"Christopher Columbus’s personal study of the Bible greatly increased the influence of the Holy Ghost in his life. Two millennia before Columbus, Nephi prophesied: “And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land” (1 Ne. 13:12). President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “We interpret that to refer to Columbus. It is interesting to note that the Spirit of God wrought upon him.” 10 Columbus himself declared: “With a hand that could be felt, the Lord opened my mind to the fact that it would be possible to sail and he opened my will to desire to accomplish the project. … This was the fire that burned within me. … Who can doubt that this fire was not merely mine, but also of the Holy Spirit … urging me to press forward?” 11
President George Q. Cannon (1827–1901), a counselor in the First Presidency, said: “Columbus was inspired to penetrate the ocean and discover this Western continent for the set time for its discovery had come; and the consequences which God desired to follow its discovery have taken place. … We believe it was a preparatory work for the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
“This Church and Kingdom could not have been established on the earth if [Columbus’s] work had not been performed.” 12 " Arnold K. Garr, “Preparing for the Restoration,” Ensign, Jun 1999, 34