way to celebrate than fighting with your siblings over who is the favorite? Well, actually, there are a lot of better ways. And whether you are an only child 1 of 14, there is always something to learn from siblings in the scriptures. Who have siblings who went on missions together and siblings who tried to kill each other—so basically we all have something to relate to. The following list is not exhaustive, but here are some lessons learned from siblings in the scriptures.
Miriam, Aaron, and Moses
There is a lot to the story of these three siblings. First, Miriam looked after Moses as he was placed in the Nile as a baby. She then convinced Pharaoh’s daughter to allow Miriam’s mother to nurse Moses until he was weaned. This way their mother could still look after Moses without raising suspicion.
Second, Aaron became Moses’ mouthpiece. It is well-known that Moses had a speech impediment, so Aaron spoke for him. Aaron also became Israel’s high priest.
Third, Moses himself. Anyone who has seen The Prince of Egypt or read the book of Exodus knows his story. You know Moses, the guy that led the people of Jacob out of captivity in Egypt.
Now, this isn’t to say that these three siblings were perfect. At one point Moses struck Miriam with leprosy after she convinced Aaron to come with her to tell Moses off about something. And then there was that whole Aaron made a golden calf incident. Moses himself didn’t always follow God’s commands as exactly as he should have and wasn’t allowed into the promised land. But when it mattered, these siblings were there for each other.
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus
These siblings were personal friends and followers of Christ. Christ once visited Mary and Martha in their home, an account that is well known. Martha busied herself preparing a meal for the Savior while Mary sat at the feet of Christ and listened to him. Martha got annoyed that Martha was just sitting there and not helping her (something I have been guilty of thinking more than once).
However, Christ said, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part” (Luke 10:41). Christ taught the sisters, and us, that sometimes it is more important to address the spiritual concerns than the physical.
Later, when Lazarus was sick, the sisters sent a message to Christ. They had absolute faith that Christ could save their brother. When Christ entered the city a few days later, Martha rushed out to meet Him and tell Him that her brother was dead. Martha says to Christ, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died” (John 11:21). She doesn’t blame Him for not being there sooner but expresses absolute faith that He could have saved Lazarus if He had been there.
Christ then tells her that her brother will live again. He sends for Mary and she comes to Him weeping. They then go to Lazarus’ tomb and Christ raises him from the dead. Mary and Martha never lost faith in Christ, even when their brother died. They knew Christ had the power to save their brother.
While Mary and Martha weren’t perfect, they still maintained their faith in Christ.
Ammon, Aaron, Omner, and Himni
The sons of Mosiah are often lumped together. More often than not, we remember Ammon and kind of forget the rest. I mean, chopping off the arms of sheep thieves is kind of memorable. But it is important to remember that these brothers, along with Alma the Younger, started off seeking to “destroy the church of God” (Mosiah 27:10). But after an angel visited them, these forsook their throne and decided to be missionaries to their people’s sworn enemies. Talk about a 180.
The brothers take their separate journeys at the border of the Lamanites. Ammon goes to King Lamoni’s court, Aaron goes west to Jerusalem (the Lamanite city), and I am pretty sure that Omner and Himni go with Aaron, but the Book of Mormon isn’t really clear on that (feel free to correct me on this).
These brothers spend 14 years in the land of their enemies preaching the gospel. In that time they are captured, thrown into prison, and Ammon is offered the king’s daughter (talk about different mission experiences). I imagine that Ammon’s brothers would be extremely jealous of Ammon’s treatment and success, but the account only ever mentions the joy they feel at seeing each other once again.
I’ll have to remember that one the next time one of my sisters accomplishes something amazing. (Grace, I am still waiting on that teleporter you said you would invent).
Joseph and Hyrum
Joseph and Hyrum. Can you think of a more iconic set of brothers from the Restoration? Go ahead, I’ll wait.
These brothers were at the forefront of the Restoration of the gospel. Joseph’s story has been told countless times, so I won’t go into it too much. When we talk about the Restoration, I feel like Hyrum is often overshadowed by his brother.
Hyrum was one of the Eight Witnesses, one of the six founding members of the Church, saw the angel Moroni, and was Joseph’s assistant (among many other things). Hyrum went with his brother to Carthage, where he likely knew he would die. I am impressed by how much these brothers were willing to go through for each other and how much they supported each other.
So, as we celebrate International Siblings Day, take a moment to appreciate your siblings (if you have them) and all the other siblings in scripture that teach us what it means to be brothers and sisters.
What have you learned from your own siblings or other siblings in scripture? Let me know in the comments!