Excerpts from Ancient America and the Book of Mormon by Milton R. Hunter  and Thomas Stuart Ferguson.  Kolob Book Company, 1950, with citations from Mexican Antiquities by Lord Kingborough. Vol. 1X 1898: "The Works of  Ixtlilxochitl," and editorial comments. 

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"Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl was born about 1568. He was a student at  the College of Santa Cruz in Tlateloco [Mexico]. . . . he was an  interpreter in the court of Justice of the Indians and he died in 1648 at  

the age of eighty."  "He was a descendant of the old Texcocan lineage and  had access to many of the ancient records. His first work was written about 1600 and the second about 1608. Ixtlilxochitl was a grandson of the last king of Texcuco, from whom he inherited all that were saved of the records in the public archives." (p. 15) 


"The ancient Mexican history, the Works of Ixtlilxochitl, was written in  Mexico at about the close of the sixteenth century. Ixtlilxochitl, the  author, derived his material from ancient authentic hieroglyphic writings  

which he had received from his ancestors."(p. 6)  His account deals, among  other things, with "the origins and histories of the people who developed  the highest early cultures of the New World."(p. 8) 


"The Works of Ixtlilxochitl were printed for the first time in 1848  in England. They were printed in the Spanish language." (p. 6) 


"In Mexico's great central mesa where Ixtlilxochitl lived, the name by which the Fair God of Ancient America was generally known was Quetzalcoatl.  "Quetzal" was the name of the beautiful bird with the resplendent long green feathers and the dainty crest. "Coatl" is the ancient Mexican word for serpent. Thus the name Quetzalcoatl means literally "Quetzal-bird serpent". (p. 199)  "Quetzalcoatl was the name applied to the New World God who was in the form of a man, bearded, white-robed, and a great teacher of moral principles. The "coatl, or "serpent" was an ancient symbol of Israel's Messiah, "the Anointed One". (p. 201) 


[Editor's Note:  Moses' raised serpent staff symbol was preserved by Israel for over 500 years, and is clearly identified with Jehovah/Christ in the Book of Mormon (Helaman 8: 14-15; Alma 33: 18-19).  Garth Norman has researched the etymology of "Quetzalcoatl" and found that "quetza" in Nahuatl means "to raise something up."  So Quetzalcoatl literally means "Raised Serpent," identical to Moses raised serpent on a staff.] 


The quetzal-serpent symbolism is encountered in the ancient artifacts of  

Middle America. Feathered serpents appear on the facades of temples and  

palaces, on ceramics, in stone sculptured works and in gold  

representations. Lord Kingsborough reports: "Representations of the lifting  

of serpents frequently occur in Mexican paintings.  Other symbols of the  

Fair God include the cross."  (p. 202) 


The quotations that follow are from the Works of Ixtlilxochitl (XLV111), 

translated and annotated by Hunter and Ferguson


"And when they were in the height of their power, there arrived in this  

land a man whom they called Quetzalcoatl and others Huemac on account of  

his great virtues, considering him as just, saintly [holy], and good;  

teaching them good deeds and words, the path of virtue, forgiving them  

their vices and sins, giving laws and good doctrine. And in order to  

refrain them from their pleasures and dishonesties, he instituted  

[established]) fasting for them, and [he was] the first who worshiped and  

placed the cross which they called Quiahuiteotl-chicahualizteotl and others  

Tonacaquahuitl, which means: God of rains and of health and tree of  

sustenance or of life. (p. 203) 

[Editors Note:  This name for the cross of Quetzalcoatl, identified with the  

God of rain and the tree of life, is a Book of Mormon concept found in  

Nephi's vision of the tree of life.  Nephi saw the tree of life was also a  

fountain of living waters which represented the love of God manifest through  

Christ--the tree being his sign and his gift of eternal life (1 Nephi 11:  

1-25).  This concept is illustrated in Maya caFoliated Cross tree a fused with a God.] 

"Quetzalcoatl was a favorably disposed man, of a grave aspect, white, and  

bearded. His dress was a long tunic."(p. 210) 


"He was the first who worshiped and placed the Cross." (p. 211) 


"And at the time he went about taking leave of these people, he told them  

that in time to come, in a year which should be called Ce Acatl, he would  

return, and then his doctrine would be received, and his children would be  

masters and possess the land." (p. 214) 


"And that they and their descendants would pass through many calamities and  

persecution, and many other prophecies [were made by him] which later were  

very clearly seen." (p. 216) 

"He having preached the said things in the majority of the cities of the  

Ulmecas and Xicalancas and in particular in that of Cholula, where he most  

visited, and seeing the little fruit brought about by his doctrine, he  

returned through the same part from whence he had come, which was by the  

Orient, disappearing through Coatzalcoalco". (p. 218) 


"Great earthquakes, winds and darkness occurred in the area occupied by  

settlers at the time when Christ our Lord suffered, and they say it  

happened during the first days of the year." (p. 218) 


"He was just, saintly and good."   He taught them "by deeds and words the  

path of virtue, forbidding them their vices and sins, giving laws and good  

doctrine."  "He was a god of health." "He was god of rain." He was the  

first who worshipped and placed [among them] the tree of sustenance or the  

Tree of Life." (p. 219) 



Book Summary:  "Since the Nephites had such a thorough knowledge of the Son  

of God and the gospel plan of salvation, it is not surprising to find that  

numerous teachings resembling true gospel doctrines were found in great  

abundance among the Indians by the early Christian missionaries. Thus, Las  

Casas (1474 - 1566 A.D), a prominent Spanish Catholic missionary, concluded  

that the devil had arrived in America ahead of the Christians and implanted  

in the minds and hearts of the natives many teachings closely akin to  

Christianity. The true answer is that Jesus the Christ visited ancient  

America and gave the people His true plan of salvation; and His visit was  

attested to on every hand by the prevalence of the tradition that a bearded  

white God had visited the ancient inhabitants of Middle America and had  

promised to return in the latter days."  (p. 222) 


Alfredo Chavero, Preface to "Obras Historicas de Fernando de Alva  

Ixtlilxochitl."  1891, vol. 1, p. 6. 

Hubert Howe Bancroft, "The Native Races of the Pacific States of North  

America." 1876, vol. 5, p. 147. 


Editor's End Note:  Research since Hunter and Ferguson has established an  

identity between some of Ixtlilxochitl's history and Quetzalcoatl  

Topiltzin who was a Toltec king who lived about a thousand years after  

Christ.  He carried the original Quetzalcoatl's name as a priesthood office  

title.  The many parallels with Christ bear witness that historic events in  

his life, as well as his teachings, were patterned after Christ's life and  

ministry among the Nephites as recorded in the Book of Mormon. –VGN 



Hunter, Milton R. and Ferguson, Thomas Stuart