JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. C-1, created 24 Feb. 1845–3 July 1845; handwriting of , , Jonathan Grimshaw, and ; 512 pages, plus 24 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the third volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This third volume covers the period from 2 Nov. 1838 to 31 July 1842; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, D-1, E-1 and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
This document, “History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842],” is the third of six volumes of the “Manuscript History of the Church” (in The Joseph Smith Papers the “Manuscript History” bears the editorial title “History, 1838–1856”). The completed six-volume collection covers the period from 23 December 1805 to 8 August 1844. The narrative in this volume commences on 2 November 1838 with JS and other church leaders being held prisoner by the “’s forces” at , Missouri, and concludes with the death of Bishop at , Illinois, on 31 July 1842. For a more complete discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to this history.
Volume C-1 was created beginning on or just after 24 February 1845 and its narrative was completed by 3 May 1845, although some additional work continued on the volume through 3 July of that year (Richards, Journal, 24 and 28 Feb. 1845; Historian’s Office, Journal, 3 May 1845; 3 and 4 July 1845). It is in the handwriting of and contains 512 pages of primary text, plus 24 pages of addenda. Additional addenda for this volume were created at a later date as a supplementary document and appear in this collection as “History, 1838-1856, volume C-1 Addenda.” Compilers and Thomas Bullock drew heavily from JS’s letters, discourses, and diary entries; meeting minutes; church and other periodicals and journals; and reminiscences, recollections, and letters of church members and other contacts. At JS’s behest, Richards maintained the first-person, chronological-narrative format established in previous volumes, as if JS were the author. , , , and others reviewed and modified the manuscript prior to its eventual publication in the Salt Lake City newspaper Deseret News.
The historical narrative recorded in volume C-1 continued the account of JS’s life as prophet and president of the church. Critical events occurring within the forty-five-month period covered by this text include the Mormon War; subsequent legal trials of church leaders; expulsion of the Saints from Missouri; missionary efforts in by the and others; attempts by JS to obtain federal redress for the Missouri depredations; publication of the LDS Millennial Star in England; the migration of English converts to ; missionary efforts in other nations; the death of church patriarch ; the establishment of the city charter; the commencement of construction of the Nauvoo ; the expedition that facilitated temple construction; the introduction of the doctrine of proxy baptism for deceased persons; the dedicatory prayer by on the Mount of Olives in Palestine; publication of the “Book of Abraham” in the Nauvoo Times and Seasons; publication of the JS history often referred to as the “Wentworth letter;” the organization of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo; and the inception of Nauvoo-era temple endowment ceremonies.
<May 1> White purchase for the sum of nine thousand dollars; both of which were to be deeded to , according to the Council of the Committee; but declared that “no committee should control any property which he had any thing to do with” consequently the purchase was deeded to , ’s Son in Law, with the express understanding that he should deed it to the Church, when the Church had paid for it, according to their obligation in the contract.
A letter was received by the Presidency of the Church in England, then at , from President stating that Isaac Russel[l] had apostatized, and stiled himself the Prophet, and Joseph had fallen. said the Spirit signified to him that Russel was secretly trying to lead away the Church at Alston, England; and wished the Elders to see to it, the Spirit had manifested the same thing to , and he was [HC 3:342] deputed by a Council of the Presidency to visit the Alston Branch.
<4 at Alston.> Saturday 4 arrived at Alston and discovered by stratagem that a letter had been received from Isaac Russel[l], as follows,
“— January 30. 1839—. To the faithful— Brethren and Sisters of the Church of Latter Day Saints in Alston Dear Brethren, inasmuch as wisdom is only to be spoken amongst those who are wise; I charge you to read this letter to none but those who enter into a covenant with you, to keep those things that are revealed in this letter from all the world, and from all the Churches, except the Churches to whom I myself have ministered, viz, the Church in Alston and the branches round about to whom I ministered, and to none else, & to none but the faithful amongst you, & Wo be to the Man or Woman that breaketh this Covenant. Now the Indians who are the Children of the Nephites & the Lamanites, who are spoken of in the Book of Mormon, have all been driven to the Western boundaries of the by the Gentiles, as I told you they have now to be visited with the Gospel, for the day of their redemption is come. & the Gentiles have now well nigh filled up the measure of their wickedness & will soon be cut off— for they have slain many of the people of the Lord, & scattered the rest, & for the sins of God’s people, the Gentiles will now be suffered to scourge them from City to City, & from place to place & few of all the thousands of the Church of Latter Day Saints will stand, to receive an inheritance in the land of promise. which is now in the hands of our enemies. But a few will remain and be purified as Gold seven times refined, and they will return to Zion with songs of everlasting joy, to build up the old waste places, that are now left desolate— Now the thing that I have to reveal to you is sacred, and must be kept with care, for I am not suffered to reveal it, at all to the Churches, in this land because of their wickedness and unbelief, for they have almost cast me out from amongst them, because I have testified of their sins to them, and warned them of the judgments, that have yet to come upon them, and this thing that I now tell to you will not come to the knowledge of the Churches until they are purified. [p. 932]