What Was The Role Of The Holy Spirit In The Virgin Birth?

by Rocky Hulse

October 2006

Although it's not Christmas, you may be asking why are you writing a paper about the birth of Jesus? I want you to have this information in hand before the Christmas season begins. When the Mormon Church approaches your congregation and says, "We're Christian just like you. Let's have a joint Christmas Service." I want you to have documented information to take to your Pastor to show that the Mormon doctrine of the "Virgin Birth" is Anti-Christian. Specifically, the Mormon doctrine on the role of the Holy Ghost in the Virgin Birth is grotesquely blasphemous.

As a Christian you may be thinking, "Why are you even asking such a question? The Bible is quite clear on this subject." You would be right. The Bible is explicitly clear:


Matthew 1:18

18. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.


First off the Mormon Church flatly denies Mt 1:18. In a sermon delivered in the Tabernacle on April 19, 1852, Brigham Young, the second Mormon Prophet, made the following statement:


"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." (Journal of Discourses, Vol 1, page 51)

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)


The Mormon Church doctrine teaches that Jesus was conceived in the same way that mortal babies are conceived. 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)


Wait a minute that statement by Brigham Young doesn't make sense. Once again, you're right in the context of Christianity. In Christianity, God is a Spirit:


John 4:24

24. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.


However, Mormon Church doctrine teaches that God is an exalted man. Joseph Smith taught the following:


"God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pg 345)


Understanding that Mormon doctrine teaches that God is an exalted man, that Jesus was not conceived of the Holy Ghost, and that Jesus was God's son, we are beginning to set the stage for the blasphemous Mormon doctrine of Jesus' conception.


Joseph Fielding Smith, 10th Prophet of the Mormon Church stated:

"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)


Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie in his epic book, Mormon Doctrine, elaborates:


"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)


The 13th Mormon Prophet, Ezra Taft Benson, makes the conception of Jesus quite explicit by stating that Jesus was "sired" by God, which we have seen in Mormon doctrine is an exalted man:


"Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which He performed His mission in the flesh was sired by that same Holy Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father. He was not the son of Joseph, nor was He begotten by the Holy Ghost. He is the Son of the Eternal Father!" (Ezra Taft Benson, as quoted in I Know that my Redeemer Lives: Latter-day Prophets Testify of the Savior, Desert Book, page 205)(Church News, December 18, 2004, page 16)


It is absolutely clear that Mormon doctrine teaches that God is an exalted man and that this exalted man, physically sired Jesus through his earthly mother, Mary. It gets worse. In Mormon doctrine, the mother of Jesus was also sired by this exalted man who is now God, in a premortal life:


"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that every person experiences a series of "births." All were born as spirit children of God in a premortal life. (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol 1 ("Agency"), as reported in Mormonism 101, pg 63)


Considering Mormon doctrine that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was also God the Father's direct offspring in the Spirit World, or premortal life, for God to have physical relations with her to conceive Jesus "in the normal and natural course," would be incest. The Mormon Church has tried to distance itself from this ugly concept:


"The fleshly body of Jesus required a Mother as well as a Father. Therefore, the Father and Mother of Jesus, according to the flesh, must have been associated together in the capacity of Husband and Wife; hence the Virgin Mary must have been, for the time being, the lawful wife of God the Father:" (Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, pg 158, October 1853)


Here we have Orson Pratt trying to make this distorted concept of Jesus' conception palatable by stating that God the Father and his daughter Mary were husband and wife and Jesus was not illegitimate—this is simply repulsive.

This next quote by Mormon Apostle Melvin Joseph Ballard is rather long but clearly lays out this perverted concept of Jesus birth:


"ONE of the great questions that I have referred to that the world is concerned about, and is in confusion over, is as to whether or not his was a virgin birth, a birth wherein divine power interceded. Joseph Smith made it perfectly clear that Jesus Christ told the absolute truth, as did those who testify concerning him, the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, wherein he is declared to be the very Son of God. And if God the Eternal Father is not the real Father of Jesus Christ, then are we in confusion; then is he not in reality the Son of God. But we declare that he is the Only Begotten of the Father in flesh.

Mary told the story most beautifully when she said that an angel of the Lord came to her and told her that she had found favor in the sight of God, and had come to be worthy of the fulfillment of the promises heretofore made, to become the virgin mother of the Redeemer of the world. She afterwards, referring to the event, said: "God hath done wonderful things unto me." "And the Holy Ghost came upon her," is the story, "and she came into the presence of the highest." 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 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 Joseph Ballard, pp 166-167)


This concept of the role of the Holy Ghost in the birth of Jesus in Mormonism is so utterly putrid, that it boggles the mind. To believe that God is an exalted man, and had physical, marital relations with Mary to conceive Jesus is blasphemous; however, to believe that the Holy Ghost's job in this act of procreation was to take Mary into God's presence and then remain there during the physical act to sustain her in God's presence for the deed to be done, is simply disgusting.