Journal, December 1842–June 1844; Book 4, 1 March–22 June 1844

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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Book 4, 1 March–22 June 1844

Editorial Note
The last of the four memorandum books kept as JS’s journal by covers a little less than four months and ends five days before JS’s death. Prominent among the events that Richards recorded during this time is the organization of the Council of Fifty and its efforts both to obtain redress for the losses church members had sustained in and to locate a new place of gathering, possibly where the Saints could have a government of their own. Other noteworthy topics include JS’s presidential campaign and his famous “King Follett” discourse, the latter of which contains some of JS’s most significant teachings concerning the nature of God and humankind. As the journal proceeds, more and more space is devoted to JS’s dealings with various dissenters, whose efforts to discredit the Mormon leader culminated in the publication of a newspaper, the Nauvoo Expositor, which detailed their disapproval of JS’s teachings and practices. When the Nauvoo City Council decided to have the press that published the Expositor destroyed, Richards recorded the event, as well as the backlash that decision engendered both within and without , Illinois. The last entries in the journal are almost entirely devoted to chronicling JS’s efforts to defuse the situation, keep governor apprised of the growing threats against him and his followers, and prepare Nauvoo for possible attack. Brief references in the journal to events and documents (such as court cases, letters, affidavits, meetings, speeches, and the like) generated by these incidents in JS’s last months have required more explanatory annotation at some points in this section than was generally necessary for earlier journal entries reproduced in this volume. Expanded annotation is also needed at times to address the proliferation of sources created by early church historians who carefully documented the events leading to JS’s death.
evidently left this journal behind when he, JS, , and left for the night of 22–23 June, but he recorded JS’s activities for the next five days in his own journal, which is included as Appendix 3.

[front cover]
Book 4, 1 March–22 June 1844

Editorial Note
The last of the four memorandum books kept as JS’s journal by covers a little less than four months and ends five days before JS’s death. Prominent among the events that Richards recorded during this time is the organization of the Council of Fifty and its efforts both to obtain redress for the losses church members had sustained in and to locate a new place of gathering, possibly where the Saints could have a government of their own. Other noteworthy topics include JS’s presidential campaign and his famous “King Follett” discourse, the latter of which contains some of JS’s most significant teachings concerning the nature of God and humankind. As the journal proceeds, more and more space is devoted to JS’s dealings with various dissenters, whose efforts to discredit the Mormon leader culminated in the publication of a newspaper, the Nauvoo Expositor, which detailed their disapproval of JS’s teachings and practices. When the Nauvoo City Council decided to have the press that published the Expositor destroyed, Richards recorded the event, as well as the backlash that decision engendered both within and without , Illinois. The last entries in the journal are almost entirely devoted to chronicling JS’s efforts to defuse the situation, keep governor apprised of the growing threats against him and his followers, and prepare Nauvoo for possible attack. Brief references in the journal to events and documents (such as court cases, letters, affidavits, meetings, speeches, and the like) generated by these incidents in JS’s last months have required more explanatory annotation at some points in this section than was generally necessary for earlier journal entries reproduced in this volume. Expanded annotation is also needed at times to address the proliferation of sources created by early church historians who carefully documented the events leading to JS’s death.
evidently left this journal behind when he, JS, , and left for the night of 22–23 June, but he recorded JS’s activities for the next five days in his own journal, which is included as Appendix 3.

[front cover]
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