Hebrews 11: The Power of Faith in Jesus Christ

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 151–152


This mortal life requires that we live by faith. The Bible contains many examples of people who showed us how to do this, and Paul named several of them in Hebrews 11. Like those great men and women in the scriptures, we seek by faith to understand and follow Heavenly Father’s plan in faith. When we center our faith in Jesus Christ, we gain strength to endure trials and temptations and are able to make spiritual progress toward our heavenly home.President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “When all is said and done, the only real wealth of the Church is in the faith of its people” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1991, 74; or Ensign, May 1991, 54). As you read Hebrews 11, consider how you can apply the great examples of faith demonstrated by the men and women Paul wrote about and add your faith to the real wealth of God’s kingdom.

Understanding the Scriptures

Hebrews 11

Evidence (v. 1)Testimony, proof 
Framed (v. 3)Created 
Heir (v. 7)One who has the right to receive or inherit something 
Sojourned (v. 9)To live in a place only for a time, not permanently 
Tabernacles (v. 9)Tents, temporary houses 
Conceive seed (v. 11)Have children 
Sprang there even of one (v. 12)Came children from one person 
Persuaded (v. 13)Convinced, inspired 
Figure (v. 19)Symbol 
Come to years (v. 24)Old enough to be considered an adult 
Esteeming (v. 26)Valuing 
Reproach of Christ (v. 26)Criticism he received for following Christ 
He had respect unto the recompence of the reward (v. 26)He knew that he would eventually be judged and rewarded 
Assaying (v. 29)Trying, attempting 
Compassed (v. 30)Surrounded 
Aliens (v. 34)Foreigners, enemies 
Scourgings (v. 36)Whippings, beatings 
Destitute (v. 37)Without the necessities of life 

Hebrews 11:1—Paul’s Definition of Faith

Elder Howard W. Hunter, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, helped explain Hebrews 11:1 when he said, “Faith makes us confident of what we hope for and convinced of what we do not see. … Those who earnestly seek for God do not see him, but they know of his reality by faith. It is more than hope. Faith makes it a conviction—an evidence of things not seen” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1974, 138; or Ensign, Nov. 1974, 97). You may also want to read definitions of faith given by other prophets in Alma 32:21 and Ether 12:6.

Hebrews 11:5—Enoch Was Translated

Enoch was translated, which means that God caused a change to come upon his body so he would not experience pain or death until the time of his own resurrection. (For another example, see 3 Nephi 28:4–9.)

Hebrews 11:10–16—What “City” or “Country” Were Ancient Prophets Looking For?

Simply stated, the city or country ancient prophets were looking for was heaven, the celestial kingdom, the place where God dwells. While the earth remains under the effects of the Fall, heaven is not found on earth. However, when God’s people make and keep fully their sacred covenants with Him they establish cities of righteousness called Zion (see Moses 7:18). Those in Zion are privileged to enjoy the presence of God on earth. By establishing Zion, faithful Saints may obtain the city sought by the prophets that Paul mentioned—a city “whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). The scriptures prophesy that in the last days Zion will again be built on earth, including a central city of Zion called the New Jerusalem (see D&C 45:65–67; 84:2–5).

Future Jerusalems

Before the Millennium

diagram

A city built by the Saints in the last days

After the Millennium

diagram

A holy city that descends to unite with a celestial earth

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study Hebrews 11.

Activity A iconExamples of Faith

  1. 1.

    In your notebook, make a chart listing people of faith. Use what you learned in Hebrews 11 and the example in the following chart.

Name

Hebrews 11

How Showed Faith

Blessings Received

Abel

v. 4

Offered a “more excellent sacrifice” to God

A witness from God that he was righteous in His sight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 2.

    Choose one of the people who was an example of faith. Write briefly about how that person’s example applies to you and the faith you need to meet the challenges you face today. How were that person’s challenges like your challenges?

Activity B icon“By Faith”

We are told many times in Hebrews 11 that “by faith” those great men and women of the past obtained God’s blessings.

  1. 1.

    Give at least three examples of people you feel could be included in this chapter if it were written in your time and where you live.

  2. 2.

    Using Paul’s pattern from Hebrews 11, write about the three people you chose. Start each example with “By faith,” and then give the name of the person, tell what he or she did that showed great faith, explain why it showed great faith, and list some of the blessings God has promised such a person in this life and the next.