https://www.deseret.com/faith/2020/5/13 ... -mayflower
“The entirety of the book is showing how the gospel of Jesus Christ and the history of this promised land of America fit hand-in-glove ... how history corroborates with the Restoration,” said Ballard, a Latter-day Saint. “In fact, I would argue you can’t explain one without the other. You can’t explain what happened in America and the miracles and the crazy, beyond-belief coincidences, without also simultaneously showing the Restoration of the gospel, and vice versa. They are one in the same, and that’s what this book is really about.”
One of Ballard’s purposes in writing his books is to find and preserve miraculous and under-told accounts that have been revised, edited or forgotten by historians, he said.
“There’s always an attack on history,” Ballard said.
One under-told story is that of Howland, who came across the Atlantic Ocean as the servant of John Carver, the pilgrims’ first governor in America. Ballard recounts that at one point during the Mayflower’s voyage to America, while passengers were below deck during a storm, Howland climbed to the deck and was somehow thrown off into the thrashing sea waves.
“The Mayflower wasn’t a speedboat. There was no turning that thing around ... especially in stormy weather,” Ballard wrote in his book. “Statistically, Howland was a dead man.”
As he fell however, Howland’s hand was able to grasp the topsail halyard, the rope sailors used to raise the upper sail, which was dangling off the deck and dragging in the waters below. Howland managed to hold on “though he was several fathoms under water until he was hauled up by the same rope to the brim of the water, and then with a boat-hook and other means got him into the ship again,” recorded William Bradford, another passenger on the Mayflower.
Of the 102 men, women and children who disembarked at Plymouth Rock in November 1620, Howland was one of 51 to survive the first winter. He later married Elizabeth Tilley and they had 10 children.
Many generations later, Howland’s descendants include three U.S. presidents (Franklin D. Roosevelt, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush), American poets Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Joseph, Emma and Hyrum Smith, among others.
“Lo and behold, who knew that Howland was the (many times) great-grandfather of the Restoration,” Ballard said. “It’s an amazing and powerful story about who the pilgrims were and why the Lord sent them to do the impossible. ... They were a special group of people.”
This is simply an exercise in drawing targets around fallen arrows. I doubt native Americans will view the Pilgrims arrival as a blessing to their history.