In the December 2010 Ensign (an official LDS magazine), the following statement is made: “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.” What does that exactly mean?
This statement is expanded on in a couple of LDS church manuals. “That Child to be born of Mary was begotten of Elohim, the Eternal Father, not in violation of natural law but in accordance with a higher manifestation thereof.” (Talmage quoted in The Life and Teachings of Jesus & His Apostles, p. 23) “We believe that he came into the world, born of Mary, literally and actually, as we are born of our mothers: that he came into the world, born of God the Eternal Father, the Almighty Elohim, literally and actually, as we are born of our earthly fathers.” (McConkie, quoted in Sharing the Gospel, p. 74)
That Jesus was born of God the Father, “literally and actually, as we are born of our earthly fathers” is a uniquely Mormon belief. It is rooted in another unique Mormon belief namely that God has a physical body. “His eternal spirit is housed in a tangible body of flesh and bones (see D&C 130:22).” (Gospel Principles, p. 6)
That Jesus was the product of a union of Mary and God the Father has been the subject of unjust caricatures by some Christians. I personally have never seen or heard Mormons talk about it the way some of those caricatures have portrayed it.
But, on the other hand, that doesn’t mean it is not an LDS teaching. My reason for bringing it up is to highlight how it illustrates the different views Mormonism has of both God the Father and Jesus. This ties in with Mormonism’s teaching that God is an Exalted Man (“As man is, God once was”) and that Jesus was half –Deity. “She. . .was about to give birth to half-Deity.” (Life and Teachings. . .p.10)
The baby Jesus that Christians worship is not a half-Deity. Neither do we believe that Jesus was born of the Father, literally and actually, as we are born of our earthly fathers. The more that Mormons say that they and Christians worship the same Jesus, the more important it will be to highlight such differences. Mormonism isn’t the “fulness of the gospel” as it claims. It is a completely different gospel.