IS THE MORMON ACCOUNT OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH BIBLICAL?
By Neil Martin and George Greene
Isaiah 8:20 says, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Let us put the LDS account of the virgin birth to the Word test of the Bible.
I. Bible References To The Virgin Birth. (All verses KJV)
A. The Bible predicted a deliverer called "the seed of the woman."
Genesis 3:15 says, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
B. Isaiah tells us of a sign: the Messiah would be born of a virgin.
Isaiah 7:14: "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
C. The Bible says the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, conceived in a virgin by the Holy Ghost.
Micah 5:2: "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."
Matthew 1:20-23: "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 Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." (See also Luke 1:26-38)
II. Mormonism’s Virgin Birth
A. The Pearl of Great Price quotes Genesis 3:15.
Moses 4:21 says, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; and he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
B. The Book of Mormon quotes Isaiah 7:14.
2 Nephi 17:14: "Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign – Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
C. The Book of Mormon says the Messiah would be born in Jerusalem, conceived in a virgin by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Alma 7:10 says, "And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is in the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and shall conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God."
III. Mormon leaders contradict the LDS standard works’ Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price about the virgin birth.
A. Brigham Young said, "When the virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family .…Now remember from this time forth, and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost." (Journal of Discourses, 1966, Vol. 1, pp. 50-51, April 9, 1852)
B. Joseph Fielding Smith, the 10th LDS president, said, "Christ was begotten of God. He was not born without the aid of man, and that man was God! …They tell us the Book of Mormon states that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Ghost. I challenge that statement. The Book of Mormon teaches No Such Thing. Neither does the Bible" (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, pages 18-19)
C. The LDS Apostle Orson Pratt said, "The fleshly body of Jesus required a Mother as well as a Father. Therefore, the Father and Mother of Jesus, according to the flesh, must have been associated together in the capacity of Husband and Wife, hence the virgin birth of Mary must have been, for the time being, the lawful wife of God the Father." (The Seer, October, 1853, Vol. 1, No. 10, page 158)
D. The LDS apostle Bruce R. McConkie said: "Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten of mortal fathers." (Mormon Doctrine, page 547)
Bruce R. McConkie also said: "The Father begets; the Son is begotten; they are Parent and Child; Sire and Son look alike, so much so that they are the express image of each other’s persons. The substance composing the body of one is identical in appearance to that composing the body of the other. What could be plainer? . . . Begotten beans begotten; it means Christ’s mortal body was procreated by an eternal Sire; it means God is the Father of Christ, ‘after the manner of the flesh.’" (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Appendix 4: 1992, LDS Collector’s Library)
Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon contradict the words of LDS Presidents, Apostles, Prophets, Seers, and Revelators.
While the Bible and the Book of Mormon both proclaim the virgin birth of Jesus, LDS authorities and teachings reject the Virgin Birth by the Holy Ghost. LDS teaching instead claims that Mary had physical and natural relations with the Mormon Father god, as a wife with a husband, and that this natural action produced the Baby Jesus.
It is not possible to reconcile what the Bible teaches with the LDS version of Jesus’ conception. We make this statement not to offend our LDS friends, but to show the clear differences between the two positions. Our prayer is that all Mormons would come to saving faith in the Jesus of the Bible, and not trust in a false Jesus who was not born as the Bible clearly states.