JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. E-1, created 20 Aug. 1855–5 Apr. 1856; handwriting of Robert L. Campbell, , and Jonathan Grimshaw; 392 pages, plus 11 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the fifth volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This fifth volume covers the period from 1 July 1843 to 30 Apr. 1844; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, C-1, D-1, and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
History, 1838–1856, volume E-1, constitutes the fifth 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 July 1843 to 30 April 1844, and it was compiled in Utah Territory in the mid-1850s.
The material recorded in volume E-1 was initially compiled under the direction of church historian , who was JS’s cousin. Smith collaborated with in collecting material for the history and creating a set of draft notes that Smith dictated to Bullock and other clerks.
Robert L. Campbell, a recently returned missionary and member of the Historian’s Office staff, transcribed ’s notes into the volume along with the text of designated documents (such as letters and meeting minutes). The Church Historian’s Office journal entry for 2 May 1855 pinpoints the beginning of his work: “R. L. C. on Book D forenoon, afternoon began book E.” Campbell’s work on the volume apparently concluded on 5 April 1856; entries in the Historian’s Office journal indicate that he then moved on to other assignments while another clerk, Jonathan Grimshaw, began work on volume F-1, the last manuscript in the series. (Historian’s Office, Journal, 2 May 1855; 5 and 9 Apr. 1856.)
Volume E-1 contains 391 pages of primary text and 11 pages of addenda. The initial entry on page 1637 is a continuation of the 1 July 1843 entry that closed volume D-1. The final entry in volume E-1 is for 30 April 1844.
The 391 pages of volume E-1 document a crucial period of JS’s life and the history of the church. Important events recorded here include
• An account of JS’s 2 July 1843 meeting with several Pottawatamie chiefs.
• JS’s 4 July 1843 address regarding his recent arrest, the Legion, and Mormon voting practices.
• JS’s 12 July 1843 dictation of a revelation regarding eternal marriage, including the plurality of wives, in the presence of and .
• Dispatch of the first missionaries to the Pacific Islands on 20 September 1843, led by .
• JS’s 1 October 1843 announcement of ’s appointment to a mission to Russia.
• Minutes of a 6–9 October 1843 general conference inserted under the date of 9 October at which pled his case in regard to his 13 August 1843 disfellowshipment and was permitted to continue as counselor in the First Presidency.
• Text of JS’s appeal to the Green Mountain Boys of , inserted under the date of 29 November 1843.
• A 20 January 1844 entry that includes a poem by commemorating the presentation of two copies of the Book of Mormon to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert by .
• JS’s nomination on 29 January 1844 as an independent candidate for the presidency of the .
<September 10> her plagues come in one day; death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.’ Jesus communicated the parable of the fig tree, which in putting forth its leaves betokens the approach of summer; and so likewise when we see the signs in the sun, moon and stars, and in the heavens and the earth of which he spoke, we might know that his coming is near— that the generation in which those signs appeared should not pass away, till all should be fulfilled.
These things are about to come to pass upon the heads of the present generation, notwithstanding they are not looking for it, neither do they believe it; yet their unbelief will not make the truth of God of none effect; the signs are appearing in the heavens and on the earth, and all things indicate the fulfilment of the Prophets; the fig tree is leafing, summer is nigh, and the Lord has sent his Angels to lay the foundation of this great and important work. Then why should not God reveal his secrets unto his servants the Prophets, that the saints might be led in paths of safety, and escape those evils which are about to engulph a whole generation in ruin!.”
<11.> Monday 11. “Conference met at Boylston Hall, at 9 o’clock a.m. Present of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elders , , , , , , , and .
Opened with prayer by .
Elder , stated the object of the meeting.
The first item of business is the spread of the Gospel of Salvation. I want to state what devolves upon the Twelve: Nine years ago a Revelation was given which was fulfilled in 1835, and when fulfilled the prophet lifted up his head and rejoiced before the Lord. Previously the responsibility of spreading the Gospel rested on him, now it is on the Twelve: this is the relation we hold between the living and the dead, to direct how you may escape. Last winter we were directed to send men to the nations of the earth; Elder had been to the Sandwich Islands, and proffered his services: we have power to ordain them and call upon the church to assist in sending them. Here are four men willing to go, and we do not wish them to cease trying, unless it be to die trying. One of them is ill; if he stays he will die. I would go, or die trying. We call on the churches to fit out these men with necessaries; Elder and Elder , we call on to fit them out; if [HC 6:27] does not, will do it himself: this takes the responsibility from us. If the Saints will not help, the curse of God will rest upon them. If the at is not built, we will receive our endowments if we have to go into the wilderness, and build an altar of stone. If a man gives his all, it is all God requires; has received one Dollar since he came to , and seventeen Dollars and a half before, towards building the ; a book is kept of all sums given; this book will also be opened. All is recorded. I have received Twenty three dollars— and I have spent about Forty five or Fifty Dollars. I am rich, and expect to be so throughout all eternity, with the help of God and my brethren. I can get home, if I can sell land; some of the Twelve are more destitute, but they are the best set of [p. 1730]