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.
<20> Wednesday 20. Extract of a letter from , Dated “Jaffa, October 20 1841 on his way to
“On my passage from Beyroote to this place (Jaffa) night before last, at one o’clock, as I was meditating on the deck of the vessel as she was beating down against a sultry wind, a very bright glittering sword appeared in the heavens, about six feet in length, with a beautiful hilt, as plain and complete as any art you ever saw. And what is still more remarkable, an arm with a perfect hand stretched itself out, and took hold of the hilt of the sword— The appearance really made my hair rise, and the flesh, as it were, crawl on my bones. The Arabs made a wonderful outcry at the sight. Allah! Allah! Allah! -[O Lord, <O> Lord, <O> Lord]- was their exclamation all over the vessel, I mention this because you know there is a commandment of God for me, which says, “Unto you it shall be given to know the signs of the Times, and the sign of the coming of the Son of Man”— Yours in Christ— .”
<23> Saturday 23. <I attended the City Council.>
Conference convened pursuant to previous appointment Elders , , and [HC 4:439] , of the — — — Twelve <Apostles>, were in attendance. Elder was unanimously chosen President, and J<as.> C. Snow Clerk of the conference. then made some preliminary remarks, setting forth and explaining the object of the meeting, followed by President . Elder J. C. Snow then represented the Branch of the Church at , consisting of 424 members including 9 High Priests, 32 Elders, 4 Priests, 5 Teachers, and 4 Deacons, mostly in good standing. , Elders and , then made some very appropriate remarks, showing and proving the absolute necessity of finishing and completing the , now building in ; in preference to any thing else that can be done, either by mental, or physical exertion, in spreading light, knowledge, and intelligence, among the nations of the Earth. Conference adjourned till tomorrow, 10 oclock. In the evening met with his counsel, together with , Elders and , and brethren of the branch, for the purpose of— entering into certain resolutions, necessary in order to become more active in forwarding the work of the . After much deliberation, it was [p. 1240]