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The following is quoted from Joseph Allen's Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon
Virtually all 16th Century writers wrote about a white god called Quetzalcoatl (KATES-ALL-CO-OUGHT-ALL). This tradition is strong and repetitive. Every school child in Mexico studies Quetzalcoatl and knows the importance of his role.
The symbol of the serpent has long been associated with deities of Mexico and Guatemala. In the Aztec language, the word "coatl" means serpent. By placing the Aztec word "quetzal" in front of the word "coatl," we have the word "Quetzalcoatl." The word "quetzal" means feathers. A beautiful bird, native to Guatemala, carries the name quetzal. Quetzalcoatl, therefore, means "feathered serpent," or serpent with precious feathers. The word quetzal is the name of the coin in Guatemala and also is the national symbol of the country.
Throughout pre-Columbian Mexican history, scores of individuals, both mythological and real, were given the name or title of Quetzalcoatl. Attempts also have been made to attribute the name Quetzalcoatl to only one person. The following quotations are indicative of what is said about Quetzalcoatl:
Quetzalcoatl was a man of comely appearance and serious disposition. His countenance was white, and he wore a beard. His manner of dress consisted of a long, flowing robe. (Ixtlilxochitl:45)
Just as our era began with Christ, so that of the Aztecs and their predecessors began -- approximately at the same time--with Quetzalcoatl. His image, the plumed serpent, had for pre-Columbian people the same evocative force as has the Crucifix for Christianity. (Sejourne 1957: 25)
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. (Taylor 201)
We should, however, exercise caution as we correlate Jesus Christ and Quetzalcoatl as identical personages because of the fact that a 10th-Century culture hero called Ce Acatl Topilzin Quetzalcoatl took upon himself the title of the deity Quetzalcoatl. Nevertheless, the deity Quetzalcoatl apparently had its origin in the visit of Jesus Christ to the American continent. (Allen 1970)
Similarities of Christ and Quetzalcoatl include the following:
Question: If the parallels are so strong between Christ and Quetzalcoatl, why do some people question that they are one and the same?
Answer: From the time of Christ to the Conquest of Mexico, many priests and royalty were given the name of Quetzalcoatl. This practice suggests that Quetzalcoatl became a title in much the same way that Nephi became a title:
One such culture hero, named Topilzin Quetzalcoatl and born c935 AD, left a trail from the Mexico City area to the Yucatan. The great Temple of Kukulcan was dedicated to this Toltec Quetzalcoatl. Kukulcan is the Maya word for feathered serpent. (Allen 1970:86-94)
The priest Topilzin Quetzalcoatl set about to establish a new golden age, a reincarnation of a utopia that existed centuries earlier under the reign of the deity Quetzalcoatl. (Florescano 1964: 164-166)
Furthermore, many pagan attributes became associated with Quetzalcoatl over the years, either by another individual's being named Quetzalcoatl or by the people's entering into apostasy. A case in point is the Temple of Quetzalcoatl located by the pyramids of Teotihuacan. These stone serpents with feathers around their necks well represent a distorted view of Christ.
Question : If the parallels are so strong between Christ and Quetzalcoatl, why would Christ be associated with the serpent? Is not the serpent a symbol for Satan?
Answer: In the Book of Mormon, the serpent is a symbol of Christ. (1 Nephi 17:41; 2 Nephi 25:20; Alma 33:19-21; Helaman 8:14-15) However, the event is couched in Old Testament history and recorded in the Book of Numbers. The children of Israel were residing in the wilderness. Being plagued with poisonous serpents, Moses prayed to the Lord for his people. The Lord instructed Moses to make a bronze serpent and attach it to a pole. The Lord promised Moses that anyone looking upon that serpent, made of brass, after having been bitten by a poisonous serpent, would live. (Numbers 21:6-9) Nephi, the son of Helaman in the Book of Mormon, provides an explanation of the meaning of the Brazen serpent Moses lifted up on a pole:
John the Beloved portrayed the same type of symbolism as he wrote:
Christ in the Book of Mormon
The impact that the image of Quetzalcoatl has played in the history of Mexico is overwhelming. Of the Pantheon of gods celebrated by the ancient Mexicans, only Quetzalcoatl reached all cultures. An author by the name of Laurette Sejourne of the University of Mexico was so impressed with this concept that she wrote a book called the The Universality of Quetzalcoat.
Although the concept of god became polluted throughout the centuries and although other people took upon themselves the name or symbolism of Quetzalcoatl, the Book of Mormon itself sets the stage for the beginning of the Mesoamerican legend of Quetzalcoatl:
And it came to pass that again they heard the voice, and they understood it not.
And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.
And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:
Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name -- hear ye him.
And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they through it was an angel that had appeared unto them.
And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people saying:
Behold, I am Jesus Christ whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. (3 Nephi 11:3-9)
Every Book of Mormon prophet from Lehi to the coming of Christ prophesied of this singular, important event.
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