The Truth about the Mormons from a Devout Mormon


#1

There have been several questions that have been re-occurring on this forum concerning Mormonism. As a devout Mormon who sincerely believes the doctrine of his church I will labor to do my best to answer the questions and assumptions that have been stated. Yet, I refuse to argue who is right and who is wrong. My intentions are to show you what the LDS Church believes and teaches from the perspective of one of its devoted members. I quite adamantly will go no further then this objective. I do not claim to be the complete source to your questions. I do claim though, that I have studied out in depth my religion and the accusations that have been levied against it. Nevertheless, I have learned from my own personal experiences that conviction is not found in trivial words of men but rather in the divine essence of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the only way to obtain truth is through your literal relationship with God.

I have listed below the questions that have been stated on this forum. I will do my best to answer each in depth. Please feel free to add to my list of questions. I must let you know though, that it will take some time for me to go through every question. I am in my final year at BYU and have a heavy load of classes. In truth, I should be working on several different papers that are due at the end of the Thanksgiving break; however, I find this much more enlightening and enjoyable.

Questions

  1. The belief that God had intercourse with Mary and thus produced Jesus.

  2. That Jesus was a polygamist.

  3. The Bible is a polluted and insufficient guide from which the truth has been deliberately removed.

  4. The Catholic church is the great whore of all churches.

  5. The LDS Church is the true church.

  6. Belief in more then one God.

  7. God is a corporeal being

  8. Joseph Smith is a scoundrel and convicted of several charges of swindling others.

  9. Jesus and Satan are brothers.

  10. Let’s not forget my favorite, “Man can become God.”


#2

As promised below is a response to the first question on my list, “The belief that God had intercourse with Mary and thus produced Jesus.” As I worked on this question I realized that there was so much information that I had to break it up to several parts. I apologize for the length of the answer but I wanted to be thorough in my answer.

Question: Sexual intercourse between God and Mary
Part 1

Probably the most notorious doctrine attributed to the LDS Church is that God had sex with Mary to produce Jesus. Oftentimes, I rather avoid this question because it puts spiritual things in a light of crudeness and vulgarity. It is for this purpose that I address this question first, in order to get it out of the way and onto lesser debasing issues.

When researching this topic I found it interesting that this anti-Christ attack was not a new argument but was used back in the days of Jesus. I found a similar claim written by an anti-Nazarene who lived in the days of the ancient apostles:

“Then was the mother of Jesus beautiful? And because she was beautiful did God have sexual intercourse with her, although by nature He cannot love a corruptible body? It is not likely that God would have fallen in love with her since she was neither wealthy nor of royal birth, for nobody knew her, not even her neighbors. When she was hated by the carpenter and turned out, neither divine power nor the gift of persuasion saved her. Therefore, these things have nothing to do with the kingdom of God.”
Henry Chadwick, (trans.), Origen: Against Celsum, (Cambridge: At the University Press, 1965). p. 38

To understand LDS doctrine we must first come to understand the context that the doctrine has been written in. In the days of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and even up to the present day, so-called “liberal” Christians have denied the virgin birth of Jesus, regarding it as a myth, while “fundamentalist” Christians defend the true and Biblical doctrine of the virgin birth of Christ.

Adversaries against the LDS church quote statements by Brigham Young and other LDS leaders which state the Church’s belief that Jesus is the literal Son of God. Those statements were made in response to the “liberal” Christians and deists who have proclaimed for hundreds of years that Jesus was the son of Joseph and Mary, and that He being a son of God is only in a figurative understanding.

The LDS church has always taught the doctrine of the virgin birth, and held that Mary was a virgin till after Jesus was born. However, many people against the church claim that the church’s use of the word “literal” means that we believe God had sexual intercourse with Mary and that we don’t believe that Mary was a virgin at all.

TO BE CONTINUED . …


#3

Question: Sexual intercourse between God and Mary
Part 2

Oftentimes one will hear these “anti-mormons” quote the late apostle, Elder Bruce R. McConkie, in his “Mormon Doctrine” where he wrote that Jesus was begotten and conceived in the natural way as sons are by their mortal fathers. What Elder McConkie was putting forth was a denial of the ancient agnostic heresy that Jesus was not begotten and conceived in the womb, but rather that he suddenly appeared as a man without going through the process of mortality. What the late apostle also denied was the modern heresy that Jesus was the Son of God only in a figurative sense and in the flesh was the son Joseph and Mary.

Elder McConkie, under the section “Virgin Birth” in his book “Mormon Doctrine,” boldly declares that the “liberal” Christian teaching denying virgin birth is utterly false and apostate. He goes on to say that Jesus was the only man ever to be born of a virgin. Somehow this statement seems to have been glossed over by those attacking the LDS church, though they have obviously given McConkie’s book intense scrutiny.

Studying this question I have found numerous statements by LDS leaders who have continually asserted the virginity of the mother of Jesus. Below I have listed but a few of these statements.

Brigham Young said:
“When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness."
Journal of Discourses Vol. 1 p. 50

“The question has been often asked, who it was that begot the Son of the Virgin Mary.”
Journal of Discourses Vol. 1 p. 51

Even the speculative apostle, Orson Pratt, wrote that Mary was a virgin:
“Even our great Redeemer, whose death and sufferings we are this afternoon celebrating, was born up in yonder world before he was born of the virgin Mary.”
Journal of Discourses Vol. 18 p. 290

TO BE CONTINUED


#4

[quote=BYU-BOY]There have been several questions that have been re-occurring on this forum concerning Mormonism. As a devout Mormon who sincerely believes the doctrine of his church I will labor to do my best to answer the questions and assumptions that have been stated. Yet, I refuse to argue who is right and who is wrong. My intentions are to show you what the LDS Church believes and teaches from the perspective of one of its devoted members. I quite adamantly will go no further then this objective. I do not claim to be the complete source to your questions. I do claim though, that I have studied out in depth my religion and the accusations that have been levied against it. Nevertheless, I have learned from my own personal experiences that conviction is not found in trivial words of men but rather in the divine essence of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the only way to obtain truth is through your literal relationship with God.

I have listed below the questions that have been stated on this forum. I will do my best to answer each in depth. Please feel free to add to my list of questions. I must let you know though, that it will take some time for me to go through every question. I am in my final year at BYU and have a heavy load of classes. In truth, I should be working on several different papers that are due at the end of the Thanksgiving break; however, I find this much more enlightening and enjoyable.

Questions

  1. The belief that God had intercourse with Mary and thus produced Jesus.

  2. That Jesus was a polygamist.

  3. The Bible is a polluted and insufficient guide from which the truth has been deliberately removed.

  4. The Catholic church is the great whore of all churches.

  5. The LDS Church is the true church.

  6. Belief in more then one God.

  7. God is a corporeal being

  8. Joseph Smith is a scoundrel and convicted of several charges of swindling others.

  9. Jesus and Satan are brothers.

  10. Let’s not forget my favorite, “Man can become God.”
    [/quote]

I have but one question for you, is Jesus Christ a created being?


#5

Question: Sexual intercourse between God and Mary
Part 3 (The Conclusion)

Continueing on from the last post I wanted to finish with quotes from Bruce R. McConkie and the current Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley.

The late apostle Bruce R. McConkie wrote:
Our Lord is the only mortal person ever born to a virgin, because he is the only person who ever had an immortal Father. Mary, his mother, “was carried away in the Spirit” (1 Nephi 11:13-21), was “overshadowed” by the Holy Ghost, and the conception which took place “by the power of the Holy Ghost” resulted in the bringing forth of the literal personal Son of God the Father. (Alma 7:10; 2 Nephi 17:14; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38). Christ is not the Son of the Holy Ghost, but of the Father. Modernistic teachings denying the virgin birth are utterly and completely false.
Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1966), Vol. 3 p. 882

“She conceived and brought forth her Firstborn Son while yet a virgin because the Father of that child was an immortal personage.”
Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Vol. 1 p. 82

And finally the current prophet of the LDS Church Gordon B. Hinckley:
If the Book of Mormon is true, then Jesus is the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh, born of Mary, “a virgin, most beautiful … above all other virgins” (1 Ne. 11:13-21), for the book so testifies in a description unexcelled in all literature.
Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Power of the Book of Mormon,” Ensign, June 1988

Now, my Catholic friends these are the words of Mormon leaders. I do not doubt that you may come across an LDS friend who holds the beliefs of sexual union between God and Mary. However, this is not LDS doctrine. Let me repeat this again, THIS IS NOT LDS DOCTRINE. I challenge those that oppose my views to find one source from an LDS Prophet who states Mary was not a virgin and had sexual intercourse with God the Father.


#6

[quote=uniChristian]I have but one question for you, is Jesus Christ a created being?
[/quote]

I will add that to my list to answer.


#7

I admire your courage to set the record straight about your beliefs and your unwillingness to argue about them.

However, I would appreciate a one word or one sentence answer to the questions you have selected, followed by the detailed explanation.

Sometimes I’m just too thick to get it any other way.

Thanks.

P.S. Please note any misinformation you gather from Catholic Answers website (not the forums, though).


#8

[quote=mark a]I would appreciate a one word or one sentence answer to the questions you have selected, followed by the detailed explanation.
[/quote]

Thanks for the suggestion. I will follow that format with my future answers.


#9

At what museum would I find artifacts from the Nephite and Lamanite nations?

Steve


#10

Dear Byu-Boy, you feel that your question is new to Catholics.

That question being: “If our Lord and Savior personally came to you and told you that the Book of Mormon was true and that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God would you believe?”

But this question is not new. In fact many of our Catholic Mystics have been asked a question like this. For the basis of this question is to ask that if Jesus contradicted the commands of His Church, would we follow? Yet the answer that pleases Him, over and over again, is OBEDIENCE TO THE CHURCH. He told Faustina to wear a hair shirt. She asked her superior, who said ‘no’. So she did not. And Jesus was pleased that she obeyed, not Him, but her surperior.


#11

Ella,

Please excuse me if my answer to your question is rather short. As one forum member pointed out I am doing “Spiritual Tour de France” by answering the questions that I set forth. So, it is important for me to focus on the issues at hand.

[font=Arial]Yet, the problem that I see in your argument is that you are not taking into account that there are thousands of Christian churches. If we all took the hierarchy of the church that we attended as the final word then we would never find truth. I am sure that the David Koresh following felt the same way as you. Yet, it is not the church that saves us but Jesus Christ. Therefore, if I have to chose between the two to follow, I chose Christ. [/font]


#12

*[font=Arial]“If we all took the hierarchy of the church that we attended as the final word then we would never find truth. I am sure that the David Koresh following felt the same way as you. Yet, it is not the church that saves us but Jesus Christ. Therefore, if I have to chose between the two to follow, I chose Christ.”

[/font]*[font=Arial]Yes, how difficult if over time other churches say ‘oh no, do this’ or ‘oh no do that’. This is the reason the Catholic Church, the Church is founded by Christ Himself, is the Pillar of Fire and Truth/
[/font]


#13

BYU Boy, great to have this thread. I have a question to add to your list. Why do you believe in the Great Apostacy? I started a thread on this but no LDS responded.


#14

“She conceived and brought forth her Firstborn Son while yet a virgin because the Father of that child was an immortal personage.”
Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Vol. 1 p. 82

Why does it say that she conceived while yet a virgin because the father was an immortal personage? It sounds like it says she would not have stayed a virgin if the father had be a mortal person. It is like it is saying that immortal people don’t make it so the woman is no longer a virgin. What is it about immortal people that does that? or do I misunderstand totally?


#15

BYU-BOY wrote:

Now, my Catholic friends these are the words of Mormon leaders. I do not doubt that you may come across an LDS friend who holds the beliefs of sexual union between God and Mary. However, this is not LDS doctrine. Let me repeat this again, THIS IS NOT LDS DOCTRINE

. I challenge those that oppose my views to find one source from an LDS Prophet who states Mary was not a virgin and had sexual intercourse with God the Father. The following was written by Orson Pratt, one of the original 12 apostles chosen by Joseph Smith. In 1853 he was appointed by Brigham Young to write and publish periodicals, pamphlets, books, etc., regarding the principles and doctrines of the LDS church. This is only a fraction of the detail from Pratt’s publication, The Seer. I’m sure you can find it at your local LDS bookstore.

QUOTE: We are informed in . . . Luke that Mary was chosen by the Father as a choice virgin, through whom He begat Jesus. The angel said unto the Virgin Mary. “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee . . .” There is no doubt that the Holy Ghost came upon Mary . . . The Holy Ghost gave her strength to abide the presence of the Father without being consumed: but it was the personage of the Father who begat the body of Jesus; and for this reason Jesus is called “The only begotten of the Father”; that is, the only one in this world whose fleshly body was begotten by the Father . . .

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 . . . God, having created all men and women, had the most perfect right to do with His own creation, according to His holy will and pleasure: He had a lawful right to overshadow the Virgin Mary in the capacity of a husband, and beget a Son, although she was espoused to another; for the law which He gave to govern men and women was not intended to govern Himself, or to prescribe rules for his own conduct. It was also lawful for Him, after having thus dealt with Mary, to give her to Joseph her espoused husband. Whether God the Father gave Mary to Joseph for time only, or for time and eternity, we are not informed. Inasmuch as God was the first husband to her, it may be that he only gave her to be the wife of Joseph while in this mortal state, and that he intended after the resurrection to again take her as one of his own wives to raise up immortal spirits in eternity. END QUOTE
Orson Pratt, The Seer, P. 158

Orson Pratt taught this as the doctrine of the Mormon Church with the approval and sanction of the First Presidency. This document was widely circulated. There’s more, but that should be plenty to make the case for the official, original Mormon teaching that God had sexual intercourse with Mary. Mormons today are not taught this and will deny it, but it was the official doctrine of the Latter-day Saints church from its inception.

JMJ Jay


#16

Hmmm. . . I could have sworn that my challenge was to find an LDS Prophet that taught such doctrine. Below is a response to your quote about Orson Pratt. My response is taken from the Mormon author Stephen Gibson.

During September of 1852 Brigham Young appointed Orson Pratt “to write and publish periodicals, pamphlets, books . . . illustrative of the principles and doctrines of the Church” (Messages of the First Presidency, Vol. 2, p. 100).

It didn’t take Orson Pratt long to give Brigham Young cause for concern over some of his articles in The Seer. In April 1855, Brigham Young wrote to the editor of Great Britain’s official LDS Church Publication, The Millennial Star, and asked him to cease republishing The Seer in England. Brigham Young stated that while there were many beautifully written articles in it, there were also “many items of erroneous doctrines” (Messages of the First Presidency, Vol. 2, p. 214). For that reason the Saints were cautioned against accepting the magazine.

In 1860, Orson Pratt, spoke in the Tabernacle and repented of some of the views that he had advanced in The Seer:

“At that time I expressed those views, I did most sincerely believe that they were in accordance with the word of God . . . But I have since learned from my brethren that some of the doctrines I had advanced in The Seer, at Washington, were incorrect. So far as revelation from the heavens is concerned, I have had none in relation to those points of doctrine" (Messages of the First Presidency, Vol. 2, pp. 218,219).

The First Presidency attached the following statement when Pratt’s remarks were printed in the Deseret News: "This should be a lasting lesson to the Elders of Israel not to undertake to teach doctrines they do not understand (Ibid, p. 233).

In the Deseret News in 1865, the First Presidency wrote again against some of the doctrine published by Orson Pratt in The Seer. “We consider it our duty, however, and advisable for us to incorporate with this which we have already written, our views upon other doctrines which have been extensively published and widely received as the standard and authoritative doctrines of the Church, but which are unsound. The views we allude to, and which we deem objectionable, have been published by Elder Orson Pratt (Ibid, p. 231).”

Then in an almost prophetic manner, perhaps seeing the contention some of these quotes would cause in our day, Brigham Young stated: “We do not wish incorrect and unsound doctrines to be handed down to posterity under the sanction of great names, to be received and valued by future generations as authentic and reliable, creating labor and difficulties for our successors to perform and contend with, which we ought not to transmit to them … We know what sanctity there is always attached to the writing of men who have passed away, especially to the writing of an Apostle . . . therefore we feel the necessity of being watchful upon these points (Ibid, p. 232).”

It should be plain to all who have read the above quotes that just because an Apostle stated a view or opinion, his idea is in no wise binding on the Church, nor can it be quoted by enemies or friends of the Church as doctrine. There is a canonization process by which latter-day Saints adopt new doctrine and scripture. Items which have not undergone this process are not regarded by Latter-day Saints as doctrine, irregardless of when they are published.


#17

BYU-BOY:

Could you please explain the cannonization process for LDS doctrine? And please show official LDS church documents that explain it.


#18

BYU-BOY is going to be a great Catholic!


#19

[quote=BYU-BOY]Now, my Catholic friends these are the words of Mormon leaders. I do not doubt that you may come across an LDS friend who holds the beliefs of sexual union between God and Mary. However, this is not LDS doctrine. Let me repeat this again, THIS IS NOT LDS DOCTRINE. I challenge those that oppose my views to find one source from an LDS Prophet who states Mary was not a virgin and had sexual intercourse with God the Father.
[/quote]

Thanks Jay, for saving me the trouble. I have never heard such furious back-peddling deception in all my born days.

During the eleven years that I was LDS, served a mission in Taiwan, was married in the temple, served in many, many callings including counselor to 2 bishops, the doctrine that God the Father was the LITERAL, BIOLOGICAL father of Jesus AFTER THE MANNER OF THE FLESH was a very commonly taught doctrine. I left the Mormon Church in 1986. Since then, they have attempted to re-write their history, deny their teachings and mainstream themselves as “just another Christian denomination”. What a load of bunk!

BYU-Boy, perhaps you are simply too young to remember what us old fogies remember all too well.

BTW, according to LDS doctrine, every apostle (including Orson Pratt) is a prophet, seer and revelator.
Orson Pratt was appointed by Brigham Young (a prophet) to be the official publisher of LDS doctrine to the gentile world.
Paul


#20

Would a Mormon say “The Holy Spirit overshadowed the ever Virgin Mary and that there was no physical contact between the Father and Mary. Jesus was therefore incarnated in exactly the manner which Catholics believe.”? If so then why do Mormons deny everything else that we believe about the incarnation? I really doubt frankly that Mormons are just misunderstood and are really crypto-catholic.


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