Ixtlilxochitl & Evidence for the Book of Mormon in Mesoamerican Codices

An image from the 12 th century Codex Colombino of the Mixtec people shows the 11th-century military and political feats of Lord Eight-Deer, aka Tiger Claw, and another ruler, Four-Wind, and religious ceremonies marking these feats. (Image from the World Digital Library )

16. It had been 166 years since they had adjusted their calendar with the equinox and 270 years since the giants [tall ones] had been destroyed when the sun and the moon eclipsed and the earth quaked and rocks were broken into pieces and many other signs that had been given came to pass, although man was not destroyed. This was in the year CE Calli, which, adjusted to our calendar, happened at the same time that Christ, our Lord, was crucified. And they say that this destruction occurred in the first few days of the year. (Fernanado Ixtlilxochitl, Obras históricas ~1620)

4. The records indicate that the world was created in the year Ce Tecpatl, and the period of time from the creation to the flood is called Atonatiuh, which means the age of the sun of water because the world was destroyed by the flood. And it is recorded in the Tulteca history that this period or first world, as they called it, lasted for 1,716 years… 5. To this they recorded other events, such as how, after the flood, a few people who had escaped the destruction inside a Toptlipetlacalli, which interpreted means an enclosed ark, began again to multiply upon the earth. 6. After the earth began again to be populated, they built a Zacualli very high and strong, which means the very high tower, to protect themselves against a second destruction of the world…. (Fernanado Ixtlilxochitl, Obras históricas ~1620)

Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl (1578-1650)

There may be no better evidence for the historicity of the Book of Mormon than that from the writings of the controversial early Aztec historian Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl (pronounced: EEsh-leal-sho-cheat-l. 1578-1650). Born roughly 60 years after Cotez’ conquest of the Aztec, Ixtlilxóchitl was a mixture of Aztec royalty and Spanish nobility. He was fluent in both the history and language of the Aztec as well as Latin and Spanish. His works, read much like the Book of Mormon itself, coming from the pen of one trying their best to FIND biblical Christianity in the records of the ancient Mixteca peoples. He chooses interpretations of ancient Mexica stories and myths which adhere closely to Biblical stories of the creation, global flood and tower of Babel.

Much as they do with the Book of Mormon, modern historians tend to dismiss the biblical similarities of Ixtlilxóchitl woks as attempts to twist the ancient stories he translated in order to fit a Christian biblical narrative. But for LDS adherents, his methods are informative as they show us precisely what we would expect from the translation process of the Book of Mormon’s ancient authors if it is to be a legitimate translation of ancient records (or work of mediumship based on ancient records). In comparison of the two, we should suppose in the translation or ‘channeling’ of the Book of Mormon text that the authors involved took liberties to convert the words and ideas of the ancient people, not just from their ancient languages to English, but from their ancient cultural contexts into that of 19th century New England. Thus we see mammoths called ‘elephants’, antelope called ‘sheep’, deer called ‘horses’, macuahuitl called ‘swords’, pyramids called ‘towers’ and god’s like Quetzalcoatl or Kukulkan changed to Jesus Christ. Many ancient stories, myths and ideas mixed in with more “modern” sermons on infant baptism, Catholic Church apostasy, New World exploration, prophesies about Joseph Smith and King James Isaiah or Pauline quotes.

Indeed to believe in the Book of Mormon as historical, this idea of a loose translation of words and culture must go considerably farther than simply a ‘dynamic equivalence’ translation. Much like the writings of Ixtlilxóchitl, we must suppose that the translators/channels took great liberties, relying heavily on Biblical sermons, idioms, wording and even concepts to change the ancient stories and ideas as fully as possible into 19th century religious ideals — and making the ancient concepts relevant to 19th century readers. Only this would explain not only how King James biblical phrases, chapters and even King James spelling and conceptual errors made their way into the Book of Mormon, but also how you get remarkably accurate explanations of ancient geographies and cultural descriptions juxtaposed with sermons on faith, charity, baptism and Unitarianism which align strikingly with the ideological and religious debates circulating New England during Joseph Smith’s time.

To suppose the Book of Mormon a work of fiction solely from the mind of Smith or one of his contemporaries, we must admit he was unfathomably ahead of his time in his knowledge of mesoamerican mythology, warfare, religion, fauna and metallurgy. Yet on the other hand to suppose that the Book of Mormon is a tight or even semi loose lingual translation of a specific text instead of a spiritual ‘channeling’, requires the ancient authors to have a nearly impossible understanding of future 19th century biblical context and future religious New England ideology.

following section taken from http://www.ancientamerica.org/  Read original of Ixtlilxochitl's book here.  Or an English translation here..

AFTER THE EARTH BEGAN AGAIN to be populated, they built a Zacualli very high and strong, which means the very high tower, to protect themselves against a second destruction of the world.

As time elapsed, their language became confounded,  such that they did not understand one another; and they were scattered to all parts of the world. (Ixtlilxochitl:6-7)

The above statement was recorded c 1600 AD by a native born scholar of Mexico named Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl (EEsht-leal-sho-cheat-el). He is considered by many to be the most prolific early writer on the history of Mexico. In a sense, he may be considered to be the Josephus of Mexico.

One biographer, Dr. Jose Maria Beristain y Souza, said that Ixtlilxochitl was one of the most distinguished students at the Colegio de Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco and that he was the most knowledgeable in the language, history, and antiquities of his people. (Biblioteca Hispano-Americana-Septemtrional, p. 58, as quoted in Chavero 1965)

The author Clavijero called Ixtlilxochitl “the truly noble Indian concerning the antiquities of his nation.” (Historia Antigua de Mexico 1:37, as quoted in Chavero 1965)

Dr. Lara Pardo called Ixtlilxochitl a man of great talent and deep intellect and said that Ixtlilxochitl possessed a most excellent library containing the paintings and hieroglyphic history of pre-conquest Mexico. (Leduc-Lara Pardo, Diccionario de Geogrqfia e Historia y Biografias Mexicanas, p. 492, as quoted in Chavero 1965)

Early writers placed the birth date of Alva Ixltilxochitl somewhere near the year 1568 AD. Edmundo O’Gorman, who published the writings of Ixtlilxochitl in 1975, with an update in 1985, determined that the date of Ixtlilxochitl’s birth was in the year 1578 AD. The place of birth was Texcoco, which is now a suburb of Mexico City. (O’Gorman 17)

Ixtlilxochitl was born of royalty, being a descendant of both the last king of Texcoco and the next-to-the-last Emperor of Mexico, Cuitlahuac. Ixtlilxochitl was also of Spanish descent,  as his grandfather on his mother’s side was the Spaniard Juan Grande.

The writings on the history of Mexico, according to Ixtlilxochitl, consisted of many manuscripts that were first circulated in the year 1600 AD. His works, Sumaria Relacion de la Historia General, were completed about 1625 AD-more than 200 years prior to the publication of the Book of Mormon. Traditionally, the date of the death of Ixtlilxochitl has been placed around 1648. O’Gorman’s research indicates that Ixtlilxochitl died in 1650 at the age of 72. (O’Gorman 36)

Regarding the sources for his history of Mexico, Ixtlilxochitl wrote the following:

… of a truth I have the ancient histories in my hand, and I know the language of the natives, because I was raised with them, and I know all of the old men and the principals of this land…. It has cost me hard study and work, always seeking the truth on everything I have written…. (Chavero 62)

Alfredo Chavero wrote in the preface of his two volumes follows:

Ixtlilxochitl is the original chronista of the Texcucanos [from Texcoco, a suburb of Mexico]. Few of our writers have enjoyed the fame and reputation that he has. Nevertheless, his numerous works are unknown. (Chavero 5)

And that is certainly an understatement. To this very day, the works of Ixtlilxochitl are hardly known in the United States. Even Latter-day Saint writers who have a high interest in the history of the Book of Mormon have basically ignored the works of Alva Ixtlilxochitl.

I suspect that part of the reason for the Latter-day Saints’ lack of knowledge about Ixtlilxochitl is that the works of Ixtlilxochitl have not been readily available in the English language. Hunter and Ferguson, in their 1950 book, Ancient America and the Book of Mormon, did, however, publish segments of Ixtlilxochitl’s works in English-segments that appeared to them to correlate with the Book of Mormon history. Wells Jakeman and Thomas Ferguson acquired the services of a man named Arnulfo Rodriguez to translate segments of the 1892 publication of Alfredo Chavero. (Hunter 1950:14)

Although Ixtlilxochitl wrote in the 1600s, his work was not circulated widely until Lord Kingsborough of England published nine volumes of work entitled Antiquities of Mexico. Kingsborough included the writings of Ixtlilxochitl in Spanish, having obtained those writings from the National Library of Madrid.

Kingsborough’s material on Ixtlilxochitl is similar to that of an early Mexican writer by the name of Boturini, who said that he copied his account of the writings of Alva from the handwriting of Alva Ixtlilxochitl. Kingsborough’s works were published between 1832-1848, but because of the extensive cost, his Antiquities of Mexico were never widely circulated.

Under the mandate of Mexican President Porfirio Diaz, Alfredo Chavero edited and footnoted a compilation of Ixtlilxochitl by Jose Fernando Ramirez. This edition was published in 1892 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the New World by Columbus.

This same edition, consisting of two volumes of approximately 500 pages each, was republished in 1965 with a preface by Lic. J. Ignacion Davila Garibi. Chavero called the books Obras Historicas de Don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl. The works of Ixtlilxochitl have been published as various editions in Spanish as follows:

  • Primera edicion: Kingsborough. Antiquities of Mexico. Vol. IX London 1848
  • Segunda edition: Chavero. Secretaria de Fomento. Mexico, 1991-92
  • Reediciones de la anterior: Editora National. Mexico. 1952 y 1965
  • Tercera edition: O’Gorman. lnstituto de Investigaciones Historicas. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. 1975
  • Cuarta edition: O’Gorman. Instituto de Investigaciones Historicas. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. 1985

It is from Chavero’s 1965 edition that I have translated into English the first section of Ixtlilxochitl’s works called “The Summary Account” (Sumaria Relacion).

Ramirez and Chavero divided the works of Ixtlilxochitl into two main parts: (1) Diverse Accounts and (2) The History of the Chichimeca.

The latter receives the most attention, as Ixtlilxochitl was a descendant of the Chichimeca people and, as a result, he follows the Chichimeca trail right up through the Conquest of Mexico.

The first part, “Diverse Accounts,” deals with the origin of the first settlers, called Quinametzin or giants. They came from the great tower. The first part also discusses a group of people called the Tulteca. They were wise men who worshipped a god they called Quetzalcoatl. A great dispersion among the Tultecas took place in the 4th Century AD.

The “Diverse Accounts” section is the section that attracts the interest of students of the Book of Mormon, as a common trail appears in both accounts. Ixtlilxochitl called this section “Sumaria Relacion de todas las cosas que han sucedido en La Nueva Espana y de muchas cosas que los Toltecas alcanzaron.”

That’s rather a long title patterned after the manner of the native Mexicans. It means “A summary account of all the things than happened in New Spain and many things that the Toltecs accomplished.”

  • The first chapter (“Primmer Relacion”) of Chavero’s works is only 11 pages, and that portion is what I have included in its entirety in this text. The “Primmer Relacion” covers the history of Mexico from the time of the great tower to about 439 AD.
  • Chapter 2, or”Segunda Relacion,” provides dates of 466 AD to 543 AD. It also provides summary statements of the early history, typical of the way that Ixtlilxochitl wrote. He wrote, “The Tultecas were the third settlers of this land, counting the giants as the first, and the Ulmecas and Xicalancas as the second.” (Chavero 28)
  • Chapter 3 of Chavero consists of seven pages and covers the period of time from 556 AD to 826 AD.
  • Chapter 4 provides only one date, 880 AD, but the chapter provides a summary of the nature and characteristics of the Tultecas. “The Tultecas were great architects, carpenters, and workers of arts such as pottery: They mined and smelted gold and silver, and worked precious stones . . . .” (Chavero 40)
  • Chapter 5, or “Quinta Relacion,” covers about 30 pages and terminates with page 108 and the year 958 AD. With the exception of a summary section at the end of Volume One, the remainder of the works of Ixtlilxochitl deals with the history of Mexico from 1000 AD to 1600 AD. The majority of the history is centered in the 16th Century.

Don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl indeed makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the pre-Conquest civilizations of Mexico. His writings have been criticized, however, because they contain much repetition and because his chronology and dating often lack consistency. One writer said, “It would have been better if Alva Ixtlilxochitl had written less, and paid more detail and attention to the chronology.” (Garcia Icazbalceta, Bibliography de Autores Mexicanos, VIII,271; as quoted in Chavero in the “Prologo”)

We could perhaps defend Ixtlilxochitl by noting that he was only writing down what he read in the different native records he was translating.

Some common elements with Ixtlilxochitl’s writings and the Book of Mormon are the following:

  • 1. They both speak of the first civilization coming from the great tower at the time of the confusion of tongues.
  • 2. They both speak of a white god who was born of a virgin and who ascended to heaven after teaching his people.
  • 3. They both record the date of a great destruction occurring in the first month of the 34th year, or at the death of Christ.
  • 4. They both use the same terminology in describing the manner in which cities were named.
  • 5. They both speak of three distinct civilizations that predate the coming of Christ.
  • 7. They both record the destruction of the first civilization that predates the coming of Christ, who lived in the northern lands, or the Land Northward.
  • 8. They both speak of a nation whose principal area meant “land of abundance” or “bountiful.”

Explore and read the ORIGINAL Ixtlilxochitl text at this link of Archive.org. And see my direct translation of the text in this Google Document.


The Historical Works of Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl. Edited and annotated by Alfredo Chavero and published as a 2nd edition of the works of Jose Fernando Ramirez in 1892. The 3rd edition was published in 1965 with a preface by Lic. J. Ignacio Davila Garibi. This treatise consists of Volume 1, Chapter 1, of Chavero, translated into English and arranged into verses by Joseph L. Allen. Footnotes and commentary with maps are also added by Allen.

Summary Account

1. A history of the events in New Spain including many things regarding the knowledge and accomplishments of the Tultecas from the creation of the world to its destruction, and up to the arrival of the third inhabitants called Chichimecas, and on up to the arrival of the Spanish, taken from the original history of New Spain. 1

  • 1 Following the conquest in 1521 AD, Mexico was called New Spain. The name was entirely abandoned in the early part of the 19th Century when Mexico gained her independence from Spain. New Spain also extended into Central America and, as a result, portions of the history of Ixtlilxochitl may encompass all of Mesoamerica. The setting for his history, however, is the Valley of Mexico. Ixtlilxochitl wrote that all of the natives of this land descended from two lineages, the Tultecas and the Chichimecas. (Chavero 457)

First Account

2. The creation of the world and things pertaining thereto, including the origin of man. The omniscience of God and what He has revealed to the Tultecas.
3. The Tultecas had a knowledge of the creation of the world by Tloque Nahuaque, including the planets, mountains, animals, etc. They also knew about how God created a man and a woman from whence all mankind descended and multiplied. They recorded many other events that are not included in this account, inasmuch as the same events are recorded by other nations in the world. 2

  • 2 Moroni wrote, “And as I suppose that the first part of this record, which speaks concerning the creation of the world, and also of Adam, and an account from that time even to the great tower, and whatsoever things transpired among the children of men until that time, is had among the Jews-Therefore I do not write those things which transpired from the days of Adam until that time . . . .” (Ether 1:3–4)

4. The records indicate that the world was created in the year Ce Tecpatl, and the period of time from the creation to the flood is called Atonatiuh, which means the age of the sun of water because the world was destroyed by the flood. And it is recorded in the Tulteca history that this period or first world, as they called it, lasted for 1,716 years, after which time great lightning and storms from the heavens destroyed mankind, and everything in the earth was covered by water including the highest mountain called Caxtolmolictli, which is 15 cubits high.3

  • 3 Genesis states that “Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.” (Genesis 7:20) Whether Ixtlilxochitl was quoting from the native records or was influenced by the Biblical account is difficult to determine.

5. To this they recorded other events, such as how, after the flood, a few people who had escaped the destruction inside a Toptlipetlacalli, which interpreted means an enclosed ark, began again to multiply upon the earth.

6. After the earth began again to be populated, they built a Zacualli very high and strong, which means the very high tower, to protect themselves against a second destruction of the world. 4

  • 4 Aztec or Nahuatl words such as Caxtolmolictli, Atonatiuh, Toptlipetlacalli, and Zacualli are used extensively by Ixtlilxochitl. The word is normally followed by the interpretation or meaning of the word.

7. As time elapsed, their language became confounded, such that they did not understand one another; and they were scattered to all parts of the world.

8. The Tultecas, consisting of seven men and their wives, were able to understand one another, and they came to this land, having first crossed many lands and waters, living in caves and passing through great tribulations. Upon their arrival here, they discovered that it was a very good and fertile land.5

  • 5 It appears here that Ixtlilxochitl confuses the record-keeping Tultecas with the first civilization, whom he consistently calls Quinametzin or giants/tall ones (see verses 16, 25, 32, 37). The Quinametzin are probably the same people as the Jaredites in the Book of Mormon: “Which Jared came forth … from the great tower … the language of Jared . . . and his brother were not confounded … And they did land upon the shore of the promised land . . . .” (Ether 1:33, 35; 6:12)

9. It has been reported that they wandered for 104 years in different parts of the land until they settled in Huehue Tlapallan, their homeland. 6 This was in the year Ce Tecpatl and 520 years had elapsed since the flood, which represent five periods of time. 7

  • 6 Huehue Tlapallan is apparently the same place as Hueyapan, which is located in the Tuxtla Mountains of Veracruz, Mexico. Today, Huehue Tlapallan is the ancient Olmec site of Tres Zapotes, near the town of Santiago Tuxtla, Veracruz. Excavation on the site began in 1939 under the direction of Dr. Matthew Stirling. The site dates to Jaredite time period.
  • 7 A period of time refers to the 52-year calendar cycle. In this case, however, Ixtlilxochitl apparently is calling two calendar cycles a period of time. Hence, five periods of time equal 520 years. The 104 years that they wandered represents one period of time or two 52-year calendar cycles.

10. And 1,715 years after the flood, the people were destroyed by a very great hurricane that carried away trees, rocks, houses, and large buildings. Many men and women escaped the storm by hiding in caves and other places where the great hurricane could not reach them.

  • 8 Today, hurricane winds are common to the coast of Veracruz, Mexico. They are called “nortes” or “northers.” The great hurricane destruction referred to by Ixtlilxochitl correlates to 1399 BC and may be the same destruction referred to in the days of Shiblom in the Book of Ether: there was a great destruction, such an one as never had been known upon the face of the earth . . . .” (Ether 11:7)

11. After a short period of time, they left the caves to see how much damage had taken place in the land. They discovered that it was populated and covered with monkeys that had been driven by the winds, as they had been in darkness all this time without being able to see the sun or the moon.

12From this event, the saying came about that men had turned into monkeys. This period became known as the second period, or the second world, called Ehecatonatiuh, which means sun of wind. After the destruction, men began again to rebuild and to multiply upon the face of the land.

13In the year 8 Tochtli, 9 which was 1,347 years after the second calamity and 4,779 years since the creation of the world, it is recorded in their history that the sun stood still one natural day without moving, and a myth evolved wherein a mosquito saw the sun suspended in the air in a pensive mood and said, “Lord of the world, why are you standing still and why are you in such deep thought? Why are you not doing the work you are supposed to do? Do you want to destroy the world as before?” And the mosquito said many other things to the sun, but the sun still did not move. The mosquito then stung the sun on the leg, and seeing that his leg had been stung, the sun began again to move along its course as before.

  • 9 Anytime a number is in front of a name such as 8 Tochtli, the number refers to the day and the month and is correlated with a year. The date in which the sun stood stilt corresponds with 52 BC in the dates given by Ixtlilxochitl.

14It had been 158 years since the great hurricane and 4,964 years since the creation of the world, when there occurred another destruction in this land. 10   The people who lived in this corner of the land, which they now call New Spain, were giants [tall ones] called Quinametzin. The destruction consisted of a great earthquake that swallowed up and killed the people when the high volcanic mountains erupted. All of the people were destroyed and no one escaped; or if anyone did escape, it was those who were in the internal parts of the land. Many Tultecas, along with the Chichimecas, who were their neighbors, were killed. This was in the year Tecpatl, and they called this time period Tlacchitonatiuh, which means sun of the earth.

  • 10 (This destruction appears to be the same referred to in verse 16, which dates to the exact time the destruction occurred at the death of Christ. (3 Nephi 8:5) The dating here, however, is inconsistent.

15In the year Ce Tecpatl, which was 5,097 years since the creation of the world and 104 years after the total destruction of the giant Quinametzin, all of the land of this new age being at peace, a council was held of the leading scientific, astrological, and artistic scholars of the Tultecas in their capital city called Huehuetlapallan. Here they discussed many things, including the destruction and the calamities that had taken place, as well as the movements of the heavens since the creation of the world. They also discussed many other things; but because of the burning of the records, we do not know or understand any more than what is written here. Among other things, they added the leap year to the calendar to adjust it with the solar equinox; and they discussed many other interesting things as will be observed from their records and laws regarding the years, months, weeks, days, signs, and planets. These, along with other interesting things, were understood by them.

16It had been 166 years since they had adjusted their calendar with the equinox and 270 years since the giants [tall ones] had been destroyed when the sun and the moon eclipsed and the earth quaked and rocks were broken into pieces and many other signs that had been given came to pass, although man was not destroyed. This was in the year CE Calli, which, adjusted to our calendar, happened at the same time that Christ, our Lord, was crucified. And they say that this destruction occurred in the first few days of the year. 11

  • 11 The Book of Mormon records the same date for the great destruction at the time of the crucifixion of Christ: “And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such as one as never had been known in all the land.” (3 Nephi 8:5)

17These, and many other things, from the creation of the world up to our time, were understood by the Tultecas. As I have heretofore stated, according to what appears in their histories and paintings, they only made an abridgement, primarily of their origins; I mean all of the things that are found in their paintings and histories are just an abridgement compared to the records that the first archbishop of Mexico ordered to be burned. 12

  • 12 It is difficult to determine the exact meaning of the last few lines of verse 17, as the wording is very awkward. I suspect that Ixtlilxochitl is referring to the statement recorded in verse 3, which indicates that he is working only with an abridgement of the history of Mexico. As to the burning of the record, Ixtlilxochitl must be referring to Bishop Zumarraga, who was the first archbishop of Mexico, meaning Mexico City. Diego De Landa, the Bishop of the Yucatan, burned 24 records or codices at the village of Muna. Also, many times the Indians burned or hid their own records so the Spaniard could not infringe on the Indians’ sacred histories.

18.It had been 305 years since the time of the eclipsing of the sun and the moon, 438 years since the time of the destruction of the large Quinametzin, and 5,486 years since the creation of the world, when Chalcatzin and Tlacamihtzin, chief leaders and descendants of the Tulteca royal lineage, following many years of quiet peace, commenced to desire the usurpation of the kingdom, desiring to overthrow the legitimate successor. This was the year 13 Acatl.

19. They were exiled, and there began to be wars, and they cast them out of the City of Tlachicalzincan, in the region of Hueytlapallan, their homeland. And they were cast out with their families and allies, their men as well as their women, and a great number were exiled. They left in the year following CE Tecpatl, banished from all that land, as you will see in that which follows. And this transpired, according to our calculations, 449 years after the birth of our Christ the Lord. 13

  • 13 If the date of the exile of the Tultecas is 305 years from the 34 AD eclipse, then the above date would be 339 AD instead of 449 AD. If we attempt to correlate the record-keeping Tultecas with the record-keeping Nephites, the 339AD exile date is close to the exile of the Nephites from the Land Southward at 350 AD. (Mormon 2:28–29), the 449 AD date is closer to the 385 AD battle at Cumorah and the 421 AD closing date in the Book of Mormon.

The Native Races

20The ancestors of the natives of this land that is now called New Spain, according to the common and general opinion of everyone, as well as that which appears demonstrated in their paintings, came from the Occidental areas.

21And all who are now called Tultecas, Aculhuas, and Mexicanas, as well as the other people in this land, boast and affirms that they are descendants of the Chichimecas. The reason, according to their history, is that their first king, whose name was Chichimecatl, was the one who brought them to this new land where they settled. And it was be, as can be deduced, that came from the great Tartary, and was part of those who came from the division of Babel. This account is described in great detail in their history, and it tells how he, their king traveled with them crossing a large part of the world. arriving at this land, which they considered to be good, fertile, and abundant for human sustenance. As mentioned earlier, they populated the major part of the land, and more particularly that which falls along the northern part. And the Chichimecatl called the land by his own name.14

  • 14 Verse 21 is a repeat of verses 6-8, as it describes the first settlers who came from the great tower at the time of the confusion of the languages. The Book of Ether records that the first king, Jared, and those who traveled with him traveled in “that quarter where there never had man been”, and they traveled “many years” in the wilderness. They crossed the ocean in barges and landed “upon the shore of the promised land.” Ixtlilxochitl calls it a good fertile, and abundant land. (Ether 2:5; 3:3; 6:8-12) The Book of Ether does not tell which ocean the Jaredites crossed. However, from the above information, they apparently crossed from the Asiatic side, or the Pacific. Ixtlilxochitl said they came from the Tartary, which is the general area of China. Ixtlilxochitl said that the first inhabitants settled primarily along the northern part, which is the northern coast of Veracruz. This is the same area that is the heartland of the ancient people archaeologists call the Olmecs. Moroni records the account of the “ancient inhabitants who were destroyed by the hand of the Lord upon the face of this north country.” (Ether 1: 1; see map in Figure 11-1 ) Ixtlilxochitl refers to the first king as Chichimecatl, whereas earlier he calls the first settlers Quinametzin. Ixtlilxochitl was a descendant of the Chichimecatls, who may have traced their ancestry to the Quinametzin. This practice was common during the Classic Maya Era. The elitist person who is identified as Pacal, who was buried in the Temple of Inscriptions at Palenque. traced his lineage back to the first settlers, as determined by the glyphs on the temple. The Chichimecatl may be the same people whom the Book of Mormon calls Lamanites. Both Pacal and Ixtlilxochitl may have been more closely associated with the Lamanite/Chichimecatl lineage.

22In each place where the Chichimecatl settled, whether it be a large city or a small village, it was their custom to name it according to the first king or leader who possessed the land. This same custom prevailed among the Tultecas. The general area was called the Land of Tollan, after the first king who was so named. Be that as it may, this custom was prevalent in naming other cities and villages throughout the land. 15

  • 15 This same custom is mentioned by Mormon wherein he writes, “Now it was the custom of the people of Nephi to call their lands, and their cities, and their villages, yea, even all their small villages after the name of him who first possessed them; and thus it was with the land of Ammonihah.” (Alma 8:7)

23Notwithstanding that some were called Tultecas, others Aculhuas, Tepanecas and Otomites, they all were proud to be of the lineage of the Chichimecas, because they all descended from them. However, it is true that there were divisions among the Chichimecas thei-nselves. And some were more civilized than others, such as the Tultecas. And others were more barbaric. such as the Otomites, and others like them. Those who are pure Chichimecas, whose kings were direct descendants of thc first king and founder Chichimecatl, were bloodthirsty men, warriors, and lovers of power, holding other nations in bondage. 16

  • 16 Regarding the 190 BC Lamanites, Mormon wrote. “They were a wild, and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people, believing in the tradition of their fathers . . . .” And . . . “they were desirous to bring us [the Nephites] into bondage . . . .” (Mosiah 10: 12; 9:12)

24. Although one nation was inclined to righteousness and another nation was full of mischief idleness, being exceedingly haughty and proud and being warmongers, or although one nation was virtuous and another full of iniquity, both, as recorded in their history, came from the same lineage, the Chichimecas. And all are descended from the same forefathers; and as it has been said, they came from the Occidental [Western] areas. 17

  • 17 Apparently Ixtlilxochitl traces his lineage, through the Chichimeca lineage, all of the way back to the first settlers who came from the tower. The Book of Mormon may clear up this issue. Some of the 588-570 BC Lamanites, “the people who were now called Lamanites,” (2 Nephi 5:14) were in all probability descendants from the Jaredite Tower of Babel people. Hence, the Chichimeca in Ixtlilxochitl’s history may be the same as the Lamanites in Book of Mormon history, and yet many would have descended from the original Jaredite or Quinametzin king.

25. In this land called New Spain [Mexico], there were giants [tall ones], as demonstrated by their bones that have been discovered in many areas. The ancient Tulteca record keepers called them Quinametzin. They became acquainted with them and had many wars and contentions with them, and in particular in all of the land that is now called New Spain. They [the Quinametzin] were destroyed, and their civilization came to an end as a result of great calamities and punishments from heaven for some grave sins that they had committed. 18

  • 18 When Mosiah fled to the Land of Zarahemla about 200 BC and encountered the people of Zarahemla, they informed him that they had “had many wars and contentions, and had fallen by the sword from time to time.” (Omni 1: 17) The Mulekites had landed in the land of the Jaredites approximately 400 years prior to the uniting of the Nephites and the people of Zarahemla. (Alma 22:30; Omni 1: 19) An expedition dating to 121 BC, sent out by Limhi in search of the Land of Zarahemla, discovered the Jaredite ruins, including bones of men and breastplates that were large. (Mosiah 8:8) The above statement of Ixtlilxochitl may have reference to these accounts. This possibility suggests that the Quinametzin, who were large people, were the same people known as the Jaredites.

26It is the opinion of some of these ancient historians that these giants [tall ones] descended from the same Chichimecas mentioned earlier, and they say that in these northern lands, where the ancient Chichimeca Empire was located that there are villages where there are still men living who are over thirty hands tall. And it is of no wonder, that even our own Spaniards have not yet entered into the interior of the lands, but have only traveled along the coastal areas such as the lands of the Chicoranos and the Duharezases, and they have found men in these parts who are eleven and twelve hands in height, and have been told that there are others even taller. 19 (See Figure 11 -2.)

  • 19 One hand is considered equivalent to 4 inches, in which cases the extremes of the above measurements are 4 feet to 10 feet. From an archaeological point of view, the Otmec were large people–but not necessarily tall people. (See Figure 11-2.) Many scholars brush off the comment about giants as being Indian superstitions, saying that the large bones are remains of elephants. Too much consistency is evident, however, to ignore the idea of a large race of people. Although a discrepancy exists between 30 hands and 11 or 12 hands tall, the facts that the Book of Mormon Jaredites, the archaeological Olmecs, and the Quinametzin of Ixtlilxochitl are all large people and that they all lived in the Land Northward, the northern country, or the northern lands lend credibility to the above statements. The northern lands of both the Olmecs and Ixtlilxochitl are the area along the Gulf of Mexico (or Texas, New Mexico, etc?). This area appears to be the same area as the Land Northward in Jaredite history.

27. The greatest destruction that occurred among the Quinametzin was in the year and date that the natives call CE Toxtli, signifying the date 1 Rabbit, 299 years after the birth of Jesus Christ, and with them ended the third age, which was called Ecatonatiuh, because of the great winds and earthquakes. And almost everyone was destroyed. 20

  • 20 The above date is difficult to reconcile and may reflect an error in transcribing. This destruction appears to be referring to the second period because of the context in which it is written. Four basic ages or periods of destruction are constantly referred to by Ixtlilxochitl and are also recorded by other early Mexican writers. The Aztec calendar stone also reflects four periods of destruction. The first period relates to the flood and appears to date to 3114 BC. The second is the great hurricane, which has been dated to 1399 BC in this account as outlined in verse 10. The third age correlates to the death of Christ in 34 AD and consisted of great earthquakes and storms. The fourth age usually refers to the time when the world will be destroyed by fire and is still in the future.

Brief Account

28. The Tultecas were the second civilization in this land after the destruction of the giants [tall ones] . . ., and they had a knowledge of the creation of the world and of how the world had been destroyed by the flood; and many other things are recorded in their history and paintings.

29. . . . the word Tulteca means men of the arts and sciences, because those of this nation were great artisans, as you can see today in many parts, and especially in the ruins of buildings, such as Teotihuacan, Tula, and Cholula.

Chichimeca History

30. The most serious authors and historians of the ancient pagans included Quetzalcoatl, who is considered to be the first. Some of the modem pagans include Nezahualcoyotzin, king of Texcuco, and the two infants of Mexico, Itzocatzin and Xiuhcozcatzin, sons of King Huitzilihuitzin. And there are many others I could mention if it were necessary. 21

  • 21 The name Quetzalcoatl is prominent in the ancient histories of Mexico. The origin of the name dates back to the advent of Christ. Others were given the name of Quetzalcoatl, including a 10th Century AD Toltec leader. The 16th-Century Catholic priests made serious attempts to obliterate the name and power of Quetzalcoatl from the minds of the people. (See Chapter 12, “Fray Bernardino de Sahagun.”)

31. It is declared through their histories about the god Teotloquenahuaque, Tlachihualcipal Nemoanulhuicahua Tlaltipacque, which, according to the correct interpretation, means the universal god of all things, creator of them and in whose will lives all creatures, lord of the heaven and of the earth, etc. After having created all things, he created the first parents of men, from whence came forth all others; and the dwelling place and habitation that he gave them was the world.

32. It is said that the world had four ages. The first, which was from the beginning, was called Atonatiuh, which means sun of water, signifying that the world was terminated by a flood. The second, called Tlachitonatiuh, means sun of earth, because the world came to an end by great earthquakes, in such a manner that almost all of mankind was destroyed. This age or time occurred during the time of the giants [tall ones], who were called Quinametintzoculihicxime.

33. The third age, Ecatonatiuh, means sun of air, because this period came to an end by winds that were so strong that they uprooted all of the buildings and trees and even broke the rocks in pieces; and the majority of mankind perished. And because those who escaped this calamity found a large number of monkeys that the wind must have brought from other parts, the survivors said man must have been changed into monkeys. 22

  • 22 Verse 33 apparently is the same destruction referred to in verses 10-12, in which case it is the second age or period of time instead of the third. The confusion may lie in the name of Ecatonatiuah, which is either transcribed wrong or which Ixtlilxochitl confuses with Ehecatonatiuh. Sometime after the great destruction at the time of Christ, as recorded in some of the traditions, the name of Ehecatl, which means wind, became part of the title of Quetzalcoatl-that is, Ehecatl Quetzalcoatl.

34Those who possessed this new world in this third age were the Ulmecas and Xicalancas; and according to what is found in their histories, they came in ships or boats from the east to the land of Potonchan, and from there they began to populate the land. 23

  • 23 Potonchan is near the present-day City of Veracruz, Mexico. It is the same place where the Spanish conquerors landed in the 16th Century AD. Disagreement exists among LDS writers as to whether the above-mentioned people who landed at Potonchan were the Jaredites or the Mulekites. LDS writers commonly agree that the Mulekites came from the east across the Atlantic in the 5th Century BC and landed among the Jaredites in the Land Northward, or the Gulf of Mexico. (Alma 22:30; Palmer 60) The Mulekite time period correlates to the third age. (See Figure 11-3.)

35. On the banks of the Atoyac River, which is the one that passes between Puebla and Cholula, there were found some of the giants [tall ones] who had escaped the destruction and extermination of the second age. Taking advantage of their size and strength, they oppressed and enslaved their new neighbors.

36The principal leaders of the new settlers determined to liberate themselves, and the means they employed were to invite the old settlers to a very solemn feast. After the old settlers became full and intoxicated, they were killed and destroyed with their own weapons, with which feat the new settlers remained free and exempt from bondage, and this increased the domain and command of the Xicalancas and Ulmecas. 24

  • 24 The largest-based pyramid in the world is Cholula (verse 35). It covers over 40 acres of ground and dates to the Preclassic Era (200 BC — about the time the Nephites moved from the City of Nephi to Zerahemla). It was covered in a thin ash layer around the time of Christ and has subsequently been rebuilt/added to several times. A Catholic church sits peacefully on top of the pyramid today. (See Figure 11-4.) The State of Puebla borders the State of Veracruz. This account is strangely similar to a 121 BC account wherein a branch of the Nephites escaped from Lamanite bondage after getting the Lamanite guards drunk. (Mosiah 22:3–13)

37. The people were living in a time of great prosperity, when there arrived in this land a man whom they called Quetzalcoatl. Others called him Hueman because of his great virtues. He was considered just, saintly, and good, teaching them by deeds and words the road to virtue. He instructed them to refrain from vices and not to sin, and he gave them laws and sane doctrine. He told them to constrain their appetites and to be honest, and he instituted the law of the fast.

38. And [He was] the first to be worshiped and to be placed in authority, and for that reason [He] is called Quiauhtzteotlchicahualizteotl and Tonaceaquahuitl, which means god of the rains and of health and tree of sustenance or of life. 25

  • 25 The Spanish translation at the beginning of verse 38 states: “el primero que adoro y coloco la cruz.” (literally: the first who I adore & placed the cross). I have translated it as referring to Quetzalcoatl inasmuch as that is consistent with the context of the verses preceding and following the statement. I have translated “coloco la cruz” as “placed in authority.” Quetzalcoatl has been given many names, including the two above. The “tree-of-life” motif is associated with Christ and is prevalent throughout Mesoamerica. Quetzalcoatl is afforded the prominent position of all of the gods of Mesoamerica. The original Quetzalcoatl is considered by most Latter-day Saint writers to be the same person as Jesus Christ. (See Chapter 14, “The White God Quetzalcoatl.”

39. After he [Quetzalcoatl] had preached the above mentioned to all of the other Ulmeca and Xicalanca cities, and especially in the City of Cholula, where he spent a great deal of time, and seeing the small amount of fruit that resulted from his doctrine, he returned to the same place from whence he had come, which was to the east, disappearing at Coatzacoalco. 26

  • 26. Coatzacoalco(s) (Co-ought-saw-co-all-cos) has grown into a modem oil refinery city located in the State of Veracruz near the border of the State of Tabasco. The Coatzacoalcos River empties into the Gulf of Mexico at the top of the gulf by the City of Coatzacoalcos. The Aztec meaning of the word Coatzacoalcos is “the foundation of the religion of the feathered serpent.” Cholula is a city just over the mountain from Mexico City and is the original city of Zarahemla in our continental model. (3 Nephi 11: 1; see Figure 11-5)

40. And at the time of his farewell from these people, he told them of times to come. He said that in the year that would be called CE Acatl, he would return and then his doctrine would be accepted, and his children would be lords and heirs of the earth. He also told them that they and their descendants would pass through great calamities and persecutions. He prophesied of many other things that would surely come to pass.

41. Quetzalcoatl, by literal interpretation, means serpent of the precious feathers, with an allegoric meaning of, man of exceeding great wisdom. And Huemac (Hueman), some say, was the name given to him because his hands were printed, or stamped, on a rock, like a very fine wax, as testimony that what he prophesied would come to pass. Others say that (Hueman) means, he with the great or powerful hand.

42. A few days after he left, a great destruction and devastation took place, which is referred to as the third period of the world. At that time, the great building and tower of Cholula, which was so famous and marvelous, was destroyed. It was like a second tower of Babel that these people had built, with virtually the same idea in mind. It was destroyed by the wind. 27

  • 27. This “3rd period” destruction appears to be the same as those mentioned in verses 14 and 16. Verse 16 gives the same date as the date recorded in the Book of Mormon-that is, the first month of the 34th year. (3 Nephi 8:5) Verse 42 says that the destruction took place a few days after Quetzalcoatl left. It seems quite likely that this is confustion in the translation or myth and it should instead read, “at the time of his death.” Especially in light of verse 43 which records the destruction as occurring some years after the birth of Christ.

43. And later, those who escaped at the end of the third age, in place of the ruins, the people built a temple to Quetzalcoatl, whom they named the god of wind, because it was destroyed by the wind. They understood that this calamity was sent by his hand. And they called it CE Acatl, which was the name of the year of his coming. According to the history referred to, and from the records, the foregoing took place a few years after the birth of Christ our Lord.

 44.After this age had passed, beginning at this time, entered the fourth age called Tletonatiuh, which means, sun of fire, because it is said that this fourth and last age will end by fire.

45. 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. 28

  • 28. This verse concludes the first chapter, or Sumaria Relacion, as edited by Alfredo Chavero. The historical era covered in this first chapter was from the flood called the first age, and terminates with a great storm that occurred around the time of Christ, called the third age, or from approximately 3114 BC to ~34 AD. It is interesting that the Aztec legends prophesy that the current age will end by “fire” just as the Book of Revelation and many other Middle Eastern traditions. The second chapter of Chavero provides us with a beginning date of 466 AD, with intermittent statements dating back to the 3rd Century AD.


46. Banished from their homeland, the Tultecas undertook their journey along the coast. Traveling through the country, they arrived at California by the sea, which they called Hueytlapallan, which today is called Cortez, which name was given because of its reddish [colorado] color. The date of their arrival was in the year CE Tecpatl, which corresponds to 387 AD. 29

  • 29. The similarity between what’s described here and the Book of Mormon is remarkable. The dispersion of the Tultecas at 387 AD correlates with the same time period in which the Nephites were dispersed from their homeland. The Nephite Lamanite battle at Cumorah was in the year 385 AD in New England. This description of “Journeying along the coast” from Cholula and the Mexican Highland up the sea of Cortez to the Colorado (red/co) river in order to arrive at the legendary city of Tollan (called Tollantzionco in the next verse) matches precisely with our model of the final flight from the Mexican Highland to the land of Jordan (Southwest US, where Mormon/Moroni are from) and also where the “Nephites lost their power” (as Joseph Smith is quoted as saying).

47. Following along the coast of Xalixco (Jalisco) and all along the south, leaving from the port of Huatulco 30 and traveling through diverse lands, they arrived at the province of Tochtepec, which is located along the sea north. And after walking and exploring, they settled in the Tolantzinco, leaving colonies in the places where they made Great Houses (hecieron mansion).

  • 30. Huatulco is in Southern Oaxaca and in our model this area is directly seaward from the Land/city of Nephi (Monte Alban, Oaxaca) and would have been their principle sea port. It is a short distance south from that which we proposed Hagoth launched his ships to go into the Land Northward (The Rio Balsas Delta). Xalisco is modern Jalisco in what is the state where Guadalajara is located, which is our northwestern Land bountiful and matching with the description above would be the precise location for the final flight from the Mexican Highland to the land of Jordan (Southwest US) where the “Nephites lost their power”. These writings of Ixtlilxochitl hint at a 400 AD dispersion of the Nephites into Northern Mexico and Southern United States.

48. The Tultecas were the third settlers of this land, counting the giants [tall ones] as the first, with the second being the Ulmecas (olmecs) and Xicalancas. While in Tolantzinco (Tollan?) they counted one hundred and four years of having left their homeland. The names of the seven leaders/chieftains who led them, and among whom the government took turns, were ‘: 1- Tlacomíhua that others call Ácatl: 2- Chalchiuhmatzin: 3- Ahuecatl: 4- Cóatzon: 5- Tiuhcoatl: 6- Tlapalhuitz: 7- Huitz: whom later populated the city of Tollan, head of the monarchy. Seven years after it was founded, they elected king and supreme lord, the first being Chalchiuhmatzin Chalchiuhtlatanac which was in the year Chicome Acatl and in our dates, 510 AD. (Chavero 1965:28)

31 This is the end of the end of Second Relacion. Third Relacion begins with the founding of the legendary city of Tula by the Toltecs (prosperous and abundant empire–a city “that was the head of its kingdoms and lordships for many years”). Combining the mythology of the story with what we know of the archaeology seems to paint a believable narrative suggesting that perhaps after the Nephite destruction, some of the treasonous Nephite defectors, combined with the Lamanite army returned to Tula (a little North of Teotihuacán and Mexico City) and founded the final Toltec empire the immediate precursor to the Aztec.

The Anthon Transcript and Caractors Document

When I get some time I am going to create a one page graphic that summarizes Jerry Grover’s translation of the Caractors document. It’s a convincing piece of scholarship, and combined with Ixtlilxochitl’s writings it serves as solid a base as possible to prove that 1. There were ancient plates of some which Joseph translated. 2. That the plates contained some type of ancient script which appears to be a combination of Egyptian hieratic combined with Egyptian demotic, and Mesoamerican influences. 3. That the script can be translated using modern dictionaries to those ancient languages, and indeed summarizes aspects of the Book of Mormon narrative. 4. That the characters are well beyond the ability of ANY early 19th century scholar (or anyone before the invention of the internet for that matter).

The document needs to be put into photoshop with each line separated, and EACH character in a color coded square with a line to a picture of it in a dictionary and another line to the translated word.