Dr. Einar C. Erickson
Ancient Document Mormon Scholar
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For those who abide the covenant, and those who do abide the covenant shall have peace and healing from the Spirit during the length of days and then shall they bear seed with all everlasting blessings and eternal rejoicing in the victorious life of eternity and they shall have a crown of glory together with garments of majesty and dwell in eternal light.



Among the great chroniclers of Central American history and customs was Friar Bernardino de Sahagun who likened the evil god TEZSCATLIPOCA to Lucifer in the Christian tradition, keeping the peoples at war all the time. ( Phillips P. 178) Things the ancients recorded about Lucifer are only kown to Mormons. He prepared a compendious work of 12 volumes on THE GENERAL HISTORY OF THINGS OF NEW SPAIN. (Phillips p. 112) The Spanish also taught the native to record and write ancestral histories, Such as the CODEX MENDOZA, THE CODEX AUBIN, THE CODEX XOL0TL and others. Bishop Dieago de Landa overzealous, and to Catholicize the natives, under duress, had them gather all their books and then had them burned at Mani. Criticized and called back to Spain, he recanted and spent most of the rest of his life gathering history and customs for his REPORT OF THINGS IN YUCATAN, which also described human sacrifices. 


Most Latter-Day Saints have a picture in their minds of the Courageous Lamanite Prophet announcing from the walls of Zarahemla the dramatic signs of Christ’s birth and death, crying repentance (Hel. 14:10), with arrows and stones zipping past him not harming him at all. Many artists have captured this image. (Largey pp. 697-699) 

The Book of Mormon is completely silent about where he came from and what was his background, he was certainly a very mature and experienced prophet and lived close to the veil because angels directed and taught him, (Hel. 13:7) and he was teaching and following the direct commandments of GOD.  While old he was still quite agile to be able to climb the great walls of the city.  Was he one of the 8000 that had been converted by the powerful preaching of Nephi and Lehi in the land of Zarahemla and round about? (Hel. 5:19) Or one of the 300 and those they converted when Nephi and Lehi were saved from the Lamanite prison? (Hel. 5:50) Whatever, he lived at a time when the Lamanites did observe strictly to keep the commandments of God, while the Nephites “remained in wickedness,  yea in great wickedness.” (Hel.  13:1)

Samuel was divinely commissioned to declare the “glad tidings” about Christ he had received from the ‘angel.” He was faithful, zealous and earnest, but soundly rejected. (Hel. 13:2; 14:10) The voice of the Lord stopped him from returning home when he was rejected and expelled by them, (Hel. 13:7), and instructed him to return and prophesy “whatsoever things should come into his heart.” (Hel. 13:3) So he returned and from the top of the wall of the city he boldly announced the four-fold purpose of his message:

“For this intent have I come up upon the walls of this city that ye might [1] hear and know of the judgements of GOD  which do await you because of your iniquities and also that ye might [2] know the conditions of repentance and also that ye might [3] know of the of the  coming of JESUS CHRIST….and that  ye might  [4] know of the signs of his coming, to the intent that ye  might believe on his name.” (Hel.14:11-12) 

Because they had become a hard-hearted and stiff-necked people following foolish and blind guides, rejecting the prophets, (Hel. 13:26) choosing darkness rather than light, (13:29)  the Lord would suffer them no longer. (13:5; 8-10) He would take away his word, withdraw his spirit, and visit them with sword, famine pestilence, and utter destruction. (Hel 13:5; 30) The land would be cursed so their riches would be ‘slippery’ and fade away in the earth, (He 13:17, 35-36) “Because you have set your hearts on riches. You are cursed because of your riches.” (Hel. 13:21) Because there were still some righteous in the city, GOD refrained from sending fire to destroy them all.  (Hel. 13:14) Samuel was teaching hard doctrine, but he was not getting through to very many people.

Upon his return, Samuel prophesied dire consequences, which could be averted if the people would repent. The Lord would turn away his anger if they would repent and turn unto him, (Hel. 13:11; 14:13) or He would utterly destroy them. (Hel. 15:17) Because of the death of Christ, His Atonement, (Hel. 14:15; 18) by repenting, they could escape temporal destruction, being cast into the fire, and suffer spiritual death, even a second death. “Repent and prepare ye the way of the Lord. Ye will repent of all your sins that thereby ye may have a remission of them [sins] through his [Christ’s] merits.”  (Hel. 14:13) They didn’t repent. He did destroy them. (Hel.15:7)

 Before he left the wall, he had more to say concerning the first coming of CHRIST. Samuel knew and they knew that “Five years more cometh, and behold then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name.”  (Hel. l14:2) From the beginning of Nephite history, it was written that the Messiah would come 600 years from the time Lehi left Jerusalem. (1 Ne. 10:4; 19:8; 2 Ne. 25:19) But Samuel was a true prophet and he could say more and he did:  He revealed specific signs that would be at THE BIRTH and THE DEATH OF CHRIST.

 At the BIRTH there would be ONE DAY AND A NIGHT AND A DAY, as it were one day, and there were no night. There would be a NEW STAR and many signs and wonders in heaven. Many would be amazed, fall to the earth and convert. (Hel.14:3-7)

At His DEATH, there would be no light upon the face of the earth from his death on Friday afternoon to his resurrection early Sunday morning.  (Hel. 3-7; 14:20) THREE DAYS OF DARKNESS, there would be thunder and lightnings and earthquakes, (Hel. 14:21-24), graves would open and resurrected beings would appear unto many. (Hel. 14:25; 3 Ne. 23:9-11)

The Angel had told him all the “signs were given to the intent that there should be no cause for unbelief among the children of men…whosoever will believe might be saved….whosoever will not believe a righteous judgement might come upon  them, and also if they are condemned they bring upon themselves their own condemnations.” (Hel. 14:28-29) These two signs, one of NO night at his birth, and the other, NO  light at his death, are the subject of legends and accounts handed down in various forms and from different sources, becoming distorted, but not enough to not see the parallels  with confirmation of other aspects of the events  that verify the ancients knew a lot more than even we do about these signs.  I prepared a four CD series  on Mesoamerica, in them were some references to these signs, unique parallels. Since then other publications have come forth that I can now integrate into a brief account that really says it all!

CALDERWOOD quotes FROM Pedro de Cieza de Leon: “…these Indians tell a thing that far exceeds all else they say… a long time went by in which they did not see the sun and that they suffered great hardships from this lack and that they  made great prayers and vows to those they held to be their gods, imploring of them the light that had failed…and appeared among them a white man, large of stature …aroused great respect and veneration…had great powers., making plains of the hills and of the plains, high mountains…they called him Maker of all things, from  beginning…he instructed people how to they should live…to be good …not to do any one harm or injury, love one another...use charity to all…he is called Ticci Viaracocha.” The name means Fathered Serpent.

FROM Cabello Valboa:  “… and the sun was darkened…rocks were broken up…many graves were opened and men dead since many years earlier were seen…in certain areas of Peru…venerable presence and appearance with long beards who dealt justly with everyone…preached ideas of a new, more saintly way to  live…these men  taught in many areas.”  The Book of Mormon account does not mention these men. Could this be an account of the activity of the Three Nephites?  

FROM Francisco de Avila: ” In ancient times the sun died, Because of his [the sun’s death] it was night for five days, rocks banged against each other.”

FROM Diego Duran in his vast- history wrote: there was a “period when the natives did not see the sun and were deprived of fire….that the sun and the moon were to  be hidden for four days and that everything would be enveloped  in darkness.” Diego Duran compiled the History of the Indies of New Spain and the Book of the Gods and Rites and the Ancient Calender. (Duran p. v)

FROM Juan de Betanzos: Who started his account by referring  “to an ancient legend of a time when the land and the provinces of Peru were dark and neither firelight of daylight  existed….total darkness…neither sunlight…nor apparently fire of any kind…there was no light from any source…during the time of total darkness the people were visited by a Lord… whose name was Contiti Viracocha Pacha –yachachic, which in their language means “God, maker of the world”…He wrote about terrible disasters…[to those] who were disobedient to God’s commandments.” (3 Ne. 9:1, 3-13; Calderwood pp. 121-127) Accounts of these episodes are given from Central American sources below. These just quoted are essentially from Peruvian sources. No one has yet assembled the details of both accounts and made a comparison. They differ in interesting detail enough that led Scott Hoyt  in one of the most recent studies, (HOYT P. 134) to suggest Christ may have made a visit to the Peruvians like He did to the Central Americans. Christ “did tell the Nephites, after all, that they were not the only people the Father had commanded him to visit after his resurrection. “ (3 Ne. 16:1-3)  HOYT points how some of the CRONISTAS (Chroniclers)  Catholicized their accounts  of the Viracocha legends to distance themselves from “false”  Inca beliefs turning Quetzalcoatl and Viracocha [such as in the Yucatan and Cuzco] temples into Catholic chapels. (Hoyt p. 121) However he has no doubt that the “descriptions of Christ’s life and mission are reflected in Ancient Peruvian Legends.” (Hoyt p.112) Peruvian histories refer to travels of peoples from the north by coastal currents that account for a southern transfer of the elite of the INCA, or some of Lehi’s people, and that archeologists had actually manned Inca type craft drifting out from Lima or Tumbez, Peru (Richardson 111 p. 153) and arriving in 64 days in Panama, (Savoy p. 213) and that there had been cultural and economic exchanges along the coast, north and south, for centuries. (Lanning pp. 31)  The content of the Peruvian material favors a separate visit by Christ to Peru. Weren’t they descendants of Lehi also? But they do not seem to have been organized with a quorum of 12.  

A well-informed student of Central America and a non-Mormon, sifting through the transmitted evidence of the stories of Quetzalcoatl-Viracocha, and other Gods, summarized: “certain features…consistent in all the many retellings of the legend. He was white and bearded, he came from the east from across the ocean, he was a fugitive from his own land he came a very long time ago, he taught a gentle faith and was opposed to human or animal sacrifice. He offered a new way of looking at the relationship of God and man…this   spiritual approach to life and living was still discernible 1,500 years later…In Christianity [and Mormonism] the essential elements are purification of the body (baptism), purification of the soul (confession and absolution), propitiation of the deity (prayer), sacrifices by proxy (the Lord’s Supper, the offering of goods or services), and the reward, life after death (the resurrection). ALL OF THESE liturgical practices were found by the sixteenth-century Spanish Friars in the New World. All were associated with the name of the AmerIcan cultural-hero Quetzalcoatl or his successors is the high priesthood… Archaeological evidence strongly reinforces the impression that an alien element was interjected into the high cultures of the Americas at a period remote from the present. The evidence ranges from the general to the specific …found all the way from the Mississippi basin to the altiplano of Peru and Bolivia that indicates that an event of far reaching consequences of a religious nature occurred sometime in the first opening centuries of the …Christian…era [on] the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and the land areas contiguous to it. (Millar pp. 161-162) His book is reader friendly and very informative. Others have studied the religions of Central America and South America and concluded that “Viraocha in many respects resembles the Mexican god Quetzalcoatl…anthropologists are giving more credence than formerly to the probability of pre-Columbian trans-Pacific influences and voyages.” (Mason p.207) And trans-Atlantic as well.

So what is all of this going to prove? It proves that Samuel the Lamanite prophet actually lived and the Book of Mormon benefits greatly from this knowledge. Samuel the Lamanite did exit, he did prophecy of the signs! The signs, knowledge of which have been transmitted in various forms and accounts for nearly two thousand years, confirm the authenticity of actual documents in the possession of Joseph Smith, but this is just one of many that have been emerging from a close scrutiny and study of the Book of Mormon.


We can start with 3 Nephi 8:3: “3. And the people began to look with great earnestness for the sign which had been given by the Prophet Samuel, the Lamanite, yea, for the time that there should be darkness for the space of three days over the face of the land.” But if you start with the great storms and a terrible tempest and terrible shaking of the whole earth  [verses 5, 6] and the beginning of destruction of great cities, Including Zarahemla;  some said there were four days of darkness.  Because a great God had died, [Quetzalcoatl--Jesus Christ]. Because he had to go someplace and do something.

“…all the rare birds appeared when Quetzalcoatl died, for which reason they call him Lord of Dawn. They say that when he died dawn did not appear for four days, because he had gone to dwell among the dead and that in four days he provided himself with arrows, for which reason in eight days there appeared the great star called Quetzalcoatl and they add that he was enthroned as Lord.”  ( Sejourne p. 58)   “The soul follows the same route, she descends from her celestial home, and enters the darkness of matter only to rise again glorious…Quetzalcoatl signifies just this:…a belief in the heavenly origin of the individual…those who have a “body of earth, ” just be directed to those who have no recollection of their divine origin….to go to the land of the Mystery…in which one does not die,  does my mother live there? Does my father live there? …Another place where they said the souls of the dead went, the earthly paradise named Tlalocan…the other place where the soul of the dead go is the sky where the Sun is…the over-riding need for penitence and purification dominating …human existence is a preparation for death….other fragments …gives ….  details of this descent into…the kingdom of the dead…..I have come …to fetch them…..this why Quetzalcoatl is above all the REDEEMER.” (Sejourne pp. 59-72)

The arrows he gathered while he was in the land of the dead, were his thunderbolts that he would shoot to “reveal to human kind the salvation each individual can try to achieve for himself.” (Sejourne p. 143)

I have visited the great and vast ruin of TEOTIHUATECAN several times, its immensity speaks loudly of the complex nature of the Mesoamerican achievements, there is a temple to Quetzalcoatl which has frescos that depict the inner body or spirit body of Quetzalcoatl visiting the Land of the dead, which is reproduced for this entry. (see the image of XOLOTL)  Note how they struggled to represent the spirit body  of Quetzalcolatl, a bare form or  image, enough  to know there is a human form there.  In the upper left are three dots, or points, part of a numerical glyph representing the three days he was in the Land of the Dead. The bar on the left of the dots represents a glyph for eight, representing thunderbolts with the message of individual salvation on them. The volute with its dimples of emphasis, that emits from his mouth depicts an intense and a strong all-embracing message of high and low doctrine he is forcefully delivering to them, summarized in verse D&C 138: 19 “….He preached [to them for nearly three days [remember there is no night in the spirit world] the everlasting gospel, the doctrine of the resurrection and the redemption of mankind from the fall and from individual sins on condition of repentance. “ What, on these subjects did he yet  have to give to such as Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and others  that they didn’t already know? What a session to participate in.  But note that the ancient chronicles do hint at the subject matter he taught: matters of salvation and redemption. And they contain the elements of the vast destruction of cities and the upheavals of the earth. (Sojourne p. 142-143) When he went into the spirit world for the three days of darkness He is represented as being out of his body and the human like representation is called XOLOTL, symbolic of the butterfly larva from which springs the Lord of Dawn and the Morning Star in all their splendor.” (Ibid, see the representation)

“Now that the Book of Mormon is demonstrated to be a Mesoamerican document, it will only be good scholarly sense to use it for the information it contains about the ancient [Mesoamerican] world.” (Sorenson p.705) More than 100 specific and unique parallels found in the ancient sources were tabulated by Wirth along with the Book of Mormon sources of the doctrines and  parallels, with discussions throughout  the  book. Also provided is 102 publications containing one or more parallels. (Wirth pp. 102-103, 111-119) I could provide another 30 unique doctrines including being nurtured by a heavenly mother and father, raised and sent to earth, the nature of the spirit world, doctrines of the cosmos  (Freidel p. 12) and the creation agreeable to the Temple Ceremony,  and much more.


B. H. Roberts, of the Seventy, planned and wrote an elaborate centennial commemoration of Joseph Smith’s first view of the golden plates at the Hill  Cumorah. Soon afterwards the Church acquired the property, the hill and environs. In 1937 the first performance of AMERICA’S WITNESSS FOR CHRIST took place. Within ten years, more than 100,000 were attending the expanding annual performance. It is the American equivalent of Germany’s Oberammergau Passion  Play. The Hill Cumorah Pageant is the country’s largest and oldest outdoor drama, featuring volcanoes, earthquakes, hundreds of armored warriors, priest, court dancers, kings and peasants, a seven level stage, ten light towers, digitally recorded music water curtains, and a spectacular descent of Christ from heaven. There are more than 640 parts. One of my granddaughters played a role in one of the recent presentations. In 1997 Donny Osmond tried out for the part of Samuel the Lamanite. Samuel would have been well pleased; perhaps he was! (Givens p. 244) Samuel’s original message was greeted with great disbelief. (Ibid p. 46) Now it is being seen, read, heard and believed all over the world.


“QUETZALCOATL was the source of the religious views that dominated Mesoamerica for over fifteen hundred years. He was the Messiah of ancient Mexico…The Maya prayed “to the Lord Quetzalcoatl: and considered him the Savior and Protector of All.” (Cryer p. 167)

The name Quetzalcoatl is derived from two, NAHUATL/AZTEC  language words: QUETZAL, a beautiful bird with Long, undulating green tail feathers  six or seven times the length of its body; the word also means ‘precious,’ and COATL, means ‘serpent’ or ‘twin.’ Both this bird and the serpent appear as art motifs associated with Quetzalcoatl. He was held in high esteem, he was supreme, a great priest, a God. (Warren p. 3)

An important document that provides much satisfaction for LDS scholars who see in it and other chronicles of the western Hemisphere, confirmation of the content of the Book of Mormon in ancient Mexican history, is the WORKS OF IXTHILIXOCHIT,  (It’s-ah-little-cho-chitle), written in Spanish at about the close of the sixteenth century. But it was 200 years before it was published. It was in the tremendous compilation and research of Lord Kingsborough, the ANTIQUITIIES of MEXICO, a nine volume set. Volumes one to seven were published in 1829-1831.  Volumes eight and nine were not published until 1848 and then only in Spanish. Volume nine contained the important Works of IXTLILXOCHITL, the first edition of which was not published anywhere until 1848 in England... (Hunter pp. 6-7).  He had also intended a tenth volume and had prepared 60 pages. The set of nine books cost $1330, beyond the means of most people then and now. (Hunter p. 7) In 1839 the famous historian, William H. Prescott who authored THE CONQUEST OF MEXICO and THE CONQUEST OF PERU, was waiting for his copy TO ARRIVE in America. (Hunter p. 7)

He was born Edward King, in 1795, the first son of George the third, Earl of Kingston. When his father succeeded the earldom in 1799, King was known as the Viscount of Kingsborough.  His education was extensive and the best. The sight of an Mexican manuscript in the Bodleian Library motivated King to devote his life to the study of the antiquities and histories of Mexico, but his Books put him into debt 32000 pounds and cost him his life. A paper manufacturer had him arrested and he was lodged in the sheriff’s prison in Dublin, where at age 42 he contracted and died of Typhus fever, 27 Feb. 1837. (Hunter p. 7) He was not married and had no issue.


The Chronicles of IXTILXOCHITL were recognized as important by Milton R. Hunter of Presidency of the Seventy who published it in English for the first time, in 1950, in his important but overlooked book, ANCIENT AMERICA AND THE BOOK OF MORMON. (Hunter p. 6-7).  The Works of Ixtililxochitl do not appear in the more recent  great work of  Calderwood who studied the  ancient archives of  Portuguese and Spanish sources,  different sources than Kingsborough did who accessed the content of  nine libraries. (see Title Page). The two researchers came up with different but confirming data that complement each other, but with  independent doctrines. (Calderwood  p, 580) “The South American ancients believed  and worshiped  a Title heavenly deity who resembles  the Biblical Jehovah and Book of Mormon Jesus Christ. This deity was known as Ticci Viracocho or Pachacamac in the Andes, Quetzalcoatl in Mesoamerica, or Botachia in Columbia.” Their teachings were similar. (Calderwood p. 42) Calderwood is another neglected author.  Kukulcan, where reverenced in Mesoamerica was identified by unique round structures associated with both Kukulcan and Quetzalcoatl.  (Henderson p. 251) Both names mean the same: Feathered Serpent! “Deities appear in a host of guises, with many names and titles. Most deities are not one, but four: one aspect is associated with each cardinal direction.” (Henderson p. 52) Chief among the gods is ITZAMNA “A special god among the aristocracy. The feathered serpent had many guises and many names throughout Mesoamerica.” (Henderson pp. 55, 59) “ITZAMNA, the supreme God holds a vision  serpent” on a carved stone produced during the period 100 BC and 250 A.D.  (Phillips p.66) Early in this period QUETZALCOATL emerges! This is the precise period of the time of Christ’s visit to the Americas, and the emergence of a ZION period in Book of Mormon history. (Third Nephi 29; 4th Nephi)   (IPALNEMOANI)- [the father?]- and THE ONE WHO IS ALWAYS NEAR (TLOQUENAHUAQUE); [Jesus Christ?]   Students of Mesoamerica and South America continue to revise and reinterpret the accounts of the gods as they learn how to read the Mayan Glyphs and find more chronicles as noted TOWARDS A NEW INTERPRETATION OF THE MYTH OF QUETZALCOATL, a study by Flroescano, (Chapter Four, pp. 116-193), after he  details  and recounts the previously held interpretations. (see my CD, MEXICAN CODEXES).


They have cracked the code!  By 2000 ”the decipherment of Maya writing has reached an exhilarating pitch of almost constant revelation. Professional epigraphers are all busy  people, deep in the translation and analysis of texts in museums and university departments, or in the field alongside archaeologist colleagues.”(Drew p. 148)  “Seminars and conferences are frequent and workshops in Maya writing are held annually where professional academics  mix with the burgeoning fraternity of amateurs.”  (Drew p, 149) A good example of this is the compilation in memory of  Linda Schele (1942-1999), a pioneer in Maya decoding, by Martin and Grube of the chronicles and history of eleven major metropolises of the Maya. (Martin pp. 4-5) They also provide the new timeline. Mormons are now particularly interested in  “THE PRECLASSIC PERIOD 2000 BC TO 250 AD.” (Martin pp. 8-10, 24-25)  The Book of Ether may actually require the time line to go back another 300 to 500 years. The output will be enormous. Book of Mormon scholars look forward with great excitement.  BYU has also played a role in the decipherment progress. (Houstan p. xviii)

No matter who is doing the research the more parallels emerge that replicate the Book of Mormon accounts referring to Christ. (Florescano p, 116)  “The figure of Quetzalcoatl, perpetuated through cosmogonic myths, [is] the most durable creations of the Mesoamerican peoples.” (Ibid) It captures the doctrinal essence of the Book of Mormon representations concerning Christ especially aspects of the Temple Ceremony, the creator, the NO darkness at this birth, the NO  light at his death along with the  destruction, and the source of all knowledge, and the decline of the Lamanite peoples, and the leader in the struggle with Tezcatlipoca, [Satan] even non-Mormon students call  him Lucifer, but with NEARLY TWO  thousand years of distortions and emendations.  Mormon was saddened to witness and write about this. (Mormon  4:14) The prominence of Quetzalcoalt rose and fell several times after 250 AD, during the 8th century, the tenth century  and then during the Aztec period, who inherited his doctrines  from “their forerunners in Mesoamerica” and he became ‘the foremost among Aztec Dieties.” (Phillips pp. 38-39) He “appeared…in many cities over the great span of Mesoamerican history…The Quetzalcoatls of Teotihucan are somewhat different than those of …Cholotlan, Tula, Xochicalco, Chichen Itza…yet in each of these capitals [he is] a prominent symbol of the sacred. He appears on the main temple pyramids, on emblems of the priesthood, in some instances as the name of the ruler and also appears as the creator god….he symbolizes the origin and essence of the mode of existence ….essential to the continuity of Mesoamerican culture…the symbol  of the sanctification of authority, the paradigm of legitimate  rule and order.” (Carrasco pp. 105-106)  “David Caarrasco’s analysis of the Quetzalcoatl myth provides one of the most thought-provoking studies of the role these  constructs played in Mesoamerican history.  Forescano has also studied the myth of Quetzalcoatl and its history in various Mesoamerican cultural  traditions.” (Schele p. 356)


“The records of the [many] Chroniclers enhance the credibility and importance of the Book of Mormon as an authentic document.” (Warren p. xi)  Impressive lists of chronicles with many parallels in doctrines and Teachings are assembled to make the case that Quetzalcoatl was Jesus Christ of 3 Nephi. (Warren p. 1-28)

The enemy of all and equated by some chroniclers as Lucifer, is TEZCATLIPOCA, who answers to many of the unique details only the Mormons know about Lucifer. (Philips p.508)

Since 1950 the case for transoceanic transfer of culture has grown. Thor Heyerdahl crossed from Peru to Tuamotu Island. Hannes Lindemann crossed the Atlantic twice in 1955 and 1956, Devere Baker drifted to Hawaiian Islands in 1988 from Rodondo Beach Calif.  Eric de Bisschop made it to the South Sea Island of Manikiki in 1958 but was killed when his raft brook up on a reef. (Warren p. 208) There is a list of 120 intentional solo and two-man voyages. (Warren pp. 208-210) And there were others besides all of those. Among other parallels Warren has itemized on 15 pages many other parallels. (Warren pp.215-229)  Another similar collection of parallels with emphasis on doctrines present in the Americas before Columbus  and neglected like many of the others, but  worthwhile reading is the work of Hemingway. (Hemingway p. 26)


TEOTIHUCAN, The center of the World. (Carrasco p. 109) Host to the TEMPLE OF QUETZALCOATL, the Feathered, Serpent” “…enduringly popular across centuries and cultures… Was associated with wise rulership and revered as creator, a wind god and as the MORNING STAR.” (Phillips p.13) Recall the doctrine that Christ is the First Born, Satan was early born; called “a son of the Morning.” (D&C 76:26) “This was the origin of the Era of Quetzalcoatl.” (Carrasco p. 109) It “reached its greatest efflorescence, around 500 A.D. It was a cosmopolitan city…which drew all manner of peoples to visit, trade and work in the shrines, the market places, palaces and workshops. The pilgrimage routes to the great holy places, which  had been traveled and expanded since 100 BC , were filled  with pilgrims from nearby as well as distant cities and towns who sought blessings, messages, revelations, and inspiration  from the patron deities and temple communion of Teotihucan .…religion was an organizing system for  life in Teotihucan.” (Carrasco pp.110-111) “Quetzalcoatl was the standard for the relationship between kingship and divinity.” (Schele  p. 331) After 250 A.D. the apostasy accelerated and after Mormon’s observations and comments in Mormon Chapter 4, the decline was immense, and by about  900 A.D. the devastation was complete. The Book of Mormon cycle of obedience-disobedience-devastation was repeated all over and all during the Mesoamerican history.

“Quetzalcoal’s pyramid temple in Cholula, the most massive structure ever built in the pre-Columbian world was called TLACHIUALTEPEC…It was an ancient foundation, its first innermost terrace…was contemporary  therefore with early Teotihuacan being dated to A.D. 100.”  (Brundage  p. 122) We are very interested in  what is now called the “EARLY INTERMEDIATE PERIOD, (200 B.C. to A.D. 600)” (Richardson 111 p.27) the time of ALMA, Samuel the Lamanite Prophet, Helaman, 3 Nephi, and 4 Nephi, Mormon, Ether and Moroni!  We look forward to the data as it will surely come.

In 1839 members of the church had obtained copies of the reports of Stephens,  well illustrated by Catherwood, of the Incidents of Travel in Yucatan. (Stephens Map Vol. 1) Moroni  had shown Joseph visions of the peoples, their cities, and various  cultural aspects of Yucatan and other places. In the Illustrations by Catherwood Joseph recognized similarities to the visions he had received. Catherwood had included more than 44 ancient cities in  his work. 


Thomas Stuart Ferguson had become dedicated to the study of Mesoamerican  Archaeology by the time he was twenty, because of the obvious possibilities of Central America hosting the Book of Mormon Lands of the different peoples about which the Book of Mormon was written. By the time he was 43, after much study and field trips to Mexico, he and a cadre of others, Mormon and non-Mormon,  had formed the NEW WORLD ARCHAEOLOGICAL FOUNDATION, N.W.A.F. By 1952  California recognized their Incorporated status and they had permits from Mexico to explore areas they had selected. In 1954 the U.S. Treasury Department granted them exempt status and the foundation was official. From that beginning  the foundation has grown in activity and results and became established as a respected organization. It eventually involved BYU, the LDS Church and other institutions and has published more than 55 technical books and 100 Papers that are quoted by many experts in the field of Mesoamerican studies. The publications have a shelf at the BYU Book Store. A history of the foundation and their work is contained in the book by Warren. (Warren pp. 247-283) Most Mormons are unfamiliar with this work.     



ALLEN, Joseph  Blake I. Allen, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, Covenant Communications, Provo, Utah, 2011

ANALS DE AULTITLAN, Codice Chimalpopoca, Imprentia Universitaria, Mexico, 1945

BAKER, Heather D., The Prosopography of the Neo--Assyrian Empire, Vol.3/1 P-S, University of Helsinki, Finland, 2002

BENZ, Frank, I. Personal Names in the Phoenician and Punic Inscriptions, ROME, Biblical Institute Press, 1972

BLACK, Jeremy, Andrew George & Nicholas Postgate, Eds. A Concise Dictionary of Akkadian, Harrassowitz  Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2000

BRUNDAGE, Burr Cartwright, The Fifth Sun, University of Texas Press. Austin, 1979

CALDERWOOD, David, G., Voices from the Dust, New Insights into Ancient America, Historical Publications Inc., Austin, Texas, 2005

CARRASCO, David, Quetzalcoatl and the Irony of Empire, University Press of Colorado, Boulder, 2000  

CRYER, Tom, Visual Testament and the Israelite Indian, ISBN 1-890558-48-6 Publisher and date not in the book.

DOUGLAS, J. D., Ed., The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Inter-Varsity Press, Tyndale House Pub., Hodder and Stroughton, Sidney, 1980

DREW, David, The Lost Chronicles of the Maya Kings, The University of California Press, Berkeley, 1999

DURAN, Fray Diego, Book of the Gods and Rites and the Ancient Calendar, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman 1971

FLORESCANO, Enrique, The Myths of Quetzalcoatl, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1999

FREIDEL, David, & Linda Schele, & Joy Parker, Maya Cosmos, Quill, William Morrow, New York, 1995  

GARDNER. Joseph I., Who’s Who in the Bible, Reader’s Digest, Pleasantville, New  York. 1994

GIVENS, Terry  L., By the Hand of Mormon, Oxford University Press, N.Y., 2002

HENDERSON, John S., The W665433orld of the Ancient Maya, Cornell   University Press, Ithaca and London, 1997

HEMINGWAY,  Donald W., Christianity in America before Columbus, Hawkes Publishing Inc., Salt Lake City, 1988

HOYT, Scott, Viracoha, Christ Among the Ancient Peruvians? In BYU Studies Quarterly 54. No. 1 (2015)

HOUSTON, Stephen, & Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos, The Decipherment of Ancient Maya Writing, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman,    

HUNTER, Milton R. 1.  The Gospel Through the Ages, Stevens and Wallis, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah 1945

……………………………  2.   and Thomas S. Ferguson,   Ancient America and the Book of   Mormon, Kolob Book Company, Oakland, California,1930

……………………………..3. Vol. 1,  Archaeology and the Book of Mormon, Deseret     Book Co., Salt Lake City, 1972

……………………………….4. Vol. 111, Great Civilizations and the Book of Mormon, Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, 1970

LANNING, Edward, Peru Before the Incas, Prentice Hall. Inc., Englewood, New Jersey, 1967

LARGEY, Dennis I., Book of  Mormon Reference Companion , Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, Utah, 2003

LUDLOW, Daniel,  A Companion to  your Study of the Book of Mormon, Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, Utah 1976

MARTIN, Siimon & Nikolai Grubb, Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens, Deciphering the Dynasties of the Ancient Maya, Thames & Hudson, London 2000

MASON, J. Alden, The Ancient Civilizations of Peru, Penguin Books. New Yoek. 1975

MILLER, Orlo, The Day-Spring, The Story of the unknown Apostle to the Americas., McClelland and Steward Limited, Toronto, 1976

MENDEL, David, Who’s Who in the Tenakh, Aerial Books, Tel Aviv,, Israel, 2014

NIBLY, Hugh, Vol. 5,  Lehi in the Desert. The World of the Jaredites, There were Jaredites, FARMS, BYU, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1988

…………………………1952 Edition

………………........... Vol. 8, The Prophetic Book of Mormon, FARMS, BYU. Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, Utah, 1989

PHILLIPS, Charles, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Aztec and Maya, Lorenz Books, Hermes House, Blackfriars Road, London, 2007

PINEGAR, Ed. J., & Richard Allen, Book of Mormon Who’s Who, Covenant Communications, American Fork, Utah. 2007

RICHARDSON 111, James B., People of the Andes, St. Remy Press, Smithsonian Books, Washington D.C. 1994

SAVOY, Gene, On The Trail of the Feathered Serpent, The Bobbs-Merrill Co.., Inc. New York, 1974

SEJOURNE, Laurette, Burning Water, Thought and Religion in Ancient Mexico, Shambhala, Berkely, 1876

SCHELLE,  Linda & Peter Mathews, he Code of Kings, The Language of seven Maya Temples and Tombs, Scribner New York, 1998

JST- SMITH, Smith, The Holy Scriptures, Herald Publishing House,  Independence Missouri,1959

SORENSON, JOHN L., Mormon’s Codex, .Neal Maxwell Institute, Deseret Book Company. Salt Lake City, Utah, 2013

SPERRY, Sidney B., Book of Mormon, Compendium, Bookcraft, Salt lake City, Utah, 1968

…………………………Some Thoughts Concerning Ancient Temples and Their Functions, Improvement Era 58, no. 11 (November 1955); 814-816, 826-27.

STEPHENS, John L, Ill.  M. Catherwood,  Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, Dover Publications Inc., 1943

WARREN, Bruce W. & Thomas Stuart Ferguson, The Messiah in Ancient 0America, The Book of Mormon Research Foundation, Provo, Utah 1987


WIRTH, Diane. E., Decoding Ancient America, Horizon. Springville . Utah, 2007

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