As we sat in the cozy living room of his modest home in Antigua, Guatemala, in July 1993, an ecclesiastical authority from a local ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) declared his belief that the Popol Wuj (also called Pop Wuj and Popol Vuh)1 was one of the “other scriptures” that Jesus spoke about in the Book of Mormon (3 Ne 23:6). As an undergraduate student of anthropology at the University of Iowa, I had come to the former colonial capital of Guatemala for language study and a small research project under the guidance of the esteemed linguist, Dr. Nora England. The focus of the research project, funded by the Stanley Foundation, was on health and religious conversion, not scripture.2 Yet, throughout four months of participant observation and health-oriented interviews, Guatemalan Latter-day Saints of Ladino and Mayan heritages repeatedly shifted the conversation...

You do not currently have access to this content.