The Wandering Mind

Lamanai, Belize: Indian Church

Posted in Mormonism,Religious History,The Ancients by wandren on 10 June 2009

I didn’t know about Lamanai until recently watching an episode of “Cities of the Underworld” that talked about how it is the only Mayan ruin to retain its ancient name.  This caught my attention because of its similarity to a group of people mentioned in the Book of Mormon called the “Lamanites.”  The episode can be watched on Hulu.  The segment on Lamanai starts at the 20-minute mark (second dot).

“Though the locale is generally known in Belize as Indian Church, a name apparently coined in the early 19th century, Lamanai is in fact one of the very few Maya sites for which the ancient name is recorded. It appears on a church list of 1582, and the site was visited and very sketchily described by Fathers Bartolome de Fuensalida and Juan de Orbita in 1618.”  Pendergast

And behold, the city of Laman, and the city of Josh, and the city of Gad, and the city of Kishkumen, have I caused to be burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof, because of their wickedness in casting out the prophets, and stoning those whom I did send to declare unto them concerning their wickedness and their abominations.”  3rd Nephi 9:10

“That portion of the monument found in situ, which included the feet of the personage depicted, bore evidence of fire damage on the front and sides, manifest in blackening and crazing of the stone and the loss of some areas of carving from spalling.  The plaster floor was also calcined in the immediate vicinity of the stela base, and the lower portion of the room wall behind the monument was blackened.  Clearly, a fire of considerable intensity was responsible for the breakup of the monument.  It also was probably responsible for the destruction of those portions of the carving that remain missing.” Pendergast


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