Thursday, May 24, 2012

Believe What the Natives Tell You?— The Lords of Totonicapán

Continuing from the last two posts, including the works of Fernando de Alva Cortes Ixtlilxochitl (Easht-leal-sho-CHEET ill), and continuing with the Lords of Totonicapan (Toe toe neek cah PAWN).

In the document titled The Lords of Totonicapan, written in 1554 by the leading native nobles of the Guatemalan town of Totonicapan, it told of the origin of their ancestors. Claimed to be the sixteen authors of the title Titulo de Tonoicapan, these nobles wrote, like Ixtlilxochitl (described in the last post) did so from memory, using the legends and myths of their ancestors, about events that occurred a thousand years and more before their time. Of this work, we have today the sixth or seventh hand written copy of this work, last published by Adrian Recino and Delia Goettz in 1953.

According to both the Lords of Totonicapan and the writings of Ixtlilxochitl, the natives of Mesoamerica knew of the creation, about God, and about their history down to about 1200 A.D.

The Toltec culture is said to have dominated a state centered in Tulan, Hidalgo (Mesoamerica) around 800 to 1000 A.D. The later Aztec culture of Mexico saw the Toltecs as their intellectual and cultural predecessors and described Toltec culture emanating from Tollan (Tula) as the epitome of civilization

Ixtlilxochitl wrote: "The Toltecas understood and knew of the creation of the world and how [God] created it, and other things that are in it, such as plants, mountains, animals etc., and, in the same manner they knew how God created a man and a woman from whom men descended and multiplied..." The problem is, how did the Lamanites (the descendants of Lehi that were left after the annihilation of the Nephite Nation) know about this? The Lamanites were not a religious people, in fact sacrificed women and children to "their idol gods" (Mormon 4:14-15, 21), and fought against God constantly (Alma 3:18; Enos 1:20), and had been cut off from the Lord (Alma 9:14).

Throughout this time, the Lamanites knew nothing of God, his commandments, and mysteries (Mosiah 1:5), and knew nothing concerning the Lord (Mosiah 10:10). Even after 200 years of peace and serenity following the Savior's visit, it was the Lamanites who rejected God once again (4 Nephi 1:38) and taught their children to not believe in God even as their  fathers had taught from the beginning (4 Nephi 1:39).

So once again, the question is asked, who kept any records in the Land of Promise among the Lamanites that would have contained the record of God from the creation onward? What word of mouth, songs, paintings, stories, etc., would have existed among the Lamanites from the annihilation of the Nephites onward to have been available to Ixtlilxochitl or the Lords of Totonicapan? Certainly no Lamanite in the Land of Promise would have had or kept such a record, written or verbal, of God, the creation, and his workings with man down through the centuries.

The Lamanites during the last century of Nephite existence were savage, barbarous, sacrificing women and children to idols, destroying everything Nephite, including burning their villages, towns and cities, and bent on only one goal--killing every Nephite that would not deny the Christ. As Moroni described them in about 400 A.D. "For behold, their wars are exceedingly fierce among themselves; and because of their hatred they put to death every Nephite that will not deny the Christ" (Moroni 1:2). They even tracked down every Nephite who had escaped them earlier "were hunted by the Lamanites, until they were all destroyed" (Mormon 8:2).

This was all so severe, that Moroni wrote: "And behold, the Lamanites have hunted my people, the Nephites, down from city to city and from place to place, even until they are no more; and great has been their fall; yea, great and marvelous is the destruction of my people, the Nephites. And behold, it is the hand of the Lord which hath done it. And behold also, the Lamanites are at war one with another; and the whole face of this land is one continual round of murder and bloodshed; and no one knoweth the end of the war" (Mormon 8:7-8). In fact, the savagery was so great, that Moroni would write no more about it (Mormon 8:9).

Again, the question must be asked: In the Land of Promise, what Lamanites kept records, passed on stories about the creation and God and the establishment of man, and the history of man over those thousand years since Moroni last wrote?

However, it is claimed by the Mesoamericanist Ancient America Foundation (AAF) that Ixtlilxochitl knew that such books had existed in Mesoamerica in very early times. He tells of the compilation of a divine book by one Huematzin, who lived in the twelfth century after Christ. According to Mesoamericanists' Hunter and Ferguson, Huematzin was an astrologer. It is claimed that before dying, Huematzin gathered together all of the histories the Tultecas had, from the creation of the world up to his time and had them pictured in a very large book, where were pictured all their persecutions and hardships, prosperities and good happenings, kings and lords, laws and good government of their ancestors, old sayings and good examples, temples, idols, sacrifices, rites and ceremonies that they had, astrology, philosophy, architecture, and the other arts, good as well as bad, and a resume of all things of science, knowledge, prosperous and adverse battles, and many other things; and he entitled this book calling it Teoamoxtli which, interpreted, means Various thing of God and divine book; the natives now call it the Holy Scriptures because it is almost the same, principally in the persecutions and hardships of men. (Hunter and Ferguson 1950, 337-38).

Again, we can only ask who wrote these records? The Lamanites? What did they know of the Creation and the religious history down to 1200 A.D.? The scriptural records tells us the Lamanites hated the Nephites, had been taught from the beginning that the Nephites had stolen the birthright from Laman and Lemnuel, and the Lamanites tried to destroy the Nephites for the 1000 years of their history. Mormon also tells us around 385 A.D. that if any of the Nephite sacred records were found by the Lamanites they would be destroyed, causing the Lord to tell Mormon to hide up the records (Mormon 2:17; 6:6).

It is redundant to keep asking, but the question cannot be ignored! Who had kept records that were gathered together by Huematzin, a member of the Toltec nobility according to Ixtlilxochitl, in 1200 A.D.?

After all, it was the Nephites that believed in Chirst--the Lamanites did not. This separation marked the principal difference between the Nephites and Lamanites. In fact, around 231 A.D., at the time there were no "ites" among the people: "And now it came to pass in this year, in the two hundred and thirty and first year, there was a great division among the people. And it came to pass that in this year there arose a people who were called the Nephites, and they were true believers in Christ; and among them there were those who were called Jacobites, and Josephites, and Zoramites; and it came to pass that they who rejected the gospel were called Lamanites, and Lemuelites, and Ismaelites; and they did not dwindle in unbelief, but they did willfully rebel against the gospel of Christ; and they did teach their children that they should not believe, even as their fathers, from the beginning, did dwindle" (4 Nephi 1:35-38). In the great, final war that followed this division, Lamanites sacrificed their Nephite captives, especially women and children, to their idol gods (Mormon 4:14, 21).

Now, we are told by Mesoamericanists, that the Lamanites had a cherished and sacred record of the Creation and the history of God's people down to 1200 A.D.? There is absolutely nothing in the Book of Mormon scriptural record to even suggest such a thing existed in the Land of Promise, let alone proclaim it as though it was a fact!

Of course, there is another answer--an answer that shows why Lamanites, or Nephite descendants in Mesoamerica, would have had sacred records. And that is the subject of our net post.

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