“The Spirit of God… Wrought Upon the Man”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

Columbus felt himself to be an “emissary of the Holly Ghost.” There can be no doubt that the Lord moved upon this noble soul, directed his thinking, and prompted his actions-all as a part of the lengthy preparation for the Restoration in a land of freedom and promise.

Concerning his preparation, Columbus explained:

“From my first youth onward, I was a seaman and have so continued until this day.... Wherever on the earth a ship has been, I have been. I have spoken and treated with learned men, priests, and laymen, Latins and Greeks, Jews and Moors, and with many men of other faiths.

The Lord was well disposed to my desire, and He bestowed upon me courage and understanding; knowledge of seafaring He gave me in abundance, of astrology as much as was needed, and 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, histories, chronicles, and philosophies, 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?”

(From Jacob Wassermann, Columbus, Don Quixote of the Seas, pp. 19-20, 46; italics added).

“A Seer Will I Raise Up Out of the Fruit of Thy Loins”

It is also of some considerable significance that the prophecy explicitly stated that we are to use the Book of Mormon to prove the Bible rather than the Bible to prove the Book of Mormon. This principle was reiterated in the revelation that directed Joseph Smith to organize the Church.

Having announced that the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel, that it had come by inspiration, and that angels had testified of its truthfulness, the Lord then said it came forth “proving to the world that the holy scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old; thereby showing that he is the same God yesterday, today, and forever” (D&C 20:11-12; see also JST, Genesis 50:30).

Thus the Lord declared that the Book of Mormon has been given as tangible proof that the Bible is true, that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that God and the gospel are ever the same.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1