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 9> repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, after which I administered the ordinance of baptism unto six persons, and among the number. I also preached on Sunday the 8th.,— and baptized seven, confirmed thirteen, and broke bread unto them. Several of those who were baptized were preachers of an order called the United brethren. — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — The United Brethren — — — — — — — — — — — — — — formerly belonged to — — — — — — — — — the Primitive Methodists, but had separated themselves from that body, and chosen the name of United Brethren. They had from forty to fifty preachers, and about the same number of established places of meeting, including one or two chapels. Mr. was the superintendent of the Church of the United Brethren, whose members numbered about 400 in all, divided into small branches, and scattered over an extent of country from 15 to 20 miles. This people almost universally appeared willing to give heed to the exhortation of Solomon, to hear a matter before they judged or condemned. They opened their doors for me to preach, and searched the Scriptures daily to see if the things which I taught were true; and on finding that the word and spirit agreed and bore record of the truth of the fulness of the everlasting gospel, they embraced it with all their hearts., which has brought great joy and satisfaction to many souls in that region. I continued preaching and baptizing daily; the congregations were large and generally attentive. I was soon privileged with an interview with Mr. , the superintendent of the United Brethren, before whom I gave an account of the rise and progress of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, and bore testimony of the truth of the great work which God had set his hand to accomplish in these last days. received my testimony and sayings with candor; and carried the case before the Lord, made it a subject of prayer, and asked the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, if these things were true; and the Lord manifested the truth of it unto him, and he went forth and was baptized, he and all his household. I ordained him an Elder, and he went forth and began to preach the fulness of the gospel. I also baptized about forty preachers of the same order, and several others belonging unto other churches, and about 120 members of the United Brethren, which opened about 40 doors or preaching places, where the fulness of the Gospel would meet a welcome reception,— and all this during the term of one month and five days— On the 10th. of April I took my departure from the Saints in Herefordshire and adjoining country, numbering about 160; [HC 4:151] whom I left rejoicing in the fulness of the gospel, and hundreds of others who were ready to be baptized as soon as a proper time and opportunity arrived. I arrived in on the 13th. by way of Worcester, Wolverhampton, Burslem and , as distance of about 170 miles, visiting the Churches by the way. On my arrival in I was blessed with the happy privilege of once more greeting my Brethren of the Travelling High Council and other Elders, and of sitting with them on the 14th. 15th. and 16th. of April in the first Council and General Conference, which they had ever held as a quorum, in a foreign nation. After spending several days together (during which time much business of importance was transacted for the Church) it became necessary for us again to separate, in order to [p. 1075]