Monday, September 21, 2009

Religion in the Americas

This subject can become quite vast, so our discussion will cover only a few aspects of it to establish the point that many who anciently lived upon these American shores, not only believed in a supreme creator, but in the same God of the Holy Bible, although they may have referred to Him in differing ways at times.

To begin, let’s first briefly turn our attention to the Kuna Indians of the San Blas Islands, just off the eastern shore of Panama — although some live on the mainland, and in the city of Panama.(1)

These Kuna (often spelled Cuna) live in traditional huts with thatched roofs, and those on the islands make daily trips to the mainland in their dugout canoes. There the men farm coconut groves while the women wash clothes; and because there is no fresh water on the islands, the women also gather water to take back to the islands.

The Kuna women wear skirts and beautifully hand-made blouses made of “molas.” The mola is an intricately sewn picture made from various layers of colored cloth in, what some might call, a reverse appliqué technique. These molas become treasured works of art and are often sought after by tourists for decoration rather than for items to wear. (Top right: Kuna women displaying their mola apparel; Above right: Two colorful molas depicting nature scenes.)

Now why bring up the Kuna Indian?

Traditionally, the Kuna has a Chief, called the Saila, who speaks for God (much like a prophet) who tells the people what is needed to please God. But since the Kuna Indian’s oral history so closely resembles that of the Book of Mormon, one of the San Blas Islands, Carti Tupile, is known locally as “Mormon Island.”

Part of their oral history speaks of long ago when one of their ancestors deposited the record of their people in a large hill, which records were to come forth to the people in the future. Of course this parallels the story of when Moroni laid up the plates of the Book of Mormon in the Hill Cumorah, later to be delivered to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

So when LDS Mormon missionaries first visited the San Blas Islands and presented the gospel, including the story of the Book of Mormon, the missionaries were greeted with surprising success. The people were, literally, lined up two or three hundred at a time for baptism. The Kuna who hear the gospel by Mormon missionaries consider themselves “the People of the Book.” (At left: Mola depicting Joseph Smith’s first vision; The two molas shown at upper right, depicting nature scenes, and the one to the left, of Joseph Smith, were made by sisters of the Kuna woman’s LDS Relief Society from the San Blas Islands of Panama. Molas courtesy of LDS Church Museum of History and Art.)(2)

Although the Kuna have their own language, called “tule,” yet many speak Spanish and even a little English. As of 1995, the Kuna now have the New Testament in their own language, but still do not have the Old Testament in their language.

Quetzalcoatl: The White-skinned, Feathered Serpent, Bearded God
The Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl, is one of the most prominent religious traditions of Central America and Mexico.(3) The name “Quetzalcoatl” means “feathered serpent.” It comes from two words: quetzal and coatl. Quetzal is the name of a rare and highly revered Central American bird with long tail feathers (See photo at right), and coatl means “serpent.” The term for quetzal also means “sacred” in several Mesoamerican languages.

Tradition has it that Quetzalcoatl, one of the major deities of the Aztec, Toltecs, and other Middle American peoples, was a

White-skinned man with a dark and flowing beard;
Who is the creator sky-god who created light, life, and the world;
Who is regarded as the greatest lord of all;
Who is a son of the virgin goddess Coatlicue;
Who is associated with the cross;
Who descended to the underworld where he dwelt for four days;
Who gathered those beings of the past from the underworld;
Who will create for humans a new period of peace;
Who was the legendary ruler of old who had come from the east;
Who lived among the Aztecs and taught them wisdom and virtue;
Who brought them agriculture (corn), the calendar, culture, and the arts and crafts;
Who departed with a promise to return again; and
Who is often depicted as a plumed or “feathered” serpent.

All of these features, of course, correspond closely to that of Jesus Christ, which may be the reason that King Moctezuma (Montezuma) welcomed the Spanish into Mexico virtually unopposed.

In November of 1519, under their Captain, Don Hernando Cortés, the Spanish entered Mexico. They were greeted and received into the palace of King Moctezuma, II, with great pomp. Moctezuma’s behavior toward Cortés can only be explained by the fact that it had very religious significance. Cortés came from the east, as did Quetzalcoatl; he was white with a dark beard, as was Quetzalcoatl; some of the helmets were plumed, and Quetzalcoatl was pictured by the Mesoamericans as being “feathered.” (Above left: Artistic rendition of Quetzalcoatl.)

However, it wasn’t long before Moctezuma and the welcoming Aztecs realized their mistake, the mistake being that Cortés was not the incarnation of their long-awaited god; for the ruthless Spanish conquistadors slaughtered over 6,000 of them.

The Fiery Flying Serpent
Because LDS scholars find a similarity in Quetzalcoatl with the Book of Mormon account of the resurrected Christ's appearance to the Nephites, critics claim that since Quetzalcoatl is associated with a “feathered serpent” that this constitutes some sort of “snake worship.” The problem with this theory of theirs is that most of the Latter-day Saints probably know nothing at all about this Aztec god, and those who do seldom, if ever, discuss the subject. The subject of Quetzalcoatl is only of interest as a supporting detail in support of the Book of Mormon, and nothing else. (Above left: Kuna mola depicting traditional feathered Quetzalcoatl.)

Such claimants need only to examine the Bible to understand the symbolism of Christ being represented as a serpent. Turning to Numbers, we read:

"And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." (Num. 21:6-9.)

The basic Bible students recognize this serpent upon a pole as symbolic of our Lord hanging upon a cross. When we look upon Him, we shall be saved. Notice that Israel was not commanded to worship the serpent upon the pole, but only look upon it. But, just like many of us today, ancient Israel did not have the faith to look upon that which would save them; it was too simple and not cloaked in mystery.

Speaking of the “flying serpents,” there is one interesting element that is indicated in the Book of Mormon that is not mentioned in the Bible. From First Nephi, we read:

"And he did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they hardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished." (1 Ne. 17:41.)

In this verse we read of “fiery flying” serpents. This brings the Book of Mormon account of this event more in line with the concept of Quetzalcoatl being a feathered serpent. It is also interesting to note that Joseph Smith would not have gotten this same detail from reading the same story in the Bible.(4)

The Birth-date of Quetzalcoatl
Another interesting thing concerning Quetzalcoatl, as presented on a Meridian Magazine web site, is Bruce W. Warren’s presentation of a comparison between the birth-date of Quetzalcoatl and that of the Mormon’s accepted birth-date of the infant Jesus; that date being the same as our calender date of April 6th.(5) That offering is as follows:

“Editor’s Note: We celebrate Christ’s birth at Christmas and consider his
actual birthdate on April 6th, according to revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith (D&C 20:1). Mesoamerican research by Bruce Warren — with Extract Notes from Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon by Alan C. Miner (unpublished) —adds significant documentation to the April 6th date and adds a powerful witness of the Savior’s divinity.

“D&C 20:1 says the following: ‘The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand, eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh... in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April.’

“Bruce Warren notes that in 1987, Dennis O. Clawson was examining the Olmec-Maya Long Count calendar of Mesoamerica to see how the proposed birth date of Christ (Thursday, 6 April 1 B.C.) would be recorded.

“To his delight, the da
te was 1 Ben 6 Mak. The 6 Mak portion of this date is the New Year’s Day of a Mixtec calendar. The 1 Ben portion is associated with the birth of Quetzalcoatl, and the long-count date represents the beginning of a major calendar round.

“This amazing parallel to the Book of Mormon account of the Messiah in Ancient America and the unique but detailed correlation with both the Olmec-Maya Long count calendar and the Mesoamerican Calendar round is startling to say the least.

“An indirect proof of this birth-date for Quetzalcoatl (Christ) is the temple at Chichen Itza. On the doorway of the El Castillo temple at Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico, there is a carved and bearded figure representing Quetzalcoatl.

“At the spring equinox,
the sun casts a shadow across the corner of the stepped pyramid, creating a serpent body of light along the stairway balustrade to the carved, feathered serpent head at the base. ... This illuminated serpent takes on the appearance of a serpent representing Quetzalcoatl slowly descending from the top of the pyramid and the sun in the heavens. Researchers from Merida discovered that the serpent of light reaches its maximum perfection on April 6. [Above right: Photo of Temple with serpentine like shadows on stairway; by Garth Norman.]

“Although this temple was built in the tenth century in celebration of their ruler Ce Acatl Quetzalcoatl, it already has been noted that because of the circumstances of his birth, this ruler took upon himself the name of the legendary god Quetzalcoatl. Thus, the type and shadow of this temple perhaps extends back beyond the tenth century to the other Mesoamerican god of rebirth, resurrection, and life.

“As a further type and shadow pointing to this ancient god, if one were to extend the serpent forward in the same
direction it has moved down the steps, the serpent path would lead to their sacred cenote, a well of sacrifice and ‘living waters’ to the feathered serpent rain-life god.

“At the beginning of each
calendar round, Mesoamerican priests had the people begin life anew. At times, temples were torn down and new ones constructed on top of the old ones. Interestingly, the Aztecs rebuilt their temple to Quetzalcoatl (their god of rebirth and resurrection) in A.D.1507. That means that if: (1) the temple to Quetzalcoatl was built to commemorate his birthday; and (2) the temple of Quetzalcoatl was built to commemorate a new major calendar round; then Quetzalcoatl was born in the year 1 B.C.” [Bruce Warren, Ancient America Foundation Newsletter, No. 3 December 1994, pp. 5-7]” (Left above: Head of Quetzalcoatl as protruding from Mesoamerican temple.)

In the Book of Mormon account of the birth of our Savior, we find there was a day, and a night that was as light as a day, then the next day. “And it came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.” (3 Ne. 1:19.) Ammon O’Brien adds this pertinent information concerning the birth of the Savior as observed in Mesoamerica.

“One prolific source of information on the ancient culture of Mexico is the work of Fray Bernadino de Sahagun. Looking at Book 7 Chapter 2 in his Historia General de las Cosas de Nueva Espana (Florentine Codex), which deals with the cosmology of the Nahuas, we find the legend of a night when the moon appeared in glory. ‘The following words are recorded: ‘Like the sun he shone, and it was like daytime.’ It was said, ‘It is almost like day; everywhere it is bright. Light is spread everywhere.’” [Ammon O’Brien, Seeing beyond Today with Ancient America, pp. 271, 263-264, 25](6)

We know from history, supported by archeological evidence, that those in Mesoamerica worshiped the feathered serpent god, Quetzalcoatl. But some of the real questions are, 1) Is it just a coincidence that Quetzalcoatl’s birth-date is the same as what the Prophet Joseph Smith said it is, and 2) how coincidental is it that the Book of Mormon mentions the night as being a day at the time of the Savior’s birth, and Mesoamerican’s have the same tradition concerning Quetzalcoatl?

Of course, what we have considered thus far is interesting stuff from Central America, but what about interesting stuff from up north, in the real land of promise? What we find there is even more intriguing.

Hopewell-Nephite Temples
In some of our previous chapters, we have alluded to the possibility that the Hopewell people are no less than the Nephites of the Book of Mormon. I will continue with that assumption, and I believe the reader will understand why as we proceed with this chapter.

Lehi and his family were from Jerusalem, so when the Nephites built their temples, one would expect that those temples might look something like the one to which they were familiar — something like Solomon’s. Nephi gives us an idea of what their temple was like. In Second Nephi he said,

"And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were n
ot to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon's temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine." (2 Ne. 5:16.)

So we find that Nephi built
their temples “after the manner of the temple of Solomon,” but it just wasn’t as fancy. Were temples in Mesoamerica built after the manner of Solomon’s? At right we see a comparison between a model of Solomon’s temple and that of the Aztec. As can been seen, they are quite dissimilar. This demonstrating, once again, that the Mesoamerican people were not the same as the Nephite people. (Above: Comparison of Solomon’s temple with that of Aztec Temple.)

The Hopewell temple mound we will be referencing is one from a Missouri Hopewell Museum, although there have been at least 25 such Hopewell temp
le mounds discovered in other areas of North America. Also, please excuse the lack of quality of some of these illustrations. Because this author, as of this writing, does not have personal access to the original pictures, these photos were taken from Rod Meldrum’s DVD video entitled, DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography.(7)

The Missouri Hopewell
temple is in three mound levels, which isn’t surprising since they apparently liked mounds. Solomon’s temple facility, however, is not built with such drastic elevations between portions of the temple. What is very interesting is that the top structure on the Hopewell temple mound is offset from center just a little, just as the Holy-of-Holies, in Solomon’s temple, is offset just a little as well. (Above left: Missouri Hopewell temple mound. Above right: Model of Solomon’s temple taken from DVD video.)

When Moses constructed
the tabernacle under the direction of God, he placed a wall around it, and when Solomon built the temple, a wall was placed around it, also. Another interesting thing about the Missouri Hopewell temple site is that the entire area was also enclosed by a wall as well. The photo of the panorama of the Missouri Hopewell temple mound doesn’t show a wall, but the wall has been ascertained by large post holes that were found around the temple site, probably similar to what is seen in the artist's conception of the tabernacle of Moses. (Above: The left illustration is an artist’s conception of the tabernacle of Moses. The right picture is a photo of the Missouri Hopewell temple site panorama.)

Archeologists have been curious as to why the Hopewell temple site had a large open area within the walls, just before the main temple mound, as can be seen by the lower photo at right. What is fascinating is that within the wall of Moses’ tabernacle there was a large open area, and a similar open area inside the walls of Solomon’s temple in front of the main temple structure.

Another thing of interest is that we know all of Israel was encamped around about the tabernacle, as the artist’s rendition shows. Researchers have discovered that the Hopewell people also dwelt around the temple mounds, as can be shown by the Missouri panorama of the Hopewell temple mound.

Also, archeologists have concluded that, unlike other Hopewell mounds, which seemed to be used for burials, their temple mounds were not. So the supposition is that the Hopewell used these temple mounds for a more sacred purpose.

And what is most fascinating is that the Hopewell apparently built their temples, also, “after the manner of the temple of Solomon,” as the Book of Mormon said of the Nephites.

The Mystic Symbol
There is a symbol that members of the Hopewell culture used in decorating, not only many of their everyday items, but their religious relics as well. This symbol seemed to have been used so often that a non-Mormon archeologist, with 30 years of studying Hopewell artifacts, has concluded that the “mystic symbol” of the Hopewell people was the symbol of their God.

But what in the world, one might ask, is the “Mystic Symbol?”

The “mystic symbol’ seems to be five spikes, or nails, arranged in a particular fashion. (Right: The Hopewell mystic symbol.) Not much is known about it other than what is observed upon Hopewell artifacts. And that observation, to the guileless seeker of truth, should be enough to arrive at their own conclusion as they view photos of various objects which contain the “mystic symbol.”

The Hopewell ornament made of slate at far left has the mystic symbol clearly engraved upon it, along with other engravings. The center picture is of an oil lamp with the mystic symbol engraved upon the side. And the slate tablet to the right shows the symbol inscribed upon the left shoulder of what seems clearly to be an elephant. (Above three images taken of the Soper Savage Collection of Milton R. Hunter’s Hopewell artifacts as shown on Duane Erickson’s DVD video entitled, Michigan Burial Grounds Artifacts.)(8)

(Above left: This Hopewell calendar has thirteen months, and displays the mystic symbol in its center. The Hebrews used a thirteen month calendar as well. Above right: This carved slate has an image that appears to be that of Jesus with the mystic symbol to his left.)

The image at far left is taken from Wayne May’s Ancient America web site.(9) It shows what appears to be a representation of Jesus, and above his head is the mystic symbol, which is enlarged in the second illustration. The engraved slate at far right has a cross in the top center, with a man upon it; above that is the mystic symbol; a figure who appears to be the resurrected Christ is below the cross; and a glowing tomb is to the upper right of the figure. To this author, it appears that the only thing left to understand about this piece of slate is the mysterious writing upon it. (First two images above: Wayne May and his Ancient America web site. Image Far right above: Duane Erickson and his Michigan Burial Grounds Artifacts.)

(Above): Top left of carved slate (a) is the mystic symbol. The Son (b) is being carried from the cross to the tomb (c). Just above his body appears the mark (b) which identifies the figure as Christ.

(Above): The reverse side of the previous picture: The Son (h) is victorious over death through the resurrection. He has spent three days (f) in the tomb (g). And now He is en route to His Father's house (i) (Both images complement of Ancient America web site.)

(Above left): The engraved slate at left appears to be representative of Noah’s flood. Top center we see the all-seeing-eye of God, with the mystic symbol to the right as we see it, and to the far left a human figure — probably Noah. Below that we have what looks like rain, and people either swimming or drowning in water. To their right is a building. My personal interpretation of this edifice is that it represents the worldly “great and spacious building” that is mentioned in the Book of Mormon. (But that’s just my interpretation.) The next one down looks like a large rectangled boat (ark) floating upon the water, and to its upper left we have forty squares that most likely represents the forty days of rain. At the bottom we have animals disembarking from the ark, and right in the center can be seen an elephant which critics said never existed upon the North American continent. My question is, if these people never saw an elephant, how did they know to engrave one on their slates?

(Above right): This slate also has the all-seeing-eye at the top, with the mystic symbol above it. What appears to be the tower of Babel is the large structure in the center, with multitudes of people below it. The bird, lower left, is probably speaking, with the streams coming from its beak representing many languages.

The next series of pictures were also taken from Duane Erickson’s DVD video, mentioned above. Please excuse the lack of quality, because the original slate (along with some of those you have seen in this chapter, and many others) was destroyed by the LDS church a few years ago because some church authorities believed they were fake; so the only access to it for anyone is from Erickson’s DVD video. The ten pictures to be shown were all engraved on the same four-foot piece of slate, one after the other, from the top-to-down. I have separated them out for convenience, and I will present them in that order. Notice that each one of these illustrations possess the mystic symbol.

(Picture 1 above): A being wearing a crown (God) is standing on a cloud with the sun below (showing he is in heaven), and he is pointing to the universe, with an angel beyond him.

(Picture 2 above): God with the sun above him (now below heaven) is creating the earth.

(Picture 3 above): God is creating a human (Adam).

(Picture 4 above): God is sending Adam off to dress the garden, shown at right.

(Picture 5 above): The man Adam, is lying down and his side is open. A woman (Eve) is also lying down as well.

(Picture 6 above): God is pointing to a tree and giving Adam and Eve instructions.

(Picture 7 above): Eve is picking something off of the tree and is giving it to Adam.

(Picture 8 above): God is expelling Adam and Eve from the garden.

(Picture 9 above): Adam and Eve are shown with two children.

(Picture 10 above): God is punishing one of the two children for some reason.

An interesting thing about the mystic symbol is that it seems to be five spikes or nails. This is consistent with what those who have studied the subject know about some Roman crucifixions. Because just a nail in the palm of the hand will not hold the weight of the body, Romans would put one in each wrist to help support the weight. But they would only use one spike through both feet, as one foot is placed on top of the other. Therefore, the mystic symbol is in harmony with the five spikes or nails which were used in the crucifixion of Jesus.

Also, in previous slate engravings, did the reader notice that the Hopewell showed the tomb of Jesus Christ as being a “mound”? That, of course, shouldn’t be surprising since the Hopewell buried their dead in mounds.

Some scientists and critics say that the artifacts we have just see are fake. If that is the case, then whoever created them must have been very busy, for more that 35,000 such artifacts have been found in mounds that are centuries old; and not just in one spot, but spread all over 120 counties in various states.

Now all of this should not be amazing, for if, indeed, the Hopewell were the Nephites of the Book of Mormon, who had their own prophet of God, they would have known the story of the creation and that of Adam and Eve; of the great flood and Noah’s ark; of the great tower of Babel; of the temple of Solomon; and of the birth and crucifixion of the their Savior, Jesus Christ. And what is even more amazing is that a young man, named Joseph Smith, put a lot of this information in a book, long before it was ever discovered by modern science.

Other Sheep
Among the interesting teachings to His disciples are these words by Jesus, “...I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 15:24.) If Jesus is not sent but to Israel, then what did He mean by the very intriguing statement, “...other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:16.) Not only is He not sent unto anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel, His Apostles were not sent to anyone else either. Matthews tells us that, “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 10:5-6.)

So if Jesus and His Apostles are not sent but unto the sheep of Israel, then who are these other sheep of which He spoke? And where are they located if they were not in and around Jerusalem — of that fold?

Although many Bible students have had many theories about those interesting words, the Book of Mormon helps answer that question. After our Lord’s resurrection, He appeared unto the Nephites and taught them His gospel. While doing so, He announced who those other sheep were. To them He said, “...verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” ( 3 Ne. 15:21.)

Well, that answers part of the question, but there is more to it. In the following chapter we find that Christ left the Nephites wondering about the same thing He left His disciples in Jerusalem wondering about. In verse one of the next chapter He continued His teachings with: “...verily, verily, I say unto you that I have other sheep, which are not of this land, neither of the land of Jerusalem, neither in any parts of that land round about whither I have been to minister.” (3 Ne. 16:1.) So I guess the Nephites were also trying to guess, Who are those other sheep? From his work, “Other Sheep,” Roy Weldon has the following to say about the subject:

"The golden text of all Christendom says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

"Did God give his Son to the Old World only? It is estimated that at the time of Christ the civilizations of ancient America were in full bloom with a culture as great and in some respects superior to the civilizations of Rome, Greece, Babylon, and Egypt. Estimates of the population in Mexico, Central America, and the Andean region at the time of Christ run as high as three hundred million people. Did God respect the Old World above the New World that they should enjoy the priceless benefits of Christ's personal ministry while great civilized nations in America should be left to go it alone without a personal visitation and ministry of God's Son?"(10)

As we consider the words of Christ, we learn that there are still more sheep out there other than those in and around Jerusalem or among the Nephites. But where? Could some of them have been down in Mesoamerica, with an understanding of Him becoming corrupt over the years through pagan practices? Could some of those other sheep be upon the isles of the sea; hidden among the nations of Europe; way up among the nomads of the snowy north countries? Where then? The day will come when we shall know, but only in God’s own due time. And when He does reveal them, will they bring along their sacred books with them? And if they do, will we spurn their books of scripture also, as many have done the Book of Mormon?

In Summary
I am sure this chapter has presented the reader with quite a few more things to consider, in addition to what has gone before. For example:

1. How part of the oral history of the Kuna Indians of the San Blas Island so easily parallels the story of when Moroni laid up the plates of the Book of Mormon in the Hill Cumorah, later to be delivered to the Prophet Joseph Smith; or
2. When considering the story of Moses and the Serpent being raised up on the pole, that the Book of Mormon’s account of the event is more in line with the concept of Quetzalcoatl being a feathered serpent (a detail Joseph Smith could not have gotten by simply reading the Bible); or that
3. It was just a coincidence that Quetzalcoatl’s birth-date is the same as what the Prophet Joseph Smith said it is; or
4. The fact that the Book of Mormon mentions the night as being a day at the time of the Savior’s birth, and the Mesoamerican’s have the same tradition concerning Quetzalcoatl; and
5. That the Hopewell people apparently built their temples, “after the manner of the temple of Solomon,” as did the Nephites of the Book of Mormon; or that
6. If the Hopewell were the Nephites of the Book of Mormon, who had their own prophet of God, they would have known many of the stories we are familiar with from the Bible, as well as of the birth and crucifixion of their Savior, Jesus Christ; and
7. What is truly amazing is that a young man, named Joseph Smith, put a lot of this information in a book, long before it was ever discovered by modern science.
6. Ancient America Foundation:
7. Rodney Meldrum; DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography; e-mail:; & web site:
8. Duane Erickson: