In The Cavity of a Rock

In The Cavity of a Rock
Father Lehi

Monday, February 17, 2014

Wicked King Noah's Towers and the Book of Mormon's Authenticity

Wicked King Noah
Sometimes I design a blog post on what I have been recently studying and sometimes I am able to be inspired in other ways.  I had actually started putting together my own artwork on a Mesoamerican themed wicked king Noah.  It just so happens in my family scripture study we are commencing the chapters that he is involved with.  In my extracurricular reading of John Sorenson's "Mormons Codex" I just happened to stumble across a few interesting insights and possible evidences that revolve around the information shared about king Noah.  So I figured that these three factors pointing towards king Noah were more than enough guidance to put together a wicked king Noah blog post.

 Here is what John Sorenson had to say when speaking about pyramid towers at Kaminaljuyu (LDS scholars top perspective for the Land of Nephi in the Book of Mormon) in the Southern Guatemalan highlands.  He stated that archaeologists De Leon and Valdes suggested that one or more of the pyramid towers in Kaminaljuyu (500-200 BC) may have served as a watchtower to detect "what was going on at a distance."  The Book of Mormon states that during this same time period that Zeniffite king Noah "built a tower near the temple [in Nephi]; yea, a very high tower, even so high that he could stand upon the top thereof and ...look over all the land round about" (Mosiah 11:12).  Both agreeing that pyramid structures at this location could easily have been used as a military watchtower. 

Sorenson continues, "Orellana reports that when war was imminent among the Spanish conquest-period Tzutujils adjacent to the Valley of Guatemala, male warriors (militia) gathered to the ruler's palace where he issued to them bows, arrows, spears, shields, and standards of featherwork that had been stored there. (Orellana Tzutujil Mayas, 59.) King Zeniff in the Book of Mormon (king Noah's father) speaks of an occasion when the Lamanite forces attacked some of his people, whereupon "they fled, all that were not overtaken, even into the city of Nephi, where the king dwelt.  And ...I did arm them with and with arrows, with swords, ...and with all manner of weapons... and I and my people did go forth against the Lamanites to battle" (Mosiah 9:14-16).  Coincidentally, the most plausible geographical reconstruction of where that scene was played out turns out to be no more than 20 to 30 miles from where the Tzutujil Indians did exactly the same thing some 1500 years later!"

Archaeologist Edwin M. Shook
King Noah also caused that a "great tower" was built on a hill north of the land Shilom (Mosiah 11:13).  Sorenson noted that "the hill served as a point of reference for Nephite groups traveling between the land of Nephi and Zarahemla (v. 13; 7:5-6, 17), so it had to be quite a prominent landmark."  He then went on to point out that over 60 years ago archaeologist Edwin M. Shook reported finding the remains of a pyramid that sat up a hill known as Alux that was between Guatemala City and San Lucas SacatepĂ©quez.  Today apparently it is a major highway between western Guatemala and Mexico, "which follows an ancient route, half encircles its base."   Because of all the correlations between this hill in the land of Shilom and modern day Alux Archaeologist John Clark inspected this hilltop in 2005.  He was unable to find any of the remains spoken of by Shook.  But also advised that the top of the hill which is now known as Cerro Alux and houses communication installations as well as a forest preserve commonly used by bird watchers.  So Sorenson advises that "if remains of the pyramid mound Shook reported should yet be found there and dated to about the second century BC, those facts would make the archaeological correspondence particularly striking.

The above noted correspondences will require more work and research but already show promising insights.  Now due to modern growth and population much of the required research may never take place or may have already damaged or destroyed any traces of these ruins.  Only time will tell.  The Book of Mormon has left enough information to hopefully intrigue future researchers to confirm or deny this possibility.


  1. I totally enjoy your insights, research & art.... thanks for sharing Jody...

  2. Thanks Hannah, long time no see. How has life been treating you?

  3. Off topic, sorry. My daughter's substitute Seminary teacher went on her mission to Costa Rica She told the students about an underground museum with gold artifacts. The museum is called Museo de Oro and it is in downtown San Jose, Cosat Rica.
    The sub Seminary teacher said that the Costa Rican people do not know exactly how the artifacts were made and why. There is also pure gold body armor. Interesting. I looked on the Internet site at the museum and it says the gold artifacts date from about 500AD to 1500AD. Costa Rica dd not and does not have a lot of gold, so the ancient people had to do a lot of trading to get that gold.

  4. Not sure where you and your daughters instructor are getting your info but a few minutes on Google produced the following; There is a great deal of gold in Costa Rica. Not only that but a large part of it is at or near the surface and can be recovered by panning and other low tech methods that were available in the 4th century. There is currently a lawsuit in progress against the Costa Rican government by a Canadian mining corp. that spent 92 million dollars on preparatory work for a huge mining operation only to be thrown out over environmental concerns. Mining companies do not invest that kind of money without substantial evidence of sizable deposits of gold ore. A trip to the Museo del Oro website revealed that not only do they know how and why these artifacts were produced they even give a detailed description of the techniques used to produce the gold artifacts. In addition the website explains that the craftsmanship and style are consistent with other artifacts of the same era and local. Your daughters instructor was right about one thing, from what I could see on the website the museum looks like a fascinating and informative place to visit.