Hieroglyphs – Hieroglyphic script is found among both ancient American cultures and Egyptians.
|2.||Divine Sacrifice Required – Ancient Americans commonly believed that a divine sacrifice of a god or several gods was required to keep the cosmos in order. They believed the “gods were saviors (Christ figures) who died so humanity could live.” The Book of Mormon likewise claims divine sacrifice is required to keep the cosmos in order.|
|3.||Resurrection – Mesoamericans believed in rebirth and resurrection from the dead. They buried their dead with divine symbols in “hope for rebirth and the resurrection of the deceased.”|
|4.||Pre-Earth Life – Similar to Mormon teachings, Mesoamericans believed gods existed before the world was created: “The Mayan gods gathered under the Tree of Life to hold a council… all the gods had taken part in the creation of the Earth.”
The Book of Mormon teaches that the redemption of Christ was planned “before the world began,” and the Mayans likewise believed in gods who “could perform mythological actions before his own birth… who took two forms: pre-birth and post-birth.”
God As A Serpent – Christ is called a “brazen serpent” in the Book of Mormon and he descends from the sky. Mesoamericans also believe the “feathered serpent” god Quetzalcoatl descended from the sky.
His mother is named Suchiquetzl, which means “lifting up Roses,” similar to the “lifting up” of the brazen serpent described in the Book of Mormon. Quetzalcoatl’s mother was also a virgin, like the Book of Mormon describes. He was called “Son of the Lord of High Heavens,” and died and was resurrected. He “returned to the world of the living” after he had “dwelled four days in the land of the dead,” now “enthroned as Lord.” He appeared to the Mesoamerican people en masse and brought great learning, and promised that one day he would “return to his people at a future date.” He was fair skinned and had a beard.
|6.||Baptism – Mayans and other Mesoamericans applied a washing ritual with water that early explorers like Diego Landa recognized as a “baptism.” The ritual was a spirutal rebirth or being born anew, and involved confession of sins, an ordinance prayer, and sometimes included full immersion in water. The baptism was often given to children, which correlates with reports in the Book of Mormon.
|7.||Origins Across East Ocean – The idea that Native Americans arrived by ship from the East may not be widely accepted by archaeologists, however, this is the consensus among ancient American legends. Early explorer Diego Landa reported:
Rafique Ali Jairazbhoy wrote: “The native reports that speak of the first ancestors coming across the seas from the East.”
The king of the Aztecs, Montezuma said:
Early explorer Bernardino de Sahagun wrote: “It has been innumerable years since the first settlers arrived in these parts of New Spain which is almost another world, and they came in ships by sea, landing at the port which is to the north.”c
Bernardino de Sahagu translated a sacred Nahuatl text:
Metal Plate Records – Nobody knew it in Joseph Smith’s time. The idea of “gold plates” was highly ridiculed, but now it turns out metal plates were a common method for keeping records in Lehi’s time, and many gold plate books have since been uncovered, as well as stone boxes to preserve them. A few examples:
|9.||Natural Catastrophes At Christ’s Coming – The Book of Rolls describes catastrophes that accompany the death of Jesus Christ after his mortal life, catastrophes that the Bible makes no mention of but the Book of Mormon does:
The Book of Mormon also describes “darkness upon the face of the land… thunderings… rocks that they rent”, though there is no hint of any of this in the bible.
Spanish explorer Mariano Veytia described a native legend of similar catastrophic events before the appearance of Quetzalcoatl in the 1st century AD, and associated them with the death of Jesus in Jerusalem:
|10.||Catastrophes in the 1st Century AD – Mesoamerica experienced a devastating volcanic eruption and other natural disasters in the 1st century AD, which was followed by a period of great peace and economic prosperity.
Several volcanoes erupted, with the same effects described in the Book of Mormon:
|12.||Children Who Die Go To Heaven – Mayans believed infants who died in childbirth went straight to heaven. “Children who died young, before being weaned, went to the thirteenth heaven.” A lot like the Book of Mormon teaches.|
|13.||Three Degrees Of Glory – Mesoamericans divided the universe into three levels of glory: the underworld (telestial), the earth (terrestrial), and heaven (celestial)–the “three cosmic levels of earth, heavens, and underworld”, exactly as modern Mormon scripture describes in detail, and alluded to in the Book of Mormon.|
Paper Books Of Scripture – Friar Landa recorded that there were “books” about “ancient matters and their sciences” among the Maya. The Book of Mormon likewise describes paper books, and also describes writings on large stones like the stelae found in ancient America.
Priests taught out of scriptures, such as the Popol Vuh, and prophesied out of them during religious festivals. Diego Landa said:
|14.||Scripture From Across The Sea – Like the brass plates, the Popul Vuh was said to be inspired from scripture that came from across the Sea to the east.
The Book of Mormon claims the Nephites sailed from the East, brought sacred records, and settled the lowlands and did battle with inhabitants of the highlands.
Four Corners of the Earth – Mesoamericans believed the earth had four corners, “comprised of four quarters associated with the four cardinal directions.”
Exactly as described in the Book of Mormon: “He will gather in from the four quarters of the earth.”
At the beginning of the Book of Mormon, Lehi sees in a vision God descend from heaven as “the sun at noon-day,” out of the “stars in the firmament” to “the face of the earth.” This fits the Mayan cosmology:
|16.||Calling A Son “Younger” Rather Than “Jr.” – Alma in the Book of Mormon called his son “Alma the younger” rather than “Alma junior.” This seems totally random, but Mesoamericans likewise used “the younger,” a term unheard of anywhere else and which Joseph Smith could not have known about. Juan de Guzman, governor of Coyocan, gave rulership to his son “Guzman the younger” when he died in 1569. Aztec leader Xocoyotzin gave rulership to his son “Xocoyotzin the younger” in 1502.|
|17.||Fall Of The First Man – The Mayan of the fall of the first man, Head-Apu, is similar to the fall and redemption of Adam in the Book of Mormon. He is called the “first father.” Like Adam’s confrontation with Satan, Head-Apu (or Hunahpu) confronted the dark lords of the underworld and then with First-Mother “gave life to humanity” through his fall.|
|18.||Tree of Life – The Book of Mormon compares the tree of life to happiness awaiting us in the afterlife, much like Diego Landa’s report of the tree of life in the Mayan heaven: “a refreshing and shady tree called Yaxché, the Ceiba tree, beneath whose branches and shade they might rest and be in peace forever.”a
The Mayan “World Tree” connected the terrestrial earth with the celestial level heaven. This matches Daniel 4: “The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth.”
The Book of Mormon compares the tree with Mary, the mother of Jesus. This also alludes to Adonis or the Egyptian God Osiris being born out of a tree through Isis. The Mayans also used this kind of imagery:
|19.||Solar Disk As Royalty Symbol – The solar disk of the sun was a symbol of kingship and divine royalty for the Mesopotamians as well as Mesoamericans: “…a solar disk, a common ancient Mesoamerican symbol often associated with rulership.”|
|20.||White skin – Early explorers described some natives as “white” like Europeans. Legends tell of people with white skin who were wiped out. “Several Native American tribes have passed down legends of a race of white giants who were wiped out.” This contrast of skin color corresponds to the Book of Mormon, where some groups had skin more white and fair than others, and the light-skinned Nephites were wiped out.|
|21.||Fair-Skinned Women – Friar Diego Landa remarked Mesoamerican women were beautiful and fair-skinned if they avoided bathing and sun exposure. The Book of Mormon also specified the women as fair skinned. “Those who are beautiful are quite vain about it, and indeed they are not bad looking; they are dark-skinned, caused more by their constant bathing and by the sun, than naturally.” The Book of Mormon also tells of “fair daughters” who were very beautiful.|
Bearded Men – Native art often shows bearded men, such as in the famous Izapa Stela 5 and the Olmec god Xolotl. Natives did not grow long beards, but the Book of Mormon people likely did. Quetzalcoatl was said to be bearded.
|23.||Commander Leads With Battle Standard – Aztec unit leaders wore a battle standard, much like the Title of Liberty in the Book of Mormon.
Diego Landa described the battle standard:
|24.||Numbering Army Sizes By 10,000 – Sizes of military populations were rounded in Mesoamerican records to the nearest 10,000. For example, the Aztecs divided their army into units of 10,000, exactly how the Book of Mormon described army sizes in terms of 10,000 men.|
|25.||Ditch & Wood Fence Fortifications – Fortifications with artificial earth slopes, large ditches, and defensive timberwork have been found in the Valley of Mexico and elsewhere, exactly as described in the Book of Mormon.
Sacred Towers – Mesoamericans used tall towers, called kivas, for religious preaching and sacred ceremonies to Quetzalcoatl, the same way as recorded in the Book of Mormon.
The coatepetl tower, or “serpent tower” was “an Aztec Tower of Babel with its base on earth and its summit connecting the earth to the sky.” This matches the Book of Mormon description of the tower of Babel: “a tower sufficiently high that they might get to heaven.”
Temples Similar to Solomon’s Temple – The Book of Mormon claims Nephi built a temple similar to Solomon’s temple.
|28.||Separate Temple Spaces For Men & Women – Mayans followed the Old World custom of holding temple ceremonies on the New Year, and they divided temple spaces for men and women, the same practice as the Hebrews. Diego Landa wrote:
|29.||New Years Omens – In the Book of Mormon, Teancum snuck in and assassinated Amalickiah on New Years eve. The timing of this assassination was significant, because the New Year was considered a time of omens. This assassination played on the Mesoamerican belief that New Year events were ominous for the rest of the year: “The day on which a new year begins will determine what may happen during the year.”|
|30.||Stone Oracles – Mesoamerican priests looked into sacred stones or rock statues as oracles, similar to what’s described in the Book of Mormon. Diego Landa mentioned “divining stones” among the “sorcerers.” They used quartz crystal for their divination: “magnifying glasses or spectacles, by which things may be seen more clearly.”
This sounds exactly like the instrument Joseph Smith claimed he found to translate the Book of Mormon: “stones, describing them as white or clear in appearance, set in silver bows or rims like modern eyeglasses or spectacles.”
|31.||Lightning Indicates Divine Presence – Lightning, thunder, and earthquakes were considered evidence of the serpent god Quetzalcoatl’s arrival:
Thunder and lighting was also evidence of Christ’s arrival in the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith remarked of his vision of God: “his countenance truly like lightning.”
|32.||Wine – Ancient Americans made wine from vineyards (of fruits other than grapes), such as Cochinital pibil, sometimes with great potency. They were located in regions around the cities, exactly as recorded in the Book of Mormon. Diego Landa:
Mayan rituals included honey, called balche, which the Book of Mormon also mentions being important.
|33.||Cement Buildings – Cement was used for building because of a lack of wood in Mexico:
The Book of Mormon records: “…the people who went forth became exceedingly expert in the working of cement; therefore they did build houses of cement, in the which they did dwell.”
|34.||Gardens Surrounding Houses – All around Mesoamerica, houses were commonly surrounded by gardens.
Helaman 7:10 mentions a garden surrounding his home, at the edge of his property: “Nephi had bowed himself upon the tower which was in his garden, which tower was also near unto the garden gate by which led the highway.”
|35.||Raised Highways – The Book of Mormon claims there were “many highways cast up” “from city to city” and that the highways were made “smooth.” In Mesoamerica and South America, a vast network of “cast up” roadways connected cities. For example, there are “raised roads of roughly shaped stone” at Coba. The roads spread across the lands and are formally built:
|36.||Drinking Blood – Lamanite leaders in the Book of Mormon threatened to drink the blood of their enemies. Likewise, Mesoamerican warriors drank blood of their defeated enemies: “Nearly all the art forms abound in representation of warriors, eagles eating hearts or drinking blood.”
Houses were blessed by priests by smearing blood on the corner posts to keep away ill fortune, similar to the Passover custom of the Hebrews.
|37.||Afterlife Judgement From Earthly Sins – The Mayan concept of an afterlife was which was a “system of rewards and punishments that depend on one’s behavior while alive,” exactly like the merit-based concept of heaven in the Book of Mormon.|
|38.||Paradise Heaven – Mesoamericans believed heaven was a joyful paradise filled with delights. Tialocan, the heaven for Teaotihuacans, was portrayed as abundant and happy. Diego Landa reported:
|39.||Ritual Sacrament – Mayan rituals included sacred drinks and food, like the sacrament in the Book of Mormon, administered by priests. “Ritual drinking” took place with gods present at Mayan ball game courts. Cannibalism was sometimes practiced, because “by eating the victims the participants were able to ingest the very substance of the god whom they worshipped.” This matches reports of cannibalism in the Book of Mormon, and resembles the logic behind the Christian sacrament.
Mesoamericans shaped corn dough into the shape of their gods, to represent their gods, and ate them as a communion ceremony, where dough was “formed into tamales (dumplings steamed in cornhusks) or shaped as idols and eaten in communion with the corn gods.”
|40.||Ritual Executions – The Book of Mormon records ritual executions due to acts of warfare, such as the hanging of Zemnarihah from a tree and the Lamanite’s systematic killing Nephite prisoners. Mesoamericans likewise practiced ritual executions and warfare, the “presentation, mutilation, and sacrifice of prisoners.”|
|41.||Ritual Sacrifice – Both “human sacrifice” and “animal sacrifices” occurred in ancient America. The Book of Mormon describes both within the time frame.|
|42.||Elite Priests – Religious priests were at the top of the social hierarchy and taught traditional doctrines that reinforced this social structure, and often repressed the lower class, as recorded in the Book of Mormon. The “elite power rested in esoteric ritual knowledge.”|
|43.||Palaces – The ruling class “nobles lived in palaces.” Rulers lived in a large palace at the center of the city, as recorded in the Book of Mormon.|
|43.||Temporary Imprisonment – Prison was usually temporary, and usually ended quickly with some other punishment, such as slavery. “Captives taken in war were occasionally enslaved, but they usually were dedicated to sacrifice and did not last long.” The Book of Mormon indicates the same kind of judicial system.|
|43.||Jaguar Symbolized Hunting – The jaguar altar at El Castillo showed incredible similarity to the Facsimile 1 Lion couch. The Book of Mormons speak of lions in the same fashion as jaguars. The jaguar was an important anthropomorphism of hunting and dominion, a figure that humans could embody: “Master of the Species, a concept characteristic of hunting cultures… rooted in the equivalence of man and wild animals.”
The Book of Mormon speaks of lions in the same way: “A lion among the beasts of the forest… treadeth down and teareth into pieces, and none can deliver” (3 Nephi 21:12), “they fought like lions for their prey” (Mosiah 20:10), “they were struck with great fear and fled… as a goat fleeth with her young from two lions.”
|44.||Owl Associated With Death – Owls were thought by Mayans to inhabit the underworld and signify death and desolation. The god Yum Cimil “is painted as half-owl, half-human.” Yum Cimil’s sought to “devastate and destroy all that he came in contact with… plagues and wars and many other forms of violence.”
The Book of Mormon associates owls with destruction and desolation as well: “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in… their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there.”
|45.||Fine Clothing – The Book of Mormon claims Lehi’s people from Mesopotamia wore silks and fine linens, and describes the dress in terms of robes.
Torguemada described the foreigners who arrived in America long ago on boats:
|46.||Multiple Marketplaces In A City – Helaman 7:10 mentions a “chief market” and suggests smaller markets existed. This matches the Mesoamerican market system, where central markets were principal and local small markets were spread around neighborhoods: “…on multiple scales, from neighborhood-level interaction to large, principal marketplaces like those known from the Postclassic Basin.”|
|47.||High Density Urban Centers – The idea of large native cities with high density populations seemed laughable in Joseph Smith’s time, but now we know there were very dense ancient cities. The size of these cities required local representatives within a larger government framework, exactly as the Book of Mormon portrays:
Book of Mormon witness David Whitmer said: “When we [the Witnesses] were first told to publish our statement, we felt sure that the people would not believe it, for the Book told of a people who were refined and dwelt in large cities.” Who would have thought that the Native Americans even had a representative government? That it became necessary with the population influx of new immigrants under King Mosiah?
|48.||Monetary System – No coins from ancient America have been found, however this is not a problem because the monetary system mentioned in Alma 11 never speaks of coins, just weights of different metals, and comparisons of what they are worth. This standardization fits the ancient method of coinage.
|49.||Cutting Off Arms For Trophies – In the Book of Mormon, Ammon cut off the arms of plunderers attempting to steal from him, and the arms were displayed to the king as a trophy. This follows an Aztec practice of cutting off the arms of enemies in combat and displaying them as trophies.
|50.||Cities Submerged In Water – Advanced cities have been found submerged under water and covered in landslides: “…’underwater city’ found on a large plateau… ‘clear manmade architectural designs’ that when seen from above ‘resemble pyramids, roads and buildings.'”
The Book of Mormon describes cities being submerged completely in the ocean.
|51.||Garden of Eden – Mesoamericans believed that Quetzalcoatl gave man life and the ability to choose good or evil, and previously mankind was in a childlike state.
|52.||Communal Society – Like in 4 Nephi, archaeologists have noticed unranked societies in Maya that eventually split into classes and ranks.|
|53.||Sudden Depopulation – There was a “general abandonment of most settlements in western Chiapas,” during the Late Classic era (250 AD) “which finally dwindled to nothing.” This correlates with the extinction of the Nephites around the same time.|
|54.||Migration Northward – Experts believed, even in Joseph Smith’s time, that Natives migrated south from the Bering Strait. But new evidence shows there were actually migrations northward, as claimed in the Book of Mormon: “…the speakers of these languages would seem likely to have migrated northward from in or near what is now Oaxaca a matter of millenia ago.”|
|54.||Fasting With Sackcloth and Ashes – Diego Landa described Mayans entering their temple “cleansed of the black soot they put on while fasting,” and then being purified with incense, much like the Hebrew customs of fasting.a|
|55.||Armor – Many assume Native Americans had no armor, but early explorers reported soldiers who “wore protective jackets of cotton, quilted in double thickness, which were very strong.” “Some of the chiefs and captains wore helmets of wood.”|
|56.||Spiritual Growth Like Plant – Talamancans described spiritual renewal and resurrection as the growth of a plant growing inside a person, like faith is described in the Book of Mormon. Corn meal symbolizes “renewal in death… temporal expressions promising spiritual continuity despite the death of the body.'”|
|57.||Immortal Soul – Mesoamericans believed in an immortal soul because of the spirit, as described in the Book of Mormon. Diego Landa reported: “These people have always believed in the immortality of the soul.”a|
|58.||Genealogy Proves Right To Rulership – Mesoamerican writings, such as the Maya stelae, recorded a ruler’s lineage as proof of his right to rule: “It is now generally accepted that many of these monuments functioned as status validation documents.” The Book of Mormon mentions the same kind of validation of kingship. Diego Landa:
|59.||Hierarchy Of Judges – The king often was supreme judge, with a structure of lower district courts below him, as with the Aztec Tlatoani. They were financially compensated and specialized lawyers. The Book of Mormon records the same kind of structure.|
|60.||Broken Heart & Contrite Spirit – Mesoamericans believed the gods were to be approached with humility, begging, and weeping prayer. “…prayers were accompanied by humbling behavior, wailing, or gentle weeping… to ‘wake up’ the divinity.”|
|60.||Teachers Over The People – The Book of Mormon clarifies that one of the important and influential roles of priests was to be teachers over the people. Diego Landa said: “It was the office of the priests to discourse and teach their sciences, to indicate calamities and the means of remedying them, preaching during the festivals, celebrating the sacrifices and administering their sacraments.”|
|61.||Prophesy of Foreign Conquerors – Diego Landa:
|62.||Patriarchal Priesthood Under High Priest – Diego Landa:
|63.||Confessing Sins – Mayans confessed their sins to a priest to avoid sickness, like Zeezrom in the Book of Mormon. Diego Landa said:
|64.||Societies Departing From Jerusalem – The Dead Sea Scrolls revealed a civilization at Qumran that departed from Jerusalem into the wilderness due to wickedness in the city and impending doom, like Lehi’s family in the Book of Mormon. They wrote scripture on metal and practiced devout religious ordinances, including baptism by immersion, that are unique to Mormons. Also, around the same time period.
|65.||Scripture Records Kept In A Treasury – Like Nephi’s account, non-Hebrew records were kept in a treasury, called “genizah”, a store room in synagogues. But it was specifically called a treasury: ” In Tractate Pesachim 118b, bet genizah is a treasury.”
The Lachesh Letters also talk about a military governor who kept important records in the genizah.
|66.||Steel Bow – The Book of Mormon claim that Nephi had a “steel bow” for hunting. This sounds laughable to anti-Mormons, but the ancient Visnudharmottara mentions metal bows, and the Agnipurana mentions steel bows. Mughal paintings show them in use in battles, and they are believed to date back to the 4th century B.C.
Interestingly, Nephi created new arrows for his new bow, even though he already had arrows. Why did he need new arrows if only his bow broke? Nowadays, we wouldn’t think to do this, but in ancient times arrows had to be made specific for each bow. Different arrows were certainly needed for a quick wood bow than a fine steel bow.
|66.||Hebrew Concept of Hell & Death – Abinadi’s personification of death, a battle for victory over death, swallowing death, and bands of death match both Near Eastern concepts and Mayan sensibilities of death and the afterlife realm.|
|67.||Multiple Hebrew Temples – The Book of Mormon claims Nephi built a temple in the new world. The notion that the Hebrews would have permitted multiple temples was inconceivable in Joseph Smith’s time, but since then, a Jewish temples have been found in Elephantine and Leontopolis, where the Hebrews did not “shut down the Elephantine temple itself, despite the fact that its existence was contrary to the law of Deuteronomy.”|
|68.||Hebrew Name ‘Sariah’ – The Hebrew name Sariah was not known of in Joseph Smith’s time, and its appearance in the Book of Mormon seems random. But recently the name has been found written in the Elephantine Papyri: “Sariah daughter of Hoshea son of Harman.”|
|69.||Mulek Son of King Zedekiah – It has always been assumed that Zedekiah did not have a son named Mulek, even though the Book of Mormon claims he did. But an ancient seal was discovered in Jerusalem that reads: “Malkiyahu the son of the king.” This is likely Mulek.
|70.||Male Use Of The Name ‘Alma’ – The Book of Mormon applies the name Alma to men, even though it is a female name. But a land deed from the 2nd century AD in Palestine mentions “Alma the son of Judah,” which proves it is male and Hebrew.
Other ancient texts include the word in a male context as well. The Book of Mormon’s context plays on the Hebrew root of the word Alma, “youth” and “conceal.”
|71.||Hebrew Names– The Book of Mormon uses words that match up to the meanings in Hebrew and related languages, even though Joseph Smith did not know Hebrew. For example, Jershon means “place of inheritance” in Hebrew, and in the Book of Mormon, a land is given by Nephites to Lamanite converts “for an inheritance” which is called Jershon.|
|72.||Egyptian Influence In Aztecan Language – Brian Stubbs painstakingly showed Semitic and Egyptian influences in the languages spoken by the Utes, Shoshoni, Jahua, and Hopi tribes. He provided a list of 1,528 sets of cognates linking Uto-Aztecan languages with Semitic and Egyptian. This includes:
Brian Stubbs also noticed Egyptian similarities:
The Book of Mormon records Lehi’s family was educated “in the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians.”
|73.||Chiasmus – The literary device of chiasmus, unusual for English but common in Hebrew and the Bible, has been found extensively in the Book of Mormon, in complex structures, both within sentences and at a macro-level forming entire chapters.|
|74.||Hebrew Grammar – Besides the chiasmus, there are distinctive Hebrew grammar devices in the Book of Mormon that sound clumsy in English but fit perfect for Hebrew. The list includes the Hebrew construct slate, adverbials, cognates, compound prepositions, conjunctions, subordinate causes, relative clauses, extrapositional mouns, interchangeable pronouns, and naming conventions.|
|75.||Reformed Egyptian – The Book of Mormon’s claim of reformed-Egyptian was silly in the 19th century, but now we have discovered Demotic and Hieratic variations of Egyptian. Translations of Hebrew scripture into other languages have also been found.|
|76.||Continually Running River Into Red Sea – Anti-Mormons have long claimed there are no rivers on the Arabian Peninsula that empty in to the Red Sea. But actually a continually flowing river has been found 8 miles north of Maqna, where a suitable spot for the Valley of Lemuel has also been found.|
|77.||‘Shazer’ Discovered on Lehi’s Route – Nephi described a fertile location in the Arabian desert where they found animals to hunt, which they called Shazer. This word matches the ancient Palestinian term for water holes, shajer, pronounced shazher. A fitting location has been found 75 miles from the Valley of Lemuel location at the Gulf of Aqaba.|
|78.||‘Nahom’ Discovered On Lehi’s Route – Altar inscriptions of the name “Nahom” have been discovered along the route Lehi took in southern Arabia, dating to the time he was supposed to have been there.|
|78.||Word for ‘Amen’ – Diego Landa: “They have the custom of assisting one who delivers a message by responding with a cadence of the voice, a sort of aspirate in the throat as if to say ‘it is well’ or‘be is so.’”a|
Idol Statues – Mesoamericans worshipped stone idol statues and graven images, as told in the Book of Mormon.
|80.||Priestcraft – The Book of Mormon tells of a class of religious leaders who exploit the people for financial gain and political power. This also describes priests in Mesoamerica as an “elite class and the management of religious matters that reinforced and supported their elevated status.”|
|81.||Captains – Captains and sub-captains led the armies as recorded in the Book of Mormon.|
|82.||Local Militia – Warriors were mustered from local sources rather than a national standing army, as recorded in the Book of Mormon.|
|83.||Multiple Writing Systems – Native Americans were considered illiterate in Joseph Smith’s time, yet the Book of Mormon claims a variety of writing systems. Many distinct scripts have been found in Mesoamerican cultures dating back to ancient times.|
|84.||Similar Uses For Writing – Mesoamericans used writing for 14 purposes that are also mentioned in in the Book of American, according to John L. Sorenson. This included recording history, correspondence, recording mythology, warfare, and genealogy. While ancient writing typically evolves from accounting in business, Mesoamerican writing is rather unique in that it came from religious, political, and historical needs–which is how the Book of Mormon describes writing.|
|85.||Governance By Divine Right – Governorship was conferred by right and often by divine decree in ancient America, with multiple rulers rather than one single king over everyone, the same as indicated in the Book of Mormon: “Classic Maya rulers claimed a kind of divine right to rule, similar to the supernatural identity enjoyed by kings” in the Eastern continent.|
|86.||Rulers Numbered Starting With Original Ruler’s Name – Mayan rulers kept the name of the original ruler and gave themselves a successive number, exactly like the people of Nephi did with the name “Nephi.”|
|87.||History Treated As Political Weapon – In the Book of Mormon, civilizations sought historical records to gain political advantage over each other. Mesoamericans did likewise, for example with the sacred petamuti narrative.|
|88.||Lineage Predicted Future – Both Mesoamerican writings and the Book of Mormon predict future events based on genealogical lineages, national history, and dreams. A family could “trace its historical lineage back to a particularly important” historical character and “shape the future” accordingly.|
|89.||Family-Based Rulership – Kingship was usually based on family descendancy, usually through males descendants, as recorded in the Book of Mormon. Rulership “had always passed from father to son.”|
|90.||Emeritus Rulership – Rulership sometimes changed before the previous ruler was dead, like Mosiah who passed on the throne before his death in the Book of Mormon.|
|91.||Taxes – Just as recorded in the Book of Mormon, Mesoamerican rulers gained power through taxes. These were lump-sum tributes, “regularly scheduled, recorded in official documents, and collected by teams of professional tax collectors.”|
|92.||Social Classes – Society was divided into upper and lower classes, with significant social stratification, as recorded in the Book of Mormon.|
|92.||Social Class Movements – Ancient Americans changed social orders as groups, rather than with an individual champion like in the 19th century. The Book of Mormon records the same kind of upheavals and revolutions.|
|93.||Frequent Upheaval – Factions within a nation often shifted sides overthrew the government or took over other societies, as indicated in the Book of Mormon: “Local alliances shifted frequently, contributing to political unrest and resulting in a boundary that fluctuated over time.”
Despite being considered peaceful for many years, archaeologists now recognize Mesoamericans were embroiled in warfare, as recorded in the Book of Mormon: “The Maya warred because their religion compelled it.”
|94.||Divisions By Relocation – Factions often created independent macro-regional civilizations during times of upheaval, as recorded in the Book of Mormon.|
|95.||Factions Sought Social Dominance – Contrary to the impression of stability that historians once held for Mesoamerica, social factions fought violently for political power and greatly disrupted the peaceable society, as recorded in the Book of Mormon.|
|96.||Social Division By Religion – Religion was a major factor in divisions between groups and societies, as recorded in the Book of Mormon.|
|97.||Warfare Due To Religion – Religion was often a major reason for attacking other societies through warfare, as recorded in the Book of Mormon. Not only was war waged for religious dominance in theocracies, it was seen as necessary to please the gods, like the Lamanite concept of war.|
|98.||Religious Circumcision – Aztec warriors punctured their foreskins in a solemn sacrificial ritual, similar to the Hebrew circumcision: “Their brothers and husbands drew thongs through the foreskins of their penises. The blood they shed was sopped up in strips of fiber that were burned, dispatching the sacrifices in smoke to the heavens.”v|
|99.||Battles By Agriculture Season – Battles and troop movements were timed to not interfere with the harvest season and when it wasn’t too hot, as indicated in the Book of Mormon. Wars were fought in the winter, which does not make sense in Joseph Smith’s location but does in Central America.|
|100.||Nuclear Family – The small traditional family provided moral instruction to the youth, as recorded in the Book of Mormon.|
|101.||Polygamy – Polygamous marriages were practiced by the elites:
The Book of Mormon also records polygamy taking place:
|102.||Farming Without Animals – Mesoamerican farming was done completely without use of animals, as indicated in the Book of Mormon.|
|103.||Herds and Flocks – John L. Sorenson points out, ancient Americans utilized birds and animals as described in the Book of Mormon, though it is unclear whether they were domesticated or merely slaughtered.|
|104.||Elephants – Contrary to anti-Mormon claims, there were elephants in North America, such as the mastodon, perhaps as late as 2,000 B.C. This corresponds to the mention of an elephant in the third millenia B.C. in the Book of Mormon.|
|105.||Metal – Contrary to popular belief and anti-American claims, metallurgy was known to ancient Americans, including smelting and working with alloys, as recorded in the Book of Mormon.
|106.||Silk – It sounds odd to claim Mesoamericans had silk, since we all know silk came from Asia. But contrary to anti-Mormon claims, fabrics that could be considered silk and “fine linen” were created by ancient Americans, from animal hair and fine weaving: “…feathers and rabbit fur may have been dyed with cochineal and applied to or woven into textiles.”|
|107.||Oracles for Warfare – Oracles or priestly intervention was used before battle, as indicated in the Book of Mormon: “…the help of diviners to know when to travel, and warriors to know when to go to battle.”|
|108.||Intergenerational Wars – Mesoamerican conflicts often stretched out feuds for many years and generations, as recorded in the Book of Mormon.|
|108.||Punishment for Adultry – In Alma 30:10, adulterers were punished per the Law of Moses. Diego Landa:
|109.||Divorce Condemned – Diego Landa:
|110.||Cultural Rot Due To Unworthy Marriages – Diego Landa:
The Book of Mormon confirms:
“And they were married, and given in marriage… they did receive all manner of wickedness, and did administer that which was sacred unto him to whom it had been forbidden because of unworthiness.”
|111.||Abundance Of Precious Metals & Stones – Mesoamerica was abundant in gold, copper, other precious metals, and precious gems and stones, as the Book of Mormon described.|
|112.||Title & Author On Last Page – The original 1830 printing Book of Mormon placed the title page at the end, which was strange. But Mesopotamian records frequently wrote subscripto, with the author and title at the end.|
- ^All quotes from Yucatan Before and After the Conquest by Diego de Landa Courier Corporation, 2012
- ^Quoted in Pan American Magazine, Volume 8 1909
- ^Quoted in Ancient Ocean Crossings: Reconsidering the Case for Contacts with the Pre-Columbian Americas Stephen C. Jett, University of Alabama Press 2017
- ^Quoted in Handbook of Middle American Indians, Volumes 10 and 11: Archaeology of Northern Mesoamerica Robert Wauchope, Gordon F. Ekholm, Ignacio Bernal, University of Texas Press, 2015
- ^Quoted in Apocrypha arabica, Volume 51; Volume 940, Margaret Dunlop Gibson, C.J. Clay and sons, 1901
- ^Quoted in Ancient America Rediscovered, Mariano Veytia, Donald W. Hemingway, W. David Hemingway, Cedar Fort, 2000
- ^From The Art of Urbanism: How Mesoamerican Kingdoms Represented Themselves in Architecture and Imagery, William Leonard Fash, Leonardo López Luján, Harvard University Press, 2009
- ^From Unanswered Mormon Scholars, Matthew Roper, FARMS Review of Books 9/1 (1997)
- ^From POPOL VUH Sacred Book of the Quiché Maya People, Allen J. Christenson, Mesoweb Publications, 2007
- ^From Star Gods of the Maya: Astronomy in Art, Folklore, and Calendars, Susan Milbrath, University of Texas Press, 1999
- ^From Red Medicine: Traditional Indigenous Rites of Birthing and Healing, Patrisia Gonzales, University of Arizona Press, 2012
- ^From War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica, Ross Hassig, University of California Press, 1992
- ^From Prehistoric Mesoamerica, Richard E. W. Adams, University of Oklahoma Press, 2005
- ^From Hart Crane’s Poetry: “Appollinaire Lived in Paris, I Live in Cleveland, Ohio”, John T. Irwin, JHU Press, 2011
- ^From Prehistoric Mesoamerica, Richard E. W. Adams, University of Oklahoma Press, 2005
- ^From The Archaeology of Mesoamerican Animals, Kitty F. Emery, Christopher M. Gotz, SD LLC, 2013
- ^From People and Pixels: Linking Remote Sensing and Social Science, National Research Council, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Board on Environmental Change and Society, Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change, National Academies Press, 1998
- ^From Ancient Ocean Crossings: Reconsidering the Case for Contacts with the Pre-Columbian Americas Stephen C. Jett, University of Alabama Press 2017
- ^From The Neighborhood as a Social and Spatial Unit in Mesoamerican Cities M. Charlotte Arnauld, Linda R. Manzanilla, Michael E. Smith, University of Arizona Press, 2012
- ^From Mysteries of Native American Myth and Religion Gary R. Varner, Lulu.com, 2007
- ^From Prehispanic Domestic Units in Western Mesoamerica: Studies of the Household, Compound, and Residence, Robert S. Santley, Kenneth G. Hirth CRC Press, 1992
- ^From Archaeometallurgy in Mesoamerica: Current Approaches and New Perspectives, University Press of Colorado, 2013
- ^From The American Past: A Survey of American History, Volume I: To 1877, Joseph R. Conlin, Cengage Learning, 2013