Was the Virgin Birth a Product of the Great Apostasy?

I have asked on a few occasions here, “Do you believe that the early church apostasized towards this?” Usually it is in regards to going from a type of polytheism to monotheism, however it holds true for the Virgin Birth. Does anybody really believe that the primitive church held that the Heavenly Father had sex with Mary, then apostatized by claiming that Christ was born of a virgin?

The birth narratives in Matthew and Luke are well known by most in the West and especially those who frequent this blog. Both testify that Jesus was born of a virgin – a virgin being a person who has never had sex with anyone – man, god, etc.

However, for Mormons there is a problem. Some GA’s of the 19th & 20th centuries have challenged the Virgin Birth. Aaron identified four – Brigham Young, Orson Pratt, James Talmage and Bruce McConkie. I would add Heber C. Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, Joseph Fielding Smith, Hugh B. Brown, and possibly Henry D. Taylor; there is a very good chance more could be added to the list. The idea that Mary was not a virgin, in the truest sense of the word, after she conceived was (and to some extant is) a widespread belief in Mormonism. The quotes from G.A.’s on the issue demonstrate that this belief was held at the highest echelons of Mormonism.

Noticeably absent from the list is Joseph Smith Jr. I have never heard or read anything about him assailing the Virgin Birth. Even the Joseph Smith translation renders the Hebrew word “almah” in Isaiah 7:14 as “virgin”. To be fair Mormons who do accept the Virgin Birth have some ammo on their side. They have the King James Bible, the aforementioned JST, and the Book of Mormon.

Perhaps you notice a trend here? The evidence for the Virgin Birth comes from an earlier time in Mormonism’s history – like before the Saints moved to Utah. The evidence against the Virgin Birth in Mormonism comes from quotes by apostles and prophets of the 19th & 20th centuries. It has been in the last 20 years or so that the Virgin Birth has gained more acceptance in Mormonism. I believe that as Mormonism’s materialistic worldview began to grow and take root (the classical definition of materialism not “greed”) that it necessitated the “fleshly” quotes by 19th century Mormons. They fit the paradigm of God the Father being a highly exalted man and Jesus being the literal and physical Son of God. A few 19th century Quorum of the Twelve members even believed that Jesus is not a virgin, but rather married.

I would contrast this dichotomy with the steadfast witness of the Church for the last 2,000 years. Christianity has taught that Jesus was born of a virgin. In Koine Greek, the idea is clear that the books of Matthew and Luke affirm the virgin birth. When Christians have rendered these scriptures in other languages they have chosen words that outright state or at least strongly imply that Mary was a virgin before and after conceiving the Messiah.
In addition, there are treatises beyond number – ranging from the 1st century until now – that attest to the Church’s belief in this doctrine. Justin Martyr, Aristides, and Ignatius all write very early on in Christian history that Jesus was born of a virgin. That abominable Apostle’s Creed says that Jesus was “born of the Virgin Mary”. Indeed, where is the early witness that Jesus was not born of a virgin, but rather by a physical union of God and Mary? There are early challenges to the virgin birth from outside Christianity, but in those challenges someone else other than God (usually Joseph) is put forward as the physical father of Jesus.

Honestly, the idea that Jesus was a product of a sexual union between God and Mary sounds a lot more like it came from the ancient pagan religions of the Mediterranean world. This is ironic as it often Mormons who accuse Christianity of being adulterated by Hellenistic influences. You mean adulterated to believe that Jesus was born of a virgin?

In the words of that great coffee guru Linda Richman – talk amongst yourselves.

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230 Responses to Was the Virgin Birth a Product of the Great Apostasy?

  1. grindael says:


    You notice the deniers won’t even touch the info about McConkie and Young. There is no refutation for it. They will continue to hold him up as a ‘great prophet’ who ‘went on to his eternal reward’ along with smith and the rest of the wolves.

    This ‘prophet’ Young, even changed the temple ritual to incorporate his Adam-god nonsense. When he revealed it, there was so much controversy, he went underground with it. He could not stand up as a ‘prophet’ and say ‘yes, this is what God told me, you MUST believe it’. Instead, their ‘prophetic’ utterances are relegated to the ‘opinion’ shelf, while the rest of the cult hides behind the ‘standard works’.

    Even Hinckley said ‘hey we got enough revelation’ because in these days there is too much scrutiny on the church and they cower in their Salt Lake condos waiting on ‘a good feeling’ to address issues any real prophet of God would stand up and shout to the world that ‘yes this is God’s will’ and that’s how it is.

    They drug our Saviour and God through the mud, trying to bring God down to their filthy level, and then the deniers quote scripture saying ‘his thoughts are not our thoughts’ while the wolves proclaim they ‘know the mind of God’. But they totally ignore those statements when confronted with them, giving smug answers and chuckling in the backround.

    The only ones smearing and polluting are the wolves who – in trying to justify plural marriage, adam-god, and polytheism, made up this trash.

  2. gundeck says:

    I can only identify 2 basic reasons that anyone would deny the virgin birth, first they are denying the existence of a God who can, would, or does work outside of our perceived rules of nature and a God who reveals Himself as He pleases not as we demand. The second reason is the abject denial of the divine nature of Jesus Christ, the salvific efficacy of His life and death, and the promise of His resurrection to the Church. If, as J Gresham Machen, says you reduce the virgin birth into a “biological triviality” then it has no bearing on salvation and frankly is quite unbelievable.

    “But if the virgin birth represents the beginning of a new era in the course of the universe, a true entrance of the creative power of God, in sharp distinction from the order of nature…taken in connection with the entire phenomena of Jesus’ life and particularly in connection with the evidence of His resurrection it is no longer meaningless…”

    As I understand the doctrine of the virgin birth has no gradual formulation and is included in the earliest documents of the Church; there is no textual variation in Matthew’s or Luke’s Gospels hinting at an addition of the birth narratives; there is no denial of the virgin birth in any other part of Scripture (properly defined as the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments).

    I also understand why the Mormon needs to deny this doctrine as it, taken with the incarnation, presoposes a non-anthropomorphic God and creator; as human parthenogenesis is contrary to nature it contradicts a God bound by the laws of nature; It testifies to the nesisity for a perfect divine intervention to justify the fallen.

  3. mobaby says:

    Reading through these posts it becomes clear that the Mormon Church did at one time teach Jesus was born by natural relations between God the Father and Mary. Today, some Mormons (at least some that post here) have trouble with this Mormon doctrine – going so far as to retreat to essentially denying that their leaders are indeed prophets (which is one, if not THE, foundational teaching of the LDS religion). The retreat to “it’s not in the standard works,” is essentially denying the prophetic status of the LDS “prophets” – saying their prophetic utterances are not equal to the LDS scripture and are subject to being WRONG. I ask – what worth is a WRONG prophet? No worth at all. They will cut themselves off at the knees in order to obfuscate and deny the clear teaching of the “natural way” Jesus was born according to their own leaders. Some Mormons try to downplay the importance of the virign birth (“well, it doesn’t matter” they say), just as Mormons downplay the importance of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross (“Paul was apostate, never mind his focus on Christ crucified, us Mormons focus on the Garden of Gethsemane”). Essentially, Mormons have a new religion that does not fit with the Scriptures of Christians – and they have to constantly explain away the text, deny the authors validity, or alternately, deny what their own Mormon leaders teach or taught. It’s a tough spot to be in, defending error. When challenged, Mormons tend to retreat to mantras of “the LDS is the one true Chruch and it will stand despite these facts distorted by the apostate.” or “I have a testimony, no further input needed or accepted.” When all arguments and examination of the facts fail – Mormons retreat to base, claim testimony, focus on the Book of Mormon, and repeat that the LDS is the one true Church (despite any Scriptural problems or contrary facts).

  4. HankSaint wrote about the Mormon GAs (the leaders and prophets of Mormonism)

    I would bet my life that not one of them would smear God or find Him to be immoral.

    For me, that’s a perfect definition of Mormonism.

    Hank’s positive assessment runs contrary to everything the GAs said and did, but there it is; Be loyal to the Prophets and the Church they lead, and you don’t need to know anything more.

    Hank has cast his pearls before these swine.

    What a silly thing to to! Everyone knows that pigs don’t eat pearls. It’s a loss to both the pig and the pearl-caster, more so the pearl-caster to whom the pearls have some value. Moreover, the pig stays hungry so it turns to the next source of food it can find, which just happens to present itself in the body of the pearl-caster. So, it turns and tears the pearl-caster to pieces (Matt 7:6).

    Oh, and Jesus’ use of “pigs” as a pejorative in first century Israel, with its (my interpretation) reference to the current religious leadership, is not lost on me.

    Andy Watson did a great job of answering David Whitsell’s original question – “Was the virgin birth a product of the Great Apostasy?”.

    Answer: No.

  5. subgenius says:

    just because you were a missionary does not mean that you were ever “well aware”. please, provide a more objective form of evidence.

    David W
    Time and time again, the Ev has posted on this site how the atonement is all you need..period, exclamation point..the Ev has hoed that row over and over and over. Biblical Salvation has nothing to do with Mary’s virginity according to the Ev….unless you are now “adding” something to that, i don’t understand what point you are trying to make by asking me that question.
    As for Jude or anyone else “getting it wrong”…how do i know? the Spirit testifies to me, i read the scriptures, i learn about the context, and i inspect the history…not a perfect formula for theological knowledge, but it is the manner for me.

    we “retreat” to a place we actually never left…and yes,today, it is the one true church.

    please, refer to me the particular post on this thread, where a Mormon has “denied” the virgin birth.

    notice that (once again) the question goes unanswered..ask yourself where did Satan come from…who made Satan? The Ev would have you believe that Satan was pre-destined…the LDS would say that it is as is in the Bible. Satan was perfect as other angels, until evil was “found” in him..found because Satan “chose” it, found because it arose from free-will, free-will that God bestowed upon man and angel alike (on earth as it is in heaven). This free-will is how we create evil and love…we are not God’s robots…we are His children.

  6. grindael says:


    I spoke from experience. That was my objectivity. You insulted me, and I responded to it. I’m not going to get in a debate with you over the application of that scripture, I made myself perfectly clear how it applies here. It applies to the false prophets of the smith cult. Also, the syntax of your reply was incomprehensible. What does ‘as you clamour about concerned’ mean exactly? In your rush to insult, you make yourself unclear. If you want to insult someone, please have the courtesy to do it in a clear and forthright manner.


    Still no response on the McConkie – Young post. To the deniers, Did Brigham Young teach false doctrine as McConkie asserts? If he did, how does that reconcile with the statement by W. Woodruff that the ‘prophet’ can’t lead it’s members astray?

    You can bet you will get no intelligent answer to these questions.

  7. gundeck says:


    You said, “I believe what i have always stated is that the state of Mary’s virginity has always been speculative.” And “Matthew missed the mark on a few prophecies, so misunderstanding Isaiah is not a stretch. Matthew also had reason to promote a virgin in the nativity (Jewish erosion of church by questioning legitimacy of Jesus)”

  8. liv4jc says:

    Sub, why would you assert that Christians cannot answer the question about Satan’s origin? Satan is a created being. He is an angel. Jesus Christ is the creator of all things, including the angel Satan. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” John is stating the Jesus is the same God spoken of in Genesis 1. This is affirmed by Paul in Colossians 1:15-17, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” Thrones, dominions, principalities and powers refers to the different orders of the heavenly host, Satan included.

    And as far as your predestination goes, yes Satan does have free will. He did choose to rebel, just as Adam did. Did God know it was going to happen? Yes. Satan, angels, and Adam truly had “free will”. We do not. We have free agency. Satan and his angels left their first estate, which was holiness, but obviously their punishment for this was not death, at least as far as we can tell from the bible. My personal belief is that unlike men, they were created en mass. Some chose to follow Satan in rebellion. There is no salvation for them. Adam was created as a one-off, and Eve from him. We inherit Adam’s nature because he is our federal head, both genetically and spritually. We are not responsible for his sin, but our own. But we inherited our fallen nature from Adam. Christ redeems us from that fallen nature.

  9. Sub,

    “As for Jude or anyone else “getting it wrong”…how do i know? the Spirit testifies to me, i read the scriptures, i learn about the context, and i inspect the history…not a perfect formula for theological knowledge, but it is the manner for me.”

    Combined with your statement about Matthew, I would call your hermeneutic “cherry picking”. Is Christ indeed central? Where do you get that idea or any idea from? Scripture! Yet, you flatly deny Matthew and Lukes’ testimony. They taught the Virgin Birth (I think you have admitted as much) so why not just believe in it if you feel it is no so central? Again I must ask – Do you think Joseph Smith got his translation of Isaiah, Matthew, and Luke wrong when he maintained that Mary was a virgin in the JST?

    The point I was trying to make is that if you can reject the testimony of two Biblical authors, then there is not a whole lot (if anything) that you could not reject. You have stepped on a slippery slope but why? I hope you don’t reject Matthew and Luke on this in order to bail some GA’s.

    Honestly, you are not even suggesting an apostasy, but rather a primitive church that was wrong from the get go.

  10. subgenius says:

    i know you are but what am i
    as for McConkie, Young, Woodruff…there is conflict…anymore than “turn the other cheek” conflicts with “eye for an eye”…or like our current topic boiled down to an oxymoron “virgin conceived”.
    Seriously, Young is an easy target as far as Mormons going off the reservation, i easily admit that Young reflected the fallacies of man more than some. Members were not necessarily “led astray”…except in hindsight.
    Perhaps, realize that there is no prophet, mormon president or OT or even Jesus that had a 100% “prophecy” record.
    Not to excuse BY, because again, no man, or church is perfect…and theology is not always so “logical”, thank God.

    found it “odd” that you were posting such longer posts than normal…a quiet voice led me to wonder

    o please, just post the actual link to “mazeministry”
    your wholesale cut-and-paste is eroding confidence in your postings….or are original thoughts and opinions now considered “pearls”.

    plus if you make a donation they will provide free shipping…they also take mastercard and visa

    i was going to order their CD “Mormonism’s Temple of Doom” but then i realized it did not have Harrison Ford in it.

  11. mobaby says:


    By retreat I mean no longer engaging in any substantive way in the conversation. Basically shutting down and repeating phrases just as those raised in the LDS religion are taught to repeat that they know Joseph Smith is a true prophet from birth on. It’s good for LDS catechesis but not much else. It would be similar to a Christian responding to an argument with the Apostles Creed – while true, this Creed would not serve to advance understanding if that was the sum total of a Christians argument.

    Regarding your question – of course God created Satan. Satan is not eternal – he is a created being similar to you and me, but an angel rather than a man. Satan is very limited in power. From Scripture we know that Satan goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. We also know that Jesus has defeated Satan – from Genesis on Scripture tells the story of how sin entered the world through Satan and ultimately how he would be destroyed. The Scripture says the serpent’s head (Satan) would be crushed by HER offspring (Genesis 3:15) – Jesus, the human offspring of MARY, defeated Satan on the cross, fulfilling this prophesy. How exactly did Satan fall? How did evil come into the being? Why does God allow evil? Pride had something to do with it, and wanting to be equal to God, but these are questions which are not clearly answered in Scripture (at least to my knowledge, I have never done much of a study on Satan – my Church focuses almost exclusively on Jesus crucified for our sins and the redemption purchased for His people). However, we know that God even uses Satan for His purposes, and that Satan is defeated already. Satan had free will and he chose to rebel. Adam and Even also had free will and chose to rebel. Since the fall no one has free will for our will is bent to evil and in rebellion against God. If God did not draw us and even give us the faith to believe no one would follow God of their own “free will.”

  12. jeffrey b says:

    Sub obviously doesn’t hold the office of the prophet to any standard higher than a fortune teller. With that weak commitment to his own church, why would anyone else want to join that? Their own prophets can’t even agree on things.

  13. liv4jc says:

    Jeffrey, unforntunately Sub also holds Jesus to the same standards that he holds men to. So much for God being perfect.

    “Perhaps, realize that there is no prophet, mormon president or OT or even Jesus that had a 100% “prophecy” record.”

    That’s an amazing statement and indicative of a religion with such a perverted and low view of God. That Jesus, who is God, could issue a false prophecy shows Subs’ disdain for the Christ of the bible. What else would a false prophecy be, but a lie? Ordinarily I would chalk Sub’s statement up to ignorance, but he has been here far too long to be ignorant of the God of the bible.

  14. HankSaint says:

    A member of the Church of Scholars stated the following:

    “Hank has cast his pearls before these swine.
    What a silly thing to to! Everyone knows that pigs don’t eat pearls. It’s a loss to both the pig and the pearl-caster, more so the pearl-caster to whom the pearls have some value. Moreover, the pig stays hungry so it turns to the next source of food it can find, which just happens to present itself in the body of the pearl-caster. So, it turns and tears the pearl-caster to pieces (Matt 7:6).
    Oh, and Jesus’ use of “pigs” as a pejorative in first century Israel, with its (my interpretation) reference to the current religious leadership, is not lost on me”.

    Are you dumber then a fifth grader? makes you wonder my fellow friends, visitors and guest. 🙂

    Can anyone out there who is a Creedal Christian explain what this member of the Church of Scholars just said? or is it kind of like the Triune Trinity, a seemingly wordy Creed that lacks any coherent meaning. Maybe a topic on Creedal beliefs that express their thoughts in a clear and calm way, so that other people can understand what they are saying. Just once I would love a Creedal Christian to explain in a logically and aesthetically order a consistent and well accepted version of the what, how and why of the Nature of God.

    Now as for casting ones Pearls before swine, sacred things should not be discussed with those who are not prepared to appreciate their value, hence the topic of the Virgin Birth in detail, was never revealed to anyone exactly for the reason that such a sacred event, one that has been made light of, dirtied by mere suggestions that something unseemly and immoral could be spoken of by a GA or Prophet is beyond the imagination one will go to when caring a agenda of hate so extreme that lies and misrepresentation are common place to those who have put there faith in a Church of Scholars. We find in the Book of Moron the name of such a place, its called great and abominable church.

  15. liv4jc says:

    Check your last line there, Hank. See, God does have sense of humor….and you don’t believe in predestination.

  16. grindael says:


    Nice retort. made me laugh (in humor). Aside from that, could you elaborate on just WHAT you think a prophet is, and how their statements bear on the welfare of the saints in general? I was frankly amazed at getting an honest answer from a poster here, so I retract my statement that no one would address it with an intelligent answer.

    In all seriousness, these statements (by Young and others) were the straw that broke the camel’s back for me in your belief system.

    I can’t reconcile statements like the ones Young made, with those of say W.Woodruff, that a prophet would never lead ANYONE astray, God would not allow it. This is obviously not true, for many were led astray by Young’s statements, and since he did teach false doctrine (as Spencer Kimball officially called it) how does he ‘go on to his eternal reward as a ‘great prophet’ as McConkie calls him?

    Orson Pratt was almost disfellowshipped because he would not agree with Young and publicly said so. I am well aware (there I go again)of the current take on Young’s statements ( see http://content.lib.utah.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/dialogue&CISOPTR=20104&CISOSHOW=19915&REC=1 Brueger’s article in Dialog ) where he goes into detail on this.

    Is the prophetic calling just a ‘sometimes’ thing? Since Young gave these statements over the pulpit and claimed:

    “Some years ago, I advanced a doctrine with regard to Adam being our father and God, that will be a curse to many of the Elders of Israel because of their folly. With regard to it they yet grovel in darkness and will. It is one of the most glorious revealments of the economy of heaven, yet the world hold derision. Had I revealed the doctrine of baptism from [sic.] the dead instead of Joseph Smith there are men around me who would have ridiculed the idea until dooms day. But they are ignorant and stupid like the dumb ass.”

    Is it not to be believed by the church?

  17. grindael says:

    Here he calls it a ‘revelation’ (there are more clear statements to this effect elsewhere), and even W. Woodruff believed it:

    “… the period will come when the people will be willing to adopt Joseph Smith as their Prophet, Seer and Revelator and God! but not the Father of their spirits, for that was our Father Adam” (Journal of Wilford Woodruff, Dec. 11, 1869). Also see Dec. 16, 1867; Feb. 19, 1854.

    There was no church vote on polygamy, yet it was accepted in the church as doctrine and practiced because it came from smith. If Young had the same keys, (and he said he did, having the “keys to obtain the mind of God”) then why is this ‘revelation’ questioned?

    If this was questioned by the church, then why are the statements made by Young that Adam was God and the Husband of Mary and the literal Father of Jesus not to be believed? Part of it is, that the Father is the literal Father of Jesus, but not the rest? How is any mormon comfortable in picking and choosing what a prophet says is a revelation?

    If Young had the ‘Keys’ to obtain the mind of God, should not all of you believe everything he taught? (I can see why it is disbelieved,) but if the church must stand by it’s prophets revelations, are they not in a state of apostasy, (as the fundamentalists declare) if they reject these doctrines?

    So again, what exactly is your belief on what a prophet IS?

  18. grindael says:

    For the Lurkers and the deniers:

    “How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which I revealed to them and WHICH GOD REVEALED TO ME – namely that Adam is our Father and our God … Our Father Adam helped to make this earth, it was created expressly for him … He brought one of his wives with him, and she was called Eve, …” Brigham Young, as quoted in the Deseret News, June 18, 1873.

    Young is not calling this an OPINION, he is saying the Adam-God DOCTRINE came directly from God to him as a REVELATION. Since Spencer Kimball called this FALSE DOCTRINE, which ‘Prophet’ is to be believed? If John Taylor, and Wilford Woodruff also believed Young (as they say they did) are they not false prophets also?

    This brings to mind the statement by Paul:

    “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints,” (1 Cor. 14:33).

    This was in reference to tongues, but the principle applies to all things revealed from God.

    Should not Young’s statements on the Virgin Birth also be discounted? If you cannot trust him to know WHO God is, how can you trust him to give an accurate accounting of how the incarnation took place?

    What is a prophet, and why are some of the revelations they claim to come from God rejected by the church?

  19. All,

    Hanksaint wrote,”Now as for casting ones Pearls before swine, sacred things should not be discussed with those who are not prepared to appreciate their value, hence the topic of the Virgin Birth in detail, was never revealed to anyone exactly for the reason that such a sacred event, one that has been made light of, dirtied by mere suggestions that something unseemly and immoral could be spoken of by a GA or Prophet is beyond the imagination one will go to when caring a agenda of hate so extreme that lies and misrepresentation are common place to those who have put there faith in a Church of Scholars. We find in the Book of Moron the name of such a place, its called great and abominable church.”

    NormalY, I would engage in more elevated dialogue, but sometimes Mormons act just plain “culty”. The constant, undocumented assertion of misrepresentation and lies plus an appeal to a lack of revelation due to our “agenda of hate” is classic example of cult-speak.

  20. falcon says:

    I would concur with David’s observation of “cult speak” among our Mormon posters. That has been a secondary subject of our discussion here. The basic premise for the Mormon cultist is that “the church is true.” Period! Beyond that, any explanation that a cult member can produce to support this premise is sufficient in their mind. It’s a form of thinking that is both scary and pathetic. Scary in that there are no lengths to which a cultist will go to justify or serve the cult. The idea that the cult holds secret and sacred inside information that only the truly “spiritual” cult member can receive and understand is Cult 101 indoctrination.
    This Mormon cult think has been revealing I’m sure to those who come here and read but don’t post. The discussion will be especially helpful to those Mormons who have begun to figure it out and are looking for a path out of the cult.

  21. HankSaint says:

    One of our Creedal Christians stated:

    “The idea that the cult holds secret and sacred inside information that only the truly “spiritual” cult member can receive and understand is Cult 101 indoctrination.”

    Secrets? do members of the Church of Scholars believe God reveals everything, does the bible make know the scriptures in full.
    Inside information, lets examine Bible scripture because I’m sure that our wonderful Apostles in the new testament held back secrets, and if so would they also be consider cultist. Holding back information that only they knew of. 🙂

    The New Testament informs us that after Christ’s resurrection, He spent forty days among the disciples, “speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” What exactly did the Lord say to His disciples during this time? Why is this passing mention all we have of His visit? Did the authors of the New Testament not feel that these teachings were important enough to include with the rest of His words?

  22. HankSaint says:


    Legend holds that there was an entire body of knowledge, which came to be called gnosis, which the Lord imparted to His disciples after His resurrection during this forty day period. Not too many years later, as the ancient Christian church began splitting up into sects, each of them claimed to have this gnosis, or “secret knowledge,” which the Lord had taught to only a select few. Hugh Nibley quotes Clement and comments:
    “To James the Just and to John and Peter after the resurrection the Lord conveyed the gnosis, these handed it on to the rest of the Apostles and in turn to the Seventy.” So we have a true gnosis, a certain knowledge, entrusted to the general authorities of the church after the resurrection and, as far as we know, to no one else. This was precisely the knowledge which the so-called Gnostics later claimed to have. From the titles and contents of recently found Gnostic writings it is plain that their special boast was to possess “What Christ taught to the Apostles after the Resurrection.”

    The Forty Day Teachings of Christ in the Books of Jeu and the Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Endowment


    I suggest all visitors and guest check out this web site to receive light and knowledge you cannot get from the Church of Scholars.

    Richard. 🙂

  23. HankSaint,

    Wow! Let’s go to the gnostics for spiritual truth. Thank you for indirectly admitting that your church represents more than just a restoration. It introduces concepts and ideas that were never ever part of “the faith”. You look for obscure knowledge in the most unlikely places, yet you won’t accept the clear teaching of the Bible that Christ was born of a virgin.

  24. mobaby says:


    The Gnostics came long after the recording of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the New Testament, and wrote false gospels much like the Book of Mormon. They were basically one of the first Christian cults – distorting the teaching of Jesus and God’s eternal truth. God’s good news of Jesus was for the entire world to know openly and proclaimed. What Jesus taught in the 40 days was surely not recorded by the Gnostics who may have actually predated Christ and their writings centered on Jesus arose much later than the New Testament writings. Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church, and He has kept that promise throughout all time. The Gnostics offered no hope to their followers. Their view was God is basically unknowable – removed and distant, only to be approached through a series of lower beings. There is no light and knowledge in Gnosticism – only darkness that leads one away from God into a belief system that teaches that God is unknowable – you will not find the hope of Jesus Christ there. It’s no wonder it died out, with it’s distant unknowable god offering no help or hope. The One Ture God wants to be known and His message to go out – salvation is available through the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross – believe and you will be saved.

  25. Mike R says:


    It’s sure difficult for you to not change the
    subject.Can you stay on topic?
    Nibley? Even some of his colleagues critized his
    “methods” at research.
    On topic:
    Heavenly Father’s providing a body for His children.As a exalted Man, He with one of His
    celestial wives, in normal male – female relations
    produced bodies for His children in pre-existence
    their heavenly home.
    Several Mormon leaders then interpretated the
    scriptues to teach that HF came down and also
    had normal male-female relations , this time with
    a mortal female to provide a body for His Son.
    This begeting of bodies for children had taken
    place in pre-existence eons ago, and now in like
    manner, it had been repeated on earth. This was
    logical for Mormon leaders in the recent past and
    also to many sincere LDS even today.

    Let me share a scenario that took place in Mormon
    history. In March of 1843, prominent Mormons were
    being accused of polygamy(this was before it
    became “offical”). Joseph Smith on March 4, had
    been sealed to Emily Partridge, four days later
    he was married to her older sister.One week later
    the LDS paper,Times and Seasons, reported:

    ” We are charged with advocating a plurality of
    wives, and common property.Now this is as false
    as the many other RIDICULOUS CHARGES which are
    brought against us.No sect has a greater
    reverence for the laws of matrimony or the
    rights of private property; and we do what
    others do not,we practice what we preach.”
    [ Mormon Polygamy,p.36 ].

    Notice the word,”ridiclous”? The same type of
    words are used today by some LDS to deflect the
    conversation away from the substance of the topic
    being discussed.
    LDS called people who accused them of a controver-
    ial teaching, in 1843, this word, when at that
    very time LDS leaders were privately practicing
    it! Today some LDS use this word, and worse, to
    accuse us of lying about what certain Mormon
    leaders taught about the Virgin Birth.Same tactic

  26. HankSaint says:


    I appreciate your comments, and I agree that the Gnostics basically have a certain slant to the Gospel. But historically it is a fact of what I stated is true. I noticed you did not answer or give an opinion of the forty days that Christ preached to his disciples and apostles. The Bible is quiet on this, and you would think that Christ must have revealed more truths and given them more information on the Resurrection and life after death. Where can we find anything written of this, the bible seems to make this a secret. I would also imagine many questions were asked by the Apostles, and none of this is recorded.


  27. HankSaint says:

    Mike R. if you are following this tread and actually read my post it would be obvious I was responding to another statement made by falcon. It seems I would have a right to comment on something else he was accusing us of, otherwise you should question Falcon for bringing something else into the mix, not my fault he got off topic.


  28. Mike R says:


    All you had to do was remind Falcon to stay
    on topic, like I reminded you, and this would’nt
    have happened.Is your attempt at trying to infer
    that the Bible is somehow not giving the whole
    picture on one teaching that then we can’t trust
    it to accurately record the truth about the Virgin Birth? What about the Virgin Birth? What
    about what I said , above? Why do other LDS today
    believe their Prophets interpretations on this
    major doctrine, but not you?

  29. mobaby says:


    That which is recorded in Scripture is sufficient to know who God is and how we are to know Him. I choose not to speculate on secret knowledge that cannot be known and makes no difference regarding salvation or knowing God. You can speculate on hidden knowledge 2000 years after the fact, but it is a fruitless endeavor. For secret knowledge to truly be of any importance it must pertain to how we are to relate to God – NOT what Jesus had for breakfast. Anything that claims to be hidden knowledge that contradicts what God has revealed about His nature and how we are to know Him is a fraud (and can easily be seen to be false with minimal examination of it’s roots, history, timeframe, etc.). What is recorded in Scripture makes it clear on how much God loves us and how we are to know Him. I SUSPECT that during the 40 days Jesus went over His fulfillment of God’s sacrificial plan for the sins of the world and explained what we have recorded in the Bible – the apostles seemed slow to get the meaning of the crucifixion and Christ’s resurrection as can be seen from them missing it over and over in the Scriptures. If there was anything at all essential to the Christian, God would have inspired the Biblical writers to record it, as He did the rest of Scripture. Also, I cannot help but believe during those 40 days the followers of Jesus drew strength for life and the missionary efforts ahead by being in the presence of the crucified and risen Lord – worshiping Him and receiving spiritual benefit directly from His presence. They were in the presence of God made flesh – their sins had been washed clean by His blood shed on the cross – just as our sins are forgiven today.

  30. gundeck says:


    We are told, in one of the same books we find the virgin birth, what Christ taught after his resurrection.

    “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” in your AV (Luke 24:27)

    If you can, will you please provide the the original source for Nibley’s quote, He has a well documented tendency to take sources out of context makes this necessary. I assume that this is Clement of Alexandria, not Rome as the other texts mentioned are from the third century AD.

    For the life of me I cannot understand why you take such a pejorative view of scholarship in service to the Church. Machen who I pointed to earlier, explains in his book “What is Faith” that properly defined, in its historical context, a disciple is in fact a student and “The student who accepts what we say without criticism and without thinking on his own is no doubt very unsatisfactory; but equally unsatisfactory is the student who undertakes to criticize what he knows nothing whatever about.”

  31. subgenius says:

    simple answer, and one which many ignore, is that a prophet is man. The LDS church and members always recognize this simple truth.
    Since so many love Greek origins for words, this “man” is an “inspired teacher”. This definition does not make a prophet infallible, it does not mean that a prophet is not subject to error. Continued guidance and revelation is vital both in Biblical times and our current times. The only people who seem to expect perfection from LDS prophets are non-LDS members.
    So, how can we be sure that what a prophet says is “true”?
    Revelation 19:10
    Bottom line is, as we all know, context has an influence but also, God reveals sometimes all at once, and sometimes gradually (eg read how Jesus reinforced or revised previous commandments and teachings). Isaiah 28:13
    Yes, prophets are capable of making mistakes, being influenced, and even getting it right.
    Mormons sustain the president of the curch as being the only individual who receives revelation on guidance of the church.
    This guidance must testify of Jesus Christ or it is not true prohecy. This is the balance for members…we are not blank-eyed slaves to the prophet. We “heed” the guidance from our prophets, not blindly follow.

  32. Sub,

    In order to do what you described to grindael, you have to actually take a position and say Prophet X at such-and-such a place is wrong. And then proceed to explain why. Furthermore, it would seem if you or your church feel that some former teaching is wrong then, they need to openly and permanently reject such a teaching as well as the writings in which it is found. “It” would no longer be scripture, at least not in the sense that other teachings and writings are. Otherwise, one is just picking and choosing teachings when they are convenient. It also raises the question of how many errors does a prophet get before he is considered false.

    Sub, your attitude does not seem to be shared by 19th century Mormons. They were much more truculent about their prophets and seers. If non-Mormons hold your prophets to a higher standard, it is in part to the words of those 19th century Mormons including GA’s. Indeed, your very position in itself seems to be a correction or about-face from 19th century Mormonism.

    So, in order to apply what you stated what teachings (if any) of former GA’s are bogus? Do you side with Matthew (and Luke) on the Virgin Birth or with 19th century GA’s? Did Joseph Smith get his renderings of certain words in Isaiah, Mattthew, and Luke (the ones that pertain to the Virgin Birth) wrong in the JST? You see in order to call a prophet fallible you need to actually take a side and show where he messed up.

  33. HankSaint responded to my “casting pearls before swine” comment with

    Can anyone out there who is a Creedal Christian explain what this member of the Church of Scholars just said?

    Please read my earlier post. As I wrote earlier, my view is that Jesus is not telling us to withhold information; rather he is telling us not to offer our “valuables” to an unworthy cause or leadership.

    When I read your comment “I would bet my life that not one of them (the Mormon prophets and GAs) would smear God or find Him to be immoral”, my immediate reaction was that this is exactly what you have done. You have offered your “valuables” (your “life”) to an unworthy cause or leadership. So has every other Mormon.

    You may say “that’s my prerogative”, which it is. You should note, then, that the Biblical view is that it is a Godless, shameful thing to take a precious thing that was entrusted to you and waste it on something that is unworthy (see Hebrews 12:16). The Biblical view is that such an action is not confined to a person’s individual choices, but brings shame on the whole community.

    Normally, I’d take my membership of the “Church of Scholars” as a compliment, but you did not meant it that way. What’s the problem? Jesus was a scholar; he knew the scriptures. So did all the other Biblical authors. Learning the scriptures is a good thing, isn’t it? Luke 1:1-4.

  34. Incidentally, I was thinking about the scenario Jesus draws in the Parable of the Vineyard in Mark 12:1-12.

    Earlier I posted that the “farmers” could not appeal to the Father to overturn the Son’s judgment, which I interpret to point to the Son’s full divinity (the Name above all Names – meaning “no higher court of appeal”, etc).

    Esau, whom I mentioned above, gives us a precedent for a father refusing his son’s petition in Genesis 27 (Gen 27:34-35, in particular).

    So, its not a foregone conclusion that the Father will acquiesce to the Son’s decisions. Normally, and to the contrary, the Son acquiesces to the Father’s decisions (see John 5:19). However, both Mark 12 and John 5 suggest a greater unity between the Father and Son than a “normal” father/son relationship. In this case, Jesus’ relationship with the Father is quite different from ours.

  35. subgenius says:

    David W
    jeepers, are you this critical of Catholics over the Inquisition? If you wish to persecute 19th century Mormons, then so be it, they are easy targets since they are not here to provide rebuttal. I am not a 19th century Mormon just as you are not a 19th century christian – and they surely apply some (not all) things different than you do today, right?

    What prophets had errors?
    Joseph Smith was not the best banker, was he? and the “moonmen”
    Polygamy, at the time, could be viewed as tantamount to Levirate marriage. (though some perverts will “imagine” other motives)
    B. Young – probably wrong about the circumstances around mountain meadow.
    Kimball thought BY would be president
    Pratt and the mormon return to Missouri.
    Isaiah and Damascus
    Ezekial and a 40yr uninhabited Egypt
    Jonah and Nineveh

    My view on the Virginity of Mary?…i “heed” the current canonized scriptures of our church. But i am not afraid to inquire about the subtleties of Matthew’s and Luke’s nativities…after all, according to Martin of Brisbane, there is a compliment to be found in being “scholarly” with the scriptures. Aside from this thread i have never been overly preoccupied with the status of Mary’s hymen.
    However, the one term(s) i missed any meaningful discussion on was “conceived” “conception”
    to me this definition is intensely critical to this discussion.

  36. Mike R says:

    As this thread is winding down a recap on the
    reasonings by our LDS guests as to why they felt
    that Mormon leaders did not teach that HF
    came down and had physical relations with Mary.

    – “It’s not stated clear enough in the Standard
    Works.” Answer: Mormon leaders have interpreted
    the written Word.Their interpretaions were
    posted for all to read.

    – “It’s not offical doctrine”.
    Answer: It was shown that just because a
    doctrine was’nt labeled as “offical”, does’nt
    mean it is’nt a true one.

    – “It does’nt matter, only Christ’s atonement
    Answer: The true identity of the One who hung
    on the cross starts with the true identity of
    the One born in Bethlehem.Only the True Eternal
    God becoming man, could righly pay the huge
    price for humanities sin.A unique Person doing
    a unique act on the cross.This is compared to
    a non-unique person, one of millions of gods,
    being begotten in a non-unique way(sex) then
    dying on the cross.

    – ” We don’t know the minute details, the exact
    “mechanics” of the Virgin Birth”.
    Answer: Mormon leaders revealed enough. They
    used the corresponding terms for “sexual inter-
    course” etc.

    – “You’re taking our leaders’ statements out of
    Answer: the statements were posted for all to

    – “It was only a “speculative” or “suggested”
    Answer: This rational does’nt stop LDS from
    believing in even the most basic doctrines
    of Mormonism.Example: belief in Heavenly
    Mother, this true doctrine has also been
    called a “suggested” one, by an LDS Apostle.

    – ” We need not question His(God) method to
    accomplish His purpose”
    Answer: LDS leaders revealed what the method

    – ” Isaiah 55:8 ” was used. Answer: Mormon leaders
    teach that they know “the mind of God”, con-
    sequently God must have revealed this teaching
    to them. Is’nt that what a Prophet does?


  37. falcon says:

    After watching our Mormon posters spin their wheels for several days here there are several things that are readily apparent. First of all they don’t have any set of rules, guidelines or principles to guide them in having a meaningful discussion with anyone outside of the Mormon bubble. Their knowledge and understanding of Church history, the Bible, and Biblical exegesis is deplorable. What they have demonstrated, however, is that if someone wants to believe something, any explanation will do. The tortured explanations of what the Mormon prophet wolves really meant regarding the Incarnation of Jesus Christ points clearly to what ignorance bolstered by blind enthusiasm brings.
    The teaching and tradition of the Church and the Scriptures make it clear what the Incarnation of Jesus Christ was all about. What we are dealing with here is a spiritual deception that has been seen since the time of the Gnostics. Is the teachings of these heretics what the Mormon restoration is all about? I would say yes. The Mormons and the Gnostics both claim secret revelation. So if Mormons want to fall head long into the heresy of the Gnostics and embrace it, I say go for it. Just don’t pretend that this is what the Church taught.

  38. Mike R says:


    Perhaps when we realize that devout Temple going
    LDS, today, believe in exactly what we have
    been sharing here, that this provides one of the
    strongest proofs of this doctrine. If it’s one
    thing LDS believe, it’s authority. The authority
    of their leaders as reliable guides on spiritual
    truth.A sincere LDS no doubt feels safe with their
    leaders promise of protecting them from false
    teachings. It’s been promised:

    ” These Apostles and Prophets, the revelators of
    God, were to act as a protection for the people
    against false prophets and teachings…If you
    want to know what the word of God is, go to the
    Council of the Twelve or the First Presidency.
    ….they will keep you on the right track so
    that you will not need to worry.” [Apostle Mark
    Peterson,Teachings of the Living Prophets,p30]

    Pres. Joseph F. Smith gave a sermon at a quarterly
    conference in 1915 wherein he asked LDS Sunday
    school teachers to teach, among other things, the
    Virgin Birth to the young in the church. In his
    sermon he was careful with lanuage , but to the
    adults present it was plain enough. Other LDS
    teachers in the late 1960’s were being explicit
    enough in their teaching that Harold B Lee, just
    a few years before he became the Prophet, told
    these teachers to stop teaching this doctrine.
    Today of course it’s denied that it was ever taught, it does’nt fit the image the Church wants
    to convey. Yet as we have seen, there have been,
    and are today, LDS who’ve been faithful to their
    past priesthood leaders.

    I think that if the leaders of the Mormon Church
    would issue a public statement calling this
    teaching wrong, that it is a false teaching, that
    their colleagues who did teach it were mis-guided,
    then that would go a long way in making LDS and
    “EV’s” dialogues more meaningful.

  39. Sub,

    If a prophet, seer, or apostle of God errors, or even sins, in some area I can handle that. However, if he is wrong about a religious teaching, a doctrine, or a prophesy it really does call into question his status. If Matthew says “A” and B. Young says “Z” what am I supposed to make of that? They both cannot be right. If Young (or any other GA) flatly goes against scripture then how can I trust anything he says?

    Several pertinent questions that I, and others, have posted on this topic have gone unanswered. Sub, if you really do “heed” your canonical scriptures then what do you make of the quotes by GA’s that flatly contradict the infancy narratives of Jesus? What has lead you to believe that Matthew, Luke, and Joseph Smith got “almah”,”παρθενος”, and “γινωσκω” wrong?

  40. Sub,

    FYI, I do not go into much depth into the Inquisition (or any other persecution) with Catholics. However, when it comes to the issue of Papal infallibility & supremacy, and often the Eucharist, I am a pitbull.

  41. grindael says:

    This has been an interesting discussion for me because it confirms to me that there is nothing presented here to make me regret the decision to leave the mormon church.

    Sub-genius explanations for what a prophet is, and why they do/can teach false doctrine (although sincere) is disingenuous. What makes it so is not that these ‘prophets’ are men and can make mistakes, it is that teachings like Young’s Adam God Doctrine were clearly said by him to be revelation from God. This revelation was accepted by other prophets and apostles, while not accepted by others. This does not change the fact that it was a ‘revelation from God’ to Young. He stated this clearly, and on more than one occasion.

    The ramifications of this doctrine (Adam God) and one can include the virgin birth and the denying of the priesthood to blacks (done in the face of smith’s ordaining a black man into the Melchezedek Priesthood) all of which originated with Young, is that they speak to a serious lack of knowledge on who God is. That Young and other ‘prophets’ had ‘opinions’ is irrelevant to this discussion because they spoke as prophets declaring what they revealed to be the ‘mind of God.’ If Young got who God IS wrong, how can he be a prophet who ‘speaks for God?’ This statement by Young is enlightening:

    “… When we can see that very character [Michael] and talk and live with him in our tabernacles, if we are so fortunate as to get there into his society, then we can say that to us there is but one living and true God, and he is the father of our Lord Jesus Christ and of our spirits…

    “I tell you this as my belief about that personage who is called the Ancient of Days, the Prince and so on, but I do not tell it because that I wish it established in the minds of others; though to me this is as clear as the sun, it is as plain as my alphabet. I understand it as I do the path to go home. I did not understand so until my mind became enlightened with the spirit and by REVELATIONS OF GOD;…

  42. grindael says:

    “… neither will you understand until our Father in Heaven reveals all things unto you. To my mind and to my feelings those matters are all plain and easy to be understood” (MABY, April 25, 1855).

    Even though Young gave up trying to make this ‘revelation’ binding on the church, it does not change the fact that he ‘had’ this revelation and said it came from God. If this man could err so greatly concerning who God IS, then how can ANYTHING he says be taken as ‘the will of God’?

    Comparing these modern prophets with leaders of other Christian Churches does not work because the prophets of mormondom have repeatedly said they know the ‘mind of God’ and have the keys to obtain his will at leisure, and CANNOT lead the Church astray. Again, this statement by Wilford Woodruff is still the current stance of the Mormon Church:

    “The LORD will LEAD [the President of the Church] WHERE HE WANTS HIM TO GO. WE KNOW GOD IS WITH HIM, AND HAS LED HIM ALL THE TIME . . . It REQUIRES [the prophet] to tell us what is right and what is wrong in many things, because that is his place and calling.. . A PERFECT CHANNEL exists BETWEEN THE LORD AND HIM, through which he OBTAINS WISDOM, which is diffused through
    other channels to the people. That we know. We have got to learn to bring this knowledge into practice. THE LORD WILL NEVER PERMIT me OR ANY OTHER MAN who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. IF I WERE TO ATTEMPT THAT – THE LORD WOULD REMOVE ME OUT OF MY PLACE.” – (Wilford Woodruff, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church)

    smith himself said:

    “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God and to know that we may converse with him …” (JD 6:3).

    If Young does not know who God IS, then who is he ‘conversing with?” Why, if he taught false Doctrine as proclaimed officially by Spencer Kimball was Young ‘not removed out of his place?”

  43. grindael says:

    Young also claimed on three separate occasions that he got the Doctrine from Smith himself. (see David John Buerger, link above)

    Another track this discussion has taken is to use ‘Gnostic’ writings to try and verify the Mormon Belief System. This has been addressed by mobaby, so I will only say that those who go down this road have no real knowledge of Gnosticism, which was condemned by the Apostle John in the Bible. (CF 1 John 4:1-6) These ‘comparisons’ of Mormonism to ancient cults by Nibley and others have long since been discredited. (For an eye-opener on how crazy this can get go to this website: http://www.einarerickson.com/)

    This, coupled with personal attacks have done nothing to add to this discussion; and are a common tactic of mormons backed into a corner by real evidence.

    The whole basis for the Mormon Church is that it is a ‘restored gospel’, and restored directly by God himself, who is in constant communication with ‘His prophets’. They state that ALL other religions are FALSE, and only their religion is TRUE because they have ‘living prophets’ who are the ‘oracles of God’ and have been ordained to specifically lead the church through ‘revelation’.

    This is the premise under which I joined the Church. Butthese teachings by Young were explained away to me, (as many try to do today) and it was not until I went to BYU and had access to archives that I learned the full truth in the early 80’s & left the church.

    Mormons cannot have it both ways. Either God did restore His Church through these ‘living prophets’ and is in constant communication with them, or they are men like all others, with only opinions and no AUTHORITY to claim they have a ‘restored’ gospel. This authority that sets them apart (according to them) and makes them unique. To say ANY prophet has taught false doctrine (such as Adam God)and by inference THE VIRGIN BIRTH (as it came from the same source) disavows the basic premise of the Restored GosGospel and justifies it’s falsehood.

  44. grindael says:

    Hank the Scholar enlightened us with this:

    “So we have a TRUE gnosis, a certain knowledge, entrusted to the general authorities of the church after the resurrection and, as far as we know, to no one else. This was precisely the knowledge which the so-called Gnostics later claimed to have. From the titles and contents of recently found Gnostic writings it is plain that their special boast was to possess “What Christ taught to the Apostles after the Resurrection.”

    He then tells us to go to a Pro-Mormon web site and:

    “receive light and knowledge …”

    Perhaps, as with his own church writings, Hank might want to actually ‘read’ the Pistis Sophia instead of quoting apologetic mormon speculation. For any that have the time to sift through all the gibberish in the Pistis Sophia, here is a link: http://gnosis.org/library/psoph.htm

    Because the Pistis Sophia (Greek for “Faith Wisdom”), outlines a system of punishment and rewards that includes reincarnation, it is OBVIOUSLY not a true representation of the teachings of CHRIST, since this doctrine is condemned in the Bible.

    For example it teaches that the actual soul of Elias the Prophet was reincarnated into John the Baptist.
    (see Pistis Sophia Chapter Eight) The book also explains the differences in one’s fate as a result of past-life actions. A “man who curses” will be given a body that is continually “troubled in heart.” A “man who slanders” will be given an “oppressed” body. A thief will be given a “lame, crooked and blind body.” A “proud” and “scornful” man will be given “a lame and ugly body” that “everyone continually despises.” It teaches that this earth, as well as hell, is a place of education through suffering.

  45. grindael says:

    Some souls experience hell as a place of shadows and torture. However, after these souls pass through hell, they return to earth for further experiences. Only a relatively few extremely evil souls are not permitted to reincarnate. These souls are cast into “outer darkness” until a time when they are “destroyed and dissolved.”

    These fantasies of ‘secrets’ entrusted to the GA’s of the early church are amusing. It is not ‘scholarship’ to read through these writings and cherry pick phrases that seem to ‘match up’ to modern Mormonism. Perhaps if Scholar Saint searches enough, he can find confirmation of the Latter Day GA’s teaching on the virgin birth. The closest it comes to this is when Sophia (Wisdom), desirous of emulating the “alone-begetting” Supreme, gave birth, without the connivance of her syzygy partner, to a mystic spiritual being. But since “Sophia” is equated with a Universal Mother or the Holy Ghost, this would create some problems for the mormons, wouldn’t it?

  46. grindael says:

    Conceived: To become pregnant with (offspring).

    Luke 1:26-37

    When Gabriel appears to Mary she humbly asks (in v. 34), “How can this be since I have no husband?” She was ready to believe that she might give birth to the Messiah, but that she might give birth as a virgin was beyond comprehension. But her attitude was humble and open and so Gabriel answered her as far as he was allowed. Verse 35: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” Gabriel’s answer to Mary’s question, How? is very simply and delicately: THE HOLY SPIRIT. Beyond this, revelation does not go. How can a virgin have a child? How can the human child be the divine Son of God? Answer: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you . . . THEREFORE the child to be born will be called the Son of God.” The word “therefore” in Luke 1:35 is tremendously important. It shows that the conception of Jesus in a virgin is owing to the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit. And it shows that the divine sonship of Jesus depends on his virgin birth.

    It has been implied that the conception of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit in the virgin Mary is not essential in the doctrine of the incarnation, since Jesus would have been the Son of God even if the virgin birth weren’t true. The words of Gabriel do not agree. In answer to the question, How can a virgin conceive? (become pregnant) he says, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, THEREFORE the child to be born will be called holy, the SON OF GOD.” Jesus can be called Son of God (v. 35), Son of the Most High (v. 32) precisely because he was “CONCEIVED by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.” It is an unfathomable mystery that all the fullness of deity should dwell bodily in Jesus (Colossians 2:9). It is fitting (indeed necessary, I think) that the entrance gate to this mystery of incarnation should be the virgin birth

  47. falcon says:

    The words of scripture are clear regarding the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. God can and did declare Mary pregnant just like He declared/spoke all of His creation into being. He’s God. He is the all powerful, all knowing God. What’s the big deal? The Spirit of God was “hovering” over the surface (the emptiness) when the earth was formless and void. (Genesis 1:2) The Bible tells us that, “then God said….”.
    Gabriel told Mary “you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus”. Mary says, “How can this be since I am a Virgin/know no man.” Gabriel says, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.”
    So Mormons deny what the Scripture clearly says and what the Church fathers taught going back to the time of the apostles who were first hand witnesses of all these things. “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the Word have handed them down to us” (Luke 1:1)
    The Mormon posters have even denied what their own prophets have clearly taught regarding their blasphemous pronouncements on the Incarnation of Jesus. Again, it simply proves that distorted thinking can and will develop any explanation no matter how irrational and declare it “faith”. There is very little that can be done by reasoning and scholarly debate with a cult member. Their thinking processes have been altered to a degree that they cannot comprehend what the Word of God is revealing. The Bible talks about this and that these folks will be given over to their own distorted and entangled jumble of false teachings and thoughts.
    The folks that God has sent here to learn of His Gospel are witnessing the light of the truth shine through the darkness and will be delivered from this perverse and false religion of Mormonism.

  48. HankSaint says:

    Mobaby, “That which is recorded in Scripture is sufficient to know who God is and how we are to know Him. I choose not to speculate on secret knowledge that cannot be known and makes no difference regarding salvation or knowing God. You can speculate on hidden knowledge 2000 years after the fact, but it is a fruitless endeavor. For secret knowledge to truly be of any importance it must pertain to how we are to relate to God – NOT what Jesus had for breakfast.

    Sorry this is off the topic, but since one of the Creedal Christians (Falcon) alluded to something different and made a false accusation against the mormons I feel free to respond in kind. So the forty days of teachings is pertinent to part of his criticism of secrecy.

    The New Testament mentions the forty-day ministry but provides only limited detail. One Christian Scholar here mentioned that this was answered in Luke, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” in your AV (Luke 24:27)

    The New Testament mentions the forty-day ministry but provides only limited detail. For example during this time Jesus appeared to the Twelve with Thomas present (John 20:26-29), spoke of “things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3), “and many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book” (John 20:30). Paul mentions that on one occasion Jesus “was seen of above five hundred brethren at once” (1 Cor. 15:6). Finally, before his ascension Jesus commanded the apostles to go “into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15-16; cf. Matt. 28:18-20; Luke 24:47-48; John 21:15-17; Acts 1:4-5).

  49. HankSaint says:


    Over forty accounts outside scripture claim to tell what Jesus said and did during his forty-day ministry. Latter-day Saints believe that some of these accounts, like the apocrypha, contain things “therein that are true,” but in addition contain “many things…that are not true” (D&C 91).
    These accounts report the following: Jesus teaches the apostles the gospel they should preach to the world. He tells of a premortal life and the creation of the world, adding that this life is a probationary state of choosing between good and evil, and that those who choose good might return to the glory of God. He foretells events of the last days, including the return of Elijah. He also tells the disciples that the primitive church will be perverted after one generation, and teaches them to prepare for tribulation. These apocryphal accounts state that Christ’s resurrection gives his followers hope for their own resurrection in glory. Besides salvation for the living, salvation of the dead is a major theme, as are the ordinances: baptism, the Sacrament or eucharist, ordination of the apostles to authority, their being blessed one by one, and an initiation or Endowment (cf. Luke 24:49; usually called “mysteries”), with an emphasis on garments, marriage, and prayer circles. These accounts, usually called secret (Greek, apokryphon; Coptic, hep ), are often connected somehow to the temple, or compared to the Mount of Transfiguration. Sometimes the apostles are said to ascend to heaven where they see marvelous things. Whether everything in such accounts is true or not, the actions of the apostles after the post-resurrection visits of Jesus contrast sharply with those before.

  50. HankSaint says:

    Many people dismiss accounts outside the New Testament with the labels apocrypha, pseudepigrapha, fiction, or myth. Some ascribe them to psychological hallucinations that the trauma of Jesus’ death brought on the disciples. Others discard such traditions because sects later branded as “heresies” championed them. Most ignore them. Latter-day Saints generally tend to give thoughtful consideration to them, primarily because of the long, detailed account in the Book of Mormon of Christ’s post-resurrection ministry among the Nephites and Lamanites “who had been spared” (3 Ne. 11-28).

    Source, http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Jesus_Christ

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