Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Only Begotten

Last night I was doing final preparations of my primary lesson and I started on one of those fun scripture chains. It began with the topic of the Restoration of the Church. From there it led to a talk given by Niel A Maxwell in the April 2003 Ensign in which he talks about what the restoration of the church really means. ( broke it down into the exciting truths that were restored that really make the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints a precious gem. One of the truths he mentions is the plurality of worlds.

Our planet, we know from the revelations, is but one among “worlds without number” (Moses 1:33), which “worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:24).

It was these scriptures that reminded me how vast God's creations are. I was reminded that God is not just the God of our planet - His love extends to worlds without end. I love deep doctrine and I noticed how Elder Maxwell pointed out the scripture that the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters of God. Though one might be enticed to begin searching out more knowledge on these seemingly endless numbers of God's children and that we are not alone in what expands beyond our universe - I could only focus on one word - "Begotten". I decided to ponder on the topic of Christ being the "only begotten" which had nothing to do with my lesson but I couldn't resist gaining some more knowledge and testimony.

The answer I posted below can be found at

The scriptures teach that Jesus Christ was the only begotten son of God in the flesh. This means He was the only one of God’s children to have God as His earthly Father, and not just the father of his spirit. His spirit was created first, making Jesus Christ very literally our elder brother, since his spirit was born before any others.

Each of us is a child of God because He created our spirits. Our physical bodies result from our earthly parents. Jesus, however, had only one earthly parent. The Bible clearly explains the parentage of Jesus Christ. Mary, a mortal woman, is his mother, and God is His father. His Spirit, like everyone’s spirit, was created by God, but his physical, mortal body contained the DNA of both God and Mary. There is ample evidence of Jesus’ heritage as God’s own Son.

When Jesus Christ was baptized, God spoke from Heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” This was God’s personal and public testimony that Jesus was exactly who He claimed to be-God’s Son. Later in history, Jesus and God appeared together to Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in modern times. Again, God introduced Jesus to Joseph as His Son.

His duel heritage made possible many of the things Jesus did during his mortal ministry, most notably the atonement. He, like everyone else, inherited qualities from both His parents, and this gave Him both the ability to experience, and therefore understand, mortal challenges, as well as to be tested, but also to overcome death and live again.

Jesus, like other people who lived on earth, had His memories of His life before His birth, taken from Him. He had to regain it. Because He then had greater knowledge and ability in the gospel, he was tested and tried at a higher level than most. He passed each test, resisted every temptation, and endured every mortal trial placed before Him, dying as perfect as He was when He was born. As a result, He was worthy to take on our sins and atone for them.

In April 2004 General Conference, Keith B. McMullin beautifully reminded us:

'From cover to cover, the Holy Bible teaches and testifies of Christ. He is Jehovah of the Old Testament, Messiah of the New. The Book of Mormon, another testament of Him, was compiled, preserved, and brought forth for the express purpose of “convincing … Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations.”

The Lord’s life did not begin in Bethlehem, and ours did not begin at birth. In the premortal world, He stood as the stalwart, unwavering advocate of God’s eternal plan for His children, and we were there. In the great War in Heaven, it was by the power of the Firstborn that Lucifer was cast out, and we helped champion the cause. Through God’s Only Begotten Son “the worlds are and were created,” and we can therefore achieve our divine potential. As President J. Reuben Clark has said:

“It was not a novice, not an amateur, not a Being making a first trial, that came down in the beginning … and … made this world. …

“And if you think of this galaxy of ours having within it from the beginning perhaps … one million worlds, and multiply that by the number of millions of galaxies … that surround us, you will then get some view of who [Jesus Christ] is.”

As the world could not overcome Him in the meridian of time, so the world cannot do without Him in our time, and neither can we. His purpose is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Hence, He came to the Prophet Joseph Smith, restored the priesthood, reestablished His Church, and again proclaimed the plan of redemption. Joseph saw Him, conversed with Him, and has left us this transcendent, poetic account of Him:

I beheld round the throne holy angels and hosts,
And sanctified beings from worlds that have been,
In holiness worshipping God and the Lamb,
For ever and ever. Amen and amen.
And now after all of the proofs made of him,
By witnesses truly, by whom he was known,
This is mine, last of all, that he lives; yea, he lives!
And sits at the right hand of God on his throne.
And I heard a great voice bearing record from heav’n,
He’s the Saviour and only begotten of God;
By him, of him, and through him, the worlds were all made,
Even all that [careen] in the heavens so broad.
Whose inhabitants, too, from the first to the last,
Are sav’d by the very same Saviour of ours;
And, of course, are begotten God’s daughters and sons
By the very same truths and the very same powers.

We have with us today the Lord’s duly ordained Apostles. True to their sacred commission as “special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world,” they declare:

“Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.”'

I joyfully testify with all my heart that this is true. And I do so in the sacred name of Jesus Christ amen.

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