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.
<November 29> plunder and led on the van— than which nothing is more foreign from my heart. I disfellowship the perpretrators of all such abominations— they are devils and not Saints, totally unfit for the society of Christians or men. It is true that some profes[HC 4:461]sing to be Latter Day Saints have taught such vile heresies, but all are not Israel that are of Israel; and I wish it to be distinctly understood in all coming time, that the Church over which I have the honor of presiding will ever set its brows like brass, and its face like Steel, against all such abominable acts of villainy and crime; and to this end I append my affidavit of disavowel taken this day before , that there may be no mistake hereafter as to my real sentiments, or those of the leaders of the Church, in relation to this important matter—
“State of Illinois, — Before me, , Mayor of the City of , personally came Joseph Smith, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (commonly called Mormons) who being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith, that he has never directly or indirectly encouraged the purloining of property, or taught the doctrine of stealing, or any other evil practice, and that all such vile and unlawful acts will ever receive his unreserved and unqualified disapproval, and the most vigorous opposition of the Church over which he presides, and further this deponent saith not— Joseph Smith. President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Sworn to and subscribed before me, at my , in the City of , this 29th. day of November A.D. 1841. L.S. — Mayor of the City of ”—
Now it is to be hoped that none will hereafter be so reckless as to State that I, or the Church to which I belong, approve of thieving— but that all the friends of law and order will join in ferreting out thieves wherever, and whenever, they may be found, and assist in bringing them to that condign punishment, which such infamous crimes so richly merit. Joseph Smith— President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.”
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A Conference was held in , Elder presiding; <in which were represented . 17 Elders 2 Priests 1 Teacher 2 Deacons, 179 Members. 5 Branches were rep[HC 4:462]resented including 5 Elders 6 Priests 3 Teachers <3 deacons> 149 Members. 3 Elders, 2 Priests. 1 Teacher were ordained. There were present at the Conference 1 Apostle, 6 High Priests. 16 Elders 3 Priests. 2 Teachers. 2 Deacons.>
<30> Tuesday 30 <See Addenda Book page 45> I signed an approval of the doings of a Court Martial, consisting of the officers of the Nauvoo Legion convened for the trial of David Smith and Officers of the Legion charged with theft. They were Cashiered and their names stricken from the Rank Roll. for Particulars see Times and Seasons, page 618.
<December 1> Wednesday December 1. in view of the proceedings of the meeting of the Church at on the 18th. November when certain individuals were cut off from the Church for Stealing The Twelve issued the following Epistle
“We are glad that the perpetrators of the above crime have been caught in their iniquitous practices; and we are only sorry that anybody should be found who would bail them out of prison’; [p. 1256]