*

Arnold K. Garr,Christopher Columbus A Latter-Day Saint Perspective,(Provo, Utah: spiritual Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1992), 29–37.

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The mr purposed that there must be something plainly miraculous in this matter of the voyage to the Indies . . . I spent seven years right here in your royal court discussing this topic with the leading persons in every learned arts, and their conclusion was that it to be vain.... But afterwards it every turned out just as our redeemer Jesus Christ has said, and as that had talked earlier through the mouth of his divine prophets.

—Christopher Columbus

In 1485 Christopher Columbus, in company with his young son, Diego, took passage top top a delivery from Lisbon come Palos, Spain. Together their ship neared that destination, it passed by a beautiful monastery situated on a bluff overlooking the sea. This monastery, named La Rabida, shortly became very important sanctuary because that Columbus. It served as a residence for Diego when Christopher to be away cultivating his setup (Ferdinand 37). The was here that Columbus was also befriended by influential and also learned churchmen, such as Antonio de Mar-chena and also Juan Perez, who were sympathetic and helpful come him in his inspired cause (Morison 1:108; see also Taviana, The cool Design, 168–70; 433–38). And also equally important, La Rabida became a spirituality refuge for Christopher himself.


A Desire to spread out Christianity

With this spiritual setting as a backdrop, it now seems proper to think about one the the many important, yet least discussed, themes in Columbus’ life: his spiritual motive for sailing to the Indies. That has come to be the vogue in this materialistic age to say that Christopher’s primary motivation was economic. For example, a recent post in a renowned American newspaper maintains that “the companies of the Indies . . . To be a company trip. His chief motive was one of the oldest and also most powerful of all: money” (Carlinsky 52). Columbus was a complicated individual and, no doubt, had multiple motives because that what the did. After ~ all, human being rarely have only one motive because that the things that they execute in life. However, simply to say that Christopher’s chief motivation was economic distorts the truth and hides native the reader an important role that he claimed he played, that of gift the “Christ-bearer.”

Sources ~ above Christopher’s life are replete with proof that among his significant motivations to sail to the Indies was to spread Christianity. He when wrote the adhering to to Amerigo Vespucci (the explorer for whom America is named): “I feel encouraged by the many and also wonderful manifestations of magnificent Providence in my especial favour, that i am the favored instrument of God in happen to happen a great event—no much less than the counter of millions who are currently existing in the darkness that Paganism” (Lester 79).

Many of the books that Columbus read and also annotated handle this theme. In the prologue in his an individual copy that Marco Polo’s Description of the World, its translator, Francesco Pipino, said the book’s usefulness because that converting “pagans” (Jones 2:557).

Columbus’ copy of Imago Mundi by Pierre d’Ailly has a number of ideas which considerably influenced Christopher’s thinking. He review there the the earth, as we know it, would have actually a lifespan of 7,000 years: “Saint Augustine claims that the end of the human being will take ar in the saturday millennium after the period of the production of the world. The theologians of the Church monitor this view, in particular, Cardinal Petrus Aliacus ” (West and also Kling 109). After reading the Cardinal’s calculation of the number of years native the production of the civilization until Jesus’ mortal ministry, Columbus included the year from the time of Christ to his very own time. He climate concluded the a little more than a century and also a half remained before the finish of the world. This deduction provided him a sense of great urgency due to the fact that he had read in the bible that Christianity would need to be required to all nations, kindreds, and tongues before the end of the world. The truth that Christopher to be obsessed through the final conversion of all the world prior to the 2nd Coming that the Savior is reflected in his repeated attention to john 10:16, which he to be fond that quoting: “And various other sheep I have that space not that this fold: them likewise I need to bring, and also they chandelier hear mine voice: and there shall it is in one fold and also one shepherd” (Watts 93; West and Kling 229).

In his 2 letters to Columbus, Paolo Toscanelli spoke of the prominence of dispersing Christianity. In the an initial letter, he said that the precursors of the good Khan the Cathay (China), “greatly wanted to have friendship and also dealings v the Christians, and around two hundred years back they sent ambassadors come the Pope, asking for plenty of learned men and teachers come instruct castle in ours faith; but these ambassadors, encountering obstacles top top the way, turned back without getting to Rome” (Ferdinand 21). Toscanelli claimed, however, the “in the moment of Pope Eugenius there involved him one ambassador that told of their great feeling the friendship for the Christians” (Ibid). In his second letter, Toscanelli preserved that the Enterprise would certainly “be a trip to kings and princes who are very eager to have actually friendly dealings and also speech v the christians of our countries.... They room also really eager come know and speak through the learned guys of ours lands concerning religion” (Ibid 22).

Contemporary accounts of Columbus spoke matter-of-factly the his going come the Indies to carry the blog post of Christ come the residents of the lands he encountered. Las Casas proclaimed that, “the exploration of the new World was one of the many outstanding exploits reserved by God for the propagation the his divine Church end so extensive a part of the world hitherto hidden, and for the resplendence of His holy Faith among an infinite number of nations” (Las Casas 30).

It appears clear that the Spanish monarchs also shared at least a component of Columbus’ passionate for spreading the post of Christ. The an initial entry in Christopher’s newspaper of the maiden trip stated, “Because of the report that i had given to your Highnesses about the lands of India and about a prince that is dubbed ‘Grand Khan’... Her Highnesses . . . Lovers and promoters the the divine Christian faith . . . Believed of sending out me, Christobal Colon, to the said areas of India to watch the said princes and the peoples and also lands . . . to see how their conversion to our divine Faith could be undertaken” (Dunn and also Kelly 17,19; focus added).

While Columbus did no have accessibility to the fulness that the revived Gospel, his efforts, nevertheless, would an outcome in the reintroduction of Christianity come the progeny of Lehi climate living in the Americas. This missionary effort, as we know, helped prepare the way for eventual acceptance the the fulness the the gospel after the was revived in the latter days. In this way, Columbus’ proselyting ambitions helped to accomplish the Lord’s purposes.

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Elder B.H. Roberts created of the duty played by world of various other faiths in the achievement of the Lord’s designs, making that clear the he believed contributors from external the Church assist in magnificent purposes: “God raises up wise men and also prophets here and also there among all the kids of men... Speak to them through way that they have the right to comprehend; not constantly giving a fulness of reality such as may be discovered in the fulness the the gospel of Jesus Christ; but always giving the measure of fact that the world are all set to receive.” the also listed that “Wherever God find a soul sufficiently enlightened and pure; one through whom his Spirit deserve to communicate, lo! he renders of the a teacher that men.” (Roberts 512–13; focus added). An main statement of the an initial Presidency in 1978 more validates this view. Issued during the management of president Spencer W. Kimball, this declaration clearly states that good men and women in the background of the world have “received a portion of oh my god light. Moral truths were offered to lock by God come enlighten whole nations and to carry a higher level of knowledge to individuals” (Palmer 208). Given his desire to spread out the article of Christ and also his part as the initiator that Christian missionary work-related in the brand-new World, Columbus for sure fits right into this category of inspired individuals who have actually helped place the structure for the fulness of the restored Gospel.