Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chichen Itza' part 1

I've wanted to go to Chichen-itza..since our honeymoon to Cancun 5 years ago. We already had such a packed schedule last time, that we couldn't fit it in.  And I always regretted not going. But I'm glad now that we didn't do a regular tour, because our good friends the Bachynski's took what's called the Heleman tour. It's catered to Latter Day Saints who'd like to hear how these ruins coincide with the Book of Mormon. If you're wondering We believe the Book of Mormon talks about a group of people leaving Jerusalem and heading to the Americas. This book teaches about the history of these people the nephites and the lamanites and several other groups known as the Jaredites and the Mulekites It testify's of Christ visiting them after he was killed on the cross and before he was resurrected...and gives us the answer as to why there were people here when the Spanish came over. As well as many other amazing things. Needless to say I've wanted to do this tour for a long time.. not because I wanted physical proof, but because I find it fascinating. I truly love history and I wanted to grow in knowledge and testimony. And I believe every part of the Book of Mormon  is true with my entire being. I've felt that it's true and I know that it's true. It teaches me to be a better person, and anything that can do that, is something wonderful.  You don't have to believe what I believe in, But I do ask you to respect my thoughts on this post as it is very near and dear to my soul. And so I have disabled comments on this post. It's very sacred to me and Brandon.

So Heleman picked us up from our hotel the Barcelo Costa.. same place we stayed on our honeymoon.. We love it there amazing pool all inclusive very Mediterranean feel.. the bellhop even remembered us from our honeymoon they used to call us Canada
We then drove to pick up the other 3 couple who were doing the tour.. 2 from Pocatello Idaho, and 1 couple from Holiday Utah.
It was then a 3 hour ride out into the Yucatan jungle. Heleman told us about the reason he started to do this as a job, he and his son Nephi and brother Lemuel {if your lds and not laughing by now shame on you}  anyways they now run the tour company together. He talked about it being his mission in life to share his knowledge of the scriptures with others. He has studied the bible and book of mormon, and followed archaeological news for over 20 years, as well as been a seminary teacher and scriptorian.

So these people we'll be talking about.. The Nephites, came from the middle east, Lehi and his family left Jerusalem and traveled to the Americas about the same time as Jeremiah in the Bible. They took that record with them, and we call this record the brass plates. They followed what was in the old Testament, And in Leviticus chapter 25 it talks about Moses speaking about the children of israel, on how to use the land..for 6 year you should work, but in the 7th year you should rest. And 7 x7 years is 49.. so they do this in cycles, And the trump of the jubilee will sound.. and you should hallow the 50th year. So they had a 50 year cycle in the bible...eventually in America this got changed to 52 years, as they fell away as they lost prophets and records. They also would follow the same 5 holy days as the people in Israel. So chichen-itza was built around this cycle of 52 years. So they'd build one temple, and then build on top of it for the next cycle. So when you used to be able to go inside the temple at chichen-itza you could see some of the previous temples.There is also evidence that, in the 10th century, after the collapse of the Maya cities of the southern lowlands, Chichén was invaded by foreigners, probably Maya speakers who had been strongly influenced by—and perhaps were under the direction of—the Toltec of central Mexico. These invaders may have been the Itzá for whom thesite is named; some authorities, however, believe the Itzá arrived 200 to 300 years later. Us as latter day saints..know what happened to these simple temples that were built by the nephites, they were taken over by the wicked lamanites, which is why the simple temples are built beneath the ornate idol temples, filled with human sacrifice, as thing were distorted once everything was wicked.

Heleman talked about How this area was probabally where the Lamanites lived. And that chichen-itza was probably built many years after the nephites lived there. After the people living there turned wicked. And the plain and precious truths started to be distorted. Such as them starting to offer human sacrifices, as a symbol of a broken heart and a contrite spirit which is what we offer to Christ in exchange for his atonement. They changed it and would actually would sacrifice someone on the 5 holy days. As this offering to Christ. In the book of Mormon it talks about Christ coming and visiting the people of the American continent, after he was crucified and before he ascended to Heaven. He came to teach them and heal them for a couple days. In mayan culture there is something known as the feathered serpent. This is a symbol of Christ descending from Heaven. The reason they choose a snake is because it was a symbol for God in the old testament, Moses held a staff with a snake and if the Israelites would only look to it they would be saved. This symbol is  was taken with the nephites and passed down as a symbol for God.  There are feathered serpent carving all over chichen-itza. And one amazing thing that happens is that on the solstice light passes over the temple.. and illuminates a feathered serpent descending down the temple like it's coming down from Heaven. Over 30,000 people come on the spring equinox March 20th to see this happen. What they don't realize is that as the sum moves more serpent is actually illuminated on April 6th. Which is when we believe Christs actual birth was. Also on April 6th the shadow of the large temple makes a line to the temple next to it and casts a light directly on the alter on the chac mool..where they would put the heart of the sacrificed being {the broken heart}
see the serpent.. this is on March 21st.. on the spring equinox, but on April 6th it's illuminated fully. To read more you can check out this article here, it helps explain the 52 thing I was telling you about before as well as their holy days, and their calander, and why April 6th is significant

Here is a picture of the Chac mool

and some interesting info on the pyramid also form the link above , chris reeves article.

  • Each staircase consists of 91 steps. Four staircases means there are 364 total steps. By combining the platform at the top which forms a common stair to all sides, that brings the total to 365, the number of days in the year.
  • Each side of the pyramid has 52 rectangular panels, equal to the number of solar years in a Maya calendar cycle. The Maya kept two calendars, one solar and another ritual calendar of 260 days. Every 52 years, the first day of each calendar would fall on the same day. The Maya reportedly incorporated this 52-year cycle into their rituals, and would build a new monument or rebuild another to commemorate that cycle.
  • The staircases appear to divide the nine tiers in two, creating 18 tier segments which corresponds to the 18 months or winals in the Mayan calendar that together comprise a Maya year or tun.
  • During the light-and-shadow effect that occurs each equinox, the staircase balustrade is broken into seven triangles of light contrasted with six triangles of shadow. Together there are 13 triangles, a number sacred to the Maya.
During restoration of El Castillo in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Mexican arcaheologists discovered it had been built upon an earlier temple. Today a small doorway under the northern staircase leads to a small stairway into temple within the pyramid. In this inner temple is a chac mool statue and a jaguar throne...
And more coming tomorrow...