What have founders and leaders of The Church of Latter-Day Saints (Mormonism) said about the origin of Jesus’ physical body?
Not all Mormons today agree, but various key LDS founders and leaders have indicated their strong belief that Mary was impregnated by physical sexual intercourse with God/Adam (in bodily form, as he is supposed to be a man) to produce Jesus, the incarnate Son of God.
Evidence from founders and authorities of the Latter Day Saint movement
Doctrine and Covenants (section 130, verse 22) says,
“The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s”
Joseph Smith in his King Follett discourse (sermon—April 7, 1844) said,
“God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens. That is the great secret… you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you…”
Lorenzo Snow, LDS Church President of the Quorum of the Twelve, said:
“As man now is, God once was:
As God now is, man may be.”
Father Joseph Smith Sr., LDS’s first Presiding Patriarch, said,
“You will become as great as you can possibly wish—EVEN AS GREAT AS GOD, and you cannot wish to be greater.” —as quoted by Eliza R. Snow, Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow, Salt Lake City: Deseret News Co., 1884, pp. 9–10.
Mormon Prophet Brigham Young, former President of the LDS church, taught that Adam was God.
“Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth… When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days! about whom holy men have written and spoken—He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do. …When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten [begotten = “brought into existence by a parent”] 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; and when he took a tabernacle [human body], it was begotten by his Father in heaven, after the same manner as the tabernacles [bodies] of Cain, Abel, and the rest of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve …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.” —Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 50-51
Brigham Young repeated that Jesus was NOT begotten by the Holy Spirit.
“Now, remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost.” —Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 51
Mormon Prophet and Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith also said God the Father is the physical father of Jesus’ body.
“Christ not begotten of holy ghost… Christ was begotten of God. He was not born without the aid of Man, and that Man was God!” —Joseph F. Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p. 18 (1954)
“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? [impregnation by sexual intercourse]
I answer just as Jesus Christ was begotten of his father …Jesus is the only person who had our Heavenly Father as the father of his body.” —Joseph F. Smith, Family Home Evening Manual, 1972, p. 125-126
Brigham Young said,
“I believe the Father came down from heaven…and begat the Savior…in person. …I believe the Father came down in His tabernacle [body] and begat Jesus Christ.” —Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 238
Brigham Young said Jesus’ human conception and birth was as natural as ours.
“The birth of the Savior was as natural as 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
“The Father came down and begat him, the same as we do now…” —Brigham Young, The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, vol. 1, p. 321; February 16, 1849
“God has made His children like Himself to stand erect, and has endowed them with intelligence and power and dominion over all His works, and given them the same attributes which He himself possesses. He created man, as we create our children; for there is no other process of creation in heaven, on the earth, in the earth, or under the earth, or in all the eternities, that is, that were, or that ever will be.” —Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 11 p. 122-123
Mormon Prophet Ezra Taft Benson, 13th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said,
“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.” —Ezra Taft Benson, Come Unto Christ, p. 4
Mormon Apostle Heber C. Kimball, one of the original 12 Apostles in the early Church of the Latter Day Saints, and first counselor to Brigham Young in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said,
“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 [supernatural] about it.” —Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, v. 8, p. 211
Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 158 (1853):
“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.”
“…the Holy Ghost gave her [Mary] strength to abide in 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. There were millions of sons and daughters who he begat before the foundation of this world, but they were spirits, and not bodies of flesh and bones…”
Brigham Young also indicated that God the Father/Adam and Mary had a physical union between God and Mary in person, in physical form.
“When the time came that His first-born, the Saviour, should come into the world and take a tabernacle [body], the Father came Himself and favoured that spirit [the spirit Jesus] with a tabernacle [body] instead of letting any other man do it.” —Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 218
“The birth of the Savior 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 YoungJournal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115
Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, LDS General Authority and member of the 1st Council of the 70, stated,
“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.” —Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 742
“As far as this life is concerned, [Jesus] was born of Mary and of Elohim [God/Adam]; 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 McConkie, Mortal Messiah, vol. 1, p. 330
“The Father had a Son, a natural Son, his own literal Seed, the Offspring of his body” —Bruce McConkie, The Promised Messiah, p. 355
“There is no need to spiritualize away the plain meaning of the scriptures. There is nothing figurative or hidden or beyond comprehension in our Lord's coming into mortality. He is the Son of God in the same sense and way that we are the sons of mortal fathers. It is just that simple.” —Bruce McConkie, The Promised Messiah, p. 468
Orson Hyde, a Mormon apostle and former President of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1839-1878), went further and claimed that Jesus was married, polygamous and had children.
“We say it was Jesus Christ who was married, to be brought into the relation whereby he could see his seed, before he was crucified.” —President Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 82 (October 6, 1854)
“Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee, that Mary, Martha, and others were his wives, and that he began children.” —President Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 2l0 (March l8, l855)
The above errant beliefs that God the Father has a physical body, that Adam is God the Father, and that the Son of God’s body (Jesus) was formed by a physical union of God the Father with Mary (sexual intercourse) are foreign to Scripture and are human inventions.
According to the Bible…