Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship


Quetzalcoatl, Mexico, Guatemala, Book of Mormon studies, 3 Nephi, Jesus Christ


Some Latter-day Saints have long been struck with the similarity between certain characteristics of the god Quetzalcoatl, as known from native traditions in Mexico and Guatemala, and Jesus Christ, whose visit to Lehi's descendants is described in Third Nephi. In the book, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon (1985), the dramatic decline of the god Quetzalcoatl in the period around A.D. 200 at the giant city of Teotihuacan near Mexico City was discussed in comparison with Fourth Nephi. The book relied on a study by Mexican scholar Enrique Fiorescano ("Quetzalcoatl: espiritualismo del Mexico antiguo," Cuadernos Americanos 105/4 [1959]: 127-39). A new study now presents even clearer parallels. (See Ruben Cabrera C., "La secuencia arquitect6nica del edificio de los animales mitol6gicos en Teotihuacan," in Homenaje a Roman Pina Chan [Mexico: UNAM, 1987], 349-72.)