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.
<December 1> for such individuals if the charges are true, ought to be made an example of, and not be suffered to run at large. We have been informed that some of them have been talking of moving into this place; but we would here inform them that persons whose conduct has exposed them to the just censure of an indignant public, can have no fellowship amongst us, as we cannot and will not, countenance rogues, thieves, and scoundrels, knowingly; and we hereby warn them that the law will be as rigorously enforced against them in [HC 4:463] this place as in any other, as we consider such characters as a curse to society, whose pestilential breath withers the morals, and blasts the fame and reputation of any people among whom they may sojourn. There is no poison that is and ought to be despised more than the thief, by any respectable community; yet more especially ought such persons to be abhorred who have taken upon them the name of Christ, and thus with the pretext of religion, and garb of sanctity, cloak their nefarious practices. We have been told that some individual or individuals, have, under false pretences, been wishing to palm their wicked and devilish principles upon the authorities of the Church, stating that it was part and parcel of the gospel which God had revealed, and that it is one of the mysteries which the initiated only are acquainted with. We know not how to express our abhorrence at such an idea, and can only say that it is engendered in hell, founded in falsehood, and is the offspring of the devil; that it is at variance with every principle of righteousness, and truth; and will damn all that are connected with it; for all mysteries are only such to the ignorant, and vanish as soon as men have sufficient intelligence to comprehend them. and there are no mysteries connected with godliness, and our holy religion, but what are pure, innocent, virtuous, just and righteous; if this is a mystery, it is the “mystery of iniquity.” We are at a loss to know who could be vile enough to propogate such base and unfounded statements, and we would say to the church, beware of such men! set them down as the worst of scoundrels; and reject their foul insinuations with that indignation and disgust, that such unhallowed and vile insinuations deserve; for such men are either avowed apostates, or on the eve of apostacy, or have only taken the name of religion to cloak their hypocrisy; we fear the latter, in some instances, is the case, and that scoundrels palm themselves upon us to cover their guilt. We fur[HC 4:464]ther call upon the church to bring all such characters before the authorities, that they may be tried, and dealt with according to the law of God, and delivered up unto the laws of the land. It is scarcely possible that any virtuous man could be made to believe any such statements however ignorant; yet lest through false pretences the innocent might be drawn into a snare, we would quote the following from the book of Doctrine and Covenants: Section 13. Paragraph 22. “And if any man or woman shall rob, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law of the land. And if he or she shall steal he or she shall be delivered up unto the law of the land.” Again Section 13. Paragraph 2 “Thou shalt not steal and he that stealeth [p. 1257]