Question: Do Latter-day Saints believe that Quetzalcoatl was actually Jesus Christ?


Question: Do Latter-day Saints believe that Quetzalcoatl was actually Jesus Christ?

Whether Quetzalcoatl can tell us anything about the Book of Mormon remains unproven

It is claimed that LDS scholars believe that Quetzalcoatl was Jesus Christ. However, since Quetzalcoatl's association with a "feathered serpent" constitutes "snake worship," some Christians claim that this association is therefore inconsistent with worship of Jesus Christ.

Some LDS authors have seen Christian parallels to Quetzalcoatl. At least some of these parallels were probably imposed, however, by the secondary sources who also sought a Christian connection to native myth. Quetzalcoatl plays a minor—if any—role in modern LDS apologetics. Critics should not, however, act as if the association of a "snake" with Christ is completely foreign or strange—certainly the brass serpent placed on a pole and raised up by Moses has some symbolic links to Jesus.

Whether Quetzalcoatl can tell us anything about the Book of Mormon, however, remains unproven. FairMormon does not at present recommend relying on this as "evidence" for the truth of the Book of Mormon account.

The legend of Quetzalcoatl is of interest as a corroborative element in supporting the Book of Mormon, but it is not an element of anybody's belief

Although critics would like to make the LDS association of Quetzalcoatl with Jesus Christ some sort of key element in an effort to "salvage their cherished faith," the reality is that Quetzalcoatl is rarely if ever discussed. The legend of Quetzalcoatl is of interest as a corroborative element in supporting the Book of Mormon, but it is by no means a critical element of anybody's belief. The association is intriguing to the LDS, as even the critics agree that certain elements of the legend are consistent with the Book of Mormon teaching that Jesus Christ appeared in the New World. Wallace E. Hunt Jr. lists the following elements, all drawn from non-LDS sources:

  • Quetzalcoatl was the creator of life.
  • Quetzalcoatl taught virtue.
  • Quetzalcoatl was the greatest Lord of all.
  • Quetzalcoatl had a "long beard and the features of a white man."
  • The Mesoamericans believed Quetzalcoatl would return.

Notes