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A Man Descending Out of Heaven 

 << Jesus Christ descending out of heaven in Mesoamerica.  © By Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

 "And it came to pass...they cast their eyes towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven... And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying: Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.  And behold, I am the light and life of the world..."  (3 Nephi 11:8-11) 34 A.D.

"...the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus...."  (3 Nephi 19:25) 34 A.D.
 
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The above scriptures in the Book of Mormon are summarized as follows:

1st  After his resurrection Jesus Christ, descended from the sky.
2nd  He stretched forth his hand.
3rd  Jesus Christ then declared that he was the light and life of the world.
4th  His countenance and His garments were exceedingly white above all the whiteness upon the earth.
5th  During this time there were others  around him who also became exceedingly brilliantly white also.

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34 A.D.  Jesus Christ came to the Nephites in 34 A.D.
420 A.D. The Nephites along with the Lamanites fell away from keeping the commandments and the gospel of Jesus Christ.   "..how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord!...how could ye have rejected that Jesus...."  (Mormon 6:17)  420 A.D.
1492 A.D. Even though the Nephites and Lamanites rejected the teachings of Jesus Christ, their posterity, the Aztec, Maya and Inca people, still retained information about the God who had descended from the sky to the ground. This descending God had visited their ancesters teaching them and doing many wonderful miracles.
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Written in their books and past down from generation to generation the Aztec, Maya and Inca people had knowledge about a God the Aztecs called Quetzalcoatl. 

   << Cortez meets Montezuma, 1550 A.D. Aztec drawing.

"O our Lord,” [Quetzalcoatl] “...you have come to sit on your throne...for sometime my heart has been looking [for your return] in the direction... from within the clouds....” “The kings who are gone said that you would come to rule...and assume your throne..." Montezuma asked our Captain to be seated..."saying that he would give us of all that he possessed...." (Florentine Codex, The Nahuatl Accounts of the Conquest of Mexico, p. 117, Book 12,)

Quetzalcoatl  descended to ground level through an opening in the sky.…”  (Legends of the Plumed Serpent, p.34)
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Written pre-Columbus Codexs, carvings of a descending God on cups, incense burners, walls and statutes carved in stone on pre-Columbus building represent the many ancient stories, beliefs and traditions of the a God coming out of the sky.  This information about a 'Descending God', was carved on stone buildings, statutes, cups, various containers and made into incense burners as items of worship as follows:

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   << Descending God, Dresden Codex. p.58.

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   << Descending God, a cup, Quintana Roo, Mexico, 1200-1400 A.D.

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   << Descending God, Cancun, Mexico, Temple.

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<< Descending God, Coba, Mexico.

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   << Descending God, a storage Container, Mesoamerica.

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   << Descending God, Dzibilchaltún, Yucatán Peninsula.

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   << Descending God, Incense Burner, East Coast, Yucatán Peninsula.

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   << Descending God, National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City.

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   << Descending God, Sayil, Mexico.  

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   << Descending God, Tulum, Mexico,#1

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   << Descending God, Tulum, Mexico,
Some people have referred to or called these carving a "falling God".  The name "falling God" is not a correct representation of the meaning of these carvings.  This God coming out of the sky did not fall out of the sky but descended in control, as represented by the feathered wings upon his arms. A bird with wings does not 'fall' down to the ground.  
If these carvings correlate to the coming of Jesus Christ to the early ancestors of these people then why put wings on this descending God?  
Two reasons; 
1st The wings indicate that this person came down, in control, out of the sky.  
2nd A fallen away understanding of Jesus Christ took place in their day just like in our days.  We put wings on angels. 
For example: 
  << The wings on the angel Gabriel.  
There is nothing in all the scriptures that indicate that Gabriel had wings.  The fact is that the prophet Noah, is also known as Gabriel.  He is the person, without wings, who visited Mary.  
("Noah...is Gabriel", Joseph Smith, History of the Church V3:386)
Nevertheless most of the Christian world puts wings on angels. The descendants of the Book of Mormon people who had fallen away, did so also.
[The Descending God, Tulum, Mexico,#2 carving and other carvings are sometimes  referred to as the a descending honey 'Bee God'.  Note: Descendants of Lehi besides adding wings on to this descending God, also sometimes added bee parts onto this God.  They will show a bee type body and antennas on the head.]

How could the Nephite and Lamities people be so bless with the pure gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Savior himself and then fall away so far as to distort the actual event of resurrected Jesus Christ coming down out of the sky into a statute with wings and bee parts?
This should not be such a strange distortion of the truth by a group of people, considering that just as soon as the Israelites crossed the Red Sea they build a golden calf.  

 << A representation of the golden calf.
“And…he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”  (Exodus 32:4)

    << The Prophet Mormon bids fairwell at the great last battle between the Nephities and the Lamanities.  385 A.D.
How true were the prophet Mormon's words, when he wrote:
   "...how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord!...how could ye have rejected that Jesus...."  (Mormon 6:17)  385 A.D. 

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   << Descending God, Tulum, Mexico,#3

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<< Descending God, Tulum, Mexico,#4
[Sometimes refered to as the descending honey 'Bee God'.]

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   << Descending God, Tulum, Mexico,#5


 

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 <<  Descending God from the Ancient City of Dzibanché, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Dated 300-500 A.D.  This statue/incense burner is located at the National Museum. Sometimes refered to as the Descending Maize God.

   There are at least six ways in which, this statue or incense burner could correlate directly to a historical representation of the visit of the resurrected Jesus Christ to the Americas as recorded in the Book of Mormon.

1st Up Side Down Feet
This statue represents someone coming or descending out of the sky.
"...they saw a Man descending out of the midst of heaven...."  (3 Nephi 11:8)  34 A.D.

2nd An Incense Burner
This descending God was reverenced and worshiped as a God by the ancient Mesoamerica people.  The Incense Burner was used for an religious purpose. One of which was to offer prayers to God.
"...I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth...."  (3 Nephi 11:14)  34 A.D.

3rd. Holes.
This God has holes in the palms of his hands.
"...come forth...that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands...." (3 Nephi 11:14-15)  34 A.D.

4th Hands Stretched Out
This God has his hands stretched forth.
"...he stretched forth his hand...."  (3 Nephi 11:9) & (3 Nephi 12:1)  34 A.D.

5th The Crown
This God is wearing a crown.  A crown is a symbol  of a king having authority.  This crown also has flames coming up from it.  This is a representation of light or the flaming brilliance of light as a flaming fire like the sun.

"...king of kings...." (Revelation 19:16) 
"...we see Jesus...crowned with glory and honour...."  (Hebrews 2:9)
"...behold they were white, even like Jesus." (3 Nephi 19:30)  34 A.D.

The Crown also has on it a carved representation of two cobs of corn (maíze).  Maíze to the Mayan people was a main food staple providing life to these ancient people.
It was a Maya tradition that this Maíze God had died went to the underworld or spirit world and was later resurrected.
  
    <<  Resurrection of the Maize God, Plate Date 680-750 A.D.
<< "A Maya plate depicts the resurrection of Hun Nal Ye (the Maize God)..."  
(Quetzalcoatl, the Maya Maize God...", Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, by Diane E. Wirth)

There is "The myth of the Maize God being resurrected..." (Code of the Kings, by Linda Schele and Peter Mathews, p. 158)
It was a Maya tradition that this Corn/Maíze God had died went to the underworld or spirit world, and later was resurrected.

   << The Maize God emergence from the Realm of the Dead.
This Pre-Columbus Maya drawing represents the "emergence from the Realm of the Dead.  The substitution of a skull for the turtle carapace characterizes the aquatic realm as a place of the dead... as...found...in various...Maize God scenes."  (The Tonsured Maize God, p. 10, Wayeb Notes, H.E.M Braakhuis Utrecht University)

"The Maize [God] is...the most powerful of all beings,...the...true creator of the world and king of all those who are here in this life...."  [The]"Maize God...is pictured as Itzamna, [or Quetzalcoatl]...." (The Tonsured Maize God, p. 19, & 22 Wayeb Notes, H.E.M Braakhuis Utrecht University)

  "The...Maize god [was] resurrected..." (Code of the Kings, by Linda Schele and Peter Mathews, p. 158)

 

Isn’t it interesting that this Maize God who had died, and then went to the underworld or spirit world and was then later resurrected and is shown above statute/incense burner, coming down out of the sky with holes in the palms of his hands.

6th The Torch
This descending God is holding a torch in his hand, thus bringing down light to the world.
"I am the light and life of the world...." (3 Nephi 11:11) (3 Nephi 9:18)  34 A.D. 

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   << Torches on Nuttall Codex. 
Note: In the Middle East the most commonly used light was the oil lamp.  In Mesoamerica they did not use oil lamps but their most commonly used source of light was the torch.  
It was the torch that brought light to these Mesoamerican people.

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"And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them;And...he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying: Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
And behold, I am the light and the life of the world..."  (3 Nephi 11: 8-11)  34 A.D.

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 <<The Decending God.  A stela carving of the Descending God from Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa, Guatemala. Dated 600-800 A.D.

<< Note: The flames of fire coming off this descending God and the sun.  
There are two people carved upon this Stela looking up at this descending God.  
It is obvious from this carving that even in the 600-800 A.D., the descendants of Lehi still retain a knowledge and belief of a God whose countenance did shine, bright even as the sun, as he descended out of the sky.

"...the light of his, [Jesus Christ's], countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof."  (3 Nephi 19:25) 34 A.D.

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   << In a vision of Jesus Christ, given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland temple at Kirtland, Ohio, April 3, 1836.  They recorded the event and the appearance of the resurrected Savior as follows:

"...We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us...His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun...."  (Doctrine and Covenants 110:1-3)

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"...they did hear the voice, and did open... their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came."  (3 Nephi 11:5)

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   << Antiquities of Mexico by Kingsboroug.

"The Mexicans, [Aztecs], entertained the belief… Quecalcoatle, presided over destinies…the belief that Quecalcoatle would appear in the clouds of heaven,… a name having been given to Cortes by the Indians of several provinces of New Spain fully indicative of that belief."  (Antiquities of Mexico "Vol. 8 p. 46)  <<<


   <<  “[there are]… several [Aztec] paintings… [which] represent Quecalcoatle with his side pierced with a spear, and water flowing from the wound;…”  (Antiquities of Mexico, 1831, by Kingsborough, Vol. 8 p. 17, & 45.)

“The Aztecs have a tradition of a God suffering and crucified named Quetzalcoatl, and of one [John the Baptist], preceding Him to prepare the way and call them to repentance.  Tezcaltlipoca offered Him a cup, calling Him “Mu son,” of His unwillingness to taste and weeping bitterly after having drunk its contents; forsaking temporal kingdoms for spiritual, being called away by the Father.  At His departure there were four earthquakes.  He promised to return again and redeem His people."   
(The Americas Before Columbus, p. 36 a quote from Kingsborough)

Lord Edward Kingsborough had compiled enough information in his lifetime to, without doubt, know that the inhabitants of the New World Western Hemisphere believe in the God Quetzalcoatl, who was no one other than Jesus Christ. 
Lord Edward Kingsborough knew nothing about the Book of Mormon.  Nor did Joseph Smith ever have available, know, or read anything in Lord Edward Kingsborough’s books.  Lord Edward Kingsborough independently by his own research concluded the following:

Enough having been said to prove that... [the Aztec, Maya, Incas], applied many of the prophecies of the Old Testament to Quecalcoatle….”  (Antiquities of Mexico by Lord Edward Kingsborough)