Mormon Beliefs on Jesus & Mary Magdalene

Mormon apostles have different opinions about Jesus.
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Mormons, or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), don't say much, officially, about the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. There is, however, a trail of comments by prominent Mormon leaders indicating that some Mormons might believe that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were more than just friends.

1 The New Testament

LDS members believe a lot of what mainstream Christians think about Jesus: He's the Son of God, was born of a virgin, lived an earthly life as a perfect man and ultimately died a sacrificial death to redeem sinful humankind. Mormons, like other Christian groups, base these beliefs on the Bible, particularly the New Testament (Christian Greek Scriptures). Using the Greek Scriptures as reference, the Mormons acknowledge that Mary Magdalene was a devoted disciple of Jesus, that Jesus expelled "seven devils" from her and that Jesus appeared to her first after his resurrection.

2 The Book of Mormon

Joseph Smith, the founder of LDS, wrote the Book of Mormon, which became a major part of the foundation for Mormon belief. But there evidently is no reference to Mary Magdalene in the Book of Mormon or to any possibility that Jesus had a romantic relationship with a woman. However, some have wondered about "the seed" or "offspring" of the Messiah mentioned in the Bible book of Isaiah, and whether that means Jesus had children. The Book of Mormon passage Mosiah 15:10-12 explains that the seed refers to those redeemed of their sins and who become heirs to the kingdom of God.

3 19th-Century Mormon Leaders

In the latter part of the 19th century, two prominent Mormons -- the LDS apostles Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt -- spoke about the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Their words were recorded in the book, "Journal of Discourses," an "unofficial" publication detailing early Mormon history. This book reveals that both Hyde and Pratt believed that Jesus, in the pattern of other Jewish men in ancient times, was married, and that Mary Magdalene was at least one of his wives.

4 20th- & 21st-Century Mormon Leaders

Joseph Fielding Smith -- not to be confused with Joseph Smith, Jr., Mormonism's founder -- was a church apostle active throughout the 20th century. In response to a letter sent to him from an LDS member asking whether Jesus was married, Smith responded, "Yes!" but admonished the member not to preach about it. However, in 2006, Mormon spokesman Dale Bills commented on the implications made by the popular novel, "The Da Vinci Code," about Jesus and Mary Magdalene, saying: "The belief that Christ was married has never been official church doctrine."

Aaron Charles began writing about "pragmatic art" in 2006 for an online arts journal based in Minneapolis, Minn. After working for telecom giant Comcast and traveling to Oregon, he's written business and technology articles for both online and print publications, including and "The Portland Upside."