Mormonism and the Virgin Birth of Christ

By Connie W. Adams

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18-20).

This was in fulfillment of the prophecy that “a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matt. 1:23).

The virgin birth of Jesus has long been revered as a cardinal tenet of the faith of Christians. This is what is meant by the incarnation. God was incarnate in Jesus Christ. “God was manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16). This is how he “took upon himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:7-8).

The Mormon View

The Mormon view of this subject is far removed from what the Bible teaches. Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., wrote “The birth of the Savior was a natural occurrence unattended with any degree of mysticism, and the Father God was the literal parent of Jesus in the flesh as well as in the spirit” (Religious Truth Defines 44).

President Joseph Fielding Smith said “Christ was begotten of God. He was not born without the aid of Man, and that Man was God!” (Doctrines of Salvation 1:18)

“And Christ was born into the world as the literal Son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father. There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events . . . Christ is the Son of man, meaning that his Father (the eternal God) is a Holy man” (Mormon Doctrine [1979], 742).

In connection with this blasphemy, it is the Mormon contention that sexuality is an attribute of God. Consider the following:

“In the light of their understanding that God is a procreating personage of flesh and bone, latter-day prophets have made it clear that despite what it says in Matthew 1:20, the Holy Ghost was not the father of Jesus. . . The Savior was fathered by a personage of flesh and bone, and was literally what Nephi said he was, `Son of the eternal Father’ (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought Autumn [1967], 100-101).

Brigham Young taught that Mary was actually the wife of God. “The man Joseph, the husband of Mary, did not, that we know of, have more than one wife, but Mary the wife of Joseph had another husband” (Deseret News, Oct. 10, 1866). Mormon apostle Orson Pratt also taught that Mary was “the wife of God.”

Brigham Young wrote, “The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood  was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers” (Journal of Discourses 8:115).

As late as 1988, then President of the Mormon Church, Ezra Taft Benson argued that God was the father of Christ “in the most literal sense” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 1988). On pages 6 and 7 of his book he wrote, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which he performed his mission in the flesh was sired by that same Holy Being we worship as God, as Eternal Father. Jesus was not the son of Joseph, nor was he Begotten by the Holy Ghost. He is the Son of the Eternal Father.”

Folks, this is the church that advertises the Book of Mormon as “another testament of Jesus Christ.” They have 10 million members world-wide. No wonder they need “another testament” for they have no respect for the Bible. Matthew 1:18-20 affirms twice that he was conceived of the Holy Spirit. Now, here is the President of the Mormon Church who flatly says “nor was he begotten by the Holy Ghost.” That would be a good quote to place alongside Matthew 1:18-20 when you tell a Mormon caller that a Book of Mormon and the Mormon doctrine contradict the Bible. Will they repudiate their own apostles and prophets?

The birth of our Lord was a supernatural event. It was not a “natural action” as Brigham Young taught. Jesus was not begotten “as we were of our fathers.”

The Mormon religion is false to the core. It is suspended upon the assumption that revelation is not final and complete in the Bible. Peter said, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glorify and virtue” (2 Pet. 1:3). Late in the first century Jude urged contending for “the faith which was one for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3, NKJV). If Peter and Jude told the truth, there is no room left for the supposed revelations of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Judge Rutherford, Ellen G. White or Mary Baker Glover Patterson Eddy. They are all frauds and any religion based upon their utterances is false and cannot save.

(The author is indebted to the Salt Lake City Messenger published by Jerald and Sandra Tanner for the documented quotes from Mormon sources given in this article.)

Guardian of Truth XXXIX: 5 p. 3-4
March 2, 1995