‘Come, Follow Me’ for Nov. 6-12: What have Church leaders and scholars said about Hebrews 7-13?

This week’s study guide includes writings on faith, chastening and the Melchizedek priesthood

This week’s “Come, Follow Me” study guide covers Hebrews 7-13, which includes writings on faith, chastening and the Melchizedek Priesthood.

Church News recently searched the archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to learn what leaders and scholars have said about these chapters.


“The [King James Version of the Bible] contains very little about the ancient great high priest Melchizedek. He is briefly mentioned in Genesis 14, and again in Hebrews 7. ...

“It is interesting that in the common Bibles available today, very little is said of either Enoch or Melchizedek; but in Jewish folklore and tradition, both are very prominent. Apocryphal sources also are heavy with stories of these two patriarchs, indicating that at some ancient time stories of Enoch and Melchizedek were very much a part of the sacred records.

“It should not be surprising, therefore, that the [Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible] restores extensive information about these two brethren and places them again in positions of prominence in the holy writ. It is significant, indeed, with the beginning of the dispensation of the fulness of times and the restoration of all things, that the much needed lost material about Enoch and Melchizedek should be made available — the one identified with Zion; the other, with the powers of the higher priesthood. This knowledge which the ancient Saints had but which has not been preserved in the KJV has now been provided for us in the JST.”

Robert J. Matthews, former dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University, in the July 1982 Ensign article, “Plain and Precious Things Restored”

Hebrews 7

“In the King James Version [of the Bible], Hebrews 7:1-3 strangely suggests that Melchizedek was a man without father or mother or lineage. This was corrected by the Prophet to say that it was the priesthood of Melchizedek, not the man, that was without lineage. This is certainly an improvement and draws the distinction between the Aaronic Priesthood, which in Old Testament times came down only through the lineage of Aaron, and the Melchizedek Priesthood, which is not confined to a precise lineage.”

Robert J. Matthews, former dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University, in the December 1972 Ensign article, “Joseph Smith’s Inspired Translation of the Bible”

Hebrews 8

“Christ ‘is the mediator of a better covenant’ (Hebrews 8:6). This covenant allows the demands of justice and the demands of mercy to be met.

“Thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, who interceded for our sins, we have the opportunity to repent and fulfill all the requirements of the covenant. He made the deal possible.”

— Elder Roseveltt Teixeira in the August 2022 Liahona article, “The Mission Mediator”

Melvin, Heiron John, Job Tyler and Evelyn Rondilla of the Quirino 1st Ward, Philippines Quezon City South Stake, study “Come, Follow Me” after the Sunday morning session of the 190th Annual General Conference on April 5, 2020.
“Come, Follow Me” for Nov. 6-12 covers Hebrews 7-13, which includes writings on faith, chastening and the Melchizedek priesthood. | Melvin V. Rondilla

Hebrews 9

“Some of you may wonder: Is there any future for me? What does a new year or a new semester, a new major or a new romance, a new job or a new home hold for me? Will I be safe? Will life be sound? Can I trust in the Lord and in the future? Or would it be better to look back, to go back, to stay in the past?

“To all such of every generation, I call out, ‘Remember Lot’s wife.’ Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the ‘high priest of good things to come’ (Hebrews 9:11).”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in the January 2010 Liahona article, “The Best Is Yet to Be”

“The [Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible] changes the word ‘testament’ into ‘covenant’ six times in Hebrews 9:15-20 (see footnote 15c). The change is important because some biblical scholars have said that Paul, in speaking of the Savior’s mediation of the ‘new testament,’ was thinking in terms of a last will and testament rather than of a covenant. Thus, those who hold this view have said that Paul seems to be saying that the agreement comes into force only at the death of the testator (see Hebrews 9:16-17). On that basis it could be said that the terms the KJV uses express the idea contained in the English ‘testament’ or ‘will’ better than ‘covenant.’

“However, the JST underscores the correct concept of Paul’s teaching. God dictates the conditions of all covenants and sets the terms of compliance. The Saints’ options are either to accept or reject the conditions. Therefore, the word ‘covenant’ accurately describes what the Apostle Paul had in mind. His intent is clearly shown in verse 18 when he states, according to the JST, ‘the first covenant was dedicated without blood’ (JST, Hebrews 9:18, The Holy Scriptures: Inspired Version [1974]). Here the Apostle Paul refers to the Mosaic covenant and shows that no death was required for its initiation. That being the case, the concept of a covenant, or promise, is more accurate here than the idea of a ‘will’ or ‘testament.’ Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant, not of a new will. He fulfilled the old, or Mosaic, covenant and this allowed Him to establish a higher covenant between God and His people. …

“[Another] example of how a simple shift of a phrase alters the meaning of a verse is found in Hebrews 9:28. The KJV reads, ‘So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.’ The JST changes the verse to read, ‘So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and he shall appear the second time, without sin unto salvation unto them that look for him’ (JST, Hebrews 9:28, Inspired Version). The KJV emphasizes the Savior’s appearance, while the JST focuses on the salvation the Lord will bring to those who look for Him.”

— Richard D. Draper, emeritus professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, in the September 1999 Ensign article, “New Light on Paul’s Teachings”

Hebrews 10

“Of all the zealous social, religious and political endeavors of our day, let ‘disciple of Jesus Christ’ be our most pronounced and affirming affiliation. ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also’ (Matthew 6:21). Let us also not forget that even after faithful disciples had ‘done the will of God,’ they ‘[had] need of patience’ (Hebrews 10:36).

“Just as the trying of our faith works patience within us, when we exercise patience, our faith increases. As our faith increases, so does our joy.”

Elder Jeremy R. Jaggi, October 2020 general conference, “Let Patience Have Her Perfect Work, and Count It All Joy!”

“[Jesus Christ’s] mission was the Atonement. That mission was uniquely His. …

“No one else could effect the Atonement. No other person, even with the greatest wealth and power, could ever save one soul — not even his own (see Matthew 19:24-26). And no other individual will be required or permitted to shed blood for the eternal salvation of another human being. Jesus did it ‘once for all’ (Hebrews 10:10).”

— Then-Elder Russell M. Nelson in the April 2013 Ensign article, “The Mission and Ministry of Jesus Christ”

“Throughout our lives, we face other, more significant confidence tests than those I endured in my [army] training. These are not so much tests of confidence in oneself but of confidence in what we receive by the Spirit of God. Prophet after prophet has counseled us to remember what we know — to maintain confidence in the Lord. ... Paul was even more direct: ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward’ (Hebrews 10:35). Each of us faces an uncertain future. But when we face it, remembering what we already know, we face it with faith. We face it with good cheer. We face it with confidence.”

— Elder Lance B. Wickman in the April 2010 Ensign article, “Confidence Tests: From Fear to Faith in the Marriage Decision”

William Villaman, 17, from the Dominican Republic, studies “Come, Follow Me” during a session of a virtual FSY conference held in the Caribbean Area June 22-26, 2020.
“Come, Follow Me” for Nov. 6-12 covers Hebrews 7-13, which includes writings on faith, chastening and the Melchizedek priesthood. | Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Hebrews 11

“Seeking implies mental and spiritual effort — pondering, testing, trying and studying. We seek because we trust the Lord’s promises. ‘For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him’ (Hebrews 11:6). When we seek, we are humbly acknowledging that we still have much to learn, and the Lord will expand our understanding, preparing us to receive more.”

Brother Milton Camargo, October 2020 general conference, “Ask, Seek, and Knock”

“The Spirit of Elijah affects people inside and outside of the Church. However, as members of Christ’s restored Church, we have the covenant responsibility to search out our ancestors and provide for them the saving ordinances of the gospel. ‘They without us should not be made perfect’ (Hebrews 11:40). And ‘neither can we without our dead be made perfect’ (D&C 128:15).”

 — Elder David A. Bednar, October 2011 general conference, “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn”

“Important components of faith are patience, long-suffering and enduring to the end. The Apostle Paul recounts the faith of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sara, concluding that ‘these all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth’ (see Hebrews 11:4-13). These faithful Saints knew that this earth life was a journey, not their final destination. …

“When heaven’s promises sometimes seem afar off, I pray that each of us will embrace these exceeding great and precious promises and never let go.”

— Elder Spencer J. Condie, October 2007 general conference, “Claim the Exceeding Great and Precious Promises”

“The Prophet Joseph Smith changed one word when translating Paul’s definition of faith found in Hebrews 11:1. The King James Version says, ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ Joseph Smith changed the word ‘substance’ to ‘assurance’ (see Joseph Smith Translation, Hebrews 11:1). ‘Substance’ means something tangible, something that one can hold, whereas ‘assurance’ refers to an inner conviction or witness that comes from the Holy Ghost. Thus, faith is belief plus action plus a spiritual witness.”

— Elder Merrill J. Bateman in the December 1999 Liahona article, “Living a Christ-Centered Life”

Hebrews 12

“Yes, we should learn from the past, and yes, we should prepare for the future. But only now can we do. Now is the time we can learn. Now is the time we can repent. Now is the time we can bless others and ‘lift up the hands which hang down’ (Hebrews 12:12). …

“The adversary never sleeps. There will always be opposition to the truth. I repeat my urging from this morning to do those things that will increase your positive spiritual momentum… that will keep you moving forward through whatever challenges and opportunities come.”

President Russell M. Nelson, April 2022 general conference, “Now Is the Time”

“I testify that the Savior is ‘the author and finisher of our faith’ (Hebrews 12:2). Will you invite Him to be the author and finisher of your story? …

“The sublime principle of agency does, of course, allow us to write our own stories — David could have gone home, back to tending sheep. But Jesus Christ stands ready to use us as divine instruments, sharpened pencils in His hand, to write a masterpiece! He is mercifully willing to use me, a scrawny pencil, as an instrument in His hands, if I have the faith to let Him, if I will let Him author my story. …

“Why do we want the Savior to be the author and the finisher of our stories? Because He knows our potential perfectly, He will take us to places we never imagined ourselves. He may make us a David or an Esther. He will stretch us and refine us to be more like Him. The things we will achieve as we act with more faith will increase our faith in Jesus Christ. …

“We will be judged by our book of life. We can choose to write a comfortable narrative for ourselves. Or we can allow the Master Author and Finisher to write our story with us, letting the role He needs us to play take precedence over other ambitions.”

President Camille N. Johnson, October 2021 general conference, “Invite Christ to Author Your Story”

“Joy is powerful, and focusing on joy brings God’s power into our lives. As in all things, Jesus Christ is our ultimate exemplar, ‘who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross’ (Hebrews 12:2). Think of that! In order for Him to endure the most excruciating experience ever endured on earth, our Savior focused on joy! ...

“If we focus on the joy that will come to us, or to those we love, what can we endure that presently seems overwhelming, painful, scary, unfair or simply impossible?”

— President Russell M. Nelson, October 2016 general conference, “Joy and Spiritual Survival” 

“I would like to speak of one particular attitude and practice we need to adopt if we are to meet our Heavenly Father’s high expectations. It is this: willingly to accept and even seek correction. ... Paul said of divine correction or chastening, ‘For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth’ (Hebrews 12:6). Though it is often difficult to endure, truly we ought to rejoice that God considers us worth the time and trouble to correct.”

Elder D. Todd Christofferson, April 2011 general conference, “‘As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten’”

A family studies the “Come, Follow Me” curriculum at home.
“Come, Follow Me” for Nov. 6-12 covers Hebrews 7-13, which includes writings on faith, chastening and the Melchizedek priesthood. | Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Hebrews 13

“I have concluded that perhaps one of the principal reasons we fail to relate appropriately with family members is because we fail to apply some basics of personal communications. In Hebrews 13:16 we read, ‘But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.’ Communications in the family will often be a sacrifice because we are expected to use our time, our means, our talent, and our patience to impart, share and understand. Too often we use communication periods as occasions to tell, dictate, plead or threaten. Nowhere in the broadest sense should communication in the family be used to impose, command or embarrass.”

— Elder Marvin J. Ashton, April 1976 general conference, “Family Communications”

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