A sneak-peek into an LDS tour at Tulum | LDS Tours Cancun
Did you know that many LDS scholars have compared the people from the Book of Mormon with the Mayan civilization? There are many things that relate and Tulum is a great place to start.
In the archaeological site of Tulum, you will learn about the civilization of the Mayan culture, the purpose of the structures and symbolism within. The location of Tulum is believed to be connected with some places mentioned in the Book of Mormon. Geographic location, demographics, archaeologic, and climatic considerations contribute as factors of the proposed theories.
The Walled City
The city of Tulum is one of many cities that were surrounded by great walls, some of which were used for defensive purposes but sometimes for simply segregation of social classes. There are many other cities such as Tikal, Becan, Calakmul, and Xpujil where you can find similar earthworks and fortifications such as the kind the Book of Mormon describes.
3 And it came to pass that after the Lamanites had finished burying their dead and also the dead of the Nephites, they were marched back into the land Bountiful; and Teancum, by the orders of Moroni, caused that they should commence laboring in adigging a ditch round about the land, or the city, bBountiful.Alma 53:3-5
4 And he caused that they should build a abreastwork of timbers upon the inner bank of the ditch; and they cast up dirt out of the ditch against the breastwork of timbers; and thus they did cause the Lamanites to labor until they had encircled the city of Bountiful round about with a strong wall of timbers and earth, to an exceeding height.
5 And this city became an exceeding stronghold ever after; and in this city they did guard the prisoners of the Lamanites; yea, even within a wall which they had caused them to abuild with their own hands. Now Moroni was compelled to cause the Lamanites to labor, because it was easy to guard them while at their labor; and he desired all his forces when he should make an attack upon the Lamanites.
The use of cement
The Yucatan Peninsula lays on a limestone shelf which lacks nutrients and topsoil needed for growing large thick trees.
Due to the lack of good quality construction timber, the Mayas created a very durable and longlasting cement that can be found in the building of Tulum. To create cement, the Mayas baked limestone in underground ovens using green wood until the limestone became completely dehydrated.
The Mayan formula for cement was: 10 tons of green wood+ 10 tons of limestone = 1 ton of lime.
Next, the lime had to be mixed with several local ingredients such as melipona honey, water, and tree resins.
7 And there being but little timber upon the face of the land, nevertheless the people who went forth became exceedingly aexpert in the working of cement; therefore they did build houses of cement, in the which they did dwell.Helaman 3:7-10
8 And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the asea west to the sea east.
9 And the people who were in the land northward did dwell in atents, and in houses of cement, and they did suffer whatsoever tree should spring up upon the face of the land that it should grow up, that in time they might have timber to build their houses, yea, their cities, and their temples, and their bsynagogues, and their sanctuaries, and all manner of their buildings.
10 And it came to pass as timber was exceedingly scarce in the land northward, they did send forth much by the way of ashipping.
The Descending God
The people of Tulum remembered a God who descended from the Heavens to teach wonders of the universe and to bring eternal life. Although this is a very controversial topic among non-religious scholars, some of them have compared the idol represented at Tulum with the God of Venus, Itzamná. While others have compared it with Hunab Kub, the bee God, and lastly with Kukulkan, the White Bearded God. Whoever this may be, it is undeniable that this being or deity created a longlasting positive impact for centuries until the arrival of the Spanish.
At Tulum, you will observe that this God is represented upside down as if he is literally descending unto the earth. He is depicted holding a jar of “royal honey”, which is a symbolism of eternal life due to its rich medicinal properties.
8 And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they asaw a Man bdescending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.3 Nephi 11:8
Other interesting facts you will discuss in the LDS tour at Tulum
Tulum is located on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in the beautiful state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, which is also known as the Riviera Maya. The combination of the turquoise blue sea, astonishing architecture and the rich history make of this Pre-Columbian Mayan walled city a must for everyone that visits the Riviera Maya for the first time. Its well-preserved ruins are the main attraction for many visitors.
Keep an eye open to spot El Castillo, the Frescoes Temple, and the Temple of the Descending God.
A cenote is a natural sinkhole or pit, that appears as a result of the water passing underneath. This natural pool is filled with fresh, clear water, perfect for snorkeling, or even scuba diving. The term cenote comes from the word ts’onot, used in the lower region of the Yucatan Peninsula, which refers to any location with groundwater.
The Gran Cenote is one of the most famous cenotes in the Peninsula of Yucatan and it is located just a few miles away from the ruins, on the west side of Tulum. Aside from the caverns, in this site, you can admire a varied flora and fauna life.
A day with Alma’s LDS Tours
The archaeological site of Tulum is one of the most visited by LDS members from all over the world, especially during the winter season. There is something about Tulum that makes this site very significant. You will be surprised to learn about the connection between this land and the Book of Mormon.
It is preferred to set your pick-up early in the morning because you want to avoid the crowds and live the best experience as possible. So one night before, have your backpack ready with a change of clothes, a swimsuit, towel, and snacks if you like. If you stay at a hotel or an Airbnb, your day will start most likely in the morning. A comfortable, spacious, well-equipped van with A/C will arrive to pick you up at the entrance. The tour conductor will wait for you outside with a service order sheet and then will proceed to head off to the site.
Now, if you are coming on a cruise ship Alma’s LDS Tours can make sure to arrange your pick-up by the Playa del Carmen pier, according to your needs.
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Alma’s LDS Tours will be more than happy to take you on an amazing tour trip you will never forget.
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