I’ve been thinking about the meaning and importance of Christ being the Firstborn and the Only Begotten lately because that’s what our Visiting Teaching lesson is for the month. Because He is the firstborn son, he inherits all that the Father has (reinforced by traditions of the day). As He is the Only Begotten, we are able to receive the same. This is my simple understanding of the scriptures: During His life on earth, His followers described Him as their “King”, meaning he inherited a royal status. His enemies thought that was because of His lineage through Joseph who descended from King David. While that was correct, on the surface, there was more to it. Jesus inherited the kingdom of God because He was God’s only begotten in the flesh. We are all spirit children of God. But Jesus is the only one that He fathered in the flesh. Jesus would need both mortal and immortal qualities in order to perform the Atonement and the resurrection in our behalf.
The lesson says it better than I can so I’ll just share it here and I added a cute Christmas video:
Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is called the Only Begotten Son because He is the only person on earth to be born of a mortal mother and an immortal Father. He inherited divine powers from God, His Father. From His mother, Mary, He inherited mortality and was subject to hunger, thirst, fatigue, pain, and death.1
Because Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten of the Father, He was able to lay down His life and take it up again. The scriptures teach that “through the atonement of Christ,” we “obtain a resurrection” (Jacob 4:11). We also learn that all “might be raised in immortality unto eternal life” if we “would believe” (D&C 29:43).
As we come to understand more fully what it means for Jesus to be the Only Begotten Son of the Father, our faith in Christ will increase. Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “Faith in Jesus Christ is the conviction and assurance of (1) His status as the Only Begotten Son of God, (2) His infinite Atonement, and (3) His literal Resurrection.”2 Modern prophets have testified: “[Jesus Christ] was … the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.”3
From Our History
In the New Testament we read of women, named and unnamed, who exercised faith in Jesus Christ, learned and lived His teachings, and testified of His ministry, miracles, and majesty. These women became exemplary disciples and important witnesses in the work of salvation.
For example, Martha bore strong testimony of the Savior’s divinity when she said to Him, “I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world” (John 11:27).
Some of the earliest witnesses of the Savior’s divinity were His mother, Mary, and her cousin Elisabeth. Soon after the angel Gabriel visited Mary, she visited Elisabeth. As soon as Elisabeth heard Mary’s greeting, she “was filled with the Holy Ghost” (Luke 1:41) and bore testimony that Mary would become mother to the Son of God.
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