Sunday, September 28, 2008

Amaranth grain, honey, and transubstantiation: Another evidence for BoM authenticity

While researching edible plants on the Web, I ran into a recipe for Amaranth Corn Chowder. The recipe had a paragraph that caught my eye and I thought I'd share it as another likely evidence of the Book of Mormon's authenticity. It appears that the concept of the Catholic teaching and ordinance of transubstantiation was discerned by Conquistadors at the time they were conquering the Aztec civilization because of a ritual involved with eating amaranth grain and honey. Here is the quote:
Amaranth is, in fact, another ancient [Central and] South American grain (It was also a featured crop halfway around the world in the Himalayas). It was a staple of the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans. Like quinoa, it all but disappeared in the region after a Spanish ban enforced by the Conquistadors. The Aztecs mixed amaranth with honey, shaped it like gods and ate it in ceremonial rituals. The similarity between this ritual and Catholic communion was too eerie for priests, thus the grain was banned for centuries.
There were other "eerie" things that caused Conquistadors to lash out at Aztec practices, resulting in the burning of piles of written records and religious texts sacred to the Aztecs. Without first-hand knowledge of what was in those books, we can only conjecture as to what, exactly, that might have been.

We do know, however, that there were instances in which the Conquistadors saw elements and traces of Catholic teachings in Aztec ways, such as a belief in a resurrection of God and that a Messiah would visit them and deliver the Aztec people, that the Conquistadors vehemently worked to destroy all such teachings among the Aztecs.

Why? Weren't the Conquistadors there to convert them anyways? Shouldn't they have been glad that Aztecs already had this basic teaching in their theology? Why didn't they just build upon it instead of burning it?

We know from the Title of the Lords of Totonicapan and other records
that survived that literary holocaust that the Mayans and Aztecs viewed
themselves as descendants of foreigners who came from a rich religious
tradition we now recognize as being startlingly similar to biblical

The Conquistadors couldn't fathom that people they regarded as ignorant savages would ever have a knowledge of Middle Eastern stories such as Moses and the 12 tribes of Israel, or would have known about a Messiah who would sacrifice Himself for them, ask Him to remember Him through a ritual eating ceremony, and come from an eastern country to rule them again. Therefore they concluded that natives must have had those things introduced to them by the devil.

The oxymoronic absurdity of this conclusion is only tempered by the fact that they had come to the Americas, in part, to conquer it in a pseudo-religious sense for Spain, seeking to convert heathens to a knowledge of God. When they saw that the supposed "heathens" already had traces of Christian teachings in their legends and laws, they went out of their way to eradicate those notions so as to preserve the "success" and credibility of their royal mandate to "convert" them.

Amaranth and honey is another fascinating parallel between the Book of Mormon and ceremonial elements passed down to 14th century Aztecs that, while admittedly corrupted from their original form, undoubtedly had their root in a primitive Christian teaching.