Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Mormons and Quetzalcoatl

I met an American Mormon missionary in the street in Edinburgh yesterday. Elder Jones was his name. He asked me if I had ever read any of the book of Mormon. As it happens I have, due to studying alongside a Mormon at university. He asked me what I thought of it and I said two things:

1. There are no original texts for me to look at. Its not like the Bible where I can learn the languages, read it and make my own mind up.
2. There is no historical evidence for the ancient people of America described in the book.

His reaction was interesting.

He talked about the Maya and Inca people and said that they had a legend of a great God - Quetzalcoatl - the feathered serpent. he claimed that this was Jesus because of the story in Exodus 7:11 where Aaron’s rod becomes a serpent:

Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs.

I have never heard this claim before, but it may be how the Mormons are countering all the archaeological evidence which challenges their Mesoamerican mythology. The history of this issue can be found in the following Wikipedia article:
Archaeology and the Book of Mormon