JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. D-1, created 4 July 1845–4 Feb. 1846 and 1 July 1854–2 May 1855; handwriting of , Robert L. Campbell, and ; 275 pages, plus 6 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the fourth volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This fourth volume covers the period from 1 Aug. 1842 to 1 July 1843; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, C-1, E-1 and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
History, 1838–1856, volume D-1, constitutes the fourth of six volumes documenting the life of Joseph Smith and the early years of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The series is also known as the Manuscript History of the Church and was originally published serially from 1842 to 1846 and 1851 to 1858 as the “History of Joseph Smith” in the Times and Seasons and Deseret News. This volume contains JS’s history from 1 August 1842 to 1 July 1843, and it was compiled after JS’s death.
The material recorded in volume D-1 was initially compiled under the direction of church historian , with the assistance of . After Richards’s death in 1854, continued work on the volume as the new church historian with Bullock’s continued help. The process adopted by Richards and Bullock involved Richards creating a set of rough draft notes and Bullock transcribing the notes into the volume along with the text of designated documents (such as letters and meeting minutes). George A. Smith followed a similar pattern, though he dictated the draft notes to Bullock and other scribes.
According to the Church Historian’s Office journal, finished the third volume of the series, volume C-1, on Thursday, 3 July 1845, in , Illinois. He began work on the fourth volume, D-1, the next day, beginning on page 1362 with the entry for 1 August 1842. (The pages in volumes A-1–E-1 were numbered consecutively.) Bullock continued work on the record, drawing upon ’s draft notes, until 3 February 1846—the day before D-1 and the other volumes were packed up in preparation for the Latter-day Saints’ exodus from Nauvoo. At that point he had reached page 1485 with the entry for 28 February 1843. Subsequently, apparently after the collection had arrived in Utah, Bullock added a brief comment beneath that entry: “end of W. Richard’s compiling[.] the books packed Feby. 4— 1846 in Nauvoo[.] Miles Romney— present. The records carried by T Bullock from Winter Quarters to G S L [Great Salt Lake] City in 1848.”
A notation at the top of page 1486 reports that “the books were unpacked in G. S. L. City by and . June 7. 1853. J[onathan] Grimshaw & Miles Romney present.” Vertically, in the margin, is a poignant epitaph: “Decr. 1 1853 Dr. Willard Richards wrote one line of History—being sick at the time—and was never able to do any more.” With Richards’s death on 11 March 1854, JS’s cousin was called to the office of church historian. The notation on the top of page 1486 acknowledges this change in officers, noting, “commencement of George A. Smith’s compiling as Historian. April 13. 1854[.] [C]ommenced copying July 1. 1854.” From mid-April to the end of June 1854, George A. Smith, in collaboration with Thomas Bullock, worked on the draft notes for the history before a new scribe, , resumed writing in D-1 on 1 July 1854, beginning with the entry for 1 March 1843.
continued transcribing intermittently into the late fall of 1854, when he was assigned other duties in the Historian’s Office. He had reached page 1546 with the entry for 5 May 1843. Work resumed in February 1855 in the hand of Robert L. Campbell, recently returned from a mission. He concluded volume D-1 on the morning of 2 May 1855 and began writing in E-1 that afternoon.
The 274 pages of volume D-1 contain a record of much that is significant in the life of JS and the development of the church he founded. Among these events are
• JS’s 6 August 1842 prophecy that the Saints would become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.
•JS’s 8 August 1842 arrest on a warrant for being “an accessory before the fact” to an attack on former governor .
• ’s 17 August 1842 letter to governor , pleading for the humane treatment of her husband and family.
•JS’s 1 and 6 September 1842 instructions regarding the proper procedures for performing baptisms for the dead.
• JS’s 15 November 1842 “Valedictory” as he stepped down as editor of the Times and Seasons.
• The 26 December 1842 arrest of JS on a “proclamation” by former governor , and subsequent hearing in , Illinois.
• The 7 February 1843 recovery of a volume of patriarchal blessings given by , which had been stolen in , Missouri.
• JS’s 21 February 1843 remarks regarding the and .
• JS’s 2 April 1843 instruction at , Illinois, on the nature of God and other subjects.
• JS’s 16 May 1843 remarks at , Illinois, on the everlasting covenant and eternal marriage.
• The account of JS’s 23 June 1843 arrest and his hearing the following week at .
<May 17> Salvation means a man’s being placed beyond the power of all his enemies. The more sure word of Prophecy means, a man’s knowing that he is up unto eternal life by revelation, and the Spirit of Prophecy, through the power of the Holy . It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance. Paul has seen the third Heavens and I more. Peter penned the most sublime language of any of the Apostles.
In the <afternoon> Attended Council and afterwards rode with s family.
In the evening went to hear a Methodist preacher lecture, after he got thro’ I offered some corrections as follows, the 7th. verse of 2 ch of Genesis ought to read God breathed [HC 5:392] into Adam his Spirit or breath of life, but when the word “ruach” applies to Eve it should be translated lives.
Speaking of eternal duration of matter I said, there is no such thing as immaterial matter. All Spirit is matter, but is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes. We can not see it, but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter.
The Priest seemed pleased with the correction and stated his intention to visit .
A was held in the Columbian Hall, Grand Street where 15 , 6 , 36 , 19 , 16 , 5 and 387 members were represented; 49 have been since last Conference, many have moved to , and 28 have been excommunicated. 4 Elders and 1 Priest were .
<18> We left about 8½ A.M. and arrived at at 10.
The following brief account is from the Journal of who was present.
“Dined with Judge who is presiding at court. After Dinner, requested President Joseph to give him a history of the persecution, which he did in a very minute manner for about 3 hours, he also gave a relation of his journey to and his application in behalf of the Saints to , the President of the for redress, and ’s pusilanimous reply “Gentlemen Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you” and the cold unfeeling manner in which he was treated by most of the Senators and Representatives, in relation to the subject. saying “You had better Go to .” shaking his head solemnly saying “It’s a nice question, a critical question, but it will not do to agitate it”
The Judge listened with the greatest attention, and then spoke warmly in [HC 5:393] deprecation of the conduct of and the authorities of who had taken part in the extermination and said that any people that would do as the Mobs of have done, ought to be brought to judgment, they ought to be punished. President Smith in concluding his remarks said <that if the government which received into its coffers the money of Citizens for its public lands, while its officials are rolling in luxury at the expense of its public treasury, cannot protect such Citizens in their lives and property it is an old granny anyhow, and> I pro [p. 1552]