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 7> On motion. Resolved that the Report be printed in the Times and Seasons.
“ arose and stated, that in consequence of — — — weakness from his labors of yesterday, he would call upon General to officiate in his place. then read the revelations from “The Book of the Law of the Lord,” which had been received since the last general Conference in relation to writing a proclamation to the kings of the Earth, building a in , the organization of the Church &c. President Joseph Smith rose and made some observations in explanation of the same, and likewise of the necessity which existed of building the , that the Saints might have suitable place for worshiping the Almighty; and also the building of the , that suitable accommodations may be afforded for the strangers who — — — — visit this . The choir sung a hymn, and the meeting adjourned for one hour.” [HC 4:339]
“Conference met pursuant to adjournment. and was called to order by . Choir sung a hymn and President addressed the throne of grace. , read the Charters granted by the Legislature of this , for incorporating the “City of ,” the “Nauvoo Legion,” “The University of the City of Nauvoo,” “The Agricultural and Manufacturing Association” and — — the “ Association,” On motion; Resolved, That the Charters now read, be received by the Church. — — — President arose and gave an exhortation to the Assembly. Gen: , then spoke at some length on the present situation, prospects and condition of the Church, and remarked that the hand of God must indeed be visible, in accomplishing the great blessings and prosperity of the church, and called upon the Saints to be faithful and obedient in all things, and likewise forcibly and eloquently urged the necessity of being united in all their movements and before he sat down he wished to know how many of the Saints who were present felt disposed to continue to act in concert and follow the instructions of the First Presidency, and called upon all those who did so, to arise on their feet; when immediately the Saints, almost without exception arose. The choir sung a hymn, and the meeting after prayer, adjourned until tomorrow morning.”
The Twelve <Apostles> were busy in <Counsel,> visiting the Saints in and <in evening> supped at Mother Miller<s>.
<8> “Thursday morning— April 8th.. at an early hour this morning the different quorums, who had previously been organized, came to the ground and took their seats as follows: The First Presidency, with the Presidents of the Quorums on the Stand; the High Council on the front of the Stand; the High Priesthood on the front to the right of the Stand; the Seventies immediately be<hind> the High Priesthood; the Elders in the front, to the left; the Lesser Priesthood on the — — — — — right. On motion; Resolved that this — — — — — Conference continue until Sunday evening. President Joseph Smith declared the rule of voting, to be a majority in each quorum, exhorted them to deliberation, faith and prayer, and that they should be strict, and impartial in their examinations. He then told them that the Presidents of the different quorums would be presented before them for their acceptance or rejection. then presented the First Presidency to the Lesser [HC 4:340] Priesthood. President presented them to the [p. 1192]