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.
<March 17 Conference in > would prove for the general good of the whole church who was suffering for the gospel sake; and would advise the Saints to settle (if possible) in companies, or in a situation so as to be organized into churches that they might be nourished, and fed by the shepherds; for without, the sheep would be scattered. And he also impressed it upon the minds of the Saints to give heed to the revelations of God especially the elders should be careful to depart from all iniquity, and to remember the Council given by those whom God hath placed as Councellors in his Church, that they may become as wise stewards in the vineyard of the Lord, that every man may know and act in his own place, for there is order in the kingdom of God, and we must regard that order if we expect to be blessed. also stated that Elder had received previous instructions not to call any conferences in this , or elsewhere; but to go forth and preach repentance which was his calling, but contrary to those instructions he called a conference in , Ill. and presided there and brought forth the business which he had to transact, and his proceeding in many respects during the conference was contrary to the feelings of Elder — and other [HC 3:283] official members who were present; they considered his proceedings contrary to the will, and order of God. The conference then voted that Elder be reproved for his improper course, and that he be advised to adhere to the Council given him. And after transacting various other business, Elder made some remarks relative to those who had left us in the times of our perils, persecutions and dangers and were acting against the interest of the Church, and that the Church could no longer hold them in fellowship unless they repented of their sins and turned unto God. After the conference fully expressed their feelings upon the subject, it was unanimously voted that the following persons be excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints viz. , , , , , , , , and several others. After which the Conference closed by prayer. . Prest. . Clerk.
’s left the Prison house where she had voluntarily been with her husband most of the winter, and returned to , to get passage with some of the brethren for .
<Committee> This morning “the committee met at the house of Daniel Shearer— — in the Chair— Present Brother from Ill. made known the proceedings of the brethren in in relation to locating in the and read a private letter from to him on the same subject, and presented a power of attorney from to dispose of the Lands of the Church in and also some lots in — He then presented a copy of the proceedings of a Council held in on the ninth instant, which was read, after which explained some things relative to said meeting, and the proceedings thereof. A Bill of articles wanted by the Prisoners in was presented [p. 899]