Celebrate Christmas by Rejecting Mormon Leaders Who Have Rejected the Virgin Birth

As a Mormon said on CARM’s Mormonism forum:

“Mary was no longer a virgin after having sex with God the Father. Jesus was born of a virgin, a virtuous young woman, who up to that point, did not have sex with any man.”

Or as an ex-Mormon wrote on the same forum:

“I was LDS. It was explained to me that the spirit overcame Mary and that a sexual union between Elohim and Mary took place (because the spirit overcame her she had no memory of the event). She was still a ‘virgin’ because intercourse did not happen with a human. This is what I was taught and there were plenty of quotes from leaders that were used to support this idea. I was a convert and I required a LOT of teaching about this concept.”

It’s a serious issue. And it still matters.

I talked the night of the above video with a descendant of James Talmage about the mrm.org/virgin-birth issue. He was upset that I was criticizing Young/Pratt/Talmage/McConkie over their denial of the virgin birth. I asked him if he personally believes the New Testament is compatible with the idea of God the Father coming down to have physical relations with Mary and he said he didn’t want to talk about it because the issue was too “sacred”.

Mormons are all over the map on this issue. Some have never heard of it and others have and go either way on it. But more importantly, from my observation when Mormons do hear about it they either practice revisionist history or chalk it up as not important enough to question their allegiance to the Mormon Church. Mormon leaders get a free pass on this one.

All that said, I was very, very surprised how many people I encountered last night who agreed with Young/Pratt/Talmage/McConkie on the issue.

I can understand how some Mormons would vehemently insist they’ve never heard of this issue and that they’re certain almost no one in the Church believes it (or is open to it). But after only a cursory informal surveying of people and a historical study of the issue, it very quickly becomes dishonest not to admit it is a traditional and unrepudiated extant issue that still needs to be dealt with. By “informal surveying” I mean,of course, more than asking the superficial question, “Do you believe in the virgin birth?” I mean probing underneath it and asking meaningful questions.

What kinds of answers you get from Mormons often have to do with geography, age, generation, influences, and most importantly, whether you probe deeply enough. A Mormon who says they believe in the virgin birth in my experience will, a few minutes after probing and prying, sometimes admit either that they are either redefining “virgin” to mean “never had sex with a MORTAL man”, or to mean, “she was a virgin BEFORE the conception of Jesus”, or that they just lean toward the traditional virgin birth position but not strongly enough to outright repudiate the idea that God had sex with Mary.

Like the God Never Sinned issue, there is a spectrum one has to learn to recognize when speaking of the not-so-virgin-birth issue, and not simplistically speak of. That goes for folks on both sides, Mormon and evangelical. Evangelicals shouldn’t stereotype or sloppily generalize Mormons as embracing the views of Young/Pratt/Talmage/McConkie, but neither should Mormons, anxious to defend the image of their Church and people, be in a state of denial over the problem.

PS It’s my birthday today. Celebrate it with me by staying on topic, OK? 🙂

Update: Bored in Vernal wrote a response here over at Mormon Matters. She writes,

“There is no doubt that the idea of physical relations between God and Mary has been clearly advocated in the Church by such authorities as Brigham Young [1], Orson Pratt [2], Heber C. Kimball [3], Joseph F. Smith, [4], Joseph Fielding Smith [5], James E. Talmage [6], Melvin J. Ballard [7], J. Reuben Clark [8], Bruce R. McConkie [9], and Ezra Taft Benson [10]. Mormons believe that Christ was literally the Son of God in the flesh, and he was conceived in a natural, physical way according to eternal law. In explaining this, the aforementioned leaders gave their views on how it was accomplished. Despite this, many members do not agree, are unaware of the idea, or prefer not to discuss it. It is certainly understandable that some feel it is a sacred subject. Some feel that it is merely speculation which does not affect the LDS doctrinal position on the nature of Christ. Others find it distasteful because it conjures up issues of celestial polygamy or spiritual incest. There are those who would like to skirt the issue by postulating that Mary may have been impregnated by some means such as artificial insemination. But I see no reason, if God has a body and parts, that he would not use his parts.”

New Tract

There is a new Brigham Young “billion dollar bill” tract available at the MRM store here. Here is the text of the tract:

On July 8, 1860, Brigham Young, Mormonism’s second president, said, “That very babe that was cradled in the manger, was begotten, not by Joseph, the husband of Mary, but by another Being… He was begotten by God our heavenly Father” (Journal of Discourses 11:268).
According to Young and other LDS leaders, the seed of Heavenly Father produced Jesus Christ in a literal, physical fashion. Despite being God’s preexistent spirit daughter, “…the Virgin Mary must have been, for the time being, the lawful wife of God the Father” (Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 158). Apostle Bruce McConkie wrote, “Christ was Begotten by an immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers… There is nothing figurative about his paternity: he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events, for he is the Son of God, and that designation means what it says” (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pp. 547,742).
To explain this concept to children, the 1972 Family Home Evening manual—an official LDS Church publication—used an illustration that included silhouettes of a man, woman, and little child. It read, “Daddy + Mommy = You.” A parallel illustration added, “Our Heavenly Father + Mary = Jesus” (p. 126). “So you see,” the article quoted sixth LDS president Joseph F. Smith, “Jesus is the only person who had our Heavenly Father as the father of his body.”
Matthew 1:18 says “Mary was found with child of the Holy Ghost,” contradicting Mormonism’s rendering of the Virgin Birth doctrine. Questions? Disagree? Check out www.mrm.org/virgin-birth or www.gotforgiveness.com.

On July 8, 1860, Brigham Young, Mormonism’s second president, said, “That very babe that was cradled in the manger, was begotten, not by Joseph, the husband of Mary, but by another Being… He was begotten by God our heavenly Father” (Journal of Discourses 11:268).

According to Young and other LDS leaders, the seed of Heavenly Father produced Jesus Christ in a literal, physical fashion. Despite being God’s preexistent spirit daughter, “…the Virgin Mary must have been, for the time being, the lawful wife of God the Father” (Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 158). Apostle Bruce McConkie wrote, “Christ was Begotten by an immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers… There is nothing figurative about his paternity: he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events, for he is the Son of God, and that designation means what it says” (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pp. 547,742).

To explain this concept to children, the 1972 Family Home Evening manual—an official LDS Church publication—used an illustration that included silhouettes of a man, woman, and little child. It read, “Daddy + Mommy = You.” A parallel illustration added, “Our Heavenly Father + Mary = Jesus” (p. 126). “So you see,” the article quoted sixth LDS president Joseph F. Smith, “Jesus is the only person who had our Heavenly Father as the father of his body.”

Matthew 1:18 says “Mary was found with child of the Holy Ghost,” contradicting Mormonism’s rendering of the Virgin Birth doctrine. Questions? Disagree? Check out www.mrm.org/virgin-birth or www.gotforgiveness.com.

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138 Responses to Celebrate Christmas by Rejecting Mormon Leaders Who Have Rejected the Virgin Birth

  1. setfree says:

    Rather than try to continue to argue the evidence (there is enough out here for our LDS poster friends to ignore already)

    I just wanted to make an observation

    This morning, I got a call from my Mormon mom-in-law. I mentioned to her that I was not quite awake, hadn’t yet had my tea (which, by the way, is an herbal tea, full of nutrition).

    I realized as I told her (and remembered that she sometimes ingests coffee) that some Mormons have a great deal of common sense.

    And this is what I mean by that. Why does my mom-in-law drink coffee? Because she realizes that the coffee, in small doses, won’t hurt her. She also realizes that Coke/Pepsi are bad, but not “illegal”. So she takes her “religion” with a grain of salt, applies some common sense, and tada! She makes it work.

    And this is fine, because it’s the same thing every other Mormon does. Wherever they see something that they don’t agree with in Mormonism, they reject it, and tada! All is well. Still can be a Mormon, no problem.

    My uncle swears that his professor at BYU told the class, in two different semesters that my uncle had this prof, that you can believe ANYTHING YOU WANT in Mormonism, you just can’t teach it.


    Mormonism is about the mighty ME. Let me have my simple faith, whatever it may be. Don’t challenge me to read the Bible and consider what it’s really saying (I’ll just take the verses that seem to be Mormonic). Give me my jobs, let me keep my community standing, don’t reach too far into my personal life, and we’re good. Meanwhile, in private, I’ll do what I want, and believe what I want.

    Me me me

    I don’t doubt in the least that all our Mormon posters will object to this, if not out here, at least in private. But that is part of it too.

    You HAVE TO BE RIGHTEOUS, and this is one of those things that might look bad, therefore, it’s not about you, is it? You’re fine. You’re righteous. You don’t have to worry if maybe I’m telling the truth about you.

    Been there…

  2. setfree says:

    Isa 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.

    How in the world is this a SIGN from the LORD HIMSELF
    if it’s just a “young maiden”
    and not a

    Don’t young maiden’s get pregnant every day? So exciting, so special, so miraculous! I can certainly tell which one the LORD is giving a SIGN by! NOT!

  3. jeffrey b says:

    Well, from Andy’s quotes about the Mormon god, I feel like I could wrap him up in a box and, if I was mormon, exceed his glory and power, or at least get close to it.

    I don’t want a God that NEEDS a woman to create. I don’t want a God that could have been tainted with sin when he was a mere mortal. I don’t want a God that may just be Adam. I don’t want a God that had to submit to someone else (God the Grandfather to us).

    I want a God who created time itself and is not bound to it. That is all present, all knowing, and creates worlds out of nothing because he simply wills it. I want a God so glorious, so powerful, so righteous that I can’t even comprehend it with my finite mind.

    But brothers and sisters, I will tell you this, I know one thing about him.. He loves me, you, and everyone else so much that he brought forth a newborn King into a world of people that spit upon him, beat him, cursed him, and caused him so much pain and anguish. All this so that he could die for the very same people same people that nailed him to the cross.. Us..

    That’s a love that is hard to comprehend, isn’t it? Can you imagine having nails slammed into your body by a person, looking at them in the face and loving them?

    Don’t cheapen this Christmas by lowering the birth of your Savior to anything short of a miracle.

  4. falcon says:

    I was thinking this very thing about the fact of what the scriptures say and what the Church has historically taught. I had a conversation with a ELCA Lutheran minister regarding the ELCA’s recent vote to allow congregations to hire sexually active homosexual ministers in “committed” relationships. Of course I got the usual explanation regarding the variety of scriptural interpretation. So I said,
    “What has the Church taught on this topic historically?” It’s the same thing with the doctrine of the Trinity. What has the Church historical taught on that topic. It’s easy to trace the teachings of the Church on this topic pushing back to the early part of the second century.
    What Mormonism is basically, Joe Smith, Brigham Young poking their finger in the eye of traditional, orthodox Christianity. Actually if someone wants to know what Mormonism originally taught on a variety of topics all one has to do is go visit the websites of the Community of Christ or the Temple Lot sects of Mormonism.
    The beliefs of the Salt Lake City LDS are aberrant even by the standards of the preNauvoo Mormon church.
    The Bible and the history of what the Christian church has and does teach are plain on the topic of the Virgin Birth of Jesus. The mythological religion of Mormonism has seen fit to follow a different spirit than the Spirit of God.

  5. subgenius says:

    jeffrey b
    i don’t see anyone attempting to “cheapen” anything. Jesus’s existence is, in and of itself, miraculous…Mary being a virgin at conception or Mary still being a virgin at birth seem to be secondary issues comparatively speaking. I am more concerned at the rather cursory knowledge many Ev have of the Bible…but then again, i forget that critical thinking and fallible men are not doctrine for them.

    there are 2 completely different words for virgin and young maiden. Isaiah clearly uses one word over the other. Only recent Ev “scholars” have tried to impose a newer and broader translation. There seems to be an Ev hinderance to understanding the scriptures. There seems to be a lack of perspective and comprehension…but given the limited vision of many Ev, its nothing short of a challenge to every Mormon to lift up each of these brothers and sisters.

    Martin of B
    seems to be a fundamental ‘given’ that John 20:30-31 is an obvious statement that the to believe in Jesus, Son of God and our Savior, and His resurrection is the only goal of the Gospel doctrine….it is clear that these things are written solely for the purpose that others may read and thus “believe”.
    Yes, i agree, the Bible is a record of what is important to God But do not forget the flaws of those who recorded it. When you see Matthew trace 28 generations to Jesus from David, but Luke states a different number (41), does it detract from the “point”? – no. Is it widely known that these two authors embellished their writings? – yes. Were some of the writers reacting to the context of their time and appealing to their audience? – yes
    does any of this actually degrade their message? – no.
    I suggest a deeper study

    With regards to virginity…long ago, virgin often meant simply “unadulterous”…sometimes even meant “goddess”…but interestingly enough, it is the post-Christ addition of this notion that Mary was a “sexual” virgin…aahhh enter the Ev.

  6. setfree says:

    like i said, enough evidence for sub and others to IGNORE

    lest we don’t understand what this season is about to a Mormon:


  7. liv4jc says:

    Mr. Ehrman, er, I mean, Subgenius, no, everyone does not know that the claim that Mary was a sexual virgin is a post-Christ addition to the scriptures, and everyone does not know that the gospel writers embellished their writings. We know that some of the later scribes embellished the gospels. For instance, the account of Jesus praying in the garden of Gesthemane in Luke 22:43-44, is not original to the gospels, yet your church has mis-interpreted this text using it to overshadow Jesus’ death on the cross, bearing the wrath of God that we deserved, for the payment for sin.

    So on one hand you deny the context of Isaiah 7:14 and the clear context of Jesus’ conception narrative in Matthew and Luke, both of which have no textual variants, based upon your assertion that a dubious interpretation of “parthenos” is taken by Christians and it is only recorded in two goseple accounts, yet you support a false doctrine based upon a dubious portion of scripture in one gospel. And you called me academically fraudulant?

    Your hubris is showing.

  8. setfree says:

    some great Mormon quotes out here:

    http://mormonhomeevening.blogspot.com/ (the Thurs. Dec 3, 2009 post)

    don’t know if they’re the same ones as above, but they certainly show what the LDS church authorities have taught on this issue

  9. Subgenius,

    “The virgin birth was not even taught amongst early Christians, they stayed with the Jews”

    Wrong, and your interp on the quote from Luke could only hold true until A.D. 70 at the very latest (when the temple was destroyed). As Christianity spread, Jewish Christians (which was the vast majority of Christians very early on) were kicked out of the synagogue – not just the place but the gathering of Jews in a local area – John 9:22. But that is found in only gospel so it must not be true.

    Early Christians most certainly believed in the Virgin Birth. We have extra-biblical evidence in their commentaries and debates regarding the Bible. We know that they differed from the non-Christian Jews on the issue of the Virgin Birth. Even the semantic range of the Hebrew and Greek words for “virgin” were addressed, as they are here on this blog, and the Christians maintained that Matthew and Luke taught that Mary was a sexual virgin prior to and after conception.

    I know what a midrash is and I know that early Christians differed from the opinion of some Jews on this one. The Christian commentary on the Tenach (a.k.a. the NT) differs from the opinion of some Jews on the birth of the Messiah.

    With regards to virginity…long ago, virgin often meant simply “unadulterous”…sometimes even meant “goddess”…but interestingly enough, it is the post-Christ addition of this notion that Mary was a “sexual” virgin…aahhh enter the Ev.

    As if. Like we are the only ones that believe in the virgin birth. It is your small band that has leaders that taught that Mary had sexual relations with her Heavenly Father. Catholics, Orthodox, Copts, even Muslims believe in the virgin birth. If by “post-Christ” you mean the Bible, as it was written after Jesus’ earthly ministry, then “yes” I believe in that “addition”. Mormons here still have not answered this question: If a 1st century writer wanted to convey the idea of the Virgin Birth in Greek how would he do it without using παρθενος?

  10. παρθενος was used by non-Christian Greek speakers to describe a woman who never had sex. The context where παρθενος, or a variation of it, is used is so plain and clear only an eisegetical gymnast like yourself could find a way around it.

    Another Greek word that is used along with παρθενος is the word εγινωσκεν/γινωσκω, which is akin to our word “know”. Nobody “knew her” until she gave birth to a son. I think we all know what the biblical idiom “know her”, or “knew here” means. According to the gospel accounts, Mary was a sexual virgin before and after she conceived.

    Sub, if you maintain that the earliest Christians did not believe in the Virgin Birth then where is your evidence for such?

  11. subgenius says:

    first, Greek etymology is not relevant, for the Greek text is not in this discussion. There is no argument that Isaiah explicitly did not call Mary a virgin. Paul’s epistles also never mention this “virginity” Paul never even mentions Mary(and He was pals with James, who might have wanted it mentioned).
    Perhaps you can offer an opinion as to why Isaiah, whose prophecy is used in Matthew, uses a specifically different word than virgin? Or why only Matthew and Luke, with their own different depictions of the Birth and their heavy borrowing from Mark, are the only one’s to suddenly proclaim virgin?
    Why does Justin Martyr have to make such a proclamation 140 years AD if it was already “doctrine”? surely this point was not contended, did Justin just feel moved?
    Considering the Jewish view ( Judges 11:37 and Genesis 9:1) virginity is not that desirable or admirable…what is the purpose of virginity?
    Matthew hung his hat on Isaiah’s prophecy and though incorrect, He must make the virgin glove fit….regrdless of “Immanuel”….Matthew is writing to Jews and Luke to gentiles…Matthew often made these prophecy mistakes.
    Virginity is a necessity of creed not of Gospel, a necessity of man’s will not Our Heavenly Father’s.
    The virgin birth does not qualify Jesus’s divine gifts to us all. The important point is that Jesus was born.

  12. Sub,

    The meaning of Greek words is most certainly relevant and that is not entymology. The Greek text is in discussion as it affirms the Virgin Birth and you reject this it seems. It seems as though you admit that Matthew and Luke affirm the Virgin Birth. You try to argue from Paul’s silence yet, when you have the only authors that go into detail on the infancy of Jesus you reject them.

    You also think that Matthew and Luke got it wrong even though their books are scripture; it is hard to dialogue with you if you do not go by your own scriptures. Why go by Isaiah, or any other book, for that matter if we can disregard what we call “scripture”? This is why Christians believe that Mormons don’t go by the Bible and only pay it lip service.

    Justin Martyr does not make a “proclomation” about the virgin birth. He was defending it against Jewish attacks. Also, he is not the only one; there are other ancient witnesses that this was a belief of the early church. Where is your evidence that Christians did not believe the virgin birth?

    Isaiah does not use a completely different word. Just going by pure grammar the word can mean virgin (never had sex) or young women.

    The important part is how we come to believe what we believe. If you can so easily jettison two Biblical authors it makes me wonder what else you can simply blow off. I feel sorry for you that you feel the need to bail out B. Young and all.

  13. setfree says:

    sub, i seriously believe you could be the next JosephSmith

  14. mobaby says:


    You hurl insults and don’t answer questions directly. You purposely misinterpret scripture to what end? What is your end game? You insult, misinterpret, and refuse to answer questions:

    How would a young woman having a child be a sign? It wouldn’t.

    How would Mary be mystified if she was copulating? Wouldn’t she say okay – so I’m pregnant – figures. She would NOT be mystified.

    You always attribute the idea of the virgin birth to EVs – sorry – Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, etc. etc. believers agree on the Virgin Birth. Nice try.

    If you contrast and compare Sub and Olsen Jim – you have one Mormon who tries to be as contrary (without evidence) and another who tries to present Mormonism as a slightly different form of Christianity, distancing himself from any controversy. I think Setfree is onto something with his “believe whatever you want” theory of modern day Mormonism. It basically comes down to personal moralism with a sheen of religion.

  15. setfree says:

    There is a smart guy who says that to refute some mormon ideas, the best thing to do is to read into Bible verses what they are reading in, out loud.

    For example:

    John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by JOSEPH SMITH.

    here are revamped verses for the current topic.

    Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the LORD Himself shall give you a sign; He’ll come down and have sex with a young girl, and she’ll conceive, and bear a son…”


    Luke 1:34,35
    Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and your Father in Heaven himself will have sex with thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

    I’m just wondering, why couldn’t the Bible writers do as subgenius thinks they should have, and write it this way?

  16. subgenius says:

    Dostoyevsky, i believe, once said that “sarcasm is the last resort of a defeated wit”…but he also said “Sarcasm is the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.”….which begs the question how has the privacy of your soul been intruded upon?

    Ironically, “chaste” can also mean “virgin” 😉
    me being the next JS….you got jokes my friend, you got jokes.

    You are wrong about Isaiah’s word, you expect me to believe that maiden means virgin and it does not…that is why we have two different words, and so did Isaiah. You may use the word maiden when you mean virgin, but Isaiah did not.
    Also, i believe Justin was addressing the dissent within Christians, not so much repelling a jewish attack.

    Matthew intepreted Isaiah’s prophecy incorrectly…perhaps you should revisit the context of Isaiah Chapter 7, and check Isaiah 8:18, but understandably – Isaiah is a little “thick”.

    what is the significance of Mary’s hymen being intact? Is it not more significant that Mary gave birth to the Son of God…is that not miraculous enough?
    I stand by my church’s position on this topic that the Mormon Church has no position/canonized doctrine on the actual mechanics of the conception….because we can not determine it, it has yet to be revealed.

  17. Mike R says:

    Why do most of our LDS guests always seem to
    move the conversation away from the main topic
    and over to the side? Also, the calling into
    question the Bible’s testimony on this, or any
    other doctrine, is always employed, why?
    Notice how quickly Mormon “apologists” alway
    deflect the conversation to another topic?
    The topic is Mormon leaders’ teachings.If they
    are wrong,if they taught falsely, can sincere
    LDS reject these men as reliable interpreters
    of the written Word of God? [no matter how moral
    a leader/teacher is, if they produce inacurrate
    teachings then God labels them as false teachers,
    and so should you,this then gives you freedom
    from their authority].
    It seems the choice for LDS is: either accept the
    testimony of Apostles Matthew and Luke, or accept
    the testimonies of Mormon Apostles Young,Talmage,
    We know what Matthew and Luke taught.We know what
    Young,Talmage Mcconkie (and others) taught.
    The Virgin Birth.Let’s break it down, the
    conception of Jesus =

    Mormon Apostles : it was a natural event.A man
    a woman = baby Jesus.
    Apostles Matthew/Luke: it was a supenatural event. No man a woman = baby Jesus.
    Mormon apostles: another Man “did it”
    Appostles Matthew/Luke:the man Joseph did not ” do it”.
    Mormon apostles: Mary had another husband who “did it”, in person with her.
    Apostles Matthew and Luke: Mary had only one husband, and he did’nt “do it”.
    Mormon apostles: Jesus begotten/conceived by a Holy Man with a physical body.
    Apostles Matthew/Luke: Jesus begotten/conceived not by any kind of man.

    Sincere LDS have a choice to make to be true to God. Either the teaching of Mormon apostles or Matthew and Luke. Truth matters.

    The consequences for embracing false doctrine on Jesus brings God’s displeasure, and as one Mormon apostle has said, there is no salvation in believing this type of false doctrine.

  18. Ralph says:

    Hi all,

    First chance to weigh in on the conversation. Don’t have much time and haven’t read most of the posts so sorry if I repeat something. Just wanted to give a few of my thoughts.

    All of the quotes I have read about this from past church leaders do not state EXPLICITLY that any form of physicality was involved. It is all implied by the readers. What I believe is being said is that how Jesus was conceived was natural and not through some magical/mystical process. A miracle none the less, like all other babies.

    In biology conception is the formation of a zygote. This occurs when the nuclei of 2 haploid gametes fuse and form one diploid nucleus. This usually occurs in the fallopian tubes through insemination. However, these days it can be done in a petri dish. In fact the naked nuclei can be fused and then implanted into a denucleated ovum meaning that a baby can literally have 3 parents.

    Heavenly Father knows how to do all this plus more. I strongly believe that this is how Jesus was conceived and what our earlier leaders were referring to.

    As far as the LDS believing Heavenly Father is male and has a wife, both with physical bodies, and they have spirit children – we are not told how the spirit children come along – though some have voiced their opinions. In one of the LDS scriptures its says the intelligences are organised into spirits. So the process may be very different to the processes on this earth to gain a child. However, we LDS teach that sex is just as much for husbands and wives to enjoy each other as well as procreation – so maybe that is all its about in the eternities – husbands and wives enjoying each other, not procreation. Just my thoughts anyway.

  19. Ralph says:


    Mary was not mystified that she was pregnant, because she was not at the time the angel visited her. In the verses before Mary’s comments the angel said that she will become pregnant, indicating that it had not already happened. She was most likely mystified as to how she was going to fall pregnant before she and Joseph tied the knot because she was and would not be sexually active until the marriage night.

    Mike R,

    Nike = “Just do it“.

    I guess that phrase has more meanings than you have elaborated on here. The question is ‘Do what?’ The answer is be the genetic father of Jesus. To make sure His plan worked Heavenly Father made sure that His 23 chromosomes met with Mary’s 23 chromosomes to make a zygote. See above for more details.

    From a biological view point sexual reproduction means the swapping of genetic material which can be accomplished in many ways. Most fish and amphibians sexually reproduce externally to the body. There is no copulation involved. Bacteria reproduce by pilii – a tube of membrane that connects the two and the genetic material crosses between. This is a literal joining of the 2 parties as they share the same cytosol for a while. Sexual reproduction can also be performed in a petri dish as I mentioned above.

    All I see are our leaders saying that Jesus is genetically Heavenly Father’s child, with the other half of the genetic material from Mary. With these characteristics he had the ability to control His life and death which was needed for the atonement. He was mortal because Mary was mortal, He was immortal because Heavenly Father is immortal.

  20. Ralph,

    Please scroll up. Read the quotes posted by Andy Watson, in particular.

    You contend with historic teachings of your church and the explicit statements of your prophets. I wonder, does that make you an apostate?

  21. mobaby says:


    You are right – Mary had not yet conceived when she wondered how these things would be, my mistake. It does not really alter my point, but you are right Mary had not yet become pregnant as Scripture says – thank you for the correction. You seem to agree with the idea that she did not understand how a virgin would become pregnant. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, Mary was already pregnant and Joseph was ready to divorce her quietly for unfaithfulness – but the Lord told her that not to fear, the pregnancy was a miracle, a virgin shall give birth. Matthew 1:23 – 25


    More insults – thank you.

  22. mobaby says:


    I will revisit Isaiah – just read the verses the other night for Advent, but perhaps I am missing some hidden meaning. There are some incredible verses in Isaiah 53 we read a couple nights ago telling how Jesus bears ALL of our sin “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his WOUNDS we are healed. We ALL, like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:5 – 6 The Scriptures just keeps going from there foretelling the crucifixion and the meaning of Jesus sacrifice on our behalf.

    Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” What am I missing there – if not the virgin aspect, exactly what is the sign? This verse was used and applied to Jesus in the Holy Scriptures.

  23. Mike R says:

    Hi Ralph,

    Boy, Ralph you were really rolling there for a
    minute! If you would have slowed down a bit
    then perhaps you would have responded with some
    accurrate statements.I had to chuckle at your
    answer to “do it”.Do you realize what the word
    “context” means? The context for those two words
    was what a man and woman do to make a baby.
    Nike? really Ralph you sounded like a Mormon
    apologist for a moment.
    Also, do you really feel that how some fish
    reproduce fits in with the context of what your
    leaders taught? Ralph, there are very intelligent
    LDS like yourself who submit to and believe what
    their leaders have taught about the Virgin Birth,
    as described by Aaron, why is that? Are they more
    faithful to their Mormon heritage than you? Or
    are they deceived?

  24. liv4jc says:

    Mobaby, keep in mind that our friend Sub is allowed to change his standards of truth at the drop of a hat, or more accurately, at the first sign that he is wrong. After stating earlier that he believes the “correctly” translated scriptures he changes his position and emphatically states that the gospel writers embellished their accounts, then stated that Matthew and Luke just flat out got it wrong.

    I truly hope that a number of readers out there who are questioning the LDS church are closely following this discussion. The statements made by LDS prophets and apostles are not cryptic or vague as Ralph would have us believe as to the manner of Jesus’ conception. Ralph, you are not stupid. But you sound like a fool making excuses for the statements made by your GA’s. As if BY had any conception of invetro fertilization or modern fertility methods. It was plainly stated that Jesus birth was after the natural manner. Didn’t BY have like 33 wives? I’m sure he was very familiar with the natural method. Modern scientific methods are not natural my friend. The comments made by your former apostles ( re-read Aaron’s post and Andy Watson’s ) are to be understood exactly as their we delivered. There is nothing vague about them unless you, like me, are so shocked by their blasphemy and hatred of God’s written word that you cannot bear to believe that they could be spoken by a man of the true God who believes in the miraculous nature of the coneption of the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Your post further illustrates the depths to which you have brought the God who created you and all that you see around you. You sound like you have a great working knowledge of cellular biology. Imagine the being that created and planned the intracacies (spelling?) of life down to the sub-microscopic level!! The intelligence of that being is beyond comprehension.

  25. liv4jc says:

    (cont) This God is utterly unique in the universe that He spoke into existence through the Living Word, The Lord Jesus Christ, yet you reduce Him to a mere man consisting of 23 chromosomes? The God that spoke the universe into existence has to mix his sperm with Mary’s egg in a petri dish and implant it into her womb? Don’t insult your own intelligence. Think about what you are saying, Ralph. Do you really want to worship a God like that? Are you so stuck on yourself and your church that you cannot admit that your prophets and apostles have made revelatory statements in the past that your modern church has to do mental gymnastics to justify? Your church’s inability to stand behind these statements shows that what we have been saying all along is true: Your church is lead by false prophets and men who are no more inspired than the man selling oranges at the local grocery store.

    There is a unique God, Ralph. And you are actively engaged in denying the revelation of His being in the created universe and his written word. You are suppressing this truth in unrighteousness and have chosen to worship a god created in the image of a man, hoping to one day be like him. Your god does not exist, Ralph, and YHWH will not be a God of forgiveness forever. You have heard the truth spoken many times through these posts, and you will be held accountable for the knowledge that you denied. I beg you to repent of your sins and acknowldge the true Jesus Christ of the Bible, Ralph. He will forgive you for your blasphemy. It is the only way you will escape the judgment.

    Praying for you.

  26. bfwjr says:

    No disrespect but when I started reading your post I was waiting for a punch line. I thought you must be joking.I appreciate the refresher on developmental biology. What is distressing is your childish/like? view of our creator and his capabilities. Our reality is not his reality, our limits aren’t his. This whole topic is brought on by nutty statements by past and present LDS church leaders:celebrate-christmas-by-rejecting-mormon-leaders-who-have-rejected-the-virgin-birth. The LDS posters have done everything in their power to avoid the possibility that their god of flesh and bones just might have played “hide the weenie”. Oxams razor perhaps?. When I attended my LDS meetings I was always taught that god followed both the natural and the spiritual laws that he created. Not true? My God created sex I doubt he’s embarrassed by it. I think it’s one of his best inventions. Given his track record on creation I don’t think sex, or any of the mechanical descriptions given here are operant. I can see what he has done all around me everyday. I think I speak for all the Christians here when I say don’t trust us, we are not asking you to, and don’t trust the guys in downtown SLC, trust your Creator, your Savior, your true God and his Word…The Holy Bible.

    p.s. please, everyone feel free to: beseech,entreat,attack,cajole,hit, kick and spit. My loins are girded up and I’m not compromising an inch.

  27. falcon says:

    I often like to observe the dynamics that are going on within the context of the discussions here-on any topic. We see some very characteristic Mormon thought processes and tactics that of course, repeat themselves no matter what the topic. For example one of our Mormon posters bounces around like a ball in a pinball machine making a lot of noise, but in this case scoring no points.
    Another Mormon poster is steadfast in his belief that the Mormon church is true so any explanation, no matter how childish, is sufficient to support that belief. It’s like the defense of the Joseph Smith and the men living on the moon and dressing like Pilgrims statement. I’ve told of the account Jim Spencer gives in his book “Have You Witnessed to a Mormon Lately”; of the Mormon who was told of this statement by Smith. The Mormon looked troubled but then came back the next day and said, “Well maybe they’re living in the moon.”
    This illustrates the problem in having a reasonable, rational, logical conversation with the stereotypical Mormons who show-up and write on these blogs. Like jackg says, until a Mormon reaches the “contemplative” stage, conversations of this sort are futile. We write for the LDS lurkers who show-up here and are at that stage.

  28. subgenius says:

    “observe the dynamics”
    “thought processes and tactics”


    lather, rinse, and repeat

  29. Sub,

    Where is “maiden” used in Isaiah 7:14? “Virgin” is used in the KJV aw well as most other English translations. In the Septuagint the word παρθενος is used.

    The Hebrew word “almah” can be translated young woman or virgin. Even the word “maiden” can have the connotation of virginity. It was assumed in times past in England that a young, unmarried girl would be chased . Other languages have the same ambiguity when it comes to words for
    young woman/virgin. “Almah” is translated as “virgin” elsewhere in the Bible. In the KJV Gen 24:43, Song of Songs 1:3, and Song of Songs 6:8 all translate “almah” or a version of it as “virgin”. And that is just the KJV. In other translations, where damsel or maid(en) is used in the KJV “almah” is translated as virgin.

    Even the word Hebrew word “betulah” (the other word Isaiah could have used) is not a lock. It is more common, and perhaps even more strongly suggests virginity on behalf of the woman, but Joel 1:8 uses it and the “woman” there has husband. The idea that Greek Speaking Jews would have used “almah” and
    “παρθενος” freely and somewhat interchangeably is not that far-fetched. Again, I ask Mormons – if Matthew wanted to convey to a Greek speaking audience the idea of a woman giving birth without sexual intercourse then how would he do it without using παρθενος?

    Jews for Jesus has done a fairly good write up on how “almah” can mean either young woman or virgin.

  30. As for Justin Martyr . . . He believed in the Virgin Birth. He espoused it and not just to Christians. There was no controversy in Christianity over that. His argumentation for the Virgin Birth takes place in his
    Dialogue with Trypho the Jew. He was arguing for the Messiahship of Jesus. He uses several OT passages to do this, Isaiah 7:14 being just one of them. In his dialogue the difference between the two languages comes up:

    “But since you and your teachers venture to affirm that in the prophecy of Isaiah it is not said, ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive,’ but, ‘Behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son”


  31. setfree says:

    Ralph, I agree with Martin, you really need to spend the time to go back up and look at the quotes.

    And… you literally proved what I said above about Mormons and “common sense”

    IN fact, I’d like to continue the thought. I think that people are attracted to Mormonism because it seems more “realistic”, “down-to-earth”, or “up-to-date” with the way we see things currently. It brings God down to a place where we can better grasp him, makes us feel good about how much more we, as humankind, have “progressed”. So, it’s quite a bit easier to just meld it together with who we are, what we think, and what we are already doing.

    The Bible refuses to do that. It holds God above us, in a place where we can’t comprehend or come up to. It refuses to promote us even a little bit, even with all our current “light and knowledge”. And becoming a real Christian means denying yourself, throwing away the parts of life that don’t agree with His will.

    Mormonism is “easier”, because you can pretty much just keep going along your merry way and not worry about what God wants or expects.

    But it’s a trap, because those “commandments” and “covenants” you can’t live up to are all still there, just nobody’s acting like they are…

  32. setfree says:

    this may be just a little off topic, but Mormons, how do you see prayer-answering happening by your super-man god? does he just rush around at lightening speed?

    it’s so awesome to understand that God can see me right now, and you, and everyone else, and knows exactly who I am, what I’m thinking, what I’m doing, and why… and is BIG ENOUGH to do the same for everyone else, and be there in their big issues and their smallest matters, and care about every concern

    last I knew, the puny thing you believe in is still checking church attendance records and temple recommends. it’s so sad, because how can you completely trust in and depend on a God who is not everywhere you go, all the time?

  33. Aaron and all,

    I believe now is a good time to “Flame” and bring back – The Real One


    You’re bound to drown in a broken ship
    If your hope is in the Jesus of Joseph Smith – Woe
    That doctrine will have your life stormin
    Come to the knowledge of Christ
    Not to the one of the Mormons
    Jesus is not Lucifer’s spiritual borther
    And the Heavenly Father did not have sex
    With His mother, Mary.
    Its scary
    I seen them 2 dudes in my hood
    Tellin me God was a man at first
    And progressed to his Godhood – No

  34. subgenius says:

    yes, in the Septuagint the word παρθενος is used…but this is not the original source…and the Jewish translators at that time had to cross certain cultural boundaries with the Greeks. Knowing full well, what “almah” meant, would they not have chosen “παρθενος” to convey this to the greek culture at the time.
    You also deny that Isaiah 7:14 is being mis-intepreted by yourself and even Matthew (not his first misinterpretation)….without Isaiah 7:14, your argument is lost…and the Ev accuses Mormons of using only “one” scripture to support whole doctrine….please.

  35. setfree says:

    sub, considering your need for brevity, it’s no wonder you can’t understand the Bible

  36. Sub,

    You just cannot get around that Matthew does support the Virgin Birth can you? Are you denying that almah is translated as “virgin” elsewhere in the Bible? Are you saying that the KJV translators as well as Joseph Smith got Isaiah 7:14 wrong? Matthew, Luke, or the Septuagint writers could have used γυνη if they wanted to and that would convey the idea of a woman who had sex.

    Because of Matthew 1 and Luke 1 your argument is lost. One scripture? I have several from Matthew, Luke, and one from Isaiah as well as a boat load of church history.

    Sub, when and where did I ever accuse (like it is a bad thing) Mormons of using only “one” scripture to support a whole doctrine? What scriptures say Mary was not a virgin? Even the BoM and Islam affirms this.

    Again, I throw this out to all Mormons. If the gospel writers wanted to convey the idea that Mary was a virgin before and after conception then how could they have done it without using

  37. Pingback: Mormon Coffee » Was the Virgin Birth a Product of the Great Apostasy?

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