How I Know Jesus Was Married (and had kids too)

Now that The DaVinci Code has finally hit theatres, everyone and their dog is discussing whether or not Jesus Christ was married. Of course, Dan Brown’s book is just a work of fiction, but this hasn’t stopped various religious groups from weighing in on the heretical notion advanced therein: That Jesus Christ took Mary Magdalene to wife and bore children with her. The LDS Church has decided to join the party, putting forth its own statement as to Mormonism’s doctrinal position (or lack thereof) on this supposedly interesting question. And it’s not hard to see why. Unlike most (all?) other modern branches of Christianity, Mormonism has had various leaders who have sometimes advanced this notion. Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt are probably the most well-known examples. Yet the Church doesn’t appear inclined to accept the pronouncements of these men as “Church doctrine.”

What is sometimes overlooked in Mormon discussions of this topic is the obvious theological basis for drawing the conclusion that Jesus was married in mortality, nevermind what Orson or Orson had to say about it. After all, at least if we’re talking about a Mormonism that takes the King Follett Discourse, the Lorenzo Snow couplet, and other related teachings seriously (a big “if”), then the process of “deification” that we all aspire to (and that God Himself may have aspired to once upon a time) has certain prerequisites that must be met: We must pass through mortality and gain a body, we must get married to a spouse of the opposite gender, etc. And if the existence of a “Heavenly Mother” can be inferred from (a) our literal parent-child relationship with God; and (b) the fact that we not-yet-deified humans must acquire an eternal spouse ourselves before graduating to Godly status, then it doesn’t seem unreasonable to draw certain other inferences. Wouldn’t it be strange to hold that (1) Jesus, our brother, is divine; (2) Jesus is someone that we should all be striving to emulate; and (3) We can become divine if and only if we take a spouse, while simultaneously maintaining that Christ wasn’t married?

Of course, this theological inference isn’t exactly rock solid. After all, Jesus Christ’s “divinity” doesn’t exactly fit the criteria for “deity” that we usually throw around in other contexts. Mormonism holds that the Jehova of the Old Testament is actually the pre-mortal Jesus. And certainly Jehova was divine. And certainly Jesus was a God in human form. And yet Jehova was apparently part of the Godhead, even before he’d been embodied. This seems to violate the notion that embodiment is a prerequisite to deification, and one could wonder if any of the typical prerequisites to Godhood apply when we’re talking about Jesus. It’s all just so confusing. But whatever else you want to say about it, the fact that our notion of what it takes to “become Gods” doesn’t square completely with the pre-mortal Jesus’ status as a “God” certainly problematizes any easy inferences we might want to draw about Jesus’ marital status.

So, given all this uncertainty, how is it that I know that Jesus was married, and had children? Simple: I’ve seen the geneological records that prove it!

The year was 1995 or 1996. I was a student at BYU, and my Elders Quorum President was Dan Richards (occasional commenter at T&S). Dan had somehow gotten involved in running Sacrament Meeting services at the men’s prison at the Point of the Mountain (between Provo and Salt Lake City), and one weekend he asked me to participate. I was invited to prepare a talk and deliver it to the LDS inmates during Sunday services, so I and several others travelled with Dan to the prison. Once there, we stood up in front of scores of LDS convicts, gave our talks, and then sat down. The whole meeting was fairly uneventful.

After the meeting was over, however, things became more interesting. One of the older LDS inmates offered to give us a tour of a portion of the facilities. He wanted to show us the room where he and certain other LDS inmates worked on geneology during their free time. We agreed to accompany him. Once we arrived in the room, we saw a series of computers that had been set up for geneological purposes. The inmate proceeded to show us how he and others worked on their geneology, and my eyes started to glaze. (I’ve never been particularly fascinated by the nuts and bolts of geneology — Sorry).

Fifteen minutes or so had passed, and it was about time for us to leave. But our elderly host was not about to let us depart without showing us something special. “Gentlemen, I’ve got something interesting to show you,” he said, in a hushed, lowered tone. By the sound of his voice, we were evidently supposed to know we were in for a real treat. He took us over to a computer at the far side of the room, and began to talk, as geneology buffs are known to do, about how far back in time much of the geneological work at the prison extended. Finally, he decided to share with us his cherished treasure. He tapped a few buttons on the keyboard, thereby taking us to a screen that contained a numbered list of names for whom vicarious ordinances had supposedly been performed. We looked at the list of names and the gentleman directed our attention to several names at the top. Name #1 was an anglicized version of a Hebrew name that seemed strangely familiar.

“Do you recognize this name?” the gentleman asked me.

“No. Who is it?” I asked.

“This is Jesus Christ,” our host proclaimed confidently. He then pointed to 3 or 4 names listed right under Jesus’. These names also appeared to be Hebrew in origin, but I didn’t recognize them.

“Who are these people?”, I asked him.

“They are Jesus Christ’s children,” he replied solemnly.

I was, to put it mildly, taken aback by this “revelation.” I had surely heard the notion that Jesus “was married” before, but I had never seriously entertained the idea that he had multiple, biological offspring, much less that such offspring were “known” to the LDS Church. Of course, I was skeptical.

“Sir, how exactly do we know that Jesus had children, and that these are there names?,” I inquired skeptically.

There was a long pause, a knowing gaze directed into my eyes, and then an unforgettable response: “Trust me, Brother. WE KNOW.”

And that was the end of the conversation. It was time to leave, and we promptly did so.

Needless to say, I was not particularly impressed by the inmate’s “testimony.” He tried to accompany it with some of the bells and whistles often employed by those who don’t want to make compelling arguments, but would rather hope that the “inherent truthfulness” of their words would somehow resonate forth and convince their listeners. It didn’t work. (Instead, I left the prison feeling deeply disturbed about how the Church screens its members’ geneological submissions).

Despite my misgivings about this incident, however, I tell you this story for your edification. Perhaps I am just a cynical, secular Churchmember-of-little-faith who can’t recognize he’s been made privy to certain “Secrets of the Kingdom” even when they slap me in the face. Perhaps there are others of you who have eyes to see and ears to hear, if only vicariously through my story. Ya think?

Questions:

1. Granted that there is no formal “doctrinal” position on the question of Jesus’ marital status, do you tend to believe that Jesus was married during his Earthly ministry? If so, why? If not, why not?

2. This prison incident left me with an uneasy feeling about geneology generally. What kind of quality controls does the Church have with respect to geneological submissions? Can any Tom, Dick and Wackjob submit bogus names into the “system”? Is there any reason to believe that half the entries in the Church geneological archives aren’t the product of some old geezer’s vivid imagination? (This question may betray my total ignorance about geneology, but I put it out there seriously).

Penny for your thoughts.

Aaron B

Comments

  1. I think Jesus was most likely married. I will say Brigham Young was probably having a seizure in his grave after the Church’s response saying it’s not doctrinal and that it was only the “opinion” of a few leaders. Brigham wasn’t exactly the type to have his saying dismissed as “opinion.” Of course, he and the Orsons also taught that Jesus was a polygamist, not just married.

    As for genealogy, I think it’s largely reliable. I’ve used http://www.familysearch.org for research and have usually found it to be consistent. Errors are generally honest mistakes. Sure, the Sally Nutjobs are allowed and able to do their thing – why do you think U.S. presidents and celebrities have been baptized for the dead like 1,000 times? But overall, I think members do a remarkable job in remaining accurate to their ancestors.

  2. Kevin Barney says:

    Maybe Yeshua was in the singles program and told he would have to wait for the Millennium to be sealed to his eternal companion.

  3. “Perhaps I am just a cynical, secular Churchmember-of-little-faith who can’t recognize he’s been made privy to certain “Secrets of the Kingdom” even when they slap me in the face.”

    Sounds about right to me…

  4. Yeah, I think he was probably married, because it would have been usual for him to not have married. I doubt most any attempt to trace any genealogical line back to that point in history, but, iirc, the British royals have traced themselves back to his line as part of their claim to the crown.

    I think they’re full of crap, but it does indicate to me that this “secret” idea is pretty old, and not very secret.

  5. We often say that Jesus inherited the power of life over death from his Father and mortality from his mother. What would this mean for any offspring of Jesus born in mortality to a mortal woman and half mortal man?

  6. What I want to know is why Jesus was showing up on a list of people for whom proxy ordinances had been done?! As you say, AB, wackjobs.

  7. We often say that Jesus inherited the power of life over death from his Father and mortality from his mother.

    We do often here that, but I find it a bit specious, beyond the figurative.

  8. Jared E. says:

    “at least if we’re talking about a Mormonism that takes the King Follett Discourse, the Lorenzo Snow couplet, and other related teachings seriously (a big “if”)”

    I too agree that this is a very big ‘if’. Even if we do assume that the above is correct, imposing that view on a Hebrew culture 2000 years ago is just asking too much. Was Jesus married? Who cares, and why does it matter?

  9. I think he was most likely married. I have little to base it on other than my (uneducated) assumption that being married by 30 years old was the norm for Jewish men at the time, and that if he were unmarried it would have been something of note.

    If he were that old and unmarried (and mormon) today, his single status would be all anyone could think of to say about him. Doesn’t matter how many miracles he performed, he’s single!

  10. It makes me wonder how Middle Eastern our children will be with a half Armenian mother, and a Danish Hungarian father.

    I think it would have been odd to say he was not married. Asides from the doctrinal teachings of eternal marriage applying, I think his words about marriage and all of the “twain shall be one flesh” quoting would have had no effect on the hearers if he did not know what he was talking about.

  11. I’m pretty sure that in Jesus the Christ Talmage puts forth the opinion that the wedding in in Cana where water was turned to wine was in fact Christ’s own wedding, but I’d have to look it up to be sure. Whether or not it was in Jesus the Christ where the argument was made, I think it makes sense and lines up well with LDS doctrine.

  12. So, believers-in-a-married Jesus:

    why is the Church in the dark on what you are claiming to be a fundamental issue?

    (For further probings, see BT)

  13. Antonio Parr says:

    The New Testament refers repeatedly to the Church as the “bride” of Christ. If Christ had an earthly bride, one would think that the New Testament writers would have chosen another metaphor . . .

  14. “Why is the Church in the dark on what you are claiming to be a fundamental issue?”

    I don’t think it’s a fundamental issue at all. I don’t for a second think the Church is in the dark, either. I think they’re spinning for PR mighty hard these days. It’s like when they say that polygamists have nothing whatsoever to do with the Church. Sure, they aren’t members, but isn’t is a little disengenuous to put it like that when they believe in the same scriptures, the same founding Prophet, the same early leaders? I’d sooner end up in hell than be a polygamist myself, but if you’re a believer in the words of the prophets, polygamists have plenty of ground to stand on (just as the modern Church does). It’s not like they’re pulling it out of thin air.

    It’s the same with this new “aw shucks, we don’t know if Jesus was married or not” attitude. Brigham Young certainly thought he knew. So did Orson Pratt, Orson Hyde, John Taylor, and a myriad of others. I’ve got no problem with the statement, but for people to act so surprised when Church members believe Jesus was married makes it sound like there’s no foundation for it. Plenty of Church leaders have said he was married (even that he was a polygamist), I don’t know of a single one that said he wasn’t married.

    And again, I consider it a little disengenuous to say a handful of Church leaders expressed an opinion. They did no such thing, according to them or the followers they had. The taught Church doctrine (in their estimation), not an opinion.

  15. cchrissyy says:

    1) I’m agnostic about if Jesus married prior to this mortalitt, or in the spirit world after, but I don’t think he was married during his stay here.

    2)The church doesn’t check accuracy of what you submit at all. they only check for duplicate ordinace work. I do quite a lot of geneaology, but you can only trust the origional records- when people post their genealogies to Ancestry or Familysearch, and I find a common relative, I have no way of ever knowing how they got those names and dates and if I should adopt them into my tree. (I do include them, but can’t fully trust them)

  16. Jared E. says:

    Ronan,
    In post #12 you ask “why is the Church in the dark on what you are claiming to be a fundamental issue?”

    I do not think this point is relevant one way or the other. Currently the church takes the position of distancing itself from many issues that put LDS theology at odds with mainstream Christianity. I see the church’s lack of a position as a derivative of the church’s desire to avoid any doctrinal difficulties. I don’t think it’s lack of a position says anything about what the leaders of the church really believe regarding Jesus’ matrimonial status.

  17. John H and Jared E.

    What is your opinion of this PR tactic, as you seem to be suggesting exists?

  18. Jared E. says:

    John H.

    I think you may be over-reaching in saying that “it a little disingenuous to say a handful of Church leaders expressed an opinion. They did no such thing…”

    The men you reference believed many things which we do not currently believe. To state that ‘such and such’ is the case based upon what certain men said a hundred years ago is shaky ground.

  19. Aaron B says:

    Ronan,

    While I am actually agnostic on the question, I doubt that believers-in-a-married-Jesus necessarily need confront the supposed implications of the Church’s “ignorance” on the question. While there may be Church leaders who profess agnosticism on this issue, I suspect many have strong views on the subject … and that they believe Jesus WAS married. I further suspect that believers-in-a-married-Jesus have figured this, and so don’t feel the need to confront the implications of Church leaders’ ignorance.

    So why doesn’t the Church take a “doctrinal stand” on this question? I think that:

    1. With growing emphasis being placed on the canon, and less being placed on 19th Century Church leaders’ commentary, it only makes sense to downplay the 19th Century statements.

    2. The LDS Church has enough trouble being accepted into the Christian Club without one more weird 19th Century teaching rearing its ugly head and giving mainstream Christians one more reason to notice how odd we are.

    Aaron B

  20. Aaron B says:

    And I now see that everybody else beat me to the point …

    Aaron B

  21. I believe that Jesus was single.

    As a gospel doctrine teacher, I once asked how many class members thought He was married and how many thought He was not. Big mistake. I would not ask that question again in a gospel doctrine class. The feelings really run deep on both sides (although it seems like most bloggernacle posters believe that He was married).

    I think some members may subconsciously fear that if Jesus did not marry in this life, this might have set a “poor example” for us, or validate the “singleness” of the one-third of adult members who are unmarried (or even validate or excuse the singleness of priests and nuns in another faith tradition).

    It is interesting that of the many aspects of faith promoting folk beliefs in the Church, the Brethren chose to disassociate from this one. Perhaps a similar statement could be issued on the “curse of Cain.”

  22. Jared E. says:

    I posted at splendid sun the other day on a similar issue, so I’ll just quote that:

    I believe the real problems with doctine can be lumped into the following categories:
    1) The church has always adhered to a Utilitarian ethic, and
    2) those who define the doctrine for the church, do not take the time to sit down and think the semantics of their statements through.
    I think the first item is self evident. The church has always conducted itself in whatever way is most advantages to its growth and preservation. I see the church as presenting itself in whatever way will ultimately carry out its goals most efficiently. It was requisite upon Joseph Smith to lie about polygamy for the preservation of the church, it was necessary for the church to disavow polygamy to ensure its continued existence, the priesthood ban had to be changed if the church was to continue to expand, President Hinkley must distance himself from all of these old practices in order to gain wider appeal in the modern world. I don’t see any of these changes as ultimately being driven by anything but the utility of the moment. And what’s more, I see nothing wrong with this. The church’s stated goal is the spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, whatever carries out that goal most efficiently is what is right in that moment. I am sure there are many who will argue with my point of view, but it is only that, my point of view.
    The second problem is that church leaders do not analyze their words like we analyze them. It is in the church’s interest to propagate the belief that the beliefs of the Church are ‘true’, which they do by designating these teachings as doctrine. GA’s are not interested in splitting hairs, only in accomplishing the ultimate goals of the church.

  23. I don’t have an opinion on whether Jesus was married, but if I were asked to wager on the matter, I’d bet for (as opposed to against) his being married, for two reasons:

    1. It seems to be have been the general practice in the culture of the time for men of his age to be married (or so I’ve read, I haven’t verified this with independent research).
    Yes, there is the point that “if he was married, how come there is no mention of someone being his wife.?” But, the scriptures don’t mention many women at all, so I could see that detail not being important to the writers of the time. On the other hand, if in fact it was the practice for men to be married, if Christ weren’t married, maybe that fact would be more likely to receive commentary.

    2. I like to be reminded that in Mormon theology Jesus was human. As such, he had human passions and engaged in human actions. Our theology doesn’t require a virgin Mary(though for many we’ve ended up with that) or an Immaculate Conception, and shouldn’t find a marriage by Jesus to be problematic.

    As late as 1899, First Presidency members George . Cannon and Lorenzo Snow (who was prophet at the time) publicly taught that various leaders of the Saints were descended from Jesus. Any one have examples from the 1900s?
    (Mike suggests above that Talmage may do this)

  24. Jared E. says:

    Comment #22 was in response to Aaron B.’s question, I’m not trying to threadjack…

  25. Jared E. says:

    Actually I see it wasn’t Aaron’s question, but Ronan’s..

  26. I don’t know whether it was just generalized carping about the church, but I’ve read professional and serious-hobbyist genealogists who have decried the excessive errors submitted by members into the church’s system. Many of them are at the point where they don’t take the church’s records at face value and want to see the source documents themselves before relying on information in the church’s system.

    Given the way that I’ve seen members do slap-dash kind of work in church-related service, I give credence to those observations.

  27. Jared and Aaron,

    At what point does watering-down/changing/lying about/fudging the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” in order to promulgate the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” mean that you’re not promulgating the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” anymore? I’m genuinely interested in what you think about this. At what point does abandoning Mormon beliefs in order to join the Christian club mean that you’re not Mormon anymore?

  28. Jared E. says:

    Well Ronan,
    When you get a good answer to that question, let me know… I have no good answer. My only contention is that the behavior has an ethical basis. In my opinion, a Kantian ethic is much more attractive, but the church has never behaved in this manner. Do I think the church’s approach has drawbacks? I think it leaves many of its members not knowing what to believe (myself being one of them.)
    What do you think Ronan?

  29. Elisabeth says:

    If Jesus were married, then perhaps this could allay fears that he was homosexual.

  30. Jared E. says:

    Unless he were like many Mormon men who deny their homosexuality and marry anyway…

  31. Jared E. says:

    But what am I saying!!!

  32. Settle down Jared E. and ECS. I don’t think we want to launch into discussions of whether Jesus was homosexual. I don’t want to censor but I will delete further comments like that.

  33. Aaron Brown says:

    Elisabeth — Ian McKellan made a similar point in an interview. He said, “The Catholic Church seems to have a problem with gay people, so they should love this movie, since it teaches that Jesus Christ was certainly not gay!” (That’s a paraphrase).

    Aaron B

  34. Elisabeth says:

    I did not mean to be disrespectful in my comment about Jesus’ sexuality. It’s important to remember that Jesus was subject to the same temptations as everyone else is.

  35. Jared E. says:

    My comment was disrespectful, and I apoligize…

  36. I am with Gomez on this one. If Jesus was the literal son of God and inherited divine properties then it would have been a mess if he had sired children.

    It is probably inaccurate to invoke cultural practice in support of Jesus’s marriage. Paul’s discussion of the subject is quite clear. If celibacy hadn’t been a celebrated institution then Paul would not have been so defensive about being married.

    Moreover, the gospels are quite open about the fact that several of Christ’s disciples were married. It would be a curious omission not to mention the master’s wife.

  37. Jared E. says:

    Hellmut, you make a few good points.

    But just because the gospels don’t mention something doesn’t mean that it didn’t exist. I knew a guy growing up who attended a church where they do not sing, merely because it never mentions singing in the New Testament…

  38. With respect to the Da Vinci Code, I do not object to speculative theology in the service of entertainment. I do find it troubling, however, that Dan Brown taps into anti-Catholic mythology to market his story. The book is basically an updated version of bigotry that has endured in Anglo culture since the sixteenth century.

    It’s good business but it’s also despicable . . . if the Da Vinci Code warrants such a big word.

  39. rleonard says:

    Are y’all trying to tell me that the burning in my bosom when I read the Da Vinci code was indigestion?

  40. Jared E. says:

    Actually I think it was vomit…

  41. How working miracles and having power over death has any basis in genetic code is a mystery to me. Should we really assert that?

  42. Jared E. says:

    That is a great point Jared.

  43. “I knew a guy growing up who attended a church where they do not sing, merely because it never mentions singing in the New Testament”

    Perhaps he had a different translation. Matthew 26:30–“And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.”

    I do recall that Michael Hicks’ Mormonism and Music reports that there were a number of faiths at the time of Joseph Smith that excluded music from services. Those who opposed music in church meetings probably had an apologetic explanation of this passage.

  44. I agree with your point, Jared E., that the gospels cannot serve as the exclusive blueprint for our lives. But prescription and description are two different issues that should not be conflated.

    In light of the fact that the gospels specifically mentioned the disciples’ marital status, it would be curious if the same sources had ignored Christ’s wife.

    Is that conclusive evidence? Of course not. But it is another piece in the puzzle that marriage proponents have to account for.

  45. mullingandmusing says:

    At what point does watering-down/changing/lying about/fudging the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” in order to promulgate the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” mean that you’re not promulgating the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” anymore? I’m genuinely interested in what you think about this. At what point does abandoning Mormon beliefs in order to join the Christian club mean that you’re not Mormon anymore?

    I think it’s important to think about what “the gospel” is. The gospel is the fundamental doctrines, starting with the Atonement, and how we can come unto Christ and be saved. We also teach the Restoration. “Mormon beliefs” that aren’t consistently doctrinal and aren’t fundamental to the gospel aren’t focused on and that shouldn’t be a surprise. I’m not sure we can make assumptions that this is all PR or trying to be part of teh Christian club. Perhaps we should just realize that a lot of these fringey ideas don’t matter much to our salvation. The Church leaders aren’t shy about setting ourselves apart from Christendom on some pretty fundamental things, like the Godhead — things that alienate us big time from other religions (the kinds of things that make them think we aren’t “Christian”) and the interplay of faith and works. I would argue that it’s very possible that they are focusing on more fundamental doctrines for the members’ sake as much as anything…so we don’t spend our time on unnecessary speculations. There is so much to learn from the fundamentals anyway.

  46. Melinda says:

    I believe Jesus was married. In fact, when I read the DVC, I was disappointed to find out that the big secret was something as mundane as Jesus being married.

    I’m fine with the Church’s statement. They’re trying to distance themselves from the Da Vinci Code because it’s so nutty. Maybe if there was a respectable pop phenomenon that asserted that Jesus was married, they would have either been silent or agreed. I don’t think it’s that the Church really thinks Christ was single; I think it’s all the other crazy claims in the book that bother them.

  47. I read the church’s statement. It sounds like they are simply saying they don’t take a stand on the issue and it is not part of our doctrine. Obviously, early church leaders thought he was. Maybe they knew it for sure. We don’t know what they know so we can’t say for sure. Leaders today may know he is married or single, or maybe they don’t.
    I think the first presidency probably thinks it does not matter whether we have an official doctrine on the issue.

  48. MikeInWeHo says:

    There seems to be a pronounced tendency for the Brethren to gloss over or minimize the theological differences between Mormonism and American Evangelicalism. What other reason could there be to make a statement on Jesus’ marital status in obvious response to a movie like The DVC?

    Do you agree? If so, why do you think this is occurring?

  49. We still have in our family files somewhere a beautiful picture from a Church news circa 1970. It’s something of a family heirloom that my maternal grandmother liked to joke about. She had decided that there was no genealogy for her to do anymore because it had been completed by a professional genealogist in Europe. He, and the 12-foot pedigree he had discovered, were the subject of the exultant photograph, advertising the depth of the church’s genealogical holdings.

    My memory, admittedly intermittently fuzzy, is that when Granny finally decided to do some of her own genealogy just to know the basic outline of it, she began to discover some errors in the professional’s work. She probed deeper and eventually discovered that the pedigree was a fraud, that he had bilked the family for money and sat at his desk in Scandinavia making up entries for the family tree. Twelve feet of them.

    His contributions were ultimately expunged from the church’s database. I never did hear whether ordinances had been performed in the interim, which raises the question of the insipid film League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: will there be fictional characters in heaven? Presumably yes, and they would be the ones to walk the resurrected dogs.

    Re: the GIGO of the genealogical archives, this was a huge problem before computers and is well outlined in the history of the genealogy program of the church (Hearts of the Fathers or some such title). The standards are higher and data quality are better, though I’m sure mavericks still manage to insert references to the identical twins Danny and Schmuel, sons of Yehoshua, born ca AD 35.

  50. rleonard says:

    Goemz IS on to something. Would Jesus’s kids been 25% god? If he was indeed married I would think he would not have had kids.

  51. Was Jesus a “real” Rabbi, or did followers just call him that because he was a teacher, etc.?

    In the First Century, there were generally 3 basic requirements to be a real Rabbi

    (1) You had to be at least 30 years old.

    (2) You had to have a beard.

    (3) You had to be married, or at least a widower.

    (Maybe Jesus got married but his wife died prior to his ministry and before he had children? That would not be uncommon for the day.)

  52. Mark N. says:

    If Jesus was the literal son of God and inherited divine properties then it would have been a mess if he had sired children.

    Only if we insist on ascribing some kind of magical abilities to people with 25% pure heavenly DNA. Maybe all of those godly traits are so recessive that it’s not a problem…

  53. Kimball L. Hunt says:

    Talmage merely speculated the wedding at Cana to have been an affair sponsored by Jesus’s parents (due Mary’s concern about providing wine there), but doesn’t speuculate further as to whether it’s Jesus or one of his brothers who’s getting married. Catholics have historically engaged in the same kind of deductive speculations as engaged in by posters here (exept this time from an assumption Mary’s eternally a Virgin) to decide Christ must not even have brothers though.

    Anyway: Christ was foreordained to perish, his Y chromosomes along with Him? Or is Godness distinct from mere chromosomal coding?

    Interesting enough, B Young taught Adam to be god(in some sense that’s never been explained to me) along, presumably, with all other humans’ Y chromosomal coding? And while we’re at it, how do you all figure God stretched out Adam’s Y into an X when He took that material from A’s rib?

  54. Mark Pickering says:

    What would we expect a person that is genetically 25% god to be like? The idea we have about Jesus himself is that, being 50% immortal and 50% mortal, he could choose whether to die or not to die (sort of like Elrond and his brother in the Simirillion who were half elvish and half man). There are some New Testament passages invoked to defend this position. In some circumstances, it appeared that Jesus was invulnerable:

    And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way (Luke 4:28-30).

    In fact, it seems that the only way Jesus could die would be to voluntarily do so (suicide?):

    No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again (John 10:18).

    If this was, in fact, due to his genes, then we might expect the trait of immortality to be expressed in some form by his children. One could imagine 25% immortal children being impervious to wounds but dying of old age, or we could imagine them being vulnerable to wounds but impervious to age, etc. They might heal extraordinarily quickly, show super-strength, etc. Again, I find the Simirillion helpful in imagining what this would be like: they would be something like the men of Numenor until the genes were too widely dispersed for these characteristics to be noticed any more.

    From the fact that there is no record of Jewish children with super powers, we might reach one of the following conclusions:

    1. These children escaped notice or records of them have been lost or suppressed.
    2. There were no such children because Jesus did not beget any children.
    3. Jesus begat children but did not transfer divine genes (either because he didn’t have any or he could manipulate which genes were in the one lucky sperm that penetrated the egg)

  55. KathleenP says:

    Re Kevin’s Comment #2.

    I laughed out loud.

    KathleenP

  56. Chauncey K. says:

    I liked the remark The LDS church has decided to “join the party” as if the possibility of Jesus being married was a new concept. Maybe we (I use we because I am one) should all jump for joy and give Dan Brown a medal of honor for giving us light and knowlege and changing our doctrine. . . Or maybe not.

    The Church has been ambiguous in many topics. We believe in revelation, and that God speaks to man. Our doctrine comes from God through prophets. When prophets don’t give us clear-cut answers on a given topic, it’s not because the prophet’s ability to prophesy has failed, or God’s ability to communicate with prophets has failed, but rather it’s not our time for knowing. The church has NOT as of thus given us a clear-cut answer of Jesus’s marital status because it is not yet our time.

    There have been hints ever since the beginning of the Church that Christ might have been married. The possibility fits in with all the other doctrines of the church. If the prophet ever comes out with an official statement that Christ was married, it shouldn’t come to the suprise of anyone. We can read statements since Brigham Young that would support this claim.

    It is also important to keep in mind that there are other ideas in Dan Brown’s work that do not go along with doctrines of the church. There are truths written in the book, but along side it are many errors. Despite these errors I enjoyed both the book and the movie as a suspense thriller and a book of symbolism. Such a book should not be taken as doctrine. Any claim that the LDS church has jumped on the DaVinci Bandwagon is ridiculous. Our roots are to strong for such an idea.

  57. Thomas Parkin says:

    Hallo Aaron.

    What ordinances are neccesary to be exalted? Baptism, for one, and everything that leads to this:

    1 In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;

    2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and deverlasting covenant of marriage];

    3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.

    Is there any reason to believe the Christ would demonstrate the perfect example of obedience is submitting to baptism by John but not submit to the other neccesary ordinances? I’m being purely speculative – but I’ve always beleived that Christ was married to Mary based on this line of thinking, and the fact that it is she to whom he first appeared after his ressurection (who would you first appear to?) As far as the church’s comment – it wonderfully puts parenthesis around speculation in, say, GD class, that can come to nothing and is likely to be generate bad feeling for nothing. (I personally think that this is a vital subject for some,- it is for me,- and that, if so, suspending preconceived notions and not dwelling unduly on it, people should in private and among close trusted friends, explore it dilligently, searching in the Spirit – and maybe not expect to get a definite answer right away.)

    I don’t claim to know anything about it, but if I did, based on this:

    “It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men”

    I imagine I wouldn’t say so.

    ~

  58. Thomas Parkin,

    You have excellent points, and I agree with your reasoning. I don’t understand why others cite this same reasoning with one breath, and then turn around and say with the other breath that the reason that this has not been revealed is that it is not essential to our salvation. Did you see that? It was predicate logic flying out the window. Either it IS or it ISNT. I don’t understand how it can be both. Why do people keep saying that: “if it were important, we’d have been told. A possible lineage or spouse of the Savior is not relevant to our salvation, and therefore has not been revealved.”

    Could it be instead that we aren’t righteous enough to receive this information? Or perhaps have women been written out of history by chauvinists? I don’t agree with the other argument that I’ve been given lately to explain why this hasn’t been discussed. “Women are too sacred to be talked about and mentioned in history.” Mmmm. I have no idea where this vein originated. Where does this sacrosanct respect come from? I’ve not seen ANY female treated with an inkling of this type of respect (even in church history.)For the most part, women have been treated at best- like Mary Fielding- at worst like Emma. Is this perhaps why God’s ‘other half’ has been left out of our muddied hands???

    Also, do we forsee the church remaining silent about this issue? For how long? Could they give more official information AFTER the sensationalized public attention to the topic, or would that be too tacky? On a scale of 1-10 (1 being ‘heck no’ and 10 being ‘written in stone’) do you think that there will be more info on this forthcoming before the 2nd comming? I wonder when we’re going to get (in the words of Paul Harvey) “the rest of the story”.

    J.A.T.

  59. So when you do family history research, *document your sources* and *use only primary sources for temple submissions*. I never trust what I find in any database or website or by word of mouth – I want to see the original document. I guess if someone wants to forge a birth certificate or 1700’s parish register, they’ll get me.

  60. Are Your Children or Grandchildren, Kids/Goats?

    We really should try to speak like we love GOD and all HIS Creation, especially HIS Children.

    In Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Concordances: His Children

    On your website on Internet we see the words Kid/Kids , if we looked at the language of the Bible we see Goats.

    In Strong’s Concordance the Old Testament Hebrew word Kid is Strong’s number ryes sa’iyr of res sa’ir, bn, zn from TWOT-2274c, 2274e KJV – Kid 28, Goat 24, Devil 2, Satyr 2, Hairy 2, Rough 1.

    In the New Testament Greek we see Kid used once. In Luke 15:29 it is also defined in Strong’s Concordance number as Goat.

    We read in Matthew 25:31-32: When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep [His Children] from the goats : And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

    Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues [the language of God’s word, the Bible].

    Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues*, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

    * not the language of the world.

    Let God be Magnified!

    In Christian love,
    Sincerely,

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