Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ancient Myan Ruins Support the Book of Mormon

My sister and her husband just got back from Cancun and had a fabulous time. As we chatted about her vacation she mentioned something that really intrigued my interest. They had gone to visit Chitzen Itza  and I was reminded of the many times that I have heard about the ancient history of Mexico that parallels the Book of Mormon.

The Tour

As she told me everything she learned from her tour guide I began to write it all down so I could research it myself. Including the interesting tidbit her tour guide pointed out - that the bearded white God is depicted with a Hebrew nose in all of the ancient art. She then mentioned that after the tour, the guide asked she and her husband if they were LDS (mormon) and they said, "yes". He replied, "Oh I wished I would have known that ahead of time because then I could have told you so much more! Your Book of Mormon supports the history and culture of this ancient people. I could have shown you so many neat things that support what you believe." This was really fascinating. In fact, I was so intrigued that right away I hit the web to do some research.

My Research

Feathered Serpent
The ancient Myan civilization reflect in their history an event that took place in which a bearded white man whom they revere as a God descended from the sky. They refer to this deity as "Kukulkan" which means feathered serpent, and the Aztecs refer to a similar deity known as "Quetzalcoatl" which also means feathered serpent.

The double symbolism used in its name is considered allegoric to the dual nature of the deity, where being feathered represents its divine nature or ability to fly to reach the skies and being a serpent represents its human nature or ability to creep on the ground among other animals of the Earth.

Many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (us Mormons) believe that Quetzalcoatl, (who has been described as a white, bearded god who came from the sky and promised to return), was actually their depiction of Jesus Christ.

Christ visiting Ancient America
I love the Book of Mormon for so many reasons. It is another testament of Jesus Christ and is a history of the native people who lives on the American continent before and after Christ came to Earth. My favorite scripture in the Book of Mormon is the event where the resurrected Christ visits the Nephite people. He descends from heaven and tells the people who He is. He then blesses their sick and establishes His church exactly as he established it in Mark 3 and Matthew 16. He promises to one day return again. I never feel the spirit so strong than when I read the book of 3rd Nephi in the book of Mormon.

The prophet John Taylor wrote:

The story of the life of the Mexican divinity, Quetzalcoatl, closely resembles that of the Savior; so closely, indeed, that we can come to no other conclusion than that Quetzalcoatl and Christ are the same being. But the history of the former has been handed down to us through an impure Lamanitish source.

As I continued on my research, I found this amazing site. It yields evidence of many events that take place in the Book of Mormon, LDS history and the Old testament  such as the story of the three Nephites, the symbolism of the temple of Solomon incorporated into the Myan temples, and modern day revelation about Jesus birth date. It's amazing stuff and very fascinating indeed!

Here are excerpts taken from this website which you can read in full detail at

The Descending God
Tulum is one of the most intriguing and mysterious of the Mayan cities. In fact, it is not a city at all but a temple complex devoted to the teaching and worship of the Descending God. The Descending God has been so named by the archaeological community because He is always shown with his feet in the air as if he is descending from the sky.

If Christ, having been resurrected, descended from heaven to visit the Maya, He would have come in great glory and the event would have been so singular that its depiction would have been repeated over and over throughout the Mayan world.  This is what we see with the Descending God.

Inscriptions of the Three Men
In Tulum, we find that the Temple Of The Inscriptions was built to teach all people that the Descending God was and is the supreme God of all Gods and that all things are subject to him.

The murals inside the temple tell the story of three men, who may have been responsible for the building of the temple complex. In these murals the three are portrayed as seers, possibly living in a physical state between life and death.

The outside of the Temple Of The Descending God bears symbology that represents the Descending God as the light and life of the world and that He is the living water and light of the sun. The murals inside the temple, which have great need of restoration, show scenes that depict both heaven and earth and perhaps creation.

Temple of the Descending God
The Temple Of The Descending God was built in alignment with both the morning star, or the planet Venus, and the sun so as to mark April 6th as the birthday of the Descending God.

On that day Venus can be seen rising into the night sky directly over the door of the temple and sunlight forms a brilliant star that can be seen only on that day. This is Extremely significant because Mayan Gods were known by the day on which they were born.  And April 6th is the birthday of the Descending God.

It is interesting to note that the prophet Joseph Smith, who lived in the state of New York, published in 1830 a translated ancient record which told of a personal visit by Jesus Christ to the Americas shortly after His resurrection.  In addition, he identified April 6th as the birthday of Jesus Christ.  He also identified the ancient name of the city of Zion as being Zama.  Zama was the original name for the city of Tulum.
the prophet Joseph Smith

In 1831, when Joseph Smith identified Zama as the name of the city of Zion, Tulum had not yet been uncovered and was overgrown by rainforest.  It would not be until 1837 that the jungle would be cut away from the temple complex that we call Tulum.  And, it would not be until late into the 20th Century before the April 6th phenomena would be documented and the original name of Tulum be identified as the same name Joseph Smith had used more than a hundred and fifty years earlier to identify the city of Zion.

It is also interesting to note that included in the translation of the Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith was an account of three men, two of them brothers by the same mother, who were Disciples of Christ and attended to Jesus during his visit to the Americas.  The translation indicates that they were seers and were granted the power, by Christ, to live until his second coming in a translated state.

Finally let’s talk a bit about the red hands.  In Tulum we see the red hands associated directly with the Descending God.

The 17th Century Spanish historian Lizana recorded that the Maya represented the great God of heaven by symbol of the hand, because with his powerful hands he had performed many powerful miracles amongst the people to include healing the sick.

The color of the hands is significant because red was the color the Mayas gave to the East.  The direction from which Christ will come in accordance with New Testament scripture, and the direction from which He would have come if he had visited them.

What is of additional interest is that we find the red hands in many other cities that contain strong evidences of a possible visit by Jesus Christ and which had a belief in the Descending God. 

What do you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts or anything you'd like to add - especially if you have visited these ancient sites.

I have always had a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Factual evidence or no factual evidence doesn't change my testimony one bit. This information is definitely food for thought and is the icing on the cake to what I already believe. 

I know that Christ established His church on the Earth then and today. I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book. It supports the Bible and truly testifies of Jesus Christ and His gospel. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

If you would like to read the Book of Mormon it is free and online here:

Sources for this article:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

An "Ah-ha!" Moment

This last fast Sunday I had decided to fast for something very important to me. It seems as though I pray and fast for this often and it never happens. This time as I was beginning my fast with a prayer the night before something unusual occurred.

First, I opened up my scriptures to where I left off. Doctrine and Covenants Section 14.  Right away the words on the page began to speak to me. It's as if God was showing me what I needed to know and pray for, before I prayed. He was giving me a nudge.

The verses that stood out most were:

Therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you.  

Seek to bring forth and establish my Zion. Keep my commandments in all things.

And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.

And it shall come to pass, that if you shall ask the Father in my name, in faith beleicving, you shall receive the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance, that you may stand as a witness of the things of which you shall both hear and see, and also that you may declare repentance unto this generation.   

 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, who created the heavens and the earth, a light which cannot be hid in darkness;

 10 Wherefore, I must bring forth the fulness of my gospel from the Gentiles unto the house of Israel.

Here is section 14 in it's entirety

The "Ah-ha!" moment arrived. I was spending too much time during the week focusing on things that were not in any way building the kingdom of God. He wants me to ask and promises to receive but in return I need to give back. Was I helping bring souls to Christ? Was I sharing the message of repentance? Was helping build Zion my ultimate goal at the end of the day?

Sharing the gospel and building the kingdom is the Lord's priority. What if I were to match my priorities with the Lord's? It would change everything - the way I pray, what I pray about, the way I treat others, love others etc. It was amazing!

I then knelt to pray and begin my fast. I promised Heavenly Father that I would change my priorities and do all that I could to build His kingdom. I told Him that He could count on me. I asked Him that if I were to do these things, if He in return would bless me with what I was asking for.

Over the next couple of days I began to have vivid dreams with important meanings. I wrote down everything so that I could log my experience and see the Lord answering my prayers in real time. He answered my prayer in dreams, then people began to reach out to me with the answers I was praying for. God was sending me answers through other people. It was amazing.

As this was happening, I continued to do my part to build the kingdom. I spent all of my spare time reaching out to people I hadn't talked to in a while, looking for people to genuinely compliment and serve, spending time reading scriptures with my children and teaching them about the gospel. I got up earlier to pray, clean my house and read scriptures. I turned my home into a more beautiful and sacred place to be. Suddenly life was more cheerful! Everything was brighter and I could feel the Lord smiling down on me.

If this is what life is like when I change my daily focus to building Zion, then I want to do all that I can to keep that my focus. I could feel the Lord blessing me as I aligned my priorities with His.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

This scripture has been ringing in my mind over the past few days. There are a handful of people that I know who at one point were faithful saints and now live lives contrary to the gospel and commandments of God. I can't help but notice the similarities between them.

  • They seem to be on the "attack" approach - always poking fun and making light of the gospel or people who live the gospel. 
  • Associating with groups or organizations who dislike the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and/or the laws of God
  • They are very verbal online. Always looking to comment on anything and everything that opposes their lifestyle or choices
  • Speak as though they have a chip on their shoulders. Bitter about a plethora of things.
  • Find amusement or get a rise out of "shock value" such as participating in filthy language, lude pictures, behaviors and comments especially towards those whom they know would take offense
  • Always seek to make bad look good and good look bad - justifying their behaviors and looking to find others who agree with them and will support them
  • Spewing anger towards those who question or disagree with them on any issue
  • They are hyprocrites - pleading for understanding and tolerance but not granting it to others
  • Prideful - when all the signs are pointing in the wrong direction, and the facts are against them, they will continue in that direction regardless.
  • Not open or respectful of other oppinions
 I had been noticing a pattern of the similarities above and realized that all of these people were people who had left the church or no longer practice their faith. It was a testimony to me that the gospel provides true everlasting joy, happiness and peace. When you walk away from the gospel, you walk away from joy, true happiness and peace. Therefore it eats at your soul when you know what you could have vs. what you have been choosing. Giving up that happiness and those blessings removes peace from your life. No matter how you try and justify it, there will always be a hole in your spirit. This explains the chip on the shoulder or bitterness towards those who live and love the gospel.

I have been blessed with the gift of discernment and the spirit is quick to testify to me truth and error. People who emulate the light of Christ and those work against him. I can read right through people and I know their true intentions whether good or bad. I have been grateful for this gift as it has helped me avoid hazardous situations and sometimes real danger.

Unfortunately there are many who cannot easily detect truth vs. error. They can be easily deceived or persuaded my the philosophies of men and the cunningness of the adversary. Feeling guilty for supporting something that is not popular or questioning whether or not they really do believe in ALL the principals of the gospel. This can be a slippery slope to apostasy.  We know that Satan carefully leads souls away. Before you realize what has happened he has a firm grip on you and as stated in 2 Nephi 28:21 "he leadeth them away carefully down to hell".

So how can we avoid getting caught in Satan's grip? By learning how to detect good fruits vs. bad fruits. Are the people or groups you are associating faithful in serving God? Do they keep the Sabbath day holy, use clean language, watch clean movies, pray often, seem at peace, are polite and respectful towards others, love to serve, refrain from sexual sin, are chaste etc. These are good fruits. You will know these people are of God by their good fruits. On the contrary, if they gossip, complain often, cheat, lie, use vulgar language, spew hate towards and person or group, participate in sexual sin, are not chaste or virtuous, are violent or generally not at peace, they are a contentious adulterous people. They produce bad fruits and are serving the adversary whether they purposely do so or not.They are not guided by the spirit and while living in sin without confessing or forsaking their sins, will not be able to feel or recognize the spirit as they are not searching for truth through the light of Christ.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks has said (as featured in my recent post on July 6th) in cautioning about the misapplication of love and tolerance:

"Carried to an undisciplined excess, love and tolerance can produce indifference to truth and justice, and opposition to unity. What makes mankind free from death and sin is not merely love but love accompanied by truth. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). And the test of whether we are the Lord’s is not just love and tolerance but unity. The risen Lord said, “If ye are not one ye are not mine” (D&C 38:27). To follow the Lord’s example of love, we must remember his explanation that “whom I love I also chasten” (D&C 95:1). And we must remember that he chastens us “that [we] might be one” (D&C 61:8).

 Political correctness and pandering will send you into the wrong side of the battle of good vs. evil or right vs. wrong. If you have a wicked and adulterous spirit, you will choose wrongly every time. So what can you do to always be prepared to recognize the spirit discern good from evil?

Apostle Royden G. Derrick suggested in his 1984 conference address the following:

"May I suggest a formula for bringing forth good fruit and helping one to gain eternal salvation? (1) have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in yourself, (2) study eternal truths, (3) ponder and pray for understanding, (4) strive to incorporate principles of truth into daily living, (5) exercise integrity in all that you do, and (6) strive to do everything you do to a standard of excellence."

Be bold, be brave and stay true to the gospel. When you are searching for truth and living your life in line with the teachings and principals of the gospel you will know truth and you will not be deceived. You should never feel guilty or embarrassed for standing up for truth and righteousness. Surround yourself with people who bear good fruits and you will be blessed.

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.