October 12, 2015
Today is the second Monday in October, the day we celebrate Columbus Day. Or we used to. Somewhere in my files I have a copy of an elementary school assignment which taught that Columbus was a wicked man. This was from a Utah public school, and it was at least two decades ago! This year Columbus seems to be mostly ignored.
The Lord sees things differently. Before the Restoration of the Gospel, He sent the Founding Fathers to establish liberty in the land and enshrine it in the Constitution. And before the Founding Fathers, He sent Columbus. “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”
As Later-day Saints, we have much to celebrate. Brother Columbus is a High Priest in our Church. He and Washington and Jefferson are all friends. And John Wesley.
That is a heavy indictment. There must be more to Columbus than most people know.
Last year Deseret Book published, and I bought, a wonderful book, Christopher Columbus, A Man Among the Gentiles, which was written by President Hinckley’s son, Clark, who served as Mission President over the Spain Barcelona Mission.
A book written from original source material! This year I actually read the book, or at least parts of it. Now I understand why Columbus belongs with those other three great men.
I love Clark Hinckley’s book!
In 1992, BYU published Arnold Garr’s book, “Christopher Columbus, a Latter-day Saint Perspective.” I bought that book some years ago, and it can still be found, but the entire text is now freely available online through BYU. I spoke with Brother Garr once and I think he is happy to have it available.
In 1992 the Church celebrated the 500 year anniversary of the 1492 voyage of Columbus. A BYU article said:
How interesting that President Hinckley’s son Richard would be sent to Barcelona. Gives me “goose bumps.”
You can also find articles about Columbus on the church website. Children could do that and share their findings at Family Night.
And then you might finish up with an amazing BYUI devotional speech by Elder Glen Rudd entitled “The Angel Moroni.” The date was March 11, 2003, and Brother Rudd said Moroni visited Columbus. It’s a great talk; your children will enjoy it. Search for the audio on the BYU-I Devotional page and find the text here.
Happy Columbus Day!