Skip to comments.Christopher Columbus: A Latter-Day Saint Perspective (LDS Caucus)
Posted on 10/11/2010 9:07:18 PM PDT by Ripliancum
From the Book of Mormon, we read: 1 Nephi 13: 10 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld many waters; and they divided the Gentiles from the seed of my brethren. 11 And it came to pass that the angel said unto me: Behold the wrath of God is upon the seed of thy brethren. 12 And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land. 13 And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters. 14 And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten.
For Latter-day Saints, the story of Christopher Columbus begins long before he was born in 1451. In fact, what he would do was known in prophecy at least 600 years before the birth of Christ, when the ancient American prophet, Nephi, foresaw Columbus coming to the New World in a vision and recorded what he saw on metal plates. Joseph Smith later translated that account as a part of the Book of Mormon. The record of the vision is found in the 1 Nephi 13:12. Nephi declared: I looked and beheld a man among the gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many water; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land. Elder Mark E. Petersen, a modern-day apostle, explained that the many waters were the Atlantic Ocean, and that the seed of [Nephis] brethren were the American Indians. He also affirmed that it was Christopher Columbus whom [Nephi] saw, and he observed further that the discoverer was guided by divine power on his journey (Petersen 3). Several modern-day prophets have testified that Columbus was guided to the New World by the Spirit of God, fulfilling Book of Mormon prophecy. In 1976, President Ezra Taft Benson stated, God inspired a man among the Gentiles . . . who, by the Spirit of God was led to rediscover the land of America and bring this rich new land to the attention of the people in Europe. That man, of course, was Christopher Columbus, who testified that he was inspired in what he did (Benson 577). In 1950, Elder Spencer W. Kimball testified that God inspired a little boy, Christopher Columbus, to stand on the quays in Genoa, Italy, and yearn for the sea. He was filled with the desire to sail the seas, and he fulfilled a great prophecy made long, long ago that this land, chosen above all other lands, should be discovered. And so when he was mature, opportunity was granted to him to brave the unknown seas, to find this land . . . and to open the door, as it were (Kimball 427). In 1907, President Joseph F. Smith also confirmed his conviction that the Lord guided Columbus in much the same way as He did Adam and Abraham in the Old Testament (Smith, Joseph F. 31).
From Columbus's own words, he acknowledges God's hands in the discovery of this great land.
"... our Lord opened to my understanding (I could sense his hand upon me), so that it became clear to me that it was feasible to navigate from here to the Indies; and he unlocked within me the determination to execute the idea.... Who doubts that this illumination was from the Holy Spirit? I attest that he [the Spirit], with marvelous rays of light, consoled me through the holy and sacred Scriptures.... encouraging me to proceed, and, continually, without ceasing for a moment, they inflame me with a sense of great urgency"
"`Who can doubt that this fire was not merely mine, but also of the Holy Spirit who encouraged me with a radiance of marvelous illumination from his sacred Holy Scriptures, by a most clear and powerful testimony . . . urging me to press forward? Continually, without a moments hesitation, the Scriptures urge me to press forward with great haste. "(West and Kling, Libro de las profecias,105)
"The Lord purposed that there should be something clearly miraculous in this matter of the voyage to the Indies, so as to encourage me and others in the other matter of the Household of God. I spent seven years here in your royal court discussing this subject with the leading persons in all the learned arts, and their conclusion was that all was in vain. That was the end, and they gave it up. But afterwards it all turned out just as our redeemer Jesus Christ had said, and as he had spoken earlier by the mouth of his holy prophets. . . ."
"And I lay aside all the sciences and books that I indicated above. I hold only to the sacred Holy Scriptures, and to the interpretations of prophecy by certain devout persons who have spoken on this subject by divine illumination. . . ."
LDS Columbus Day ping.
Thank you careful the bias one is on duty!:)
Taking nothing away from LDS prophecy, the late simon wiesenthal wrote a book called “Sails of Hope”, postulating that Columbus was actually a Converso, of Jewish ancestry. It may or not be so, but it was an interesting read..
I’ve heard that. Frankly, as I believe the blood of Israel is scattered among the gentiles, as per the promises of the Lord to Abraham, then it’s a definite possibility.
Thank you for posting this. I have no idea why some people hate Columbus so much. What’s not to love?!
Me neither. Columbus was most definitely led here by God for his purposes, as were the puritans who followed seeking freedom.
BTW, you’ve got mail.