Discourse, 29 September 1839, as Reported by James Mulholland
JS, Discourse, [, Hancock Co., IL], 29 Sept. 1839. Featured version copied [between 29 Sept. and 6 Oct. 1839] in JS, Journal, 16 Apr.–15 Oct. 1839, pp. 12–; handwriting of ; JS Collection, CHL.The journal is a makeshift notebook containing sixteen leaves measuring 10 × 4 inches (25 × 10 cm). It was fashioned by folding eight 10 × 8 inch (25 × 20 cm) sheets of paper in half lengthwise to form the sixteen leaves (thirty-two pages). Inscriptions that reach the end of a line and cross the gutter onto the conjugal leaf indicate that the folded pages were not sewn during their original use. Wear on the first and last pages indicates that the pages were not bound for some time. The text of the journal is inscribed on the first fifteen pages. The remaining seventeen pages are blank. At some point, a cover for the notebook was made with a 10 × 16 inch (25 × 41 cm) sheet of blue cover stock folded in half twice to create a 10 × 4 inch cover, which was then pamphlet bound with hand stitching. On the front cover, wrote “Minute Book. | 1839 | J. Smiths Journal | Escape from Prison” with seven decorative underlines. On the back cover, the lines “Joseph Smith’s Journal | Escape from Prison 1839” are written sideways near the top. This notation, in unidentified handwriting, appears to be an early archival marking. Textual redactions and use marks made in graphite were added by later scribes who used the journal to produce the multivolume manuscript history of the church.This thin journal was probably among the miscellaneous documents collectively listed in Nauvoo and early Utah inventories of church records. The use of the journal in connection with the manuscript history, early inventories, and recent archival records indicate that this journal—like the other JS journals—has remained in continuous institutional custody.
Historian’s Office. Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904. CHL. CR 100 130.
Johnson, Jeffery O. Register of the Joseph Smith Collection in the Church Archives, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Historical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1973.
On 29 September 1839, JS spoke at a meeting in his home near , Illinois. In addition to commenting on preaching the gospel and on the second coming of Jesus Christ, JS spoke about the connection between physical ailments and divine punishment. This topic had likely been on the minds of many Saints due to a recent outbreak of the ague (malaria); in the ensuing months, hundreds of church members—including JS—fell ill, and more than a dozen died. JS spent much of his time in July, August, and September ministering to the sick and taking many who did not have adequate accommodations into his own home. recorded the content of JS’s discourse in a journal he was keeping for JS.