Greater Ancestors

World Museum

Durango – Remains of Very Large Size


Discoveries in Mexico May Prove
portant Claims.
Letters received in this city last week
tell of important antiquarian discover
ies made in southern Mexico and Cen
tral America, by a party of Mormon
explorers. Three months ago the party
began a three-years’ trip down into
South America, for the purpose cf
searching for traces of the last sur
vivors of the Nephites. believed by the
Mormons to have been the first people
in this country.
Benjamin Ciuff, president of the
Brigham Young academy, in Provo,
Utah, is in charge of the expedition
and has twenty-four students under his
charge. In a letter to a friend here,
Professor Ciuff states that many pre
historic ruins have been examined by
the party and evidences unearthed,
which tend plainly to uphold the Mor
mon traditions.
At one place in the southern
part of the state of Durango
they found the remains of what
appeared to have once been a
city of very large size, and in the
largest rulp dug out a stone casket, in
which were found hieroglyphics which
correspond with those in the brass tab
lots, said to have been found in New
York, and which were translated into
the book of Mormon. Further excava
tions revealed a burial place, where a.
large number of human bones were
found, some of the skeletons in an ex
cellent state of preservation. Stone
tablets were found and marked in such
a manner and with such figures as are
found on the Painted Hocks in Ari
zona. In one large chamber isolated from
the others, they found a great stone
casket, in which were th.; bones of
what had been a very large man, an!
on the stone were engraved tigureej
tending to show that the deceased was
a ruler among his people. A large
pile of tablets, probably records of his
reign, were at the rear of the casket,
and many of them will be sent north
for examination by expert antiquari
ans. The party will continue the ex
pedition southward.
According to Mormon traditions, Lehi
and Ishmael, accompanied by their
families, left Jerusalem about COO B. C. ;
built boats and sailed toward this con
tinent, landing where Chili now is.
Lehi had two sons, Nephl and Laman.
Nephi, obedient, and Laman, trouble
some. The party grew and two fac
tions settled around the two sons as
leaders. Finally the race numbered
many thousand and buiit many cities
in what is now New Mexico, Arizona,
Mexico and Central and South Amer
ica. The two factions waged war for
several centuries and about 400 A. D.
the Nephites were exterminated by the
Lanianites, from whom the American
Indians have descended. Maroni, the J
of his people, written on a brass plate,
in the hill “Cumorah,” in New York
state, and the angel revealed these
plates to Joseph Smith, who founded
the Book of Mormon from the records.
By finding in the ruins of Central and
South American cities evidences that
they were built by descendants of Lehi,
the Mormons hope to give to the world
proof that the first people in America
were of the Mormon faith.

  1. Arizona republican. [volume], December 24, 1900, Image 1
  2. The San Francisco call. [volume], December 24, 1900, Image 3
  3. The times. [volume], December 27, 1900, Page 4, Image 4


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