JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. D-1, created 4 July 1845–4 Feb. 1846 and 1 July 1854–2 May 1855; handwriting of , Robert L. Campbell, and ; 275 pages, plus 6 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the fourth volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This fourth volume covers the period from 1 Aug. 1842 to 1 July 1843; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, C-1, E-1 and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
History, 1838–1856, volume D-1, constitutes the fourth of six volumes documenting the life of Joseph Smith and the early years of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The series is also known as the Manuscript History of the Church and was originally published serially from 1842 to 1846 and 1851 to 1858 as the “History of Joseph Smith” in the Times and Seasons and Deseret News. This volume contains JS’s history from 1 August 1842 to 1 July 1843, and it was compiled after JS’s death.
The material recorded in volume D-1 was initially compiled under the direction of church historian , with the assistance of . After Richards’s death in 1854, continued work on the volume as the new church historian with Bullock’s continued help. The process adopted by Richards and Bullock involved Richards creating a set of rough draft notes and Bullock transcribing the notes into the volume along with the text of designated documents (such as letters and meeting minutes). George A. Smith followed a similar pattern, though he dictated the draft notes to Bullock and other scribes.
According to the Church Historian’s Office journal, finished the third volume of the series, volume C-1, on Thursday, 3 July 1845, in , Illinois. He began work on the fourth volume, D-1, the next day, beginning on page 1362 with the entry for 1 August 1842. (The pages in volumes A-1–E-1 were numbered consecutively.) Bullock continued work on the record, drawing upon ’s draft notes, until 3 February 1846—the day before D-1 and the other volumes were packed up in preparation for the Latter-day Saints’ exodus from Nauvoo. At that point he had reached page 1485 with the entry for 28 February 1843. Subsequently, apparently after the collection had arrived in Utah, Bullock added a brief comment beneath that entry: “end of W. Richard’s compiling[.] the books packed Feby. 4— 1846 in Nauvoo[.] Miles Romney— present. The records carried by T Bullock from Winter Quarters to G S L [Great Salt Lake] City in 1848.”
A notation at the top of page 1486 reports that “the books were unpacked in G. S. L. City by and . June 7. 1853. J[onathan] Grimshaw & Miles Romney present.” Vertically, in the margin, is a poignant epitaph: “Decr. 1 1853 Dr. Willard Richards wrote one line of History—being sick at the time—and was never able to do any more.” With Richards’s death on 11 March 1854, JS’s cousin was called to the office of church historian. The notation on the top of page 1486 acknowledges this change in officers, noting, “commencement of George A. Smith’s compiling as Historian. April 13. 1854[.] [C]ommenced copying July 1. 1854.” From mid-April to the end of June 1854, George A. Smith, in collaboration with Thomas Bullock, worked on the draft notes for the history before a new scribe, , resumed writing in D-1 on 1 July 1854, beginning with the entry for 1 March 1843.
continued transcribing intermittently into the late fall of 1854, when he was assigned other duties in the Historian’s Office. He had reached page 1546 with the entry for 5 May 1843. Work resumed in February 1855 in the hand of Robert L. Campbell, recently returned from a mission. He concluded volume D-1 on the morning of 2 May 1855 and began writing in E-1 that afternoon.
The 274 pages of volume D-1 contain a record of much that is significant in the life of JS and the development of the church he founded. Among these events are
• JS’s 6 August 1842 prophecy that the Saints would become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.
•JS’s 8 August 1842 arrest on a warrant for being “an accessory before the fact” to an attack on former governor .
• ’s 17 August 1842 letter to governor , pleading for the humane treatment of her husband and family.
•JS’s 1 and 6 September 1842 instructions regarding the proper procedures for performing baptisms for the dead.
• JS’s 15 November 1842 “Valedictory” as he stepped down as editor of the Times and Seasons.
• The 26 December 1842 arrest of JS on a “proclamation” by former governor , and subsequent hearing in , Illinois.
• The 7 February 1843 recovery of a volume of patriarchal blessings given by , which had been stolen in , Missouri.
• JS’s 21 February 1843 remarks regarding the and .
• JS’s 2 April 1843 instruction at , Illinois, on the nature of God and other subjects.
• JS’s 16 May 1843 remarks at , Illinois, on the everlasting covenant and eternal marriage.
• The account of JS’s 23 June 1843 arrest and his hearing the following week at .
<January 23> I have of late, had repeated solicitations to have something to do in relation to the political farce about dividing the county, but as my feelings revolt at the idea of having any thing to do with politics, I have declined in every instance in having any thing to do on the subject. I think it would be well for politicians to regulate their own affairs. I wish to be let alone, that I may attend strictly to the Spiritual welfare of the Church. Please insert the above and oblige Joseph Smith. Jan. 23. 1843.” [HC 5:259]
In the evening rode with to see who was sick, at the old Post Office building up the .
<28> Saturday 28. Played ball with the brethren a short time, Rode round the with Mr. Taylor, a Land agent from . some Snow fell, the ice began to give way in the , and a Steamer that had wintered at went over the Rapids.
<29> Sunday 29 I attended meeting at the . after reading the parable of the “Prodigal Son” and making some preliminary remarks, I stated that there were two questions which had been asked me concerning my subject of the last Sabbath which I had promised to answer in public, and would improve this opportunity. The question arose from the saying of Jesus “among these that are born of women there hath not risen a greater Prophet that John the Baptist, nevertheless he that is least in the kingdom of heaven, is greater than he.” How is it that John was considered one of the greatest of Prophets?” His Miracles could not have constituted his greatness First<ly> He was <intrusted> with a divine mission of preparing the way, before the face of the Lord. Who ever had such a trust. committed to him, before or since? No man! Secondly. He was <in>trusted with the important mission and it was required at his hands, to baptize the Son of Man. Who ever had <the honor of doing> that? Who ever had so great a privilege and glory? Who ever led the Son of God into the waters of baptism and had the privilege of beholding the Holy Ghost descend in the form of a dove, [HC 5:260] or rather in the sign of the Dove, in witness of that administration? The sign of the Dove was instituted before the creation of the world, a witness for the Holy Ghost, and the Devil cannot come in the sign of a dove. The Holy Ghost is a Personage and is in the form of a personage. It does not confine itself to the form of a Dove but in sign of a Dove. The Holy Ghost cannot be trans<formed> into a Dove, but the sign of the Dove was given to John to signify the truth of the deed, as the Dove is an emblem or token of truth and innocence. Thirdly— John at that time was the only legal administrator in the affairs of the Kingdom there was then on the Earth, and holding the keys of power. The Jews had to obey his instructions, or be damd by their own law, and Christ himself fulfilled all righteousness in becoming obedient to the law which he had given to Moses on the Mount, and thereby magnified it, and made it honorable, instead of destroying it. The Son of Zechariah wrested the keys, the kingdom, the power [p. 1458]