Orson Hyde “Journal of Discourses, Discovery of America by Columbus”
Another circumstance I will call your attention to. In the first place, every great enterprise is attended with its difficulties, its hardships, and oppositions, for there must needs be opposition in all things. 2 Ne. 2:11 We are told that in the year 1492 this American continent was discovered by Christopher Columbus. Look at the exertions made by him to obtain the necessary means to effect the discovery. It required ships, means, and men to enable him to make his way across the trackless deep to find a country which, to him, seemed necessary to balance the earth. The Spirit of God came upon him, and he had no rest day nor night until he accomplished what the Spirit wrought upon him to do. 1 Ne. 13:12 He went first to one place and then to another to procure help. He applied to different crowned heads, and received rebuffs and discouragements. He was poor; the plans of Jehovah are mostly carried out by humble and poor individuals. So it was with Columbus; he was poor, but daring and persevering, and with a soul formed within his bosom to undertake and prosecute the great enterprise that was to bring to light a vast continent reserved in the providence of God as the theater of great events in a period that was then in the future. By the aid of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain he obtained three small vessels, old and almost rotten, poorly manned and badly provisioned. It was not because they believed he would be successful, but like the unjust judge with the poor widow, they desired to get rid of his importunities. D&C 101:81-89 The unjust judge had no very strong feelings in favor of the widow, but that he might be rid of her importunings, he hearkened to her prayer. Luke 18:1-8So did they serve Columbus. They said they would fit him out and send him away, and he might go on his explorations for the imaginary country he fancied lay towards the west. If they had had any faith that he would be successful, they would have fitted him out with the best ships that any navies of the time could have afforded, manned with sufficient men and sup
plied with all the necessary equipments; and then they would have said, “Go and prosper, and the God of the seas pioneer your course.” But they had no faith in the enterprise; they wanted to stop his importunings and get rid of him.
When we look back at our history we find a certain analogy in it to that of this man. Our enemies wanted to get rid of us. We applied to the powers that were for aid and succor. What did we receive in response to our applications? Silence in some cases; contempt in others. And when we had to sell out, it was not with old rotten ships that they paid us, but with old rotten wagons, old spavined horses, and other things equally worthless. Then they said, “Go and do the best you can.” They thought they had given us an outfit that would last us until our destruction would be consummated; they imagined it would last us until we got beyond what they pleased to call civilization; but thinking that, perhaps, we might live through all, they demanded five hundred of our best men, while in camp in the wilderness, leaving our camp to the care of cripples and old men and women, in the midst of an Indian country. But we lived.
Little did Ferdinand and Isabella think that Columbus was leading the way that all Europe would have to follow. If they had so thought, they would have given him better ships and a better outfit. But when they found he had opened a new country, rich and bountifully productive, behold the surface of the ocean was whitened with the sails of vessels, bearing their living freights crowding to seek fortune on the new continent that spread itself invitingly before them. All Europe, figuratively speaking, followed in his track, and spread themselves over the face of the land. But see what these adventurers have come to. This country, discovered by him, is enveloped in war; and if you live a few years longer, you will see much of the land that has been blessed with unequaled prosperity, from the east to the west, a wilderness and a desolation; and this will be in consequence of the abuse of the blessings bestowed upon it by those who enjoyed them. If I mistake not, a certain Senator said to a Senator from Louisiana, “What are you going to do with Louisiana?” “Why,” was the reply, “Louisiana was a wilderness when we bought her from France, and if she secede we will make her a wilderness again.” If the land does not become a wilderness and a desolation, we do not see correctly—we do not understand correctly the revelations which the Almighty has given us. The Scripture says, that in the last days His people will go forth and build up the waste places of Zion. D&C 103:11 But they must first be made desolate, before they can be called “the waste places of Zion.” Isa. 61:3-4 Then the hands of the Saints will be required to build them up. D&C 101:18
Orson Hyde said in 4 of July 1854 that Moroni “was with him [Columbus] on the stormy deep, calmed the troubled elements and guided his frail vessel to the desired haven.”
“A Work Among the Laminates” By Spencer W. Kimball
“Our Father began to speak through the mouths of prophets long centuries ago, outlining in prophetic words the history of those many centuries which were to follow. I'm sure that he 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 1 Ne. 13:12 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 which had been cut off from the rest of the world long centuries, and to open the door, as it were, to the teaching of these people and bringing them back to their Heavenly Father.“
!Spencer W. Kimball, October 1950, conference report)
“Building Your Tabernacle” by Gordon B. Hinckley
“That verse from Nephi’s vision states: “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.” (1 Ne. 13:12.)
We interpret that to refer to Columbus. It is interesting to note that the Spirit of God wrought upon him. After reading that long biography, a Pulitzer winner of forty years ago, titled Admiral of the Ocean Sea—I have no doubt that Christopher Columbus was a man of faith, as well as a man of indomitable determination.
I recognize that in this anniversary year a host of critics have spoken out against him. I do not dispute that there were others who came to this Western Hemisphere before him. But it was he who in faith lighted a lamp to look for a new way to China and who in the process discovered America. His was an awesome undertaking—to sail west across the unknown seas farther than any before him of his generation. He it was who, in spite of the terror of the unknown and the complaints and near mutiny of his crew, sailed on with frequent prayers to the Almighty for guidance. In his reports to the sovereigns of Spain, Columbus repeatedly asserted that his voyage was for the glory of God and the spread of the Christian faith. Properly do we honor him for his unyielding strength in the face of uncertainty and danger.”
(“Building Your Tabernacle” by Gordon B.Hinckley 1992)
“America Testifies of Christ” by Mark E. Petersen 1967
In this day when many question the existence of God, a clear voice comes from the western hemisphere testifying in unmistakable terms that he lives! It is by no means a voice of weakness that may be ignored. It is the collective voice of millions, some speaking from the past, but many speaking now in this atomic age.
All together they exclaim: God lives, and Jesus is his Christ!
Ancient America, and the America of Christopher Columbus, the America of the Revolutionary War, the America of the Civil War, and America of today join in a united testimony of this great and comforting truth: God lives, and Jesus of Nazareth is his Christ.
Columbus testified of Christ
Let us begin with the testimony of Columbus, who discovered this land. He testified not only of the reality of God in his life, but also declared that he was guided by divine power in his voyage of discovery.
Jacob Wasserman, in his book Columbus, the Don Quixote of the Seas, quotes the discoverer as saying: "The Lord was well disposed to my desire and he bestowed upon me courage and understanding; knowledge of seafaring he gave me in abundance . . . and of geometry and astronomy likewise . . . The Lord with provident hand unlocked my mind, sent me upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed. Those who heard of my enterprise called it foolish, mocked me and laughed. But who can doubt that the Holy Ghost inspired me?" (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1959, pp. 19-20.)
To King Ferdinand Columbus said: "I came to your majesty as the emissary of the Holy Ghost," upon which Wasserman the author commented:
"In the same way before that pious assemblage in San Esteban he insisted that he must be regarded as one inspired." (Page 46.)
On page 62 of this book the author says: "His achievement did not seem to him something unimportant and fortuitous: It was in his eyes so tremendous, so inexpressibly great that it could only have been achieved by the direct assistance of God."
Washington Irving, describing Columbus before Queen Isabella, said that "he unfolded his plans with eloquence and zeal, for he felt himself, as he afterwards declared, kindled as with a fire from on high and considered himself the agent chosen of heaven to accomplish the grand design." (Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, p. 712.)
Columbus' own son Fernando, in a biography of his father, quotes the discoverer as saying: "God gave me the faith and afterwards the courage so that I was quite willing to undertake the journey."
Columbus' last will and testament reads in part: "In the name of the Holy Trinity who inspired me."
The testimony of the discoverer of America is that God lives, for he inspired him. Shall we not accept his word?
(Mark E Peterson Annual Conference, 1967)
Read More on Columbus:
Places to visit when learning about Columbus:
St. George Temple-Where Wilford Woodruff did baptisms for the dead for Christopher Columbus and ordained him a High Priest.