“November 11–17. Hebrews 7–13: ‘An High Priest of Good Things to Come’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“November 11–17. Hebrews 7–13,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2019
Record Your Impressions
One way to explore this chapter is to invite class members to write on the board several true statements about the Melchizedek Priesthood (for ideas, they could read “Melchizedek Priesthood” in True to the Faith, 101–2). They could then search Hebrews 7:1–22 for phrases that support the statements on the board. They could also use the Topical Guide or the Guide to the Scriptures to find other supporting scriptures.
In Hebrews 7:11 Paul asked, “What further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?” In other words, why do we need the Melchizedek Priesthood in addition to the Aaronic Priesthood? Perhaps class members could look for possible answers in True to the Faith, “Aaronic Priesthood” and “Melchizedek Priesthood.” You might also invite them to consider the blessings we have because of these two priesthoods (see also the quotation by Sister Sheri L. Dew in “Additional Resources”). How have class members experienced these blessings?
Even though we don’t offer animal sacrifices, we do participate in ordinances today that, in a similar way, point our souls to Christ and provide “authorized channels through which the blessings and powers of heaven can flow into our individual lives” (David A. Bednar, “Always Retain a Remission of Your Sins,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 60). Perhaps you could explore together some details about the ancient ordinances described in Hebrews 8–10 and their symbolic meanings. For example, what does the blood of bulls and goats represent? (see Hebrews 9:13–14). Whom does the high priest represent? (see Hebrews 9:24–26). The video “Sacrifice and Sacrament” (LDS.org) could help. How have modern ordinances blessed us and helped point us to Jesus Christ? What can we do to make these ordinances more meaningful and focused on the Savior?
To help class members understand Paul’s teachings about faith, you could begin by asking them to think about how they would describe faith in one sentence. Then, read and discuss as a class the definition Paul gave in Hebrews 11:1. You could then divide the class into small groups and assign each group to study one of the people mentioned in Hebrews 11. Class members could use the footnotes or the Guide to the Scriptures to review the person’s experiences in the Old Testament, and then a representative from each group could share with the class what the group found. How did these people show that they felt an “assurance of things hoped for”? (Joseph Smith Translation, Hebrews 11:1 [in Hebrews 11:1, footnote b]). What other examples of faithful people can class members share? When have we exercised faith in promises that had not yet been fulfilled?
It might be fun to create a game to help class members learn about faith from Hebrews 11. For example, you could divide the class into two teams and ask questions about faith that are answered in Hebrews 11 (see “Additional Resources” for examples). The first team to find an answer supported by the scriptures receives a point. Ask class members to discuss what they learn from these verses that helps them understand faith better.
After studying Paul’s teachings on faith in Hebrews 10:34–38; 11, would class members benefit by learning about faith from other resources? You could assign several class members ahead of time to study a question about faith like the following: What is faith? How do we develop faith? In what ways are we blessed when we exercise our faith? What happens when we choose not to exercise our faith? Then, in class, they could share what they learned. Or you could invite class members to work together in groups to find answers. Some resources they could use might include Alma 32:21–43; Ether 12; “Faith in Jesus Christ,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org; and Bible Dictionary, “Faith.” After class members share what they learned, ask them to consider what they might do to strengthen their faith. Invite a few class members to share their thoughts.
The counsel to the Hebrew Saints who were tempted to “draw back” from their faith can be valuable to class members who may be struggling with their testimonies. To discover this counsel, class members could read Hebrews 10:34–38 and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s statement in “Additional Resources.” Why are people in the world today casting away their confidence (see Hebrews 10:35) in the Lord and His gospel? What can we do to build and maintain faith and confidence to “receive [God’s] promise”? (Hebrews 10:36). The videos “Good Things to Come” and “An High Priest of Good Things to Come” (LDS.org) could supplement this discussion.
Class members might be familiar with Joseph Smith’s experience reading James 1:5, which led to the First Vision. Invite them to look for new insights about James 1:5 as they read it this week in the context of James’s broader message.
What did faith enable Abel to do? (see verse 4).
What did faith inspire Abraham to look for? (see verse 10).
What did Isaac do with his faith? (see verse 20).
What did faith inspire Moses to give up? (see verses 24–27).
Sister Sheri L. Dew, former counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, said: “The blessings of the priesthood are available to every righteous man and woman. We may all receive the Holy Ghost, obtain personal revelation, and be endowed in the temple, from which we emerge ‘armed’ with power. The power of the priesthood heals, protects, and inoculates all of the righteous against the powers of darkness” (“It Is Not Good for Man or Woman to Be Alone,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 13).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught:
“Sure it is tough—before you join the Church, while you are trying to join, and after you have joined. That is the way it has always been, Paul says, but don’t draw back. Don’t panic and retreat. Don’t lose your confidence. Don’t forget how you once felt. Don’t distrust the experience you had. …
“With any major decision there are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don’t give up when the pressure mounts. … Face your doubts. Master your fears. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence.’ Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you” (“Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence,” Ensign, Mar. 2000, 6–11).