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 16> behold him; that in the morn of the resurrection they may come forth in a body, and come right up out of their graves, and strike hands immediately in Eternal glory and felicity, rather that to be scattered thousands of miles apart. There is something good and sacred to me in this thing; the place where a man is buried is sacred to me; this subject is made mention of in the Book of Mormon, and the Scriptures; even to the aborigines of this land, the burying places of their fathers, are more sacred than any thing else.
“When I heard of the death of our beloved ; it would not have affected me so much, if I had the opportunity of burying him in the land of . I believe those who have buried their friends here, their condition is enviable. Look at <Jacob &> Joseph in Egypt, how the<y> required <t>heir friends to bury them in the tomb of their fathers; see the expense which attended the embalming, and the going up of the great company to the burial. It has always been considered a great calamity not to obtain an honorable burial, and one of the greatest curses the Ancient Prophets could put on any man was that he should go without a burial.
“I have said Father, I desire to die here among the Saints, but if this is not thy will, and I go hence and die, wilt thou find some kind friend to bring my body back; and gather my friends, who have fallen in foreign lands, and bring them up hither, that we may all lie together.
“I will tell you what I want, if tomorrow I shall be called to lay in yonder tomb, in the morning of the resurrection, let me strike hands with my Father, and cry my Father, and he will say my Son, my Son, as soon as the rock rends, and before we come out of our graves.
“And may we contemplate these things so? Yes, if we learn how to live and how to die. When we lie down we contemplate how we may rise up in the morning, and it is pleasing for friends to lie down together, locked in the arms of love, to sleep; and awake in each others embrace, and renew their conversation.
“Would you think it strange if I relate what I have seen in vision, in relation to this interesting theme? Those who have died in Jesus Christ, may expect to enter into all that fruition of joy when they come forth, which they have possessed <or anticipated> here. [HC 5:361] So plain was the vision, that I actually saw men, before they had ascended from <the> Tomb, as though they were getting up slowly, they took each other by the hand and said to each other “My Father, my Son; my mother, my daughter; my brother, my sister;” and when the voice calls for the dead to arise, suppose I am laid by the side of my Father, what would be the first joy of my heart? To meet my Father, my Mother, my Brother, my Sister, and when they are by my side, I embrace them, and they me.
“It is my meditation all the day, and more than my meat and drink to know how I shall make the Saints of God to comprehend the visions that roll like an overflowing surge before my mind. O, how I would delight to bring before you things which you never thought of, but poverty and the cares of the world prevent; but I am glad I have the privilege of communicating to you some things, which if grasped closely, will be a help to you when earthquakes bellow, the clouds gather, the lightnings flash and the storms are [p. 1534]