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.
<April 17> the disposal of the . Moved by Elder , seconded by elder , that the Saints receive a recommend to the Church in to move in small or large bodies, inasmuch as they desire to emigrate to that new Country. Moved by Elder , seconded by that we recommend no one to go to that has money, without assisting the poor according to our Counsel from time to time— Moved by Elder ,seconded by Elder that the copy right of the book of Doctrine and Covenants, and the book of Mormon, be secured as quick as possible, Moved by , seconded by , that Elders , , and , be the Committee to secure the copy right. Moved by Elder , and seconded by Elder that Elder P<eter> Melling be ordained as an Evangelical Minister in . Moved by Elder that the Twelve meet here on the 6th. of July next, seconded by Elder , and carried. Moved by Elder and seconded by Elder , <that> the of the Periodical, keep an account of all the receipts and expenditures connected with the printing, general expenses &c, and the books at all times be open for the inspection of the Council— the above resolutions were unanimously adopted. The Conference closed by prayer— — Clerk.
To President Joseph Smith and Counsellors: dear brethren, you no doubt will have the perusal of this letter, and minutes of our Conferences; this will give you an idea of what we [HC 4:119] are doing in this Country. If you see any thing in, or about the whole affair, that is not right: I ask, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you would make known unto us the mind of the Lord, and his will concerning us. I believe that I am as willing to do the will of the Lord, and take counsel of my brethren, and be a servant of the Church, as ever I was in my life; but I can tell you, I would like to be with my old friends; I like new friends but I cannot part with my old ones for them. Concerning the hymn book, when we arrived here, we found the brethren had laid by their old Hymn Books, and they wanted new ones; for the bible religion, and all is new to them. When I came to learn more about carrying books into the , or bringing them here, I found the duties were so high that we never should want to bring books to the . I request one favor of you, that is, a letter from you, that I may hear from my old friends. I trust that I will remain your friend through life, and in eternity. As ever— ,”