Christopher Columbus

1 Nephi 13:10–12

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.

Elder Mark E. Petersen wrote:

“Note that Nephi says that ‘the Spirit of God came down and wrought upon the man,’ thus causing him (Columbus) to sail across ‘the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren who were in the promised land.’ . . .

“Columbus believed he could reach ‘the Indies’ by sailing westward. Although there were some people who still thought the world was flat, Columbus did not, and he was anxious to make his journey. But it was more than an urge for adventure that impelled the discoverer to undertake what he called ‘his enterprise.’

“Go to any public library, read almost any detailed biography of the discoverer, and it becomes immediately clear that he felt himself an inspired man, sent of heaven to make the voyage. For example, Columbus, Don Quixote of the Seas, written in German by Jacob Wassermann and translated into English by Eric Sutton, tells the story very well:

“‘From my first youth onward, I was a seaman and have so continued until this day. . . . Wherever on the earth a ship has been, I have been. I have spoken and treated with learned men, priests, and laymen, Latins and Greeks, Jews and Moors, and with many men of other faiths. The Lord was well disposed to my desire, and He bestowed upon me courage and understanding; knowledge of seafaring He gave me in abundance, of astrology as much as was needed, and of geometry and astronomy likewise. Further, He gave me joy and cunning in drawing maps and thereon cities, mountains, rivers, islands, and harbours, each one in its place. I have seen and truly I have studied all books—cosmographies, histories, chronicles, and philosophies, and other arts, for which our Lord unlocked my mind, sent me upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed. Those who heard of my emprise called it foolish, mocked me, and laughed. But who can doubt but that the Holy Ghost inspired me?’ (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1930, pp. 19–20. Italics added.)”

(The Great Prologue [1975], 25–26.)

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