Hebrews 13:2 be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares
"...sometimes we are like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus-our eyes are 'holden,' or restrained (Luke 24:16), so that we are not able to see who it is that walks among us, teaches us, lifts us up, and points us toward the abundant life. For that matter, is it not possible that unseen angels whisper or testify or warn in ways that we cannot now perceive but which will be obvious to us one day? In speaking of angels, Mormon affirmed that 'the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him. And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts' (Moroni 7:31-32)." (Robert L. Millet, Alive in Christ: The Miracle of Spiritual Rebirth [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 153.)
Joseph Fielding Smith
"There are legends and stories which seem to be authentic, showing that these holy messengers (the three Nephites and John the Revelator) were busy among the nations of the earth, and men have been entertained by them unawares. (Hebrews 13:2.)" (Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957-1966], 2: 46.)
Hebrews 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds
Brotherly love and gospel charity require more than superficial sympathy. Here Paul calls for the saints to exercise true empathy, feeling for those who suffer as if they were in their shoes. To paraphrase, "Remember them that are in bonds, as if you were bound with them; and feel for them which suffer adversity, as if you were suffering the same adversity."
Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all
Spencer W. Kimball
"The...clean courting of young men and women, [brings them] eventually to a virtuous union at an altar where a fully authorized servant of God seals the union for eternity. The Hebrew saints were properly taught, 'Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.' (Heb. 13:4.)
"And to those who might decry marriage or postpone it or forbid it Paul spoke, condemning them. It is generally selfishness, cold and self-centered, which leads people to shun marriage responsibility. There are many who talk and write against marriage. Even some of our own delay marriage and argue against it. To all who are deceived by these 'doctrines of devils,' we urge the return to normalcy. We call upon all people to accept normal marriage as a basis for true happiness." ("Guidelines to Carry Forth the Work of God in Cleanliness," Ensign, May 1974, 6)
The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve
"We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children...
"The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
"We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God's eternal plan...The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ." ("The Family: A Proclamation to the World," Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102)
Hebrews 13:5 be content with such things as ye have
Contentment is the opposite of covetousness. Those who covet can never have enough; those who are content always have enough. The abundant life isn't possessing things in abundance as much as it is possessing gratitude in abundance. As one popular song put it, the secret to life isn't "having what you want, it's wanting what you've got!" (Sheryl Crow, "Soak Up the Sun," 2002)
Hebrews 13:5 I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee
Marion D. Hanks
"Jesus said to those who mourned the loss of a loved one, 'And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.' (John 16:22.)
"Said he to the lonely and the hopeless and those who are afraid, 'I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.' (Heb. 13:5.)
"Thus the promise is that in times of sorrow and affliction, if we endure and remain faithful and put our trust in him and are courageous, the Lord will visit us in our afflictions, strengthen us to carry our burdens and support us in our trials. He'll be with us to the end of our days, lift us at the last day to greater opportunities for service, and exalt us at last with him and reunited loved ones, and he will consecrate our afflictions to our gain." ("A Loving, Communicating God," Ensign, Nov. 1992, 64)
Chieko N. Okazaki
"We have taken upon ourselves the name of Jesus and the way of the disciple. Our way will also lead to gardens of anguished prayer, to crosses, to tombs. At those times, we, like the apostles, must endure in faith and love. We must endure despite our pain, with our pain, in the depths of our pain, until the moment of the resurrection in us when we understand the greater purpose in the cross and the tomb. I testify to you that those moments of understanding and acceptance will come.
"The loss of my beloved husband is the hardest thing that has ever happened to me. I am a triple cancer survivor. I have been near death three times from other causes. Those were testing times. Sometimes I thought I had been tested to the point of breaking. But none of them compares with the testing following Ed's death. There have been times when I literally could not turn the doorknob and leave the house without praying for strength and imploring the Lord for his Spirit to accompany me as I went out to perform my duties. All of us must face death-our own deaths and the deaths of loved ones. I feel that I am learning something about the way of the disciple that leads through the valley of the shadow of death, but even there-even there-I know I am following the Savior, and I can feel his hand upholding me and his voice promising me, 'I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.' (Hebrews 13:5.)
"May we all follow the Savior, even though the disciple's path is stony and shadowed. May we feel the presence of the Savior with us on that path, and may we sustain and support one another as we walk together." (Aloha! [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 101.)
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever
Albert E. Bowen
"In the very nature of things, the Almighty must possess this steadfastness. To be worshiped he must command the implicit confidence of the worshiper. Unless there is an abiding faith in the integrity of Deity, there could be no trust. But there could be neither faith nor trust if he were inconstant, changeable, capricious, or unstable. One must know that he is to be counted on. His promises must be infallibly sure of performance, and the same approbation or condemnation must flow unerringly from the same acts regardless of by whom, or where, or in what age of the world committed, with due allowance for the knowledge and enlightenment available to the actors. The ultimate law by which man's conduct is to be judged must be the same law tomorrow as today and so on down through all the tomorrows. Such is our concept of the immutability of the course of God. There is something immensely solid about that concept. It speaks of perpetuity and gives a sense of something enduring to stand on." (Conference Report, October 1948, Afternoon Meeting 85.)
Robert L. Simpson
"...there is no inconsistency in the gospel plan that Heavenly Father has given us. Indeed, Heavenly Father's house is a house of order. We are told it is the same yesterday, today and forever. (See Heb. 13:8.)
"The instability and frustration of the world today is largely due to too many people who are straddling too many fences. To live one's life on a foundation of inconsistency is to live on shifting sands." (October 19, 1965, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1965, p. 5.)
Hebrews 13:10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat
"The altar Paul refers to is the sacramental table spread by the atonement of Jesus Christ, which may be partaken of by all who covenant with Christ. 'Those who serve the tabernacle' has reference to the Levitical Priesthood holders who performed the ordinances in the ancient tabernacle and temple." (Institute Manual, The Life and Teachings of Jesus & his Apostles, 2nd ed., p. 398-399)
Hebrews 13:12 Jesus also...suffered without the gate
Christ suffered outside the city to fulfill the Mosaic symbolism (Lev. 4:12). But symbolic as well was that Jerusalem, the "holy city" of Israel, had cast out the 'Holy One of Israel' (2 Ne. 30:2). He who had come to bring the Jews inside the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22) to live eternally was taken outside the earthly Jerusalem to die for sin.
Hence, Jesus became the ultimate Outsider, and he knows what we it feels like to be left out-only he wasn't just left out he was cast out and 'suffered without the gate.'
Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not
Marvin J. Ashton
"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 Heb. 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.
"To be effective, family communication must be an exchange of feelings and information. Doors of communication will swing open in the home if members will realize time and participation on the part of all are necessary ingredients. In family discussions, differences should not be ignored, but should be weighed and evaluated calmly. One's point or opinion usually is not as important as a healthy, continuing relationship. Courtesy and respect in listening and responding during discussions are basic in proper dialogue. As we learn to participate together in meaningful associations, we are able to convey our thoughts of love, dependence, and interest." ("Family Communications," Ensign, May 1976, 52)
Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you...for they watch for your souls
James E. Faust
"I humbly and prayerfully hope that what I have to say will be received in the spirit that I would like to convey. We have just heard the prophet of God. He is a watchman on the tower. He has raised a warning voice. I would urge all to listen and follow his counsel. It is tremendously important always to be in harmony with those who, according to Paul, have 'watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief' (Heb. 13:17).
"Isaiah spoke of a people who did not care to listen to their prophets and seers, who were urged, 'Say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits' (Isa. 30:10). Nephi explained, 'The guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center' (1 Ne. 16:2).
"President Spencer W. Kimball spoke of the duty of prophets. He said:
'I am sure that Peter and James and Paul found it unpleasant business to constantly be calling people to repentance and warning them of dangers, but they continued unflinchingly. So we, your leaders, must be everlastingly at it; if young people do not understand, then the fault may be partly ours. But, if we make the true way clear to you, then we are blameless' ("Love Versus Lust," Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, Provo, Utah, 5 Jan. 1965, p. 6)."
("Unwanted Messages," Ensign, Nov. 1986, 8)
Neal A. Maxwell
"Paul's counsel to submit was given in order to have gladness instead of sadness: 'Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief' (Hebrews 13:17).
"Submitting to the leadership, counsel, and direction of those placed over us may test us, particularly in view of the imperfections leaders have. Frequently, though, the test shows up the imperfections of the one being led. A most interesting example occurs in the case of an early member of the Church, Simonds Ryder. This man had been a member of the Campbellite movement and was among those from that movement who joined the Church in 1831. Because his name was misspelled in a revelation calling him on a mission, he began to be disillusioned and finally he apostatized. In 1832, he helped tar and feather Joseph Smith. From member to mobocrat in a matter of months!" (Not My Will, But Thine [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1998], 104.)
Hebrews 13:20-21 Jesus...through the blood of the everlasting covenant [can] Make you perfect
"...you can't make yourself perfect. You can't make yourself sinless and worthy of the presence of God the Father. You can't make yourself celestial, no matter how hard you try, because you have already sinned, and sinlessness requires not only perfect performance in the future, but also perfect performance in the past. Otherwise, you are not sinless, you are just a sinner who hasn't sinned recently. Many an obsessive student has learned the sad truth that once he or she gets just one B, no number of A's thereafter will restore a perfect record, a 4.0 grade-point average. Innocence requires forgiveness and cleansing. It requires that the record be expunged and rewritten, that all the sinful former deeds and actions cease to be counted-and all these things come only through the atonement of Christ...only Christ can make you perfect and celestial." (Stephen E. Robinson, Believing Christ: The Parable of the Bicycle and Other Good News [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992], 27.)
Hebrews 13:24 They of Italy salute you
"Hebrews was probably written at Rome, because greetings are sent from the Saints 'of Italy' ("Heb. 13:24Heb. 13:24). This places the book after about A.D. 61, for until Paul's appeal to Caesar, he had not yet been in Rome. Possibly in his Roman imprisonment Paul wrote to correct the Jewish branch at Caesarea, where he earlier had been imprisoned, addressing the general problems of the Jewish Christians." (Understanding Paul [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 196 - 197.)
Chieko N. Okazaki
"When Paul was in Rome, the scriptures tell us that he lived under house arrest in a rented house for two years and welcomed all of the people who came to visit him. He was a prisoner. He had nothing. What kind of hospitality could he offer? And what must his attitude have been? Was he angry and resentful? No, he was filled with kindness. Probably some came out of compassion, while others came out of curiosity, or maybe even with a cruel desire to taunt him in his captivity. Paul saw each encounter as an opportunity to give the one thing that his captors could not take away-his testimony of Jesus Christ. Whoever walked in the door-Christian, Jew, Roman, pagan-was someone upon whom he thirsted to bestow the great gift of eternal life." (Disciples [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1998], 199 - 200.)