The Virgin Birth!

by Rocky Hulse

April 2002

In the early months of 2002 the opinion pages of the local Iowa newspapers had many letters to the editors attacking my integrity and impugning my motives. It's interesting to note that the documented quotes the writers of these letters we incensed about are not being challenged; but instead only non-rational appeals in an argumentum ad hominem ("an argument against the person" and not against the ideas he is presenting). Only one letter has attempted to repudiate the quotes and that was only for a single source. The writer objected to our position that the Mormon Church denies the "virgin birth." The following is an except from my response letter to this person:

"Many of the resources they use, especially for their more salacious claims, are not "authorized" in any way." You say "Many" yet only list "one", The Seer, and then provide no documentation to support your statement that it was rejected. You simply throw a quote out there, undocumented. Every quote I use Steven is documented. I am very interested in the truth, Steven, and if you'll provide the source documentation, I'll verify it, and if accurate, I'll stop using that source, simple as that.

You object to my using the quote in "The Seer" denying the virgin birth and say that "Mormons do indeed believe in the virgin birth..." well, let's look at some other sources:

(1)     Brigham Young explained the birth of Christ in the following manner: "The birth of the Saviour was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood &; was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers." (Journal of Discourses, Vol 8, page 115) 

(2)      In a sermon delivered in the Tabernacle on April 19, 1852, Brigham Young made the following statements: "I have given you a few leading items upon this subject, but a great deal more remains to be told. Now remember from this time forth, and for ever, that JESUS CHRIST WAS NOT BEGOTTEN BY THE HOLY GHOST. I will repeat a little anecdote. I was in conversation with a certain learned professor upon the subject, when I replied, to this idea - 'if the Son was begotten by the Holy Ghost, it would be VERY DANGEROUS TO BAPTIZE AND CONFIRM FEMALES, AND GIVE THE HOLY GHOST TO THEM, LEST HE SHOULD BEGET CHILDREN TO BE PALMED UPON THE ELDERS BY THE PEOPLE, BRINGING THE ELDERS INTO GREAT DIFFICULTIES.'" (Journal of Discourses, Vol 1, page 51)

(3)      Joseph Fielding Smith, Tenth President of the Mormon Church, stated: "They tell us the Book of Mormon states that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Ghost. I CHALLENGE THAT STATEMENT. The Book of Mormon teaches NO SUCH THING! NEITHER DOES THE BIBLE." (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol 1, page 19)

(4)      Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., stated: "The birth of the Savior was a NATURAL occurrence unattended with any degree of mysticism, and the Father God was the LITERAL PARENT of Jesus in the FLESH as well as in the spirit." (Religious Truths Defined, page 44)

(5)      President Joseph Fielding Smith made this statement: "Christ was begotten of God. HE WAS NOT BORN WITHOUT THE AID OF MAN, AND THAT MAN WAS GOD!" (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol 1, page 18)

(6)      Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie makes the following statements: "These name-titles all signify that our Lord is the only Son of the Father in flesh. Each of the words is to be understood literally. Only means only; Begotten means begotten; and Son means son. Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers." (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pp. 546-547) "And Christ was born into the world as the literal son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father. There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events,...Christ is the Son of Man, meaning that his Father (the Eternal God!) is a Holy Man." (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, page 742)

(7)      The Mormon writer Carlfred B. Broderick made these comments: "There are two basic elements in the Gospel view of sexuality as I interpret it from the scriptures. The first is that sex is good—that sexuality, far from being the antithesis of spirituality, is actually an attribute of God... "In light of their understanding that God is a procreating personage of flesh and bone, latter-day prophets have made it clear that despite what it says in Matthew 1:20, the Holy Ghost was NOT the father of Jesus.... The Savior was fathered by a personage of flesh and bone, and was literally what Nephi said he was, 'Son of the Eternal Father.'" (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Autumn, 1967, pages 100-101, as reported in Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? Page 260)

(8)      Heber C. Kimball, who was a member of the First Presidency under Brigham Young, made this statement: "In relation to the way in which I look upon the works of God and his creatures, I will say that I was naturally begotten; so was my father, and also MY SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST. According to the Scriptures, he is the first begotten of his father in the flesh, and there was NOTHING UNNATURAL ABOUT IT. (Journal of Discourses, Vol 8, page 211)

(9)      A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles "Jesus Christ applies to Himself both titles, "Son" and "Father." Indeed, He specifically said to the brother of Jared: "Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son" (Ether 3:14). Jesus Christ is the Son of Elohim BOTH AS SPIRITUAL AND BODILY OFFSPRING; that is to say, Elohim is LITERALLY THE FATHER OF THE SPIRIT OF JESUS CHRIST AND ALSO THE BODY in which Jesus Christ performed His mission in the flesh, and which body died on the cross and was afterward taken up by the process of resurrection, and is now the immortalized tabernacle of the external spirit of our Lord and Savior. No extended explanation of the title "Son of God" as applied to Jesus Christ appears necessary. (The Ensign of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, April 2002, page14).

As you can see, I do not need to quote "The Seer" to provide ample documentation that Mormon Church Prophets and Apostles have denied the virgin birth. This last quote is from the just released issue of the Mormon Church's official magazine the "Ensign." The Church teaches one thing in their Sunday School classes and quite another in their history. So, who is right Steven, your Sunday School teacher, or Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie?

The emphasis in the above quotes are mine.