JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. C-1, created 24 Feb. 1845–3 July 1845; handwriting of , , Jonathan Grimshaw, and ; 512 pages, plus 24 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the third volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This third volume covers the period from 2 Nov. 1838 to 31 July 1842; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, D-1, E-1 and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
This document, “History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842],” is the third of six volumes of the “Manuscript History of the Church” (in The Joseph Smith Papers the “Manuscript History” bears the editorial title “History, 1838–1856”). The completed six-volume collection covers the period from 23 December 1805 to 8 August 1844. The narrative in this volume commences on 2 November 1838 with JS and other church leaders being held prisoner by the “’s forces” at , Missouri, and concludes with the death of Bishop at , Illinois, on 31 July 1842. For a more complete discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to this history.
Volume C-1 was created beginning on or just after 24 February 1845 and its narrative was completed by 3 May 1845, although some additional work continued on the volume through 3 July of that year (Richards, Journal, 24 and 28 Feb. 1845; Historian’s Office, Journal, 3 May 1845; 3 and 4 July 1845). It is in the handwriting of and contains 512 pages of primary text, plus 24 pages of addenda. Additional addenda for this volume were created at a later date as a supplementary document and appear in this collection as “History, 1838-1856, volume C-1 Addenda.” Compilers and Thomas Bullock drew heavily from JS’s letters, discourses, and diary entries; meeting minutes; church and other periodicals and journals; and reminiscences, recollections, and letters of church members and other contacts. At JS’s behest, Richards maintained the first-person, chronological-narrative format established in previous volumes, as if JS were the author. , , , and others reviewed and modified the manuscript prior to its eventual publication in the Salt Lake City newspaper Deseret News.
The historical narrative recorded in volume C-1 continued the account of JS’s life as prophet and president of the church. Critical events occurring within the forty-five-month period covered by this text include the Mormon War; subsequent legal trials of church leaders; expulsion of the Saints from Missouri; missionary efforts in by the and others; attempts by JS to obtain federal redress for the Missouri depredations; publication of the LDS Millennial Star in England; the migration of English converts to ; missionary efforts in other nations; the death of church patriarch ; the establishment of the city charter; the commencement of construction of the Nauvoo ; the expedition that facilitated temple construction; the introduction of the doctrine of proxy baptism for deceased persons; the dedicatory prayer by on the Mount of Olives in Palestine; publication of the “Book of Abraham” in the Nauvoo Times and Seasons; publication of the JS history often referred to as the “Wentworth letter;” the organization of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo; and the inception of Nauvoo-era temple endowment ceremonies.
<July 3> the comforts of life; you have been subject to bonds, to imprisonment, to banishment, and many to death, “for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God,” Many of your brethren, with those whose souls are now beneath the altar, are crying for the vengeance of heaven to rest upon the heads of their devoted murderers, and saying “how long O Lord holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the Earth;” but it was said to them, that they should rest, yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also; and their brethren that should be killed, as they were should be fulfilled.” Dear brethren, we should remind you of this thing, and although you have had indignities, insults and injuries heaped upon you, till further [HC 3:393] suffering would seem to be no longer a virtue, we would say, be patient, dear brethren, for as saith the apostle, “ye have need of patience, that after being tried you may inherit the promise”. You have been tried in the furnace of affliction, the time to exercise patience is now come; and we shall reap brethren , in due time if we faint not.” Do not breathe vengeance upon your oppressors, but leave the case in the hands of God, “for vengeance is mine saith the Lord, and I will repay.” We would say to the Widow and the Orphan, to the destitute and to the diseased, who have been made so through persecution be patient you are not forgotten, the God of Jacob has his eye upon you, the heavens have been witness to your sufferings, and they are registered on high; angels have gazed upon the scene, and your tears, your groans, your sorrows, and anguish of heart, are had in remembrance before God; they have entered into the sympathies of that bosom, who is “touched with the feelings of our infirmities,” who was “tempted in all points, like unto you;” they have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth; be patient then, until the words of God be fulfilled, and his designs accomplished and then shall he pour out his vengeance upon the devoted heads of your murderers, and then shall they know that he is God, and that you are his people. And we would say to all the Saints who have made a Covenant with the Lord by sacrifice, that inasmuch as you are faithful, you shall not lose your reward, although not numbered among those who were in the late difficulties in the West. We wish to stimulate all the brethren to faithfulness; you have been tried, you are now being tried, and those trials if you are not watchful, will corrode upon the mind, and produce unpleasant feelings; but recollect that now is the time of trial, soon the victory will be ours; now may be a day of lamentation, then will be a day of rejoicing; now may be a day of sorrow, but by and bye we shall see the Lord, our sorrow will be turned into joy, and our joy no man taketh from us. Be honest; be men of truth and integrity, let your word be your bond, be diligent, be prayerful; pray for, and with your families, train up your Children in the fear of the Lord, cultivate a meek, a quiet spirit, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, help the destitute, be merciful to the widow and orphan, be merciful to your brethren, and to all men; bear with one another’s infirmities, considering your own weakness; bring no railing accusation against your brethren, especially take care that you do not against the Authorities, [p. 958]