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.
<June 18> assemble together to act, or to legislate for the good of the whole Society and that the Saints might enjoy those privileges which they could not, by being scattered so wide apart, induced your Memorialist to exert himself to the utmost in order to bring about an object so necessary and so desirable to the Saints at large. That under the then existing circumstances— your Memorialist had necessarily to engage in the temporalities of the Church, which he has had to attend, to the present time. That your Memorialist feels it a duty, which he owes to God as well as to the Church to give his attention more particularly to those things connected with the Spiritual welfare of the Saints (which have now become a great people) so that they may be built up in their most holy faith, and go on to perfection. That the church having erected an office where he can attend to the affairs of the Church without distraction, he thinks and verily believes that the time has now come, when he should devote himself exclusively to those things which relate to the Spiritualities of the Church and commence the work of translating the Egyptian Records— the Bible— and wait upon the Lord for such Revelations as may be suited to the Condition and circumstances of the Church and in order that he may be enabled to attend to those things, prays that your honorable body, will relieve him from anxiety and trouble necessarily attendant on business transactions, by appointing some one to take charge of the plot and attend to the business transactions which have heretofore rested upon your Memorialist— That should your honors deem it proper to do so, your Memorialist would respectfully suggest, that he would have no means of support whatever, and therefore would request that some one might be appointed to see that all his necessary wants may be provided for as well as sufficient means or appropriations for a Clerk or Clerks, which he may require to aid him in his important work— Your Memorialist would further represent that as Elder is conversant with the affairs of the Plot, thinks that he would be a suitable person to act as Clerk in that business, and attend to the disposing of the remaining lots &c. Your memorialist would take this opportunity of congratulating your honorable body on the peace and harmony which exists in the Church, and for the good feelings which seem to be manifest by all the Saints, and hopes that inasmuch as we devote ourselves for the good of the Church, and the spread of the Kingdom that the choisest blessings of heaven will be poured upon us, and that the glory of the Lord will overshadow the inheritances of the Saints. Joseph Smith Jr. [HC 4:137]
<20> Saturday 20 Proceedings of the High Council on the foregoing Memorial—
The Council relieved President Joseph Smith Junr. according to his request in the Memorial, and appointed to take charge of the Plot and act as Clerk in that business, and also to attend to the disposing of the remaining lots and the business transactions which have rested upon him. was appointed Steward to see that all the necessary wants of the First Presidency be supplied, as well as to provide sufficient means or appropriations for a Clerk or Clerks to aid President Joseph Smith Jr. in his important work. Clerk—
Minutes of the Conference held at Stanley Hill, Castle Froome Herefordshire June 21. 1840. The Preachers and members of the Frooms Hill Circuit of the United Brethren met at the house of Elder John Cheese on Stanley Hill, Herefordshire, England June 21. A.D. 1840 at ten a.m. according to previous notice, when the meeting was called to order by Elder ; Elder was chosen President, and Elder Clerk of the Meeting [p. 1063]