Issue 7: Interaction between Christopher Columbus and later-generation Lamanites was fulfilled in Central America

This is a summary of how related events revealed to Nephi by an angel concerning then-future events in Book of Mormon lands were fulfilled many centuries after the annihilation of the Nephites by the Lamanites:

Nephi’s prophecy—

1. The dwindling in unbelief of the Lamanites:

“And while the angel spake these words, I beheld and saw that the seed of my brethren did contend against my seed, according to the word of the angel; and because of the pride of my seed, and the temptations of the devil, I beheld that the seed of my brethren did overpower the people of my seed.  And it came to pass that I beheld, and saw the people of the seed of my brethren that they had overcome my seed; and they went forth in multitudes upon the face of the land.  And I saw them gathered together in multitudes; and I saw wars and rumors of wars among them; and in wars and rumors of wars I saw many generations pass away. And the angel said unto me: Behold these shall dwindle in unbelief. And it came to pass that I beheld, after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.” (1 Nephi 12:19-23)

2. The formation of Gentile kingdoms and nations:

“And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld many nations and kingdoms. And the angel said unto me: What beholdest thou? And I said: I behold many nations and kingdoms. And he said unto me: These are the nations and kingdoms of the Gentiles.” (1 Nephi 13:1-3) 

3. The great and abominable church founded:

“And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity. And it came to pass that I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it. And I also saw gold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots. And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church.  And also for the praise of the world do they destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity.” (1 Nephi 13:5-9)

4. God’s wrath upon the wicked Lamanites:

“And it came to pass that I looked and beheld many waters; and they divided the Gentiles from the seed of my brethren. And it came to pass that the angel said unto me: Behold the wrath of God is upon the seed of thy brethren.” (1 Nephi 13:10-11)

5. The coming of Christopher Columbus:

“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 Nephi 13:12)

Any encyclopedia can provide extensive information about Columbus’ life, his political connections, his successes and failures, and his personal behavior. That information won’t be considered here. The underlying question is: How, when, and where did Columbus reach “the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land”?

In summary concerning his voyages and exploration efforts, “Columbus made four transatlantic voyages: 1492–93, 1493–96, 1498–1500, and 1502–04. He traveled primarily to the Caribbean, including the Bahamas, Cuba, Santo Domingo, and Jamaica, and in his latter two voyages traveled to the coasts of eastern Central America and northern South America.”

In this context, his fourth expedition is what is important! According to the accepted historical records, Columbus and his ship arrived off the coast of Honduras on July 30, 1502. On foot and onboard his vessel, Columbus and his crew spent two months exploring what are today the countries of Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Obviously, it was during this period there were encounters with descendants of Lamanite forefathers there in parts of “the promised land” in fulfillment of the promises of the angel who caused Nephi to prophesy about Columbus’ voyage. (Again: 1 Ne. 13:12)

What this scriptural, and associated historical episode establishes:

The much-prophesied “promised land” is either just (1) in Central America (southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belise, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama) [the “Central America” definition], or possibly (2) the much more inclusive “North American Continent” definition.

Clearly, the “promised land” is not only the United States of America.

The Columbus / “seed of my [Lamanite] brethren” connection provides strong evidence that the Central American area, rather than the Great Lakes area, is where all the Book of Mormon events actually took place.