How Old is the Earth? How the bible fits with earth’s geologic history.

[the intro featured image to this should be the timeline… but I should really pack a TON of info and color into it]

Outline.

Put on both web sites. This is where you should explain how the fight between religion & science has ruined both. Each takes an extreme position and the truth is in the middle.

Moses 1 is the key. It explains clearly that Moses’ revelation of the earth is only PARTIAL, and gives an account ONLY of this cycle of THIS earth. In verse 30 Moses essentially asks “why did you create the universe (heavens), earth, it continents (lands) and people?” And god makes it clear that he is not going to answer that question. He responds in verse 31, “For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me” (Moses 1:31)

Discontent with being denied an answer, Moses tries a more specific question, “Be merciful unto thy servant, O God, and tell me concerning this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens, and then thy servant will be content.”

The answer given to Moses question is confused in translation, as we have lost common usage of the idiom “the heavens and earth shall pass away”. The ancients understood well that the history of the earth was one of global destruction and re-creation.

38 And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words…

40 And now, Moses, my son, I will speak unto thee concerning this earth upon which thou standest; and thou shalt write the things which I shall speak.

We have thought this mean, I’m going to tell you about the planet earth, and its creation and history. But it is actually saying I will tell you about THIS CYCLE of earth (heavens & earth)

Rewrite the above, and summarize a bit better. To just explain that its a “symbolic summary”.

Mormon Modesty (What I’d Like My Daughters to Know)

I think these are the main points I try and will try to teach my daughters.

1. THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES in dress standards. “God” does not care how you dress. And dress is all relative. If you were born an aborigine in 18th century aboriginia… you’d go around in a loincloth showing your boobs and butt and no one would care. And neither would “god”, or the gods. In some polinesian cultures it was worse to show your lets than your chest (even for a woman).  Modesty is a social construct, but the sex drive is NOT, and the two are inseparable in ways I’ll talk about in a minute.

Culture dictates dress standards. And those cultural standards can be a bit chauvinistic, because men typically make the rules. It may not be right, but its the world we live in. Deal with it. Feel free to challenge it if you feel you need to–but understand the implications of it. Many standards, however, come from a place of good intent. Learn to see the motivation behind the standards of different aspects of modesty culture.

2. DRESS IS A FORM OF COMMUNICATION. The way you dress says something, just as if you wore a sign on your shirt or forehead. The problem is that WHAT IT COMMUNICATES IS OFTEN AMBIGUOUS. If you walk down the street in a miniskirt and stickers on your nipples, many guys are going to think you are TRYING to communicate something like “I’m sexually available, please make advances on me”. In fact they are going to think that anytime you push the envelope of what socially “acceptable”. What they think is NOT YOUR FAULT. But it is something your going to have to deal with, so be smart about it.  If a boy gets a tattoo on his forehead that says DTF, he’s sending a message. And whether he meant to communicate “Dare To Fly” or “Down To F#&%” might not matter as much as what OTHERS THINK HE’S TRYING TO COMMUNICATE.  So he’s going to have to deal with that in the work place, and social arena and all parts of his life. This is no different with your clothing.  Understand what different types of apparel communicate to men and other girls and make sure that’s the message you want to send.

What you wear to church or school or the swimming pool communicates something different to all the people who look at you. (Just like the type of house you live in or car you drive or bumper stickers & shirt slogans you sport). Become savvy to what you are communicating by your apparel and take responsibility for it.  But at the same time you are only responsible to a certain extent–and that extent is dictated by society as a whole NOT BY SOME FRINGE ASPECT of society.  Some will tell you that “you are NOT responsible for other people’s thoughts”. Others will tell you “You ARE LARGELY responsible for other people’s thoughts”. Both of these are extreme stances of a complex situation.  The truth is, society at large makes the rules for what’s “normal” and you as a youth must learn what is “normal” or mainstream and then decide whether you want to push the envelope of those norms or be conservative in keeping those norms.  I hope you’ll consult with me to get a feel for what’s mainstream in our social circle and be sure that you are communicating intelligently within those bounds.

But I hope you internalize this ONE takeaway. Boys are biologically programmed to interpret the way you push the envelope of dress standards to equate with your sexual availability. Just like a courting bird that ruffles her feathers or a cat in heat that walks past potential sex partners with their tail in the air, when you expose more of your body than is normal for the situation, boys will see it as an invitation to hit on you and explore your sexual availability. Be ready for it. And be firm in helping them know your intentions.

3. CLOTHING SHOULD PRIMARILY BE A TOOL. A BODY SHOULD NOT. Use clothing wisely, use it selflessly. It can keep you warm or cool you off. But you can also use clothing to gain power over others. You can use your body to gain power over others. You can use it as an object just as you would use other objects which equate to power. Power in social status, Power in sexuality, Power in relationships. Attractive bodies can be powerful. And you can use that power selfishly or unselfishly. I hope you try and use the way you dress to polarize toward selflessness. The more selfless you are, the easier your relationships are going to be to maintain.

Try to use your body, and the clothes you display it in, to serve others (within limits). Relationships that are based on power plays have a greater change of ending poorly and painfully. You need to realize how many people out there USE OTHERS BODIES to explore and validate their own power and social status. In other words, if they see a really ‘attractive’ person, they will try and get that person to like them (or have sex with them) in order to prove to themselves and others that they are ‘equal or better’ than that person. They often do this subconsciously.  You will do it subconsciously.  Once we get someone to like/love us, we prove to ourselves and others that we are ‘equal or better’ than them. If there is no other component to bind a couple together, once that goal has been ‘proven’, the relationship falls apart.

Don’t allow yourself to ever be used by selfish people. Don’t let people take advantage of you. Don’t do it yourself to others. When you are selfless in a non-equal or non-reciprocating relationship, no-one wins. When you date for power no-one wins. Pandering to a man’s selfishness simply makes him more selfish. If people see you doing this to men, they will call you a slut or gold-digger. Try to be selfless, and if you give your body in a selfless way to please someone else be sure it is building an equal relationship of give and take reciprocity.

4. Realize that a lot of what you are going to learn about “modesty” in our culture or at church is remnants of social mores dating from a less civilized time when women lived in constant fear of being raped, stalked or seduced by sexual predators. (or stolen away by the king or people of higher class, power and estate.) Other rules and social mores were created from a desire of other women to level the playing field so socially ‘attractive’ women don’t get all the attention. Standards were created to encourage attractive women to cover themselves so as to not make less “attractive” women jealous (by whatever cultural standard of beauty). In some cases women used shame as a way to deter other women from luring away their men. (such as an older woman calling a young attractive, sexily dressed co-worker of her husband’s a whore or slut and shaming her into dressing more “modestly”.)

You didn’t create these social customs, you don’t need to feel bound by them or responsible for them. But you should understand the psychology behind why they exist and navigate the ‘cultural modesty’ issue with an intelligence that is aware of the why’s and how’s behind our social and religious mores. If you ever feel tempted to shame someone because of their body, be sure to understand the fears or biases which are causing you to do it. Body shaming isn’t very productive. Don’t do it to yourself or others.

5. UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MALE & FEAMALE SEX DRIVES.  If you get on Tinder or online dating sights you’ll notice right off the bat that a huge percentage of women’s profiles say something like “no one night stands” or “not DTF” or LTR only. On the other hand essentially NO men’s profiles say this.  Why? Because much like a monkey or dog, men are programmed to desire sex with almost any eligible partner. Even if they aren’t really physically, emotionally, socially or spiritually matched with that person they still desire sex with them. This is very different than the typical female who expects physical, emotional, social & spiritual compatibility before sex. This mismatch primal desires VERY often leads to a mismatch in expectations and hurt feelings.  The female thinks if he’s willing to have sex with her, he must feel the same way she does about him!  NOTHING COULD BE MORE WRONG! Typically, until a man is older or has an innate strong spirituality, his sexual desire is based on hormones and visual/chemical triggers.  The male sex drive can be INCREDIBLY strong, and once aroused he will say/be/do many completely uncharacteristic things in order to follow that animal programming to its natural end of sex (and much of this is actually subconscious).

If you want to avoid the heartbreak that comes from believing a man is physically, emotionally, socially or spiritually matched and bonded with you, only to find out after the sexual chemicals subside that he is not, then you must go to extensive lengths to assure those physical, emotional, social and spiritual compatibilities before the hope of sex causes him to alter his behavior. You also need to realize that the hope of ‘sexual security’ and being ‘valued and cherished’ tend to be the primal drivers in the female sexual drive, and can induce the same short term changes in rational behavior in you, as his drive for sex or an attractive partner induce in him.

It is ESSENTIAL to a happy, lasting relationship that you realize early the characteristics which lead to lasting relationships and pursue THEM, instead of simply perusing your/his sexual triggers as a basis for relationships.  I hope after putting some thought into what I’ve explained above you also see the danger of getting a boy to ‘like you’ by wearing clothing which consistently evokes his sex drive as a means of encouraging him to pursue you.

6. FEEL AWESOME ABOUT YOUR BODY. No matter what stage of life or shape you are in, feel awesome about your body, AND DON’T LET ANYONE MAKE YOU FEEL BAD ABOUT IT. If they do, avoid them. If you need to wear ‘modest’ clothes or even a burka to feel good about yourself, go for it. If you need to go naked to free yourself to feel good about yourself… go for it. Don’t shame others. Don’t shame yourself. But be smart. Be confident. Be considerate. Be kind to yourself and others.  Think of the effects of your dress on other girls as well as guys, but if that responsibility brings you pain, then you likely need to readjust your thinking.  Nothing should make you feel crappy about your body.  (But at the same time, realize myself and pretty much all of us do for much of our life, so it’s pretty damn normal.)

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Sons need a different lesson. Why? Because they typically don’t really give a damn about dress—but they do have to deal with other types of inadequacy (particularly height, muscle mass, wealth and social standing). And they’re not going to get a bunch of stupid “modesty” lessons in school or church which end up often distorting the important reasons behind modesty anyway.

And importantly men rarely get raped. Women do. Women rarely commit adultery with their hot young coworker who wears a muscle shirt.  Men do.  Modesty and purity culture have been shaped by the reality of dangers which exist in the world of sexual expression & sexual violence. We shouldn’t be a fool who pretends these realities don’t exist or that they are ONLY a social construct. Its not true. I once watched a national geographic show about some loin-cloth-only topless aborigines in Africa, where one of the attractive young ladies was talking to the translator about how she wanted to murder one of the older men in the tribe. The translator later found out she was so upset because she had been repeatedly raped by this man over the years. This problem had nothing to do “purity culture” or “being/not being responsible for other people’s thoughts”.  All of that was irrelevant. The question for parents and social leaders in nearly every culture on the planet is HOW TO WE PROTECT OUR YOUNG GIRLS FROM THESE ABUSES?!  Modesty is one way. Burkas are one way. Laws and rules concerning both modesty and rape are one way. Teaching young boys informed consent is one very important way. Carrying guns and mace is one way.  You can decide which of those ways seems to be the most logical way to balance the risk and rewards of sexual expression.  But realize this… men are driven by different sexual stimulus than women.

Tinder is the perfect place to see this through experimentation. Take a marginally attractive man or woman, with great bodies and put them on tinder–the man with his shirt off and the girl in a bikini, and see who gets more matches.  The woman will get 10x the matches every time. Because contrary to what many might try and say, men are apparently, indeed more visually driven by sex appeal.  On the flip side take the same people and put pictures of both the man and women in situation which display social standing, status and wealth and the exact opposite effect will manifest. Because woman appear to be generally more attracted to these things than simply masculine sex appeal.

On top of that we must add in the undebatable fact that MEN are far, far more prone to inflict sexual violence on a woman than vice versa.  So why do we impose modesty on women and not men?  Simple… it is to protect women. If a modesty norm, rule or lesson does not tend toward helping the goal of protecting women, it needs to be reworked.  And this includes the “protection” that comes from making one girl feel horrible about her body because it cannot ever compare to the body of another girl nor does she have any chance of attracting the positive attention and social approval that comes with the body type which men tend to be physiologically drawn to like a moth to a flame.  So we need to keep in mind that its not all about protecting girls from boys or predatory men.  It can be about leveling the playing field among girls in general—something which carries its own ethical debate.  And it can also be about helping potential mates focus on physical, emotional, social and spiritual compatibilities instead of just sexual attraction.

What I’d Like My Kids to Know About Love

To My Kids…    about this crazy thing called love.

Guys…  I’m not sure if your adolescence will be anything like mine. I know there’s a lot of different ways to guide your life that are all unique and beautiful in there own way.  I hope at very least I can give you a feeling of being loved and valued as you grow up.  And I also hope I can impart some life-learned wisdom to give you a head start on your journey.

I know when I was an adolescent, I was very confused about love. It made little sense to me. I heard one thing from movies and the media, another thing from my friends and another thing from church—and none of them made a lot of sense. I really didn’t believe much in love growing up… I saw it as a farse, or set of nearly random emotions that only the simple-minded fell pray to. I’ve always been very thoughtful and analytical, and at very least I understood at a fairly young age that the “love” I wanted in order to make my future marriage work needed to be stronger than the sorrow-filled “love” that made my parent’s marriage an ill-ending disaster. Love, to me, was a commitment. You loved by staying with and being committed to someone. I understood that there was a huge difference between love as a verb and love as a feeling or noun–but because of my lack of understanding I think I shut my heart and actions down to some extent in a misguided effort to avoid pain. In retrospect I wish I would have gotten involved in a lot more foolish flings. Put myself out there enough to have a broken heart a few times.  And had fun making out and being more sexual. I hope that my advice will help you find the right balance and harmony to make your love life a happy one.

 

What is Love

Love is not the same as romance, although that is an aspect of it. It is definitely not synonymous with sexuality. It is not simply a friendship or family bond, although that gets closer to the meat of it. It is not simply a feeling, nor are there different unrelated types of love (Eros, Agape, Phileao, Storge). All descriptions of it are mired in arguments of semantics or opinions of definitions. So I’d like to start by laying a scientific framework I read about in a book called ‘The Law of One’.  It’s probably the most powerful framework I’ve come across in respect to the idea of love.

As I’ve searched through a lot of religious and philosophical material to find the best cohesive, scientifically viable definition for love,— Fractal Theory combined with the Chakra philosophy make the most sense. I’ll try and quickly summarize them as a foundation for a discussion on how to have a beautiful love-filled life.

In short, fractal theory or the law of relative relationships teaches that everything in the universe evolves or is created to follow a similar pattern wherein the small is relatively a copy of the large. In particular it means that you can learn about yourself by studying the planet, or the solar system or the atom. Plato called this microcosm and macrocosm, but some form of this framework of parallelism exists in every global religion.

Each unit of the fractal has

The fractal

The reason why this matters is because using this framework we can compare Love (n.) to Cosmic Energy. By Cosmic Energy, I mean the energy in the cosmos that all matter is made of. Thus just as everything in the universe is made of energy… all things are made of love.  This is why God is often called ‘love’. Additionally we can compare and define Loving (v.) as the focus and use of that energy. Every “living” sphere in the galaxy lives because it has created a system of absorbing and giving cosmic energy or love, and the same is true for you. The Chinese called this cosmic energy Chi. The Hindus called it Prana. The Christians call it God’s Spirit, and Mormonism sometimes equates it with Spirit and sometimes with priesthood. Jesus and all the great pillars of humanity come to symbolize it and show its possible uses. Regardless of what we call it, in your adolescence you will decide on a delicate balance of receiving and giving that same energy or love. It will be your focus and use of love or your energy that makes you who you are, determines your joy, your happiness and your eternal identity. You can decide whether to be a sun, or a black hole, a thriving planet or a near-dead rock, a rogue asteroid or a communal pillar of the Galaxy. You can decide to focus your energy or love on yourself or others—or to shut it down and not love much at all.

 

Here’s a few points concerning love that I hope you can understand and remember.

-With the act of loving (giving or receiving energy & attention), comes emotion. Do not confuse the emotions of love, with love, loving or being in love.  But realize that the emotions of love are a measuring stick to let you know how much–and what types–of love you are giving and receiving. Think of it in regards to physics. When a system gains energy it creates heat. When it looses energy, it manifests cold. The same goes for your body. When you gain energy, you will experience emotional ‘heat’. That heat can be interpreted as passion, anger, sexual attraction, excitement or other types of love. When you lose more energy than you are gaining you will experience emotional ‘cold’. That cold can manifest as loneliness, depression, indifference, hate or certain types of love.

-Sometimes the most rewarding relationships… are the hardest ones. The ones where you feel the least feelings of love, but are challenged to be loving and giving in new and different ways.

-The increased feelings of the emotions of love that come with new relationships do not mean you love that person more than your existing relationships.

 

A Short Overview of the Chakra System

The ancient Hindus came up with an amazingly effective system of describing how the human body uses love, energy or “spirit” to affect our emotions, actions and personality. In this system, each individual finds a unique balance of dispersing their energy to 7 bodily energy centers which each have unique functions. Comparing this system to the modern understanding of biology, many have noticed that these ancient centers seem to correlate with the way in which our nervous system disperses its energy to the endocrine glands–which are in charge of translating the nerves energy signals to chemical hormones which in turn govern the bodies feelings and emotions.

The hormonal balance which dictates your emotions of happiness are said to be the result of a combination of your own decisions, the decisions of your ancestors (as passed through DNA), and the configuration your spirit brought with you from your pre-mortal existence (past lives). Each energy center or endocrine gland controls specific hormones which govern your biology and emotions such as testosterone/estrogen (which govern sexuality and physical size),  epinephrine/adrenaline (which govern your anxieties, fears & risk taking proclivities), pancreatic polypeptides like glucose/insulin (which govern your energy levels) ,  serotonin/melatonin (which help govern joy/depression and chronobiology) and many, many more. (For more information see my more detailed article on chakras/endocrine glands).

Knowing exactly what these hormones are and what they do, is not as important as understanding that your emotions are a result of the “directions” your brain sends to your endocrine glands to tell them what balance of hormones to stick in your blood stream. In other words it is important to understand that your thoughts and behaviors have a direct influence on your joys, feelings of love and emotions. At the same time, it is important to realize that many of these things are controlled subconsciously, and just like taking control of the usually subconsciously controlled speed of your heartbeat— can take great meditation, intelligence and practice. This is one important function of religion and spirituality. With religion, great masters have sought to institute ways of life which bring balance; and systems of ritual which allow you to take conscious control of otherwise subconscious biological processes. Whether it be singing in church or in your car, taking the sacrament or doing yoga and meditative breathing, or going to the temple or losing yourself in nature I hope you will learn to intelligently use the tools you have been given to manage your energy or love pathways which regulate your chemical balances and thus your emotional and spiritual well being. I pray you will not be tempted to synthetically regulate your hormonal system with drugs or tobacco—since all of the euphoric feelings drugs will give you can be gotten naturally—without the devastating addiction and toxic side effects.

 

Bonding

Other than regulating your own chemical balances, the most important thing you will do with love in your life is bonding. The same is true for any planet or atom.

 

 

 

The internal energy configuration of these bodies dictates what they will be attracted to and what they can or will bond to. Oil will not mix with water and inert gasses will not bond to much of anything. On the other hand, what Florine wants, Florine gets.

 

 

 

 

periodic table of the elements showing the electron shells of each element.

periodic table of the elements showing the electron shells of each element.

Protected: Introspection (my story?)

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Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo (notes on the LDS Gospel Topics Essay)

This is a ver batem, yet annotated version of the article Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo at lds.org. Spin notes are derived largely from Mormonism 101, with edits and adaptations by the current author. To display the annotation which illustrate the “positive spin” of the Church Essay, click on the note numbers at the end of a paragraph (Spin Note 1, Spin Note 2, etc.). Click again to hide the note. The annotations are not part of the original article.

polygamy-essays3

Latter-day Saints believe that monogamy—the marriage of one man and one woman—is the Lord’s standing law of marriage. In biblical times, the Lord commanded some of His people to practice plural marriage—the marriage of one man and more than one woman. Some early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also received and obeyed this commandment given through God’s prophets. Spin Note 1

The word ‘commanded’ here is a bit dishonest and without any biblical support— as the Bible does not have a single instance of god ‘commanding’ polygamy. A better wording might be ‘suffered’ his people to indulge in the cultural practice plural marriage. The Bible never states that Abraham was “commanded” to take a second wife, nor with any of the other polygamous patriarchs or prophets. There is simply no evidence that the Biblical God ever commanded or even encouraged Israel to practice polygamy. It infers Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham because she felt bad about being infertile, and Abraham suffered it so they could have promised children. And infers others were allowed polygamous unions because it was a common cultural practice. In fact Deut 17:17 explicitly forbids dynastic polygamy for the Jewish leader saying,

“Neither shall he [a Jewish King] multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.” (Deut 17:17) 

The Book of Mormon is no different, explicitly condemning David and Solomon’s use of  polygamy to multiply children and build their dynasties (see Jacob 2:23–26).  LDS leadership’s use of Jacob 2:30 in the Book of Mormon to suggest that god might command polygamy to multiply seed or increase population is an obvious twisting of the verses intent. The verse in question says,

“For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise [polygamy is to be forbidden]”. (Jacob 2:30)

To “raise up seed” does not in any way infer the use of polygamy to take many wives to multiply seed or increase the population. It is a direct quote from Genesis 38:8, referring to a caveat of the Mosaic law in Deut 25:5–7 (which Christ referred to in Matt 22:24) where if a man dies without having children, his brother was to take his widow as a (second) wife in order to “raise up seed” “in the name of his brother”. Since in ancient law, property was tied exclusively to men and their children, in this way the wife could bare children who could still lay claim to her dead husband’s assets, and preserve the family name under civil law. Both the story of the early Patriarchs as well as Judah and Tamar draw on this law of birthright to illustrate how god “rose up” seed or a “righteous branch” through the folly of his servant’s gross improprieties (see Gen 38, Gen 21, Gen 29:21–35, Jer 23:5–6). To suggest that this reference meant that God might randomly command his people to start engaging in rampant dynastic polygamy in order to increase population is unfounded in scripture and frankly a bit twisted.

After receiving a revelation commanding him to practice plural marriage, Joseph Smith married multiple wives and introduced the practice to close associates. Spin Note 2

The chronology of Joseph Smith’s polygamy is different from the way it is presented here. His first extra-marital relationship with Fanny Alger (considered a plural marriage by some, see Bradley 2010) dates back to around 1836, the revelation mentioned above came 7 years and 27 plural wives later. Fanny was a 16-17 year old domestic, hired by Joseph to help around the house while Emma was sick during the pregnancy of her second Child . The sexual relationship happened completely without Emma’s knowledge. (see Hales: JSP)

When Joseph Smith’s wife Emma discovered this relationship, there is no evidence that he appealed to the Bible or a revelation to justify his actions. Instead, he begged his wife’s forgiveness and the relationship was ended (see McLellin Letter).

In the second half of the 1830s, the Mormon situation in Missouri as well as Illinois became increasingly unstable. Joseph Smith’s reputation and allusions to polygamy generated a lot of rumours, which were denied by both Joseph Smith individually and the church as a whole (see references here. also note 15).

This changed at the beginning of the 1840s, after the Mormons settled down in their own city of Nauvoo (Illinois). Here Joseph Smith felt safe enough to test the waters by publicly hinting at what he called the restoration of Biblical polygamy. Reactions to this were usually negative, after which he would backpedal by saying the time had not yet come (see Nauvoo teachings. Newell & Avery 1994, pp. 95-96).

In secret, though, Joseph Smith went ahead and started taking on many polygamous wives in the early 1840s. In an effort to convince his wife Emma of the practice, he finally dictated a formal revelation about polygamy on July 12, 1843.“And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me,” it said, “for I am the Lord thy God, and ye shall obey my voice” (Doctrine and Covenants 2013, pp. 271-272).

This principle was among the most challenging aspects of the Restoration—for Joseph personally and for other Church members. Plural marriage tested faith and provoked controversy and opposition. Few Latter-day Saints initially welcomed the restoration of a biblical practice entirely foreign to their sensibilities. But many later [some] testified of powerful spiritual experiences that helped them overcome their hesitation and gave them courage to accept this practice.

Although the Lord commanded the adoption—and later the cessation—of plural marriage in the latter days, He did not give exact instructions on how to obey the commandment. Significant social and cultural changes often include misunderstandings and difficulties. Church leaders and members experienced these challenges as they heeded the command to practice plural marriage and again later as they worked to discontinue it after Church President Wilford Woodruff issued an inspired statement known as the Manifesto in 1890, which led to the end of plural marriage in the Church. Through it all, Church leaders and members sought to follow God’s will. Spin Note 3

This paragraph contains two errors:

– There were some “exact instructions” on how to practice polygamy;
– The Manifesto did not lead “to the end of plural marriage in the Church”.

To start with the latter point: on the very day church president Woodruff submitted the Manifesto to the general membership for approval, he advised Byron Harvey Allred, who had traveled to Salt Lake City to marry an additional wife, how to circumvent the Manifesto (read Allred’s journal here, search for the last mention of “Woodruff”).

In the Manifesto, president Woodruff denied “in the most solemn manner” the cases of polygamy which the Utah Commission had identified but these have since been amply documented and confirmed (see Quinn 1985, who was disciplined and later excommunicated from the Mormon church for publishing this research). One year later, president Woodruff again lied under oath about the clandestine continuation of polygamy in an attempt to regain seized church property (Wagoner 1989, p. 149) – possibly the real purpose of the Manifesto.

With regards to the “instructions on how to obey the commandment” of polygamy, there may not have been many but the ones that were there, were not followed. Leviticus 18 in the Bible, for instance, prohibits men from marrying a mother and her daughter, as well as marrying sisters, yet both practices were frequent among Mormons (see note 1 to the essay Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah).

Neither did Joseph Smith follow the instructions from his own 1843 revelation which states, for instance, that polygamous wives should be virgins. Joseph Smith, however, had relationships with at least 11 married women. Some girls, like Sarah Ann Whitney (17) and Flora Ann Woodworth (17) married other men within a few months after their polygamous unions to Joseph Smith, which, according to the revelation, constitutes adultery. And finally, the revelation stipulates that the first wife gives her husband permission to take extra wives but Joseph Smith took most of his plural wives without his wife Emma’s knowledge, let alone permission.

Many details about the early practice of plural marriage are unknown. Plural marriage was introduced among the early Saints incrementally, and participants were asked to keep their actions confidential. They did not discuss their experiences publicly or in writing until after the Latter-day Saints had moved to Utah and Church leaders had publicly acknowledged the practice. The historical record of early plural marriage is therefore thin: few records of the time provide details, and later reminiscences are not always reliable. Some ambiguity will always accompany our knowledge about this issue. Like the participants, we “see through a glass, darkly” and are asked to walk by faith. Spin Note 4

Throughout this essay, the authors repeatedly claim that “many details” of Mormon polygamy are unknown because the historical record is supposedly incomplete, or even “thin”. It is not clear why they would say this since the authors’ own sources disagree with that conclusion.

In endnote 29, for example, an article by apostle John A. Widtsoe is cited which reads: “The literature and existing documents dealing with plural marriage in Nauvoo in the day of Joseph Smith are very numerous. Hundreds of affidavits on the subject are in the Church Historian’s office in Salt Lake City. Most of the books and newspaper and magazine articles on the subject are found there also” (Widtsoe 1946).

In endnotes 25 and 26, the authors quote Bringhurst & Foster’s 2010 book The Persistence of Polygamy which starts with an overview of “the plethora of books articles, and essays dealing with Mormon polygamy” and speaks of a “multitude of historical documents” (p. ix). “Literally hundreds of books”, the introduction claims, “have been written on the topic of Mormon polygamy” (p. 2).

So we have hundreds of books about polygamy, hundreds of affidavits from early Mormons who were personally involved in polygamy, as well as many other historical documents like marriage records, journals, letters, newspaper articles, etc. They contain details about every aspect of the first polygamous Mormon marriages. These sources are not a matter of faith either; in fact, most of them can be consulted quite easily these days by anyone with an internet connection.

The reliability of “later reminiscences” can be determined by comparing them to the rest of the historical record. By pretending these sources do not exist, the authors exempt themselves from such methodological rigour. Instead, they ask the reader to “walk by faith”. Remarkably, the reliability of later reminiscences doesn’t seem to be an issue in the remainder of the essay when the reminiscences fit the authors’ narrative.

The Beginnings of Plural Marriage in the Church

The revelation on plural marriage was not written down until 1843, but its early verses suggest that part of it emerged from Joseph Smith’s study of the Old Testament in 1831. People who knew Joseph well later stated he received the revelation about that time. Spin Note 5

This is a first example of what was stated in note 4. The reliability of “later reminiscences” is never questioned when it suits the authors of this article, in this case to create a sequence of events that puts Joseph Smith’s relationship with Fanny Alger in the context of polygamy.

The sources quoted with this paragraph are from 1878 and 1887. That in itself does not mean they are unreliable but in view of the absence of contemporary supporting evidence, some caution seems appropriate. See note 2 for the actual chronology.

The revelation, recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 132, states that Joseph prayed to know why God justified Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon in having many wives. The Lord responded that He had commanded them to enter into the practice.

Latter-day Saints understood that they were living in the latter days, in what the revelations called the “dispensation of the fullness of times.” Ancient principles—such as prophets, priesthood, and temples—would be restored to the earth. Plural marriage was one of those ancient principles. Spin Note 6

It is not in dispute that polygamy occurs in the Bible as a cultural practice. However, the Christian world does not generally see it as a commandment from God (see also note 1). Moreover, the justification of polygamy by claiming that “God justified Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon in having many wives” was already anticipated – and unequivocally condemned – in the Book of Mormon (as already discussed).

Polygamy had been permitted for millennia in many cultures and religions, but, with few exceptions, was rejected in Western cultures. In Joseph Smith’s time, monogamy was the only legal form of marriage in the United States. Joseph knew the practice of plural marriage would stir up public ire. After receiving the commandment, he taught a few associates about it, but he did not spread this teaching widely in the 1830s. Spin Note 7

There is no good evidence that Joseph Smith received a revelation about polygamy in the 1830s, nor that “he taught a few associates about it”. Curiously, the sources that are quoted with this paragraph do not support this either.

The first source concerns a hypothetical question asked to Lorenzo Snow in 1892: “Could Joseph Smith receive a revelation (…)”. There is nothing in Snow’s testimony to suggest that Joseph Smith received a revelation about polygamy in the 1830s.

The second source is an 1869 sermon by Orson Pratt which actually states the opposite of what is implied in the paragraph above, namely that Joseph Smith indicated in 1832 that the time for polygamy had not yet come and that, therefore, the revelation on polygamy was only given in 1843.

The third source is not about polygamy at all but about disseminating Mormonism among Native Americans by “forming a matrimonial alliance with the Natives”. Although this letter is critical of Joseph Smith and his associates, no mention is made of polygamy. Rather, in the matter of an unnamed man from New York (possibly Martin Harris) marrying a Native American woman, the letter states that “before this contemplated marriage can be carried into effect, he must return to the State of N. Y. and settle his business, for fear, should he return, after that affair had taken place, the civil authority would apprehend him as a criminal” (Marquardt 2008; read this source online here, see the second to last paragraph of the December 6, 1831 letter).

A last source cited in other sources is from a second-hand account written in 1896 by Mosiah Hancock, who was not even born until 1834.

When God commands a difficult task, He sometimes sends additional messengers to encourage His people to obey. Consistent with this pattern, Joseph told associates that an angel appeared to him three times between 1834 and 1842 and commanded him to proceed with plural marriage when he hesitated to move forward. During the third and final appearance, the angel came with a drawn sword, threatening Joseph with destruction unless he went forward and obeyed the commandment fully. Spin Note 8

This is not a correct representation of the facts. The only source which indicates that an angel appeared three times to Joseph Smith in that period, was Mary Rollins Lightner in 1905 (Hales 2010). However, Joseph Smith did not tell this to “his associates” but to her, in an ultimate effort to convince her to enter into a relationship with him (he had been pursuing her since at least 1834, and some sources even say 1831, when Mary was only 16 or 12 years old respectively, see Newell & Avery 1994, p. 65. Read Mary’s affidavits here).

All sources for the angel-with-the-drawn-sword-story are relatively late (the earliest one is likely from 1853. possibly 1843), appear to be depending on each other and lack  supporting evidence from Joseph Smith’s lifetime. It’s possible, then, that the story was made up later to create the impression that Joseph Smith engaged in polygamy under divine duress – a concept that doesn’t really sit well with Mormon theology.

Either way, one must look suspiciously at the narrative this church Essay is trying to sell church members here. This paragraph is suggesting God sent and angel with a drawn sword to go against Joseph’s agency in commanding him take to his 16 year old house servant as his first plural bride. And that god sanctioned this “union” even though it occurred completely behind Emma’s back— Joseph having sex with her in secret, while his wife was likely pregnant with their second child Frederick (born June 1836). All this with supposed partial unwritten revelation, and no public disclosure, only to have Joseph’s first plural wife to be kicked out of the house by Emma when she finds out about it (like Hagar and Sarah right?!). “God” then says nothing about polygamy again until 5 years later when Joseph would take a second plural wife, (likely Lucinda Pendleton while her husband was away on a mission. see here for information on Lucinda and her marriage to Joseph and connection to early American anti-Masonry). Other sources suggest his second was 26 year old Louisa Beaman.

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Fragmentary evidence suggests that Joseph Smith acted on the angel’s first command by marrying a plural wife, Fanny Alger, in Kirtland, Ohio, in the mid-1830s. Several Latter-day Saints who had lived in Kirtland reported decades later that Joseph Smith had married Alger, who lived and worked in the Smith household, after he had obtained her consent and that of her parents. Little is known about this marriage, and nothing is known about the conversations between Joseph and Emma regarding Alger. After the marriage with Alger ended in separation, Joseph seems to have set the subject of plural marriage aside until after the Church moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. Spin Note 9

It is true that a lot of information about Fanny Alger stems from “decades later”, starting with the sources cited for this paragraph, which are from 1886-87, 1903 and 1896 respectively. Of all the historical sources that mention Fanny Alger, these are the most recent. A surprising choice, in view of the concern the authors of this article have expressed about the reliability of “later reminiscences” (see note 4).

Then again, maybe not so surprising, considering that the earlier sources (until 1842) do not speak of a marriage with the blessing of Fanny’s parents but of “a dirty, nasty, filthy affair” (Oliver Cowdery), “adultery” (Far West High Council minutes), “girl business” (Joseph Smith himself), “unlawful intercourse” (Fanny Brewer) and “improper proposals” (Martin Harris).

Other aspects of the relationship between Joseph Smith and Fanny Alger that can be gleaned from the sources are that Emma Smith was initially unaware of it, that she caught her husband having sex with Fanny Alger (or found out about it when Fanny’s pregnancy became visible), that Joseph Smith asked his wife for forgiveness, that the relationship ended there, and that Fanny left the Smith household (or was sent away by Emma). And that she left Joseph and the church, was later married and refused to talk about it later in life.

None of the sources mention a commandment or an angel with a drawn sword in this connection. A secondary 1896 source by Mosiah Hancock states that Fanny’s parents may have consented. They remained in the church and followed the Saints to settle in St George, Utah

Plural Marriage and Eternal Marriage

The same revelation that taught of plural marriage was part of a larger revelation given to Joseph Smith—that marriage could last beyond death and that eternal marriage was essential to inheriting the fullness that God desires for His children. As early as 1840, Joseph Smith privately taught Apostle Parley P. Pratt that the “heavenly order” allowed Pratt and his wife to be together “for time and all eternity.” Joseph also taught that men like Pratt—who had remarried following the death of his first wife—could be married (or sealed) to their wives for eternity, under the proper conditions. Spin Note 10

The distinction between “eternal marriage” and “plural marriage” is a modern interpretation that does not necessarily follow from the text of Joseph Smith’s revelation, which only mentions “this law”, “my law” and “the new and everlasting covenant” throughout the entire text.

The only distinction drawn in this revelation is between a traditional, non-Mormon marriage which ends with death and a marriage “by God’s word” which is remains valid in the afterlife.

The sealing of husband and wife for eternity was made possible by the restoration of priesthood keys and ordinances. On April 3, 1836, the Old Testament prophet Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple and restored the priesthood keys necessary to perform ordinances for the living and the dead, including sealing families together. Marriages performed by priesthood authority could link loved ones to each other for eternity, on condition of righteousness; marriages performed without this authority would end at death. Spin Note 11

This paragraph confirms the issues with chronology that were pointed out in note 2: Fanny Alger cannot have been “sealed” to Joseph Smith if the sealing of husband and wife for eternity was only made possible three years later.

Moreover, the connection between the events of April 1836 and the “sealing power” is of later origin. No new ordinances were introduced as a result of the appearance of Elijah. The first sealings between men and women were performed in 1843 and the sealing of children to their parents only started after Joseph Smith’s death (Buerger 1994, p. 61; Prince 1995, pp. 155-172).

The sealing of men and women, then, did not originate as a result of the appearance of Elijah but in the context of Joseph Smith’s 1843 revelation on polygamy. To early Mormons, sealing and polygamy were one and the same.

Marriage performed by priesthood authority meant that the procreation of children and perpetuation of families would continue into the eternities. Joseph Smith’s revelation on marriage declared that the “continuation of the seeds forever and ever” helped to fulfill God’s purposes for His children. This promise was given to all couples who were married by priesthood authority and were faithful to their covenants.

Plural Marriage in Nauvoo

For much of Western history, family “interest”—economic, political, and social considerations—dominated the choice of spouse. Parents had the power to arrange marriages or forestall unions of which they disapproved. By the late 1700s, romance and personal choice began to rival these traditional motives and practices. By Joseph Smith’s time, many couples insisted on marrying for love, as he and Emma did when they eloped against her parents’ wishes. Spin Note 12

Love may not have been Joseph Smith’s only motivation for marrying Emma Hale. For years he had been trying to retrieve golden plates which he claimed to have found in a hill near his home. He said they were guarded by a spirit who eventually stipulated that he could take the plates on the condition that he got married. The spirit did not inform him who he should marry but in his seer stone he saw it was to be Emma (for Joseph Smith’s use of seer stones, see this article about the translation of the Book of Mormon).

Earlier attempts to take the plates home had failed and this was to be Joseph Smith’s last chance before they would sink into the earth forever. That is why he wanted to marry quickly; eloping may have been necessary because Emma’s parents weren’t too keen on their daughter marrying a young treasure hunter without a respectable, steady job (Quinn 1998, pp. 163-164; Marquardt & Walters 1994, pp. 89-94).

Latter-day Saints’ motives for plural marriage were often more religious than economic or romantic. Besides the desire to be obedient, a strong incentive was the hope of living in God’s presence with family members. In the revelation on marriage, the Lord promised participants “crowns of eternal lives” and “exaltation in the eternal worlds.” Men and women, parents and children, ancestors and progeny were to be “sealed” to each other—their commitment lasting into the eternities, consistent with Jesus’s promise that priesthood ordinances performed on earth could be “bound in heaven.” Spin Note 13

The statement that the hope of living in God’s presence with family members was a strong incentive to participate in polygamy contradicts the distinction proposed earlier between eternal and plural marriage (see note 10). If the Mormons of Kirtland and Nauvoo had made this distinction, polygamy would not have been required to live in God’s presence with family members.

Incidentally, most non-Mormons who believe in an afterlife believe they will be together with their loved ones anyway. The conditions and restrictions which the Mormon church imposes can be considered impediments rather than enablers.

The first plural marriage in Nauvoo took place when Louisa Beaman and Joseph Smith were sealed in April 1841. Joseph married many additional wives and authorized other Latter-day Saints to practice plural marriage. Spin Note 14

Between Fanny Alger (1833) and Louisa Beaman, there was also a relationship between Joseph Smith and Lucinda Pendleton Harris (Compton 1997, pp. 43-54). It is unclear why this union isn’t mentioned here, maybe because it didn’t occur in Kirtland or Nauvoo but in Missouri.

The practice spread slowly at first. By June 1844, when Joseph died, approximately 29 men and 50 women had entered into plural marriage, in addition to Joseph and his wives. When the Saints entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, at least 196 men and 521 women had entered into plural marriages. Participants in these early plural marriages pledged to keep their involvement confidential, though they anticipated a time when the practice would be publicly acknowledged.

Nevertheless, rumors spread. A few men unscrupulously used these rumors to seduce women to join them in an unauthorized practice sometimes referred to as “spiritual wifery.” When this was discovered, the men were cut off from the Church. The rumors prompted members and leaders to issue carefully worded denials that denounced spiritual wifery and polygamy but were silent about what Joseph Smith and others saw as divinely mandated “celestial” plural marriage. The statements emphasized that the Church practiced no marital law other than monogamy while implicitly leaving open the possibility that individuals, under direction of God’s living prophet, might do so. Spin Note 15

Rumours had been spreading since the days of Fanny Alger and had already caused problems and denials in Ohio and Missouri. The term rumour, however, doesn’t apply since Joseph Smith did indeed have relations with many women. They were only rumours because Joseph Smith and other church leaders kept publicly denying their involvement in polygamy (including in court).

From the very beginning, lying has been an integral part of Mormon polygamy (Hardy 1992). Joseph Smith lied to his wife, his associates, his followers and his community. His successors lied to the authorities, the courts and to Congress. Today, the Mormon church lies about polygamy to prospective members in its missionary program, to current members in its curriculum and to non-members in its media statements (such as this essay).

Whether these statements are called lies or “carefully worded denials”, it seems clear that they were – and are – primarily meant to mislead others from knowing the truth.

Joseph Smith and Plural Marriage

During the era in which plural marriage was practiced, Latter-day Saints distinguished between sealings for time and eternity and sealings for eternity only. Sealings for time and eternity included commitments and relationships during this life, generally including the possibility of sexual relations. Eternity-only sealings indicated relationships in the next life alone. Spin Note 16

There is no evidence that the Mormons from “the era in which plural marriage was practiced” made this distinction. As stated in note 10, the text of Joseph Smith’s 1843 revelation only distinguishes between marriages “for time” and “for time and eternity” – to this day the only two forms of marriage in the Mormon church. Marriage “for eternity only” is an apologetic term which does not appear in any primary 19th-century source (Quinn 1997, pp. 183-84; Compton 1997, pp. 12-15, 500).

The reason why the authors of this essay use the “eternity only” category may be to introduce the idea that some of Joseph Smith’s polygamous unions did not have a sexual aspect, and might be perceived as less controversial that way.
Since the “eternity only” category does not exist, however, there is no reason to suppose that Joseph Smith’s relationships did not have a sexual component, all the more so because sexual relations can be established with reasonable certainty in about half the cases – which is quite a lot for a time in which sexuality was not openly discussed.

Evidence indicates that Joseph Smith participated in both types of sealings. The exact number of women to whom he was sealed in his lifetime is unknown because the evidence is fragmentary. Some of the women who were sealed to Joseph Smith later testified that their marriages were for time and eternity, while others indicated that their relationships were for eternity alone. Spin Note 17

The endnote to this paragraph reports that the best estimates put the number of wives of Joseph Smith between 30 and 40. Mormonism101.com mostly relies on the research of Todd Compton, who lists 33 women (excluding Emma). Quinn (2012) proposes that there is also sufficient evidence that Esther Dutcher, Hannah Ann Dubois, Mary Heron Snyder and Lydia Kenyon Carter were sealed to Joseph Smith, which puts the tally at 37. Based on extensive demographic research, Smith (1994) puts in an even higher estimate of 42.

There is no evidence that any of these women ever “indicated that their relationships were for eternity alone” (see note 16, but see also Quinn 2012 for one possible exception).

Most of those sealed to Joseph Smith were between 20 and 40 years of age at the time of their sealing to him. The oldest, Fanny Young, was 56 years old. The youngest was Helen Mar Kimball, daughter of Joseph’s close friends Heber C. and Vilate Murray Kimball, who was sealed to Joseph several months before her 15th birthday. Spin Note 18

While it is technically true that most of those sealed to Joseph Smith (18 out of the 33 women) were between 20 and 40, this grouping seems arbitrary and clouds the actual age distribution of Joseph Smith’s wives:


The chart above shows that Joseph Smith had a strong preference for women who were younger to much younger than himself. To use another arbitrary grouping: most of those sealed to Joseph Smith (also 18 out of 33) were between 10 and 30. The older women, like Patty Bartlett (47) and Elizabeth Davis (50) were actively involved in recruiting the younger women and girls for plural marriage (Smith 1994; Compton 1997, pp. 179, 254-55, 260, 262).

Marriage at such an age, inappropriate by today’s standards, was legal in that era, and some women married in their mid-teens. Helen Mar Kimball spoke of her sealing to Joseph as being “for eternity alone,” suggesting that the relationship did not involve sexual relations. After Joseph’s death, Helen remarried and became an articulate defender of him and of plural marriage. Spin Note 19

Plural marriage was never legal in the US, so the question of age is moot from a judicial point of view. “Some women” did indeed marry “in their mid-teens” but they were few and far between. The chart below (from Foster et al. 2010) shows that in Joseph Smith’s time (1840), less than 2% of the women were married in their mid-teens, at 15 or younger:
The data for the above chart are for the entire United States. Zooming in on the Northeastern states where Joseph Smith lived, the rate of mid-teen marriages drops to 0.4 percent. Nine out of ten women who married in their teens did so at 18 or 19 (Compton 2010). Only three of Joseph Smith’s teenage wives were in this latter age range, the other seven (including Fanny Alger) were all younger:
Another issue is the age gap between Joseph Smith and his polygamous wiwes. Without claiming any statistical sophistication, Mormonism101 has prepared the following chart based on the ages of Joseph Smith and his wives as given by Foster et al. (2010, p. 154) and a sample from the IPUMS-USA database (Ruggles et al. 2010).
The vertical bars represent Joseph Smith’s wives at the age he married them, in order of age; the orange line represents Joseph Smith’s age at the time. The green line represents the age gap between 3,475 women of the same age and in the same area as Joseph Smith’s wives and their husbands as recorded in the 1850 US census (no earlier census data are available). The green area covers one standard deviation plus and minus from the average age gap in the sample.

Thus, whenever the orange line crosses into the green area, the age gap between Joseph Smith and that wife is within what could be considered a normal range. This is the case for 15 out of Joseph Smith’s 33 plural wives (the lighter coloured bars in the chart). The age gaps with his teenage wives and with his elderly wives generally fall outside the green area.

Click here to take a closer look at the 1850 census data.

In summary, then, we can conclude that Joseph Smith’s marital practices were well outside the bounds of normal behaviour in the time and place where he lived with regard to (1) the number of his wives, (2) their age at marriage and (3) the age gaps between them.

Nowhere in the autobiographical writings cited as sources for this paragraph does Helen Mar Kimball state that her sealing to Joseph Smith was “for eternity alone”; this quote is completely taken out of context here. What she does say, is the following:

Helen’s marriage was arranged by her father: “Having a great desire to be connected with the prophet Joseph, he offered me to him; this I afterwards learned from the prophet’s own mouth. My father had but one ewe lamb, but willingly laid her upon the altar; how cruel this seemed to my mother whose heartstrings were already stretched until they were ready to snap asunder” (Compton 1997, p. 498).

Helen supposed the marriage would be for eternity only but, according to one source, soon learned otherwise: “I would never have been sealed to Joseph had I known it was anything more than ceremony. I was young, and they deceived me, by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it” (Wagoner 1989, p. 53).

Helen was promised salvation in exchange for her marriage to the prophet: “If you take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation and exaltation and that of your father’s household and all of your kindred. This promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward” (Compton 1997, p. 499).

Helen was put under severe time pressure to make her decision: her father left her“to reflect upon it for the next twenty-four hours, during which time I was filled with various and conflicting ideas. I was skeptical–one minute believed, then doubted. I thought of the love and tenderness that he felt for his only daughter, and I knew that he would not cast her off, and this was the only convincing proof that I had of its being right. I knew that he loved me too well to teach me anything that was not strictly pure, virtuous and exalting in its tendencies; and no one else could have influenced me at that time or brought me to accept of a doctrine so utterly repugnant and so contrary to all of our former ideas and traditions” (Compton 1997, pp. 498-499).

Regardless of Helen Mar Kimball’s eloquence in defending Joseph Smith and polygamy at a much later age, she was under no illusion that polygamy had anything to offer her or her fellow female participants: “No earthly inducement could be held forth to the women who entered this order. It was to be a life sacrifice for the sake of an everlasting glory and exaltation” (Compton 1997 p. 349).

The authors of this article correctly assess that such relationships are deemed “inappropriate by today’s standards”. It is unlikely, however, that this was any different in the 1840s.

Following his marriage to Louisa Beaman and before he married other single women, Joseph Smith was sealed to a number of women who were already married. Neither these women nor Joseph explained much about these sealings, though several women said they were for eternity alone. Other women left no records, making it unknown whether their sealings were for time and eternity or were for eternity alone. Spin Note 20

These married women (12 to 14 according to the endnote to this paragraph) have said and written just as much about their relationships with Joseph Smith as the others (see note 4) and there is just as little (meaning no) evidence that these relations were “for eternity alone”(see note 16). On the contrary, as is the case for Joseph Smith’s other wives, there is ample primary evidence for sexual relations with a significant number of these married women as well (Quinn 2012).

There are several possible explanations for this practice. These sealings may have provided a way to create an eternal bond or link between Joseph’s family and other families within the Church. These ties extended both vertically, from parent to child, and horizontally, from one family to another. Today such eternal bonds are achieved through the temple marriages of individuals who are also sealed to their own birth families, in this way linking families together. Joseph Smith’s sealings to women already married may have been an early version of linking one family to another. Spin Note 21

This and the next two “possible explanations” are pure speculation for which there is no supporting evidence. Based on sources that actually exist – as opposed to the imagined feelings and thoughts of Joseph Smith and unnamed “faithful women” – only two explanations have any basis in fact:

Posterity: the stated purpose of Mormon polygamy was procreation. For a long time, Joseph Smith was thought to have fathered a handful of children with several of his polygamous wives, at least four of which were already married (Quinn 2012). By now, most of these claims have been disproved using modern DNA techniques (Groote 2011). As Quinn points out, however, the relevant fact here is not whether these children actually were Joseph Smith’s but whether their mothers thought they might be. This strongly suggests that Joseph Smith had sexual relations with these (married) women and that “raising up seed” should be considered as a possible explanation for his behaviour – which the authors of this essay don’t do.

Loyalty: Joseph Smith tested the loyalty of his closest associates by asking to marry their wives and daughters. Men who passed the test, entered a small, trusted inner circle, received leadership positions and were encouraged to start relations with other women themselves (Wagoner 1989, p. 41).

In Nauvoo, most if not all of the first husbands seem to have continued living in the same household with their wives during Joseph’s lifetime, and complaints about these sealings with Joseph Smith are virtually absent from the documentary record. Spin Note 22

That few complaints are known about Joseph Smith’s sealings to married women is, again, not an accurate representation of all the relevant facts:

Firstly, not all legal husbands were aware that Joseph Smith initiated relations with their wives (although most men knew afterwards). This was certainly true for Orson Hyde (on a mission) and Adam Lightner (out of town) and possibly for George Harris, Windsor Lyon, David Sessions and Jonathan Holmes as well.

Secondly, by focusing on “these [12 to 14]sealings”, a large group of people is left out of the picture who did not appreciate Joseph Smith’s proposals and who did have complaints about them. One of them, William Law, founded a newspaper with other Nauvoo dissidents in which they wanted to expose polygamy and other misconduct. As the mayor of Nauvoo, Joseph Smith allowed the printing press and the first edition to be destroyed. For this unlawful act, he was arrested and while awaiting judicial proceedings in prison, was murdered by an angry mob. The attempted suppression of complaints about polygamy directly led to Joseph Smith’s death.

Thirdly, complaints from legal husbands are not as absent from the documentary record as the authors of this essay suggest, especially in view of the limited scope of this practice. Church leader Daniel H. Wells, for instance, wrote about Albert Smith (no relation), Esther Dutcher’s legal husband: “He is much afflicted with the loss of his first wife. It seems that she was sealed to Joseph the Prophet in the days of Nauvoo, though she still remained his wife, and afterwards nearly broke his heart by telling him of it, and expressing her intention of adhering to that relationship” (Hales 2010a)

Another example is Henry Jacobs, whose wife Zina Huntington first married Joseph Smith but remained with Henry, then left her husband altogether for Brigham Young after Joseph Smith’s death. Although he remained a loyal Mormon, his letters reveal a deeply hurt husband and father:

“I have written so many letters to you and the children from first to last and got no letters, that I almost feel discouraged. I never have received but one from you since I left Salt Lake. O, how happy I should be if I only could see you and the little children, I would like to see the little babe.

Zina, I wish you to prosper. I wish you knew what I have to bear, my feelings are indescribable. I am unhappy, there is no peace for poor me. My pleasure is you, my comfort has vanished.

I have had many a good dream about you and the little ones. I have imagined myself at home with you and the little boys upon my knees, singing and playing with them. What a comfort, what a joy, to think upon those days that are gone by, o heaven bless me, even poor me, shall I ever see them again?

I think of you very often, Zina. Are you happy? Do you enjoy your life as pleasant as you did with me when I was home with you and the children, when we could say our prayers together and speak together in tongues and bless each other in the name of the Lord?

O, I think of those happy days that are past. When I sleep the sleep of death then I will not forget you and my little lambs. I love my affections, I love my children. O Zina, can I ever, will I ever get you again?” (minor editing for legibility by mormonism101.com, for more extensive quotations, see Compton 1997, pp. 98-100).

These sealings may also be explained by Joseph’s reluctance to enter plural marriage because of the sorrow it would bring to his wife Emma. He may have believed that sealings to married women would comply with the Lord’s command without requiring him to have normal marriage relationships. This could explain why, according to Lorenzo Snow, the angel reprimanded Joseph for having “demurred” on plural marriage even after he had entered into the practice. After this rebuke, according to this interpretation, Joseph returned primarily to sealings with single women. Spin Note 23

As stated in note 21, this explanation is purely speculative. It is based on reading Joseph Smith’s mind, a dubious story about an angel (see note 8) and a fabricated concept of marriage without “normal marriage relationships” (see note 16).

Another possibility is that, in an era when life spans were shorter than they are today, faithful women felt an urgency to be sealed by priesthood authority. Several of these women were married either to non-Mormons or former Mormons, and more than one of the women later expressed unhappiness in their present marriages. Living in a time when divorce was difficult to obtain, these women may have believed a sealing to Joseph Smith would give them blessings they might not otherwise receive in the next life. Spin Note 24

This explanation is not only pure speculation; it is also based on an incorrect portrayal of the facts. Of the eleven already married women on Compton’s list, only one had a former Mormon husband (Presendia Lathrop) while three had non-Mormon husbands (Mary Elizabeth Rollins, Sarah Kingsley and Ruth Vose).

Nor was divorce difficult to obtain, given the loose Mormon marriage morals. Of Joseph Smith’s 11 married wives (again according to Compton 1997), five divorced or simply left their prior husband (Lucinda Pendleton between 1846-1850, Zina Huntington in 1847, Presendia Lathrop in 1845, Marinda Johnson in 1870 and Elizabeth Davis in 1846).

Regardless of these factual inaccuracies, it has been explained already in note 11 that the idea of sealing originated in the context of polygamy, not the other way around. Sealing and polygamy were synonyms to early Mormons. Saying that “faithful women felt an urgency to be sealed” would be akin to saying that these women felt an urgency to engage in polygamy – an implication which is contradicted by all available sources.

The women who united with Joseph Smith in plural marriage risked reputation and self-respect in being associated with a principle so foreign to their culture and so easily misunderstood by others. “I made a greater sacrifice than to give my life,” said Zina Huntington Jacobs, “for I never anticipated again to be looked upon as an honorable woman.” Nevertheless, she wrote, “I searched the scripture & by humble prayer to my Heavenly Father I obtained a testimony for myself.” After Joseph’s death, most of the women sealed to him moved to Utah with the Saints, remained faithful Church members, and defended both plural marriage and Joseph. Spin Note 25

The women who did not unite with Joseph Smith or his associates in plural marriage also risked their good name. If they continued to refuse polygamous proposals, their reputation might get publicly tarnished to preemptively divert attention away from the proposals themselves, which would be perceived as inappropriate and scandalous should they become known to the general public. Sarah Pratt was accused of adultery, Martha Brotherton was called a “mean harlot” descended from “old Jezebel” in a newspaper, and 19-year old Nancy Rigdon was deemed “little, if any, better than a public prostitute” (Wagoner 1986).

After Joseph’s death, his wives were redistributed among other church leaders. Brigham Young took 7 to 9 of them, his counselor Heber C. Kimball 11. The other women were divided among other church leaders such as George A. Smith, Amasa Lyman, Ezra T. Benson and others (Compton 1997, p. 83).

This practice would be the foundation of the way in which the Mormons practiced polygamy in the second half of the nineteenth century: as “a symbol of status and inclusion in the inner Mormon circle of power” (Zeitzen 2008, p. 99; see also note 11 to the article Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah).

Joseph and Emma

Plural marriage was difficult for all involved. For Joseph Smith’s wife Emma, it was an excruciating ordeal. Records of Emma’s reactions to plural marriage are sparse; she left no firsthand accounts, making it impossible to reconstruct her thoughts. Spin Note 26

This is the third time the authors incorrectly claim that little is known about a certain aspect of Joseph Smith’s polygamy (see notes 4 and 20). The reason why most Mormons do not know a lot about Emma Smith is that she has been largely ignored in Mormon history ever since she chose to remain in Nauvoo after her husband was murdered, and not join the body of Mormons who emigrated to Utah.

According to author Jana Riess, “Emma’s disappearance from LDS history was so total that (…) an article about her for the Ensign in 1979 was the first writing about her to appear in any official church publication in 113 years” (Riess 2013). Polygamy is not discussed in this article, however, because that is another subject which Mormon church leaders have tried hard to ignore in official publications before the advent of internet.

Nevertheless, records of Emma Smith are not “sparse”. Linda King Newell and ValeenTippetts Avery’s biography Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, for example, is 394 pages long, contains a 14-page bibliography of published sources and builds on research into more than 50 historical newspapers, as well as diaries, minutes, letter and (auto)biographies from 85 archive collections. Expertly put together, these sources make crystal clear how Emma Smith felt about her husband’s extra-marital relations: betrayed, deceived, hurt, sad, angry, taunted and humiliated.

However, Newell and Avery’s groundbreaking book is not cited in this essay, once again allowing the authors to pretend that little is known about things they don’t want to write about.

Joseph and Emma loved and respected each other deeply. After he had entered into plural marriage, he poured out his feelings in his journal for his “beloved Emma,” whom he described as “undaunted, firm and unwavering, unchangeable, affectionate Emma.” After Joseph’s death, Emma kept a lock of his hair in a locket she wore around her neck.

Emma approved, at least for a time, of four of Joseph Smith’s plural marriages in Nauvoo, and she accepted all four of those wives into her household. She may have approved of other marriages as well. But Emma likely did not know about all of Joseph’s sealings. She vacillated in her view of plural marriage, at some points supporting it and at other times denouncing it. Spin Note 27

The sequence of events was a bit different. These four women (Emily & Eliza Partidge and Sara & Maria Lawrence, 19, 22, 17 and 19 years old respectively) already lived in the Smith household before Emma gave her permission. The Lawrence sisters were their wards. The Partridge sisters had already married Joseph Smith two months before, without Emma’s knowledge. Nobodytold Emma this, though, but the ceremony was simply performed a second time in her presence. Even when Emma supported polygamy, she was being deceived by her husband (Newell & Avery 1994, p. 142-143).

Emma’s approval was short-lived. Apparently she did not fully realize that Joseph Smith’s plural marriages were also of a sexual nature. That same night she found her husband in a room with Eliza Partridge and “from that very hour,” Emily wrote in her journal, “Emma was our bitter enemy” (Newell & Avery 1994, p. 143-144; Smith 1994).

The speculation that Emma Smith “may have approved of other marriages as well” has no basis in fact. She didn’t even know about these unions. These four are the only ones which she approved of for a few hours, after which she immediately regretted it.

During the two months in which these events unfolded, Emma Smith’s attitude toward polygamy did indeed vacillate. The rest of her life, before and after, she was radically opposed to it. To her dying day she maintained, against better judgment, that Joseph Smith never practiced polygamy.

In the summer of 1843, Joseph Smith dictated the revelation on marriage, a lengthy and complex text containing both glorious promises and stern warnings, some directed at Emma. The revelation instructed women and men that they must obey God’s law and commands in order to receive the fullness of His glory.

The revelation on marriage required that a wife give her consent before her husband could enter into plural marriage. Nevertheless, toward the end of the revelation, the Lord said that if the first wife “receive not this law”—the command to practice plural marriage—the husband would be “exempt from the law of Sarah,” presumably the requirement that the husband gain the consent of the first wife before marrying additional women. Spin Note 28

The “law of Sarah”, then, is of no consequence. The first wife must give her consent but if she doesn’t, the plural marriage can go ahead anyway.

After Emma opposed plural marriage, Joseph was placed in an agonizing dilemma, forced to choose between the will of God and the will of his beloved Emma. He may have thought Emma’s rejection of plural marriage exempted him from the law of Sarah. Her decision to “receive not this law” permitted him to marry additional wives without her consent. Spin Note 29

However, Joseph Smith had already taken on 22 extra wives before he first told his wife about polygamy. There was no dilemma when the 1843 revelation was recorded. He had already made his choice without giving her the opportunity to come to a decision.

Because of Joseph’s early death and Emma’s decision to remain in Nauvoo and not discuss plural marriage after the Church moved west, many aspects of their story remain known only to the two of them.

Trial and Spiritual Witness

Years later in Utah, participants in Nauvoo plural marriage discussed their motives for entering into the practice. God declared in the Book of Mormon that monogamy was the standard; at times, however, He commanded plural marriage so His people could “raise up seed unto [Him].” Plural marriage did result in an increased number of children born to believing parents. Spin Note 30

This is incorrect. Mormon polygamy led to fewer children than probably would have been born in a monogamous society (see note 6 of the article Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah).

Some Saints also saw plural marriage as a redemptive process of sacrifice and spiritual refinement. According to Helen Mar Kimball, Joseph Smith stated that “the practice of this principle would be the hardest trial the Saints would ever have to test their faith.” Though it was one of the “severest” trials of her life, she testified that it had also been “one of the greatest blessings.” Her father, Heber C. Kimball, agreed. “I never felt more sorrowful,” he said of the moment he learned of plural marriage in 1841. “I wept days. … I had a good wife. I was satisfied.”

The decision to accept such a wrenching trial usually came only after earnest prayer and intense soul-searching. Brigham Young said that, upon learning of plural marriage, “it was the first time in my life that I had desired the grave.” “I had to pray unceasingly,” he said, “and I had to exercise faith and the Lord revealed to me the truth of it and that satisfied me.” Heber C. Kimball found comfort only after his wife Vilate had a visionary experience attesting to the rightness of plural marriage. “She told me,” Vilate’s daughter later recalled, “she never saw so happy a man as father was when she described the vision and told him she was satisfied and knew it was from God.”

Lucy Walker recalled her inner turmoil when Joseph Smith invited her to become his wife. “Every feeling of my soul revolted against it,” she wrote. Yet, after several restless nights on her knees in prayer, she found relief as her room “filled with a holy influence” akin to “brilliant sunshine.” She said, “My soul was filled with a calm sweet peace that I never knew,” and “supreme happiness took possession of my whole being.”

Not all had such experiences. Some Latter-day Saints rejected the principle of plural marriage and left the Church, while others declined to enter the practice but remained faithful. Nevertheless, for many women and men, initial revulsion and anguish was followed by struggle, resolution, and ultimately, light and peace. Sacred experiences enabled the Saints to move forward in faith. Spin Note 31

As can be seen from the examples above, it takes most people tremendous effort to act against their natural feelings, their socialization and their conscience. Many reports of the struggle of those who first entered a polygamous relationship, therefore, mention days and nights of prayer, fasting and sleep deprivation, combined with enormous psychological pressure and emotional distress.

Contrary to what the authors of this essay seem to think, most people will not consider this “a sacred experience” to be emulated in any way. Overriding one’s natural impulses and acting against one’s conscience in the name of faith is the domain of religious fanaticism.

Also missing from this article is the message that religious leaders who, from their position of authority, extort sex from followers in exchange for promises of salvation do not necessarily need to be obeyed (Money 2014). This may be a modern message but then again, the Mormon church chose a modern medium, the internet, to release this essay to a modern audience.

Conclusion

The challenge of introducing a principle as controversial as plural marriage is almost impossible to overstate. A spiritual witness of its truthfulness allowed Joseph Smith and other Latter-day Saints to accept this principle. Difficult as it was, the introduction of plural marriage in Nauvoo did indeed “raise up seed” unto God. A substantial number of today’s members descend through faithful Latter-day Saints who practiced plural marriage.Spin Note 32

Unfortunately, no sources are given on which the assumption that a substantial number of today’s Mormons descend from polygamists is based. What is known, however, is that the Mormon hierarchy has become intimately connected through dynastic and polygamous marriages (Quinn 1997, pp. 163-197). This confirms that polygamy was an important tool in establishing and expanding the power base of the Mormon church leadership (see note 25 to this article and note 11 to the article Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah).

Church members no longer practice plural marriage. Consistent with Joseph Smith’s teachings, the Church permits a man whose wife has died to be sealed to another woman when he remarries. Moreover, members are permitted to perform ordinances on behalf of deceased men and women who married more than once on earth, sealing them to all of the spouses to whom they were legally married. The precise nature of these relationships in the next life is not known, and many family relationships will be sorted out in the life to come. Latter-day Saints are encouraged to trust in our wise Heavenly Father, who loves His children and does all things for their growth and salvation. Spin Note 33

Other traces of polygamy that can be seen in Mormon church policies today are:

* Although a man whose wife has passed away may be sealed to another woman in the temple, women whose husband has passed away may not be sealed to another man.

* As a side effect, it is often difficult for young Mormon widows to find a new partner in the Mormon church. Mormons believe that the children of subsequent husbands will belong to the first husband in the afterlife. The authors of this article feign ignorance about this by claiming that “the precise nature of these relationships in the next life is not known” but such ignorance would pull the rug from under the whole of Mormon sealing theology. Why create a mess in this life only to sort it out in the next?

* Divorced women who want to remarry in the temple, have to apply for an ecclesiastical divorce first. This does not apply to men, who can be married in the temple to multiple living women this way.

 

Why Do We Need Reforms

Its time for Mormonism & Evangelical Christianity to have a baby.

The LDS Church can be a pretty amazing and beautiful system in a persons life. Because of this, most Latter-day Saint members haven’t even considered why we might need reforms. They are blissfully ignorant of the major problems which are coming to light about our doctrine and cultural practices. On the other hand, the 50-70% of our members who leave the church after joining know all too well why we need reforms. In this section I have attempted to very generally outline and summarize the reasons for reform by appealing our own scriptures and history. And more importantly, I’ve offered solutions from our scriptures for the problems I bring up, .

Really, reforms are the hallmark of The Gospel in every dispensation. Whether it be reforms from new found information as was the case when Josiah found lost scriptures in the ancient temple, or in the case of people like Ezra, Jonah, Alma, Samuel the Lamanite, Isaiah or John the Baptist who were called mid-dispensation to correct the presiding high priests of Israel.  The entire history of the gospel and human history is one of divinity sending movements of new players onto the human stage to advance the progression and evolution of mankind. When the priesthood itself becomes blind of its own issues, God calls reformers from outside the priesthood to call the saints to repentance.

Mormonism is especially in need of Reform right now, because we’ve developed a blind-spot of thinking that our leadership is completely beyond reproach from outside influences! Into thinking that we are different and more perfect than every past dispensation and so we have no need to fear we might be repeating history. That God would never inspire lowly members, non-members or even powerful external governments to correct their leadership. Put simply, our most fundamental issue — is systemic pride. But literally tens of thousands of life-long LDS members are learning about our issues and leaving our church when they simply cannot reconcile the new truths with the false-narrative we have constructed over the last hundred years. Hopefully by looking over this list, you too might become aware enough of the problems to take the action necessary to become part of the solution.  😉

I believe most of our current problems boils down to the following list. (Church leadership is already moving on addressing many of these issues)

  1. Historical and theological problems in our worldview.
  2. Overly-autocratic control maintained by virtue of the priesthood.
  3. A false or white washed portrayal of our history. Especially revolving around Joseph’s fall into the sin of polygamy.
  4. Unscriptural exclusive truth claims. (over-literalization of scripture)
  5. Occasionally hurtful and harmful social practices.

See the Needed Reformation Section for articles detailing each of these issues and scriptures suggesting more correct views and practices…

You’ll note many of these reform actions are things which Evangelical Christianity currently does very well (despite their own needed reforms). I believe strongly that the reason Evangelical Christianity has quickly to one of the most powerful and largest Christian Movements in the world, from its Anabaptist roots of the same Second Great Awakening which gave Joseph Smith his calling — is because they have done a better job of obeying and implementing OUR OWN REVELATIONS! (Which were given by the Spirit to all reformers of the Second Great Awakening).

It’s time that Mormonism and Evangelical Christianity stop fighting and have a baby.

We need to combine the good from both of these movements. Evangelicals need to accept the Book of Mormon & coming Israeli prophets, continuing revelation & prophecy, biblical errancy, the importance restored temples and the cohesion and power of the higher priesthood.  Mormons need to accept the Evangelical decentralization of church bodies, the wrongness of polygamy, the democratization of many church decision, the pre-eminence of grace over works and the focus on Jesus.  Both need to live a system of financial consecration, reform Christian exceptionalism, eliminate cult-like behaviors, and follow the lead of the coming Jewish prophets & Jewish temple restoration.

Video coming soon.

Emphasize that ordinances are symbols, not ends of themselves

reform-banners21

Stop teaching that LDS temple and ordinances are required to make it to the Celestial Kingdom and start emphasizing that these things are important symbols which aid in salvation and eternal union but are not a requirement for it per se.

Reasoning:

In Joseph Smith’s vision of the Celestial Kingdom given in D&C 137:1–10, Joseph sees his brother Alvin (who was never baptized) in the celestial kingdom, with Adam, Abraham, Christ, God and Joseph’s parents. He marvels how his brother could be in the Celestial Kingdom seeing he was not baptised— and is told essentially that God knows people’s hearts and that all with good works and desires go to the Celestial Kingdom regardless of religion or ordinances.  D&C 128:13–18 teaches that temple ordinances (specifically baptisms for the dead are made in “similitude” or symbols of heavenly things, “that which is earthly conforming to that which is heavenly” (v.15).  My article Eternal Progression, Degrees of Glory, and the Resurrection: A Comparative Cosmology, correlates the work of many modern mystics who give similar descriptions of the afterlife/resurrection and detail how our placement is not dependant on physical ordinances. Common sense & conscience dictate that D&C 76:51 & John 3:5 are speaking of the principles of which baptism symbolizes as a necesity to entering the kingdom of God. (Death of the Mortal Body and carnal nature are needed to enter the kingdom of God. See the gnostic pearl for insight into the deep symbolism involved in the “water” of immersion, as a symbol of cleansing and re-entering the womb of creation.)  Nowhere in our scripture is it taught that temple sealings are needed to exclusively save our dead, but that a “welding link of some kind or other” (or sealing) is needed in order for us to be perfected as a group. (“For we without them cannot be made perfect, neither them without us” v.18).  Our current teachings have created a multitude of conference talks, songs, plays and anecdotal experiences which suggest that God keeps the righteous (and all non-mormons) out of the celestial kingdom until Mormon’s do their temple work. They also often senselessly believe that God somehow keeps families and couples apart in heaven. (As if some invisible being or force restricts them from being together or forbids them from being considered a couple or family?)  This irrational and unscriptural belief drives many from Mormonism. Our traditions also lead people to believe that baptizing infants is blasphemy, but yet baptising 8 year olds (who are also quite ignorant and innocent compared to an adult) is the difference between being able to enter the Celestial Kingdom (unless temple work is done for them). These silly beliefs and practices come from the inability of the lower (temporal) priesthood to see the deep symbolic principles of the higher (spiritual) priesthood which these “outward ordinances” point to.

Most religions have some sort of ancestor veneration and worship. Most religions as well as LDS scripture teaches that the dead are aware of the living and in fact influenced by our actions. LDS temple worship provides a venue for deeply spiritual ancestor veneration. LDS people believe our family history work aids in identifying and tying family lines together for both this life and the next. This richly rewarding spiritual experience is what should be taught and emphasized. Teachings which suggest temple sealings are “required” for heavenly reward go against scripture and conscience and should be eradicated.

Book of Mormon Stories Unearthed – Bibliography

 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

Following is a selection of books which have superb information on their selective topics and which should be available at a local library or bookstore (or the internet) for those wanting to learn more.  A complete bibliography of all referenced books, papers, and articles follows.  In both bibliographies I have first given the nickname used for the book in the paper’s references.

 

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1981.

The Book of Mormon is referenced more than any other book in this paper.  It is the key to all of our research and it was the key to discovering the Bible.  Any research that any scholar in any subject undertakes must have the foundation of the scriptures or it will go astray.  We highly recommend the Book of Mormon and the Bible to all persons wanting to do research.

 

The Bible

The Holy Bible; King James Version; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1979.

The Bible was used extensively in studying the archaeology of the Old World.  It would have been impossible to discover these correlations and put order to the archaeological work being done in the Old World without the Bible.  We highly recommend its use for anyone seeking to better understand the history and archaeology of the Old World.

 

Zapotec

Flannery, Kent V. and Joyce Marcus; Zapotec Civilization, How Urban Society Evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley; Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, 1996.

This is an excellent book on the Valley of Oaxaca which we believe to be the land of Manti.  The authors have compiled many varieties of research over the history of the valley and have done an excellent job of interpreting their findings as well as comparing them to events taking place in nearby areas of Mesoamerica.

 

Prehistory

Jennings, Jesse D.; Prehistory of North America, 3rd Edition; Mayfield Publishing Company, California, 1989.

This book covers the entire history of North America.  Its information on the PaleoIndians and Archaic Cultures is excellent in studying the Jaredites.  He discusses actual sites from across the continent and explains what they really found without excessive personal interpretation which allows the reader to make valuable comparisons to the scriptures.  The information on the later cultures is fair but I found other texts that were more complete and gave more detailed information.

 

Maya

Coe, Michael D.; The Maya, 6th Edition; Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, 1999.

Very good general overview of the Mayan Culture [Lamanites].  It is especially useful in the Post-Christ periods.  It shows the broad trends and culture wide events well but was too vague to be useful in the complicated Pre-Christian events.

 

Mexico

Coe, Michael D.; Mexico, From the Olmecs to the Aztecs, 4th Edition; Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, 1994.

Very good general overview of the Mexican Highland Cultures [Nephites].  It also has a fair section on the Olmecs [Amulonites].  It is especially useful in the Post-Christ periods.  It shows the broad trends and culture wide events well but was too vague to show the intricacies of Pre-Christian events.

 

Warfare

LeBlanc, Steven A.; Prehistoric Warfare in the American Southwest; The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, 1999.

Very good review of the final wars of the Nephites in the American Southwest.  All of the Southwestern Cultures (Anasazi, Mogollon, Hohokam, etc.) are reviewed and the equivalent trends well documented.  From the first arrival in Shem to the final line of defense LeBlanc has researched and documented the manner and movements of the Nephite desolation.

 

Gods and Symbols

Miller, Mary and Karl Taube; An Illustrated Dictionary of The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya; Thames and Hudson Ltd., London, 1993.

Nice basic dictionary of the many names scholars have given the Mesoamerican gods and the peoples’ cultural symbols.  Has some information on legends and beliefs.  Quite comprehensive.

 

Israel

Bright, John; A History of Israel, 3rd Edition; Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1981.

Very good overview of the history of Israel.  The author is obviously convinced that the Bible is not accurate and this bias comes through repeatedly.  However, he has been very thorough in his research and the movements and artifacts are presented in a way that those who really know the Bible can sort out the chronology with the help of our revised timeline.  Information is spotty on cultures up to the Assyrian conquest but very detailed afterward.

 

Grolier

The 1997 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia; Grolier Interactive, Inc.; Grolier Incorporated, 1997.

All electronic encyclopedias seem to have their own best subjects.  Grolier is an excellent general source for scientific subjects such as archaeology, geology, botany, evolution and the like.  We used it extensively in getting a broad understanding of subjects we were researching and to help us know what subjects to pursue in the library.

 

Geology

Hamblin, W. Kenneth; Introduction to Physical Geology, 2nd Edition; Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, 1994.

Very good basic overview of geology.  Is not a geologic history book but the information is still all there, it just comes in bits and pieces throughout the book.  Very good maps and pictures to aid one in studying geology in any region.


[1] Ancient Maya
Sharer, Robert J.; The Ancient Maya, Fifth Edition; University of Stanford Press, 1994.

[2] Ancient Kingdoms
Davies, Nigel; The Ancient Kingdoms of Mexico; Penguin Books, London, 1982.

[3] Ancient Mexico
Ekholm, Gordon F.; Ancient Mexico and Central America; The American Museum of Natural History, Dexter Press, West Nyack, New York, 1970.

[4] Atlas
Coe, Michael, Dean Snow, and Elizabeth Benson; Atlas of Ancient America; Facts on File, New York, 1986.

[5] Aztatlan
Barajas, Lourdes Gonzalez and Jose Carlos Beltran Medina; “La Tradicion Aztatlan;” UNIR, Ciencia, Tecnologia, Sociedad y Cultura; Revista Trimestral de Vinulacion de la Universidad Autonoma de Nayarit: www.uan.mx/uan/publicaciones/unir/no14/el.html; Volume 14, 2000.

[6] Barra
Lowe, Gareth W.; The Early Preclassic Barra Phase, A Review with New Data; Paper #38; New World Archaeological Foundation, BYU, Provo, 1975.

[7] Biology
Levine, Joseph S. and Kenneth R. Miller; Biology, Discovering Life; D.C. Heath and Company, Lexington, Massachusetts, 1991.

[8] Biology of Plants
Raven, Peter H., Ray F. Evert and Susan E. Eichhorn; Biology of Plants, Fifth Edition; Worth Publishers, 1992.

[9] BofM Evidences
Farnsworth, Dewey; Book of Mormon Evidences in Ancient America; Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1953.

[10] Bull Brook1
Byers, D.S.; Bull Brook – A Fluted Point Site in Ipswich, Massachusetts; Society for American Archaeology, American Antiquity, Vol. 19, No. 4, Salt Lake City, 1954.

[11] Bull Brook2
Byers, D.S.; Additional Information on the Bull Brook Site; Society for American Archaeology, American Antiquity, Vol. 20, No. 3, Salt Lake City, 1955.

[12] Casas Grandes
DiPeso, Charles C.; Casas Grandes, A Fallen Trading Center of the Gran Chichimeca, Volume 2; The Amerind Foundation, Northland Press, Flagstaff, Arizona, 1974.

[13] Chiapas #8
Lowe, Agrinier, Mason, Hicks, and Rozaire; Excavations at Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas, Mexico, Paper #8; New World Archaeological Foundation, BYU, Provo, 1960.

[14] Chiapas #9
Lowe, Agrinier, Mason, Hicks, and Rozaire; Excavations at Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas Mexico, Paper #9; New World Archaeological Foundation, BYU, Provo, 1960.

[15] Chiapas #10
Lowe, Agrinier, Mason, Hicks, and Rozaire; Excavations at Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas Mexico, Paper #10; New World Archaeological Foundation, BYU, Provo, 1960.

[16] Chiapas #12
Lowe, Agrinier, Mason, Hicks, and Rozaire; Excavations at Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas Mexico, Paper #12; New World Archaeological Foundation, BYU, Provo, 1960.

[17] Chiapas #13
Lowe, Agrinier, Mason, Hicks, and Rozaire; Excavations at Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas Mexico, Paper #13; New World Archaeological Foundation, BYU, Provo, 1960.

[18] Chiapas Artifacts
Lee, Thomas A.; Artifacts of Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas, Mexico, Paper #26; New World Archaeological Foundation, BYU, Provo, 1969.

[19] Chiapas Burials
Agrinier, Pierre and Gareth W. Lowe; The Archaeological Burials at Chiapa de Corzo and Their Furniture, Paper #16; New World Archaeological Foundation, BYU, Provo, 1964.

[20] Chiapas Excavations
Lowe, Agrinier, Mason, Hicks, and Rozaire; Excavations at Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas, Mexico; Paper # 13; New World Archaeological Foundation, BYU, Provo, 1960.

[21] Colima
Messmacher, Miguel; Colima; Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia de la Secretaria de Educacion Publica, Mexico, 1966.

[22] Cowdery
Cowdery, Oliver; Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, July 1835. Reprinted in The Times and Seasons 2; 1841, pg. 379 and also The Improvement Era 2; 1899, pg. 729-734 (See Sorenson pg. 372).

[23] Dixie
Larson, Andrew Karl; I Was Called to Dixie, The Virgin River Basin: Unique Experiences in Mormon Pioneering; The Dixie College Foundation, St. George, Utah, 1961.

[24] Diffusion
Ford, James A.; A Comparison of Formative Cultures in the Americas, Diffusion or the Psychic Unity of Man; Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, 1969.

[25] Early Bronze
Hennessy, J.B.; The Foreign Relations of Palestine during the Early Bronze; Colt Archaeological Institute, Bernard Quaritch, 1967.

[26] Earth
Hamblin, W. Kenneth and Eric H. Christiansen; Earth’s Dynamics Systems, 7th Edition; Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1995.

[27] Evidences
Yorgason, Brenton G.; Little Known Evidences of the Book of Mormon; Covenant Communications, American Fork, Utah, 1989.

[28] Evolution
Strickberger, Monroe W.; Evolution, Second Edition; Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 1996.

[29] Fielding
Smith, Joseph Fielding; “Where is the Hill Cumorah?” The Church News, Sept 10, 1938 (See Sorenson pg. 388-389).

[30] Fossil Snakes
Holman, J. Alan; Fossil Snakes of North America, Origin, Evolution, Distribution, Paleoecology; Indiana University Press, 2000.

[31] Geology
Hamblin, W. Kenneth; Introduction to Physical Geology, 2nd Edition; Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, 1994.

[32] Gods and Symbols
Miller, Mary and Karl Taube; An Illustrated Dictionary of The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya; Thames and Hudson Ltd., London, 1993.

[33] Grolier
The 1997 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia; Grolier Interactive, Inc.; Grolier Incorporated, 1997.

[34] Hancock
Hancock, Mosiah Lyman, Autobiography; The Life Story of Mosiah Hancock; mimeographed volume, BYU Library, 1844 (See Sorenson pg. 376).

[35] Ice Age
Sutcliffe, Anthony J.; On the Track of Ice Age Mammals; British Museum (Natural History), London, England, 1985.

[36] Israel
Bright, John; A History of Israel, 3rd Edition; Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1981.

[37] Kelley
Kelley, J. Charles and Carroll L. Riley; The North Mexican Frontier, Readings in Archaeology, Ethnohistory, and Ethnography; edited by Basil C. Hedrick; Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 1971.

[38] La Quemada
Nelson, Ben A.; “Chronology and Stratigraphy at La Quemada, Zacatecas, Mexico;” Journal of Field Archaeology; Volume 24, pg. 85-109, 1997.

[39] Maya
Coe, Michael D.; The Maya, 6th Edition; Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, 1999.

[40] Mayas
Hines, Richard; Washington State University Website; Webpage on the Mayas written by Richard Hines: www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/CIVAMRCA/MAYAS.HTM; 1999.

[41] Mediterranean
Trump, D.H.; “The Prehistory of the Mediterranean”; Yale University Press, 1980.

[42] Mexican History
Meyer, Michael C. and William L. Sherman; The Course of Mexican History, Fifth Edition; Oxford University Press, New York, 1995.

[43] Mexico
Coe, Michael D.; Mexico, From the Olmecs to the Aztecs, 4th Edition; Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, 1994.

[44] McGraw-Hill
McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, 8th Edition; Volume 15, “Radiocarbon Dating”; McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1997.

[45] Mokaya
Clark, John E. and Michael Blake; “Los Mokayas”; La Poblacion Indigena de Chiapas; compiled by Victor Manuel Esponda; Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas, 1993.

[46] Morelos
Hirth, Kenneth and Jorge Angulo Villasenor; “Early State Expansion in Central Mexico: Teotihuacan in Morelos;” Journal of Field Archaeology; Volume 8, pg. 135-150, 1981.

[47] Mortuary Practices
Ravesloot, John C.; Mortuary Practices and Social Differentiation at Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico; University of Arizona Press, Tuscon, Arizona, 1988.

[48] Mysteries
Mysteries of the Ancient Americas, The New World before Columbus; Readers Digest, Pleasantville, New York 1986.

[49] Neolithic
Singh, Purushottam; “Neolithic Cultures of Western Asia”; Seminar Press, 1974.

[50] Noble
Noble, C.S. and J.J. Naughton; Science; Volume ??; “Deep-Ocean Basalts: Inert Gas Content and Uncertainties in Age Dating”; ??.

[51] North America A-1
Bally, A.W., C.R. Scotese and M.I. Ross; Chapter 1, “North America; Plate-tectonic setting and tectonic elements”; The Geology of North America, Volume A, The Geology of North America—An overview; Geological Society of America, 1989.

[52] North America A-9
Zoltan de Cserna; Chapter 9, “An outline of the geology of Mexico”; The Geology of North America, Volume A, The Geology of North America—An overview; Geological Society of America, 1989.

[53] North America A-11
Donnelly, Thomas W.; Chapter 11, “Geologic history of the Caribbean and Central America”; The Geology of North America, Volume A, The Geology of North America—An overview; Geological Society of America, 1989.

[54] People
Fagan, Brian M.; People of the Earth, An Introduction to World Prehistory, Eighth Edition; HarperCollins College Publishers, New York, 1995.

[55] Pratt
Pratt, Orson; Millenial Star; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, June 16, 1866 (See Sorenson pg. 378-379).

[56] Prehistory
Jennings, Jesse D.; Prehistory of North America, 3rd Edition; Mayfield Publishing Company, California, 1989.

[57] River
CH2MHill, and JE Fuller/Hydrology & Geomorphology, Inc.; River Stability Study, Virgin River, Santa Clara River, and Fort Pierce Wash, Vicinity of St. George, Utah; City of St. George, December 1996.

[58] Scientific America
Wong, Kate and Olga Soffer; The Caveman’s New Clothes, From What They Wore to How They Hunted: Overturning the Threadbare Reconstruction of Ice Age Cultures; Scientific America, November 2000, pg. 32-34.

[59] Sierra Madre
Jackson, Donald Dale and Peter Wood; The Sierra Madre, the American Wilderness; Time Life Books, New York; Time, Inc., 1975.

[60] Sorenson
Sorenson, John L.; The Geography of Book of Mormon Events: A Source Book; The Foundation for Ancient Research & Mormon Studies (FARMS), Provo, 1992.

[61] SW Indians
Barnes, F.A. and Michaelene Pendleton; Canyon Country Prehistoric Indians, Their Cultures, Ruins, Artifacts and Rock Art; Wasatch Publishers, Salt Lake City, 1979.

[62] Talmage
Talmage, James E.; Articles of Faith; Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, 1984.

[63] Teotihuacan
Pettennude, Paul E.; Teotihuacan; INAH, website: copan.bioz.unibas.ch/meso/teotihuacan.txt, 1998.

[64] T&S
Smith, Joseph or John Taylor; Times and Seasons; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Nauvoo, 1839-1844.

[65] TJS
Smith, Joseph Fielding; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith; Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, 1976.

[66] Toltecs
Healan, Dan M.; Tula of the Toltecs: Excavations and Survey; University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, 1989.

[67] Tula
Diehl, Richard A.; Tula, The Toltec Capital of Ancient Mexico; Thames and Hudson, London, 1983.

[68] Underfoot
Sharp, Robert P. and Allen F. Glazner; Geologu Underfoot in Southern California; Mountain Press Publishing Company, Missoula, Montana, 1993.

[69] USGS
USGS Website on Volcanoes and Volcanics of North America: www.vulcan.wr.usgs.gov; See sections on “Index to Volcanoes of the World” and “America’s Volcanic Past, National Parks and Monuments”; 2001.

[70] Utah
Hintze, Lehi F.; Geologic History of Utah; Brigham Young University, Provo, 1988.

[71] Warfare
LeBlanc, Steven A.; Prehistoric Warfare in the American Southwest; The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, 1999.

[72] World Book
Hay, William W.; “Special Report- Atmospheric Science: Probing the History of Climate Change”; Science Year 2001, The World Book Annual Science Supplement, A Review of Science and Technology During the 2000 School Year Pages 42-55; World Book, Inc., Chicago, 2000.

[73] Zacatecas
Paper by the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (INAH) in Mexico on the site of Alta Vista in Zacatecas: www.logicnet.com.mx/~zac450/chalch_i.html; 1998.

[74] Zapotec
Flannery, Kent V. and Joyce Marcus; Zapotec Civilization, How Urban Society Evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley; Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, 1996.

[75] Zoology
Hickman, Cleveland P., Jr.; Roberts, Larry S.; and Larson, Allan; “Integrated Principles of Zoology, Ninth Edition”; Mosby-Year Book, 1993.

[[72]] Evolution pg. 461 [[72]][[73]] Genesis 11:1–9; Ether 1:5, 33 [[73]][[74]] Evolution pg. 461 [[74]][[75]] Ether 1:33, 6:16 [[75]][[76]] Prehistory pg. 61-64
” The PaleoIndians represented in the Western sites are broken into three sequent groups that are given culture names. The earliest is the Clovis, next comes the Folsom, and the latest is the Plano. Several slightly later Eastern complexes can be correlated, on topologic grounds, with the Clovis and Folsom divisions, and the Plano is represented in some places.” [[76]][[77]] Ether 7:11 (7:1-9:1) [[77]][[78]] Prehistory pg. 82 (81-94, 100-104)
“Some of these speculations are reasonable. Proof of the mating network isolates is probably distant, but the evidence for a dynamic environment, where floral change was rapid and the accompanying faunal distribution was fluid is convincing. The absence of tundra would mean no huge migrating herds of caribou…Deberet and Vail, however, because of their extreme northern location, would probably still have been harvesting herd caribou. The shifting of recourses would lead to the suggested loose and fluid settlement pattern, or at least to a far ranging hunting pattern, possibly out of a base camp.” [[78]][[79]] Prehistory pg. 94-97 [[79]][[80]] ibid. [[80]][[81]] ibid. [[81]][[82]] Bull Brook1 pp. 343-51; Bull Brook2 pp. 274-76 [[82]][[83]] Prehistory pg. 94-97 [[83]][[84]] ibid. [[84]][[85]] ibid. [[85]][[86]] Ether 9:1–13 [[86]][[87]] Ether 9:17–19, 26 (14-29) [[87]][[88]] Prehistory pg. 104-113, 120-124 (81-113, 120-124) [[88]][[89]] ibid. [[89]][[90]] Ether 9:18 (underline added) [[90]][[91]] Prehistory pg. 104-113, 120-124 (81-113, 120-124); Grolier 1997, Bison
“Important data relevant to the Plainview-or at least to unfluted Folson-comes from the Bonfire Shelter location in the Armistad Reservoir in Texas. It is a cave location kill site with three sealed layers of bone. Two of the bone beds yielded bison. Bed 2 contained an extinct form, either Antiquus or Occidentails, and is radiocarbon dated at 10,250 B.P. Bed 3, dated at about 2800 B.P., of course contained modern bison. Plainview or Midland and Folsom points were recovered from bed 2. This location is an important one, in that it extends the range of two or three diagnostic projectile types much farther south.
There are several named complexes and cultures to be described, but the shared criteria are simple and well known. The stage began when the most available big game was a series of now-extinct species: mammoth, long-horned bison, camel, and horse.
At both sites Clovis fluted points were in directs association with mammoth remains. At Lehener other extinct creatures- horse, bison, and tapir- were represented.
Southeast Arizona may come to be known as “mammoth country” in view of two other locations, Murray Springs and Escapule, quite near the Lehener-Naco sites. At Murray Springs recent sediments sealed parts of two mammoth along with extinct bison, horse, camel, and wolf.” [[91]][[92]] Prehistory pg. 104-113, 120-124 (81-113, 120-124) [[92]][[93]] Prehistory pg. 104-113, 120-124 (81-113, 120-124); Zoology 1993 pg. 761 [[93]][[94]] Prehistory pg. 104-113, 120-124 (81-113, 120-124)
“Important data relevant to the Plainview-or at least to unfluted Folson-comes from the Bonfire Shelter location in the Armistad Reservoir in Texas. It is a cave location kill site with three sealed layers of bone. Two of the bone beds yielded bison. Bed 2 contained an extinct form, either Antiquus or Occidentails, and is radiocarbon dated at 10,250 B.P. Bed 3, dated at about 2800 B.P., of course contained modern bison. Plainview or Midland and Folsom points were recovered from bed 2. This location is an important one, in that it extends the range of two or three diagnostic projectile types much farther south.
There are several named complexes and cultures to be described, but the shared criteria are simple and well known. The stage began when the most available big game was a series of now-extinct species: mammoth, long-horned bison, camel, and horse.
At both sites Clovis fluted points were in directs association with mammoth remains. At Lehener other extinct creatures- horse, bison, and tapir- were represented.
Southeast Arizona may come to be known as “mammoth country” in view of two other locations, Murray Springs and Escapule, quite near the Lehener-Naco sites. At Murray Springs recent sediments sealed parts of two mammoth along with extinct bison, horse, camel, and wolf.” [[94]][[95]] Prehistory pg. 104-113, 120-124 (81-113, 120-124)
“At the earlier sites perishable items were largely missing. Bones of the basic focal prey, if there were any, were not preserved, and the was no hint of vegetable foods. However, an early study of PaleoIndian sites in the southern Plains mentions the finding of seeds and evidence of storage.
The full list of species, presumably food sources, from both excavated sites and caves is almost endless. It includes large mammals such as deer, elk, and black bear and smaller ones such as woodchuck, beaver, and porcupine. Turkey, trumpeter swan, and ruffled grouse were common, as were box turtle and catfish. Vegetal foods included several species of nuts and the edible seed grasses.” [[95]][[96]] Scientific America pg. 32-34 [[96]][[97]] Prehistory pg. 104-113, 120-124 (81-113, 120-124)
“There have been scattered reports of mastodon and artifact associations east of the Plains, but the data have been inadequate or flawed in one way or another so that none have bee fully accepted.”
Zapotec pg. 41-48: “Two of the more exciting kill sites of this era were found at Santa Isabel Iztapan in the Basin of Mexico. The animals butchered were imperial mammoths, Pleistocene elephants native to the New World but extinct since the Ice Age. Both mammoths had either been chased into the muck around the edge of a Pleistocene lake, or had become mired there on their own, reducing their mobility and allowing the hunters to spear them.
The deepest four levels of that cave were “living floors” from a series of camps, probably made between 12,000 and 9000 BC The campers, belonging to a period known as Early Ajuereado, had left behind 1200 identifiable bones from fifteen species of mammals, reptiles, and birds. There were remains of extinct Pleistocene horse; pronghorn antelope, red fox, and Texas gopher tortoise, none of which live in the area today; more than 700 bones of rabbits; and abundant smaller species such as skunk, ground squirrel, wood rat, quail, and others. Not a single mammoth bone was found.” [[97]][[98]] Ice Age pg. 179-180 [[98]][[99]] Prehistory pg. 58-59; World Book pg. 42-55; Diffusion pg. 6
“Mention of mega fauna always raises the question of extinction. Why are there no mega fauna left? This reasonable query remains unanswered, but it has been the subject of much speculation. One favorite commonsense explanation is that changing climates and vegetation altered the regional ecology so greatly that the habitat no longer favored several species. Reduction or disappearance of the late Wisconsin precipitation would have rapidly reduced the amount of coarse grasses and reeds available for the bands of Pleistocene elephant (mammoth). That species could not adapt to a plains or desert ecobase; evidently the elephant population dwindled and disappeared in the West by about 11,200 B.P. The long-horned bison held on longer, but they, too, were gone by about 9500-9000 B.P.
Another explanation is again a biological one. In the face of the postulated worsening climate and result increased stress the elephants may have dropped below the critical biological mass. In this view a deteriorating environment would endure the disappearance of the species at a very rapid rate because it would lead to a minus birth rate. Disease has also been invoked as a cause. But the perennial favorite is that perennial favorite is that the human hunter, history’s most efficient predator, administered the coup de grace in a phenomenon called overkill. This means merely that regardless of environment the kill rate exceeded the regenerative capacity of the species. If all or some of the other causes cited above were operative, the overkill toll exerted could well have been the final push to extinction.” [[99]][[100]] Prehistory pg. 58-59
“Mention of mega fauna always raises the question of extinction. Why are there no mega fauna left? This reasonable query remains unanswered, but it has been the subject of much speculation. One favorite commonsense explanation is that changing climates and vegetation altered the regional ecology so greatly that the habitat no longer favored several species. Reduction or disappearance of the late Wisconsin precipitation would have rapidly reduced the amount of coarse grasses and reeds available for the bands of Pleistocene elephant (mammoth). That species could not adapt to a plains or desert ecobase; evidently the elephant population dwindled and disappeared in the West by about 11,200 B.P. The long-horned bison held on longer, but they, too, were gone by about 9500-9000 B.P.
Another explanation is again a biological one. In the face of the postulated worsening climate and result increased stress the elephants may have dropped below the critical biological mass. In this view a deteriorating environment would endure the disappearance of the species at a very rapid rate because it would lead to a minus birth rate. Disease has also been invoked as a cause. But the perennial favorite is that perennial favorite is that the human hunter, history’s most efficient predator, administered the coup de grace in a phenomenon called overkill. This means merely that regardless of environment the kill rate exceeded the regenerative capacity of the species. If all or some of the other causes cited above were operative, the overkill toll exerted could well have been the final push to extinction.” [[100]][[101]] Fossil Snakes pg. 1, 311-313 [[101]][[102]] Ether 9:30–35 [[102]][[103]] Ether 10:25 [[103]][[104]] Prehistory pg. 124-193 [[104]][[105]] Prehistory pg. 124-193 [[105]][[106]] ibid. [[106]][[107]] ibid. [[107]][[108]] Ether 10:19–20 [[108]][[109]] Zapotec pg. 49-63
“Lewis Binford has suggested that most hunting-gathering societies occupy a position along a continuum from “foraging” to “collecting”. Foragers, the most mobile, travel to where the food is, and their pattern of settlement becomes dispersed or aggregated as resources become dispersed or aggregated.
At certain times, however, these dispersed family bands came together to form larger “macroband” camps of 15-25 persons. Since the antelopes and jackrabbits of the late Ice Age were no longer abundant, these larger camps were not made for communal hunting drives. Instead, they were made for harvesting seasonally abundant plants found in the denser post-Pleistone vegetation.” [[109]][[110]] Ether 10:23 [[110]][[111]] Prehistory pg. 124-193 [[111]][[112]] Ether 10:24 [[112]][[113]] Prehistory pg. 124-193 [[113]][[114]] Ether 10:25 [[114]][[115]] Prehistory pg. 124-193 [[115]][[116]] Ether 10:27 [[116]][[117]] Prehistory pg. 124-193 [[117]][[118]] Helaman 3:5–7, 9–10 [[118]][[119]] Prehistory pg. 124-193; Mysteries pg. 256 [[119]][[120]] Alma 37:21–32; Ether 8:18–21 [[120]][[121]] Ether 15:7–11 (7-32); Hancock pg. 28; Cowdery pg. 158-159; Pratt pg. 390-394; Fielding, Sept 10, 1938 [[121]][[122]] Prehistory pg. 141, 143
“The best known and last of the northeastern Archaic phases is the Orient. The Orient also had limited distribution in New Jersey, Long Island, upstate New York, and Massachusetts. Because the known sites are mostly cemetery locations, little is known of the day-to-day life. The burials were cremated, as in some other northeastern Archaic cultures, so the grave goods are the only source of information. The graves were deep pits sprinkled with red ocher. Grave goods included distinct, “fish-tailed” points, defaced and killed steatite bowls, and gorgets.” [[122]][[123]] Ether 13:15- Ether 15:34 [[123]][[124]] Prehistory pg. 141, 143, ibid. [[124]][[125]] Prehistory pg. 141, 143, 173, 340
“In western California, there was evidently a much greater concern with the dead. Many were buried in mounds, others in extensive cemeteries. An analysis of the grave goods of these many cemeteries has led some scholars to suggest that there was in California a social complexity quite unlike the simple egalitarian societies usually posited for most of the western Arachaic and quite at variance with the simple and relatively stable technology the archaeology reveals.
Burial, Bundle: Reburial of defleshed and disarticulated bones tied or wrapped together in a bundle.” [[125]][[126]] Omni 1:21–22; Mosiah 8:7–11, 21:26-27; Alma 22:30 [[126]][[127]] Talmage pg. 456-457 quoting G. Elliot Smith; Science; vol. 44, pp. 190-195; August 11, 1916 [[127]][[128]] Talmage pg. 456-457 [[128]][[129]] Groleir 1997 “Indians, American (II)”; Diffusion pg. 5 [[129]][[130]] TJS 1976 pg. 267
SAME AS NOTE 3 ABOVE [[130]][[131]] Diffusion chart 12, 13 (12-22) [[131]][[132]] TJS pg. 266-267 quoting Stephens, John Lloyd; Incidents of Travel in Central America; 1841 [[132]][[133]] Mokaya pg. 35; Diffusion pg. 3-4, and chart 12, 13 (12-22); Tula pg. 21-22
Zapotec pg. 67-69: “Some time between 1900 and 1400 BC, the Indians of the Tehuacan and Oaxaca Valleys began to make undecorated buff-to-brown pottery in a few simple shapes: hemispherical bowls, globular jars with necks, globular jars without necks. Most of the shapes look like pottery imitations of gourd vessels.”
Mexico pg. 41-58: “In the late nineteenth century, there was really no idea at all of the sequence of developmental in pre-Spanish Mexico. Of course, everyone knew perfectly well that the Aztecs were quite late, and that the Aztecs had spoken of an earlier people called the Toltecs. There was also a vague feeling that the great ruins fo Teotihuacan were somehow the products of an even earlier people- but that was about all. Imagine the delight, then, of Mexican antiquarians when there began to appear in their collections little hadmade clay figurines, of naive and amusing style totally removed from that of the moldmade products of later peoples in the Valley of Mexico. Most astonishing was their obvious antiuity, for some had been recovered from deposits underlying the Pedregal, the lava covering much of the southwestern part of the Valley. Scholars, prone to labels, immediately named the culture which had produced the figurines and the very abundant pottery associated with it ‘Archaic,’ and in 1911 and 1912 Manuel Gamio demonstrated stratigraphically that the central Mexican sequence runs from earliest to latest: ‘Archaic,’ Teotihuacan, Aztec.”
Maya pg. 46-49: “From a technological point of view, the most signifcant innovation was the invention or introduction of pottery, which appears at the beginning of the Barra phase at about 1800 BC. Although Barra ceramics may well be the oldest in Mesoamerica, they are remarkable sophistication and beauty. They largely consist of thin-walled, neckless jars (called tecomates by archaeologists), the remainder comprising deep bowls. Vessel sufaces include monchomes, bichroms, and trichomes, and have been manipultaed by the potter by grooving, incising, and modeling
As Clark and Blake make clear, these were not mere cooking vessels; based on forms and decoration of gourd prototypes, they wer more likely containers for liquids and foods used during rituals. Then how did they cook? Quantities of fire-cracked rock indicate that the technique was stone-boiling: rocks were heated, then dropped into water contained in water-proofed baskets.” [[133]][[134]] 71-75; Diffusion pg. 3-4; Chiapas Artifacts pg. 192; Tula pg. 21-22
Zapotec pg. 71-75: “Agriculture may have begun simply as one of a number of Archaic strategies, designed to give foragers more kilograms of food with less travel and harvest time. Eventually, however, selection led to domestic varieties of squash that were larger, produced more seeds, and had good-tasting flesh. It also led to beans that had larger and more water-soluble seeds, as well as tough, limp pods- much easier to harvest than the explosive, corkscrew pods of the wild bean, which can shatter to contact and scatter the seeds.
Eventually agriculture became an almost irreversible process, since the newly created domestic races could not survive without human assistance, and the humans in turn were beginning to rely more and more on the domestic races. In time, the increased effort put into agriculture took time away from the collecting of certain wild plants. As the use of squash and beans increased near Guila Naquitz, for example, the use of mesquite pods also increased, while the use of acorns, pinon nuts, susi nuts, and hackberry declined.
Of all of Mexico’s Archaic crops, however, none had a greater impact than maize or Indian corn (Zea mays). From its humble beginning as a wild grass with hard-to-process and relatively unappetizing seeds, maize was eventually transformed into the staple crop of Mexican civilization.”
Mexico pg. 38, 41-58: “The revived dispute has been largely settled. The Tehuacan cobs were those of pod corn, and archaeological and botanic evidence shows that annual teosinte never could have been their progenitor. On the other hand, perennial teosinte must have crossed at a very early date with pod corn to produce annual teosinte and perhaps the ancestral forms of domestic maize. The controversy, nevertheless, may be of more intrest to plant geneticists than to students of ancient Mexican culture, for the important point to remember is the world’s most productive domesticated plant had now come under human control; the process of domestication, in MacNeish’s present way of thinking, took place somewhere in the Puebla-Oaxaca region during 7000 to 5000 BC time period.
By the following San Jose phase (1300-1200 BC), San Jose Mogote, located in the Elta arm of the Valley 6 1/4 miles northwest of Monte Alban, had grown into a village of 80 to 120 households covering about 50 acres, with an estimated population of 400 to 600 persons. Carbonized seeds recovered by the flotation method show that a number of crops were raised, probably on the high alluvium: maize, chilie peppers, squashes, and possibley the avocado (although this may have been traded in from the lowlands). Our old friend teosinte grew in cornfields and crossed with local maize, either by accident or design.”
Maya pg. 46-49: “The Early Preclassic begins in Soconusco about 1800 BC, and is marked by profound changes in settlement pattern, susistence, technology, and even society. During this period, which lasted until about 1000 BC, settlements were located further inland, and consisted of real villages, occupied throuhout the year. Significantly, they wer placed next to a series of bajos- old stream channels or oxbow lakes- which flooded during the rainy season. As they dried up, fish became concentrated in these and could be easily taken; at the height of the dry season, as archaeologists John Clark and Micheal Blake have noted, the bajos could have served as sunken fields for agriculture, as they retained enough moisture for a third corn crop to be raised in addition to the two that are normal for the Soconusco plain.
What crop or crops were being grown to support these developments? Maize cobs are found in Soconusco sites beginning about 1700 BC, but these are from small and not very productive ears; further, carbon pathway analysis of human skeletal material has shown that maize was not very important in the diet of these Early Preclassic villagers. Gareth Lowe, of the New World Archaelological Foundation, and myself once speculated that they might have been relying on manioc or cassava, an ancient root cap of the New World tropics, rather than maize, but the evidence for this remains elusive, and the case is unproven.” [[134]][[135]] Mediterranean pg. 65; Neolithic pg. 42-44
Zapotec pg. 71-75: “On the site chosen for the village, individual families built houses for themselves. These houses were made of pine posts brought down from the mountains, and had roofs thatched with reeds or grasses. The walls were constructed of bundles of canes lashed together, then plastered over with clay in the architectural style called “wattle-and-daub.” Over the simple, stamped-earth floor went a layer of river sand to provide a dry surface, and perhaps a reed mat or two to sleep on. Near the house, each family dug storage pits for its harvested maize. Larger than the pits seen at Guila Naquitz, these storage units could have held up to a metric ton on shelled corn, or a year’s supply for a family of 4-5.”
Mexico pg. 41-58: “Houses were rectangular and about 20 ft (6 m) long, with slightly sunken floors of clay covered with river sand. The sides of vertical canes between wooden posts, and were daubed with mud, and white-washed; roofs were thatched.
Food stoarge was probably the main function of the bell-shaped pits which here, as elsewhere in Preclassic Mesoamerica, are associated with household clusters. Many could have held a metric ton of maize, and if capped with a flat rock, might have inhibibted insect growth through the lack of oxygen. As they ‘soured’ or otherwise lost their usefulness for preservation of household items and implements, or for refuse disposal, or even as burial places.
Settled by about 1300 BC, Tlatilco was a very large village (or small town) sprawling over about 160 acres. Located to the west of the great lake on a small stream, it was not very far removed from the lakeshore where fishing and the snaring of birds could be pursued. In the Tlatilco refuse are aramdillo, opossum, wild turkey, bears, frogs, rabbits, fish, ducks, and turtles. Conspicuously present in those parts of the site actually excavated by archaeologists were the outlines of underground, bell-shaped pits. They were filled with dark earth, charcoal, ashes, figurine and pottery fragments, animal bones, and lumps of burned clay from the walls fo pole-and-thatch houses; as in Oaxaca, they must have served originally for the storage of grain belonging to various households.” [[135]][[136]] ; Zapotec pg. 71-75; Chiapas Burials; Mediterranean pg. 65; Neolithic pg. 42-44
Mexico pg. 41-58: “No less than 340 burials were uncovered by archaeologists at Tlatilco, but there must have been many hundreds more destroyed by brickworkers (sometimes at the instigation of unscrupulous collectors). All these were extended skeletons accompanied by the most lavish offerings, especially by figurines which only rarely appear as buiral furniture in Preclassic Mexico.” [[136]][[137]] Omni 1:14–17 [[137]][[138]]Zapotec pg. 71-75
“While the Early Archaic occupants of the Valley of Oaxaca did not lie ate the extreme of either continuum, they can be described as “foragers” because they changed residence several times during the year, traveling to where the recourses were most abundant. They also spent parts of the years in “microbands” of 4-6 persons, made up of both men and women. These small groups were probably analogous to the family collecting bands of the Paiute and Shoshone Indians of the western United States, who accepted the risk at the family level.
At certain times, however, these dispersed family bands came together to form larger “macroband” camps of 15-25 persons. Since the antelopes and jackrabbits of the late Ice Age were no longer abundant, these larger camps were not made for communal hunting drives. Instead, they were made fro harvesting seasonally abundant plants found in the denser post-Pleistoncene vegetation.”
Mexico pg. 45-46: “Survey and excavations carried out by the Michigan archaeologists have identified 17 permanent settlements of the Tierras Largas phase (1600-1300 BC), but almost all of these are little more than hamlets of ten or fewer households; the largest settlement in the Valley of Oaxaca at that time was San Jose Mogote, which ranked as a small village of about 150 persons, sharing a lime-plastered public building. The villagers grew maize and cultivated avacados, collected wild plant foods, and hunted deer, cottontail rabbits, and other game.”

[139] Diffusion pg. 1-5; Mokaya pg. 34-35; Barra pg. 9-10, 21, 29, 33; Ancient Maya pg. 54
Mexico pg. 50: “There was great excitment in archaeological circles when the Tlatilco complex came to light, for something resembling it was already known elsewhere- thousands of miles to the south, in Peru. There also, in the very earliest civilization of the South American continent, the Chavin culture, were found such odd pottery shapes as stirrup spouts and long-necked bottles, associated with unusual techniques like rocker-samping and red-filled excising, as well as roller seals, figurines of Mexican appearance and split-face dualism. A chance resemblance or not?
Early editions of this book leaned heavily toward the idea, reminiscent of the old Spinden hypothosis, that such resemblances were the result of Mexican intrusion on the north coast of Peru, but this now seems unlikely. There is an overwhelming body of evidence which points to an indepnedent evolution of ceremonial architecture, art, and therefore civilization in Peru. Further, if there were intercontinental diffusion at such and early time, it might well have been cultural spread to both areas from the lowland Pacific coastal area of Ecuador, where such indications of settled life as large villages, ceramics, and maize agriculture extend back beyond 3000 BC. Two finds in western Mexico suggest that such was the case. At the site of Capacha, in Colima, Isabel Kelly unearthed grave goods dating to about 450 BC which emphasize pottery bottles and stirrup spouts, and which unmistakably point to an Equadorian origin; and an elaborate tomb in El Openo, in Michoacan, has very similar ceramics with a radiocarbon date of about 1300 BC.”

[140] 2 Nephi 5:1–8 [[138]][[141]] 2 Nephi 5:9–34, Jacob 1:1–14; Enos 1:13–24; Jarom 1:6–14; Omni 1:1–11 [[141]][[142]] Chiapas Artifacts pg. 192; Mokaya pg. 40 [[142]][[143]] There are various quotes in the Times and Seasons, typically associated with the book Stephen’s Incidents in Travels in Central America, which credit the raise of civilization in Mesoamerica to the Nephites and from there to North America (see also Sorenson pg. 371-390). [[143]][[144]] Chiapas Excavations pg. 1-4 [[144]][[145]] Diffusion chart 10, 15, 17-19, 21-23; Grolier, Indians, American (II)
Mexico pg. 50: “On the other hand, it is certain that domestic maize was transmitted to Peru from the north, and only a few South American specialists are opposed to the idea that Early Formative (Preclassic) incongraphy- focused upon the awesome images of the jaguar, cayman, and harpy eagle- was shared through diffusion between the two ideas. It must be admitted, however, that the conlusive evidence bearing on this most important problem of long-range diffusion in the hemisphere has yet to be gathered.
No mention has yet been made of another curious element in the burial offerings of Tlatilco, namely, the distinct presence of a strange art style known to have originated at the same time in the swampy jungles of the Gulf Coast. This style, called ‘Olmec,’ was produced by the first civilization of Mesoamerica, and its weird inconoraphy which often combined the lineaments of a snarling jaguar with that of a baby is unmistakably apparent in many of the figurines and in much of the pottery. The great expert on the pre-Spanish art of Mexico, Miguel Covarrubias, reasoned that the obviously greater wealth and social superiority of the Tlatilco people over their more simple contemporaries in the Valley of Mexico were the result of an influx of Olmec arstocrats from the eastern lowlands. This may possibly have been so, but it is equally that these villagers were a favorably placed people under heavy influence from ‘missionaries’ spreading the Olmec faith, without a necessary movement of populations.” [[145]][[146]] 2 Nephi 5:34 (21-25, 34) ; Jacob 7:24; Enos 1:20; Jarom 1:6–9 [[146]][[147]] Mokaya pg. 25-45; Barra pg. 10
Maya pg. 46-49: “If conditions before 1000 BC were less than optimum for the spread fo effective village farming except for the Pacific littoral, in the following centuries the reverse must have been true. Heavy populations, all with pottery and most of them probably Mayan-speaking, began to establish themselves in both highlands and lowlands during the Middle Preclassic period, which lasted until about 300 BC. In only one instance do we have the remains suggesting that these were anything more than simple peasants: there was no writing, little that could be called architecture, and hardly any development of art. In fact, nothing but a rapidly mounting population would make us think that the Maya in this period were much different from their immediate ancestors.” [[147]][[148]] 2 Nephi 5:21–25; Enos 1:20; Jarom 1:6 [[148]][[149]] Mokaya pg. 25-45; Barra pg. 10
Maya pg. 46-49: (SAME AS NOTE 147 ABOVE) [[149]][[150]] Mokaya pg. 25-45; Barra pg. 10
Maya pg. 46-49: (SAME AS NOTE 147 ABOVE)
“Numerous shell middens located in the mangrove-lined estuaries seem to represent seasonal occupation by somewhat mobile, non-farming groups that largely subsisted upon hunting and fishing.” [[150]][[151]] Mokaya pg. 25-45; Barra pg. 10
Maya pg. 46-49: [[151]][[152]] Mokaya pg. 25-45; Barra pg. 10
Maya pg. 46-49: ” [[152]][[153]] 2 Nephi 5:34 (21-25, 34) ; Jacob 7:24; Enos 1:20; Jarom 1:6–9 [[153]][[154]] Gods and Symbols pg. 59-60, 111-112, 183-184 [[154]][[155]] Enos 1:20; Jarom 1:6–9 [[155]][[156]] Mokaya pg. 25-45; Barra pg. 10
Maya pg. 46-49: [[156]][[157]] 2 Nephi 5:34 (21-25, 34) ; Jacob 7:24; Enos 1:20; Jarom 1:6–9 [[157]][[158]] Mokaya pg. 25-45; Barra pg. 10
Maya pg. 46-49: “Barra also marks the beginning of fired clay figurens in Mesoamerica, a tradition that was to continue throughout the Preclassic. These objects, generally feamle, were made by the thousands in many later Preclassic villages of both Mexio and the Maya area, while nobody is exactly sure of their meaning, it is genneraly thought that they had something to do with the fertility of crops, in much the same way as did the Mother Goddess figurines of Neolithic and Bronze Age Europe.” [[158]][[159]] Omni 1:12–19; Mosiah 2:1–8 [[159]][[160]] Chiapas Artifacts pg. 192; Tula pg. 22
Zapotec pg. 92: “When discovered intact, the aforementioned pits were filled with powdered lime, perhaps stored for use with a ritual plant such as wild tobacco, jimson weed, or morning glory. At the time of the Spanish Conquest, both the Zapotec and the Mixtec used wild tobacco mixed with lime during their rituals. The Zapotec belived that it had curative powers and could increase physical strength, making it an appropriate drug to use before rituals.
We do not belive that anyone actually lived in these buildings, which were swept virtually clean. Thus they cannot be compared to buildings like the New Guinea katiam, where some senior males actually reside. We see them as limited access structures where a small number of fully initiated men could assemble to plan raids or hunts, carry out agricultural rituals, smoke or ingest sacred plants, and/or communicate with the spirits. While no bones or relics of the ancestors were found in these small white buildings, it is perhaps significant that two of our seated burials of middle-aged men found nearby.”
Mexico pg. 43-50: Survey and excavations carried out by the Michigan archaeologists have identified 17 permanent settlements of the Tierras Largas phase, but almost all of these are little more than hamlets of ten or fewer households; the largest settlement in the Valley of Oaxaca at the time was San Jose Mogote, which ranked as a small village of about 150 persons, sharing a lime-plastered public building. [[160]][[161]] Omni 1:12–13 [[161]][[162]] Chiapas #8 pg. 7, 13; Chiapas Burials pg. 66 [[162]][[163]] Chiapas #8 pg. 7-9; Chiapas Burials pg. 66-68; Chiapas Artifacts pg. 192 [[163]][[164]] Omni 1:27–30; Mosiah 9:1–9 [[164]][[165]] Chiapas #8 pg. 2-3, 7-9; Chiapas Burials pg. 66-68; Chiapas Artifacts pg. 193-194 [[165]][[166]] Mosiah 9-10 [[166]][[167]] Chiapa #8 pg. 2 [[167]][[168]] Mosiah 11:1–15 [[168]][[169]] Chiapas #10 pg. 5; Chiapas Burials pg. 66-68; Chiapas Artifacts pg. 192-194 [[169]][[170]] Mosiah 11, 19-20, 23:25-24:9 [[170]][[171]] Chiapas Burials pg. 68-71; Chiapas Artifacts pg. 192-194; Ancient Maya pg. 55-61;

Zapotec pg. 92: “Finally, we are struck by our current lack of evidence for similar public buildings on the Gulf Coast of southern Veracruz and Tabasco. Thirty years ago that coastal plain, sometimes referred to as the Olmec region, was labeled “precocious” in its social evolution. The last two decades have shown that view to be partly true, partly hyperbole, and partly the result of our previous ignorance of Chiapas and Oaxaca. There were indeed villages in the Olmec region between 1400 and 1200 BC, but their pottery has recently been described as a “country-cousin version” of the more sophisticated ceramics at contemporary sites on the Chiapas Coast.”
Mexico pg. 62: “In contradiction to this hypothesis, some compelling evidence has been advanced by the linguists Lyle Campbell and Terence Kaufman strongly suggesting that the Olmecs spoke an ancestral form of Mixe-Zoquean. There are a large number of Mixe-Zoquean loan words, such as pom (‘copan incense’), associated with high-status activities and ritual typical of early civilization. Although the dominant language of the Olmec area was until recently a form of Nahua, this is generally believed to be a relatively late arrival; on the other hand, Popoloca, a member of the Mixe-Zoquean family, is still spoken along the eastern slopes of the Tuxtla Mountains, in the very region from which the Olmec obtained the basalt for their monuments. Since the Olmec wer the great, early, culture-bearing force in Mesoamerica, the case for Mixe-Zoquean is very strong.”
Maya pg. 63: “Who might have they been? It will be remembered from Chapter 1 that the most likely candidate for the language of the Olmecs was an early form of Mixe-Zoquean; languages belonging to this group are still spoken on the Isthmus of Tehuantapec and in western Chiapas. Many scholars are now willing to ascribe the earliest Long Count monumnets outside the Maya area prope to Mixe-Zoquean as well, adn a recent dicovery in southern Veracruz may provide confirmation. This is Stela I from La Majarra, a magnificent monumnet inscribed with two Bak’tun 8 dates corresponding repectively to AD 143 and 156. These are accompanied by a text of about 400 signs, in a script which is now called “Isthmian.” [[171]][[172]] Mosiah 23:1–20 [[172]][[173]] Grolier, San Lorenzo; Zapotec pg. 92, 118
Mexico pg. 66-70: “San Lorenzo had first been settled about 1700 BC, perhaps by Mixe-Zoqueans from Soconusco, but by 1500 BC had become thoroughly Olmec. At its height, some of the most magnificent and awe-inspiring sculptures ever discovered in Mexico were fashioned without the benefit of metal tools.
In his work at San Lorenzo, Stirling had encoutered trough-shaped basalt stones which he hypothesized were fitted end-to-end to form a kind of aqueduct. In 1997, we acutally came across and excavated such a system in situ. This deeply buried drain line was in the southwestern portion of the site, and consisted of 560 ft of laboriously pecked-out stone troughs fitted with basalt covers; three subsidiary lines met it from above at intervals. We have reason to believe that a drain system symmetrical to this exists on the southeastern side of San Lorenzo, and that both served periodically to remove the water from cermonial pools on the surface of the plateau. Evidence fro drains has been found at other Olmec centers, such as La Venta and Laguna de los Cerros, and must have been a feature of Olmec ritual life.”

[174] Mosiah 24:8–15 [[173]][[175]] Mexico pg. 66-70; Zapotec pg. 118-119; Ancient Maya pg. 57 [[175]][[176]] Mosiah 24:1–7; Alma 21:1–2 (1-13) [[176]][[177]] Mokaya pg. 38-43; Mexico 60-81
Maya pg. 55: “In the southeastern corner of the Central Area, the pioneers who first settled in the rich valley surrounding the ancient city of Copan had other roots. Towards the end of the Early Preclassic, village cultures all along the Pacific littoral as far as El Salvador had become “Olmec-ized,” a tradition that was to continue into the Middle Preclassic, and that was to be manifested in carved ceramics of Olmec type and even in Olmec stone monuments. This Olmec-like wave even penetrated the Copan Valley, during the Middle Preclassic Uir phase (900-400 BC), with the sudden appearance of pottery bowls incised and carved with such Olmec motifs as the paw-wing and the so-called “flame-eyebrows.” In a deep layer of an outlying suburb of teh Classic city, William Fash discovered a Uir phase burial accompanied by Olmecoid ceramics, 9 polished stone cells, and over 300 drilled jade objects. Although the rest of the Maya lowlands seems to have been a little interest to the Olmec peoples, the Copan area definitely was.” [[177]][[178]] Mosiah 11, 20:1-5; 21:20-21; 23:25-39; 24:1-12 [[178]][[179]] Maya pg. 50; Mysteries pg. 136
Mexico pg. 60-81: “In its heyday, the site must have been vastly impressive, for different colored clays were used for floors, and the sided of platforms were painted in solid colors of red, yellow, and purple. Scattered in the plazas fronting these rainbow-hued structures were a large number of monuments sculptured from basalt. Outstanding among these are the Colossal Heads, of which four were found at La Venta. Large stelae (tall, flat monuments) of the same material were also present. Particularly outstanding is Stela 3, dubbed ‘Uncle Sam’ by archaeologists. On it, two elaborately garbed men face each other, both wearing fantasitic headdresses. The figure on the right has a long, aquiline nose and a goatee. Over the two float chubby were-jaguars brandishing war clubs. Also typical are teh so-called ‘altars.’ The finest is Altar 5, on which the central figure emerges from the niche holding a jaguar-baby in his arms; on the sides, four subsidiary adult figures hold other little were-jaguars, who are squalling and gesticulating in a lively manner. As usual, their heads are cleft, and mouths drawn in the Olmec snarl.
The Early Preclassic sculptures of San Lorezo include eight Colossal Heads of great distinction. These are up to 9 ft 4 in in height and weigh many tons; it is believed that they are all portraits of mighty Olmec rulers, with flat-faced, thick-lipped features. They wear headgear rather like American football helmets which probably served as protection in both war and in ceremonial game played with a rubber ball throughout Mesoamerica. Indeed, we found not only figurines of ball players at San Lorenzo, but also a simple, earthen court contructed for the game. Also typical are the so-called ‘altars:’ large basalt rocks with flat tops which may weigh up to 40 metric tons. the fronts of these ‘altars’ have niches in which sits the figure of a ruler, either holding a were-jaguar baby in his arms (probably the theme of royal descent) or holding a rope which binds captives (theme of the warefare and conquest), depicted in relief on the sides.”
Maya pg. 50: “During the Middle Preclassic, following the demise of San Lorenzo, the great Olmec center was La Venta, situated on an island in the midst of the swampy wastes of the lower Tonala River, and dominated by an 100-ft-high mound of clay. Elaboarte tombs and spectacular offerings of jade and serpentine figures were concealed by various constructions, both there and at other Olmec sites. The Olmec art style was centered upon the representations of cratures which combined the features of a snarling jaguar with those of a weeping human infant; among these were were-jaguars almost surely was a rain god, one of the first recognizable deities of the Mesoamerican pantheon.”
People pg. 481: “The Olmec people lived on the Mexican south Gulf Coast from about 1500 to 500 BC. Their homeland is lowlying, tropical, and humid with fertile soils. The swamps, lakes, and rivers are rich in fish, birds, and other animals. It was in this region that the Olmec created a highly distinctive art style. Olmec art was executed in sculpture and in relief. The artists concentrated on natural and supernatural beings, the dominant motif being the “were-jaguar,” or humanlike jaguar. Many jaguars were givin infantile faces; drooping lips; and large, swollen eyes, a style also applied to human figures, some of whom resemble snarling demons. Olmec contributions to Mesoamerican art and religion were enormously significant.” [[179]][[180]] Mosiah 24:1–7 [[180]][[181]] Mokaya pg. 38-43; ; Ancient Maya pg. 58-59
Zapotec pg. 118-119, 138: “By 800 BC, Chalcatzingo had become the dominant civic-ceremonial center for more than 50 settlements. As in the case of San Jose Mogote, its centripetal pull was such that 50 percent of the region’s population clustered within a 6-km radius of Chalcatzingo. Also like San Jose Mogote, it attracted and held most of the craftspeople of its region and served as a middleman for the movement of local white kaolin clay, Basin of Mexico obsidian, and jade. Between 750 and 500 BC Chalcatzingo had reached 25 ha in extent, with 6 ha devoted to public buildings. Its elite had also commissioned several monumental reliefs, carved into the living rock of the cliffs above the site.
A similar process can be seen as San Lorenzo in southern Veracruz, excavated in the 1960’s by Michael Coe and Richard Diehl and in the 1990’s by Ann Cyphers Guillen. In 1350 BC San Loernzo appears to have been no more than a village, its exact dimensions hidden by later overburden. Between 1350 and 1150 BC there is evidence for the construction of earhern mounds, but as yet no information on whether Men’s Houses or “initiates’s temples” like those in Oaxaca were built.
During the San Lorenzo phase the site grew enormously; while its exact limits have not yet been ascertained, Coe and Diehl estimate its population at 1000. At this point San Lorenzo had undergone its own ethnogenesis and become a chiefly center of the Olmec culture. Coe and Diehl’s work produced no actual buildings of the San Lorenzo phase, no burials, and little in the way of jade. They did, however, produce numbers of magnetite mirrors and considerable evidence for earthen mound construction.”
Mexico pg. 86-87: “The real importance of the Izapan civilization is that it is the connecting link in time and space between the earlier Olmec civilization and the later Classic Maya. Izapan monuments are found scattered down the Pacific Coast of Gautemala and up into the highlands in the vicinity of Guatemala City. On the other side of the highlands, in the lowland jungle of northern Guatemala, the very earliest Maya monuments appear to be derived from Izapan prototypes. Moreover, not only the stela-and-altar complex, the ‘Long-lipped Gods,’ and the baroque style itself were adopted from the Izapan culture by the Maya, but the priority of Izapa in the very important adoption of the Long Count is quite clear-cut: the most ancient dated Maya monument reads AD 292, while a stela in Izapan style at El Baul, Guatemala, bears a Long Count date 256 years earlier.”
Maya pg. 50: “More important to the study of the Maya, there are also good reasons to believe that it was the late Olmecs who devised the elaborate Long Count calendar. Whether or not one thinks of the Olmecs as the “mother culture” of Mesoamerica, the fact is that many other civilizations, including the Maya, were ultimately dependent on the Olmec achievement. This is especially true during the Middle Preclassic, when lesser peasant cultures away from the Gulf Coast were aquiring traits which had filtered to them from their more advanced neighbors, just as in ancient Europe barbarian peoples in the west and north eventually had the benefits of the achievments of the contemporaneous Bronze Age of the Near East.” [[181]][[182]] Mosiah 24:1–7 [[182]][[183]] Mokaya pg. 38-43
Zapotec pg. 118-119, 138: “By 800 BC, Chalcatzingo had become the dominant civic-ceremonial center for more than 50 settlements. As in the case of San Jose Mogote, its centripetal pull was such that 50 percent of the region’s population clustered within a 6-km radius of Chalcatzingo. Also like San Jose Mogote, it attracted and held most of the craftspeople of its region and served as a middleman for the movement of local white kaolin clay, Basin of Mexico obsidian, and jade. Between 750 and 500 BC Chalcatzingo had reached 25 ha in extent, with 6 ha devoted to public buildings. Its elite had also commissioned several monumental reliefs, carved into the living rock of the cliffs above the site.
A similar process can be seen as San Lorenzo in southern Veracruz, excavated in the 1960’s by Michael Coe and Richard Diehl and in the 1990’s by Ann Cyphers Guillen. In 1350 BC San Loernzo appears to have been no more than a village, its exact dimensions hidden by later overburden. Between 1350 and 1150 BC there is evidence for the construction of earhern mounds, but as yet no information on whether Men’s Houses or “initiates’s temples” like those in Oaxaca were built.
During the San Lorenzo phase the site grew enormously; while its exact limits have not yet been ascertained, Coe and Diehl estimate its population at 1000. At this point San Lorenzo had undergone its own ethnogenesis and become a chiefly center of the Olmec culture. Coe and Diehl’s work produced no actual buildings of the San Lorenzo phase, no burials, and little in the way of jade. They did, however, produce numbers of magnetite mirrors and considerable evidence for earthen mound construction.”
Mexico pg. 60-81: (SEE NOTE 173) [[183]][[184]] Ancient Maya pg. 57-61
Zapotec pg. 118-119, 138: “Unquestionably San Jose Mogote was in contact with these chiefly societies, as well as others in the Basin of Mexico and Chiapas. Microscopic studies of pottery show that luxury gray ware from the Valley of Oaxaca was traded to San Lorenzo, to Aquiles Serdan on the Pacific Coast of Chiapas, and to Tlapacoya in the Basin of Mexico. Obsidian from the Basin of Mexico, from a source 100 km north of Tehuacan, and from a source in the Guatemalan highlands circulated among all these regions. Oaxaca magnetite reached San Lorenzo and the Valley of Morelos. Pure white pottery, some of it possibly made in Varacruz, was traded to Chalcatzingo, Tehucan, Oaxaca, and the Chiapas-Guatemala Coast. This means that no rank society of 1150-850 BC arose in isolation; all borrowed ideas on chiefly behavior and symbolism from each other.”
Mexico pg. 77: “Notwithstanding their intellectual and artistic achievements, the Olmecs were by no means a peaceful people. Their monuments show that they fought battles with war clubs, and some individuals carry what seems to be a kind of cestus or knuckle-duster. Whether the indubitable Olmec presence in higland Mexico represents actual invasion from of prestigious nature, which were unobtainable in their homeland- obsidian, iron-ore for mirrors, serpentine, and (by Middle Preclassic times) jade- and they probably set up trade networks over much of Mexico to get these items. Thus, according to one hypothesis, the frontier Olmec sites could have been trading stations. Kent Flannery has put forth the idea that the reult of emulation by less advanced peoples who had trade and perhaps even marriage ties with Olmec pantheon over a wide area of Mesoamerica suggests the possiblity of missionary efforts on the wide part of the heartland Olmecs.”
People pg. 482: “In short, the Olmec was the “mother culture” of Mesoamerican civilization. Increasingly, this theory is being questioned.” [[184]][[185]] Mokaya pg. 38-43; Ancient Maya pg. 58-61
Mexico pg. 62: “There has been much controversy about the dating of the Olmec civilization. Its discoverer, Matthew Sterling, consitently held that it predated the Classic Maya civilization, a position which was vehemently opposed by such Mayanists as Sir Eric Thompson. Stirling was backed by the great Mexican scholars Alfonso Caso and Miguel Covarrubias, who held for a placement in the Preclassic period, largely on the grounds that Olmec traits had appeared in sites of that period in the Valley of Mexio and in the state of Morelos. Time has fully borne out Stirling and the Mexican shool. A long series of radiocarbon dates from the important Olmec site of La Venta spans the centuries from 1200 to 400 BC, placing the major development of this center entierly within the Middle Preclassic. Another set of dates shows that the site of San Lorenzo is even older, falling within the Early Preclassic (1800-1200 BC), making it contemorary with Tlatilco and other highland sites in which influence from San Lorenzo can be detected. There is now little doubt that all later civilizations in Mesoamerica, wheter Mexican or Maya, ultimately rest on Olmec base.”
People pg. 481-482: “For years, scholars have believed that elements of their art style and imagery were diffused southward to Guatemala and San Salvador and northward into the Valley of Mexico. In short, the Olmec was the “mother culture” of Mesoamerican civilization. Increasingly, this theory is being questioned.”
Maya pg. 50: (SAME AS NOTE 181 ABOVE) [[185]][[186]] Mosiah 17:15–19; Alma 25:1–12 [[186]][[187]] Maya pg. 50-55; 63-66; 78-79
Zapotec pg. 119: “In each case a small hamlet, unprepossessing at its founding, underwent a period of rapid and spectacular growth, becoming the demographic center of gravity for a network of smaller sites. Each emerging center- San Jose Mogote, Chalcatzingo, and San Lorenzo- not only dwarfed the other sites in its region but seems to have exerted a centripetal pull on its entire hinterland. All grew so fast that they must have encouraged immigration, not just normal growth; all emptied the surrounding region of artisans and concentrated them in the paramount chief village. All were aware of each other and perhaps even competitive; some clearly suffered occasional attacks that left their monuments defaced or their public buildings burned. “
Mexico pg. 69-70, 74: There was nothing egalitarian about San Lorenzo society, as the Colossal Heads testify. The Nature fo the controls and compulsion required to build the great plateau and transport the monuments eventually led to a mighty cataclysm. About 1200 BC San Lorenzo was destroyed either by invasion or revolution, or a bomination of these. The grandiose monuments glorifying its rulers and gods were ruthlessly smashed and defaced, then ritually buried in long lines within the ridges, from which some of them (those seen by Stirling) eventually eroded out and tumbled into the ravines. Thanks to the ability of the cesium magnetometer to detect buried basalt, and to the good luck that attended our exedition, we found some of these buried lines, including a magnificent but decapitated figure of a half-kneeling figure of an ancient royal ballplayer. The fury of the destructive force visited upon these stones astounded us, for in some respects it matched the labor and ingenuity which went into their creation. Civiliations went out with a bang, not a whimper, in early Mesoamerica.
[[187]][[188]] Mexico pg. 69-70
(SAME AS NOTE 187 ABOVE) [[188]][[189]] Alma 25:1–12 [[189]][[190]] Maya pg. 50-55; 63-66; 78-79

Zapotec pg. 119: “In each case a small hamlet, unprepossessing at its founding, underwent a period of rapid and spectacular growth, becoming the demographic center of gravity for a network of smaller sites. Each emerging center- San Jose Mogote, Chalcatzingo, and San Lorenzo- not only dwarfed the other sites in its region but seems to have exerted a centripetal pull on its entire hinterland. All grew so fast that they must have encouraged immigration, not just normal growth; all emptied the surrounding region of artisans and concentrated them in the paramount chief village. All were aware of each other and perhaps even competitive; some clearly suffered occasional attacks that left their monuments defaced or their public buildings burned. “
Mexico pg. 69-70, 74: “Like the earlier San Lorenzo, La Venta was deliberately destroyed in ancient times. Its fall was certanily violent, as twenty-four out of forty sculptured monuments were intentionally mutilated. This probably occured at the end of Middle Preclassic times, around 400-300 BC, for subseuently, following its abandonment as a center, offerings were made with pottery of Late Preclassic cast. As a matter of fact, La Venta may never have lost its signicance as a cult center, for among the very latest caches found was a Spanish olive jar of the early Colonial period, and Professor Heizer suspected that offerings may have been made in modern times as well.”
(SAME AS NOTE 187 ABOVE)
[[190]][[191]] Alma 25:1–12 [[191]][[192]] Mexico pg. 69-70, 74, 86-87
“The waterlogging has resulted in extraordinary preservation of otherwise perishable Olmec materials, all belonging to the fianl stages of the San Lorenzo phase, about 1200 BC. In 1988 and 1989, and archaeological team directed by Ponciano Ortiz of the University of Veracruz was able to study and conserve ten wooden figures, all ‘baby-faced’ just like Olmec hollow clay figurines, and each just under 20 inches high; all were little more than libless torsos, and most had been carefully wrapped in mats and tied up, before being placed with heads pointing in the direction of the hill’s summit. Other objects included polished stone axes, jade and serpentine beads, a wooden staff with a bird’s head on one end and a shark’s tooth (surely a bloodletter) on the other, and an obsidian knife with an asphalt handle. Most surprisingly, the archaeologists turned up a cache of three rubber balls; measuring from 3 to 5 inches in diameter, these are the only examples to have survived from the pre-Conquest Mesoamerica of what must have been a very common artifact. They confirm that the ball game is a least as old as the Olmec civilization.”
Maya pg. 50-55; 63-66; 78-79: “The lowland Maya almost always built their temples over older ones, so that in the course of centuries the earliest constructions would eventually come to be deeply buried within the towering accrections of Classic period rubble and plaster. Consequently, to prospect for Mamom temples in one of the larger sites would be extremely costly in time and labor.
But towards the close of the Late Preclassic, writing had begun to appear sporadically, and it deinitely celebrated the doings of great personages. A good example of this would be the greenstone pectoral at Dumbarton Oaks, said to be from Quintana Roo. A were-jaguar face on one side indicates that the object was orginally Olmec.” [[192]][[193]] Mosiah 25:14–24 [[193]][[194]] Mexico pg. 52-55
“The most notable advance in the Late Preclassic of central Mexico was the appearance of the temple-pyramid. The earliest temples of the highlands were thatch-roof, perishable structures not unlike the houses of the common people, erected within the community on low earthen platforms face with sun-hardened clay. There are a few slight indications that some such platforms once existed at Tlatilco. By the Late Preclassic, however, they had become almost universal, as the nuclei of enlarged villages and even towns. Towards the end of the period, clay facings for the platforms were occasionally replaced by retaining-walls of undressed stones coated with a thick layer of stucco, and the substructures themselves had become greatly enlarged, sometimes rising in several stages or tiers. Here we have, then, a definite progression from small villages of farmers with but household figurine cults, to hierarchical societies with rulers who coulo call the populace to build and maintain sizeable religious establishments.”
Zapotec pg. 108-110 (93-110): “Structures 1 and 2 were two of the most impressive buildings of the San Jose phase. Each appears to be the pyramidal platform for a wattle-and-daub public building, and their construction involved the first use of an adobe brick so far known for Oaxaca. Used mainly for small retaining walls within the earthen fill, these early adobes were circular in plan and plano-convex, or “bun-shaped,” in section.
Structure 2 was 1 m high and at least 18 m wide. Its sloping face had been built with boulders, some obtained locally and some brought in from at least 5 km away. Some of the latter were of limestone from west of the Atoyac River, while others were of travertine from east of the river. Two carved stones, one depicting a feline and one a raptorial bird, had fallen from a collapsed section of wall. The east face of the platform included two stone stairways which although narrow, are the earliest of their kind for the region.
Structure 1, above and to the west, rose in several stages that may have reached 2.5 m in height. Its facing was of smaller stones set in clay, somewhat rough-and-ready, but clearly masonry- the first stage in an architectural tradition brillinantly developed by the Zapotec.”
People pg. 485-486: “The diffusion of common art styles throughout Mesoamerica may have resulted both from an increased need for religious rituals to bring the various elements of society together and because [[194]][[195]] Mosiah 29:37–47 [[195]][[196]] Zapotec pg. 111-120
“The rival center of Huitzo built comparable structures during the Guadalupe phase. The earliest of these was Structure 4, a pyramidal platform 2 m high and more than 15 m wide, built of earth and faced with stones in the manner of Structure 8 at San Jose Mogote. Atop this platform, the architects of Huitzo built a series of buildings that may have been one-room temples. The best preserved of these was Structure 3, a large wattle-and-daub building on an adobe platform with a stairway. Built of bun-shaped adobes and fill, the platform was 1.3 m high and 11.5 m long. There were three steps to its wide stairway, each inset into the platform to strengthen it. The entire structure had been coated with lime plaster. In spite of all the small size of the Huitzo community relative to San Jose Mogote, its public architecture was as impressive as anything built at the latter site during the Guadalupe phase.”
Mexico pg. 52-55: “How grandiose some of these substructures were can be seen at Cuicuilco, located to the south of Mexico City near the National University, in an area covered by the Pedregal – a grim landscape of broken, soot-black lava witha sparce flora eking out its existence in rocky crevices. The principal feature of Cuicuilco is a round platform, 387 ft. in diameter and rising in four inwardly sloping tiers to a present height of 75 ft. Two ramps placed on either side of the platform provide access to the summit, which was crowned at one time by a cone-like contruction which brought the total height to about 90 ft. Faced with volcanic rocks, the interior of the surviving structure is filled with sand and rubble, with a total volume of 60,000 cubic meters.”
People pg. 485-486: “Monte Alban went on to develop into a vast ceremonial center with splendid public architecture; its settlement area included public buildings, terraces, and housing zones that extended over approximately 15 square miles. More than 2000 terraces all held one or two houses, and small ravines were dammed to pond valuable water supplies. Blanton suggests that between 30,000 and 50,000 people lived at Monte Alban between AD 200 and 700. Many very large villages and smaller hamlets lay within easy distance of the city. The enormous platforms on the ridge of Monte Alban supported complex layouts of temples and pyramid-temples, palaces, patios, and tombs. A hereditary elite seems to have ruled Monte Alban, the leaders of a state that had emerged in the Valley of Oaxaca by AD 200.” [[196]][[197]] Mosiah 27:6–7 [[197]][[198]] Zapotec chap 8-10; Tula pg. 23
Mexico pg. 46-58: “A word of caution, however- because of our first knowladge of these sites, the impression has been given that the Valley had more acnient Preclassic beginnings than elsewhere. On the contrary, that isolated basin was probably a laggard in cultural development until the Classic period, when it became and stayed the flower of Mexican cuivilization. Notwithstanding its later glory, the Valley was then a prosperous but provincial backwater, which occasionally received new items developed elsewhere.”
People pg. 485-486: “The evolution of larger settlements in Oaxaca and elsewhere was closely connected with the developlment of long-distance trade in obsedian and other luxuries such as seashells and stingray spines from the Gulf of Mexico. The simple barter networks for obsidian of earlier times evolved into sophisticated regional trading organizations in which village leaders controlled monopolies over sources of obsidian and its distribution. Magnetite mirrors, seashells, feathers, and ceramics were all traded on the highlands, and from the highlands ot the lowlands as well. Olmec pottery and other ritual objects began to appear in highland settlements between 1150 and 650 BC, many of them bearing the distinctive were-jaguar motif of the lowlands, which had an important place in Olmec comology.” [[198]][[199]] Alma 1-4 [[199]][[200]] Zapotec chap. 8-10
Mexico pg. 46-58: “At these two sites and elsewhere in the Valley the midden deposits are literally stuffed with thousands of fragments of clay figurines, all female, providing a lively view of the costume of the day, or its lack. Although nudity was apparently the rule, these little ladies have elaborate face and body painting in black, white, and red; headdresses and coiffures as shown were very fancy, wraparound turbans being most common. The technique of manufacture was about like that with which gingerbread men are made, features being indicated by a combination of punching and filleting. Significantly, no recognizable depictions of gods or goddesses have ever been identified in these villages, suggesting the possibility that the only cult was that of the figurines, which may have been objects of household devotion like the Roman lares, perhaps concerned with the fertility of the crops.”
People pg. 485-486: “There were marine fish spines, too, probably used in personal bloodletting ceremonies that were still practiced even in Aztec times. The Spanish described how Aztec nobles would gash themselves with knives or with the spines of fish or stingray in acts of mutilation before the gods, penances required of the devout. [[200]][[201]] Alma 2:1–4:3; 16:1-11; 28:1-12; 43-60; battles increase in size, severity and frequency. [[201]][[202]] Mexico pg. 77, 82-83, 86-87
“Most of the constructions that meet the eye at Monte Alban are of the Classic period. However, in the southwestern corner of the site, which is laid on a north-south axis, excavations have diclosed the Temple of the Danzantes, a stone-faced platform contemporary with the first occupation of the site, Monte Alban I. The so-called Danzantes (i.e. ‘dancers’) are basrelief figures on large stone slabs set into the outside of the platform. Nude men with slightly Olmecoid features (i.e. the down-turned mouth), the Danzantes are shown in strange, rubbery postures as though they were swimming or dancing in viscous fluid. Some are represented as old, bearded individuals with toothless gums or with only a single protuberant incisor. About 150 of these strange yet powerful figures are known as Monte Alban, and it might be reasonably asked exactly what their function was, or what they depict. The disorted pose of the limbs, the open mouth and closed eyes indicate that these are corpses, undoubltedly cheifs or kings slain by the earliest rulers of Monte Alban. In many individuals the genitals are clearly delineated, usually the stigma laid on captives in Mesoamerica where nudity was considered scandalous. Furthermore, there are cases of sexual mutilation depicted on some Danzantes, blood streaming in flowery patterns from the severed part. Evidence to corroborate such violence comes from one Danzante, which is nothing more than a severed head.”
Zapotec pg. 121-171:”Warfare, as the lines at the start of this chapter say, can “powerfully shape” chiefdoms. While Carnerio’s conlusions were based on Colombia’s Cauca Valley, what he says is equally true of the Valley of Oaxaca. Several lines of evidence indicate that warefare had begun to affect Roario society.
Chiefly warfare usually results from competition between paramounts, or between a paramount and his ambitious subcheifs. Paramounts try to aggrandize themselves by taking followers away from their rivals. Ambitious subchiefs try to replace the paramount at the top of the hierarhcy.”
Maya pg. 63, 75: “Some of the Late Preclassic tombs at Tik’al prove that the Chikanel elite did not lag behind the nobles of Miraflores in wealth and honor. Burial 85, for instance, like all the others enclosed by platform substructures and covered by a primative corbel vault, contained a single skeleton. Suprisingly, this individual lacked head and thigh bones, but from the richness of the goods placed with him it may be guessed that he must have perished in battle and been depoiled by his enemies, his mutilated body being later recovered by his subjects.” [[202]][[203]] Alma 48:8–10; 49:13; 52:6 [[203]][[204]] Alma 48:8–10 [[204]][[205]] [[205]][[206]] Alma 48:8–10; 49:13; 52:6 [[206]][[207]] Zapotec chap. 10-11; see note on endnote 203
“The founding of Monte Alban also changed the demography of the central Valley of Oaxaca, including the 80-km area that had been no-man’s-land during the Rosario phase. The central valley had only five small Rosario villages. By Monte Alban Ia, that figure had risen to 38 villages, and by Monte Alban Ic it had exploded to 155 villages and small towns. In effect, the entire demographic center of gravity of the valley had shifted from Elta to the region surrounding the Monte Alban.
Settlement Pattern Project estimates it at 50,000. One-third of that poplulation lived at Monte Alban; in addition, three-quaters of the population increase between Monte Alban Ia and Ic had taken place within 20 km of the city. Below Monte Alban were 744 communities. A few villages with populations estimated at less than 150.” [[207]][[208]] Alma 48:8–10; 49; 50:1-16 [[208]][[209]] [[209]][[210]] Zapotec Figure 128, 157, pg. 142-154
“During the Monte Alban Ia- which probably began by 500 BC and ended by 300 BC- there were 261 sites in the Valley of Oaxaca. Some 192 of these, including Monte Alban itself, were brand new settlements. Despite this unprecedented redistribution of the valley’s population, strong continuities in ceramics and architecture from Rosario to Monte Alban Ia indicate that we are dealing with villages of fewer than 100 persons. In contrast, Monte Alban’s estimated population exceeded 5000. This was a very high percentage of the valley’s population, which we estimate to be between 8000 and 10,000.
The founding of Monte Alban also changed the demography of the central Valley of Oaxaca, including the 80-km area that had been a no-man’s-land during the Rosario phase. The central valley had only five small Rosario villages. By Monte Alban Ia, that figure had risen to 38 villages, and by Monte Alban Ic it had exploded to 155 villages and small towns. In effect, the entire demographic center of gravity of the valley had shifted from Etla to the region surrounding Monte Alban.” [[210]][[211]] Alma 50:7–11; 58:1-30 [[211]][[212]] Zapotec pg. 150-151 [[212]][[213]] Alma 50:1–24 [[213]][[214]] [[214]][[215]] Alma 50:7–16 [[215]][[216]] [[216]][[217]] Alma 43:16–21; 50:1-6 (Alma 43-62) [[217]][[218]] Chiapas Artifacts pg. 194-195
Mexico pg. 58, 69: “An earlier school of thought held that this shaft-tomb sculpture was little more than a kind of genre art: realistic, anecdotal, and with no more reigious meaning than a Dutch interior. This view has been vigorously challenged by the ethnologist Peter Furst, who has worked closely with the contemporary Huichol Indians of Nayarit, almost certainly the descendants of the people who made the tomb figures. Among the Huichol and their close relatives, the Cora, religious practitioners are always shamans, powerful specialists who effect cures and maintain the well-being of their people by battling against demons and evil shamans. Professor Furst noted that the warriors with clubs from Nayarit and Jalisco tombs are down on one knee, the typical fighting stance of the shaman. The Nayarit house models are interpreted by him not just as two-storey village dwellings, but as chthonic dwellings of the dead: above would be the house of the living, below is the house of the dead. Such a belief is consonant not only with Huichol ideas about death and the soul, but also with the supernatural concepts of Southwestern Indians like the Hopi.” [[218]][[219]] Zapotec pg. 135-138, 146-150, 169-170
“The southern Tehuacan Valley is a hot, dry area where the probability of insufficient rainfall for most kinds of farming is 80 percent. It does, however, have the protential for irragation. That potential is perhaps best exemplified by the Arroyo Lencho Diego, a steep-sided canyon investigated by Richard S. MacNeish, Richard Woodbury, James A. Neely, and Charles Spencer.
Canal irrigation has a long history in the Valley of Oaxaca, but its use increased dramatically in Monte Alban Ic. Almost cerainly that escalation resulted from the need to provision the city of Monte Alban. It is not so much the Atoyac River that was used for canal irrigation in ancient Oxaca, but its smaller tributaries in the piedmont. Many of those streams can, with a relatively low espenditure of manpower, have part of their water diverted into small canals by the use of brush-and-boulder dams. All such systems are small, usually serving the lands of one or two communities. The Valley of Oxaca is therefore a region of numerous small canal systems, rather than one large system. In contrast to regions like southern Mesopotamia, the north coast of Peru, or even the nearby Tehuacan Valley, central Oaxaca is not an area conducive to models of “dospotic control” of downsteam polities by upstream polities. The Atoyac River, the larges watercourse in the valley, creates a strip of periodically flooded yuh kohp in which canal irrirgation is usually unnecessary.”
Mexico pg. 81: “Toward the close of the Middle Preclassic, the Zapotec of the Valley were practicing several forms of irrigation. At Hierve el Agua, in the mountains east of the Valley, there has been found an artificially terraced hillside, irrigated by canals coming from permanent sprigns charged with calcareous waters that have in effect created a fossilized record from their deposits.” [[219]][[220]] Alma 50:17–24; 62:46-52; Helaman 6:6–13, 16–17; 11:20; 3 Nephi 6:4 [[220]][[221]] Chiapas Burials pg. 71-72; Chiapas Artifacts pg. 194-196
Zapotec chap. 11-12: “One unintended consequence of bringing together thousands of people in a new city can be an explosion of arts and crafts, especially if many of those people are forced to abandon agriculture. Several urban relocations in archaic Greece “created enviroments in which intellectual life flourished. Early Monte Alban was such an enviroment, and its sponsorship of craftspeople penetrated even to the towns in its hinterland. What emerged during Monte Alban I was an art style distinct from that of any region, a style so closely associated with the Valley of Oaxaca that it is generally referred to as Zapotec.
In Monte Alban Ia, there were 261 communities in the valley; 192 of these, like Monte Alban itself, were newly founded. Monte Alban, with 365 ha of Early Period I sherds and an estimated population in excess of 5000, was the only community in Tier I. Many formely large communities of the Etla region, including San Jose Mogote, had been drained of population during the Monte Alban synoikism.” [[221]][[222]] Mexico pg. 77-81
“Yet whatever we call it, it can hardly be denied that during the Early and Middle Preclassic, there was a powerful, unitary religion which had manifested itself in an all-pervading art style; and that this was the offical ideology of the first complex society or societies to be seen in this part of the New World. Its rapid spread has been variously linkened to that of Christianity under the Roman Empire, or to that of westernization (or ‘modernization’) in toady’s world. Wherever Olmec influence or the Olmecs themselves went, so did civilized life.” [[222]][[223]] Mexico pg. 77-88
“By that time, it had full-fledged masonary buildings of a public nature; in a corridor connecting two of these, Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus found a bas-relief threshold stone showing a dead captive with stylized blood flowing from his chest, so placed that anyone entering or leaving the corridor would have to tread on him. Between his legs is a glyphic group possibly representing his name, ‘I Earthquake’ in the 260-day ritual calendar.”
(SAME AS NOTE 202 ABOVE)
Maya pg. 63-79: “The Izapan art style consists in the main of large, ambitiously conceived but somewhat cluttered scenes carried out in bas-relief. Many of the activities shown are profane, such as richly attired person decapitaing a vanquished foe, but there are deities as well.”
Zapotec chap 10-12:”Sixteenth-century documents tell us that when later Mesoamerican societies raided one another, a main objective was to burn their enemies’ temple. So common was this practice that a picture of a burning temple became an iconographic convention for raiding among Aztec.
Monument 3 makes possible the following inferences about the Rosario pahse. (1) The 260-day calendar clearly existed by this time. (2) The use of Xoo, a known Zapotec day-name, relates the hieroglyphis to an archaic form of the Zapotec language. (3) The carving makes it clear that Rosario phase sacrifice was not limited to drawing one’s own blood with stingray spines; it now included human sacrifice by heart removal. (4) Since I Earthquake is shown naked, even stripped of whatever ornaments he might have worn, he fits our sixteenth-century discriptions of prisoners taken in battle. This carving of a prisoner, combined with the burning of the temple, suggests that by 600 BC the well-known Zapotec pattern of raiding, temple burning, the capture of enemies for sacrifice had begun. (5) Many later Mesoamerican peoples, including the Maya, set carvings of their enemies where they could be literally and metaphorically “trod upon.” The horizontal placement of Monument 3 suggests that it, too, was designed for that visual metaphor.”
[[223]][[224]] Alma 51:22–28; 56:13-15; Alma 62:38; Helaman 1:14–34; 4:1-18; 3:12-4:1 [[224]][[225]] Alma 27:13–27; Helaman 5:13–20, 49–52; 6:1-7 [[225]][[226]] Alma 62:26–29 [[226]][[227]] Alma 48-62 [[227]][[228]] Zapotec chap 10-12; defensive sites and evidences of warfare are numerous but the only destructions seem to be the occasional burning of a wood building, most stone structures seem to have been unharmed by the wars which is consistent with the Book of Mormon.
Mexico pg. 82: “Monte Alban is the greatest of all Zapotec sites, and was constructed on a series of eminences about 1,300 ft above the Valley floor, at the close of the Middle Preclassic, about 500-450 BC, when San Jose Mogote’s fortunes waned. Probably the main reason for its preeminence is its strategic hilltop location near the juncture of the Valley’s three arms. It lies in the heart of the region still occupied by the Zapotec peoples; since there is no evidence for any major disruption in central Oaxaca until the beginning of the Post-Classic, about AD 900, archaeologists feel reasonably certain that the inhabitants of that language.” [[228]][[229]] Alma 62:46–52; Helaman 6:6–13, 16–17; 11:20; 3 Nephi 6:4 [[229]][[230]] Chiapas Artifacts pg. 194-196
Zapotec pg. 155-171: “There are several elite houses at Monte Negro. Like the Rosario phase elite residences at San Jose Mogote, each consisted of an open patio surrounded by three or four rooms with adobe walls. The Monte Negro houses, however, had stone foundations two courses high, and each room had at least two columns supporting its roof. The courtyards were paved with flagstones, and there were drains below some buildings.
Monte Negro’s elite households have been compared to the Roman inpluvium residence, in which an inner paved court trapped rain runoff and channeled it to subterranean reservoirs. While more elegant than those of the Rosario phase, the Monte Negro houses fall short of the later palaces at Monte Alban. Like so much in Late Monte Alban I, they seem transitional between the house of a chief and the palace of a king.
While the largest of the elite residences at Monte Negro lies along the east-west street, several others are connected to temples by secret passageways or roofed corridors. These corridors- which made it possible for members of important families to enter and leave the temple without being seen by lower-staus persons- appear to be forerunners of the Monte Alban II passageways, tunnels, and roofed stairways of Monte Alban and San Jose Mogote. The implications of such special entrances for the elite are twofold. First, they indicate that rank differences were still associated with differential access to the supernatural. Second, they suggest an escalation in rank to the point where chiefly individuals did not have to use the same stairways and entrances as more lowly individuals.”
Mexico pg. 83-88: “The development from the first phase of the site to Monte Alban II, which is terminal Preclassic and therefore dates from about 200 BC to AD 150, was peaceful and gradual. In the southernmost plaza of the site was erected Building J, a stone-faced contruction in the form of a great arrowhead pointing southwest. The peculiar orintation of this building has been examined by the asronomer Anthony Aveni and the architect Horst Hartung, who have pointed out important alignments with the bright star Capella. Withing Building J is a complex of dark, narrow chambers which have been roofed over by leaning stone slabs to meet at the apex. The exterior of the building is set with a great many inscribed stone slabs all bearing a very similar text. These Monte Alban II inscriptions generally consist of an upside-down head with closed eyes and elaborate headdress, below a stepped glyph for ‘mountain’ or ‘town’; over this is the same of the place, seemingly given phonetically in rebus fasion. In its most complete form, the text is accompanied by the symbols for year, month, and day. There are also various yet-untranslated glyphs. Such inscriptions were correctly interpreted by Alfonso Caso as records of town conquests, the inverted heads being the defeated kings. It is certain that all are in the Zapotec langauage.”
Maya pg. 63-79: “In lieu of easily worked building stone, which was unavailable in the vicinity, these platforms were built from ordinary clay and basketloads of earth and household rubbish. Almost certainly the temples themselves were thatched-roof affairs supported by upright timbers. Apparently each successive building operation took place to house the remains of an exalted person, whose tomb was cut down from the top in a series of stepped rectangles of decreasing size into the earlier temple platform, and then covered over with a new floor of clay. The function of Maya pyramids as funerary monuments thus harks back to Preclassic times.”
[[230]][[231]] Helaman 1:7–12; 2:2-13; 6:15-41; 7:1-6; 8:1, 26-28; 3 Nephi 1:27–30; 2:11-4:33 [[231]][[232]] Chiapas Burials pg. 73
Maya pg. 70: “The corpse was wrapped in finery and covered from head to toe with cinnabar pigment, then laid on a wooden litter and lowered into the tomb. Both sacrificed adults and children accompanied the illustrious dead, together with offerings of an astonished richness and profusion. In one tomb, over 300 objects of the most beautiful workmanship were placed with the body or above the timber roof, but ancient grave-robbers, probably acting after noticing the slump in the temple floor caused by the collapse of the underlying tomb, had filched from the corpse the jades that which once covered the chest and head. Among the finery recovered were the remains of a mask or headdress of jade plaques perhaps once fixed to a background of wood, jade flares which once adorned the ear lobes of the honored dead, bowls carved from chlorite-schist engraved with Miraflores scroll designs, and little carved bottles fo soapstone and fuchsite.” [[232]][[233]] Alma 63:4–9; Helaman 3:3–14 [[233]][[234]] Prehistory pg. 230-235
“The Hopewell culture is one of the many called Middle Woodland. It seems to have appeared in Illinois by about 2300 B.P. The southern manifestations lasted until 400 A.D. and later. The Ohio Hopewell probably grew out of the strong local Adena pattern, so the elaborate mortuary complex called Classic Hopewell actually developed in Ohio. That complex of traits and its associated relationships has been called the Hopewell Interaction Sphere, a phase that takes account of a cluster of traits, artifacts, burial mounds- a mortuary cult or religion rooted in veneration of the dead- that can be recognized almost everywhere east of the Mississippi.” [[234]][[235]] Omni 1:20–22; Mosiah 8:7–11; 21:25-27; Alma 22:29–31; Helaman 3:6 [[235]][[236]] Prehistory pg. 141, 143, 173, 340
“In western California, there was evidently a much greater concern with the dead. Many were buried in mounds, others in extensive cemeteries. An analysis of the grave goods of these many cemeteries has led some scholars to suggest that there was in California a social complexity quite unlike the simple egalitarian societies usually posited for most of the western Arachaic and quite at variance with the simple and relatively stable technology the archaeology reveals.
Burial, Bundle: Reburial of defleshed and disarticulated bones tied or wrapped together in a bundle.” [[236]][[237]] Prehistory pg. 223-235
“The Hopewell culture is one of the many called Middle Woodland. It seems to have appeared in Illinois by about 2300 B.P. The southern manifestations lasted until 400 A.D. and later. The Ohio Hopewell probably grew out of the strong local Adena pattern, so the elaborate mortuary complex called Classic Hopewell actually developed in Ohio. That complex of traits and its associated relationships has been called the Hopewell Interaction Sphere, a phase that takes account of a cluster of traits, artifacts, burial mounds- a mortuary cult or religion rooted in veneration of the dead- that can be recognized almost everywhere east of the Mississippi.”
“note21”> [[237]][[238]] SW Indians pg. 46-52; Warfare pg. 119-121
Prehistory pg. 299-303: “First defined in 1936 the Mogollon tradition possibly developed out of the Chiricahua and San Pedro Archaic. It seems to have acquired maize before 1 A.D., but pottery came considerably later at about 300 A.D. Once erroneously believed to have had maize by 4000 B.P. and ceramics by 2300 B.P, the Mongollon time span has been reduced by the later research to less that half of those figures.
Usually the Mogollon is divided into four or five periods. The Pine Lawn-Georgetown begins about 300 A.D. and lasts until about 650 A.D., to be followed by San Francisco, Three Circle, and Reserve, which ends at 1100 A.D. With the end of the Reserve phase, the simplicity of the Mogollon is lost and heavy increments of Anasazi concepts-aboveground masonry dwellings, black-on-white pottery, some religious ideas, and increasing village size- essentially change the Mogollon into what is today called the Western Pueblo Tradition.” [[238]][[239]] Mosiah 8:8; Alma 50:29; Helaman 3:3–6; Mormon 6:4 [[239]][[240]] Prehistory chap 5-6 early dates; SW Indians pg. 46-58 [[240]][[241]] Helaman 3:3–14 [[241]][[242]] Prehistory chap 5-6 early dates; SW Indians pg. 46-58 [[242]][[243]] Helaman 3:3–14; 6:6; 7:1-3 [[243]][[244]] Warfare chapter 4; SW Indians pg. 46-52
Prehistory pg. 230-235: “Many were destroyed by fire; the outlines formed by postholes are frequently encountered under the mounds, as if the burning of a house was the first step in construction of a burial mound. It has been suggested that the Adena “houses” were actually mortuary structures called charnel houses were bodies were defleshed and stored until the major ceremony: the burning of the house, placement of bodies in the crypts, and the building of the initial mounds.
A few examples of an unusual artifact have been reported. It’s the upper jaw of a wolf, cut so that the incisors and canines are intact on a kind of handle made by carving the palate to a spatulate form. It probably was part of an animal mask; the user would have had his upper incisors removed, putting the spatula in his mouth through the opening thus created. Human skulls thus mutilated have also been found, lending some credence to the idea.” [[244]][[245]] Alma 63:5–8 [[245]][[246]] Grolier, Fiji; Grolier, Western Samoa; Grolier, Easter Island; Grolier, French Polynesia [[246]][[247]] 3 Nephi 8:19–23 [[247]][[248]] Ancient Maya pg. 51 [[248]][[249]] 4 Nephi 1:1–18 [[249]][[250]] Ancient Kingdoms pg. 85-91; Atlas pg. 104-105 [[250]][[251]] Chiapas #9 pg. 8
Zapotec pg. 193-194: “Between the next two building stages, a second room was built in front of the previously existing one. The back walls of this outer chamber, which was 27 m in extent, abutted the sides of the inner room. That inner room was now given two doorways on either side, one of which led to a stairway. By stage G2- perhaps 150-100 BC- the floor of the inner room had been raised 15 cm above the floor of the outer room.” [[251]][[252]] 4 Nephi 1:2–18 [[252]][[253]] Mexican History pg. 16-18; BofM Evidence pg. 95-99; Atlas pg. 104-105 [[253]][[254]] Mexican History pg. 16-18 [[254]][[255]] Ancient Kingdoms pg. 95; Mexican History pg. 16-18; Prehistory pg. 240-242; Chiapas Artifacts pg. 196-198; Atlas pg. 104-105 [[255]][[256]] Ancient Kingdoms pg. 95; Mexican History pg. 16-18; Chiapas Artifacts pg. 196-198 [[256]][[257]] Ancient Kingdoms pg. 85-91; Atlas pg. 104-105 [[257]][[258]] 4 Nephi 1:1–18 [[258]][[259]] Chiapas Artifacts pg. 196-198
Prehistory pg. 238-245: “The presence of skillfully manufactured objects seems to point to an artisan class. The finely wrought objects not only were beautiful, but also may have had extra value because of their cost in effort both to import and to manufacture. Their mere possession would no doubt give the owners prestige, and their innate properties may have included sacred or symbolic values beyond whatever other values they may have had. The splendor of the Ohio center was never equaled elsewhere, but a few specific Ohio artifact types are found all over the interaction sphere. They are the single and double cymbal ear spools of copper, they Busycon shell bowls, copper panpies, and mica mirrors; those are only items found in graves in all of the eight traditions. But some uniformly styled pottery types were common in all areas.” [[259]][[260]] Chiapas Artifacts pg. 196-198; Prehistory pg. 243; Chiapas Burials pg. 73-74 [[260]][[261]] Mexican History pg. 16
Prehistory pg. 293: “The Hohokam were generally restricted to deserts of the southern Basin and Range province along the lower Salt and middle Gila rivers and used these waters for large-scale irrigation. The modern city of Phoenix, Arizona, is built upon the ruins of many Hohokam settlements and complex system of irrigation ditches that made life possible. The major canals of the Hohokam system underwent constant repair and modification. The biotic recourses in these valleys were undoubtedly much restricted, as they are today. The summer heat is intense. Faunal resources are scarce, but many edible plant species occur, including fruits of several cacti and beans from tree legumes such as acacia and mesquite. Rainfall is low except to the east, and of the three traditions the Hohokam were probably the most dependent on their fields for food.
As described above, the southwestern cultures represent a complex subsistence pattern of balanced gardening and gathering in a land where farming is difficult, if not impossible. The environmental settings of the three traditions range from Colorado’s green mesas to the sere wastes of Arizona’s deserts. All depended on the careful use of limited water. There has long been general consensus that all three traditions evolved from the local Archaic cultures after stimulus from an unspecified Mexican source.” [[261]][[262]] Chiapas Artifacts pg. 198 [[262]][[263]] Chiapas Burials pg. 74 [[263]][[264]] Mexico pg. 89-91; Maya pg. 81
“On the basis of a technology that was essentially Neolithic- for metals were unknown until after AD 900- the Mexicans raised fantastic numbers of buildings, deocrated them with beautiful polychrome murals, produced pottery and figurines in unbelieveable quantitiy, and covered everything with sculptures. Even mass production was introduced, with the inovation (or importation from South America) of the clay mold for making figurines and incense burners.” [[264]][[265]] Chiapas Artifacts pg. 197-198 [[265]][[266]] Chiapas Artifacts pg. 196-198; Prehistory pg. 279, 299; Chiapas Burials pg. 73-74
Zapotec pg. 172: “Monte Alban II had the most colorful and distinctive pottery seen in Oaxaca since the San Jose phase. Burnished gray ware remained popular, but it was joined by waxy red, red-on-orange, red-on-cream, black, and white-rimmed black vessels, many of whose shapes and colors reflect an exchange of ideas with neighboring Chiapas. The distinctiveness of this pottery makes it relatively easy to identify on the surface of the ground, and some 518 communities of this period have been identified in the Valley of Oaxaca.” [[266]][[267]] Chiapas Artifacts pg. 196-198
Prehistory pg. 245: “The grave goods were numerous but not particularly flamboyant. There were pottery vessels, many turtle carapace dishes, several busycon shell bowls, awls, projectile points, scraps of mica, mussel shell spoons, numerous lumps of much oxidized pyrite, eagle and falcon jaws, beaver incisors, bone and antler scrap, and some cobble hammers or anvil stones. An interesting note was that many of the crania had perforated left parietal bones. The excavators speculate that these individuals may have been sacrificed as part of the burial ceremony. The pottery particularly shows marked similarity to the Illinois Hopewell variant, leading the assignment of the Norton group to an Illinois expansion, rather than to the nearer Ohio Hopewell climax.” [[267]][[268]] Ancient Kingdoms pg. 98-99; Prehistory pg. 243; Mexican History pg. 20-21; Atlas pg. 104-105 [[268]][[269]] Teotihuacan pg. 1-2; Mexican History pg. 16-17; Atlas pg. 105 [[269]][[270]] Chiapas Artifacts pg. 197 [[270]][[271]] Morelos pg. 135-150; Teotihuacan pg. 2; Mexican History pg. 16-17; Chiapas Artifacts pg. 1997
Zapotec pg. 172-175: “For one thing, the ring of 155 settlements that had surronded Monte Alban during Late Period I was now gone. The central region of the Valley of Oaxaca, once densely populated, was now reduced to 23 communities. This suggests that Monte Alban no longer needed to concentrate farmers, warriors, and laborers within 15 km of the city, because its rulers could now count on the support of the entire valley.
In addition, there no longer seems to be any ambiguity about a four-tiered hierarchy of communities in the valley. Monet Alban, now covering 416 ha, was the only “city,” or occupant of Tier I; its population is estimated at 14,500.”
Mexico pg. 91: “Very clearly, the Classic florescence saw the intensification of sharp social cleavages thoughout Mexico, and the consolidation of elite classes. It has long been assumed on a priori grounds that the mode of government was theocratic, with a priestly group exercising temporal power. In lieu of actual documents from the period, there is little for or against this idea to be gained from archaeoligical record. At any rate, below the intellecutal group which held the political reins was a peasantry which had hardly changed an iota from Preclassic times. Apart from the post-Conquest introduction of animal husbandry and steel tools, and old village-farming way of life has hardly been altered until today.”
[[271]][[272]] Mexican History pg. 16; Mayas pg. 1, 3
Zapotec pg. 172-175: “Two other settlements, classified as Tier 2 centers on the basis of size, do not seem to have been surrounded by comparable cells of large villages. Magdelena Apasco seems to have been a town in the San Jose Mogote cell. Scuhilquitongo, a hilltop center near the upper Atoyac River, may have served to defend the northern entrance to the valley. (A smaller mountaintop center, El Choco, may have defended the pass where the Atoyac River exits the valley on its way south.)” [[272]][[273]] Atlas pg. 105; Chiapas Artifacts pg. 198 [[273]][[274]] 4 Nephi 1:2–3, 15–17 [[274]][[275]] 4 Nephi 1:23–24 [[275]][[276]] Prehistory pg. 282, 294
“The Monroe phase was characterized by distinctive rectangular houses with vertical wall posts in a straight line, three center supports (for gabled roofs, as sometimes in the Mississippian), and a fireplace toward the narrow entry ramp. The entry ramp sloped down to meet the sunken floor of the lodge. A striking fact about the Monroe villages was their compactness, in contrast to the randomness of earlier settlements. The houses were located uniformly with the long axis oriented southwest-northeast and with the entryway toward the southwest.
The village is large. House lodges even now number more than one hundred; the erosion of the Missouri has destroyed an unknown number. The dominant house type was a rectangular structure built of vertical posts or poles with an entryway opening to the west. Houses were large, averaging 30 by 33 feet. The roof was supported by central posts or pillars arranged down the midline of the house. The covering for the houses is not definitely known, but they are believed to have been roofed with sod. The vertical walls were of wattle and daub. A most impressive component of the village was the encircling fortification, an earthen embankment behind which small posts set about 12 inches apart formed a palisade. Ten projecting bastions were equally spaced along its sides and at the two western shores.”
Zapotec pg. 208-209: “The Zapotec cocui, or hereditary lord, and his xonaxi, or royal wife, lived in residential palaces fitting the historic description of the yoho quehui, or “royal house.” Many of these were residents 20-25 m on one side, divided into 10-12 rooms arranged around an interior patio. Typical features were L-shaped corner rooms, some with apparent sleeping benches. Privacy was provided by a “curtian wall” just inside the main doorway, which screened the interior of the palace from view. Doors were probably closed with elegant weavings, or even brightly colored feather curtians. In some Zapotec palaces, no two rooms have their floors at exactly the same level. This might have been a way of ensuring that the coqui’s head was higher than anyone else’s, even when he was asleep.”
[[276]][[277]] Chiapas Artifacts pg. 199; Chiapas Burials pg. 74-75; Mexican History pg. 43-48
Prehistory pg. 247, 271-272, 294: “The objects are an exquisite expression of artistry combined with skilled craftsmanship. The artifacts were created in every medium: wood, shell, clay, stone, and hammered copper. The art is concerned with depicting animals, humans, mythical creatures, tools, and weapons, using a dozens of themes and scores of motifs. The artifacts are not utilitarian but ornamental and are undoubtedly rich in conventional and symbolic meaning. As a subject for study they have attracted attention for a century. Much speculation has attended that study; the complex artifacts is said to have been a death cult because of the skull, hand-eye, and other motifs”
Zapotec pg. 208-209: “As for the rulers themselves, they are often depicted in ceramic sculpture- seated on thrones or crosslegged on royal mats, weighed down with jewelry and immense feather headdresses. Rulers evidently had a variety of masks, so many that one wonders if their faces were ever seen by commoners. Rulers in many cultures have disguised themselves to maintain the myth that they were not mere mortals, and Zapotec kings seem to have had numerous costumes depending on the occasion. Their ties to Lightning were reinforced by jade or wooden masks depicting the powerful face of Cociyo; their roles as warriors were reinforced by wearing a mask made from the facial skin of a flayed captive.
A magnificent example of the latter can be seen in the funerary urn from Tomb 103, a royal burial beneath a palace at Monte Alban. The Zapotec ruler sits on his throne in the guise of a warrior, holding a staff or war club in his right hand. In his left he grasps the hair of an enemy’s severed head, as he peers through the dried skin of a flayed enemy’s face. His headdress, featuring the plumes of birds from distant cloud forests, covers not only his head but also the back of his throne. Jade spools in his earlobes, a massive jade necklace, and a kilt covered with tubular sea shells add to his elegance. Note that, in the tradition of the figurines of 850-700 BC, the sculptor has paid great attention to every detail of the lord’s sandals, right down to the tying of the laces.” [[277]][[278]] 4 Nephi 1:24 [[278]][[279]] Chiapas Artifacts pg. 199
Prehistory pg. 238, 249, 262-263, 294-297, 299, 308, 319-320: “In the mounds were rich caches of goods, not always with the burials. The cached objects were created from exotic materials, both local Ohio items and imported ones. Mica, in sheets or cutout geometric or animal forms, was a commonly used mineral. Copper, recovered in free sheets and nuggets from the Lake Superior sources, was used for ear spools, headdresses, masks, bracelets, beads, chest ornaments, celts, and panpies. Pearls were used as beads for anklets and armlets and were sewn on garments.
The potters were only one of the artisan groups. Shellworkers engraved and carved Busycon shell with the columella removed for ornaments and pendants, and used the columella to make knobbed hairpins; tubular disc-shaped, and globular beads; and other ornaments as well. Other skilled craftsmen made bracelets, beads, headdresses, and a few hairpins for the copper produced locally in Tennessee and northern Georgia, and decorated thin sheets of hammered copper with a repousse technique.”
Zapotec pg. 208-209: “As for the rulers themselves, they are often depicted in ceramic sculpture- seated on thrones or crosslegged on royal mats, weighed down with jewelry and immense feather headdresses. Rulers evidently had a variety of masks, so many that one wonders if their faces were ever seen by commoners. Rulers in many cultures have disguised themselves to maintain the myth that they were not mere mortals, and Zapotec kings seem to have had numerous costumes depending on the occasion. Their ties to Lightning were reinforced by jade or wooden masks depicting the powerful face of Cociyo; their roles as warriors were reinforced by wearing a mask made from the facial skin of a flayed captive.
A magnificent example of the latter can be seen in the funerary urn from Tomb 103, a royal burial beneath a palace at Monte Alban. The Zapotec ruler sits on his throne in the guise of a warrior, holding a staff or war club in his right hand. In his left he grasps the hair of an enemy’s severed head, as he peers through the dried skin of a flayed enemy’s face. His headdress, featuring the plumes of birds from distant cloud forests, covers not only his head but also the back of his throne. Jade spools in his earlobes, a massive jade necklace, and a kilt covered with tubular sea shells add to his elegance. Note that, in the tradition of the figurines of 850-700 BC, the sculptor has paid great attention to every detail of the lord’s sandals, right down to the tying of the laces.” [[279]][[280]] Prehistory pg. 262, 271-272
“In western California, there was evidentily a much greater concern with the dead. Many were buried in mounds, others in extensive cemeteries. An analysis of the grave goods of these many cemeteries has led some scholars to suggest that there was in California a social complexity quite at variance with the simple and relatively stable technology the archaeology reveals.”
Zapotec pg. 185-188, 209-216; Zapotec pg. 210-216: “One of the most famous Zapotec royal burials is Monte Alban’s Tomb 104, believed to date to the middle of Period III. Its elaborate facade includes a niche with a large funerary sculpture. The latter has a headdress containing two jaguar or puma heads, huge ear ornaments, a large pectoral with marine shells, and a bag of incense in one hand.
Inside the main chamber of the tomb was a single skeleton, fully extended face up. At its feet was the funerary urn, flanked by four accompanists or “companion figures.” The chamber had been equipped with five wall niches, many of which were filled with pottery; dozens of additional vessels were stacked on the floor. The pottery was extremely varied in form and function- in effect, a couple “table setting” for a Zapotec lord or lady. Included were bowls and vases, bridgespout jars, ladles, “sause boats,” and a stone mortar of the type now used for making guacamole or chili sause. There were also figures of humans.
Running the wall of the chamber was a mural. At the left (the south wall of the chamber) we see a male figure holding an incense bag in one hand. Next comes a niche in the wall with an “offering box” and a parrot painted above it. Then come two hieroglyphic compounds, 2 Serpent and 5 Serpent; below them is another “offering box.” On the back wall of the tomb (the west side) are three niches and a complex painting that features a human face (probably and ancestor) below the “Jaws of the Sky.” The date (or day-name) 5 Turquoise appears to the left of the jaws.
At the far right (north wall of the tomb) we see another male figure with an incense bag. Above a niche in this wall we see the “heart as sacrifice” and above that the glyphs for I Lightning, and to the left we see the dates or day-names 5 Owl and 5 Lightning. A feathered speech scroll is associated with 5 Owl. All these names probably refer to important royal ancestors of the individual in the tomb.
Finally, the door of the main chamber was closed by a large stone, carved on both sides. We see the hieroglyphic inscription of the inner surface of the door. The inscription shares several day-names with the mural inside the chamber. On the right side appear the glyphs 6 Turquoise, a glyph designated “Glyph I” by Alfonso Caso, and a human figurine showing the same stiff posture seen in the jade statues beneath an earlier temple at San Jose Mogote. On the left side appears the large glyph 7 Deer, flanked by smaller glyphs for 6 Serpent, 7 “Glyph I,” and four small cartouches accompanied by the number 15. In the center of the stone we have an abbreviated “Jaws of the Sky” and the glyph 5 Turquoise. Below this we find a buccal mask in profile, and the same glyph for I Lightning seen on the north-wall mural of the tomb chamber.
The repetition of the names 5 Turquoise and I Lightning on the mural and door stone suggests that these individuals were very important. Together with the funerary urns, the scores of ceramic offerings, and the elaborate construction of the tomb, these references to ancestors were an integral part of royal burial ritual.” [[280]][[281]] 4 Nephi 1:46 [[281]][[282]] Zapotec pg. 224-225
“Period IIIa, because of its distinctively decorated pottery, shows up strongly on surface survey. This is fortunate, since it makes it easier to show the significant changes in settlment pattern that took place between Monte Alban II and IIIa. Those changes included substantial increases in population, great shifts in the demographic center of gravity of the Valley of Oaxaca, and increased use of defensible localities.” [[282]][[283]] Mexican History pg. 17-18, 36-39;
Zapotec pg. 208-221: “Also set in the walls of the South Platform are six stelae showing prionsers with arms tied behind their backs. While some are dressed in little more than a breech-clout, others wear the kind of full animal costume given to warriors who had distinguished themselves in battle. Each captive stands on a place glyph naming the region from which he came; unforunately, the regions have not as yet been securely identified. If the destiny of Early Period III sites on densible hilltops can be used as a guide, we suspect that regions south and east of the Valley of Oaxaca were the scene of considerable warfare during Early Period III.”
Mexico pg. 129: “Following in the wake of the disturbances and intrusions of alien peoples which brought to a close the civilizations of the Classic during the ninth century AD was a seemingly new mode of organized life. Although there is ample evidence for warfare in such Classic cultures as Teotihuacan and Monte Alban, the Post-Classic saw a greatly heightend emphasis on militarism, in fact, a glorification of war in all its aspects. There was now an upstart class of tough professional warriors, grouped into military orders which took theri names from the animals from which they may have claimed a kind of totemic descent: coyote, jaguar, and eagle. Wars were the rule of the day, those unfrotunate enough to be captured destined for sacrifice to the gods. Human sacrifice can hardly be considered a new element in Mesoamerican life, but for the first time we have widespread evidence for the tzompantli, the skull rack on which heads were skewered for public display. As a result of these marital activities, there was extensive contruction of strongpoints and the fortification of towns.” [[283]][[284]] Mexican History pg. 17-18
Zapotec pg. 216-221, 224: “The hidden scenes of Teotihuacan visitors were placed at the four corners of the South Platform. Under three of those, the builders of the platform placed offering boxes with standardized dedicatory caches. These cashes show that the carved stones were part of the Early Monte Alban III platform, sicne the boxes contain offerings of that period. No offering was placed under the south-east corner, apparently because bedrock was deeper there and more construction fill was required.”
Mexico pg. 129: “Throughout Mexico, this was a time which saw a great deal of confusion and movement of peoples, amalgamating to form small, aggressive, conquest states, and splitting up with as much speed as they had risen. Even tribes of distinctly different speech sometimes came together to form a single state- as we know from their annals, for we have entered the realm of history. Naturally, such new conditions are mirrored in Post-Classic art styles, which are thoroughly saturated with the martial psychology of the age. In general they are harder, far more abstract, and less exuberant than those of the Classic period. It is the kind of strong, static art produced by artisans guided by Spartan, not Athenian, ideals.” [[284]][[285]] Mormon 1:6–7 [[285]][[286]] Teotihuacan pg. 2-3; Morelos pg. 135-150; Prehistory pg. 254-256; Ancient Kingdoms pg. 100-101
Zapotec pg. 224: “The population of the Valley of Oaxaca rose to an estimated 115,000 persons during Monte Alban IIIa. This growth was accompanied by tumultuous changes in the distribution of population throughout the valley. Of the 1075 known communities, 510 (or nearly half) were now in the Tlacolula subvalley.”
Maya pg. 152: “We know from the downfall of past civilizations such as the Roman and Khmer empires that it is fruitless to look for single causes. But most of the Maya archaeologists can now agree that three factors were paramount in the downfall: 1) endemic internecine warefare, 2) overpopulation and accompanying enviromental collapse, and 3) drought. All three probably played a part, but not necessarily all together in the same time and in the same place. Warefare seems to have become a real problem earlier than the two.
On can only conclude that by the end of the eighth century, the Classic Maya population of the southern lowlands had probably increase beyond the carrying capacity of the land, no matter what system of agriculture was in use. There is mounting evidence for massive deforestation and erosion throughout the Central Area, only alleviated in a few favorable zones by dry slope terracing. In short, overpopulation and enviromental degradation had adbanced to a degree only matched by what is happening in many of the poorest tropical countries today. The Maya apocolypse, for such it was, surely had ecological roots.” [[286]][[287]] 4 Nephi 1:24–26 [[287]][[288]] ; Prehistory pg. 247, 261, 268, 270-272
Zapotec pg. 216-221: “Whatever the reason, the stelae commissioned by 12 Jaguar display two types of royal propaganda: vertical and horizontal. The message on the public faces of his monuments- showing his inaugural scene, his captives, and his heroic predecessor- traveled “vertically” from the ruler down to the commoners. The message of support from Teotihuacan, carved on the hidden edges of the same stelae, traveled “horizontally” from the ruler to his fellow nobles, did not need to be seen by commoners.” [[288]][[289]] Mexican History pg. 18; Chiapas Burials pg. 74-75;
Zapotec pg. 216-224: “For many ancient Mesoamerican states, the inauguration of a new ruler was a time for elaborate ritual and royal propaganda. Inauguration rituals sent the ideological message that kingship and the state would continue in a just, orderly, predictable manner under a deserving new ruler.
Mesoamerican groups such as the Aztec, Mixtec, and Maya tried to designate the old ruler’s successor in advance of the former’s death. Between the time of that designation and his or her actual assumption of the throne, the future ruler was expected to engage in a series of important activities. He or she might travel to consult the leaders of other ethnic groups; raid enemy communities to get captives for sacrifice; mark off the boundaries of the polity to reinforce them; and perform some act of piety, like building a new temple or visiting a shrine.
The classic Zapotec were no exception to this pattern. Sometime during Early Period III, a ruler named 12 Jaguar was inaugurated at Monte Alban. Part of his inauguration ritual included the dedication of a massive pyramidal structure, the South Platform of the Main Plaza, for whose construction (or enlargement) he sought to take credit. In preparation for his inauguration, he commissioned a carved stone monument which shows him seated on his throne. He also had taken a number of captives for sacrifice, six of whom are depicted on other stone monuments. He seems to have documented his right to rule by using a monument that refers to a previous Zapotec ruler, perhaps claming him as an ancestor. Finally, he commissioned carved scenes of eight visitors from Teotihuacan, a city in the Basin of Mexico which was a powerful contemporary of Monet Alban. These scenes show Teotihucanos visiting Monte Alban in what may be a demonstration of support for the new ruler. Dedicatory caches were placed beneath three corner stones bearing these scenes.” [[289]][[290]] 4 Nephi 1:35–39 [[290]][[291]] Mexican History pg. 18, 24-27, 31-43
Prehistory pg. 246-247: “In New York, the Point Peninsula Tradition begins with the Squawkie Hill phase, where cult artifacts are found in mounds. In fact the typical rocker stamping is very extensive in the Northeast, being found well beyond the Hopewellian diagnostics. After about 250 A.D. the Hopewell Traditon traits disappear there. It is about the time that the cultures of the Midwest and East developed stronger regional differences, with many local sequences replacing the more uniform culture characteristic of Hopewell dominance. Even so, as in the widespread dentate pottery decoration, vestiges of Hopewell ancestry can be noted. In New York, for example, the development of late Point Peninsula into Owasco and even historic Iroquois can be tied through a few ceramic traits to Hopewell.”
Zapotec pg. 222-224: “The golden age of Zapotec civilization can be divided into phases, called Monte Alban IIIa and IIIb. While far radiocarbon samples from either phase have been run, the available dates (and traded pottery from other regions) suggest that IIIa falls roughly between A.D. 200 and 500, while IIIb falls roughly between 500 and 700.
Period IIIa, because of its distinctively decorated pottery, shows up strongly on surface survey. This is fortunate, since it makes it easier to show the significant changes in settlement pattern that took place between Monte Alban II and IIIa. Those changes included substantial increases in population, great shifts in the demographic center of gravity of the Valley of Oaxaca, and increased use of defensible localities.
Period IIIb, in contrast, had relatively drab pottery which is difficult to distinguish from that of subsequent phase, Monte Alban IV. When large Period IIIb sites are excavated, they often contain pottery types traded from the Maya region, types whose ages are well established. On surface survey, however, Periods IIIb and IV are difficult to separate unless one has a very large sample of pottery.”
Mexico pg. 113, 115, 119, 120-126, 126-127: “Down the Gulf Coast plain, new civilizations appeared in the Early Classic which in some respects reflect continuity from the Olmec tradition of the lowlands, as well as intrusive elements ultimately derived from Teotihuacan. The site of Cerro de las Mesas lies in the middle of the former Olmec territory, in south-central Veracruz, approximately 15 miles from the Bay of Alvarado, on a broad band of high land above the swamps of the Rio Blanco. The site is the ceter of an area dotted with earthen mounds.”
Maya pg. 84, 88-89, 97, 100: “Shortly after AD 400, the highlands fell under Teotihuacan domination. A intrusive group of central Mexicans from that city apparently seized Kaminaljuyu and built for themselves a miniature version of their captial. An elite class ruling over a captive population of Maya descent, they were swayed by native cultural tastes and traditions and became “Mayanized” to the extent that they imported from the Central Area pottery and other wares with which to stock their tombs. The Esperanza culture which arose at Kaminalijuyu during the Early Classic, then, is a kind of hybrid.”
[[291]][[292]] 4 Nephi 1:26–28 [[292]][[293]] Mexican History pg. 36-39
Mexico pg. 100-103, 124-125: “In Karl Taube’s view, as we have seen, the presiding deity of the Teotihuacan pantheon was the Spider Woman, the patroness of our own world; she was probably the equivalent of the later Aztec Toci, ‘Our Grandmother.’ Many of the other gods of the complete Mexican pantheon are already clearly recognizable at Teotihuacan. Here were worshipped the Rain God (‘Tlaloc’ to the Aztecs) and the Feathered Serpent (the later ‘Quetzalcoatl’), as well as the Sun God, the Moon Goddess, and Xipe Totec (Nahuatl for ‘Our Lord the Flayed One’), the last-named being the symbol of the annual renewal of vegetation with the onset of the rainy season. Particularly common are incense burners fo the Old Fire God, a creator divinity and the probable consort of the Spider Woman. A colossal statue represents the Water Goddess (in Nahuatl, Chalchiuhtlicue, ‘Her Skirt Is of Jade’), but there is an even larger statue, weighing almost 200 metric tons and now in front of the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City; found in an unfinished state on the slopes of Tlaloc Mountain, it is identified in the popular Mexican consciousness with that deity, but its exact identification is unknown. At any rate, it should be noted that almost all the gods venerated in this great urban captital were intimatley connected with the well-being of maize, with their staff of life.”
People pg. 487: “A hereditary elite seems to have ruled Monte Alban, the leaders of a state that had emerged in the Valley of Oaxaca by AD 200. Their religious power was based on ancestor worship, a pantheon of art least 39 gods, grouped around major themes of ritual life. The rain god and lightning were associated with the jaguar motif; another group of deities was linked with the maize god, Pitao Cozabi. Nearly all these gods were still worshiped at the time of the Spanish contact, although Monte Alban itself was abandoned after AD 700, at approximately the same time as another great ceremonial center, Teotihuacan, in the Valley of Mexico, began to decline.” [[293]][[294]] 4 Nephi 1:26–34 [[294]][[295]] Gods and Symbols pg. 136-137
Zapotec pg. 208-210: “By A.D. 200 the Zapotec had extended their influence from Quioteopec in the north to Ocelotepec and Chiltepec in the south. Their noble ambassadors had presented gifts to the rulers of Chiapa de Corzo and established a Zapotec enclave at Teotihuacan in the Basin of Mexico. Monte Alban had become the largest city in the southern Mexican highlands and would remain so fa the next 500 years. That half millennium, from A.D. 200-700, has been called the “golden age of Zapotec civilization.”
People pg. 490, 496: “By AD 600, Teotihuacan probably was governed by a secular ruler who was looked upon as a divine king of some kind. A class of nobels controlled the kinship groups that organized the bulk of the city’s huge population.
Copan is just on of many sites where archaeologists have documented the complicated political and social history of Maya civilization. The public monuments erected by the Classic Maya emphasize not only the king’s role as shaman, as the intermediary with the Otherworld, but also his position as family patriarch. Genealogical texts on stelae legitimize his decent, his close relationship to his often long-deceased parents. Maya kings used both the awesome regalia of their office and elaborate rituals to stress their close identity with mythical ancestral gods. This was a way in which they asserted their kin relationship and political authority over subordinate leaders and every member of society.
The king believed himself to have a divine covenant with the gods and ancestors, a covenant that was reinforced again and again in elaborate private and public rituals. The king was often depicted as the World Tree, the conduit by which humans communicated with the Otherworld. Trees were the living enviroment of Maya life and a metaphor for human power. So the kings of the Maya were a forest of symbolic human World Trees within a natural, forested landscape.” [[295]][[296]] Maya chap 4-6
“Paricularly impressive are its six temple-pyramids, veritable skyscrapers among buildings of their class. From the level of the plaza floor to the top of its roof comb, Temple IV, the mightiest of all, measures 229 ft in height. Teh core of Tik’al must be its great plaza, flanked on west and east by two of these temple-pyramids, and on the north by the acropolis already mentioned in connection with its Late Preclassic and Early Classic tombs, and on the southby the Central Acropolis, a palace complex. Some of the major architecural groups are connected to the Great Plaza and with each other by broad causeways, over which many splendid processions must have passed in the days of Tik’al’s glory. The palaces are so impressive, their plastered rooms often still retaining in their vaults the sapodilla-wood spanner beams which had only a decorative function.”
Zapotec chap 13-15: “Not all temples were of the two-room type; some were left open on all sides. An example is Building II of Monte Alban, described by Ignacio Benal as “a small temple with five pillars in the front and another five in the back… It never had side walls and in fact was open to the four winds.” On the south side of this “open” temple, excavators found the entrance to a tunnel which allowed priests to enter and leave the building unseen, crossing beneath the eastern half of the Main Plaza to a building on the plaza’s central spine.
Structure 36, the oldest temple, dated to early Monte Alban II. It measured 11 x 11 m and was slightly T-shaped, the inner room slightly smaller than the outer. Both columns flanking the inner doorway, and all four columns flanking the outer doorway, were made from the trunks of baldcypress trees. So well does cypress wood preserve that identifiable fragments of it were still present in the column bases.
One model of a temple from the Tlacolula subvalley is particularly interesting, as its doorway is shown as having been closed with a feather curtain. Such curtains were luxurious furnishings made by sewing together thousands upon thousands of feathers from brightly colored birds; they may also have been used to close the doors of palaces.”
Mexico chap 6: “The palace compounds were the residences of the lords of the city, such as those uncovered at the zones called by the modern names Xolalpan, Tetitla, Zacuala, and Atetelco, or the magnificent ‘Quetzal-Butterfly’ Palace near the Pyramid of the Moon. Typical of the palace layout might be Xolalpan, a rectangular complex of about fourty-five rooms and seven forecourts; these bourder four platforms, which are arranged around a cenral court. The court was depressed below the general ground level and was open to the sky, with a small altar in the center. While windows were lacking, several of the rooms had smaller sunken courts very much like the Roman atria, into which light and air wer admitted throuh the roof, supported by surrounding columns. The rainwater in the sunken basins could be drained off when desired. All palaces known were one-storied affairs, with flat roofs built from beams adn small sticks and twigs, overlaign by earth and rubble. Doorways were rectangular and covered by a cloth.” [[296]][[297]] People pg. 490, 496: (SAME AS NOTE 295 ABOVE)
Zapotec pg. 208-210: “The Zapotec cocui, or hereditary lord, and his xonaxi, or royal wife, lived in residential palaces fitting the historic description of the yoho quehui, or “royal house.” Many of these were residents 20-25 m on one side, divided into 10-12 rooms arranged around an interior patio. Typical features were L-shaped corner rooms, some with apparent sleeping benches. Privacy was provided by a “curtain wall” just inside the main doorway, which screened the interior of the palace from view. Doors were probably closed with elegant weavings, or even brightly colored feather curtains. In some Zapotec palaces, no two rooms have their floors at exactly the same level. This might have been a way of ensuring that the coqui’s head was higher than anyone else’s, even when he was asleep.
As for the rulers themselves, they are often depicted in ceramic sculpture- seated on thrones or crosslegged on royal mats, weighed down with jewelry and immense feather headdresses. Rulers evidently had a variety of masks, so many that one wonders if their faces were ever seen by commoners. Rulers in many cultures have disguised themselves to maintain the myth that they were not mere mortals, and Zapotec kings seem to have had numerous costumes depending on the occasion. Their ties to Lightning were reinforced by jade or wooden masks depicting the powerful face of Cociyo; their roles as warriors were reinforced by wearing a mask made from the facial skin of a flayed captive.
A magnificent example of the latter can be seen in the funerary urn from Tomb 103, a royal burial beneath a palace at Monte Alban. The Zapotec ruler sits on his throne in the guise of a warrior, holding a staff or war club in his right hand. In his left he grasps the hair of an enemy’s severed head, as he peers through the dried skin of a flayed enemy’s face. His headdress, featuring the plumes of birds from distant cloud forests, covers not only his head but also the back of his throne. Jade spools in his earlobes, a massive jade necklace, and a kilt covered with tubular sea shells add to his elegance that, in the tradition of the figurines of 850-700 BC, the sculptor has paid great attention to every detail of the lord’s sandals, right down to the tying of the laces.
An earlier generation of scholars assumed that these spectacular urns, usually found in royal tombs, depicted “gods.” Today we believe that most of them represent venerated ancestors of the main individuals in the tomb. Some urns bear glyphs with names taken from the 260- day calendar. Supernatural like Lightning, being immortal, were not named for days in Zapotec calendar. It is also the case that the figures on most urns, even when grotesquely masked, are undeniably human behind their disguises.
In cosmology it is always crucial to distinguish between actual supernatural beings- depicted in Mesoamerica by combining parts of different animals, so as to create something obviously “unnatural”- and real humans who had metamorphosed into the heroes and heroines of legend. The latter were humans who had acquired, through death and heredity, some of the attributes of the supernatural. We suspect that Zapotec funerary urns- many of which are one-of-a-kind masterpieces made to accompany rulers in their tombs- provided a venue to which the pee, or animate spirit, of these heroes and royal ancestors could return. This would allow the deceased ruler to continue to consult with his or her important ancestors, much as we think the women of the early village period invoked their ancestors through figurines.” [[297]][[298]] Maya pg. 195 (see also pictures of sculptures and murals throughout Chap. 5); (see also pottery from any region, especially Mimbre Culture in Southwest)
“Immediately after birth, Yuateacan mothers washed their infants and then fastened them to a cradle, their little heads compressed between two boards in such a way that after two days a permanent fore-and-aft flattening had taken place which the Maya considered a mark of beauty. As soon as possible, the anxious parents went to consult with a priest so as to learn the destiny of their offspring, and the name which he or she was to bear until baptism.
The Spanish Fathers were quite astounded that the Maya had a baptismal rite, which took place at an auspicious time when there were a number of boys and girls between the ages of three and twelve in the settlement. The ceremony took place in the house of a town elder, in the presence of their parents who had observed various abstinences in honor of the occasion. The children and their fathers remained inside a cord held by four old and venerable men representing the Chaks or Rain Gods, while the priest performed various acts of purifaction and blessed the candidates with incense, tobacco, and holy water. From that time on the elder girls, at least, were marriageable.
In both highlands and lowlands, boys and young men stayed apart from their families in special communal houses where they presumably learned the arts of war, and other things as well, for Landa says that the prostitutes were frequent visitors. Other youthful diversions were gambling and the ball game. The double standard was present among the Maya, for girls were strictly brought up by their mothers and suffered grievious punishments for lapes of chastity. Marriage was arranged by go-betweens and, as among all peoples with exogamous clans or lineages, there were strict rules about those whom alliances could or could not be made- particularly taboo was marriage with those of the same paternal name. Monogamy was the general custom, but important men who could afford it took more wives. Adultry was punished by death, as among the Mexicans.
Ideas of personal comeliness were quite different from ours, although the friars were much impressed with the beauty of the Maya women. Both sexes had their frontal teeth filed in various patterns, and we have many ancient Maya skulls in which the incisors have benn inlaid with small plaques of jade. Until marraige, young men painted themselves black (and so did warriors at all times); tattooing and decorative scarification began after wedlock, both men and women being richly elaborated from the waist up by these means. Slightly crossed eyes were held in great esteem, and parents attempeted to induce the condition by hanging small beads over the noses of their children.”
Prehistory pg. 306-308: “Initial Basketmaker II is now dated at about the time of Christ, persisting until about 500 A.D. Its identifying traits are familiar, being those cited for the Archaic culture and remindful of the material from Tularosa Cave. The sites are most often to be found in caves, alcoves, or overhangs. In such situations, the perishable artifacts are preserved, as are the bodies of the dead. The practice of skull deformation which later proved popular, had not yet appeared.
Other additions to the Pueblo I trait list include cotton cloth, jacal construction, and the practice of cranial deformation- steeply angled flattening of the optical area- resulting probably from the use of a ridged cradleboard. Both the cotton and the cranial flattening appear in earlier Mongollon.”
Zapotec pg. 105-106: “Now let us turn to another attribute that cannot reflect achievement: deliberate cranial deformation. At the time of the Spanish Conquest it was considered a sign of nobility, like the wearing of quetzal plumes and jade earplugs. Cranial deformation must be done early in life, while the skull is still growing and it bones still separated by cartilage. For the ancient Maya, cranial deformation took place shortly after birth. The sixteenth-century Spaniard Diego de Landa says “four of five days after the infant was born, they placed it stretched out upon a little bed, made of sticks of osier and reeds; and there with its face upwards, they put its head between which they compressed it tightly, and here they kept it suffering until at the end of several days, the head remained flat and molded.”
Some sixteenth-century Aztec informants revealed that “When the children are very young, their heads are soft and can be molded in the shape that you see ours to be, by using two pieces of wood hollowed out in the middle. This custom, given to our ancestors by the gods, gives us a noble air.”
Cranial deformation results from actions taken by one’s parents, long before one is old enough to have achieved anything; thus, if cranial deformation reflects high rank, it must be inherited high rank. Two types of deformation were practiced in early Mesoamerican villages. Tabular deformation, the most common, was caused by pressing the skull between a fixed occipital cradleboard and a free board on the forehead. Annular deformation was caused by tying a band around the head. Each type of deformation could be erect or oblique, depending of the angle at which it was applied.
Tabular deformation was the most common type in the San Jose phase, and could occur with either sex; some of the men buried with Lightning vessels were so deformed. One teenage girl from San Jose Mogote, however, showed annular deformation, a practice still rare at this time. It is possible that she was a bride from another ethnic region, where annular deformation was more common. The girl’s burial position- face up, arms folded on her chest- was also atypical for that residential ward.
We believe that certain children inherited the right to have their skulls deformed, and that certain male children inherited the right to be buried with Earth or Sky motifs. Because such burials were not always accompanied by impressive sumptuary goods, one cannot make a simplistic claim of “chiefly burials” for them. We suspect that these were children born into the descent groups from which future leaders were likely to come. However, not everyone born into such a group automatically became a leader. Almost certainly, to receive truly elegant burial gifts, one had to add achievement to one’s high-status pedigree.” [[298]][[299]] Mysteries pg. 184-186
Prehistory pg. 247-249, 261, 268-271, 282: “Monks Mound dominated from its north end of a vast plaza of some 200 acres enclosed in a bastioned palisade or stockade of large posts. Along each side of the plaza were twelve or more platform and conical mounds with a single platform at the south end of the plaza. Outside the Monks Mound enclosure to north, south, east, and west were dozens of other mounds dominating other plazas. But there were four other large, but lesser mound groups clustered around smaller plazas. Everywhere over the entire bottom and on the valley bluffs to the east were sources of hamlets and farmsteads, which are believed to have supported the centers with foodstuffs and services.
The distribution of these big sites, their locations on water courses, and their very size lead some scholars to postulate that they were religious and administrative centers, peopled primarily by a powerful upper class that controlled trade and, possibly, population distribution and, of course, possessed absolute political and religious power.
There is no doubt that there was an elite Mississippian social class. This is attested by the rich mortuary offerings and the elaborate ceremonies with which the burials were made. Burials occurred on the tops of the pyramid mounds, a mortuary ritual that can be identified wherever the mound groups are found. The uniformity of occurrence has led to the interpretation that there were elite lineages and that their high status was ascribed by virtue of birth, because even children were sometimes accorded elaborate burial ceremony and grave goods. However, near or in the towns were large cemeteries, where lower-class citizens were buried. Here too, there is an occasional richly accompanied burial, but the objects are of a different nature, such as the tools or creations of a craftsman. Such persons are believed to have achieved a relatively high status through merit rather than birth.” [[299]][[300]] 4 Nephi 1:24–46; Mormon 1:13–19 [[300]][[301]] Prehistory pg. 294-298, 300, 318
Mexico pg. 117, 119: “Other panels involve the beginning of the game, while in a final scene the losing captain is apparently being sacrificed by the victors, who brandish a flint knife over his heart: the game played in the courts of El Tajin was not lightly won or lost. The central panels on either side of the court concern the sacred drink pulque, and maguey plants from which this intoxicating beverage was made; over one of these, the Tajin version of the Mexican rain god Tlaloc presides, while on its counterpart opposite, this same god replenishes a pool of pulgue with blood taken from his own penis, watched by deity with a fish headdress.”
Maya pg. 104, 106, 110-112: [[301]][[302]] 4 Nephi 1:46 [[302]][[303]] Prehistory pg. 236-243, 318-320; Tula pg. 46
Zapotec pg. 224: “Period IIIa, because of its distinctively decorated pottery, shows up strongly on surface survey. This is fortunate, since it makes it easier to show the significant changes in settlement pattern that took place between Monte Alban II and IIIa. Those changes included substantial increases in population, great shifts in the demographic center of gravity of the Valley of Oaxaca, and increased use of defensible localities.
Period IIIb, in contrast, had relatively drab pottery which is difficult to distinguish from that of the subsequent phase, Monte Alban IV (roughly A.D. 700-1000). When large Period IIIb sites are excavated, they often contain pottery types traded from the Maya region, types whose ages are well established. On surface survey, however, Periods IIIb and IV are difficult to separate unless one has a very large sample of pottery.”
Mexico pg. 91, 103-105, 144-147: “On the basis of a technology that was essentially Neolithic- for metals were unknown until after AD 900- the Mexicans raised fantastic numbers of buildings, decorated them with beatiful poychrome murals, produced pottery and figurines in unbelievable quantity, and covered everything with sculptures. Even mass production was introduced, with the invention (or importation from South America) of the clay mold for making figurines and incense burners.
Yet it may be fruitless to look at the Valley of Teotihuacan alone for the secret of the capital’s remarkable success, for the city that we have described held sway over most of the central highlands of Mexico during the Early Classic, and perhaps over much of Mesoamerica. Like the later Aztec state, it may have depended as much on long-distance trade and tribute as upon local agricultural production. Teotihuacan influence and probably control in some instances were strong even in regions remote from the capital, such as the Gulf Coast, Oaxaca, and the Maya area. Elegant vases of pure Teotihuacan manufacture are found in the buirals of nobels all over Mexico at this time, and the art of the Teoihuacnaos dominated the germinating styles of the other high civilizations of Mesoamerica. Six hundred and fifty miles to the southeast, in the highlands of Guatemala on the outskirts of the modern capital of that republic, a little ‘city’ has been found that is in all respects a minature copy of Teotihuacan.
Those hardy pioneers who during Toltec times pushed up northwest along the eastern flanks of the Sierra Madre into Chichimec country, sowing their crops in what had once been barren ground, necessarily were forced to live a frontier life. As a matter of fact, this entension of cultivation into the barbarian zone had begun as far back as the Early Classic period, but it is not until the Post-Classic taht one can see any major results, when a series of strongpoints was constructed.
The deep interest of the central Mexicans in the Chichmec zone lying between them and the American Southwest went far beyond the mere search for new lands, however. The site of Alta Vista, near the town of Chalchihuites, Zacatecas, lies astride the Tropic of Cancer, about 390 miles northwest of Tula. It was taken over by Teotihuacan (or Teotihuacan-controlled) people about AD 350, and was exploited all through the Classic for the richness of its local mines, probably, as Professor Dihel thinks, through slave labor. Over 750 mines are known in the area, from which came such rare minerals as malachite, cinnabar, hematite, and rock crystal, which were exported to Teotihuacan for processing into elite artifacts. Alta Vista itself is little more than ceremonial center with a colonnaded hall on a defensible hill, but it is possible that this architectural trait, along with the tzompantli or skull rack, may have provided a Classic prototype for these features at Tula.
At some time in the Classic, turquoise deposits were discovered and exploited in New Mexico, in all likelihood by the Pueblo farming cultures that had old roots there. From there turquoise was taken to Alta Vista and worked into mosaics and similar objects, for export into central Mexico. Trace element analysis, carried out through neutron activation by Dr. Garman Harbottle at the Brookhave National Laboratory, has resulted in very precise data on the turquoise trade between Mesoamerica and the American Southwest, which greatly expanded with the onset of the Early Post-Classic, by which time the major source at Cerrillos, New Mexico, was under the control of the people responsible for the great apartment houses of Chaco Canyon.
In this trade, Alta Vista was an early intermediary. About AD 900, just as the Toltecs were coming to power, it and its hinterland were abandoned. Its successor as turquoise middleman may have been La Quemada, a very large hilltop fortress in the state of Zacatecas, 106 miles to the southwest of Alta Vista. To guard against Chichimec raids, a great stone wall girdles the summit, within which the bulk of the populace (perhaps a Toltec-dominated local tribe) lived, farming the surrounding countryside. Outside the wall, on the lower slopes of the hill, is the ceremonial center of La Quemada: a very odd 33 ft high pyramid built up of stone slabs, not truncated and lacking a stairway, along with a colonnaded hall recalling Alta Vista and Tula. On the summit are serveral platform-pyramids and a complex of walled courts surrounded by rooms.
The two-way nature of the Toltec contact with the Pueblo peoples can be seen at the site of Casas Gandes, Chihuahua, not far south of the border with New Mexico. The florescence of Casas Grandes was coeval with the late Tollan phase at Tula, and with early Aztec. While the population lived in Southwestern-style apartment houses, the Mesoamerican component can be seen in the presence of platform temple mounds, and I-shaped ball courts, and the cult of the Feathered Serpent. Warehouses filled with rare Southwestern minerals, such as turquoise, were found by Charles DiPeso, the excavator of Casas Grandes. What was traveling north? The Pueblo Indians have a deep ritual need for feathers from tropical birds like parrots and macawas, since these symoblize fertility and the heat of the summer sun. Special pens were discovered at the site in which scarlet macaws were kept, apparently brought there by the Toltecs to exchange for the wonderful blue-green turquoise, or perhaps to pay the natives of New Mexico for working the turquoise mines.
It is fairly clear that all these sites were invloved in the trasmission of Toltec traits into the American Southwest, in particular the conlonaded masonary building and the platform pyramid; the ball court and the game played in it; copper bells; perhaps the idea of masked dancers; and the worship of the Feathered Serpent, which still plays a role in the rituals of people like the Hopi and Zuni. It is also clear that these triats ran along a trading route, a ‘Turquoise Road,’ so to speak, analogous to the famous Silk Road of the Old World the bound civilized and ‘barbarian’ alike into a single cultural whole.
A similar movement of Toltec traits took place in the southeastern United States at the same time, probably via the people living on the other side of the cental plateau, but little is known of the archaeology of that region. In Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Illinois, sites with huge temple mounds and ceremoninal plazas, and their associated pottery and other artifacts, show Toltec influence. Suffice it is to say here that most of the more spectacular aspects of the late farming cultures of the United State blend native elements with cultrual traits from Early Post-Classic Mexico.
The ‘Turquoise Road’ continued to flourish throughout the Post-Classic period, right until the coming of the Spainards, who found the mineral of little monteray value. Dr. Harbottle and the archaeologist Phil Weigand have demonstrated that eventually there were many mines in operation in the Southwest and over the border into Mexico, and that the Pueblo peoples were exporting this substance as highly polished tesserae down into central Mexico on routes which ran on both sides on the western Sierra Madre. The ultimate outpost of this vast mercantile exchange was Chichen Itza, where a complete tezcacuitlapilli mirror was discovered resting on a red-painted jaguar throne inside the city’s famous Castillo pyramid; on its reverse side was a turquoise mosaic featuring four encircling Fire Serpents, exactly as depicted on Tula’s warrior atlantids.”
Maya pg. 83-101: Few of the pottery vessels from the Esperanza tombs are represented in the rubbish strewn around Kaminalijuyu, from which it is clear that they were intended for the use of the invading class alone. Some of these were actually imported from Teotihuacan itself, probably carried laboriously over the intervening 800 or 900 miles on back racks such as those still used by native traders in the Maya highlands.” [[303]][[304]] Prehistory pg. 258-260
“The discussion of maize as a staple food requires review in the context of the much larger concept of food production. It is interesting to note that worldwide, coincident with an increasing dependence on any cereal, the overall health and quality of life of a population deteriorates in many ways. Many diseases and nutritional deficiencies or stresses leave evidence of their occurrence in the bones of the body. This it is possible for a paleopathologist to detect in the skeleton many of the unhealthful conditions individuals have experienced during their lives. Thanks to research with archaeological populations recovered from locations in the Americas, Europe, and Near East, it has been possible for scholars to arrive at some general observations that are contrary to one’s expectations. Most of the paleopathologies observed in both historic and prehistoric skeletal populations are related to nutritional stress. Foods lacking in minerals, basic fats, proteins, and amino acids and, more commonly, insufficient food over varyingly long periods of ten leave their marks.
Diseases that cause bone lesions, as well as others that leave no skeletal evidence, are more likely to attack during periods of nutritional stress. Even more conducive to infectious diseases are the unsanitary conditions attending sedentism, a living pattern that usually accompanies the practice of horticulture. When prehistoric people lived together in permanent or semi permanent housing in clustered situations, the incidence of tuberculosis increased markedly, in some Midwest farming populations, for example, over the Woodland incidence of the disease.” [[304]][[305]] Maya Chap 4-6 (pictures); Mexico Chap 6 (pictures); Zapotec Chap 15 (pictures) [[305]][[306]] Prehistory pg. 249, 300
“Warfare seems to have been common at that time, as the villages are palisaded and located on hills or steep stream banks where defense was easier. The communal longhouse exiseted by then, albeit smaller that the later Iroquois structure. Thus the essential elements of the Iroquois pattern- corn agriculture, villages palisaded in defensible positions on streams, an artistic treatment of tobacco pipes, bone-bundle burials, dogs sometimes used as food, and ceramics clearly ancestral to historic Iroquois pottery- were present by 1300 A.D.” [[306]][[307]] Mexican History pg. 25-27; Prehistory pg. 294-297, 299, 318; Gods and Symbols pg. 42-44
Zapotec pg. 180, 188-191, 226: “It was apparently during Monte Alban II that “state ballcourts” in the shape of a Roman numeral I first appeared. It is difficult to put these courts in historic perspective, since we have little information on the ballgame itself.
As early as 1000 BC, some small figurines made at Mesoamerican villages seem to be wearing gloves, knee guards, and other equipment associated with a prehispanic ball game. This game was played with heavy balls made of latex from the indigenous rubber tree. Three such balls were preserved by waterlogging at El Manati in southern Veracruz, a site dating to 1000-700 BC.
This later type of court was called lachi by the Zapotec, and the game was called queye or quiye. While we do not know the rules by which it was played, it probably resebled the Aztec game called olamaliztli or ulama, in which the ball could not be touched with the hands; it was struck instead with the hips, elbows, and head as in modern soccer.
Why would the Zapotec state invest in the construction and standardization of I-shaped ballcourts, in effect promoting an “official” game? No one is sure, but some scholars believe that the ballgame played a role in conflict resolution between communities. It has been suggested that when two opposing towns competed in a state-supervised athletic contest, held on a standardized court at their regional administrative center, the outcome of the game might be taken as a sign of supernatural support for the victorious community. This, in turn, might lessen the likelihood that the two towns would actually go to war.”
Mexico pg. 112, 115-119, 121, 123, 136, 142, 146-147: “Above all, the inhabitants of El Tajin were obsessed with the ball game, human sacrifice, and death, three concepts closely interwoven in the Mesoamerican mind. The courts, which are up to 197 ft long, are formed by two facing walls, with stone surface either vertical or battered. Magnificent bas reliefs in some of them are witness of the drama of the game, with scenes showing mythology associated with it, and ceremonies in which the particapants are the players themselves, all wearing the appropriate paraphernalia.”
Maya pg. 99, 108-109, 114, , 116, 118, 163-164: “Ball courts seem to be present at many sites in the Central Area, but they are more frequent and better made in the southeast, at sites like Copan. These courts are of stucco-faced masonry, and have sloping playing sufaces. At Copan, three stone markers were placed on each side, and three set into the floor of the court, but the exact method of scoring in the game is obscure. Toward the western part of teh Central Area, in centers along the Usumacinta River, sweat baths are known, possibly adopted from Mexio where such structures can still be found in many highland towns.
Reliefs of skulls and manikin figures of skeletons are not uncommon. Their second obession was the rubber ball game. Secure evidence for the game comes from certain stone objects that are frequent in the Cotzumalhuapn zone and in fact over much of the Pacific Coast down to El Salvador. Of these, most typical are the U-shaped stone “yokes” which represented the heavy protective belts of wood and leather worn by the contestants; and thin heads or hachas with human faces, grotesque carnivores, macaws, and turkeys, generally thought to be markers for the zones of the court, but worn on the yoke during post game ceremonies. Both are sure signs of a close affiliation to the Classic cultures of the Mexican Gulf Coast, where such ballgame paraphernalia undoubtedly originated.” [[307]][[308]] Gods and Symbols pg. 42-44 [[308]][[309]] Mexican History pg. 25-27; Gods and Symbols pg. 42-44
Mexico pg. 115-119: (SAME AS NOTE 307 ABOVE)
“Other panels involve the beginning of the game, while in a final scene the losing captain is apparently being sacrificed by the victors, who brandish a flint knife over his heart: the game played in the courts of El Tajin was not lightly won or lost.” [[309]][[310]] Mexican History pg. 25-27; Gods and Symbols pg. 42-44
Mexico pg. 115-119, 142: “In line with the claim that human sacrifce was introduced in the last phase of Tula by the Tezcatlipoca faction, there are several depictions of teh cuauhxicalli, the sacred ‘eagle vessel’ designed to recieve human hearts, as well as a tzompantli, the altar decorated with skulls and crossbones on which the heads of captives were displayed. In fact, the base of an actual tzompantli has been found just to the east of Ball Court 2, the largest at the site; fragments of human skulls littered its surface. In accordance with Mesoamerican custom, these were probably trophies from losers in a game that was ‘played for keeps’!” [[310]][[311]] Mexican History pg. 25-27
Mexico pg. 115-119: “The Building of the Columns is the largest ‘palace’ complex at the site. The drums of the columns are carved with narrative scenes from the ceremonial life of the city. The most interesting of these depicts a procession of victorious warriors bringing stripped captives to the to the enthroned ruler, a personage with the calendrical name 13 Rabbit; before him lies the corpse of a disembowled victim. Similar names taken from the 260-day count are found here and elsewhere at El Tajin, but it is doubtful whether a writing system as advanced as those of the Zapotecs or Maya existed here.” [[311]][[312]] Mexican History pg. 25-27; Prehistory pg. 306; Gods and Symbols pg. 42-44 [[312]][[313]] Mexican History pg. 48-50; Prehistory pg. 319-320 [[313]][[314]] Prehistory pg. 238, 247, 249, 261-263, 268, 270-278, 294-297, 299, 308, 319-320; Chiapas Artifacts pg. 199
Zapotec pg. 208-209, 216-221: “In the second half of Monte Alban III, referred as Period IIIb, Reyes Etla was an important Tier 2 or 3 center in the Etla region. One tomb there had its doorway flanked by two remarkable carved stone jambs. Each shows a Zapotec lord in jaguar or puma warrior costume, holding a lance in his hand. Their names are given as 5 Flower and 8 Flower. Each stands below the “Jaws of the Sky” and has a “hill sign” beneath his feet. These jamb figures may represent relatives or ancestors who guarded the tomb, suggesting that even the nobles of Tier 2-3 centers were persons of great importance.” [[314]][[315]] Mormon 2:8; Moroni 8:27–29; 9:18-23 [[315]][[316]] Mormon 2-6 (approximately 60 years from Zarahemla to Cumorah; about 25 years from Desolation to Cumorah) [[316]][[317]] This section will show evidences that the destructions began in Yucatan, passed across the Mexican Highland, up through West Mexico, across the Northwest Mexico and the American Southwest and Midwest and up into the Northeast to Cumorah covering almost the entire continent of North America. [[317]][[318]] Mormon 5:8–11; 6:1, 5-22; 8:7 [[318]][[319]] Mexico pg. 107-112
“Both murals suggest some sort of opposition or juxtaposition between Eagles and Jaguars, perhaps symbolic of the knightly orders which we know from Post-Classic Mexico. Such an opposition is vividly depicted on the talud of Building B, on which is realistically painted a great battle in progress between jaguar-clad and feathered warriors, any one of whom might be at home on the reliefs of Seibal. There is little doubt that the artist had seen such a conflict, for he depicts such grisly details as a dazed victim, seated on the ground holding his entrails in his hands. The art historian Mary Miller believes that such a battle had actually taken place, perhaps on the swampy plains of southwestern Campeche, but that it had been recast in supernatural terms, in that some of the contestents are improbably given feet of eagles and jaguars.”
Maya 154-155: “It is now evident that the ninth century was a time of turmoil over much of Mesoamerica, with the power of Teotihuacan long since gone, and the old order in the Maya lowlands breaking down. In this power vacuum, the Putan, seasoned businessmen with strong contacts raging from central Mexico to the Caribbean coast of Honduras, must have played a very agressive role in a time of troubles, and their presence in the Mexican highlands may have played a formative role in what was to become the Toltec state.” [[319]][[320]] Maya 154-155
(SAME AS NOTE 319 ABOVE)
Mexico pg. 107-112, 126-127: “Stange things began happening in central Mexico during and after the disintegration of Teotihuacan’s empire in the seventh century AD. One of these was the appearance of foreigners, almost certainly from the Gulf Coast lowlands and the Yucatan Peninsula, towards the end of the Classic period. The interrelationship of the highland Mexicans and the Maya has been established by archaeology, but this was usually the domination by the former of the latter, such as the takeover of Kaminalijuyu by Teotihuacanos. During the Early Classic, there must have been at least one enclave of Maya traders at Teotihuacan, and a fine Maya jade plaque in the British Museum is supposed to have been found at that stie. The Maya, with their advanced knowladge of astronomy and sophisticated writing system, probably exerted considerable intellecual and religious influence over the rest of Mesoamerica, and there is some evidence that the dreaded Tezcatlipoca, the great god of war and the royal house in Post-Classic Mexico, was of Maya origin.” [[320]][[321]] Mexico pg. 107-112; Maya 24 (color picture), 154-155
(SAME AS NOTE 319 ABOVE) [[321]][[322]] Mormon 1:10–12 [[322]][[323]] Ancient Kingdoms pg. 112 [[323]][[324]] Mormon 2:1–3 [[324]][[325]] Teotihuacan pg. 3-4; Ancient Kingdoms pg. 107-108
Mexico pg. 105-106: “The city met its enc around AD 700 through deliberate destruction and burning by the hand of unknown invaders. It was mainly the heart of the city that suffered the torch, especially the palaces and temples on each side of the Avenue of the Dead, from the Pyramid of the Moon to the Ciudadela. Some internal crisis or long-term political and economic malaise, perhaps the distruption of its trade and tribute routes by a new polity such as the rising Xochiclaco state, may have resulted in the downfall, and it may be significant that by AD 600, at the close of the Early Classic, almost all Teotihuacan influence over the rest of Mesoamerica ceases. No more do the nobility of other states stock their tombs with the refined products of the great city.”
People pg. 491: “William Sanders has argued that Teotihuacan, and all had been powerful states at the time of the former’s collapse.
Whatever the cause of Teotihuacan’s collapse, its heyday marks the moment when one can begin to think of the Mesoamerican world in more than purely local and even regional, terms.” [[325]][[326]] Mormon 2:3–5 [[326]][[327]] Zacatecas pg. 1-2; La Quemada pg. 85-109; this region is called West Mexico in most papers, finding material on this area is difficult because so little research has been done until more recent times; more research is needed in this region.
Mexico pg. 145: “The deep interest of the central Mexicans in the Chichimec zone lying between them and the American Southwest went far beyond the mere search for new lands, however. The site of Alta Vista, near the town of Chalchihuites, Zacatecas, lies astride the Tropic of Cancer, about 390 miles northwest of Tula.” [[327]][[328]] Mormon 2:5–16 [[328]][[329]] Aztatlan pg. 1-5; more research is needed in this region. [[329]][[330]] Mormon 2:8 [[330]][[331]] Aztatlan pg. 4; more research is needed in this region. [[331]][[332]] Mormon 2:16–20 [[332]][[333]] Mormon 2:20–26 [[333]][[334]] Warfare pg. 154-186; Chaco Canyon is a well-known site in NW Mexico, there are many books and internet sites dedicated to it exclusively.
Prehistory pg. 310-319: “Aside from the widest distribution ever achieved by Pueblo people, the Pueblo II era is notable for the occurrence of some distinctive local social systems that were apparently quite complex. These have been called “systems of regional integration.” The best known and by far the best studied of these distinctive regional subcultures is called the Chaco Phenomenon. It developed in the San Juan basin in northwestern New Mexico and impinged to some extent into extreme southwestern Colorado. The Phenomenon, centered in Chaco Canyon was short-lived, lasting about 200 years, from 900 A.D., or a little later, until just after 1100 A.D.
There are other details and ramifications comprising the Chaco Phenomenon as currently hypothesized. The reasons for origins of the phenomenon and its suggestion of control remain obscure but not for lack of proposed explanations. An older school of thought tends to view the exotic Mexican artifacts as having arrived en bloc. Such traits as copper bells, macaws, inlaid shell, core veneer architecture, the great kivas and tower kivas, and cylindrical jars, are interpreted as imports. These traits, along with the evidence of central authority such as the building of huge towns to a standard plan, are not seen elsewhere. The influence of small bands of priests or traders who brought attractive new objects and ideas from the more complex and sophisticated Mexican cultures is often cited. Whether persuasion, force, or religious awe of the glamorous strangers provided the leverage toward acceptance is never clear. The idea of extensive trade, especially in turquoise, with the south has also been invoked, and there is good evidence for it. Turquoise occurs in Toltec sites in quantity. The few copper bells or macaws also suggest a systematic northward trade traffic in those commodities, but not a very extensive one. Whatever the explanation, the complex of roads, architecture, and exotic objects still appears anomalous in the Pueblo setting. It has been proposed that the roads facilitated the transporting of the thousands of huge logs used as roof beams in the houses and kivas.
A second, later school sees the entire Chaco development as the complex end product of indigenous factors and influences to be analyzed and understood as a regional event and system. One popular theory is that by 700 A.D., cultigens were becoming a more significant part of the diet and the settlement of Chaco Canyon were arable land was plentiful increased to the point that by 900 A.D. all the prime horticultural lands in the wash or the valley were in use. But further population expansion, either through local increase or continued immigration, led to the exploitation of marginal lands away from the rich valley. The notoriously fickle southwestern summer rainfall and the violent, localized thunderstorms that fall capriciously over the San Juan Basin jeopardize farming somewhat. The crops in one district might prosper while nearby ones failed for lack of moisture.” [[334]][[335]] Mormon 3:1–3 [[335]][[336]] Prehistory pg. 310-314; almost every Anasazi site from this period has numerous kivas (e.g. Lowry ruins; Aztec ruins; Mesa Verde ruins; Chaco Canyon’s Pueblo Bonito, Casa Rinconada, Chettro Kettle, Pueblo del Arroyo, and Kin Kletso)
“The great kivas, as much as 50 feet deep in diameter, were sometimes 10 feet deep and roofed with a horizontal domed cribbing of logs. There was a raised square fireplace flanked by two large masonry vaults, that is, pits lined with masonry. The walls and the encircling bench were also of thick stone masonry. Four huge posts or stone pillars for central support of the high, cribbed roof were arranged in a square a few feet in from the peripheral bench. On the wall above the bench were usually empty when found. A few had cashes of special artifacts inside, however, and were plastered over. The great kivas were entered by a stairway. The crib roofs of the kivas required more than an estimated 300 heavy logs. Usually these logs were pine, fir, or spruce that came from many miles away in the mountains to the northeast and west. In a desert setting such as Chaco Canyon, the ritual or symbolic value of the large kivas must have been high for the excavation and masonry lining the of the kiva pit.” [[336]][[337]] Moroni 7:1–5 [[337]][[338]] Mormon 3:1–3; Moroni 8:1–9 [[338]][[339]] Mormon 2:28–3:4 [[339]][[340]] Tula pg. 42-43, 48-50; Mexican History pg. 38-39; Atlas pg. 105
Mexico pg. 131-144: “Like many other Post-Classic states, Toltec society seems to have been composed of disparate tribal elements which had come together for obscure reasons. One of these, which would appear to have been dominant, was called the Tolteca-Chichimeca. The other group went under the name Nonoalca, and according to some scholars was made up of sculptors and artisans from the old civilized regions of Puebla and the Gulf Coast, brought in to construct the monuments of Tula. The Toltca-Chichimeca, for their part, were probably the original Nahua-speakers who founded the Toltec state. As their name implies, they were once barbarians, perhaps semi-civilized Chichimeca originating on the fringes of Mesoamerica among the Uto-Aztecans of western Mexico, for although it was said that ‘they came from the interior of the plains, among the rocks,’ their level of culture was substantially higher that that of the ‘real’ Chichimeca.” [[340]][[341]] Tula pg. 45; Gods and Symbols pg. 164-165 [[341]][[342]] Tula pg. 45 [[342]][[343]] Tula pg. 48-50 [[343]][[344]] Mexico pg. 107-112
“Strange things began happening in central Mexico during and after the disintergration of Teotihuacan’s empire in the seventh century AD. One of these was the appearance of foreigners, almost certainly from the Gulf Coast lowlands of the Yucatan Peninsula, towards the end of the Classic period.
Xicallanco was an important trading town in southern Campeche controlled by the Putun, Maya-speaking seafaring merchants whose commercial interests ranged from teh Olmeca country, along teh coast of the entire Yucatan Peninsula, as far as the Carrabbean shore of Honduras.”
Maya pg. 151-164: “But what happened to the bulk of the population who once occupied the Central Area, apparently in the millions? This is one of the great mysteries of Maya archaeology, since we have little or no evidence allowing us to come up with a solution. The early Colonial chronicles in Yucatec Maya speak of a “Great Descent” and “Lesser Descent,” implying two mighty streams of refuges heading north from the abandoned cities inot Yucatan, and Linda Schele and Peter Mathews, like Sylvanus Morley before them, believe that this account relfects historical fact. Some may have migrated in a southerly direction, particularly into the Chiapas highlands. So far, however, this puative diaspora seems to have left no real traces in the archaeolgical record.” [[344]][[345]] Mexico pg. 138-140
“The rear room had four square pillars, carved on all sides with Toltec warriors adorned with the sybols of the knightly orders. There, in the sactuary, once stood a stone altar supported by little atlantean figures. Also in the temple and in other parts of the ceremonial precinct wer peculiar scuptures called ‘chacmools,’ reclining personages bearing round dishes or receptacles for human hearts on their bellies; these were probably avartars of the Rain God.
Around the four sides of Pyramid B were bas reliefs sybolizing the warrior orders on which the strength of the empire depended: prowling jaguars and coyotes, and eagles eating hearts, interspered with strange composite beasts thought to represent Quetzalcoatl.
On the north side of the pyramid and parallel to it is the 131 ft long ‘Serpent Wall’, embellished with painted friezes, the basic motif of which is a serpent eating a human; the head has been reduced to a skull, and the flesh has been partially stripped from the long bones.”
Maya pg. 151-164: “The great city of Seibal on the Rio Pasion apparently recovered from its defeat at the hands of the far smaller Dos Pilas, but during the Terminal Classic it seems to have come under the sway of warriors (or warrior-traders) from a further afield. The evidence is to be found in the part of the site known as Group A; in its south plaza sits an unusual four-sided structure with four stairways. In front of each stariway is a stela, and a fith stands inside the temple.” [[345]][[346]] Tula pg. 48-50
Mexico pg. 144-147: “Alta Vista itself is little more than a ceremonial center with a colonnaded hall on a defensible hill, but it is possible that this architectural trait, along with the tzompntli or skull rack, may have provided a Classic protype for these features at Tula.
In this trade, Alta Vista was an early intermediary. About AD 900, just as the Toltecs were coming to power, it and its hinterland were abandoned. Its successor as turquoise middleman may have been La Quemada, a very large hilltop fortress in the state of Zacatecas, 106 miles to the southwest of Alta Vista. To guard against Chichimec raids, a great stone wall girdles the summit, within which the bulk of the populace (perhaps a Toltec-dominated local tribe) lived, farming the surrounding countryside. Outside the wall, on the lower slopes of the hill, is the ceremonial center of La Quemada: a very odd 33 ft high pyramid built up of stone slabs, not truncated and lacking a stairway, along with a colonnaded hall recalling Alta Vista and Tula. On the summit are serveral platform-pyramids and a complex of walled courts surrounded by rooms.” [[346]][[347]] Mormon 3:1 [[347]][[348]] Warfare pg. 153-196 [[348]][[349]] Mexico pg. 144-147
“The two-way nature of the Toltec contact with the Pueblo peoples can be seen at the site of Casas Gandes, Chihuahua, not far south of the border with New Mexico. The florescence of Casas Grandes was coeval with the late Tollan phase at Tula, and with early Aztec. While the population lived in Southwestern-style apartment houses, the Mesoamerican component can be seen in the presence of platform temple mounds, and I-shaped ball courts, and the cult of the Feathered Serpent. Warehouses filled with rare Southwestern minerals, such as turquoise, were found by Charles DiPeso, the excavator of Casas Grandes. What was traveling north? The Pueblo Indians have a deep ritual need for feathers from tropical birds like parrots and macawas, since these symoblize fertility and the heat of the summer sun. Special pens were discovered at the site in which scarlet macaws were kept, apparently brought there by the Toltecs to exchange for the wonderful blue-green turquoise, or perhaps to pay the natives of New Mexico for working the turquoise mines.
It is fairly clear that all these sites were invloved in the trasmission of Toltec traits into the American Southwest, in particular the conlonaded masonary building and the platform pyramid; the ball court and the game played in it; copper bells; perhaps the idea of masked dancers; and the worship of the Feathered Serpent, which still plays a role in the rituals of people like the Hopi and Zuni. It is also clear that these triats ran along a trading route, a ‘Turquoise Road,’ so to speak, analogous to the famous Silk Road of the Old World the bound civilized and ‘barbarian’ alike into a single cultural whole.” [[349]][[350]] Casas Grandes pg. 290-301, 309, 482-501
Prehistory pg. 289-327: “Such a situation, it is theorized, led to the creation of a network of exchange in which towns or districts with good crops shared with their less-fortunate neighbors. The theory calls for central storage and redistribution centers and some specialized control to make the system work. The big towns are given the role of central storage and distribution.” [[350]][[351]] Prehistory pg. 317
Mexico pg. 146 (144-147): “The two-way nature of the Toltec contact with the Pueblo peoples can be seen at the site of Casas Gandes, Chihuahua, not far south of the border with New Mexico. The florescence of Casas Grandes was coeval with the late Tollan phase at Tula, and with early Aztec. While the population lived in Southwestern-style apartment houses, the Mesoamerican component can be seen in the presence of platform temple mounds, and I-shaped ball courts, and the cult of the Feathered Serpent. Warehouses filled with rare Southwestern minerals, such as turquoise, were found by Charles DiPeso, the excavator of Casas Grandes. What was traveling north? The Pueblo Indians have a deep ritual need for feathers from tropical birds like parrots and macawas, since these symoblize fertility and the heat of the summer sun. Special pens were discovered at the site in which scarlet macaws were kept, apparently brought there by the Toltecs to exchange for the wonderful blue-green turquoise, or perhaps to pay the natives of New Mexico for working the turquoise mines.”
People pg. 326-327: “The dig showed that its inhabitants exchanged turquoise and painted pottery from the Southwest for marine shells and exotic bird feathers from Mexico. Local traditions connect Casas Grande with a settelement named Paqime, which was more of a Mexican town than an Indian pueblo.” [[351]][[352]] Casas Grandes pg. 290-309, 482-501
Prehistory pg. 289-327: “Monks Mound dominated from its north end of a vast plaza of some 200 acres enclosed in a bastioned palisade or stockade of large posts. Along each side of the plaza were twelve or more platform and conical mounds with a single platform at the south end of the plaza. Outside the Monks Mound enclosure to north, south, east, and west were dozens of other mounds dominating other plazas. But there were four other large, but lesser mound groups clustered around smaller plazas. Everywhere over the entire bottom and on the valley bluffs to the east were sources of hamlets and farmsteads, which are believed to have supported the centers with foodstuffs and services.
The distribution of these big sites, their locations on water courses, and their very size lead some scholars to postulate that they were religious and administrative centers, peopled primarily by a powerful upper class that controlled trade and, possibly, population distribution and, of course, possessed absolute political and religious power.
There is no doubt that there was an elite Mississippian social class. This is attested by the rich mortuary offerings and the elaborate ceremonies with which the burials were made. Burials occurred on the tops of the pyramid mounds, a mortuary ritual that can be identified wherever the mound groups are found. The uniformity of occurrence has led to the interpretation that there were elite lineages and that their high status was ascribed by virtue of birth, because even children were sometimes accorded elaborate burial ceremony and grave goods. However, near or in the towns were large cemeteries, where lower-class citizens were buried. Here too, there is an occasional richly accompanied burial, but the objects are of a different nature, such as the tools or creations of a craftsman. Such persons are believed to have achieved a relatively high status through merit rather than birth.” [[352]][[353]] Mormon 3:4–5 [[353]][[354]] Mormon 3:4–6 [[354]][[355]] Mexico pg. 146; it has been very difficult to find research on the sites of northern Durango and southern Chihuahua and Sonora; the site Zape or Sape depending on the literature is in about the right place geographically but the only book on the region I could find was very old and entailed only a surface reconnaissance of the site. A search of Journal Articles may prove fruitful. [[355]][[356]] Mormon 3:4–4:19 [[356]][[357]] Mormon 4:19–22 [[357]][[358]] Mortuary Practices pg. 5-7, 75-76; Casas Grandes pg. 290-301, 484-485; Sierra Madre pg. 132 [[358]][[359]] Ibid. [[359]][[360]] Warfare pg. 197-276; Prehistory pg. 320-321 [[360]][[361]] Mormon 4:19–5:2 [[361]][[362]] Warfare pg. 197-276; Prehistory pg. 320-321 [[362]][[363]] Mormon 2:7–8, 20–21; 3:5; 4:1-5, 11, 20-23; 5:3-8 [[363]][[364]] Warfare pg. 197-276
People pg. 326-329: “At the same time that people concentrated in larger sites, there was depopulation of many areas of the northern Southwest. The reasons for these changes are imperfectly understood. It may be that the changes genterated by the developments in Chaco and elsewhere caused people to congregate more closely. Alternatively, it has been argued that some climatic and enviromental changes, as yet little understood, may have caused major shifts in the settlement pattern. More likely, a combination of enviromental, societal, and adaptive changes set in motion a period of turbulence and culture change.” [[364]][[365]] Moroni 9:7–10 [[365]][[366]] Mortuary Practices pg. 7; Warfare pg. 169-176 [[366]][[367]] Mortuary Practices pg. 71-72; Warfare pg. 169-176 [[367]][[368]] Mortuary Practices pg. 1, 71 [[368]][[369]] Moroni 9:7–8 [[369]][[370]] Warfare pg. 233 (80-81, 83, 161, 324) [[370]][[371]] Mormon 5:3–4 [[371]][[372]] Warfare pg. 200-225 [[372]][[373]] Mormon 4:16–5:8; Mormon 8:1–9; Moroni 1:1–4 [[373]][[374]] Sierra Madre pg. 132; SW Indians pg. 72 [[374]][[375]] Mormon 5:3–4 [[375]][[376]] Prehistory pg. 254-278, 289
“Most Mississippian sites and mounds are small, so the sheer size if the few well-known Mississippian sites is overwhelming. These sites are characterized by clusters of mounds, some of which are truncated pyramids, arranged around a plaza. There may be conical mounds adjacent, but they are arranged in on apparent pattern. Even today after centuries of erosion many sites reveal an encircling embankment; outside the palisade of posts atop the earthen embankment the borrow pit stood open as a moat. Villages were not always nearby or inside the palisade. Normally they were scattered though the farmlands in the valleys. These huge sites can be thought of as religious, administrative, or even economic centers such as are presaged in the Hopewellian sites and are common in Mexico and Central America.” [[376]][[377]] Prehistory pg. 233-246 (The Mississippian grew out of the Hopewell)
“What can inferred from the above description? Whatever the reason, the central theme, the power of the interaction sphere lay in the mortuary ritual and the trappings that accompanied it. To call the force religious is to claim more than can be proved, but religion is a force that can flow across cultural and linguistic boundaries as an overlay or veneer upon the local cultures. To stretch the point, world history offers such obvious examples as the spread of Islam and Christianity. At any rate, a religious motivation for the Hopewellian cult is not totally unreasonable. Usually, religion implies a superordinate priesthood, that is, a class of specialists with superior status. Priest-chieftains combining both sacred and secular powers can be postulated. The presence of a priesthood suggests a stratified society, an idea supported by the rich grave offerings for a few of the dead. The huge earthen monuments and a probable artisan class suggest a measure of secular control over the community, perhaps resembling a corvee or labor tax. During Hopewell times, there was probably some intensification of the cultivation of native plants.” [[377]][[378]] Prehistory pg. 254-278
“On festival or ritual days the plaza would be the scene of fiercely fought ball games akin to lacrosse or complicated dances done to the rhythm of drums and rattles and the music of many singers. Like the priests, the dancers would be colorfully dressed in rich costumes and ornaments. The Creek Busk or Green Corn festival of thanksgiving, held on the dance ground even into the twentieth century, probably preserves a faded vestige of the Mississippian splendor. Some of the rituals would have involved purification and long-drawn-out ceremonies of human sacrifice to one or another god, while the people from all supporting villages crowded the plaza to watch the dancers and the priests go in procession up the steep stairways to the summit of the mound, where the sacrificial climax was reached.
At other times, the scene at the plaza would involve the death and burial of a priest-ruler. These rituals also involved many days of prescribed processions, feasts, and sacrifice. As already noted, DuPratz saw and reported a Natchez chieftain’s burial ceremony in 1725. That mourning ceremony for Tattooed Serpent, Brother of the Sun, lasted for several days and involved all the Natchez villages. As part of the burial ceremony, the dead man’s two wives and his “speaker,” doctor, head servant, pipe bearer, and sister were ritually strangled. Several old women who, for one reason or another, had offered their lives were also strangled. The two wives were buried with the Tattooed Serpent in the temple, his speaker and one of the women were buried in front of the temple, and the others carried to their respective village temples for burial. His sister, also buried with him, was reported by DuPratz to have been reluctant to participate in the ceremony. As was customary, Tattooed Serpent’s house was burned. The burial of personages within and near houses and the subsequent destruction of those houses by fire are well attested archaeologically.” [[378]][[379]] Prehistory pg. 263-266, 271-278
“At about 1200 A.D., when the Mississippian cultures were approaching the height of their strength, a complex of exotic artifacts appeared. The distribution of these objects in pan-Mississippian.
The objects are an exquisite expression of artistry combined with skilled craftsmanship. The artifacts were created in every medium: wood, shell, clay, stone, and hammered copper. The art is concerned with depicting animals, humans, mythical creatures, tools, and of motifs. The artifacts are not utilitarian but ornamental and are undoubtedly rich in conventional and symbolic meaning. As a subject for study they have attracted attention for a century. Much speculation has attended that study; the complex of artifacts is said to have been a death cult because of the skull, hand-eye, and other motifs. But the function of the artifacts served is not yet completely known.” [[379]][[380]] Prehistory pg. 271-278
“The representations of human sacrifice in pipe sculpture, the daggers in the hands of some of the bird-man warriors or priests, severed heads, and many of the other symbols strongly suggest warfare or rituals of human sacrifice. Some of these artifacts and motifs are not new. Some seen to be a legacy from the Hopewell and even the Adena. On the other hand, the depiction of human sacrifice is interpreted by some as evidence of strong Mexican cultism, even perhaps of an increment of high-ranking individuals into the South. Others defend it as a climax phenomenon, developed autonomously in situ from the ceremonialism already evident throughout the East for some 2000 years. Some specialists in Southeast prehistory even deny cult or any coherent cluster of behavior surrounding the special objects. Instead they assert that the value of the cult artifacts is intrinsic. They hold that the wide dispersal of the objects, well beyond the Mississippian sphere of influence indicates that the rare exotics were created exclusively for trade.” [[380]][[381]] Mormon 2:15 [[381]][[382]] 2 Nephi 4:33–35; 28:30-32 [[382]][[383]] Atlas pg. 56, 60; Mysteries pg. 180-183, 186-187; because carbon dating gives such late dates for the large Mississippian complexes some authors do not distinguish between those building the huge ceremonial centers and the wandering groups that followed. If these theories are correct then there were over 1400 years for the Indian population to rebound and the collapse of such a large society into groups of wandering tribes is a definite evidence of the Book of Mormon. [[383]][[384]] Atlas pg. 56, 60; Mysteries pg. 180-183, 186-187 [[384]][[385]] Mysteries pg. 187 [[385]][[386]] Evidences pg. 7-8 quoting: Squire, E.G.; Antiquities of New York; 1851. [[386]][[387]] Mormon 6:1–22 [[387]][[388]] People pg. 120-149
“There can be little doubt that increased efficiency as a carnivore played an important role in the emergence of both archaic Homo sapiens and anatomically modern Homo sapiens sapiens. We explored current thinking about the emergence of H. sapiens sapiens in tropical Africa and hypothesized that anatomically modern humans spread from the tropics into North Africa and the Near East in about 90,000 BC. From there, H. sapiens may have intered Europe at the time of low sea level, crossing the land bridge that connected the Balkans with Turkey across the Bosphorus.”
Israel pg. 25: “Of the oldest known permanent settlements, far the most interesting to students of the Bible is that found in the lower levels of the mound of Jericho. As we have said, Jericho was first settled at least as far back as 8000 BC. But for many centuries little stood there save flimsy huts, which may represent no more than a long series of seasonal encampments. There were ultimately succeeded, however, by a permanent town which continued through many levels fo building in two distinct phases with a gap between, representing two successive Neolithic cultures before the invention of pottery. From the extreme depth of the remains (up to forty-five feet), it is evident that these cultures endured for centuries, beginning before the end of the eighth millennium BC and lasting at least till the end of the seventh. Nor can they be called primative. Through much of its history the town protected by massive fortification of stone. Houses were built of mud bricks of two distinct types, corresponding of the two phases of occupation mentioned above. In the later of these phases, house floors and walls were plastered and polished, and frequently painted; traces of reed mats which covered the floors have been found. Small clay figures of women and also domestic animals suggest the practice of the fertillity cult. Unique statues of clay on reed frames, discovered some years ago, hint that high gods may have been worshipped in Neolithic Jericho; in groups of three, these possibly represent that ancient triad, the divine family: father, mother, and son. Equally interesting are groups of human skulls (the bodies were buried elsewhere, as a rule under house floors) with the features modeled in clay and with shells for eyes.” [[388]][[389]] Abraham 1:23–24 [[389]][[390]] Israel pg. 27
“Meanwhile, sedentary life had also begun in Egypt. Traces of the presence of man in Egypt go back to the Early Paleolithic Age, when the Nile Delta lay under the sea and its valley was a swampy jungle inhabited by wild animals. We may assume that men had lived on the fringes of the valley ever since and had made their way into it to fish and to hunt, and subsequently to settle down. By the Neolithic Age, when the geography of Egypt had assumed roughly its present shape, we may suppose that villages, first temorary, then permanent, had begun to be established. But the transition to sedentary life cannot be documented in Egypt as it can in western Asia. The earlist permanent villages presumably lie under deep layers of Nile mud. The earliest village culture known to us is that of Fayum, followed by the slightly later one discovered at Merimde in the western Delta. These are Neolithic cultures after the invention of pottery- thus somewhat parallel to the pottery Neolithic of western Asia. Radiocarbon tests seem to place a Fayum in the latter half of the fifth millennium. At this time, although agriculture had begun to be developed, swamp with villages few and far between. Nevertheless, it is clear that in Egypt as elsewhere civilization had made its start- and some twenty-five hundred years before Abraham.” [[390]][[391]] Israel pg. 24-27
“The earliest permanent villages known to us made their appearance toward toward the end of the Stone Age, as far as back as the seventh, and even the eigth, millennium BC. Before that, men for the most part lived in caves.
The presence of obsidian tools (probably from Anatolia), turquoise (from Sinai). and cowrie shells (from the seacoast) points to trade relationships, whether direct or indirect, extending over considerable distances. Neolithic Jericho is truly amazing. Its people- whoever they may have been- were in the very vanguard of the march toward civilization (dare on believe it?) some five thousand years before Abraham!
Village life continued to develop through the sixth millennium and into hte fifth, by which time villages and towns had been established almost everywhere.”
People pg. 151-155: “These and other Holocene climatic changes had profound effects in hunter-gatherer societies throughout the world, especially on the intensity of the food quest and complexity of their societies. Why had such changes not occurred earlier in pre-history? There had been climatic changes of similar, in not even greater, magnitude in early millennia, say during the early part of the last interglacial, some 128,000 years ago. The reason may be population density. Then, human populations were much smaller and a great deal of the world was uninhabited. It was possible for human populations living in large territories to move around freely, to adapt to new circumstances by shifting their home land, even over large distances. This ability enabled them to develop highly flexable survival strategies that took account of the constant fluctuations in food availability. If, for example, an African band had experienced two dry years in a row, it could move away of fall back on less nutritious edible foods, perhaps species that required more energy to harvest.” [[391]][[392]] People pg. 248
“Deep-sea cores and pollen studies tell us that the Near Eastern climate was cool and dry from about 18,000 to 13,000 BC, during the late Weichsel. Sea levels dropped more than 300 feet; much of the interior was covered by dry steppe, with forest restricted to the Levant and Turkish coasts. Between 13,000 and 8000 BC, climatic conditions warmed up considerably, reaching a maximum about 3000 BC. Forests expanded rapidly at the end of the Ice Age, for the climate was still cooler than today and considerably wetter. Many areas of the Near East were richer in animal and plant species that they are now, making them highly favorable for human occupation.”
Israel pg. 27: “It was a period of amazing cultural flowering. Agriculture, vastly improved and expanded, made possible both better nourishment and the support of an increasing density o f population. Most of the cities were founded that were to play a part in Mesopotamian history for millenniums to come.” [[392]][[393]] Joshua 2:1–6:27 [[393]][[394]] Neolithic pg. 33-47; Grolier, Jericho
Israel pg. 25-26: (SAME AS NOTE 388 ABOVE) [[394]][[395]] Neolithic pg. 33-47; Grolier, Jericho
Israel pg. 25-26: “These may have served some cultic purpose (possibly some form of ancestor worship), and certainly attest a marked artistic ability. Bones of dogs, goats, pigs, sheep, an oxen indicate that animals were domesticated, while sickels, querns, and grinders attest to the cultivation of ceral crops. From the size of the town and the paucity of naturally arable land around it, it has been inferred that a system of irrigation had developed.” [[395]][[396]] Joshua 6:1–27 [[396]][[397]] Neolithic pg. 33-47; Grolier, Jericho
Israel pg. 25-26: “On the Mediterranean coast, radiocarbon tests likewise indiate that the earliest settlement at Ras Shamra (again without pottery) reaches back into the seventh millennium. In Palestine, too, prepottery Neolithic settlements have been discoverd at various places, at least one of which (Bedia in Transjordan) is placed by radiocarbon tests in the early seventh millenium.” [[397]][[398]] Neolithic pg. 33-47; Grolier, Jericho
Israel pg. 25-26: (SAME AS NOTE 388 ABOVE) [[398]][[399]] Neolithic pg. 42-47
Israel pg. 25-26, 31-32: “The pottery, while not to be compared with the painted wares of Mesopotamia from an artistic point of view, shows technical excellence. Houses were built of sun dried, handmade bricks, often on stone foundations.
But it was in the Neolithic period that the transition from cave-dwelling to sedentary life, from a food-gathering to a food-producing economy, was completed and the building of permanent villages began to go foward. With this, since there could have been no civilization without it, one can say that the march of civilization had begun.
Bones of dogs, goats, pigs, sheep, and oxen indicate that animals were domesticated, while sickles, querns, and grinders attest to the cultivation of ceral crops.” [[399]][[400]] Chiapas Burials; Mediterranean pg. 65; Neolithic pg. 42-44
Zapotec pg. 71-75: “At Tlapacoya, on the shores of Lake Chalco in the southern Basin of Mexico, Christine Niederberger excavated their remains of an Archaic group who she believes had already established “prolonged or permanent residency in the same site.” Her argument is that unusually rich environment of the Chalco lakeshore might have provided year-around food. No permanent houses were found at the site, however. And while plants and animals from the rainy season and the dry season were present in the refuse, the same was true at Guila Naquitz. All that is necessary to collect them is for a group to arrive in August (late rainy season) and stay until January (mid-dry season).”
Mexico pg. 41-58: “Houses were rectangular and about 20 ft (6 m) long, with slightly sunken floors of clay covered with river sand. The sides of vertical canes between wooden posts, and were daubed with mud, and white-washed; roofs were thatched.”
[[400]][[401]] Israel pg. 25-26, 31-32, 40-41
“Though Palestine never developed a material culture remotely comparable to the cultures of the Euphrates and the Nile, the third millennium witnessed remarkable progress in that land too. Since this was broadly conincident with the heyday of Ebla, a connection is in every way likely. It was a time of great urban development, when population increased, cites were built and, presumably, city-states established. Many of the cites that later appear in the Bible are known from excavations to have been in existence: Jericho (rebuilt after a long abandonment), Megiddo, Beth-shan, Ai, Gezer, etc.” [[401]][[402]] Israel pg. 31-32
“Although the fourth millennium in Palestine remains obscure at a number of points, it is clear that it witnessed the development of village life in various parts of the land, with many places apparently being settled for the first time. In this period Palestine seems to have fallen into two cultural provinces, one in the northern and centarl areas, the other in the south.” [[402]][[403]] 1 Kings 11:41–12:20; 2 Chronicles 9:29–11:4 [[403]][[404]] Israel pg. 31-32
(SAME AS NOTE 402 ABOVE) [[404]][[405]] 2 Kings 15-17 [[405]][[406]] Early Bronze pg. 85-90; Israel pg. 27-36; Mediterranean pg. 58-72 [[406]][[407]] Early Bronze pg. 88-90
Israel pg. 40-41: “In Palestine the bulk of the third millennium falls into the period known by archaeologists as the Early Bronze. This period- or a transitional phase leading into it- began late in the fourth millennium, as the Prooliterate culture flourished in Mesopotamia and the Gerzean in Egypt, and continued till the closing centuries of the third. Though palestine never developed a material culture remotely comparable to the cultures of the Euphrates and the Nile, the third millennium witnessed remarkable progress in that land too. Since this was boradly coincident with the heyday of Ebla, a connection is every way likely. It was a time of great urban development, when population increased, cites were built and, presumably, city-states established.” [[407]][[408]] 2 Kings 24; 2 Chronicles 36 [[408]][[409]] Israel pg. 44
“In the latter part of the third millennium (roughly between the twenty-third and twentieth centuries), as we pass through the final phase of the Early Bronze Age into the first phase of the Middle Bronze- or perhaps enter a traditional period between the two- we encounter abundant evidence that life in Palestine suffered a major distruption at the hands of nomadic invaders who were pressing the land. City after city was destroyed (as far as is known every major city was), some with incredible violence, and the Early Bronze civilization was brought to an end. Similar disruption seems to have taken place in Syria. These newcomers did not rebuild and occupy the cities they had destroyed. Rather they (or the survivors of the Early Bronze culture) seem to have pursued a nomadic life on the fringes for a time; only gradually did they begin to build villages and settle down. By the end of the third millennium such villages are known to have existed especially in Transjordan in the Jordan valley, and southward in the Negeb; but they were small, poorly constructed, and without material pretensions. It was not until approximately the ninteenth century, when a fresh and vigorous cultral influence spread across the lands, that urban life can be said to have resumed.” [[409]][[410]] 2 Kings 24-25; 2 Chronicles 36 [[410]][[411]] Early Bronze pg. 88-90
Israel pg. 36-38: “In the twenty-fourth century, a dynasty of Semitic rulers seized power and created the first true empire in world history. The founder was Sargon, a figure whose origins are cloaked in myth. Rising to power in Kish, he overthrew Lugalzaggisi of Erech and subdued all Sumer as far as the Persian Gulf. Then, transferring his residence to Akkad (of unknown location, but near the later Babylon), he emabrked on a series of conquests which became legendary.” [[411]][[412]] 2 Chronicles 36:20–21 (1-21); 2 Kings 25 [[412]][[413]] Israel pg. 44
(SAME AS NOTE 409 ABOVE) [[413]][[414]] Israel pg. 41-43, 48-49
“We have seen that in the twenty-fourth century power passed from the Sumerian city-states to the Semitic kings of Akkad, who created a great empire. After the conquests of Naramisn, however, the power of Akkad rapidly waned and soon after 2200 was brought to an end by the onslaught of a barbarian people called the Guti.” [[414]][[415]] 2 Chronicles 36:22–23; Ezra 1-3 [[415]][[416]] Israel pg. 54-55
“Beginning by the nineteenth century, however, western Palestine experienced a remarkable recovery under the impulse of a fresh and vigorous cultral influence that was spreading over the whole of Palestine and Syria; strong cites began once more to be built, and urban life to flourish, perhaps as new groups of immigrants arrived, and as increasing numbers of seminomads setteled down.” [[416]][[417]] Israel pg. 41-64
“Many of the cites that later appear in the Bible are known from excavations to have been in existence: Jericho (rebuilt after a long abandonment), Megiddo, Beth-shan, Ai, Gezer, etc. (the Ebla texts are said to mention yet others, including Jerusalem). These cities, though scarcely magnificent, were suprisingly well built and strongly fortified, as the excavations show.” [[417]][[418]] Israel pg. 64-66
“By this time, too, the partriarchal simplicity of Amorite seminomadic life had all but vanished. Cities were numerous, well constructed and, as we have seen, strongly fortified. There was a general increase in population, together with a marked advance in material culture. The city-state system characteristic of Palestine until the Isralite conquest seems to have been developed, with the land divided into various petty kingdoms, or provinces, each with its own ruler- who was no doubt subject to higher control from without. Society was feudal in structure, with wealth most unevenly divided; alongside the fine houses of partricians one finds the hovels of half-free serfs. Nevertheless the cities of the day give evidnce of a prosperity such as Palestine seldom knew in ancient times.” [[418]][[419]] Israel pg. 107-120, 130-133
“In the Late Bronze Age, Egypt entered her period of Empire, during which she was unquestionably the dominat nation in the world. Architects of the Empire were the Pharaohs of the Eighteenth Dynasty, a house that was founded as the Hyksos were expelled from Egypt and that retained power for some two hundred and fifty years, bringing to Egypt a strength and a prestige unequaled in all her long history.” [[419]][[420]] Israel pg. 114-115
“When Ramesses II died after a long and glorious reign, his successor was his thirteenth son, Marniptah, who was already past middle life. Marniptah was not allowed to live out his brief reign in peace. A time of of confusion was beginning which was to see all western Asia plunged into turmoil, and which the Ninteenth Dynasty did not survive.
Though Marniptah mastered the situation, he did not long survive his triumph. Then, after several rulers of no importance, the dynasty ended in a period of confusion about which little is known. We can scarcely doubt that during these disturbed years Egyptian control of Palestine virtually left off- a circumstance that surely aided Isreal in consolidating her position in that land.” [[420]][[421]] Israel pg. 115-117
” ‘Amorite,’ on the other hand, was, as we have seen, an Akkadian word meaning ‘Westerner,’ various Northwest-Semitic peoples of Upper Mesopotamia and Syria, from among whom Israel’s own ancestors had come. These nomadic elements which had infiltrated Palestine at the end of the Early Bronze Age and had roamed and settled especially in the mountainous interior were established in Transjordan. But though there are passages where the Bible seems to perserve a distinction between the two peoples (e.g., Num, 13:29; Deut. 1:7, where the Amorites are placed in the mountians, the Canaanites by the sea), for the most part it uses the terms loosely if not synonymously. There is a justification for this in that, by the time of the conquest, the “Amorites,” having been in the land for centuries, had so thoroughly assimilated the language, social organization, and culture of Cannaan that little remained to distinguish one group from the other. The dominant pre-Israelite population was thus in race and language not different from Israel herself.” [[421]][[422]] Israel pg. 137-143
“During the period of the Empire, as we have seen, Palestine was divided into a number of relatively small city-states, each of which was ruled by a king who, as the Pharaoh’s vassal, exercised control over the outlying towns and villages of his modest domain. Society was feudal in structure, consisting of a hereditary patrician class, a pesantry that was only half free, and numerous slaves, but apparently with very little of a middle class. Under such a system the lot of the poor was hard, and it scarcely improved as centuries of Egyptian taxation and misrule drained the land of its wealth. Moreover, the endless quarrels between city lords, which Egypt often chose to ignore, must have been disastrous for poor villagers, who were often unable to work their fields and were taxed and concripted to boot. The Amarna letters let us see the situation clearly. They also show us ‘Apiru making trouble from one end of the land to the other. As we have said, these ‘Apiru were not newcomers pressing in from the desert. Rather, they were rootless people without place in established society, who had either been alienated from it or never integrated within it, and who eked out an existence in remoter areas on its fringes; they readily turned into freebooters and bandits. Slaves, abused peasants, and ill-paid mercenaries would be tempted to run away and join them- i.e., to “become Hebrews.” Sometimes whole areas went over to them. We have seen how they succeeded in gaining control of a considerable domain centerd upon Schechem. The city lords feared these people, implored the Pharaoh for protection against them, and accused on another of consorting with them. Their fears were well grounded: the system of which they were a part was threatened.” [[422]][[423]] Israel pg. 129-133 (107-143)
“The problem arises in part of the Bible itself, for the Bible does not present us with one single, coherent account of the conquest. According to the main account (Josh., chs, 1 to 12), the conquest represented a concerted effort by all Isreal, and was sudden, bloody, and complete.
Still we must reckon with the possibility that in certain cases there has been a telescoping of events in the Biblical tradition. The Israelite “conquest” of Palestine was actually a long drawn-out affair; it began with the partiarchal migrations far back in the Bronze Age, and it was not finally completed until the time of David. The Isreal that emerged drew together within its structure groups of traditions of conquests made by their ancestors as they came into the land, and it is conceivable that, as the normative conquest tradition took shape, events that took place at widely separated times may have been combined within it- under the rubric of “conquest”, one might say.” [[423]][[424]] Israel pg. 129-133
“It has long been the fashion to credit the latter picture at the expense of the former. The narative of Joshua is part of a great history of Israel from Moses to the exile, comprising the books Dueteronomy-Kings and first composed probably late in the seventh century. Many think that the picture of an unified invasion of Palestine is the author’s idealization. They regard the narratives as a row of separate traditions, chiefly of an etiological character (i.e., developed to explain the origin of some custom or landmark) and of minimal historical value, originally unconnected with one another or, for the most part, with Joshua- who was an Ephraimite tribal hero who was secondarily made into the leader of a united Isreal. They hold that there was no violent conquest at all, but that the Israelite tribes occupied Palestine by a gradual, and for the most part peaceful, process of infiltration. But this understanding of the matter would seem to be as one-sided as the conventional one, which viewed the conquest as a single, massive, organized military operation. Both views doubtless contain elements of truth. But the actual events that established Israel on the soil of Palestine were assuredly vastly more complex than a simplistic presentation of either view would suggest.” [[424]][[425]] Compare Israel pg. 114-117, 137-143 to Israel pg. 414-427; I would also recommend using a good encyclopedia and comparing cultures such as the Ptolemies to Egypt’s New Kingdom and the Seleucids to the Hittites. [[425]][[426]] Israel pg. 114-115, 174-176 (this book becomes increasingly difficult to use as a reference after the Late Bronze because the author begins to intertwine the Bible with the archaeology and does not clearly state the sources for his interpretations); Grolier, Sea Peoples [[426]][[427]] Israel pg. 114-115; Grolier, Sea Peoples
“Among the Peoples of the Sea, Marniptah lists Shardina, ‘Aqiwasha, Turusha, Ruka (Luka), and Shakarusha. These people, some of whom (Luka, Shardina) we have met as mercenaries at the battle of Kadesh, were of Aegean origin, as their names indicate: e.g., Luka are Lycians, ‘Aqiwasha(also the Ahhiyawa of western Asia Minor), are probably Acaeans; Shardina would subsequently give their name to Sardinina,…” [[427]]

Economic Socialism in LDS Scripture

The socialistic systems advocated in LDS scripture are not necessarily “socialism” per se, in the most accepted modern economic definitions. Production did not need to be controlled by the state by and large. BUT, a form of socialism was certainly advocated, were excess income (the share one earned which was “above” or more than the “needed” median income for ones situation) was to be consecrated into a socialistic system “a bishops storehouse” which was really just a spiritualized name for a credit union/bank.

The Doctrine and Covenants make it clear that Zion cannot be established unless it accepts by covenant and attempts to the best of its ability to live the United Order (D&C 51:2–3; 105:3-5). It is especially essential as a social framework for integrating converts, immigrants, and the raising generation. Although many early attempts to live the United Order either failed or were foiled by misapplication and government intervention— according to LDS scripture relative social equality is still THE absolute requirement to the founding of Zion or a lasting Utopian society like those which exist in the higher dimensions (D&C 38:27). The church is repeatedly told in its scriptures that it will remain under condemnation for as long as obedience to this law goes completely untaught and unattempted. LDS implementation of this order was often over-complicated and corrupted. A simplistic form of this order/system could be begun at any time with the following simple teaching.

Willingly bind yourself to live a comfortable lifestyle somewhere near the median income of your chosen demographic.

In other words, if you live in Utah with four kids, and the median income for a family of six is around $70k/year, then you don’t spend more than that on yourself each year. You take any excess above that and put it toward worthy investments that lift the community and the poor. As the poor in the community are lifted, the median income rises and everyone has more. This is the only way to free an LDS believer from the condemnation given in our own scripture concerning economic inequality.

 20 But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin. (D&C 49:20)

14 Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld.(D&C 70:14)

Consecration as laid out in LDS scripture had nothing to do with how much an individual made in income per se—it simply dictates that saints who wish to be blameless (and especially those who wish to be religious or political leaders) live a median income lifestyle regardless of their income—consecrating excesses to altruistic causes, instead of spending it on mansions and a lavish lifestyle. (A practice which God’s true Saints throughout the world always live regardless of which church they belong to.)  Any Saint can live this law of consecration right now. As a church if we wanted to socially implement this law it could be done according to scripture following these simple steps…

1-Each Stake or region operates a credit union (a bank whose members are sole shareholders). D&C 51:8–13; 104:68; 124:70.  In the early stages of implementing this program, it may be wise to use regular non-church backed credit unions.

2-Worthy members keep their “excess income” in the credit union (just like most normal Americans do). Of particular importance is excess land & real-estate.  (D&C 42:33–34; 3 Ne 26:19, 4 Ne 1:3, Acts 4:32–34)

3-Worthy members voluntarily bind themselves to live at a median income which approximates the median income for their area and circumstances. (see D&C 51:3). For example, the median income for a family with 2 children in Park City utah is about $77,000/year (this goes up radically with more children). Members agree not to spend on themselves more than this amount in a year even if they have it. The exact amount and details of this fixed salary are for the individual to decide. Excess income goes into the credit union. Caveats and details of what constitutes “excess” stay loosely defined and are ultimately left up to the individual to decide, with counsel as desired from spiritual leaders.)

4-Members with excess income agree to allow the credit union to annually invest their “excess” (increase) into worthy pursuits which make money while working to lift up the poor (every member who makes less than the median income—according to their need). This can be managed just as a modern credit union does, lending money to worthy business startups, education funds, social projects or even home purchases). As a peripheral-endeavor, each credit union should be encouraged to capitalize cooperative social projects which employ the poor (ie. fund bonds in cooperation with political entities, if possible). Those shown to be good with money should be in charge of the lending process according to accepted modern banking standards. (FDR’s new deal/CCC, ZCMI, Deseret Industries, and many other historical cooperative ventures can serve as important historical analogs to what works and what doesn’t.)

5-Special consideration must be given to focus on providing work and lifting all members to attain the median income range for their area and family size (especially convert refugees, immigrants and the raising generation).

6-The countless considerations inherent in this system are to be worked out by those with experience in investment and banking. (Using free market principles as much as possible.) The enterprise would essentially mimic the modern banking/investment systems (there is essentially little difference except that the goal is to lift the poor, in addition to providing an inheritance/pension for members). The most fit and qualified individuals in these industries must be employed to solve problems and create safe and viable organizations. Free market trial and error are inevitable as Stakes and Region’s learn to make it work.

7-The return on investment for the credit union assures retirement funds (an inheritance) for members of the order. (Just as is currently done with pension funds, except that the religious encouragement might create greater participation).

8-Religious (and one day political!) leaders are required by the church & society to be members of the order. To be an ecclesiastical leader or social servant (politician), one must prove they are willing to self-sacrifice enough to bind themselves to the median income–helping to assure that the majority of church leaders (& public servants!) are fairly selfless and dedicated to social equality. (This ends up being the societies best way to assure that social power, such as high callings or positions, is kept in the hands of those willing to self-sacrifice).

9-Just as the jizyah was a powerful factor in Islam’s regional growth & success, the United Order is our God’s program to grow the church (D&C 58:8–11) while helping to promote social stability & equality. Through this program people (especially converts/migrants) are encouraged to live basic religious/social tenets of morality in order to be eligible for loans and good paying jobs on church/social projects. Bishops are scripturally mandated to be somewhat like loan officers. The system serves to motivate the rapid economic lifting and cultural/moral integration of immigrants and the lower classes into the middle class–as well as to minimize the economic disparity of the upper class.

10-This is not communism, but a hybrid free-market/socialist system. I believe the United Order in LDS scripture is very similar to the modern banking and investment system. But the stark differences lie primarily in its goals, participation and management. The system is obviously inferior to the free market system when it comes to returning profit. If you personally covenant with God to not buy a lavishly expensive house, your motivation to work like crazy to make millions may be gone… and for this reason the system must not discourage members who don’t wish to join. But EVERY free or controlled market & monetary system eventually collapses under the weight of its own social inequality. This church program seeks to assuage the social and monetary collapse which result from inequality by giving non-monetary rewards to successful people who make the difficult selfless sacrifice to promote equality—namely they get to govern the investments funds/credit unions, raise the poor, govern wards, stakes and desirably even political systems…

Failed early attempts to live the United Order (like failed national social systems) attempted to take from the rich and give to the poor without requiring appropriate labor or intelligent investment. And by allowing money to be managed by bureaucrats instead of those who have shown they are good with money by being the ones who made it in the first place. They were based on force and lacked balance, education, and common sense. They also lacked needed social or political support—being run and managed by church leaders instead of regionally successful business leaders. Successful LDS attempts, however, simply used excess funds to start or invest in business (such as ZCMI or Church Farms) which could then be used to employ the poor with an appropriate wage. These enterprises must be run by those who are good with money (which would usually be those who give the most money to them) NOT by local priesthood or church bureaucrats (who are notorious at losing/wasting people’s money). The church should only set up the system, and have local church leaders who sit on the boards and act as advisers to show board members where the greatest needs are. Bishops simply run the bishop’s storehouse and food pantry as currently constituted–and serve as or work with loan officers who can adequately judge the need/risk involved to lending to applicant members.

People typically over-spiritualize Consecration and the United Order. The truth is that it is obeyed by millions of people and in operation in thousands of communities throughout the world. It is a very common-sense approach to community economic equality, not requiring a massive redistribution of wealth, and certainly not limiting the rich’s ability to do what they do best—make & manage money. It does require convincing the rich that it is in their best interest to not spend their money solely on themselves. Convincing them not to spend their money on huge houses or lavish living; but to invest it in their future, their children, and most importantly—their community. A society that masters the Spirit of the Law of Consecration will avoid the social collapse which comes from economic inequality, and selfish politicians. The rich in such a society are not robbed or abased–they are motivated to live a median income lifestyle by being encouraged to live the law so they can become the communities leaders, educators, civil servants, and money managers. They are taught to self-sacrifice and that sacrifice gives them power. Under the law, it is that self-sacrifice-dependent power which serves as the motivation for achievement and advancement in the society.  This in contrast to so many of our modern cultures where mansions, lavish living, sexual favors, and selfish, non-sacrifice-dependent power serves for motivation to upward social mobility & economic/political advancement.

If the US dollar ends up collapsing, this system may end up being implemented after-all. But the system will do more harm than good if those who administer it, use manipulative coercive techniques to get people to buy into it or manage it. The stake credit union’s must be substantially a free-market system.

 

Not living this system makes the church just another religious faction preaching religiousness but not practicing a system which remedies inequality—the single largest cause of social instability & collapse.  See D&C sections 42, 51, 78, 82, 104. see also Enrichment L in the Doctrine & Covenants institute manual.

The Sin Next To Murder

 

The hallmark of religious fundamentalism is promoting a worldview that does not accord with reality. In fundamentalist religions, things that don’t matter much, get blown out of proportion and things that cause social collapse, war and anarchy are dismissed as inconsequential.  For Christians, the Jewish religion at the time of Christ is a classic example. Jewish leaders executed the pacifist Christ because he dare heal on the Sabbath and declare himself Messiah, and yet allowed the insurgent Barnabas (and many like him) go free. The country was teetering on the brink of rebellion, anarchy and war, and yet the religious fundamentalist leaders were more concerned about the minutia of the Mosaic law, than the things that were truly destroying their society.

In Mormonism, we too have some history of fundamentalism—particularly in regard to sexual matters.  Marion G. Romney’s conference talk of “better dead clean, than alive unclean” is a great example of this. In the talk this LDS Apostles tells the story of his father’s harsh words as he left on his mission, that he’d rather see his son come home in a coffin, than to be sent home for sexual impropriety.  For most modern Christians this idea is of course, morally repugnant, and entirely contrary to Christ’s merciful example with the harlot (John 8:1–11). Instead it is completely in line with the world-view of the evil pharisees who brought the woman to Jesus in the first place.

Spencer W. Kimball’s Miracle of Forgiveness has some similar examples of this language and mindset. (Things condemned by Modern LDS therapists, and quoted as being “regretful” to Kimball himself later in life. see here, here and here.)

Few intelligent sociologists or therapists will dispute that there are destructive sexual practices which have the ability to rip at the fabric of a healthy society. But what I am talking about are the past LDS practices of blowing fornication (which is defined as sex between two unmarried consenting adults or minors) or other minor sexual practices way out of proportion by equating them with violence and murder.  Its this same type of unjust comparison that causes many Islamic cultures (and ancient cultures) to use violence against women as a “punishment” for sexual impropriety. LDS views of fornication may stem primarily from our interpretation of a statement made in the Book of Mormon.  In the Book of Alma, Alma the younger (who was a bit of a rebel himself in his youth) councils and censures his son Corianton for his “forsaking of his ministry” in order to make a trip to the harlot Isabel. In response to this action, Alma tells his son.

5 Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?
6 For behold, if ye deny the Holy Ghost when it once has had place in you, and ye know that ye deny it, behold, this is a sin which is unpardonable; yea, and whosoever murdereth against the light and knowledge of God, it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness; yea, I say unto you, my son, that it is not easy for him to obtain a forgiveness.
7 And now, my son, I would to God that ye had not been guilty of so great a crime. I would not dwell upon your crimes, to harrow up your soul, if it were not for your good. (Alma 39:5–7)

 

The traditional interpretation of this verse has been that the prophet Alma is teaching his son that pre-marital fornication, or sex out of wedlock, is the worst sin possible with the exception of murder and “denying the Holy Ghost”.

The idea that polygamy (with its often scores of wives AND concubines) can be sanctioned by God.  But that simply unwed fornication (even if it’s between in-love, consenting adults) — is worse than torturing someone, physically assaulting someone, stealing or destroying someone’s property, blasphemy, or any of the 10 commandments except murder and being a son of Perdition (denying the Holy Ghost) is against scripture and most rational individual’s consciences.

There’s a high probability that something else is going on this this story. There’s almost certainly something we as Mormons have culturally failed to grasp in this scripture, and by not addressing and reforming this false concept, we run the risk of damaging people’s testimonies when those members finally realize how contrary to conscience and scripture the idea that ‘fornication is next to murder’ is.

The New Testament is unequivocal in declaring fornication a sin (1 Cor 5), but gives little clue to its ranking among other sins — and gives no letter of the law commandments against it. Fornication has a high likelihood of causing emotional pain, unwanted pregnancy, and selfishness so its no surprise that it would be labeled sin. But the Mosaic law interestingly, does not even specifically declare most fornication as a punishable sin (although it was undoubtedly condemned). FORNICATION WAS NOT EVEN ONE OF THE 10 COMMANDMENTS–ONLY ADULTERY WAS. In fact it’s debatable what fornication’s exact place in the right and wrongs of the Mosaic law was. The mosaic law attached the death penalty to nearly EVERY aspect of adultery. And ALL cases of fornication which involve a married individual or “forcing” (rape). As well as temple prostitution (a common old world form of sex trafficking). However, there is no evidence of a physical penalty being addressed to fornication in the Mosaic law AT ALL, except when the woman…

1- Is still part of her father’s house and lies about her virginity, defaming her father’s honor (Deut 22:13–20)
2- Is the daughter of a temple priest. (Lev. 21:9) This may just be talking about making the daughter a temple whore or prostitute (19:29)
3- Becomes a paid prostitute (Duet 23:18).

In typical cases of fornication, the consequence was that the Man had to marry the virgin he slept with. But if she, or her father wouldn’t have it, then the man had to pay a bride-price or tax to the father. (Exodus 22:16–17, Deut 22:22–29)

[Before the Mosaic law, it seems the Middle-Eastern religious customs were often similar to modern back-woods Pakistan and other unequal patriarchal societies. Fornication was more or less culturally/religiously acceptable for men, BUT NOT FOR WOMEN. As illustrated in the story of Judah’s sex with Tamar in Gen. 38. Judah commands Tamar to be put to death when she is accused of being a temple prostitute… until he finds out HE is the father of her child, which causes him to marry her instead of killing her. The Mosaic law undoubtedly incorporated many of these (often unjust) cultural traditions (ie. Numbers 5:11–31), but strangely seems to deliberately avoid penalties for simple fornication.]

From available Old Testament and traditional evidence it seems most likely that in the case of Corianton, either

1- Corianton was married, and was committing adultery.

2- Isabel was a temple prostitute, and Corianton was indulging in an all too common idolatrous temple rite involving (often gratuitous) sexual acts. (Temple prostitutes were an ancient form of sex trafficking and were often lured into the prostitution at a young age, and often engaged in group sex acts). Because Isabel is called a “harlot”, this is the most likely scenario.

The Doctrine and Covenants instructs fornication is to be dealt with on an equal level with stealing, lying, etc.. (D&C 42:74–93). And the new Testament classifies it with sins such as being a hypocrite, greedy or rejecting the law of consecration. So although fornication is unquestionably condemned in scripture, it seems obvious that this B.O.M. scripture has caused the gravity of this sin to be GREATLY overrated.

And since I know how the Mormon mind works concerning anyone who dares question our shady overzealous beliefs on extramarital sex…..
No, this author has never fornicated.  😉

Some interesting references on Fornication & Temple Prostitution

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/6238-fornication
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_prostitution
http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Prostitution#Religious_prostitution
http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/sex-in-the-service-of-aphrodite-did-prostitution-really-exist-in-the-temples-of-antiquity-a-685716.html

http://www.rmsbibleengineering.com/page2/adultery/page2_1.html
http://www.seedbed.com/is-premarital-sex-a-sin-bible-scholars-respond/