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Excerpt from The Prophesied Coming of Christ
There are two legends that persist in Mexico and Central America, one of which speaks of a culture hero and high priest named Quetzalcoatl, and the other speaks of a pale prophet known by the names of both Kate-Zahl and Quetzal. Many believe Quetzalcoatl and Kate-Zahl, or Quetzal, to be the same person, but were they, and do either refer to the Savior? Quetzalcoatl (a name derived from both the Quetzal bird and the serpent), was the name given to the supreme god of all the Nahuatl tribes, including the Nahuas, Toltecs, and the wilder Chichimec tribes and the later Aztecs. Others tribes, such as the Maya, also venerated him, but referred to him as the Plumed, or Feathered Serpent. They also referred to him as Q’uq’umatz or Kukulcan—a name they often gave their culture heroes, much like the Nahuas referred to their culture heroes as Quetzalcoatl. Unfortunately, such stories have led some to suppose that these legends were speaking of a visit by the Savior Himself, rather than a mortal man who was given the name Quetzalcoatl as a title of his office as high priest over his people.
According to the early historian Torquemada, the name Quetzalcoatl in the Mexican annals means “snake that has plumage.” The worship of the Feathered Serpent was said to have begun in Mexico around the first century (sometime before or after the time of Christ), which left some to suppose that they might be speaking of the Savior’s visit to the Americas because the Book of Mormon clearly documents the wondrous visit of the Savior to His New World flock shortly after His death and resurrection. As one legend goes, “Several years after the great eclipse, in a year that was indicated with the hieroglyph of the Reed in the number one (which according to the tables seems to have been the year 63 of Jesus Christ), a white and bearded man of good stature came to these regions through the northern part, dressed in an ankle-length tunic adorned with red crosses, barefoot, his head uncovered, and a staff in his hand, whom some call Quetzalcoatl, others Cocolcan and others Hueman.”
This holy man is said to have taught them to overcome their pas- sions and to hate vice and love virtue. It is said that he also instituted a forty-day fast, and taught them to mortify, or humble, themselves by the shedding of their own blood in penance for their sins. He introduced the cross and promised that by using that sign that they would be assured of rain, prosperity, health, and just about anything else they wanted or needed.
Quetzalcoatl Arrives in America
Brasseur de Bourbourg, one of the more respected investigators of the early history of ancient Mexico, said, "Previous to the history of the Toltec domination in Mexico, we notice in the annals of the country two facts of great importance, but equally obscure in their details: first, the tradition concerning the landing of a foreign race, conducted by an illustrious personage, who came from an eastern country; and second, the existence of an ancient empire known as Huehue-Tlapalan, from which the Toltecs or Nahuas came to Mexico, in consequence of a revolution or invasion, and from which they had a long and toilsome migration to the Aztec plateau."
As to who brought this illustrious man across the sea to America, he was likely brought to the country by the Phoenicians, many of which were Israelites of the tribe of Dan who became some of the greatest sea- faring men of their day. Of Quetzalcoatl’s subsequent arrival in Mexico, Bourbourg said,
Certain people came from the north. . . . These were men of good carriage, well-dressed in long robes of black linen, open in front, and without capes, cut low at the neck, with short sleeves that did not come to the elbow. . . . They brought with them as their chief and head a personage called Quetzalcoatl, a fair and ruddy complexioned man, with a long beard. . . . These followers of Quetzalcoatl were men of great knowledge and cunning artists in all kinds of fine work.
Men Made into Gods
Unfortunately, the religion in Mexico was a compound of spiritual- ism and gross idolatry at that time and for a long time after. While the locals continued to believe in a supreme being (which they generally took to be the sun), they added to their worship a number of other deities as well: two thousand in all, with one for nearly everything imaginable. Even so, they revered their supreme being and believed they owed him tribute in the way of sacrifice, sometimes human. Thus, with the introduction of Christianity, human sacrifice had to be done away with. Quetzalcoatl was one of the first to insist on that change, which earned him the status of a god. In fact, Quetzalcoatl was considered the supreme lord of the land, much as the Pope is regarded as the head pontiff in the Catholic Church. While Torquemada affirms Quetzalcoatl’s status as a god, he gives Quetzalcoatl a far different description than one might expect when describing Jesus Christ. He said, “This god Quetzalcoatl was very celebrated among the people of the city of Cholula. . . . It is said of Quetzalcoatl that he was a white man, large-bodied, broad-browed, great-eyed, with long black hair, and a beard heavy and rounded. He was a great artificer, and very ingenious. He taught many mechanical arts.”
Whatever controversy surrounds Quetzalcoatl, all the accounts agree that he was venerable, just, and holy. He taught by precept and exam- ple the paths of virtue in all the Nahua cities, particularly in Cholula. During his life there, he is said to have worn “for the sake of modesty, garments that reached down to [his] feet with a blanket over all, sown with red crosses.” The ruling clerics during the rule of Quetzalcoatl all lived very austere lives. They mortified the flesh in penance, often by self-flogging, in imitation of Quetzalcoatl, their patron deity. However, Christ did not mortify His flesh in penance because He was perfect through and through—an important factor leading any discussion away from Quetzalcoatl actually being Christ, because Christ asked only for a broken heart and a contrite spirit in penance for sin because He had already atoned for the sins of the world: “And behold, I have given you the law and the commandments of my Father, that ye shall believe in me, and that ye shall repent of your sins, and come unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Behold, ye have the commandments before you, and the law is fulfilled” (3 Nephi 12:19).
All of the ruling high priests in Mexico were given the title “Quetzalcoatl” over a span of a thousand years (all of which are rec- ognized as mortal men). Yet, still another figure shows up on the scene which has grabbed the attention of many because he too showed up sometime around the time of Christ. In her popular book, He Walked the Americas, L. Taylor Hansen gathered together legends of a visit by a pale, bearded prophet known in Mexico as Quetzal or Kate-Zahl, who legends say walked the Americas. His suggested arrival around the time of Christ, (some say AD 63) left those who were reading the marvel- ous stories of this pious man thinking that they must surely be tales of the Savior’s visit to New World flock shortly after His death and Resurrection. Yet, there are too many inconsistencies about the Pale Prophet to suppose that they were speaking about Jesus. One of the greatest inconsistencies is his refusal to give anyone his name. Although the Pale Prophet referred to God as “My Father,” he had no interest in his own name at all. “He asked each tribe to name Him, for to Him names meant nothing.” Thus he was known by a variety of strange sounding names, each one different from the last. While it is not neces sary that the name of a prophet or missionary be known, far too many people equate this illustrious man with the Savior whose name is and always has been the name by which mankind is saved. Rather than tell the Nephites they could call him anything they like, the first thing the Savior did when He appeared to the righteous Nephites was to announce His godhood:
10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
11 And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.
12 And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven. (3 Nephi 11:10–12)
Not only is His name important in identifying Him, but it is also through His name that all holy ordinances are to be done. Even the Church was to be called by His sacred name:
6 And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day.
7 Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.
8 And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.
9 Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you. (3 Nephi 27:6–9; emphasis added)
Every ordinance performed by the disciples of Christ was to be done in the name of Jesus.
In 4 Nephi it says, “And there were great and marvelous works wrought by the disciples of Jesus, insomuch that they did heal the sick, and raise the dead, and cause the lame to walk, and the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear; and all manner of miracles did they work among the children of men; and in nothing did they work miracles save it were in the name of Jesus” (4 Nephi 1:5; emphasis added).
And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one. (3 Nephi 11:27; emphasis added).
The Savior’s Visit Was to the Righteous
Another interesting issue is the fact that the Pale Prophet is said to have visited both the righteous and the wicked, chastising those who indulged in human sacrifice, and miraculously defeating those who raised their swords against him. Yet, according to the Book of Mormon, the Savior did not come to the more wicked part of the Nephites. The terrible destruction that hit the Book of Mormon territory before the Savior descended out of heaven cleansed the land of the more wicked part of the people, leaving only the more righteous to greet the risen Lord. The mere fact that the Pale Prophet went in among the black- robed sacrificing priests in various regions is indication enough that this was not the Savior.
A Possible Identification
While some still cling to the notion that the culture hero Quetzalcoatl was the Savior, others believe he was the apostle Saint Thomas. Others suggest a possible tie to the Essenes, each of which will be addressed in the following pages. A possible clue to his identity might be tied in some way to the secret signs and handshakes the Pale Prophet gave to many of those he visited. These signs appear to be tied to the traditions of freemasonry, where the name of Jesus was never spoken in order to prevent offending those of different religions. This is the same diabolical tactic the devil is using today to take the name of Jesus out of every aspect of our lives.