Current knowledge about this civilization is inaccurate and spotty speculation. The actual history of the
"Mayans" can be found in the Book of Mormon.
According to this record, Lehi led his family and other people from a home in ancient
Jerusalem to settle in modern
Guatemala. The family built a ship near
Khor Karfot and crossed the Pacific Ocean.
DIVISION INTO LAMANITES AND NEPHITES:
Not many years after the death of Lehi,
threatened Nephi and his people,
which resulted in a separation into two lands. Frequent wars occurred throughout their history and terminated in the
destruction of the Nephites at Cumorah. Another aspect that seriously
impacted the degeneration of both civilizations was the rise of secret societies such as the
Frescos at Bonampak depicted the Nephites and darker-skinned
Frequent and long periods of warfare highlighted the Lamanite-Nephite experience. Remnants of the
older Olmec culture and other local tribes throughout
Mexico and Central America likely participated in or were influenced by such wars. Murals depicted
captives presented to local kings.
VISIT OF RESURRECTED CHRIST:
The most significant positive event in this civilization's history was the personal visit of the
resurrected Jesus Christ to
the people at Bountiful. Numerous prophets foretold
this event, including Samuel the Lamanite.
Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions altered numerous areas immediately after the death of Christ. He
likewise radically altered society, ending contention and warfare over 200 years.
TRIUMPH OF LAMANITES:
Circa 421 AD, Lamanites largely destroyed the Nephite people in battle at the
Hill Cumorah (see an
alternate site). Defectors and
Lamanites occupied the lands and eventually built cities and massive structures throughout the region.
Mormon abridged the records of his
people on gold plates and his son,
Moroni, buried them for safekeeping.
In 1820 AD, Moroni delivered them to
Joseph Smith Jr. for translation and
dissemination to the world.
LATE MAYAN PERIOD:
"Lamanite" Mayans occupied previous Nephite sites, such as Dzibilchaltun,
and Yucatán locations. During the
8th and 9th centuries AD, people abandoned many lowland sites in the southern Mayan region. Loss of rainfall
and drought conditions may have been the reason. Cities in the north continued to flourish, such as at
Edzná and Uxmal. Conquistadors from
Spain took over 170 years to subjugate the Mayans.