Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Columbus Day!

I didn't realize it was a holiday until I went to the bank to cash a check today. For those who don't know it's Columbus Day! In celebration of the day I thought I would post a quote from Mark E. Peterson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles about Christopher Columbus:

"Go to any public library, read almost any detailed biography of the discoverer [Columbus], 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 [quoting Columbus]:

"'The Lord was well disposed to my desire and He bestowed upon me courage and understanding; knowledge of seafaring He gave me 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, 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.)"


Stephanie and Bret said...

In the words of my sister(age 3,Happy Columpus Day!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if you are kidding. Do you know about Columbus? He discovered America? There were already millions of people here. How does one discover a land where there are 20 million people living? inspired by God? He took slaves back to Spain and his quests weren't exactly nobel. It was more of the invasion of America than its discovery.

Benji said...

Go back and read the original post. She didn't say he discovered America. The quote from Mark E. Peterson simply refers to him as a "discoverer" - which, to the Spanish people, he was. He discovered another civilization (as you so astutely pointed out).

As for the rest of the quote - it comes directly from Columbus himself. I think Columbus knew about Columbus. Like every European at that time, he wasn't perfect and they did a lot of bad things, but he felt he was inspired by God to do what he did and I've never heard any historian argue otherwise.

Happy Columbus day.

Melissa said...


The reason I like this quote is because Columbus, despite his imperfections is a good example of humility in that he gives God all the credit for his knowledge and success.
I never said he discovered America, I never said he was perfect, and no I am not joking.