Possible Book of Mormon Parallel
The Guatemalan historian Don Domingo Juarros (17521820), relying on earlier documents, wrote of a tradition that "the Tultecas were descended from the house of Israel, and were released by Moses from the captivity in which Pharaoh held them," then crossed the ocean to Mexico. He then wrote of the division of the Quiché empire into three kingdoms in the time of King Acxopil and noted that "this division was made on a day marked by the extraordinary circumstance of three suns being visible at the same time, an incident that has induced some persons to think the partition was effected on the day of our Saviourâs birth, as it is commonly asserted that such a phenomenon then occurred; but as a parhelion is a meteor which has been so frequently observed, this does not appear to be sufficient authority for fixing the division to that particular day" (Don Domingo Juarros, A Statistical and Commercial History of the Kingdom of Guatemala in Spanish America, trans. J. Baily [London: John Hearne, 1823], 16364).
The Book of Mormon indicates that 30 years after heavenly signs marked the birth of Christ the central government of the Nephites was destroyed and the people reseparated into tribes (see 3 Nephi 7:14). This is not to say that we must identify the Nephites with the Tultecas or Toltecs, but it is interesting that this tradition, connected with the time of Christâs birth, should be preserved in the area where many scholars believe the Book of Mormon story took place. Contributed by Matthew P. Roper