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 16 Joseph’s Letter in > of a better hope than that of our persecutors, therefore God hath made broad our Shoulders for the burden, We glory in our tribulation because we know that God is with us, that he is our friend, and that he will save our souls. We do not care for them that can kill the body; they cannot harm our souls; we ask no favors, at the hands of Mobs, nor of the world, nor of the Devil, nor of his Emissaries the Dissenters. and those who love, and make, and swear falsehoods to take away our lives— We have never dissembled, nor will we for the sake of our lives, Forasmuch then as we know that we have been endeavoring with all our minds, mights and strength to do the will of God, and all things whatsoever he has commanded us— And as to our light speeches which may have escaped our lips from time to time, they have nothing to do with the fixed purposes of our hearts. Therefore it sufficeth us to say, that our souls were vexed from day to day. We refer you to Isaiah who considers those who make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate. We believe that the Old Prophet verily told the truth, we have no retraction to make, we have reproved in the Gate and men have laid snares for us, we have spoken words and men have made us offenders, and notwithstanding all this our minds are not yet darkened but feel strong in the [HC 3:227] Lord. But behold the words of the Savior “If the light which is in you become darkness, behold how great is that darkness”, look at the Dissenters. Again if you were of the world, the world would love its own. Look at a Wolf inSheep’sclothing, Look at his brother Look at the belovedbrother , who aided him in leading us, as the Savior was led, into the Camp as a Lamb prepared for the Slaughter, as a Sheep dumb before his Shearers, so we opened not our mouths. But these men like Balaam being greedy for reward, sold us into the hands of those who loved them, for the world loves his own. I would remember who comes up to us as one of Job’s Comforters, God suffered such kind of beings to afflict Job, but it never entered into their hearts that Job would get out of it all. This poor man who professes to be much of a Prophet has no other dumb ass to ride, but , to forbid his madness when he goes up to curse Israel and this ass not being of the same kind as Balaams, therefore the angel notwithstanding appeared unto him, yet he could not penetrate his understanding sufficiently so, but what he brays out cursings instead of blessings, Poor Ass whoever lives to see it, will see him and his rider perish like those who perished in the gainsaying of Core, or after the same condemnation, Now as for these and the rest of their Company we will not presume to say that the world loves them, but we presume to say they love the world, and we classify them in the error of Balaam, and in the gainsaying of Core, and with the company of Cora, Dathan, and Abiram. Perhaps our brethren may say, because we thus write, that we are offended at these Characters! if we are, it is not for a word, neither because they reproved in the gate, but because they have been the means of shedding innocent blood. Are they not murderers then at heart? Are [p. 869]