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 .
<April 6> thing for the land”; and told him I wanted the $200 which <was> due me; he made out the deeds and gave them to me, and I got them recorded, and he gave up the notes except a few I then said to , if you go there with the brethren, I will give you the property, but he would not accept it. I then let the same gentleman have some cloth, to the amount of $6. or 700. He began soon after to tell the brethren what obligations I was under to him. I then wrote him a letter on the subject, but I have since found that he is swindling, and that there is no prospect of getting any thing from him. He is owing me about $1100. and I thought it my duty to publish his rascality, that the elders might do the same in that , and prevent the brethren from being imposed upon. He has got a writing to this effect, that if he owned as much as he pretended and did as he said, I would give my influence to build up , and on no other terms. His name is . He took this plan to swindle me out of money, cloth <lumber>, &c. I want all the congregation to know it. I was not going to use any influence to have the brethren go to be swindled. My advice is, if they choose, that they come away from and not go there <any> more; it is not a good location.
I am not so much a christian as many suppose I am, when a man undertakes to ride me for a horse, I feel disposed to kick up and throw him off and ride him. David did so, and so did Joshua. My only weapon is my tongue. I would not buy property in : I consider it stooping to accept it as a gift. [HC 5:335]
In relation to the , it is best described by its name, it is half breed land, and every wise and judicious person, as soon as he can dispose of his effects, if he is not a half breed, will come away. I wish we could exchange some half breeds, and let them go over the . If there are any that are not good citizens, they will be finding fault to morrow at my remarks, and that is the keyword whereby you may know them. There is a chance in that place for every abomination to be practiced on the innocent, if they go; and I ask forgiveness of all whom I advised to go there. The men who have possession have the best title, all the rest are forms for swindling. I do not wish for the saints to have a quarrel there.
President J. Smith stated that the next business was to settle difficulties where elders have had their licenses taken away; &c or their membership, but whilst they were preparing, if there was any such case, he would talk on other subjects.
The question has been asked, can a <person> not belonging to the , bring a member before the for trial? I answer, No! If I had not actually got into this work, and been called of God, I would back out, but I cannot back out, I have not doubt of the truth. Were I going to Prophecy, I would say the end will not come in 1844, 5 or 6, or 40 years, there are those of the rising generation who shall not taste death ’till Christ comes.
I was once praying earnestly upon this subject, and a voice said unto me, ‘My Son if thou livest until thou are 85 years of age, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man.’ I was left to draw my own conclusions concerning this, and I took the liberty to conclude, that if I did live to that time, he would make his appearance; but [p. 1519]