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.
<July 1> Monday July 1. 1839. I spent principally in Counselling the brethren. This day also the Court was called for the trial of and the brethren in <Court adjourned> prison in , but as they were not ready for trial (all their witnesses had been banished the ) the Court was adjourned to the Twenty third of September
<2 Visit to > Tuesday 2 Spent the forenoon of this day on the side of the Went in company with Elders , , and Bishops and , and others to visit a purchase, lately made by as a location for a town, and advised that a town be built there, and to be <Conference of the Twelve> called — P.M. Went with the Twelve and some of the Seventies, who are about to proceed on their mission to Europe, and the Nations of the Earth, and Islands of the Sea. [HC 3:382] The meeting was opened by singing and prayer after which the Presidency proceeded to bless two of the Twelve, who had lately been ordained into that Quorum viz. , and , and one of the Seventies, namely , after which blessings were also pronounced by them on the heads of the Wives of those about to go abroad. The meeting was then addressed by President , by way of advice to the Twelve &c chiefly concerning the nature of their mission, their practising prudence and humility in their plans or subjects for preaching, the necessity of their not trifling with their office, and of holding on strictly to the importance of their mission and the authority of the Priesthood— [I then addressed them, and gave much instruction calculated to guard them against self sufficiency, self-righteousness, and self importance, touching upon many subjects of importance and value to all who wish to walk humbly before the Lord, but especially teaching them to observe Charity, Wisdom and fellow feeling, with Love one towards another, in all things and under all circumstances <addenda page 9> [HC 3:383] [HC 3:384] [HC 3:385] [HC 3:386] [HC 3:387] [HC 3:388] [HC 3:389] [HC 3:390] [HC 3:391] [HC 3:392]
<3 baptized> Wednesday 3 I baptized Dr. and confirmed him at the Water’s Edge, and about two hours after ordained him to the office of an Elder P.M. I was engaged in dictating my history— About this time the Twelve wrote the following Epistle.
“To the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to the Churches scattered abroad and to all the Saints. We the undersigned, feeling deeply interested in the welfare of Zion, the up building of the Church of Christ and the welfare of the Saints in General, send unto you Greeting:— and pray that “grace, mercy, and peace, may rest upon you, from God, our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”— But brethren, the situation of things as they have of late existed, have been to us of a peculiar trying nature. Many of you have been driven from your homes, robbed of your possessions, and deprived of the liberty of conscience; you have been stripped of your clothing, plundered of your Furniture, robbed of your horses, your cattle, your sheep, your hogs, and refused the protection of law; you have been subject to insult and abuse, from a set of lawless miscreants; you have had to endure cold, nakedness, peril, and sword; your wives and your children have been deprived of [p. 957]