The Izapa Temple Virtual Reality Project

by Cheryl Norman (The legacy of V. Garth Norman lives on)

In 1962, the BYU New World Archaeological Foundation (NWAF) began excavating and researching at the Izapa, Mexico ancient Temple site. Archaeologist V. Garth Norman joined NWAF’s Izapa project in 1965. He eventually published 6 lengthy books from his 55 years of work at Izapa, with one translated into Spanish (300+ pages)
by Carlos Cruz Fernandez in Mexico, City. All publications have had numerous academic peer reviews with compliments from all.

His publication on the Parowan Gap in Utah shows how at about 700 AD migrants from Mesoamerica created an outdoor Temple with the 260-Day Calendar, and Babylonian & Egyptian cubits that were used to build the Izapa Temple Observatory. Due to droughts and earthquakes, Mesoamerican natives migrated to North and South America to survive.

In 1985, the Ensign magazine asked Garth Norman for an update on the Stela 5 “Tree of Life” monument as a potential Book of Mormon artifact. A positive report was given to the Ensign, recommending additional research be done. Decades later the research has been completed. The following articles with videos show the results.

  • Birth, Life, and Afterlife
  • Book of Mormon influence in Mesoamerica

The placing of Izapa is where the Venus “Morning Star” can be seen every 584 days on the top of the eastern Mount Tajumulco. The Maya believe that the Venus “Morning Star” represents their God- Quetzalcoatl—just as Jesus likened himself to the planet Venus “bright and morning star” in Revelations 22:16b, 20. Jesus’ final recorded words in the Bible, He likens Himself to the planet Venus: “I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star… Surely I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:16b, 20).

In 2002, Dennis L. Largey visited with Garth and Cheryl Norman in their American Fork, Utah home. He interviewed Garth about his work at the Izapa, Mexico Temple Observatory. Garth gave him copies of his NWAF/BYU publications from 1973, 1976, and 1980 with specific pages to read regarding Stela 5, the “Tree of Life” monument.

A few weeks later, Brother Largey returned and invited Garth to write an article for the 2003 Book of Mormon Reference Companion of which Largey was the Editor. The Article titled “Stela 5” on pp.740- 744 has illustrations and corresponding meanings between Tree of Life Visions in the Book of Mormon and representations on Stela 5.

Fig. 1 - Izapa is aligned to the eastern Mount Tajamulco peak for the VENUS “morning star” rise every 584 days. Izapa is also aligned to eastern Mount Tajamulco’s “Sun Zenith Passages” on August 13 and April 30 that defines the 260-Day “Human Gestation” Calendar.
Fig. 2 - Stela 5 article by Garth Norman in Book of Mormon Reference Companion (Deseret Book2003)
Fig. 3 - Garth Norman Publications 1973-2018
Fig. 4 Blue Life Cycle.

Izapa, Mexico’s famous Stela 5 “Tree of Life” monument depicts the ancient Maya cycle of life with the BLUE water descending from heaven on the right=Birth. The BLUE water at the bottom=Life on the earth. The Evaporation glyphs on the upper left represent the spirit of a dead man that ascends back into the heavens from where he came.

Fig. 5 - Garth & Cheryl Norman in 2010 stand among the Maya Priests at Izapa following a Maya Temple Ceremony.

Watch this video for more information on Mayan concepts of Birth, Life and Afterlife.