Doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often inadvertently called the Mormon Church, centers around the Godhood and Messiahship of Jesus Christ, that He was born of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Lord, ministered in the Holy Land, was crucified, and rose again the third day. His atonement is the center of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Mary Was Foreordained to be the Mother of The Christ
God the Father chose the virgin Mary to be the mother of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and they are Jesus' parents.
Luke recorded the heavenly announcement, or Annunciation, revealed by the angel Gabriel to Mary.
- And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
- And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
- And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
- Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
- And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.
- And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her (Luke 1:26–38, KJV).
Joseph, Mary's betrothed, also received a heavenly manifestation witnessing of Mary's virtue, and Jesus' Divine Sonship.
- But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
- And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
- Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
- Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS (Matthew 1:20–25, KJV).
Prophecies Concerning the Virgin Birth
Ancient prophets testified that a virgin, would bear the Messiah, even calling Mary by name.
- Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).
- And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 3:8).
- And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God (Alma 7:10).
- And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white.
- And it came to pass that I saw the heavens open; and an angel came down and stood before me; and he said unto me: Nephi, what beholdest thou? And I said unto him: A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.
- And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God? And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.
- And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.
- And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms (1 Nephi 11:11–20).
Other Latter-day Saint Doctrines Regarding the Virgin Birth
While honoring Mary's divinely appointed purpose, Latter-day Saints do not worship Mary. They believe that Jesus Christ is mankind's Mediator to God the Father, not Mary. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:8).
Latter-day Saints reject the notion of Immaculate conception, which implies that Mary was uniquely freed from original sin within her mother's womb. Latter-day Saints believe that Jesus Christ's redeeming grace overcame the effects of Adam and Eve's transgression in the Garden of Eden, thus negating original sin and the need of an Immaculate conception. “God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:38). All mankind “will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression” (Articles of Faith 2).
Mary did not live a celibate life. After Jesus’ birth, Mary and Joseph consummated their marriage and had other children. “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” (Mark 6:3).
Mary, a pure and chosen vessel, glorified God through her sacred role as mother to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.