The descendants of Maya are living in many Pacific Islands, including New Zealand and Australia
(Note : the following would be unintelligible to you if you have not read the Book of Mormon)
Are the Mayans all dead - slayed by the forefathers of the present day Native Americans ?
Moroni, a Mayan, and one of the authors of the Book of Mormon, said that the Red Indians pursued them ferociously, and hunted them down and slayed them.
Now I, Moroni, after having made an end of abridging the
account of the people of Jared, I had supposed not to have
written more, but I have not as yet perished; and I make not
myself known to the Lamanites lest they should destroy me.
For behold, their wars are exceedingly fierce among
themselves; and because of their hatred they put to death every
Nephite that will not deny the Christ.
And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ; wherefore, I wander
whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life.
Moroni was talking about his own precarious situation, that was in the years around 420 A.D.
But long before that, it was recorded,
And it came to pass that in the thirty and seventh year of the
reign of the judges, there was a large company of men, even to
the amount of five thousand and four hundred men, with their
wives and their children, departed out of the land of Zarahemla
into the land which was northward.
And it came to pass that Hagoth, he being an exceedingly
curious man, therefore he went forth and built him an exceedingly
large ship, on the borders of the land Bountiful, by the land
Desolation, and launched it forth into the west sea, by the
narrow neck which led into the land northward.
And behold, there were many of the Nephites who did enter
therein and did sail forth with much provisions, and also many
women and children; and they took their course northward. And
thus ended the thirty and seventh year.
And in the thirty and eighth year, this man built other ships.
And the first ship did also return, and many more people did
enter into it; and they also took much provisions, and set out
again to the land northward.
And it came to pass that they were never heard of more. And
we suppose that they were drowned in the depths of the sea. And
it came to pass that one other ship also did sail forth; and
whither she did go we know not.
I long suspect that the Polynesian people, who inhabit the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, and even Australia, are the descendants of the Maya people.
But after reading the book "UNBEATEN TRACKS IN JAPAN", by Isabella L. Bird, in which she described a group of "Yezo Aborigines, or Ainos" living in Japan, whose habit were totally different from the Japanese, and yet "gentle, thoroughly honest and harmless", I am convinced that they are the descendants of Maya people - who else can be so honest and peaceful other than the descendants of Lehi and Nephi ?
Moreover, in another book by Isabella, "Six months in Hawaii", she described the Refugee Cities in Hawaii,
Here was the Puhonua, or place of refuge for all this part of the island. This, and the very complete one of Honaunau, on the other side of Hawaii, were the Hawaiian "Cities of Refuge." Could any tradition of the Mosaic ordinance on this subject have travelled hither? These two sanctuaries were absolutely inviolable. The gates stood perpetually open, and though the fugitive was liable to be pursued to their very threshold, he had no sooner crossed it than he was safe from king, chief, or avenger. These gates were wide, and some faced the sea, and others the mountains. Hither the murderer, the manslayer, the tabu-breaker fled, repaired to the presense of the idol, and thanked it for aiding him to reach the place of security. After a certain time the fugitives were allowed to return to their families, and none dared to injure those to whom the high gods had granted their protection.
(p.154 of "Six months in Hawaii")
The family of Lehi emigrated from Jerusalem to America in 600 B.C. They carried with them the Five Books of Moses, plus the books of the prophets, including Book of Isaiah, and part of the Book of Jeremiah.
From the Book of Isaiah, they had an accurate knowledge of the life of Jesus, how Jesus would conduct himself in the world, though Jesus was not yet born. Nephi and Mosiah, two authors among the authors of The Book of Mormon, took pain to include nearly the whole Book of Isaiah in their record. The following is taken from [2 Nephi 7:5-7, Book of Mormon]
The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious,
neither turned away back.
I gave my back to the smiter, and my cheeks to them that
plucked off the hair. I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be
confounded. Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I
know that I shall not be ashamed.
[2 Nephi 7:5-7, Book of Mormon]
(Note : they took pain to include the Book of Isaiah in their records.)
They had all the prophet books of Israel, yet they included none other than the Book of Isaiah in their records. This showed how deeply they liked the meekness of Jesus (though they quoted passages from the Book of Joseph, Book of Zenos, Book of Zenos, etc. but they did not include much of them in their records).
Nephi really had taught his children well. Their descendants - the Hawaiians, native New Zealanders, Polynesians, Ainos .... , are so gentle and honest even today.
It is my earnest hope that the Native Americans would one day come to the realization that they are descendants of Lehi, and that many aborigines in Amazon, in South America, in the Pacific Islands, in New Zealand, as well as in Australia, are their brothers. I also hope they would first learn the teachings in the Bible, in the Book of Mormon, and then preach to them and tell them their origin.
Isabella L. Bird (1831-1904) travelled extensively and has written quite a number of travel books. Several of them may be downloaded free from Project Gutenberg,
- Unbeaten Track in Japan
- Among the Tibetans
- The Golden Chersonese And The Way Thither
- A Lady's Life In The Rocky Mountains
But many cannot be downloaded, but they are in general available in book form (or from the library), e.g.
- The Englishwoman in America (1856)
- The Hawaiian Archipelago (1875)
- Six months in Hawaii
- Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan (1891)
- Korea and Her Neighbors (1898)
- The Yangtze Valley and Beyond (1899)
I strongly recommend "The Yangtze Valley and Beyond". Isabella gave a vivid picture of China in the Ching Dynasty.
For people who wish to understand the ancient Chinese political system, where the moral teachings of Confucius played an important part, this book is a pleasant introduction. It would also broaden your horizon on political system. (My webpage Understand the Ancient Chinese Political System is based on her book.)
(*) Law of GOD and His Commandments
(*) Jesus' Sermon on the Mount
(*) Other Teachings of Jesus