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Excursus: Quetzalcoatl: A Malleable Mythology

TitleExcursus: Quetzalcoatl: A Malleable Mythology
Publication TypeExcerpt
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsGardner, Brant A.
Book TitleSecond Witness, Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon: Volume 5: Helaman through Third Nephi
PublisherGreg Kofford Books
Place PublishedSalt Lake City
KeywordsAncient America; Mesoamerica; Parallels; Post-Columbian American History; Quetzalcoatl; Syncretism

The LDS fascination with the Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl, perhaps more popularly  known as the “white god,” has very deep roots. No less a figure than Church president John Taylor, wrote of Quetzalcoatl: “The story of the life of the Mexican divinity, Quetzalcoatl, closely resembles that of the Savior; so closely, indeed, that we can come to no other conclusion than that Quetzalcoatl and Christ are the same being. But the history of the former has been handed down to us through an impure Lamanitish source, which has sadly disfigured and perverted the original incidents and teachings of the Savior’s life and ministry.”