Mormonism’s Grinch and a Response to James of Lehi’s Library

Mormonism’s Grinch smiled and said,

“‘Only Begotten Son.’ Only Begotten in the flesh, meaning in mortality. This designation of our Lord signifies that he was begotten by Man of Holiness as literally as any mortal father begets a son. The natural processes of procreation were involved; Jesus was begotten by his Father as literally as he was conceived by his mother.” (Bruce McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary 1:144)

His smile grew bigger and he said,

“Christ was begotten by an immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers.” (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 547)

You got that right, I just won’t give this issue a rest.

James S. (Mormon) of the blog Lehi’s Library chimed in earlier today with a substantive comment. I have some forthcoming YouTube videos on this subject of Mormonism and the not-so-virgin birth, but I’d like to use this Christmas blog post as an opportunity to respond in text.

Let me start out by saying that I appreciate the comment James wrote, even though I have a vehement response to offer.

James writes,

Undoubtedly there have been LDS who believe that God the Father had sexual intercourse with Mary. There are still some who do. I hope that Aaron’s presentation points out the following things:

1. No statement by any LDS leader explicitly teaches that God the Father had sexual intercourse with Mary. Some of them hint at it, but nobody actually says it.

So let me get this straight: that they said it without saying it—that they communicated it without using the most explicit language available–mitigates the hideousness of it? They essentially communicated that God the Father had sexual intercourse with Mary, but were polite about it, and that is supposed to put more “merry” in our “merry Christmas”?

Is this akin to the increased tendency in Mormonism to describe “becoming full-blown Gods who are worshiped and prayed to as the Holy of Holies and Almighty God by billions of future spirit children” as “becoming like Heavenly Father”?

Is using euphemism to describe jaw-dropping blasphemy one of the fruits of the Spirit? As you can tell, I am outraged that you extol your leaders for mainly avoiding the use of direct language. For now,

a) I think you perhaps overstate the degree to which leaders were unclear about the issue. See the aforementioned McConkie quotes.

b) As Mike Reed points out:

“Some of the quotes critics use are indeed ambiguous, but I believe that this is at least partly due to the fact that the early saints were living in the Victorian era (1831-1901), when discussion about sex (and the mechanics involved) were highly taboo. But other quotes are a little more explicit…”

James writes on,

2. The real focus of such statements is on the literal father/son relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ. LDS are concerned that some will mistakenly read Matthew’s and Luke’s words to mean that Jesus is the son of the Holy Spirit. LDS want to simply emphasize that God the Father is in fact the father of Jesus Christ in a literal way, and not in a symbolic way.

I agree that is the general focus, but the issue for me is not a matter of emphasis, but rather of propositional truth/false content. Did or did not God the Father have sexual intercourse with Mary? Leaders essentially affirmed this and fostered within members a tendency to believe it.

I believe this appeal to emphasis (or lack thereof) plagues discussion over grace, faith, and works too, so I have thought about it before. The example I sometimes give is this: What if congress had put forth an Affordable Health Care bill that emphasized better cost control measures, better use of technology, efficiency, and regulations on health insurance providers, yet in one footnote in only one of thousands of pages, required that every citizen–while living–donate one of their kidneys?

Do you think the excuse, “But that wasn’t the focus of our bill!”, would be a reasonable response to those concerned?

Think about it another way: If Mormon leaders had, in passing, taught that Jesus was a horrific sinner in pre-mortality and then redeemed by another savior from another generation in the ancestry of the Gods, would it solve the problem by pointing out that they hadn’t emphasized this teaching? I assume (I hope?) you agree that it wouldn’t.

3. Those LDS who might believe that God the Father had sexual relations with Mary usually also believe that they were married. No LDS conceives of a situation in which unmarried individuals had sexual intercourse to procreate the Son of God.

Hence Brigham Young taught (as Orson Pratt):

“The man Joseph, the husband of Mary, did not, that we know of, have more than one wife, but Mary the wife of Joseph had another husband.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. 268)

On a somewhat related note, because of quotes like this from Brigham it is unreasonable to assume that Brigham had Orson Pratt’s The Seer condemned partly over any major disagreement with Pratt over this issue. They essentially agreed that Mary and Joseph “associated together in the capacity of Husband and Wife.” (158-9) Brigham’s disagreements with Pratt concerned other matters. Indeed, Young and Pratt seemed far more in agreement on the not-so-virgin birth than Mormon apologists are today.

4. Many (most?) LDS today do not believe that God the Father had sexual intercourse with Mary. It is an incredibly difficult thing to gauge because it isn’t an issue anyone wants to talk about. For LDS, it is totally irrelevant to salvation and so we don’t really care all that much. It becomes hard to know how widespread this folk doctrine is, but it is possible that only a minority believe it anymore.

I happen to agree (with qualification) that it has become a minority view in Mormonism today, and I mentioned this in my presentation. My qualification is this: in my experience, when Mormons do find out either that leaders taught such a thing, or that some fellow modern Mormons still believe it, they usually shrug their shoulders. That isn’t good. It shows me there is still a heart-matter, a lack of repentance over the issue.

Also, I object to the term “folk doctrine” here if it is not made simultaneously clear that it was a belief fostered significantly from the top-down. It was promoted, fostered, acquiesced to, and today is still essentially is condoned (tolerated) by leadership. It’s a “folk doctrine” only if considered in the same sense as historic Mormonism’s institutionalized, leadership-endorsed doctrine of blacks in the pre-existence. It is a folk doctrine that had its significant origin in the Brethren. It was an institutionally fostered folk doctrine. I say this because I get the impression people use the term “folk doctrine” to get leaders off the hook.

5. Notions of sexual intercourse between God the Father and Mary spring from an era in which there was only one way to conceive a child….sexual intercourse. God revealed to LDS prophets that Jesus Christ is the son of God the Father, and then left LDS leaders and members to work out how exactly that works. In the early days of the Church, before the miracle of in vitro fertilization was developed, one logical conclusion was to suggest sexual intercourse.

I agree. And this shows all the more that Mormon leaders weren’t referring to something like in vitro fertilization. They were referring to an act of sexual intercourse between a mortal woman and an immortal man, something which Mary was thought to have been able to withstand only because the Holy Ghost empowered her to participate.

6. Today, with the development of in vitro fertilization, nobody has any reason to suggest that the mechanism by which God the Father’s chromosomes were contributed had to have been through sexual intercourse.

If by “nobody”, you mean thoughtful Mormons like Cheryl Bruno (bored in vernal) who write,

“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.”

… then yeah, I can see how you would say that. More directly to your point: Cheryl did not say it had to happen this way. But this is the way many Mormons (including the past leaders who spoke on it) were naturally led to believe it happened. Mormonism lacks a Biblically robust and faithful view of God’s power to perform miracles, and it fosters a view  of God the Father as an exalted man who was just like one of us. The problem isn’t how Mormonism says it “had to be”; the problem is Mormonism’s larger system of theology which suggests how it naturally happened (especially when considered in conjunction with statements by past leaders).

7. The LDS released the following statement to Fox News: “The Church does not claim to know how Jesus was conceived but believes the Bible and Book of Mormon references to Jesus being born of the Virgin Mary”

This sidesteps the issue of whether Mormon leaders like Orson Pratt and Bruce McConkie were correct to redefine “virgin” to a woman who hasn’t had sexual intercourse with a mortal man. I originally noted this persistence of ambiguity in the statement to Fox News here.

8. Nephi said the following: “And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.”

The Book of Mormon teaches a lot of things that aren’t believed or at least aren’t unequivocally, officially affirmed by Mormonism anymore. You have to understand that outsiders like me see the Book of Mormon as representing the Mormonism of 1830, not necessarily the Mormonism of 2010.

9. Ezra Taft Benson said: “He was the Only Begotten Son of our Heavenly Father in the flesh—the only child whose mortal body was begotten by our Heavenly Father. His mortal mother, Mary, was called a virgin, both before and after she gave birth”

See #7.

10. Finally, this now famous statement from the LDS Newsroom is appropriate: “Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church.”

I have responded to the its-ok-it’s-not-official attitude here. In short, there is no binding and official position in Mormonism on what constitutes a binding and official position. But more important, lack of officiality doesn’t resolve the bigger issue of whether something is true or false. As I wrote to a Mormon a few days ago:

At the end of the day I don’t care if something is “official” [well, to some degree I do, but not as much as other concerns], and I don’t believe my engagement of Mormonism should be limited to that which is allegedly “official.” As I outline in the aforementioned article, our concerns with Mormonism as an institution and as a collection of personal individuals trasncend the abstract, impersonal, elusive notion of what is “official.” Instead of asking yourself if something is “official”, ask yourself whether it is true. Instead of asking whether a false teaching by a Mormon prophet is “official”, ask yourself whether the false teaching is the kind of fruit that Jesus warned would proceed from false prophets. Instead of asking whether a quote by a Mormon prophet is in the “official” Standard Works, ask yourself whether the teaching led people astray and impacted real individuals, with names, birthdays, hopes, beliefs, emotions, families, bank accounts, and eternal futures.

James writes on,

In summary, the LDS Church does *not* teach that God the Father had sexual intercourse with Mary. Some LDS leaders in the past have emphasized the doctrine that God the Father is the actual biological father of Jesus Christ’s mortal flesh, and the implication in that day and age was that it must have been done through sexual intercourse. But it was never, ever, ever, taught as an “official” doctrine of the LDS Church, and it has been specifically repudiated by later prophets.

An unambiguous, unequivocal repudiation would require more than a simple affirmation of the “virignity” of Mary–it would also require a repudiation of the historic Mormon redefinition of the term “virgin” itself.

The issue of “what the Church teaches” is a complicated one. Because different Mormons have different views on what it even means for the Church to teach something, it is an issue that covers institutional teachings, tradition, scripture, academia, and cultural views which are acquiesced to and indirectly perpetuated by leadership. It’s a big issue, and again, I would refer you to my article on the issue of official doctrine.

But I do want to thank you for at least being so honest and explicit to say that some LDS leaders thought “it must have been done through sexual intercourse.” Mormon apologetics has a long history of avoiding explicit admissions like that, so it is refreshing.

It is simply unChristian to misrepresent this issue, and to not tell the whole story. I hope that Aaron tells the whole story.

It would indeed by unChristian of me to misrepresent the issue, which is why in my presentation I have tried to take a very broad and holistic approach to it, replete with qualifications. But the burden not to misrepresent goes both ways: Mormons have an ethical responsibility not to offer up glib and superficial responses like, “We never taught that” or “We don’t believe that.”

James, thanks for your thoughtful comment. Have a merry Christmas!

To the broader Mormon readership: If you buy into McConkie’s view of the not-so-virgin birth, or if you at least shrug your shoulders at it like it’s no big deal, then I hope your take the Mormon “Christ” out of Christmas and replace it with the true Jesus Christ of the Bible, truly born of a virgin!

Again, merry Christmas!

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71 Responses to Mormonism’s Grinch and a Response to James of Lehi’s Library

  1. Jon B says:

    A well-presented response, Aaron! Kudos.

  2. Aaron,

    Thankyou for bringing some clarity to the issue, which is something that the Mormon leadership seems reluctant to do (so much for "making it plain", or whatever it is that they're claiming to be doing).

    I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone here a very happy Christmas.

    Also, I'd like to back-track very briefly to an argument I seem to have provoked on…. I didn't have the time to respond to the posts last week (or even read them fully) because every spare hour I had was going into directing the music for our Christmas Eve service. I don't wish to re-ignite the issue on this thread, but I would like to note that I value f_melo's views and I thank him for his considered and thoughtful responses. Like many of you, f_melo has "been there", and I haven't. I respect that, and I'm willing to learn from it.

  3. wyomingwilly says:

    Aaron, a well reasoned response. The whole issue resolves around Mormon leaders and their
    claims of being the sole spiritual guides that God uses to dispense His truth to the faithful LDS who
    follow them. They're offerings of spiritual truth to their followers, whether comunicating using a direct
    approach or, in a chosen indirect approach of using "hints" , makes no difference as most LDS
    " got their drift " etc. LDS are told the chain of authority from prophets J.S. to today is paramount
    to their belief structure , yet this chain has some broken links due to heresy. The precious Mormon
    people deserve a more reliable set of spiritual guides. Though well intended and striving to live moral
    lives, these leaders have failed to make good on their claims , which today is called the "….one place
    we can turn to for pure, unpolluted guidance." May LDS find the true Christ of Christmas this season.

  4. falcon says:

    Mormonism has built into its tradition, a type of plausible denial-ability. That is, a way to wiggle around truly embarrassing and let's just say plain stupid comments by their so called inspired leaders. The fact of the matter is that these goof balls would go into full fledged stream of consciousness mode and articulate whatever impulsive thoughts crossed their minds. These guys were theological train wrecks and I'm over stating it by using the word "theological". These dummies give the word a bad name.
    But here's another point about the people who will buy-into this nonsense. The more obnoxious, preposterous and just plain loony a teaching is, the more some will embrace it. To them the preposterous nature of a thing requires super spiritual insight and incredible faith so to believe it is to win the religions battle ribbon of the true believer. This is how folks got sucked into the practice of polygamy with its promise to the male of Celestial glory as a god. Let's face it, if someone will believe that they can work themselves into a level of righteousness and purity to become a god, they will believe anything.
    Cults have a way of flipping things on there heads and making it seem normal. A recent episode of the TV series "Bones" has someone telling Bones about an experiment that was done whereby people were fitted with special glasses that caused their eyes to see everything upside down. However after three days the brain adjusted and now with these special glasses on (where by everything was upside down) the subject saw everything right side up. Then the glasses that caused the effect in the first place were removed and guess what? Everything appeared upside down to the subjects. It took three days for the brain to adjust to normal again.
    When Mormons came to believe in Joseph Smith's false claims, they in effect and metaphorically speaking, put on Smith's magic glasses. These glasses have the spiritual effect of having the people see upside down but soon it became normal. For those who really buy into the upside down effect of Mormon theology, it takes a move of God's Holy Spirit to get them to see spiritually right again. The Mormon blasphemy is not one from which some people are easily delivered from. God in His infinite love and mercy will cause those who express faith in Him, as He is and not some upside down version, to be born again by the Spirit and in doing so to have everlasting life.
    At this time of Christmas God is calling on folks to come in humility and devotion to the One who eventually paid the full price for our sins that believing in Him we should have eternal life. False prophets come into the world with a false message that ends in spiritual destruction. God reaches out with a gift. Who would not accept what God has to offer?

  5. Mike says:

    Just because McConkie says Christ was begotten in the "same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers", you automatically assume that means intercourse? That is some intellectual wiggle room right there. Could it be that an egg in Mary was fertilized by a sperm (ie: like the mortals), but it was done so without Him even being physically present? He is God after all – I'm pretty sure that's not beyond his ability.

  6. Goldarn says:

    "And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation."
    That's from the Doctrine and Covenants, section 68. It's referring to missionaries, not apostles, but I don't think I'd be remiss to apply it to them (as a lifetime Mormon, I had heard it quoted as referring to leaders). As a Mormon, I expected that Prophets and Apostles speak under the influence of the Holy Ghost at General Conference, at the very least. We were (many times) presented with the question, "If you knew Christ was going to be on TV this weekend, wouldn't you watch to see what He has to say? Well, those that speak what He would speak are on speaking at General Conference!" If the past leaders of the Mormon Church, who call themselves Prophets, didn't bother to listen to the Holy Ghost before speaking, what is the point of having a Prophet? To claim to "speak for the Lord" on one hand, and claim that it's only folklore on the other, is very dishonest.

  7. falcon says:

    It's part of the Salt Lake City LDS brand that the leaders stumble and bumble along making doctrine that results in, in subsequent years, of Mormons having to hold two distinctly opposite convictions simultaneously. What I mean is, Mormons make much about their prophets hearing directly from the Mormon god. However when said prophets proclaim stupid things, the Mormon faithful are left to the mental process of embracing the infallibility of the prophet while repudiating what the prophet proclaimed.
    The judo move that is a favorite of Mormons is to say that the prophet was merely speaking for himself, that is, giving his opinion. The other flip-em over the shoulder move is to declare that prophesy is progressive in nature and is thus subject to change. Mormons are the poster children for cognitive dissonance. Giving up one's sense of integrity and intellectual honesty is a requirement of being a genuine true to life Mormon believer.
    At the end of the day about the only thing that a Mormon who wants to continue in the Mormon masquerade has left is the good old stand-by personal testimony. That covers a multitude of sins and has the twin effects of making the Mormon feel good and super special.

  8. Eric Johnson says:

    I gave one of MRM's "Brigham Young" million dollar tracts to a gentleman in Provo just outside the Missionary Training Center. He was a teacher there and was engaging us. As he looked the tract over, he halfway began to deny that what the tract was saying was true. We pulled out the 1972 Family Home Evening Journal and showed him the quote from the tract. He looked at it, smiled, then said, "I know." I responded, "You know. So why were you trying to say the tract was inaccurate?" He smiled again, acknowledged his leadership's teaching, and began to defend the teaching, saying, "Let me get this straight. You don't like this because you don't like sex?" He missed the point entirely.

    I believe his attitude is common. It's a bit uncomfortable, I'm sure, talking about this issue in the way the leaders have put it, so the natural reaction is to not talk about it at all. But until the LDS leadership decides to "correct" this teaching and reprimand anyone who espouses the doctrine, Aaron is exactly right. I wonder, Why not call on your leaders to repudiate the teaching of your former leaders if you no longer believe it? Instead, we only get silence, and to me, silence makes the church culpable of retaining an abhorrent belief that even the apologists recognize is too readily accepted by many Latter-day Saints today. Regardless of what the LDS apologists may say about this teaching being "official," there is no doubt that their leaders have taught this, even in correlated curriculum. Like they have done (so often) with polygamy, denouncing it at every step in recent years regardless of the fact that this teaching hasn't been part of the church for 120 years, I say they should have President Monson set the matter straight in April. Have him say it's not official doctrine, and for those who believe it, anathema. Then the LDS apologists will have some footing for their shaky position.

  9. Mike Reed says:

    I agree with your interpretation of McConkie's remarks, and am pleased that (despite your qualification) you concede the folk-doctrine is a minority view in Mormon culture today. But is it really necessary to call people to repentance over it? I asked my son this morning how he got into his mother's tummy, and he said, "Jesus put me there… Jesus put me in, the size of a grain of sugar, and then I grew to become the size of a little baby." Should I call my son to repentance, since he obviously does not understand the mechanics involved? Should I love him any less? Should I deem him unworthy to be in my presence? If not, then why is the aforementioned “heretical” belief (as you call it) such a big deal in the eternal scheme of things? Do you really think a loving God would care as much as you do? Why does the idea disgust you so? Direct answers to these questions might be appropriate in one of your forthcoming youtube posts…

  10. Mike Reed says:

    Explaining what exactly makes the folk-doctrine “heretical” might also be beneficial. Does the teaching necessarily contradict scripture, as you seem to imply? I assume that you are aware of my blog entry "Hieros Gamos and the Problem of Virginal Conception." If not, you can read it here:… As you will see, my blog entry was in direct response to your seemingly unfair criticism of my Mormon friend Kevin Barney. I’d love to read a rebuttal from you, if you have one. Just a few suggestions/requests. Thanks again for your thought provoking post, and I hope you and your family are having a Merry Christmas.
    Best regards,
    Mike Reed

  11. Mike Reed says:

    James wrote: In the early days of the Church, before the miracle of in vitro fertilization was developed, one logical conclusion was to suggest sexual intercourse.

    Aaron replied: I agree. And this shows all the more that Mormon leaders weren’t referring to something like in vitro fertilization.


    My response: James' conclusion rests upon a false premise here. Artificial insemination was performed as early as 1784: Moreover, the possibility of artificial insemination was understood centuries before.

    "Bonaventure [1221-1274] argues… that spirits are unable to create humans biologically. Demons beget children by assuming the form of a woman, having sexual intercourse with a man, preserving his semen, as assuming the form of a man, and depositing the now-demonic semen into a woman. (Thus the demons were the first to perform artificial insemination)." David Keck, "Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages" (Oxford, 1998), 33.

  12. Mike, given McConkie's cumulative history of remarks on the issue, as well as the Mormon tradition he was perpetuating (wherein we have Brigham and Orson, etc., explicitly saying that the Father "came down" [Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 238] and was in Mary's "immediate presence" [The Seer, pp. 158-9]), the most natural conclusion is that he was referring to the common method of conception / method of begetting–sexual intercourse.

    But lest you think it is merely critics who have come to this conclusion, remember that many Mormons have come to this same conclusion too.

    PS A related quote for you by Melvin J. Ballard, contemporary of Talmage, Mormon apostle, and grandfather of M. Russell Ballard:

    "No man or woman can live in mortality and survive the presence of the Highest except by the sustaining power of the Holy Ghost. So it came upon her to prepare her for admittance into the divine presence, and the power of the Highest, who is the Father, was present, and overshadowed her, and the holy Child that was born of her was called the Son of God.

    "Men who deny this, or who think that it degrades our Father, have no true conception of the sacredness of the most marvelous power with which God has endowed mortal men—the power of creation. Even though that power may be abused and may become a mere harp of pleasure to the wicked, nevertheless it is the most sacred and holy and divine function with which God has endowed man. Made holy, it is retained by the Father of us all, and in his exercise of that great and marvelous creative power and function, he did not debase himself, degrade himself, nor debauch his daughter. Thus Christ became the literal Son of a divine Father, and no one else was worthy to be his father." (Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin J. Ballard, p. 167)

    This is like the First Vision but kicked up a notch. Mary not only needed the sustaining power of the Holy Ghost to withstand the presence of Heavenly Father, but also to participate in the sexual act of begetting.

  13. Thanks for the link, I haven't read it but will put it on my will-read list of virgin birth material. You might be interested in Michael Hesier's lecture on the issue.

    Merry Christmas!

  14. "But is it really necessary to call people to repentance over it?"

    Mike, I'm not calling Mormons to repentance for ignorance over the exact mechanics that God used. I believe the New Testament teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin (and the flow of the narrative makes it clear that this was done without intercourse; Mary wasn't merely a "young woman"). Mormon leaders have denied this and naturalized it. It is blasphemous to speak of (explicitly or implicitly) God having sex with a human, not because sex is inherently evil (it's not), but because of the nature of deity. This is something Christians have believed for thousands of years.

    Overall this seems like something the common Mormon conscience is aware of, however overridden by other beliefs. Usually Mormons spend their time in denial over whether it was even taught, or over whether non-officiality solves the problem. So to be honest, I don't feel a big burden to prove that it's wrong to think that God the Father had sexual intercourse with Mary, although I will address it in the series. People generally already have a strong sense of that.

    It's much like the issue of whether God the Father was once perhaps a horrific sinner. I strongly believe that Mormons already know in their conscience that this is wrong. I'm not so much arguing for their conscience as I am directly appealing to it.

    Merrrrrrry Christmas.

  15. I should qualify: all the main quotes by leaders concerning the not-so-virgin birth were before actual human artificial insemination was developed. But Mike's point is well taken: leaders already had access to a generic knowledge of artificial insemination, and could have by analogy appealed to this as a mechanism. But instead they made painstaking appeals to the process as "literal", non-figurative, requiring "immediate presence", "natural processes of procreation", etc. And then they went out of their way to argue for how this wasn't "degrading" to God or Mary, mentioning how this process is otherwise abused and made a "harp of pleasure" by the wicked.

    Below in the thread, Mike (not Reed) argues that it requires "intellectual wiggle room" to conclude speakers like McConkie were speaking of sexual intercourse, which leaves me dumbfounded.

  16. On a related note, even the entry for "virgin" at's "Guide to the Scriptures" says,

    "A man or woman of marriageable age who has never had sexual intercourse. In the scriptures, a virgin may represent someone who is morally clean (Rev. 14:4)."

    Mormons in general seem to already understand that the New Testament concept of "virgin" usually entails someone not yet having had sexual intercourse. Even Pratt & McConkie's attempt at redefinition (not having had sex with a mortal man) betrays this underlying assumption.

  17. f_melo says:

    "I would like to note that I value f_melo's views and I thank him for his considered and thoughtful responses"

    I appreciate that! You´re one of the people here that i respect and from whom i always learn something, and i was able to understand some of the points you were making that were misunderstood, but as you said, there´s no need to re-ignite the issue.

  18. f_melo says:

    "….one place we can turn to for pure, unpolluted guidance."

    Those are just empty words. It´s very upsetting to see Mormons boasting of how Joseph Smith restored the full truth, and clarified things that from reading the Bible alone were difficult to understand. Yet, after that, all you have is confusion. The removing of the Lectures on Faith comes to mind among many other examples. Depending on the topic, some members can´t even agree among themselves regarding many points of doctrine and they usually settle after someone says "it´s is this way because the prophet says so and we´ll receive further light on the matter probably on the other side of the veil".

  19. Mike Reed says:

    Aaron: I believe the New Testament teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin (and the flow of the narrative makes it clear that this was done without intercourse; Mary wasn't merely a "young woman").

    Me: I accept your interpretation of the NT as a valid possibility. However, as I explained in my blog linked to above, I don't think it is the only valid interpretation. I remain unconvinced that the NT rules out hieros gamos.

    Aaron: It is blasphemous to speak of (explicitly or implicitly) God having sex with a human, not because sex is inherently evil (it's not), but because of the nature of deity.

    Me: And some Muslims would say, because of the nature of deity, that it is blasphemous to teach that God became flesh.

    Aaron: This is something Christians have believed for thousands of years.

    Me: I suppose it depends on how you define “Christian.” Some Ebionites, for example, rejected the virgin birth, and some Gnostics rejected the whole notion of Jesus being born at all.

  20. Mike Reed says:

    Aaron: Overall this seems like something the common Mormon conscience is aware of, however overridden by other beliefs.

    Me: Mormons of the 21st century, that is. Right? 😉

    Aaron: Usually Mormons spend their time in denial over whether it was even taught, or over whether non-officiality solves the problem.

    Me: Understood. And I think you are justified in your desire to confront the first scenario. The second, however… I am not sure why it matters to you so much, since it seems obvious (I think to both of us) that the 21st century Church is moving away from the “folk”-doctrine. It seems to me that (as an evangelical Christian) you should instead be applauding this transition.

    Aaron: So to be honest, I don't feel a big burden to prove that it's wrong to think that God the Father had sexual intercourse with Mary, although I will address it in the series. People generally already have a strong sense of that… I'm not so much arguing for their conscience as I am directly appealing to it.

    Me: I doubt Kevin Barney (whom you and Bill McKeever criticized last year) has this “sense”.

  21. Mike Reed says:

    Aaron: Mike, I'm not calling Mormons to repentance for ignorance over the exact mechanics that God used…. Mormon leaders have denied [Virginal conception] and naturalized it.

    Me: You said in your previous youtube video, “If you shrug your shoulders and say it doesn’t matter, what does that say about your heart?” Well… frankly, as an agnostic I shrug my shoulders and say that the teaching doesn’t really matter. What does that say about my heart? What does that say about my Mother, or my best friend—both of whom are believing Mormons and do the same? Can you see how highly offensive your accusatory question is? What does it say about your heart for asking such a question? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that it doesn’t say much about your heart at all. Perhaps you should grant Mormons the same courtesy.

    Just food for thought, Aaron. I know you mean well.


  22. Mike Reed says:

    Great. I'll read Hesier's lecture too.

    Thank you.

  23. f_melo says:

    Falcon, i grew up in the church and i always took it more seriously than most kids my age. By the age of twelve i had read the entire Book of Mormon, Discourses of Brigham Young and some other old priesthood book that i can´t remember the name right now. Because of that i was able to discuss the "deeper" doctrines of the Church with the adults and i remember quite a few times when we where having some of those discussions and one of the members would lower their voice and say things like "…but we now that what really happened was that god had sexual intercourse with Mary…", for example.

    I usually left with the impression that we were a "special" group of people that were more spiritual than the majority and therefore we were able to bear those "deeper" doctrines and normally discuss them, while everyone else remained in ignorance because of their lack of spirituality and proximity with god. It´s kind of the same thing that goes on with secret societies that promise hidden knowledge, etc.

    I thought some of the things Brigham Young taught were so weird – if i remember right in that Discourses of Brigham Young he teaches that Adam and Eve were brought here from another planet… but i got to check that out again because it´s been a loooooooooong time since i´ve read that stuff.

    A little later i did read the entire D&C and Miracle of Forgiveness, and Miracle of Forgiveness was overwhelming, i felt terrible reading that and instead of dwelling on it i just trusted that God knew my heart and i should be fine. I was mistaken there but now i know.

    "This is how folks got sucked into the practice of polygamy"

    I think the reason that is also is because it makes you a unique people. It gives you the feeling of being "holier than thou", closer to God and deserving of the more precious blessings God had promised to the faithful. I remember Shawn McCraney pointing that out on one of his shows, he calls that "twistianity". Joseph Smith wanted to make Mormonism unique and to do that he had to re-define every single doctrine of historical Christianity – and i could say most of its "success" is about the way it is presented(as it happens today as well with the missionary discussions).

  24. f_melo says:

    "If the past leaders of the Mormon Church, who call themselves Prophets, didn't bother to listen to the Holy Ghost before speaking, what is the point of having a Prophet? "

    It´s because they have a on/off switch. You´ve got to watch very close for it otherwise you can easily miss it and take one of their opinions as actual church (official)doctrine.

    Seriously, i think the prophet is, in a way, a father figure – an authority figure that provides the nice warm fuzzies so many people need today "in this world of growing uncertainties and shifting moral values". The church makes sure to impress upon its people that they can´t protect themselves(or their families) from those dangers that life presents without the guidance of a living prophet called by god. So, if there´s no prophet to tell them no to watch pornography how will they know not to do it? Forget about trust in Jesus – you must have a prophet to declare what you can or you can´t do, what you can or cannot watch on tv, what you can or cannot eat, drink, etc.

    The bottom line is, the Mormons are treated like little children that, without that prophet-father figure that controls every aspect of their lives, are completely lost(not to mention the fact they can´t have their families forever sealed to them without him either).

  25. f_melo says:

    "At the end of the day about the only thing that a Mormon who wants to continue in the Mormon masquerade has left is the good old stand-by personal testimony"

    You just reminded me of the times i got up during fast and testimony meeting to bear my testimony only to impress my family/friends. How well you bear your testimony is considered as status among the more faithful Mormons. I´ve lost track of how many phony testimonies i´ve bore in the past. 😛

  26. f_melo says:

    " But until the LDS leadership decides to "correct" this teaching and reprimand anyone who espouses the doctrine, Aaron is exactly right"

    Aaron and Eric, that´s a great, great point!

    I was just talking about that with a friend a while back. Here´s the deal, if you don´t sustain the prophet you´re considered an apostate and you could be excommunicated if you don´t raise your hand during stake conferences. What does that have to do with the point made above? Simple, if you know that a doctrine is incorrect and the current authorities have not taken notice of it and you try to raise the issue and take action, if action is not taken by the leadership to correct it and nothing changes, and because of it you openly declare that the Church(and therefore the prophet and apostles) is in error by not correcting that doctrine, you could be counted as someone who´s not sustaining the prophet and could then be easily excommunicated because of apostasy. To sustain the church leadership is to say amen to everything they say or do, and to never question them in any way whatsoever – even if you´re right.

  27. f_melo says:

    Aaron said " It is blasphemous to speak of (explicitly or implicitly) God having sex with a human"

    Not only that, but did you read that quote saying that Mary had more than one husband? Are you crazy? God the father of Mary had to marry her to lawfully have intercourse with her? I´m impressed that doesn´t disturb you in any way… It´s one blasphemy after another spoken by so-called apostles of Jesus in these latter-days, men that supposedly should have the greatest amount of respect for Jesus(and supposedly the ones who should know him better than anyone else, right?)

    Those "goof balls"(like Falcon said) were completely spiritually blind in regard to the scriptures and instead of simply affirming what the gospels say about Jesus they decided that they had better address an issue caused by their theology – because if the Godhead is composed of three distinct beings and the Bible says Jesus was conceived by the Holy Ghost then that would make Jesus child of the Holy Ghost and you can´t have that… but that´s not a problem for people who believe the Bible to be true.

    What a mess came out of that… and, for me, those views expressed by mormon leaders fall under the same category of the slander the jews were responsible for by saying that Mary was a prostitute, that Jesus was the child of a Roman centurion, etc.(see books of Jesus in the Talmud).

  28. Sarah says:

    I wish that in the Mormon Article fo Faith #8, the would change the word "translated" correctly (about the Bible) to "interpreted" correctly. Because that's what all this comes down to, isn't it? When Mormons can't explain something logically (and this all started with Joseph Smith and the early Mormons), they find ways to explain it. Example: God was once a man because they simply can't fathom the infinite and everlasting nature of God, Mary and God begetting Jesus the old-fashioned way because it's out of the scope of their mind to believe she was a virgin, even the Fall being a good thing and not original sin, and other doctrine. So they find explanations in the same way when something in the Bible doesn't make sense, they find a way to explain it.

    I find it interesting, then, that when it comes to the Book of Mormon, that's the most illogical piece of Mormonism and yet they find perfect faith in it.

    The virgin Mary argument — it scares me. But at the same time, it makes perfect sense. If God was once a man who became exalted, of course he just had sex with Mary to have Jesus. But if God were infinite and everlasting and GOD, well, that's how I believe it was a divine moment where God simply conceived of life in Mary's virgin womb. Period. And that is where some of the greatest faith must come into play.

  29. falcon says:

    I am really curious, how in the world did you ever make it out of Mormonism? I'm always interested in not only the spiritual dynamics but the natural tie-in with the emotional and behavioral aspects or religious beliefs-particularly of those folks caught in what I consider cultic societies.

  30. falcon says:

    Well Sarah I couldn't agree with you more and I use to try to see this from a rational, logical point-of-view wondering how in the world people could flip things and see what is ugly as beautiful. There is truly an emotional base to all of this with at least a cup full of slick cult indoctrination techniques, but this is also a spiritual battle. The Bible talks about people coming under a spirit of delusion and also of (people) hardening their hearts the more they hear the truth. There is a book I have around here some where called "The Beautiful Side of Evil". I've referenced it a few times on this blog over the years. It deals mainly with the occult and the perception of light some people get from things that we would see as darkness. I use to think that all was necessary to get Mormons to turn it around was to demonstrate to them from the Bible the errors of their way and also add some knowledge concerning Joseph Smith and the history of Mormonism. I was astonished to learn just how deep into the clutches of Mormonism these folks are.
    We see the horrendous, ugly and blasphemous nature of the suggestion that God had literal sex with the Virgin Mary. Mormons groove on it and see it as a wonderful, blessed event. How can that type of twisted thinking be……untwisted?
    Let me repeat what I've said several times before. I think Calvinism with its five points may have something!

  31. Mike Reed,
    The reason why it is a huge issue on the topic of Did God have sex with Mary or not is because, if God did have sex with Mary that poses tons of problems.

    First off, Just go back to Genesis, If the devil can use people to destroy Genesis, then that throws doubt upon the word of God. God told Adam and Eve of a Savior to come in the future, that would be Jesus. Then when you read through the OT, They dont know the exact details, but the prophets prophesy of the future Savior (Jesus) to come.

    Then we have the prophecy of a virgin being born, at the Time that was a strange prophecy since that was not helping the people hearing about a virgin having a baby. When that prophecy was given, they understood it to me exactly as it was stated, a Virgin having a baby, not a young or middle age women having sex with a guy, husband or otherwise and having a baby.

    Now the scriptures go onto say

    Luke 1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
    Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

    The way it is worded, it is implied that Mary is already with Child, and if Mary says, Hows that possible for I have never know a man, then that means she did not and could not have had sex. But lets say for the sake of the argument, she not already with Child, instead of the angel saying, you will be overshadowed, You would think that the angel would have said, Mary, Gods needs to Mary you then impregnate you with the Savior. Or he could have said, Mary, God the father needs you to give birth, but in order for you to get pregnant he needs to (Donate) Some seamen for you to insert so you will have His child. That is stupid and not taught.

    What I dont get is, and I know Mormons do not hold to creation of of nothing, but if God could create the entire human race, all creatures and the entire universe, then surly He could simply put a baby in a women with out means of Sex or artificial insemination. Call me crazy for thinking that way.

    So yes Mike it really makes a big deal since it throws scripture out the window and makes God out to be less than all powerful and shows His word is wrong.

  32. wyomingwilly says:

    Mike, you can ALWAYS find " wiggle room " if you really need an excuse bad enough. Anybody can
    resort to this . The point is , what did Mormon leaders teach ? It was taught that God did come down
    to visit Mary. This is'nt such a stretch when one considers Mormon doctrine concerning God, since
    once you reduce Almighty God into being a mere man, a more refinded version of every human male
    walking around today, add to this how God produces children in heaven just like we males do here,
    and you can see it's all downhill to make God the literal father of Jesus through intimacy with Mary.
    2 Peter 2:1

  33. wyomingwilly says:

    Mike Reed, help me out here will ya ? You mentioned that you're an agnostic, so as a non-LDS
    can I presume that your " artificial insemination " rational is only a guess on your part or do you
    have evidence that Mormon leaders taught that God literally used this method to impregnate
    Mary ? Brigham Young was fond of testifying that he learned the truths of the scriptures from
    his mentor Joseph Smith. No doubt his wife Emma learned much from her husband also. I
    remember reading about how when she went looking for Joseph that she found him in the
    barn with a young woman. Emma said she peeked through the door and saw the whole "transaction".
    Could this word, "transaction" be another way of saying "artificial insemination" ? After all , you said
    this procedure had been used somewhere many years before Joseph's time. Make sense ?

  34. clyde says:

    From the scripture you cite it seem to me that she is not with child but will happen soon. You said 'makes God out to be less than all powerful' I could say that about christianity when the fall is bought up and someone says God settled for a lesser plan. The reality is probably that we don't have a complete idea of how powerful God is. We do know that His son was sent to redeem the world and how it happened should not really matter.

  35. Mormons seem to get hoisted on their own petard here, possibly because they are trapped by two immovable dogmas;

    1 God must have a physical body, or he doesn't exist. Not according to James E Talmadge and his "Articles of Faith".

    2 God cannot create something from nothing. He cannot say "Let there be…" and see it come into existence; he can only work with pre-existing matter in a kind of Fred-Hoyle-like eternal universe (Fred Hoyle's views have now been discredited by Stephen Hawking's "Big Bang" theory)

    The two are inter-linked. God has a physical male body with all the requisite equipment for sexual reproduction and in order to "create" Jesus' body, he has to get his DNA into her body, just like everybody else. Mormons look at themselves and say "God must be like me".

    If only they'd look at the Bible. They call it the "Word of God", yet they seem incapable of reconciling it with the concept that it is how God describes HImself to us. In it they would see that in some ways God is like us – we have the capacity to know him. In others he is stranger than we can possibly imagine – how can the source of all that is "fit" into the form of a vulnerable child and experience life as we experience it?.

    This "same but different" tension permeates the Gospels in particular, starting with Jesus' conception and ending with his ascension. To paraphrase the pioneers of quantum physics; if it doesn't shock you, you haven't properly understood it.

  36. Plainly, the Mormon view on the conception of Jesus is not what the NT authors described. Mormonism has different concerns and it has a different agenda. It is not credible to assert that it shares the concerns and agenda of the NT.

    Rather than press the point about why the Mormon view is wrong, I'm going to briefly lay out some of my thoughts on why this issue is important, particularly with respect to what the message of the Bible has to say to us today.

    (I'll preface it by noting that this is an area where I have found Evangelicals to be typically weak, which is highly regrettable. Maybe it's because we need to use language that's too "Catholic" or "liberal" and that, too, is a shame, because we deny ourselves a very rich area of practical theology that provides a better diet than the ubiquitous pop-Christianity that blights our Faith.)

    1 The Incarnation means that we can see what (the) God is like – face to face and in the flesh. We're not talking about an emissary or a representative or a second-in-command here. This is direct contact. It's like you've seen all the TV shows and read all the books, but you never really knew what kind of person the President of the USA was until he turned up on your doorstep and lived in your house for about 35 years. The point is, we no longer have to speculate, or rely on some kind of media to transmit the information. As John writes "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory…" (John 1:14). Hebrews writes "In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…". He is "Immanuel" – literally "with us (is) God". Why? So that we could see him for what he truly is.

    2 The means of the Incarnation was that God created something out of nothing by his word, much like the creation story of Genesis 1. This is what God does – he creates something out of nothing, and it's especially true of his church. He doesn't need us to sustain him or partner him in his enterprise. He doesn't need to wait for circumstances to be "just right". He doesn't even need the "raw material" to work with. He does not need to experiment – he gets it right first time. His divine fiat is enough on its own to do what he wants (and this is the big difference between us and him).

    3 God came into our world, as it is. He didn't come into our world as it </>should be. He didn't wait for us to "clean house" before he came. Though the Gospels record that there was a small community ready to accept him on his own terms (with Mary taking the critical, lead role), and there were generic and varying expectations for the coming of the Messiah, there is no sense that certain conditions had to be met before God would arrive. There are two very important inferences here; the first that God turns up when he wants, the second that we cannot manipulate God into turning up by our religion, or by any other means. These are the rightful entry points for understanding both grace and election and they are the rightful basis of our relationship with him.


  37. ctd…

    4 God comes as a discrete, recognisable person. In being one "thing", he is not another. This is how the Incarnation answers pantheism, which holds that God is not just "in" everything – he "is" everything. It also answers Gnosticism – God is not an esoteric knowledge that permeates all knowledge – he is a "person". Surprisingly, that means we can negotiate with him; "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18, KJV). You can't do that with an impersonal set of ordinances and principals, or a "law".

    5 The Incarnation is the intersection between heaven and earth. What I mean here is, we can talk about "earthly" things (politics, sport, culture) and we can talk about "heavenly" things (religion, faith, justification, inheritance) but it's difficult to see how the one touches the other. The Incarnation shows us that these "spheres" of life can, and should, relate to each other. In the person of Jesus Christ, heaven touches earth and earth touches heaven. They affect each other. The divide is bridged. In Christ, the two do not contend with each other, but they are reconciled (see Colossians 1:19-20). Finally, we have a home in which our earthly and heavenly natures can dwell as one united whole (which is good news, because we are by nature earthly and heavenly beings, and neither realm can provide us with this home without the cooperation of the other).

    6 The Incarnation is not just a past event, it's the present reality that God calls the church into. Just like Mary, who became the means by which God's Word became flesh in the world, so the church is called to bring God's Word into a living tangible reality today, in our world. The Word of God becomes something that can be seen and touched in the life of every believer, individually and corporately. We "live out" the Word. It is the script that we follow, such that it takes on a recognizable shape and meaning, and the only way to "live it out" is by faith. It's not just in the "big" things, or even the "religious" things, but in all aspects of life, including the humdrum routine of a carpenter's workshop.

    I could rant on forever about this stuff. There's so much in there. It's not just about a hollow code, like a dry, soul-less street map telling you how to get from A to B. It's a "bringing to life", like the arrival of a new-born baby, with all the joy and all the changes and all the complications it brings. I don't expect everyone to agree with me on everything I've written here, but I hope to convince you on one thing – it's important. That's why Aaron is right to contend for it in the face of enemies of the Christian Gospel.

  38. falcon says:

    Sorry Clyde,
    But it does matter. The only people who it doesn't matter to are cultist who want to deviate from the norm and come up with their own fanciful, aberrant and heretical views of who God is and what His plan of salvation entails. What we see is that cults like to attack first and foremost the integrity of the Bible, God's revealed Word, the Virgin birth of Christ, the Blood Atonement, and the nature of God.
    As Christians we know we are in a spiritual battle where by the enemy will attack and attempt to corrupt the basic fundamental doctrines that explain God's plan for mankind. The Bible reveals who God is, how man came to be separated from Him and what God has done in order to reconcile (mankind) to Him. The devil is quite clever in attempting to corrupt the fundamental precepts of the faith.
    It makes a difference!

  39. Clyde,
    As far as the fall goes, God did not resort to a lesser plan. The Bible tells us that before the foundation of the earth, the lamb was slain for us, so God knew before the earth was formed what He was going to do.

    And I laid out that it appears Mary was with Child, but EVEN IF SHE WAS NOT, I said here is what did not happen, you never replied to that.

  40. Martin said

    (I'll preface it by noting that this is an area where I have found Evangelicals to be typically weak, which is highly regrettable.

    I agree, and what it boils down to is, Christians would rather read books by people about the Bible, rather than read the Bible.

    Everything in the NT is in the OT concealed, and everything in the OT is in the NT reveled. If you look at the OT and the passover, we see the entire pass over fulfilled in Jesus. The Lambs in the OT needed to be with out blemish, Jesus was without blemish. The sheeps would live among the people for days before being sacrificed, Jesus lived among us before being killed. The sheeps needed to be inspected by the leaders before being sacrificed, Jesus was "Inspected" by the Jewish leaders with the questions, then the Romans with the false trials. The Sheeps were laid out with wood through the shoulders just like a Cross, so was Jesus.

    You can also see in the OT, That the exact details were given to Moses as how the lay out of the camp was supposed to be, you take those exact details and they form a cross, This was when God looked down from heaven He would see the Cross that was to come. Take the passover, if you were in the house with the Blood upon the doors you were saved, it did not matter if you were Jew or gentile, you were saved. But if you were not in the house with the blood, you would die, regardless if you were Jew or gentile, Jesus saves Both Jew and Gentile if your under His blood.

    Take the City's of refuge in the OT, If you killed someone by accident and you entered the city of refuge, you could stay their and live, but if you stepped out of the city the avenger of Blood could kill you, but as long as the high priest lived, you needed to stay, once the high priest died you were free to go. Jesus said on the Cross, Father Forgive them for they know not what they do. It can be viewed as man slaughter and we committed an accident, But Jesus is our high priest and city of refuge, If were found in Him we will live, But unlike the High priest of the OT Jesus will never Die, so we stay with Him forever. These are many examples of seeing Jesus in the OT and how important it is to believe the Bible and the OT and to read our Bibles.

    Sadly the Mormons refuse to believe this for they want their itching ears tickled, and sadly Many a christian does not know this because they do not read their Bible, or they only read the NT, Since they feel their is no value in the OT, Or they choose to be Luke warm and PC, So as not to offended anyone with the truth.

  41. falcon says:

    What we have in this Mormon concept of the nature of God and by extension, Jesus, is a general degrading of God and an elevation of man. This is such a transparent ploy of Satan, but Mormons, having given themselves over to a spirit of destruction and deception, can't see it. They are spiritually blind. They think blindness is sightedness. And since all of their home-boys are blind, being blind becomes normal.
    We also have a problem with folks accepting special, progressive revelation (so-to-speak) without question. Anyone who is accepted as a prophet in the Mormon cult can wax eloquent on any topic, like the one under discussion here, and the followers must accept it. They are not allowed to disagree until at least the prophet has been dead for a while. Then what was considered a revelation becomes an opinion.
    It is a real top-down, autocratic management style. But that's how legalistic and cultic systems work.
    The followers bear responsibility in all of this. If they didn't accept the precepts and instead had an independent streak, false prophets would dry-up and blow away.

  42. wyomingwilly says:

    Martin, Thanks for sharing your insight on the scriptures . I always appreciate your input.


  43. setfreebyJC says:

    The quote above is so interesting… it's yet ANOTHER tie between Mormonism and demonic/occultic beliefs.
    Mormons follow the practice of witchcraft with the marks on their garments (and garments themselves), they talk about Satan and his followers being able to inhabit the bodies of temple patrons who don't live up to their vows… it's not a mystery here. Joseph Smith was into the occult. That he or his followers would make the spirit/impregnation connection (angels having trouble begetting children, and what they did about it) just downright creeps me out. Sheesh!

  44. RalphNWatts says:


    You said that Adam was taught about Jesus. Where in the Bible does it say that? Just asking because I do not remember it anywhere.

    As far as your claim that Mary was already pregnant when Gabriel came to her, have you read Luke 1:31? It reads ”And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.”

    From what I remember learning in high school English (which BTW I failed so I could be wrong here) “thou shalt conceive” is future tense, indicating that she was not pregnant at the time. When she asked how it was going to happen since she currently wasn't having sex with anyone, then she was told ”The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” We are told nothing more of 'the mechanism' of her conception. So some speculate the sex was involved, others speculate an in vitro set up, others artificial insemination, while others (like me) leave it alone because it is not relevant to our lives. Ultimately we will find out how it happened but right now it is unimportant – the most important thing to focus on was that Jesus as born and is our Saviour and the Son of God.

  45. wyomingwilly says:

    Clyde, do you understand the claims of the prophets/apostles of the Mormon church ? They ,
    as God's spokesman ,declare the mind of God to all LDS . The prophet is said to be a teacher.
    He teaches spiritual truth , he interprets the scriptures . When the prophet proceeds to deliver
    a teaching, especially repeating it over an extended period of time, then that is your way of
    knowing that it does matter ,otherwise the prophet would keep silent. So look at the prophets/
    apostles of Mormonism teaching on the Virgin Birth. See how they try to describe it in a way that
    would get their points accross and yet still be somewhat discreet. Many LDS know what was taught
    some admit it publically. A Mormon has two choices to make on this. Either submit to the prophet
    as a their teacher, or dismiss him as an authority in their life.Because truth matters. Matt 7:15

  46. Dale says:

    I second your wonderful post, Sarah!

  47. Dale says:

    Eric, his reaction to you was disgusting. It sounds like Satan to me.

  48. f_melo says:

    Falcon, it was a series of events… some of which i´ve been sharing little by little on this blog.

    Until my mission i was a strong mormon who held on to his testimony and believed in keeping the commandments the best i could. I had plenty of "spiritual" experiences and i did feel what the mormons call the Holy Ghost on several occasion. Also, the Book of Mormon kind of changed my life – but it was so weird though. Every time i tried to read it as a kid i´d find extremely boring and fall asleep – but when i was almost 13 something different happened. I decided to give it another try and i felt the most amazing wonderful feeling that made me feel an enormous amount of peace – and i know that wasn´t emotional, it was indeed spiritual. Yet what was weird was that that feeling only stayed with me as far as i was concentrated(i was able to figure that out only on my mission, though). As soon as my attention turned elsewhere that amazing feeling of peace would fade away quickly and that would make me feel depressed at times. It was truly an awful roller-coaster with me trying to keep that feeling with me while having to deal with the "world" and having all sorts of spiritual experiences – i knew just as much as anyone that the Church was true.

    So, what happened?!?!? Well, the effects of the "Spirit" wore off. Half-way through my mission i stopped having any sort of spiritual experience whatsoever. I tried hard to start having those feelings and promptings to guide me to the right people and the right places – yet nothing happened. I wasn´t sinning, i was as obedient as i could possibly be, i really took the rules seriously – even so, it appeared that that spirit had left me, and it left me miserable and confused. Besides the mission day-to-day had also took its toll on me because i was always on the go, and i started getting stressed out, frustrated, all that stuff going on, i was just plainly miserable. My hope was to get home to an amazing home-coming with all the great blessings i was sick of hearing about every single time any member of the church would talk to us – – continuing – – –

  49. f_melo says:

    When i got home i didn´t get any of those blessing, and i was so worn off both spiritually and physically that if it wasn´t for my family and friends i´d probably have gone inactive – specially because the very same day i returned i was called as a counselor in the elder´s quorum. I couldn´t believe but i couldn´t refuse it either. Later i also got a calling to be a sunday-school teacher, calling which i kept for the next few years straight.

    At that point i couldn´t even look at the Book of Mormon anymore, only to prepare lessons, so spiritually drained i was. Also in those years i really just did the minimum necessary, i barely did home-teaching, or really engaged in my callings until i was called as a ward-mission leader. After slacking off i thought that was the opportunity for me to get real active in the church again. "Coincidently" i had come across some stuff dealing with free-masonry and the occult, and i was startled with the similarities that had with the church and decided to do a google search about it. I landed on a famous ex-mormon website, and saw stuff like the church building a 4 billion dollar mall, and changes on the intro of the Book of Mormon. I verified that was true and that got me really upset. Then i saw a post dealing with Joseph Smith using a hat to translate the Book of Mormon. I had seen that on South Park(a lot of people mentioned that episode to me on my mission), but i thought they were just mocking Joseph Smith – yet the people were serious about it on their comments and i decided to check it on the Church´s website to find out if that was true. My goodness, the shock, how embarrassing it was to see that David Whitmer quote on Elder Nelson´s talk. That crumbled my testimony – how did i never heard of that in Church? What was going on? I felt cheated and lied to. The straw that broke the camel´s back was watching Bill McKeever talking about what really happened on Carthage Jail – i again went to verify it on the Church´s website, and there it was on a primary manual, the paragraph stating Joseph had a gun. That was it for me, i was so angry that i ripped my Book of Mormon in little pieces. I just didn´t leave the Church immediately because my whole family is mormon and they refused to see what was in front of their eyes, and pressured me and made a huge drama out of it, just to mention a few things. I knew my family relations would never be the same. So, i decided to not be so radical and to wait for things to cool off, and i had a lot of stuff to figure out, because now i didn´t know what to believe about Jesus and where i could really find the truth.

    Shawn McCraney´s show was very important to me at that moment, because it clearly pointed out the contrast between what the Bible said and the church doctrines and that gave me a ground to start with. I also found, and was absolutely devastated for how i had been deceived and manipulated so easily due to my ignorance.

    So, now my family knows i don´t believe any of it anymore but to keep things in peace i decided to not have my name removed from the church until the right time – that has kept them open to listen to what i have to say about the true teachings of the Bible. The minute i resign from the church i know things will change dramatically, so i´ve been praying about it a lot because i hate to think i still am associated with that "church", but i really love my family and you know, i have a big deal of hope they´ll come along – but i´m going to keep praying about it and see how things work out whatever it is i have to do.

    That´s it – any questions, let me know, but i hope i´ve satisfied some of your curiosity.

  50. f_melo says:

    "You said that Adam was taught about Jesus. Where in the Bible does it say that? Just asking because I do not remember it anywhere. "

    Ralph you´ve got to read your own Bible´s chapter headings:

    "Chapter 3
    The serpent (Lucifer) deceives Eve—She and then Adam partake of the forbidden fruit—Her Seed (Christ) will bruise the serpent’s head—The roles of woman and of man are explained—Adam and Eve are cast out of the Garden of Eden—Adam presides—Eve becomes the mother of all living."

    source –

    " We are told nothing more of 'the mechanism' of her conception. So some speculate the sex was involved, others speculate an in vitro set up, others artificial insemination,"

    I know exactly how it happened – and what you´re going to find out after this life, and that is the way God has done everything from the start: He commands it and it happens! That´s it. He said "let there be light" and there was light, He spoke the universe into existence. That might be too "simplistic" for your brilliance and ambitions but it is the truth as revealed in God´s Word.

    " while others (like me) leave it alone because it is not relevant to our lives"

    Especially when your "inspired" prophets and apostles say deeply embarrassing stuff like what Aaron cited.

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