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.
<October 2> of <President> Joseph Smith to Preside — — — — —, and — — — — and , Clerks. <Meeting adjourned until 2 P.M. Prayer by > [HC 4:423] 2. P.M. President Joseph Smith opened <the meeting>
“The choir — — — — —, — — — sung 18th. Hymn. The President then read a letter from <Elder> <dated Ratisbon July 17. 1841> giving an account of his journeys and success in his Mission, which was listened to, with intense interest; and the Conference, by vote, expressed their approbation of the style and spirit of said letter. The President then made remarks on the inclemency of the weather and the uncomfortable situation of the Saints with regard to a place of worship, and a place of public entertainment. The Conference was then called upon by the President to elect a general Church Clerk in place of deceased. < was nominated and elected.> <Elder> <nominated Bishop to preside over — — — — — —> the High Priests’ Quorum in place of deceased — — — — — — — — — <who was> duly elected. <Prest.> then presented — — — — — — — — the business commenced at <the late> Special Conference <of August 16.> with regard to the appointment of suitable and faithful men to the several important stations of labor in this and other Countries. <Elder> addressed the Conference on the importance of order, uniformity of instruction, and unanimity of effort to spread the work of the Kingdom. President Joseph Smith made some corrections of doctrine quoting — — — — 1 Cor: 12. 28. showing — <the> — principle of order <and unity> in — <the> — — office<s> — <of> — — the Priesthood. <The Patriarch> made remarks disapproving of the course pursued by some Elders, in <counteracting> the efforts of the Presidency to gather the Saints, and in enticing them to stop in places not appointed for the gathering; particularly <referred to> the conduct of Elder of . <Elders > and <Testified that they had> travelled in places where <Elder> had <on his return> — — — — from his visit to , — — — — — — — — taught doctrine contrary to the Revelations of God and detrimental to the interest of the Church. Moved, — — — — and carried, that Elder be disfellowshipped <until > — — — — — — — — — he shall — make satisfaction. — — — — Choir <sung> Hymn 124. prayer by <Elder> , Conference adjourned ’till tomorrow — — — at 9 o’clock.
<To come in page 1242> A Conference was held at , Ohio, <Oct 2. 1841> President and Clerk, “Resolved that , Bishop of and his Counsellors be constituted a company to establish a press in and publish a religious paper entitled “theolive leaf”, and that the Saints adjacent be solicited to carry the above resolution into effect”—
<3.> Sunday 3. Conference assembled at . according to adjournment prayer by Elder .
“President Joseph Smith, by request of some of the Twelve <Apostles> gave instructions on the doctrine of Baptism for the dead; which was listened [HC 4:424] to with intense interest by the large assembly. <He> presented “Baptism for the Dead” as the only way that men can appear as Saviors on mount Zion. The proclamation of the first principles of the gospel was a means of salvation to men individually, and it was the truth, not men, that saved them; [p. 1228]