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 23> Let the books of Mormon be sold as fast as they can be in , and the avails be retained by till further orders. [HC 5:405]
Voted that Sister Ann Dawson and her family. Sister Ann Bradlock and her family; William Bradbury with his family; brother Leech of and family, brother Anderson of Stoke <upon Trent> and all the poor Saints be brought over to this .
Voted on reading s letters of March 1 and 16 to the , and ; that the printing in be stopped, according to previous instructions, and and come to this place, and the funds referred to in s letters be expended by as before stated.
<24> Wednesday. Elder presented the tooth of a whale, Coral, Bones of an Albatros wing, and skin of a foot, Jaw Bone of a Porpoise, <&> tooth of a South Sea Seal as a beginning for a Museum in .
I bought 11 quarter sections of land from — and then rode out on the hill.
I find in the Bee of this date a letter, and as it is so remarkable that any Editor will publish any thing in the columns of his paper concerning me or the Saints but slander, that I take a pleasure in transcribing the following
“Sir,— In gone–by years, and long before I had heard of the Prophet “Joseph Smith” and, indeed, before he had existence, I had formed some very curious ideas about the ancient prophets. From reading their history in the Bible, I supposed they must have been men of no ordinary proportions; or, if so, that there was something about them different from other men, by which they might be distinguished at sight. As a matter of course, I thought they must have had grey hairs for a covering to make them appear very dignified, and beard as long as a Jew; for if they shaved, it would shew that they were men; and could I have had the privilege of looking at one I should have expected to have seen him clad in sheep, goat, bear or wolf skin, wandering about on the mountains, like the beasts he had robbed of their garments, lodging in the caves and dens of the earth, and subsisting on the fruits and nuts of the forests. It being too holy, too sanctified, too exhaulted, by his high [HC 5:406] calling, to appear in the habitations or among the society of men, unless he had some important message to communicate direct from heaven; some revelation or commandment to promulge to his fellows, and then he would just come forth and cry out, like the beasts in the wilderness, with so much sacred sanctity that everybody would know he was a prophet; and if by nothing else, when they saw his nails like bird’s claws, and his hairs like eagles feathers, and his face and hands as filthy as a baboon; for it never occurred to me that clean hands, in administering before the Lord, as mentioned in the Scripture, meant any thing more than a good conscience, and I had never supposed but that a man could worship God just as acceptably, all covered with dirt, and filth and slime, as though he had bathed in Siloam every hour, until I heard the Mormon prophet lecturing his people on the subject of neatness and cleanliness, teaching them [p. 1559]