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|Title||Axes Mundi: Ritual Complexes in Mesoamerica and the Book of Mormon|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Authors||Wright, Mark Alan|
|Journal||Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship|
|Keywords||Ancient America - Mesoamerica; Geography; Nephite; Ritual; Temple; Time|
An axis mundi refers to a sacred place that connects heaven and earth and is believed to be the center of the world. These places are sanctified through ritual consecration or through a divine manifestation that results in qualitatively detaching that space from the surrounding cosmos. Often expressed in architecture as a universal pillar, these axes mundi incorporate and put in communication three cosmic levels — earth, heaven, and the underworld. As Mark Alan Wright notes, Mesoamerican sacred architecture was designed according to cosmological principles and finds a modern analogy in Latter-day Saint temples. Also, among Mesoamerican civilizations and in the Book of Mormon, the temple, the axis mundi, served as a place where worshipers go to engage in sacred rituals that bridge the divide between heaven and earth and allow the worshiper entry into the divine presence.
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