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 27> Monday 27. I was in Council with Brothers , , <> and at my office, instructing them in the principles of the Kingdom, and what the twelve should do, in relation to the Mission of , and the European Conferences, so as to forward the gathering, means for building the and , and Merchandize; that might go with on his mission if he choose, but the object of the Mission could be accomplished without.
<30> Thursday and Friday 30 and 31. Esqre., , and Daniel S. Witter visited <me> — — — — — — — — — at <my> office, and after much explanation and conversation concerning and , in which manifested the kindest and most confidential feelings, and and Witter expressed their entire approbation of past proceedings of the Presidency; they all agreed that if <I> — did not succeed in the next attempt, to establish and build up , that they would fully excuse me from all censure, and should feel satisfied that <I> had done all that could reasonably be required of any man in a like case, be the consequence what it might to themselves; and frankly acknowledged, that his temporal salvation depended on the success of the enterprize, and [HC 4:486] made liberal proposals, for the benefit of the brethren, to help forward the undertaking. The party retired manifesting the best of feeling and expressing the most perfect satisfaction with their visit, with — — — <me> — — — — and all concerned.
Thursday evening at the — — — — — office while conversing with Esqre. about the proceedings at ,
<I> — — — — — prophesied in the name of the Lord, that the first thing toward building up was to break it down, to break down them that are there, and that it never would be built up till it was broken down, and after that, keep them entirely in the dark concerning our movements; and it is best to let publish what he pleases and go to the Devil, and the more lies he prints, the sooner he will get through; not buy him out, or hinder him; and after they have been in the dark long enough, let a certain set of men go there, who will do as I tell them, a certain kind of men, some of those Capitalists from the Eastern States, say from ; wise men, who will take the lead of business, and go a-head of those that are there before they know what we are about, and the place will prosper, and not till then.
<July 9. 1841> (Note B) Revelation given to Joseph Smith in the house of in
“ July 9. 1841 dear and well beloved brother , verily thus saith the Lord unto you my servant , it is no more required at your hand to leave your family as in times past, for your offering is acceptable to me; I have seen your labor and toil in journeyings for my name, I therefore command you to send my word abroad and take special care of your family from this time, henceforth, and for ever— Amen—” (see page 1214) [p. 1267]