Leaders of integrity or infamy found in The Book of Mormon provide the fodder for spiritual growth and self-improvement. It was made for us.
Christopher Columbus is the source of much controversy. He, however, opened the world to a new era of growth and carnage that lasted for five centuries of European conquest the world over. Once a celebrated pioneer, Columbus is depicted as a greedy conquerer, an imperialistic plague in the last few decades.
To those who lost to the forces (explorers and colonists), Columbus paved the way to follow ... yes, he is a conquerer. His enterprising need to repay the throne for funding his mission to the West drove his need to spoil the lands he encountered and steal away natives to showcase in the royal courts of his benefactors.
What he did for the world does not eclipse his inhumanity towards the people he encountered. His inhumanity, however, should not eclipse the changes he made to humanity by simply believing in himself as the tool of heaven to sail the ocean to discover what became the Americas.
People are more than the bad or even the good things they do. People represent a combination of their flaws and virtues, making them complex humans with wants, needs, and hopes.
What did Christopher Columbus hope to gain out of his experience at sea? He hoped to fulfill a divine commission to go West. Inspired by his belief, he went West, though he did not find what he looked for in the Americas. He found something of immensely more value. He found the future of humanity without knowing what that future would be.
People are more than the bad, or even the good things they do. People represent a combination of their flaws and virtues making them complex humans with wants, needs, and hopes.
— Rodric Anthony Johnson
Claim Lands Already Owned
When the United States piloted missions to the moon, it planted a flag once the momentous accomplishment occurred and claimed it for the US. The moon does not belong to the United States any more than it does to Mali, Japan, or any other nation, but no other government had the power to stake a claim; so, the lone flag of one country to claim a stake remains to the present day.
It is human nature to claim things. If the USSR had successfully landed on the moon first, their flag would stand erect in the soil of the lifeless planetoid. The Brits claimed the North American lands, not a few. The Spanish claimed the South American lands, not a few. Armies and killings maintained those claims until Europeans covered both hemispheres.
Europe had more powerful weapons than the people who lived on the lands when they arrived. Europeans had explored and expected to meet people who they thought were primitives. It was a heritage to think of them as such. The Romans thought those who did not espouse their beliefs and culture were simply primitives as well.
What must not happen is to blame Europeans alone for the taking of lands and killing of people who are different. Did not all civilizations participate in this to one degree or another? Europeans are just the most recent group to do so.
Did not Iraq take Kuwait, causing a war to set them free, which benefited the descendants of Europeans? Did not China and the USSR support the war efforts in Korea and Vietnam to benefit its interests in the spread of communism? A flag does not stand tall, glorifying the success of Europe in America anymore, but its former colonies maintain their political philosophies.
In all cases, people lived in those places, save the moon, with their own ideas and lives; others came in to supersede. Europe has carved up the world so that the majority of the Americas owe their existence to them. China did not do it because it lacked the ability to do it when it occurred, or else they would have carved a section out of the new world. The USSR carved political chunks out of the Americas with places like Cuba and Venezuela before it ceased to exist as a union.
Columbus opened the world to such change!
Only with Columbus’s undertaking did Europe, Islam, India, China, and Japan learn of the existence of a New World. And that changed the course of human history profoundly. 
— Paolo Taviani, Italian Historian
Christopher Columbus in Review Recap
With him, Columbus brought the hordes of Europeans who followed to overtake the Americas, colonizing and destroying cultures because those Gentiles thought that God gave them a decree to do such. It was an anthropological nightmare of the highest caliber. It, however, was not the first of its kind and will not be the last of its kind perpetrated on humanity.
The ancient tribes of Israel did the same when they conquered and destroyed to take possession of the land of Canaan. They killed the people--men, women, children, and livestock. The Israelites felt a divine decree to habitate the land of Canaan, destroying any who stood in their way as enemies of righteousness.
The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ suggests a similar inheritance level event occurred in the Americas when God inspired the Europeans, Gentiles to migrate to the lands and take possession of them, removing the people already occupying the land as did Israel. North and South America, overrun by the Europeans and their descendants to the near extinction of the populations they encountered, have only a few of the original groups remain.
The natives of America, however, are the chosen people of God, scattered Israel! Their DNA has been filtered through a host of other groups who migrated to the Americas, but their claim on the land called North and South America has been decreed in Scripture. History repeats itself. Just as God gives, He takes away. He also gives again.
History Repeats Itself
The House of Israel obtained their Promised Land through bloodshed and conquest. They had to do one thing. They had to worship God in truth without alterations. Because some of the conquered people of the land remained after the divine ethnic cleansing, so did their culture and religious beliefs, which filtered into the House of Israel. Through countless warnings by way of prophets, God told His people to remove the wicked practices of fornication and idolatry from among them. They went through cycles of obedience before the unthinkable occurred. The Kingdom of Israel split into two parts: the Ten Tribes in the Northern Kingdom and the Two Tribes, which became the Southern Kingdom, or Kingdom of Judah, modern-day Israel.
Divine providence spared the small group of Jews, from which culture came a defining impact on the human race: the birth of Jesus Christ and the spread of Judaism to the world in the form of Christianity. From this new form of Judaism, Christianity, came the man Christopher Columbus as described by the ancient prophet Nephi.
In the Americas, the House of Israel received the same injunction to worship the God of the land to possess it forever. God was known to them as Jehovah. Toward the days of Mormon and beyond, the mixture of the descendants of Nephi betrayed God and would not follow the teachings Jesus Christ provided. Like their cousins in Jerusalem and Samaria, the Nephites and Lamanites suffered judgment from God until they no longer existed as a people. The Europeans were the instrument the Lord used--that time.
Jesus prophesied that those of the descendants of Europeans who do not reject His gospel will not suffer the same fate as the Natives of America suffered at the hands of the White settlers for turning away from Him.
Will History Repeat Post Colombus?
Now, the people of Columbus, the Christian Europeans, are heading down the same path as those other ancient Americans. Jesus also described the result of Columbus' people, who now overrun the lands North and South of the Americas. After the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the 34th year A.D., towards the end, He appeared to the ancient Americans, making them also witnesses to His rising from the dead. The prophets Jesus chose among this other group recorded the words Jesus taught them. Jesus warns (with some interpolation on my part),
Wo, saith the Father, unto the unbelieving of the [European] Gentiles—for notwithstanding they have come forth upon the face of this land [of the Americas], and have scattered my people [a mixture of the native populations of the Americas] who are of the house of Israel; and my people... have been cast out from among them [the Trail of Tears and reservations], and have been trodden under feet by them;
And because of the mercies of the Father unto the Gentiles, and also the judgments of the Father upon my people who are of the house of Israel, verily, verily, I say unto you, that after all this, and I have caused my people who are of the house of Israel to be smitten, and to be afflicted, and to be slain, and to be cast out from among them, and to become hated by them, and to become a hiss and a byword among them
And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.
And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them. And I will show unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you; but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel. But if the Gentiles will repent and return unto me, saith the Father, behold they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel.
And I will not suffer my people, who are of the house of Israel, to go through among them, and tread them down, saith the Father. But if they will not turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, I will suffer them, yea, I will suffer my people, O house of Israel, that they shall go through among them, and shall tread them down, and they shall be as salt that hath lost its savor, which is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of my people, O house of Israel. [3 Nephi 16:8-15]
Jesus prophesied that those descendants of Europeans who accept His gospel would not suffer the same fate as the Natives of America suffered at the hands of the White settlers for turning away from Him. However, if the White people, the White culture established upon all the Americas, rejects Jesus Christ and turn altogether from Him, they will be trodden down, good for nothing but being the dirt beneath the feet of people of God.
Clark B. Hinckley - excerpted from Christopher Columbus: A Man Among the Gentiles 
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Rodric Anthony Johnson
Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 23, 2019:
John, thanks for reading. I am glad that it interested you. I hope that the prophecy does not come to pass, however. I hope the nation does not reject God.
John Hansen from Gondwana Land on October 16, 2019:
I found this a very interesting history lesson and prophesy combined, Rodric. Thank you for sharing.
Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 15, 2019:
Ruby, thanks for reading. I am glad you learn something. I learned some things as I reviewed my position on the whole matter. My family has a Cherokee connection like many people apparently, from the South. I completed my DNA to find out that it is less than one percent in my blood, but it is higher in my mother and grandmother's blood.
I am not happy about what happened to my distant ancestors at all. There is no but. I am happy that our civilization exists because of the Europeans who came here, who are also my ancestors up to 11 percent. I do not like how people died and suffered and will never glorify that. I do love how things are because of what my ancestors endured, all of this evil that occurred.
I am glad the settlers who eventually owned my ancestors made it here safely. I am glad the slaves who survived the human trafficking and rape of endured. I am happy that the native people who lived through to all come together to eventually make my family tree. What an ugly piece of ground that tree formed in.
Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 15, 2019:
Bill thanks for reading. History is great, I agree, because of the humanity, it reveals that we have in common. When it repeats, it is a testimony to me that we are not so different as we would like to imagine. Culture is just the lifestyle that won over in a particular group of people. America has taught us that we can all share the same of different cultures and still have similar morals, mores.
Just about all of the human family has gone through the same stages of religions and philosophical development if we pay close attention. Most all of us include human sacrifice to some extent, whether it be by communal choosing or by proxy with Jesus Christ. We all find a way to justify it to some degree. We are so similar to be so different. I mention human sacrifice because of what the Spaniards found among the Aztecs. All cultures seem to require it for different reasons. Right now, the global acceptance of human sacrifice is through soldiers serving, or rescue workers and police. That type of sacrifice is socially acceptable right now. In some states, the death sentence is a acceptable sacrifice on the alters of justice. It is all the same in my book. Whether it is to some diety made of wood or some deity called and idea such as justice, it is the same.
Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 15, 2019:
Eric, what started me off on this whole thing is when I read some alarming things about Christopher Columbus on a page that monitor on Facebook. I was appalled to know what some of the people thought about Columbus! I asked my 14 year old son and he told me the man was a murderer who took diseased infested blankets to America to kill the Indians.
I was floored. I told him that Columbus never went to the Mainland. I tried to tell him about his heroic feats but he would not listen. He said he learned that in school and that his teacher knows more than I did!
My feelings were so hurt. I love Columbus as the man who opened up exploration to the world, not just the Europeans! My generation was taught her is a hero.
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on October 15, 2019:
I found this more than interesting. The bible is difficult to understand. The history of the world is alarming, to say the least. My father's mother was one half Indian. We will never forget the way they were treated. Greed drove them from their land, and it looks like history is repeating itself. Your article was informative, educational and entertaining to read.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 15, 2019:
I love history! It is always fascinating to me because it involves humans, and we are fascinating in our diversity and our complicated natures. I'm pretty sure you said basically the same thing here. :)
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 15, 2019:
Interesting discussion. Try explaining this stuff to a 9 year old ;-)