Sunday, January 31, 2010

“And I Did Teach My People…”

According to Clements Robert Markham, “To the Inca in the 16th-century, the builders of the ancient Peruvian ruins of Tiahuanaco adjacent to Lake Titicaca, were completely and entirely unknown. Anciently, the incredible city covered a large area, built by highly skilled masons, and with the use of enormous stones (one stone is 36 feet long by 7 feet, weight 170 tons, another 26 feet, by 16 feet by 6 feet.)

“Apart from the monoliths of ancient Egypt, there is nothing to equal this in any other part of the world. The movement and placement of such monoliths point to a dense population, to an organized government, and consequently to a large area under cultivation, with arrangements for the conveyance of supplies from various directions, denoting an organization combining skill and intelligence with power and administrative ability.

“Besides being enormous, the stone workmanship is excellent, with accurately straight lines, angles correctly drawn, and the surfaces level. The upright monoliths have mortices and projecting ledges to retain the horizontal slabs in their places, which completed the walls. The carvings are complicated, and at the same time well arranged, and the ornamentation accurately designed and executed. No less striking are the statues with heads adorned with curiously shaped headdresses. Flights of stone steps have recently been discovered, for the ancient city now several miles from the lake, was once upon its borders.

“Remarkable skill on the part of the masons is shown by every fragment now lying about. Such are the angle-joints of a stone conduit; a window frame of careful workmanship with nine apertures, all in one piece; and numerous niches and moldings. There is ample proof of the very advanced stage reached by the builders in architectural art.” (Clements Robert Markham, The Incas of Peru, Dutton, NY, 1910, p 23-24; R. Inwards, The Temple of the Andes, 1884; Comte de Crequi Montfort, leader of the “Mission Scientifique Francaise” 1904)

According to Nephi, “And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance” (2 Nephi 5:15). For more information on the enormous quantity and quality of ancient buildings, temples, and pyramids in the Andean area, see my book,” Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica.”

This ancient first-century B.C structure along the border of Peru and Bolivia in South America, testifies to the advanced and marvelous work of the ancient Nephites.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bible Written Centuries Earlier Than Believed

Scientists have discovered the earliest known Hebrew writing—an inscription dating from the period of King David's reign in the 10th century B.C. The breakthrough could mean that portions of the Bible were written centuries earlier than previously thought—until now, the Bible's Old Testament is thought to have been first written down in an ancient form of Hebrew in the 6th century B.C., because it was believed that the Hebrew writing was thought to stretch back no further.
Gershon Galil, a professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Haifa in Israel, who deciphered the ancient text showed that this text is about four centuries older. "It indicates that the Kingdom of Israel already existed in the 10th century B.C., and that at least some of the biblical texts were written hundreds of years before the dates presented in current research.”
The writing was discovered more than a year ago on a pottery shard dug up at Khirbet Qeiyafa, near Israel's Elah valley, during excavations carried out by archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. At first, scientists could not tell if the writing was Hebrew or some other local language, but Galil was able to decipher the text. He identified words particular to the Hebrew language and content specific to Hebrew culture to prove that the writing was, in fact, Hebrew.
"It uses verbs that were characteristic of Hebrew, such as asah ('did') and avad ('worked'), which were rarely used in other regional languages," Galil said. "Particular words that appear in the text, such as almanah ('widow') are specific to Hebrew and are written differently in other local languages."
The ancient text is written in ink on a trapezoid-shaped piece of pottery about 6 inches by 6.5 inches. It appears to be a social statement about how people should treat slaves, widows and orphans. The content, which has some missing letters, is similar to some Biblical scriptures, such as Isaiah 1:17, Psalms 72:3, and Exodus 23:3, but does not appear to be copied from any Biblical text.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Johnny-Come-Lately Incas

The Incas were relative newcomers themselves when the Spanish arrived. The Inca Empire had only begun expanding after 1400 A.D., and had been around for a mere century before being so brutally cut short by the Spanish. The Incas were only the last in a whole series of cultures predating the Spanish conquest, but it has taken a while for the world to appreciate the achievements of these earlier Peruvian civilizations.

Part of the problem can be blamed on the Inca themselves, who liked to pretend that it was all their own work. There is evidence that the Incas substantially retold the history of preceding civilizations to downplay their achievements, and in some cases to ignore those achievements completely. In Crónica del Perú, one of the best of the early Spanish chroniclers, Pedro de Cieza de León, quoted his Inca sources as saying that before them there were only ‘naked savages’ and that ‘these natives were stupid and brutish beyond belief. They say they were like animals, and that many ate human flesh, and others took their daughters and mothers to wife and committed other even graver sins.’

This manipulative distortion of history was so successful—the same myth was repeated by other chroniclers like Garcilaso de la Vega in the early 17th century—that the truth has only emerged recently. Far from imposing order on an unruly bunch of savages, the Incas were merely the latest dominant tribe (and a short-lived one at that) in a series of Andean civilizations that had flourished over the preceding 4,000 years, including the Moche in the north of Peru, the Wari of the central states and the Tiahuanaco culture near Lake Titicaca.

Max Uhle, a German archaeologist, first revealed how literally deep the roots of Andean culture were. In dig after dig in southern and central Peru in the early 20th century, he showed conclusively that the Inca had been preceded by earlier cultures, and that some of these cultures had built up similar empires. In the north, Julio C Tello, excavated the extraordinary Chavín de Huántar, with its jungle iconography of snakes and jaguars dating from as early as 1200 B.C.—over two millennia before the Incas.
So where did the Incas come from? The prosaic response is that up until around 1400, A.D., they were just one of a number of competing tribes in the area around Cuzco, before they built up their enormous empire under a series of dynamic and capable emperors.

An explanation of this is covered in my book, Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kept From the Knowledge of Other Nations

“The civilizations of ancient Peru were some of the oldest on earth, yet also the most isolated. Until the relatively late arrival of the Spanish in 1532, the Incas and the many cultures that preceded them had a quite unique way of Life—one that excluded writing, the wheel and many other necessities of the so-called Old World, but managed to build magnificent monuments and a stable society in a terrifyingly unstable landscape.” (María Rostworowski de Diez Canseco, History of the Inca Realm, Cambridge University Press, translated from the Spanish by Harry B. Iceland, 1999)
The Lord promised Lehi that his land of promise would be kept from the knowledge of others as long as his descendants remained righteous (2 Nephi 1:7). But what kept the Europeans, Asians, Arabs, Phoenicians, and others from discovering the Western Hemisphere? Ludlow said that "one of the great mysteries of history is how the existence of the great north and south American continents could be kept from the knowledge of the inhabitants of the Old World," yet the answer is actually quite simple.
Up until the 15th-Century, Western maritime knowledge was confined sharply to the European coastal fringe, nor had the North African coast even been discovered. In addition to the frigid temperatures in the north, and contrary winds for a return trip in the south, and opposing winds in the west, the European adventurers were hemmed in since they did not possess the astrolabe or the quadrant for use at sea until the 14th Century. The first recorded use of the quadrant at sea, though it had been used on land for some time, was in 1465 by Diogo Gomes, the explorer who discovered the Cape Verde Islands.
And being confined to coastal waters kept the Europeans from realizing they could sail south to Africa with the southerly winds, then turn out to sea and catch the returning northern winds to sail back to Europe. Not until the sealanes to the south had been opened did Columbus have an opportunity to sail into the southern latitudes and discover the wind shift that moved westerly across the Pacific that later enabled him to reach America.
Thus, Lehi’s Land of Promise was, indeed, kept from discovery by other nations until after the fall of the Lamanite people into wars and debauchery. And, as Nephi foresaw, the Eurpeans came to the New World in droves and Lehi’s descendants lost their land of promise.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pachacamac, Ancient Zarahemla

In 1903, M. Uhle, published writings on Pachacamac, an ancient ruin outside Lima, Peru, in the University of Pennsylvania Publications, Folio, Philadelphia, in which he wrote:

“Pachacamac, which means “Creator God,” was a famous religious center in ancient Peru, comparable to the Egyptian Thebes or the Mohammedan Mecca. According to Estes, it originally contained a shrine of the "creator " god, Pachacamac, to which flocked pilgrims coming from all parts of Peru, three hundred leagues or more,” and later, after conquest of the place by the Peruvians of the highlands, it also had a famous Temple of the Sun.

It was at the same time a political center, the seat of a leader who ruled over the populous valleys of Lurin, Rimac, Chancay, Huacho, Supe, and Huanan, according to Garcilasso, with Its decline dating from the year of the entrance of the Spaniards in 1533 and the destruction by them of the venerated statue of the principal deity. In the early fifties of the sixteenth century the Augustinian monks transferred the town to the valley, and in the first part of the seventeenth century it was already a desolate pile of ruins, according to Calancha.

The inhabitants and the pilgrims of Pachacamac disappeared, leaving scarcely a trace in history, but they left behind a vast number of graves, with the total number of burials that existed within and about the ruins estimated at between 60,000 and 80,000. There are six or more aggregations of the graves which may be regarded as distinct cemeteries, but burials, often two deep, existed apparently in every available part of the ground, within the temples, and even about and within the dwellings. The middle part of the region, bounded by the principal ruins, and especially the front of
the Temple of Pachacamac, look like one vast burial place. And according to Calancha, many of the skulls found there showed injury, battle wounds, etc.”

Today, Pachacamac is a serene appearing ruins overlooking the Pacific Ocean, about 25 miles south and west of Lima, Peru, in the Lurin Valley. It is a vast site containing a number of pyramids, and Spanish historical records, along with extensive archaeological research at the site, have served to clarify its history and significance, dating its rise in the last millennium B.C., and its greatest prominence around 200 A.D. The complex covers about 210 acres (85 hectares), and later, during Inca, times, additional buildings were constructed there.

In my book, “Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica,” this ancient city of Pachacamac, or Zarahemla, is discussed.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Fall of the Lamanites Foretold

As stated by (Comb and Coates, in review of Morton's Crania Americana, 1839, p.275): “One of the most singular features in the history of this continent is that the aboriginal races, with few exceptions, have perished or constantly receded before the Anglo-Saxon race, and have in no instance either mingled with them as equals, or adopted their manners and civilization. These phenomena must have a cause; and can inquiry be at once more interesting and philosophical than that which endeavors to ascertain whether that cause be connected with the difference in the brain between the Native American race, and their conquering invaders.”
Some 2400 years before, Nephit wrote:
I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten (1 Nephi 13:14) The Lord God will not suffer that the Gentiles will utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed, which are among thy brethren. Neither will he suffer that the Gentiles shall destroy the seed of thy brethren (1 Nephi 13:30-31
This destruction and subjugation was and is not the cause of brain development, ability or race, but of unrighteousness. This destruction and subjugation was prophesied almost two thousand years before Cortes and Pizarro set foot in the Western Hemisphere. Archaeologists, Historians and Scientists can come up with hypotheses, but it is the Word of God that holds all truth.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jews Settled the Western Hemisphere

In about 600 B.C., two groups left Jerusalem for the Western Hemisphere--the Nephites and the Mulekites (Mulek and those who brought him). Obviously, then, the original settlers of the Land of Promise were Jews. It is interesting that a confirmation of this was written in 1581, by a Dominican friar, Diego Duran, who proposed the theory that the Amerindians could only be Jews. He maintained that they had escaped tribulation and found their way to the Americas.
Duran, best known for his authorship of this work, one of the earliest Western books was greatly criticized in his lifetime for helping the "heathen" maintain their culture. An excerpt from this book, also known as the Durán Codex, shows the founding of Tenochtitlan. Durán also wrote "Book of the Gods and Rites" (1574-1576), and "Ancient Calendar," (c. 1579).
He was fluent in Nahuatl, the Aztec language, and was therefore able to consult natives and their pictorial codices, as well as work done by earlier friars. His empathetic nature allowed him to gain the confidence of many native people who would not share their stories with Europeans, and was able to document many previously unknown folktales and legends that make his work unique.
Duran's concept was later adopted by Gregorio Garcia, another Dominican Friar who published it as "Origin of the Indians of the New World."
Durán was born sometime around 1537 in Spain. His family traveled to Mexico when he was very young and it was in Texcoco where he learned Nahuatl. Laater, his family moved to Mexico City where he attended school and was exposed to Aztec culture under the colonial rule of Spain.
His book contains seventy-eight chapters spanning from the Aztec creation story until after Spanish conquest of Mexico, and includes a chronology of Aztec kings.
The monks of the sixteenth century borrowed one another’s material without citation. Some scholars believe that the Durán Codex formed the basis for the Ramirez Codex although others believe that both Ramirez Codex and the Durán Codex relied on an earlier unknown work referred to as "Chronicle X". In 1596, Durán was cited as a source by Fray Agustín Dávila Pandilla in his Historia de la fundación y discurso de la Provinciade Santiago de Mexico.
The Durán Codex was unpublished until the 19th century, when it was found in the Library of Madrid by José Fernando Ramírez. In his Ancient Calendar, Durán explains why his work would go so long without being published by saying “some persons (and they are not a few) say that my work will revive ancient customs and rites among the Indians”, to which he replied that the Indians were quite good at secretly preserving their own customs and needed no outside help.
Durán's work has become invaluable to archaeologists and others studying Mesoamerica. Although there are few surviving Aztec codices written before the Spanish conquest, the more numerous post-conquest codices and near-contemporary works such as Durán's are invaluable secondary sources for the interpretation of archaeological theories and evidence.
Since the Aztecs were later descendants of the Nephites who emigrated to Mesoamerica in Hagoth's ships in the first century B.C., as explained in my book "Who Really Settled Mesoamerica," one can readily see that the Book of Mormon claim of Lehi and Ishmael, as well as Mulek, all coming from Jerusalem around 600 B.C. is factual.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lehi Colony Landing Site

I suppose one can find a quote from most any early church leader regarding their views of the Book of Mormon and Lehi's landing site. It might be of interest what George Q. Cannon had to say regarding this subject:

George Q. Cannon, The Life of Nephi, the Son of Lehi, The Contributor Company, Salt Lake City, UT, 1888 (full title, the Life of Nephi, the Son of Lehi, who emigrated from Jerusalem, in Judea, to the land which is now known as South America, about six centuries before the coming of our Savior; from the press of the Juvenile Instructor)

Elder Cannon was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and served in the First Presidency under four successive presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow. He was the church's chief political strategist, and was dubbed "the Mormon premier" and "the Mormon Richelieu" by the press. His family was converted in England and crossed the ocean, arriving in Nauvoo in 1843 when he was 16. He worked for the Times & Seasons and the Nauvoo Neighbor run by his uncle, John Taylor. He was 17 at the time of Joseph Smith’s death. One of his sister’s married John Taylor.

Cannon wrote: (pg 94) "The Prophet Joseph, in speaking of their place of landing, said, “It was on the coast of the country now known as Chile — a country which possesses a genial, temperate and healthy climate.” They traveled nearly a south, southeast direction until they came to the nineteenth degree of north latitude; then, nearly east to the sea of Arabia, then sailed in a southeast direction, and landed on the continent of South America, in Chile, thirty degrees south latitude. They immediately turned their attention to agriculture. They prepared the ground and put in all the seeds which they had brought with them from the land of Jerusalem. They found the soil admirably adapted for agriculture. Their seeds grew finely and yielded good crops, and they were blessed with abundance. We find no mention made of any seeds being planted by them at any point from the time of their departure from Jerusalem until they reached the promised land. If while encamped in the valley of Lemuel or at Bountiful they cultivated the earth and raised provisions or seeds, we are not informed of it, though doubtless both places were suitable for that purpose."

And on (pp 103-104) "Lehi gives the true explanation of the reason why this continent should be concealed from the knowledge of other nations. We see how it is to-day. This continent is so desirable that there is a steady stream of people flowing to it from all countries. They are filling up the land, and the Lamanites, who have occupied it under the promise of the Lord to their father Lehi, have been crowded back from both oceans until they have but small spots to live upon in the center of the land, and even these are coveted by the people of other nations who have come here. This would have been the result long, long ago had the world known of the existence of this continent; but the Lord concealed it, and guided those only to it whom He desired to occupy it, so that all His promises concerning it might be fulfilled. Lehi told his children, that if those whom the Lord should bring out of the land of Jerusalem should keep His commandments, they should not only prosper here, but they should be kept from all other nations and have the land to themselves; there should be none to molest them, nor to take the land away from them; but they should dwell safely for ever. It was the failure of the ancestors of the Indians, or Lamanites, to do this, that brought upon them and their children evils under which they at present suffer. Lehi, before his death, told them, by the spirit of prophecy, what their fate would be if they fell into unbelief and rejected the Lord. He said the Lord would bring other nations unto them, and He would give them power; they would take away from his descendants their lands, and they would be scattered and smitten. We have only to look around us to see how completely and exactly his predictions have been fulfilled. And as these predictions have come to pass, so will others also come to pass respecting the nations of the Gentiles that will occupy this land : they would not be permitted to utterly destroy the descendants of Nephi or the other children of Lehi; and if they, themselves, did not repent, and keep the commandments of the Lord, destruction would also fall upon them."

While this is not conclusive of a landing site, it is interesting that church leaders of the time had an appreciation for the special, unique features of the Chile coastline that made a landing there the most probable spot in the Western Hemisphere.

In my book Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica, this type of information is covered in great detail, and what makes the 30th south latitude along the Chilean coast such an ideal location.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Welcome to the NephiCode blog. We will be commenting periodically about where Lehi landed and who really settled Mesoamerica, including the archaeological and science behind these findings. This blog is in support of the four books we have written on these subjects, and have the content that will answer most questions, so please read the books and tell us your thoughts on the matter.