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 .
<August 21> opportunity to state that his faith was and had been unshaken in the truth. It has also been rumored that I believe that Joseph Smith is a fallen prophet. In regard to this, I unequivocally state that I never thought so, but declare that I know he is a prophet of the Lord, called and chosen in this last dispensation, to roll on the kingdom of God for the last time. He close<d by saying as it regards his [HC 5:122] religion he had no controversy with the world, having an incontrovertible evidence, that through obedience to the ordinances of the religion he now believes, the Lord had actually given back his daughter from the dead. No person need therefore come to reason with him, to convince him of error, or make him believe another religion, unless those who profess it can show, that through obedience to its laws the dead have been and can be raised; if it has no such power, it would be insulting his feelings to ask him to reason about it; and if it had it would be no better than the one he had, and so he had done with controversy, wherefore he dealt in facts and not in theory.>
President spoke at great length and with great power. He cited ’s mind back to the Revelation concerning him, that if he would move into the midst of the and defend the truth he should be healed &c and showed that what felt in regard to the improvement in his health was a fulfilment of the Revelation. He then proceeded to show the folly of any person’s attempting to overthrow or destroy Joseph, and read from the Book of Mormon in various places concerning the Prophet who was prophecied—— should be raised up in the last days, setting forth the work he was destined to accomplish and that he had only just commenced, but inasmuch as we could plainly see that the former part of the prophecy had been literally fulfilled we might be assured that the latter part would also be fulfilled and that Joseph would live to accomplish the great things concerning him &c He concluded his address by calling upon the Saints to take courage and fear not, and also told that inasmuch as he had seen the mercy of the Lord exerted in his behalf that it was his duty to arise and stand in defence of the truth and of innocence, and of those who were being perse[HC 5:123]cuted innocently and finally called for all those who were willing to support and uphold Joseph and who believed that he was doing his duty and was innocent of the charges <alleged against him by our enemies> to hold up their right hand<s>”
when almost every hand was raised, and no opposite vote when called for. This meeting was productive of great good, by inspiring the Saints with new zeal and courage, and weakening the hands and hearts of the treacherous, and of evil and designing persons, disposed to secret combinations, against the truth. visited in the course of the day and manifested a determination to arouse his energies in defence of the truth——
<22> Tuesday 22 I find my feelings of the 16th. instant towards my friends revived, and while I contemplate the virtues and the good qualifications, and characteristics of the faithful few, which I am now recording in the Book of the Law of the Lord of such as have stood by me in every hour of peril, for these fifteen long years past; say for instance; my aged and beloved brother , who was among the number of the first to administer to my necessities, while I was laboring, in the commencement of the bringing forth of the work of the Lord, and of laying the foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; for fifteen years has he been faithful and true, and even handed, and exemplary, and virtuous, and kind; never deviating to the right hand nor to the left. Behold he is a righteous man, may God Almighty lengthen out the old man’s days; and may his trembling, tortured, and broken body be renewed, and the vigor of health turn upon him; if it can be thy will, consistently O God; and it shall be said of him by the sons of Zion, while there [p. 1381]