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.
“, Ill: 11th. Septr. 1839— Dear — We have had the great pleasure of receiving your favor of the 24th. July, and learning thereby that you and your family had arrived at Chillicothe in safety and in health. We perceive that you have had rather a narrow escape from <a> serious accident, and doubtless the hand of the Lord is to be acknowledged in the matter, although unperceived by mortal eye. Time and experience will teach us more and more, how easily falshood gains credence with mankind in general, rather than the truth, but especially in taking into consideration the plan of Salvation; the plain simple order of the gospel of Jesus Christ, never has been discerned or acknowledged as the truth except by a few, among whom were “not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble,”— whilst the majority have contented themselves with their own private opinions, or have adopted those of others according as their address, their philosophy, their formula, their policy or their finesse may have attracted their attention or pleased their taste. But Sir of all the other criterions whereby we may judge of the vanity of these things, one will be always found true, namely; that we will always find such characters glorying in their own wisdom, and their own works, whilst the humble Saint, gives all the glory to God the Father, and to his son Jesus Christ, whose yoke is easy and whose burthen is light, and who told his disciples that unless they became like little children, they could not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. As to the situation of the Church here, matters go with us as well as can reasonably be expected, we have had considerable sickness amongst us, but very few deaths, and as the greater part are now recovering, we yet hope to have shelters provided before the winter shall set in. Since you left here we have purchased out all interest hereabouts— his farm we have laid out additional to our Town, , and the Town of we also hope to build up. Some of the “Twelve” and others have already started for Europe, and the remainder of that Mission we expect will go now in a few days— According to intelligence received since you left, the work of the Lord rolls on in a very pleasing manner, both in this, and in the old Country. In England many hundreds have of late been added to our numbers; but so— even so, it must be, for, “Ephraim he hath mixed himself among the people.” And the Savior he hath said “my sheep hear my voice” and also “he that heareth you, heareth me”. And “Behold I will bring them again from the North Country, and gather them from the Coasts of the Earth &c and as John heard the voice saying “come out of her [HC 4:8] my people”, even so must all be fulfilled, that the People of the Lord may live, when “Babylon the great [p. 966]