Teaching Mormon Children:
Jesus is God’s Only Begotten Son — In the Flesh

Madonna-and-ChildThe December (2013) Visiting Teaching Message found in Ensign magazine focuses on Jesus Christ as God’s only begotten Son. The message begins,

“Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is called the Only Begotten Son because He is the only person on earth to be born of a mortal mother and an immortal Father…Modern prophets have testified: [Jesus Christ] was…the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.” (“The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ: The Only Begotten Son,” Ensign, 7)

The Ensign article also states,

“As we come to understand more fully what it means for Jesus to be the Only Begotten Son of the Father, our faith in Christ will increase.”

Therefore, in an effort to more fully understand what this Mormon doctrine is, consider a lesson titled, “Whom Say Ye That I Am?” that was provided by the Church in an older edition of its Family Home Evening manual:

This home evening is to help you and your children understand that Jesus is God’s Only Begotten Son…

In What Way is Jesus God’s Only Son?

Read or tell the following story.


The Markham family had been to Sunday School and was driving home…When Jenny was asked what she had learned, she replied, “Daddy, I’m confused. The teacher talked about Jesus’ being God’s only son. I thought all of us were God’s children.”

Ask, Have you ever wondered about this question? How would you answer Jenny? Discuss this with your family, letting each have a chance to express himself.

Now read to the family how a modern prophet answered Jenny’s question.


…I want the little folks to hear what I am going to tell you. I am going to tell you a simple truth, yet it is one of the greatest truths and one of the most simple facts ever revealed to the children of men.

You all know that your fathers are indeed your fathers and that your mothers are indeed your mothers – you all know that don’t you? You cannot deny it. Now, we are told in scriptures that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God in the flesh. Well, now for the benefit of the older ones, how are children begotten? I answer just as Jesus Christ was begotten of his father. The difference between Jesus Christ and other men is this: Our fathers in the flesh are mortal men, who are subject unto death: but the Father of Jesus Christ in the flesh is the God of Heaven…

We must come down to the simple fact that God Almighty was the Father of His Son Jesus Christ. Mary, the virgin girl, who had never known mortal man, was his mother. God by her begot His son Jesus Christ…

Now, my little friends, I will repeat again in words as simple as I can, and you talk to your parents about it, that God, the Eternal Father, is literally the father of Jesus Christ. (Joseph F. Smith [6th Prophet and President of the Mormon Church], Box Elder Stake Conference Dec. 20, 1914 as quoted in Brigham City Box Elder News, 28 Jan. 1915, pp. 1-2)

An Illustration and Discussion to Help Further Answer Jenny’s Question:

At this point, discuss in your own words how Jesus was the only begotten Son of God. You might do this by using the following illustration on a chalkboard or piece of paper.


All boys and girls have a mother and father on earth. Your mother and father, of course, are mother and I. Jesus is the only person ever born on this earth that is different. Jesus had a mother on earth. What was her name? (Mary.) But who was his real father? (Heavenly Father.) So you see, Jesus is the only person who had our Heavenly Father as the father of his body. (Family Home Evening manual, 1972, 125-126)

 There you have it. To learn more about this Mormon doctrine, check out Bill and Aaron’s article at mrm.org, “Redefining the Virgin Birth: Mormonism on the Natural Conception of Jesus.”

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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14 Responses to Teaching Mormon Children:
Jesus is God’s Only Begotten Son — In the Flesh

  1. jaxi says:

    When I was LDS, and because I didn’t believe that Heavenly Father had sex with Mary, I believed that the Holy Spirit did some kind of insemination thing on Mary. That’s how I would work it out in my mind since no one really talked on this subject, at least that was my experience.

  2. Mike R says:

    Jaxi ,
    It comes as no surprise that recent Mormon officials would’nt explain to you about what their
    predecessors taught LDS about the Virgin birth because they fear you as well as non – LDS
    would come to realize that Mormonism is not what it claims to be .

    I’ve heard some very interesting excuses from Mormons about this issue whenever the
    teachings of their leaders are shared with them . There’s the deny- downplay – dodge .
    – deny : most Mormons deny that their leaders ever taught that the Mormon Heavenly Father
    had sex with Mary to produce a human body for his Son , but they did so teach.
    – downplay : some devout Mormons today truly believe that Jesus was born at Bethlehem
    in the way babies are conceived — by a male and female . The male was HF
    and the female was a mortal woman — Mary . These Mormons resort to saying
    however that this is’nt really an important issue and that their salvation is not
    at stake to believe such etc .

    – dodge : many Mormons when faced with what their leaders have taught about the Virgin birth
    simply want to change the subject , and that is usually followed by some sort of charge
    of picking on Mormons , of trying to tear down their faith , persecuting them etc .

    All in all , if the Mormon people really want God’s best for their lives then they will have to
    address this egregious doctrine their leaders introduced as part of their “restored ” gospel.
    This is a serious matter . God does not look favorably on people who follow prophets and
    refuse to hold these men accountable for what they’ve taught , this places the Mormon
    people in a very precarious position .
    The Mormon people can escape this by dismissing their leaders and exchanging them for the
    men who Jesus sent out to teach . These men can be found in the New Testament .
    Mormonism is not the answer .

  3. spartacus says:

    An LDS inadvertently defied his prophets and apostles when he said the following during his Amazon review of Stephen Mansfield’s Mormonizing of America:

    4. His reference to God actually having physical intercourse with the virgin Mary is something I have never heard about. (p 158 #7) LDS people believe the “virgin Mary” gave birth to Jesus Christ, the literal son of Heavenly Father. Mr Manfield apparently does not believe that Heavenly Father is capable of divine intervention.

    I found myself agreeing with the sentiment of his last sentence and sadly amused by the irony.

  4. falcon says:

    The LDS church depends on a population of believers that are taught to follow the leaders and not to do independent research outside church approved material. It’s just “follow the leaders, they will never lead you astray” and “when the leaders have spoken, the thinking has been done”. That’s a good way to keep people living under the domination of the leadership. It’s reinforced by fear.
    So when Brigham Young spoke, was the thinking done? Why would anyone be apart of an organization that demands and requires absolute obedience to the leadership? Sorry lurkers, but that’s a cult.
    The Bible tells us very clearly how Jesus was conceived. Mary was over shadowed by the Holy Spirit and Jesus was conceived. Just read the opening chapters of the Gospel of Luke. It’s all there. Luke 1:35
    When Mormons choose their leaders over the Word of God, it’s inevitable that they will be led astray. Only the devil could put the hideous characterization of the conception of Jesus in the terms that BY did.

  5. Mike R says:

    the teachings about Jesus’ birth which Mormon leaders had introduced to their flock comes
    as no surprise when we realize it is the result of a low view of our Creator that these Mormon
    leaders had invented in the first place . Since the Mormon God is only some ” exalted” human
    male who had been busy in heaven with His wives producing babies then certainly He would
    come down to earth to Mary’s house and sleep with her to produce another baby —Jesus.
    That is Mormonism . But it’s to embarrassing for Mormon leadership today to admit publically
    lest people promptly dismiss their ” restored ” gospel and look elsewhere .

    The Mormon people need know how serious their leaders drifted from the truth . But
    spiritual freedom is available by dismissing the ” modern day ” apostles of Mormonism
    and anchoring beliefs in the teachings of Jesus’ original apostles . Their timeless teachings
    are still wholesome spiritual food for all , especially in the latter days —2 Tim 4:3-4 .

  6. spartacus says:


    You have pointed out the immediate direct beliefs prior to the conception teaching that make it possible, even inevitable. And I’m sure you are aware of this, but I want to point out that it goes even further back in Mormon worldview.
    As soon as Joseph Smith confused the scientific understanding that matter could not be created or destroyed, or energy, with ultimate truth and canonized itand limited God and gods by it he threw our a lot. Out goes the big-G “God”altogether and you get a god that can’t create anything, then a god who is not “capable of divine intervention”, as my LDS acquaintance put it. You get the LDS god who is below other gods and all gods below “eternal principles”, a romanesque god, a o object of the System of Existence, a creature, who can’t “create” beings except by “natural means”.

  7. falcon says:

    In the LDS world Jesus would have to have had two mothers. In Brigham Young’s world the Mormon Adam-god actually had physical sex with one of his spirit daughters. Nasty business!
    First of all the Mormon Jesus would have one of the goddess wives of the Mormon god as his spiritual mother. Then he’d have the Virgin Mary as His human mother.
    What I find interesting about the Mormon Jesus is that he got to skip the initial step in becoming a god. All of the other Mormon gods had to be men first and then become gods. Some how the Mormon Jesus got to be a god by having been taught out there some where, I suppose near Kolob.
    This sort of bizarre stuff is what happens when you get men who suppose they are hearing from “god” and count it as revelation. That’s why these dolts are all over the lot with their doctrines and practices.
    In Mormonism there is no standard by which to compare and judge a teaching, a doctrine or a practice. The Bible is clear concerning who Jesus is and what the Gospel is all about. It’s defined clearly.

  8. Mike R says:


    you rightly point out how non unique the God that Mormon prophets introduced to their flock
    actually is , He’s only a natural man who came down from heaven to Mary and fathered a child
    like any human males do . He’s just one of a multitude of Gods scattered about in the heavens ,
    Himself the product of a God ( and wife ) with more power and dominion than He .
    The precious Mormon people have truly been fooled into following false prophets —something
    Jesus warned would happen in the latter days , Matt 24:11 .
    We’re hear to help them get back to following the true apostles Jesus sent out ( Rom 1:16 ) , and
    dismissing their modern day counterfeits .


    you mentioned Brigham Young’s teaching about Adam -God . That was the result of
    Mormonism’s downward slide into teaching egregious doctrines about God , and false prophet
    Young hit rock bottom in teaching his flock that doctrine .

    The Mormon people deserve better .

  9. falcon says:

    Well this is truly the result of a bunch of guys who were flying around by the seat of their pants making it all up as they went along.
    Endless speculation about whatever came rolling through their minds about anything and everything related to the Bible and Christian doctrine.
    There is nothing as fundamental to the Christian faith as the Doctrine of God. If someone doesn’t get that right, nothing else really matters. Being sincere doesn’t cut it. These Mormon prophets are not only ignorant, but they’re arrogant. This is a very bad combination.

    BTW, I see that a Federal judge has found the state of Utah’s ban on gay marriage, unconstitutional. Does that mean that the LDS church will now allow gays to be sealed in the temple? Here would be a great way for the Mormon prophet and apostles to speculate on how two people of the same gender could procreate in the Celestial Kingdom.


    What would you bet that the two guys pictured in the story were raised LDS?

  10. MistakenTestimony says:

    The first sound that God heard with human ears was the music of His mother’s heart.

    Not one of His daughter’s hearts, not one of the three gods, but the only God who is Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity who took on flesh. Anathema on anyone who rejects this teaching of the one holy catholic and apostolic church.

  11. MistakenTestimony says:

    Sorry, our Lord is the second person of the Holy Trinity, not the third.

  12. Tom says:

    It’s obvious to me (and it was one of the BIG starting points for my departure from Mormonism) that the LDS Church is struggling to define itself, or re-define itself, as the case may be. Things that were common “theology” forty years ago are now being systematically de-emphasized, if not outright denied. While the Mormon church is at it, maybe it should cave on this issue: Maybe it’s time to finally develop and USE a written, authoritative systematic theology or (gasp) catechism. But, of course, they can’t do that; it would put a lid on ‘continuing revelation.’

  13. falcon says:

    The one big question that Mormons don’t ask, which they should is, simply put, “What qualifies any of these guys to be prophets?”
    That would start with Joseph Smith and continue through the whole bunch. Are Mormons aware that there was a group that left Smith early on and to this day see him as a fallen prophet? I’d say they could back it up some and see him as not a prophet at all. But they get hooked on the BoM and seem to like this idea of all manner of spirit beings appearing to Smith.
    The guy who wrote the one and only issue of the Nauvoo Expositor had the guts to expose Smith for what he was doing as far as taking plural wives. As a result he got his printing press wrecked and as a result of this action, Smith eventually ended up getting killed by a mob that stormed the Carthage Jail where he was incarcerated.
    The foundation of Mormons is off and as it was continually tinkered with it became a house of cards built on sand.
    Thus we end-up with all sorts of bizarre teachings and practices that the faithful think are really hot stuff. In reality, I think, Mormons are in love with the idea of Mormonism. The religion is certainly not supported by anything of substance just the endless speculation of a bunch of “prophets” who couldn’t, theologically speaking, spell “cat” if you spotted them the “c” and the “t”.
    The Mormon people deserve better but in the end, they are responsible for what the accept and believe.

  14. Mike R says:

    This doctrine is simply another example of the ” restored ” gospel of Mormonism . We are to
    believe that a complete apostasy of Jesus’ church and from important doctrines concerning
    God / Jesus and salvation occurred soon after the death of Jesus’ apostles .
    This rationale was given by the Mormon leaders who introduced this teaching about Jesus’
    conception/ birth . They claimed that not only was truth about who God is , but also the truth
    about the Virgin birth of Jesus was restored by them . They rebuked the long held erroneous
    teaching about the Virgin birth which ” Christendom ” was teaching by claiming that God had
    finally raised up a “living prophet ” to provide much needed correction . Therefore the true
    doctrine was taught ( discreetly ) —- the exalted human male known as Elohim came down
    and slept with Mary , their offspring was a baby boy who was named Jesus .
    That is Mormonism , and while there are Mormons today who will publically admit this ,
    their leadership can’t afford to publically , as that would hamper the church’s proselytizing
    efforts .

    Sadly those who follow these prophets ” of the restoration” have fallen into the appealing
    trap that Jesus fore warned would take place in the latter days —- Mk 13:22-23 .
    The Mormon people can be free from this predicament by dismissing their prophets .
    We pray for them to ask God for the strength to begin to take that step today .

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