A fundamental doctrine of true Christianity is the divine birth of the child Jesus. This doctrine is not generally comprehended by the world.

The paternity of Jesus Christ is one of the “mysteries of godliness” comprehended only by the spiritually minded. (See 1 Timothy 3:16; D&C 19:10.) The Apostle Matthew recorded: “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” (Matthew 1:18).

Luke rendered a plainer meaning to the divine conconception. He quoted the angel Gabriel’s words to Mary: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy [being] which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

Some six hundred years before Jesus was born, an ancient prophet had a vision. He saw Mary and described her as “a virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.” He then saw her “carried away in the Spirit . . . for the space of a time.” When she returned, she was “bearing a child in her arms . . . even the Son of the Eternal Father.” (1 Nephi 11:15, 19-21.)

Thus the testimonies of appointed witnesses leave no question as to the paternity of Jesus Christ. God was the Father of Jesus’ mortal tabernacle, and Mary, a mortal woman, was His mother. He is therefore the only person born who rightfully deserved the title “the Only Begotten Son of God.” (Come unto Christ, pp. 2-3.)

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 sired 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. He is the Son of the Eternal Father. (Come unto Christ, p. 4.)

He was the Only Begotten Son of our Heavenly Father in the flesh-the only child whose mortal body was begotten by our Heavenly Father. His mortal mother, Mary, was called a virgin, both before and after she gave birth. (See 1 Nephi 11:20.) (“Joy in Christ,” Ensign 16 [March 1986]: 3-4.)

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He came to this earth at a foreappointed time through a royal birthright that preserved His godhood. Combined in His nature were the human attributes of His mortal mother and the divine attributes and power of His Eternal Father.

As the Son of God, He inherited powers and intelligence that no human has ever had before or since. He was literally Immanuel, which means “God with us.” (Come unto Christ, p. 128.) Nearly two thousand years ago a perfect Man walked the earth-Jesus the Christ. He was the Son of a Heavenly Father and an earthly mother.[1]

Ezra Taft Benson

End notes:

[1] Benson, Ezra Taft (2009-09-03). Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (Kindle Locations 141-160). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition, (emphasis mine).

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