Did the Virgin Mary have other children after Jesus?
From information gathered from the LDS Collectors Library '97, it appears that the brothers and sisters of
Jesus were really his cousins and it is possible that Jesus didn't have brothers or sisters in agreement with
ancient Christian traditions.
Those siblings of Jesus cited in the New Testament were likely his cousins through the sister of the Virgin Mary or more likely, through the brother of Joseph named Clopas or Cleophas.
The Virgin Mary possibly had a sister named Mary, John 19:25. There would not have been two Marys in one family. The name for Mary, the
mother of Jesus, should be translated as Miriam. At this late date, it would be very unpopular to change the
Bible translations to reflect this.
...Simon, surnamed Zelotes or
Cananean (not Canaanite), both terms indicating his original connection with the Galilean Zealot party, the
'Zealots for the Law' His position in the Apostolic Catalogue, and the testimony of Hegesippus, seem to
point him out as the son of Clopas, and brother of James, and of Judas Lebbeus. These three were, in a
sense, cousins of Christ, since, according to Hegesippus, Clopas was the brother of Joseph, while the
sons of Zebedee were real cousins, their mother Salome being a sister of the Virgin. (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, Vol.2, Footnotes, p.113)
Eusebius, whose writings date from the early part of the fourth century, cites the writings of Hegesippus,
who lived in the first quarter of the second century, as follows: "The same author [Hegesippus] also talks
of the beginning of the heresies that arose about this time, in the following words: 'But after James the Just
had suffered martyrdom, as our Lord had for the same reason, Simeon, the son of Cleophas, our Lord's
uncle, was appointed the second bishop [of Jerusalem] whom all proposed as the cousin of our
Lord." (James E. Talmage,
The Great Apostasy, Notes, Chapter 6, Note 4, Schisms and Heresies in the Early Church)
Clopas had a wife named Mary and it is their children that are always cited as being the brothers
and sisters of Jesus in keeping with the way cousins were often referred to. (Matthew 13:55-56 Is not this
the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and
Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this [man] all these things?)
of Cleophas is mentioned in the King James Version, but more accurately should be Mary "of Clopas", i.e. the wife of Clopas
- or Alphaeus. She is brought before us for the first time on the day of the crucifixion, standing by the cross.
John 19:25. In the evening of the same day we find her sitting desolate at the tomb with Mary Magdalene,
Matthew 27:61, Mark 15:47; and at the dawn of Easter morning she was again there with sweet species, which
she had prepared on the Friday night, Mat. 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 23:56, and was one of those who had "a
vision of angels which said that he was alive." Luke 24:23. She had four sons and at least three
daughters. The names of the daughters are unknown to us; those of the sons are James, Joses, Jude
and Simon, two of whom became enrolled among the twelve apostles (James), and a third (Simon) may
have succeeded his brother in charge of the church of Jerusalem. By many she is thought to have been
the sister to the Virgin Mary.
That these children belonged to woman named Mary but different from
Mary the mother of Jesus is indicated in Matthew 27:56: Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the
mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children. Also in Mark 15:40 There were also
women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and
of Joses, and Salome; John 19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister
(probably Salome the mother of James and John the sons of Zebadee), Mary the [wife] of Cleophas, and
Also, since Joseph is not mentioned as being present after Jesus is twelve years old (on a trip to Jerusalem
for the Passover), it is possible that Joseph died when Jesus was a teenager or young man. I don't think it
would be unusual for Mary and Jesus to become part of the household of other family members where
cousins would become as brothers and sisters. However, Joseph is still known by others during Jesus'
ministry, and therefore his death could have been much latter than Jesus' childhood (John 6:42: And they
said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I
came down from heaven?) Joseph must have died before the time of the crucifixion else why would Jesus
have asked John to look after
John 19:26-27: When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the
disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
Also, if Jesus
had other brothers through Mary, why would it have been necessary to ask some non-relation to act as a son to take care of his mother?
Search the Scriptures all you want, and you will not find Mary identified as the mother of anyone but Jesus. Her perpetual virginity has been taught by the Christian faith from the beginning. St. Augustine in the fifth century described Mary as "a virgin who conceives, a virgin who gives birth, a virgin with child, a virgin delivered of child - a virgin ever virgin."
Are LDS beliefs similar to the Catholic view of Mary?
Bruce R. McConkie (a former LDS apostle) had this to say about Mary:
"Our Lord's mother, Mary, like Christ, was chosen and foreordained in the
pre-existence for the part she was destined to play in the great plan of
salvation. Hers was the commission to provide a temporal body for the
Lord Omnipotent, to nurture and cherish him in infancy and youth, and to
aid him in preparing for that great mission which he alone could perform.
Certainly she was one of the noblest and greatest of all the spirit
offspring of the Father."
Mormons do not believe in the Immaculate Conception of Mary nor her Assumption
into Heaven nor her being crowned Queen of Heaven. They can't see Mary
in the Revelation of St. John. They also believe that Mary is one of the many wives of God the Father and that God the Father had a physical sexual relationship with Mary in becoming the Father of Jesus. One former prophet of the church (Brigham Young) taught that God the Father was actually
Adam the first man, thus making Christ a most direct son of Adam. Mormons don't
believe the dead can help the living although they do believe the dead can be helped by the living through temple work. Mormons therefore do not ask the dead for help and this includes not asking Mary
or the Saints for help. They also believe that after Jesus
was born that Mary and Joseph began a normal conjugal relationship and
had other sons and daughters (it is in response to this one belief that I
developed this page in support of the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.)
Mormons are more likely to say that Mary is the mother of the Son of God rather than the mother of God.