Saturday, October 27, 2007

Central America- the Book of Mormon Lands

In September Josh and I (we left the kids at my mom's house) went to Guatemala and Mexico City. We had a wonderful time. It was fascinating to learn more about the sites from the Book of Mormon. The areas we visited were so green and lush. It was beautiful. When Joseph Smith wrote about the Book of Mormon he wrote about many places in Central America he knew where ruins were that no one knew until John L. Stephens went down to investigate after the Book of Mormon was written. He wrote about rivers, mountains and many temples, etc. that were built. It all matches up. If anyone is interested- I have a few extra maps that I could send to you that places the Book of Mormon sites with the cities now in Guatemala, Mexico and Belize. Just let me know if you want one! It is fascinating!! We went to Mexico City first. Here we are at Teotihuacan. There are many different ruins, but the most famous are the Temple of the Moon and the Temple of the Sun. Here is the Temple of the Sun. Josh and I both climbed it. For those of you who don't know what the Book of Mormon is- it is a book translated by Joseph Smith in 1830's. They are records from people who left Israel in 600BC and traveled to America. It is about their life here in America. If you have questions- let me know!
Here is an Ulmec head. The Ulmecs were the first civilazation here in South America. For those of you who have read the Book of Mormon they are a candidate for the Jaredites. The Jaredites arrived exactly when the Ulmecs arrived (convenient don't you think?) These huge heads are all over certain places in Central America.
Here we are in Tikal. These are impressive ruins. At the top of this ruin is a very famous carving called the Tree of Life. There are two very famous Tree of Life scenes in Central America. One we nicknamed the "mormon" tree of life because it deals with Lehi's dream of the Tree of Life. This is in the Book of Mormon in 1st Nephi. It has Lehi, his wife Sariah, and his sons Nephi, Laman, Lemual, and Sam in the carving as well as the rod the tree etc. I don't have a picture of this yet, I can post it later. But this carving was of the Mayan Tree of Life. It has Quetzekatl (which is the white god and a feathered serpent) on the carving. Another fun thing is there are many symbols all over and one of them means "and it came to pass". This is fun because "and it came to pass" is all over in the Book of Mormon.
More ruins in Tikal. By the way- I am not trying to be preachy about the Mormon religion. I am just telling you what I learned while I was over there.
This is where the carving of the Mayan Tree of Life as well as the "and it came to pass" symbol was at the top of that temple. The picture didn't come out to well. I am going to try to find another one and I will post it later!
Again- Tikal. Isn't it beautiful. It was surrounded by a rainforest. Gorgeous!!!
When we got to Tikal we climbed up a temple and this was the view. Isn't is impressive? The ruins sticking out of the top of the jungle. We loved the jungle while we were here. We heard Howler Monkeys, saw tarantulas crawling around- but I can tell you we couldn't wait to get out of the humidity and heat!!!
It started raining when we got over to this ruin. We climbed all the others, but it was raining pretty hard so we didn't climb it because limstone turns to slimestone when it is wet!
Here we are getting absolutely drenched in the rain. It was a blast!!! We loved it!
After the ruins we went to go on the zip line over the jungle. There were 8 different zips. We were zipping past monkeys as well as toucan birds, etc. I let go of the rope and hung upside down. What a thrill. It was one of our best days on the tour visiting Tikal and doing the zip line!
We did quite a few different boat rides on our tour. Here we are going down the river to see some ruins. All the houses along the river looked like this.
Here are some young boys fishing.
These big carvings were in quite a few different places in Central America. It is quite impressive to look at because of the intricate carvings.
Can you believe how much she is carrying on her head? This is how everyone carries things in Central and South America. Crazy!!! Anyways- she had a bunch of really beautiful handmade things to sell. She is LDS and is in the Relief Society presidency and her brother-in-law was the Bishop. We thought how fun it was to meet her!
Well, all good things must come to an end. We had a great trip. I hope to be able to do it again!


Shally said...

That is a trip that Zach and I want to make someday. We would LOVE to go there!

brittany said...

That sounds incredible! I love all the pictures. How fun that it was just you and Josh!


France said...

Great! great!
In 2002 my husband and I drove with a RV down to Central America. we visited many riuns on the way. we have wonderful memories of our trip (lot of Pictures). We are not mormon but we are interested in the faith. It is nice to see the same sites that we visited in the eyes of other person.

Continue the good work


Kimberly said...

Hi! My friends and I are planning a trip similiar to yours. Do you still have any extra maps?

Any tips/suggestions?

Thanks, Kimberly

bryan said...

I was wondering if you went on a guided tour or just went on your own?

Anonymous said...

No, I cannot tell to you.

Anonymous said...
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