The Fictitious Mormon Jesus

Question
Someone told me that Mormons believe in Jesus. So, based upon this, why aren't Mormons considered Christians?
Answer

The answer revolves around which Jesus do Mormons believe in? The Mormon Jesus and the biblical Jesus drastically differ. Even Mormonism asserts that they do not believe in the "traditional Jesus" of Protestantism. President Hinckley of the Mormon Church stated, "The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak" (LDS Church News, week ending June 20, 1998, p. 7).

So, who serves the real Jesus - Christianity or Mormonism?

A Fictitious Jesus and Another Gospel

Briefly, Mormon (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the LDS Church) theology teaches that Jesus is the literal son of god and his goddess wife. That Jesus was born by God the Father having physical sexual relations with the Virgin Mary. Brigham Young taught that Jesus was not born with any involvement of the Holy Spirit. Jesus' spirit brother is Lucifer and that there is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God.

Here it is in their own words:

Jesus was not born of the Holy Spirit

When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten Him in His own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family... Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven. Now remember from this time forth and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which He performed His mission in the flesh was fathered by that same Holy Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father. Jesus was not the son of Joseph, nor was He begotten by the Holy Ghost (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 2; Come unto Christ, Ezra Taft Benson).

Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers (Apostle Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine).

God the Father and Mary are the sexual parents of Jesus

The Being whom we call Father was the Father of the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he was also his Father pertaining to the flesh (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, p. 286). 


l believe the Father came down from heaven, as the Apostles said he did, and begat the Savior of the World; for He is the Only Begotten of the Father which could not have been if the Father did not actually beget him in person (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 238). 


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 (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 8, p. 115).

What a learned idea! Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven. Now, let all who may hear these doctrines, pause before they make light of them, or treat them with indifference, for they will prove their salvation or damnation (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 51). 


[Jesus] was begotten of the Father, and he was born of the virgin Mary as my mother bore me and as my father begot me and as you begot your children (Brigham Young, in Eldon J. Watson, ed., Brigham Young Addresses 1860-1864, vol. 4; reprinted in Eugene E. Campbell, ed., The Essential Brigham Young (SLC: Signature Books, 1992)). 


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 Savior Jesus Christ. According to the Scriptures, he is the first begotten of his father in the flesh, and there was nothing unnatural about it (Huber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 8, p. 211). 


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 (Joseph Fielding Smith, Religious Truths Defined, p. 44).

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 Christian denominations believe that Christ was begotten not of God but of the spirit that overshadowed his mother. This is nonsense. Why will not the world receive the truth? Why will they not believe the Father when he says that Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son? Why will they try to explain this truth away and make mystery of it? (Joseph Fielding Smith,Message of the First Presidency, vol. 4, p. 329). 


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... Now my little friends, I will repeat again in words as simple as I can, and you ask your parents about it, that God, the Eternal Father, is literally the father of Jesus Christ (Joseph F. Smith, Box Elder Stake Conference Dec 20, 1914, as quoted in Brigham City Box Elder News Journal, 28 Jan, 1915).

It is very plain if men will comprehend, firstly, the fact, that God is the Father of man, spiritually, and that God is the Father of Jesus Christ, both temporally and spiritually, and that Jesus Christ is nothing more nor less than the Son of God, begotten of His Father, as absolutely, and as truly as any child was begotten of his earthly father. You don't need to mince the matter (Joseph F. Smith, Latter-Day Saints Follow Teachings of the Savior, Scrapbook of Mormon Literature, [1838-1918], Vol. 2, p. 557).

Jesus Christ is the child of Mary and God the Father, not in violation of natural law, but in accordance with a higher manifestation thereof (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 81). 


Christ was Begotten by an immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p.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, for he is the Son of God, and that designation means what it says (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 742). 


As far as this life is concerned, [Jesus] was born of Mary and of Elohim; he came here as an offspring of that Holy Man who is literally our Father in heaven. He was born in mortality in the literal and full sense as the Son of God. He is the Son of his Father in the same sense that all mortals are the sons and daughters of their fathers (Bruce R. McConkie, Mortal Messiah, vol. 1, p. 330). 
 


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: we use the term lawful Wife, because it would be blasphemous in the highest degree to say that He overshadowed her or begat the Saviour unlawfully (Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 158).

Jesus has a spiritual brother named Lucifer

Thus it is shown that prior to the placing of man upon the earth, how long before we do not know, Christ and Satan, together with the hosts of the spirit-children of God, existed as intelligent individuals, possessing power and opportunity to choose the course they would pursue and the leaders whom they would follow and obey (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ).

The appointment of Jesus to be the Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer, son of the morning. Haughty, ambitious, and covetous of power and glory, this spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind (Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15).

Joseph Smith is the way of salvation

[There is] no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth... no man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p. 190).

No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith... every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289-91).

He that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is anti-christ (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, p. 312).

If we get our salvation, we shall have to pass by him [Joseph Smith]; if we enter our glory, it will be through the authority he has received. We cannot get around him [Joseph Smith] (President George Q. Cannon, as quoted in 1988 Melchizedek Priesthood Study Guide, p. 142).


 


The Real Jesus - the Jesus of Christianity

Christianity teaches that Jesus is God in the flesh (John 1:1, 14). The Westminster Shorter Catechism (A.22) states, "Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin" (see Matt 1:18; Luke 1:27, 31, 35; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 2:7; Heb. 2:14, 17; 4:15; 7:26; and I John 3:5). Jesus is fully God and fully man (Col. 2:9); therefore Jesus has two natures (see: Hypostatic Union; The Trinity and We Believe in Jesus). Jesus is 100% man and 100% God. He is/was not an angel or the brother of Lucifer.

Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Jesus left no room for another way - i.e. Joseph Smith, etc. As Luke wrote, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

Paul spoke about a seduction in his age. A similar seduction exists in our age, and Paul's words apply to it as well. He says in Galatians 1:6-8 :

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel - which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Mormonism is a cult (1 Cor. 16:22). It teaches about another Jesus and another gospel. The true Jesus, Gospel, and Salvation abide not in Mormonism.

Related Topics

What is Mormonism?
The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon
Mormonism and Celestial Marriage
The Mormon Plan of Salvation
Are Mormonism and Islam similar in any way(s)?
The Mormon View of their god

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).