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The Virgin and Child, by Nancy Harlacher
The Virgin and Child, by Nancy Harlacher
The Virgin and Child, by Nancy Harlacher

The Virgin and Child

This painting is the artist's conception of the Virgin Mary and Infant Jesus. The virgin birth is a very important doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Prints of this painting are available in various sizes for purchase at the Restoration Bookstore or from our online store.

Born of a Virgin

Isaiah foretells that the Book of Mormon would come forth and that its purpose would be that “they also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine” (Isaiah 29:32). The Book fulfills these purposes in answering many doctrinal questions.

The Book of Mormon is more definite concerning the virgin birth of Jesus Christ than the other books of Scripture. Several of its writers make it firm and plain that Christ was to be born of a virgin.

The Bible contains two prophecies that the Messiah would be born of a virgin—the prophecies given in Isaiah and Luke. Isaiah says, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). In the New Testament is the statement, "... They shall call his name Emmanuel, (which, being interpreted, is, God with us)” (Matthew 2:6). The virgin birth is very important because it makes the attribute of being “Immanuel”—God with us—a fact of history. If Christ had been born as the son of a man, He would have been only human; but since He was born of God the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit, He was the Son of God physically as well as spiritually.

The book of Luke also testifies of the virgin birth, showing that Jesus was God’s Son, and not the son of a man. Luke records the conversation between the angel Gabriel and Mary: “Thou shalt conceive, and bring forth a son, and shall 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 ....

“Then said Mary unto the angel; How can this be?

“And the angel answered and said unto her, Of the Holy Ghost, and the power of the Highest. Therefore also, that holy child that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:31-35; italics added).

The Book of Mormon accounts also substantiate these testimonies concerning the virgin birth. Nephi recorded, “And the angel said unto me, Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the son of the Eternal Father!” (1 Nephi 3:62; italics added).

The virgin birth has always been one of the important doctrines of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Those who hold to the original beliefs of the true Church will continue to hold fast to this doctrine, knowing that Christ could not be Immanuel (God’s Son actually incarnated into the world) without being born of a virgin, through the power of the Holy Ghost. And further, the atonement would be invalid and meaningless without the virgin birth, for it was necessary that God’s Son should have been crucified for our sins. Many men have been crucified, without their deaths atoning for sin. Only the sacrifice of the Lord Himself would atone.

The testimony of His miraculous birth is all the more significant to each of us because it is obviously also important to Jesus Christ Himself. Otherwise, He would not have had the Scripture writers mention it so often. The Book of Mormon and the Old and New Testaments were written through the power and inspiration of God the Father and His Son. How strengthening it is to our faith to have not just one, or even two, but a number of witnesses to the testimony of the virgin birth!

Even modern revelation refers to the virgin birth of Christ. In 1950, Presiding Patriarch Elbert A. Smith spoke under the influence of the Holy Spirit at the high priests’ conference in Kirtland Temple. So great was the outpouring of the Spirit during that conference, that some of the high priests testified that they actually saw the Savior. One of them said he could see Jesus standing beside Brother Elbert, and he could even see the Lord telling Brother Elbert what to say.

And how did the Messiah introduce Himself upon this occasion? He said, “It is your Lord and Master Who speaks through His servant ... I am He Who was born of the Virgin Mary. I am He Who was crucified on Calvary’s cross ....“

 
 

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Page Updated: June 26, 2011

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