Over the centuries, the story of Christopher Columbus has
become so enshrouded in myth that his life has remained
largely a mystery to all but a handful of scholars. Yet the
prophet Nephi suggests that Columbus stands out among
historical figures as “a man among the Gentiles.” In fact,
Lehi and Nephi identify only two specific individuals in
their prophecy of the latter-day Restoration: Christopher
Columbus and Joseph Smith. In a sense, these two men stand
as bookends to the Restoration—one at the beginning and one
at the end. Columbus himself wrote that he was inspired by
the Holy Ghost to undertake his voyage—a claim which some
historians struggle to accept. In this candid and revealing
treatment, author Clark B. Hinckley uncovers a man with two
great dreams. Yet what may be the most remarkable aspect
of Columbus’s life is the degree to which he understood his
prophetic mission and his place in history.
Clark B. Hinckley became interested in the life of Christopher
Columbus while serving as president of the Spain Barcelona
Mission. His research led him to archives in Seville, Simancas,
and Madrid, where he was able to read and study some of the
original writings of Columbus. A former senior vice president
at Zions Bank, the author earned a bachelor’s degree in
mathematics from BYU and an MBA from Harvard University.
I am reviewing “Christopher Columbus, A Man among the Gentiles” by Clark B. Hinckley. This book intrigued me because I love history and the gospel. It was interesting to learn about Christopher Columbus’ journeys, while relating it to the restoration. Columbus himself wrote that he was inspired by the Holy Ghost to undertake his voyages. My favorite quote in the book was by Christopher Columbus himself; “Of the new heaven and the new earth, of which our Lord spoke in the Revelation of John and earlier by the mouth of Isaiah, he made me the messenger and showed me where to go.” It was also interesting to learn of all the persecutions and trials that Columbus went through in his life for these great events to occur. I truly believe that Columbus had a divinely inspired role in history. He was inspired many times, and discovering America was a great precursor to the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ in these Latter-days. This book was fascinating! After reading this book, I realized how little I knew about Christopher Columbus’ life and the role he played on earth. I feel grateful for the sacrifices and faith he exerted. I recommend this book to those who love the gospel and want to learn more about the history of the restoration. It is also inspiring to realize that everyone has a mission or purpose in life, and we need to try to reach our potential by listening to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
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