1 Nephi 13:12 – in The Book of Mormon

“While the iron hand of despotism thus held the nations within its withering grasp, enslaving both body and soul, the great God, near the close of the fifteenth century, moved upon the mind of a Columbus, and inspired him to fearlessly launch forth upon the great expanse of unknown waters on the west of Europe; and guided by the invisible agency of the Holy Spirit, he revealed to the down trodden, despairing nations, a new world.”

   — Orson Pratt

“I have had business and conversation with learned men among both laity and clergy, Latins and Greeks, Jews and Moslems, and many others of different religions.  I prayed to the most merciful Lord concerning my desire, and he gave me the spirit and the intelligence for it…

“During this time, I have searched out and studied all kinds of texts; geographies, histories, chronologies, philosophies and other subjects.  With a hand that could be felt, the Lord opened my mind to the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies, and he opened my will to desire the project…

“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 moment’s hesitation, the Scriptures urge me to press forward with great haste.”

— Christopher Columbus


In this sequence from the Ridley Scott film 1492: Conquest of Paradise, we see the preparations for departure from Palos de la Frontera; Columbus bidding farewell to his wife and sons; the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria reaching the open sea; and Columbus navigating by the stars, using a technique learned from Moorish seafarers.

“The world owes most to the men, great and small, who in the name of truth have dared to challenge tradition… In the public square of Genoa, 120 miles north of Pisa, stands a heroic monument to Christopher Columbus, one of the finest in Europe.  Columbus spent the years of his young manhood in Genoa, and dreamed his great dreams there.  A few miles northward, a little village puffs and blows because in it Columbus was born.  Yet, when he challenged the geographical tradition of his day, he was scorned by his compatriots; and even when he had discovered America, jealousy and misunderstanding landed him in prison and left him broken-hearted.  Nevertheless, the great era of geographical exploration and discovery may well be dated from Columbus.  The history of human progress is indeed but the story of the men who have loved truth above all else, and who have refused to be coerced by unsupported tradition, however powerful it advocates have been.”

  — John Widtsoe


“Our Lord made me the messenger of the new heaven and the new earth, of which he spoke in the Book of Revelation by St. John, after having spoken it by the mouth of Isaiah; and he showed me the place where to find it.”

   — Christopher Columbus