Christopher Columbus made it clear, from a very early age, he was called of God to open the sea. He made it his lives mission to open up a way from Europe to the Indies. He studied, sailed and worked for years to prepare for a time he would be able to take his great journey(Christopher Columbus Early Years). He was very sure the Lord was guiding him, he had an overwhelming assurance that God would make it all possible.
Columbus wrote a letter to the monarchy his of Spain, in July 1503, saying he had heard a “divine voice” declaring “since thou wast born, ever has He[God] had thee in His watchful care” and when he had reached the appropriate age “of the barriers of the Ocean Sea, which were closed with such mighty chains, He gave thee the key.”
Many say that Columbus got that idea from a famous passage of the time by Seneca’s Medea. In this passage it does talk about the sea bound in chains but there is not mention of a key to open it, that was added by Columbus.
When Columbus opened the keys to the ocean, it also opened endless possibilities, he had no idea all that would be coming. The only way the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ was possible was with the discovery of America. Columbus felt called to this mission of spreading the gospel to the world, and through his voyage the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored, hundreds of years after his first voyage.
God has a long term plan, something’s that don’t seem to make sense when they happen, end up making perfect sense in the end. There is a quote by Gordon B. Hinckley that says “It’ll all work out in the end, if it hasn’t worked out, it is not the end.”
Columbus wrote about having the keys to open the sea at the end of his life, when he saw that it all worked out. There were times in his life that he did not understand the hardships that he had to face, or the rejection that he went though. The power of God drove Columbus to keep trying and not give up. He did it, he conquered the sea. He was given the keys from God to open the sea from the darkness.
There is a statue in Rome built in 1506 of St. Peter holding keys. The statue is in the Basilica of St. Peter and was built the year Christopher Columbus died. The keys St. Peter are holding are the keys that Jesus Christ gave to Peter to be the head of The Church of Jesus Christ on Earth. The importance of these keys were ingrained in the people, and Christopher Columbus felt that he was given the keys from the Savior to open the sea.
Now there is a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Rome, and in the temple they have all the ancient Apostles statues in the visitors center. When the Latter-Day Saint Temple was opened the Apostles and Prophets of the Church today did a photo shoot with the the apostles of old and the “keys of the kingdom.” The representation that the same keys that were given to Peter are the keys given to the Prophet Russell M. Nelson and the apostles today.
Columbus knew his mission, and the keys were important to him. The Lord had called him to a special mission, the same way He calls us to our own missions. The same keys that existed in the primitive church are the keys that exist today.
There is one biography by a man named Las Casas, who was eight years old when Christopher Columbus returned from his First Voyage. He said “God granted to this man the keys to the awesome seas, and deemed that he and no other would unlock the darkness.”
Through the our loving, kind Heavenly Father he guided and helped Christopher Columbus discover and whole continent that the rest of the world was unaware. Christopher Columbus gave all the glory to God and God made the journey possible!
More Articles on Christopher Columbus:
“Christopher Columbus, A Man Among The Gentiles” book pg 24