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 .
<October 11> for examination, and to give account of their work at the . After carefully and attentively examining and comparing their books and accounts, the Trustee expressed himself well satisfied with the proceedings and labors of the Committee, and ordered that this be published in the Times and Seasons, that the Saints may know the fact and be thereby encouraged to double their exertions and forward means-[?]- to roll on the building of the in . It was also ordered that the Recorder’s office be henceforth removed to the Committee House near the ; all property and means must therefore be brought to that place, where it will be recorded in due form. , October 11, 1842. , Clerk, and Recorder for the [”]
<16> Sunday 16. I copy the following from the Herald
“The Mormons. . October 16. 1842. Gen — Sir— Some time since, I addressed a letter to Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, in answer to a letter of his, introducing to my “kind attention” a friend of his from the Holy City of . In this letter I expressed my regret that the quarrel between him and should have at all found its way to the public eye, this being the sole cause of placing him in his present awkward situation. I likewise commiserated with him in his affliction, and signed myself, at the conclusion of my letter, as his friend, which I really am, and the friend of all good Mormons, as well as other good men. Why should I not be Joseph Smith’s friend? He has done nothing to injure me, nor do I believe he has done any thing to injure of . The , no doubt, under strong feelings, may have thought and believed that Smith, had preconcerted the plan for his assassination; but there is no legal—— evidence whatever of that fact. None by which an unprejudiced jury would convict any man, yet to send this man into , under the present requisition, would be an act of great injustice, as his ruin would be certain. How could any man, against whom there is a bitter religious prejudice, escape ruin, being in the circumstances of Smith? Look at the history of past ages— see the force of fanaticism and bigotry in bringing to the stake some of the best of men; and in all these cases the persecutors had their pretexts, as well as in the case of the Mormon chief. Nothing follows its victims with such deadly aim as religious zeal, and therefore nothing should be so much guarded against by the civil power. Smith I conceive, has just as good a right to establish a church, if he can do it, as Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Fox or even King Henry the Eighth. All these Chiefs in religion had their opponents, and their people their persecutors. Henry the Eighth was excommunicated, body and bones, soul and all, by his Holiness the Pope; still the Church of England has lived, as well as all the other sects. Just so, it will be with the Mormons. They may kill one Prophet, and [HC 5:170] confine in chains half his followers, but another will take his place, and the Mormons will still go ahead. One of their Elders said to me, when conversing on this subject, that they were like a Mustard plant— “If you don’t disturb it, the seed will fall and multiply; and if you kick it about, you only give the seed more soil, and it will multiply the more.” Undertake [p. 1406]