Jesus Christ Is the Only Begotten Son of God
December 2010

“Jesus Christ Is the Only Begotten Son of God,” Ensign, Dec. 2010, 8–9

What We Believe

Jesus Christ Is the Only Begotten Son of God

Jesus was the only person to be born of a mortal mother, Mary, and an immortal father, God the Father. That is why Jesus is called the Only Begotten Son of God. From His Father, He inherited divine powers (see John 10:17–18). From His mother, He inherited mortality and became subject to hunger, thirst, fatigue, pain, and death.

The mortal life of Jesus Christ began when He was born in Bethlehem. Luke gave this account: “The angel Gabriel was sent from God … to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph. … And the angel said unto her, … 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. … 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” (Luke 1:26–27, 30–32, 35; see also 1 Nephi 11:16–21; Alma 7:10).

Matthew recorded that an angel also appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “[Mary] shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (see Matthew 1:20–21). Mary and Joseph both understood that the son to whom Mary would give birth and who would be called Jesus was the Only Begotten Son of God.

The angel Gabriel also told Mary that her relative Elisabeth was pregnant with a son. When Mary visited her, Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost and said, “Whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (see Luke 1:39–45). Elisabeth knew then that Mary was to be the mother of the Son of God.

Others also received a witness from the Holy Ghost that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Following are some of their testimonies.

  1. Some of the Savior’s disciples were in a ship when they saw Jesus Christ walking on the water. They “came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God” (Matthew 14:33).

  2. When Jesus asked His disciples, “Whom say ye that I am?” Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:15, 16).

  3. Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He asked Lazarus’s sister Martha if she believed He was “the resurrection, and the life.” She answered, “Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God” (John 11:25, 27).

  4. Adam and Eve offered sacrifices as “a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father” (Moses 5:7).

  5. God taught Adam that he must “be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ” (Moses 6:52).

  6. In the Americas, five years before the Savior’s birth, Samuel the Lamanite prophesied, “The Son of God cometh to redeem all those who shall believe on his name” (Helaman 14:2).

From left: Blessed Art Thou Among Women, by Walter Rane © IRI; Adam and Eve Offering Sacrifices, by Del Parson; Christ Walking on the Waters, by Robert T. Barrett; photo illustration by Hyun Gyu Lee; detail from Come and See, by Liz Lemon Swindle, Foundation Arts, may not be copied; Samuel the Lamanite Prophesies, by Arnold Friberg © IRI; Martha Greets Jesus, by Robert T. Barrett