Similarities Between Quetzalcoatl and Mormon's Jesus Christ
The Descending God: Quetzalcoatl
Both the Mayan and the Aztec people believe in a Descending or Diving God. He was known as Kukulcan, the Feathered Serpent, among the Mayans and as Quetzalcoatl among the Aztecs. These ancient peoples believed that He was the creator God, that He was born of a virgin, that He raised the dead, that He healed by the laying on of hands, and that He would return. The first record of a Feathered Serpent being worshiped was during the 1st century AD.
He is specifically mentioned in the Popul Vuh, the religious writings of the early Mayans, as one of several Creator Gods. Several temples were built to this God, including the Temple of Quetzalcoatl built by the Mayans at Teotihuacan and the “Templo del Dios Descendente” (Temple of the Descending God) at Tulum in the Yucatan.
The Aztecs believed that Quetzalcoatl would return. Legend has it that Montezuma met Hernan Cortés with peace when he arrived in Tenochtitlan on November 8, 1519 because he believed Cortés to be Quetzalcoatl returning.
Temple for the Descending God at Tulum
Other Opinions on the Relationship Between Jesus and Quetzalcoatl
In contrast, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) believe that Jesus of Nazareth atoned for the sins of the world, was crucified by the Jews, and was resurrected on the third day. Furthermore, they believe that after a 3 day ministry in the afterlife, He appeared to both His 12 disciples in Israel and to the Nephite and Lamanite peoples, the ancestors of the American Indians, Mayans and Aztecs, of Jewish descent, on the American continent. The history of His post-resurrection ministry on the American continent is recorded in the Book of Mormon. They believe that Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in the 1800s and restored His gospel and reorganized His church on the American continent. And, they believe He will come again.
If You Want to Learn About Quetzalcoatl and the Aztec Calendar
Quetzalcoatl, is the Feathered Serpent or Precious Twin. God of intelligence and self-reflection.
The Mayans and Aztecs represent the Descending God (Kukulcan or Quetzalcoatl) as a Feathered Serpent. In 2 Nephi 25:20, in the Book of Mormon, a story is told of an ancient prophet, Moses, having held up a bronze feathered serpent for his people to look upon. His people had been bitten by serpents and were promised that if they would but look unto this feathered serpent, which represented Christ, they would be healed. Both Jesus Christ and the Descending God are represented as feathered serpents, all powerful and all knowing beings.
Similarities between Quetzalcoatl and Jesus Christ
Both groups believe that He was the creator God and that He was born of a virgin. Mormons believe He created the earth under the direction of God, the Eternal Father. This is in harmony with the Popul Vuh’s analysis of there being multiple creator Gods.
The Book of Mormon (ex: 3 Nephi 26:15-16) and Bible (ex: John 12:1, Mark 16:18) recount Christ healing by the laying on of hands and raising the dead. Both of which the Descending God is attributed with having done.
Both groups await His return. Because of the overwhelming similarities between the two traditions, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe the myths of the Descending God, Quetzalcoatl and Kukulcan to be morphed versions of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.
About the similarities between the two belief systems, John Taylor 3rd president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said: “"The story of the life of the Mexican divinity, Quetzalcoatl, closely resembles that of the Savior; so closely, indeed, that we can come to no other conclusion than that Quetzalcoatl and Christ are the same being. But the history of the former has been handed down to us through an impure Lamanitish source, which has sadly disfigured and perverted the original incidents and teachings of the Savior's life and ministry.“ (Taylor, John (1992 (1882)). Mediation and Atonement. Grandin Book co.)
Either way, Jesus Christ will come again.