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.
<May 7> there ever since my arrival in England, and how long he will remain there the Lord only knows, he was put there through the influence of a Priest as nigh as I can learn, for some old pretended claim, but no one can find out what that claim is. I have just met with he tells me that the Church in this region of Country numbers between three and four hundred, it is only about three months since commenced to labor here, I have just received a letter from which states he expected to leave his place the next day. sends his respects. I am as ever— .”
<*The papers of this date report that *May 9 Elder was released from Stafford Jail, where he had been confined since his arrest on the 16th. March last at the instigation of John Jones, a Methodist Preacher, on the pretence of a claim arising under a Partnership with another man 15 years ago, before he left Eng[HC 4:127]land; but the real object was to stop his preaching; He was without provisions for several days, but the Poor Saints in the Potteries, on learning his condition, supplied his wants, some of the Sisters actually walking upwards of 20 miles to relieve him. He preached several times to the debtors; was visited by , , , and others, and was dismissed from prison on his persecutors ascertaining their conduct was about to be exposed. This rather encouraged than disheartened the Elders, as I had told them on their leaving to be of good courage, for some of them would have to look through grates before their return.>
The Island of Ternate was nearly ruined by Earthquakes on the 14th. and 15th. February 1840.
“, Hancock Co. Ill. May 14. 1840.” To and , Dear brethren, I am happy in being informed by your letter that your mission swells “larger and larger”; it is a great and important mission, and one that is worthy of those intelligences who surround the throne of Jehovah to be engaged in; although it appears great at present, yet you have but just begun to realize the greatness, the extent and glory of the same. If there is any thing calculated to interest the mind of the Saints, to awaken in them the finest sensibilities; and arouse them to enterprise and exertion, surely it is the great and precious promises, made by our heavenly Father to the Children of Abraham; and those engaged in seeking the outcasts of Israel; and the dispersed of Judah, cannot fail to enjoy the Spirit of the Lord and have the choicest blessings of Heaven rest upon them in copious effusions. Brethren you are in the pathway to eternal fame! and immortal Glory; and inasmuch as you feel interested for the Covenant People of the Lord, the God of Their Fathers shall bless you. Do not be discouraged on ac[HC 4:128]count of the greatness of the work; only be humble and faithful, and then you can say, “What art thou, O great mountain, before Zerubbabel shalt thou be brought down” He who scattered Israel has promised to gather them; therefore inasmuch as you are to be instrumental in this great work, he will endow you with power, wisdom, might, and intelligence; and every qualification necessary; while your minds will expand wider and wider, until you can circumscribe the Earth, and the Heavens, — — — reach forth into Eternity; and contemplate the mighty acts of Jehovah, in all their variety and glory.
In answer to your enquiries, respecting the translation and publication of the Book of Mormon, Hymn Book, History of the Church &c &c; I would say, that I entirely approve of the same; and give my consent, with the exception of the Hymn Book, as a new Edition, containing a greater variety of hymns, will be shortly published or printed in this place; which I think will be a standard work. As soon as it is printed, you shall have some sent to you, which you may get translated, and printed into any language you please— Should we not be able to send some to you, and there should be a great call for Hymn Books where you may be; then I should have no objection to your publishing the present one. Were you to publish the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants or Hymn book; I desire the copy rights of the same to be secured in my name. With [p. 1058]