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 .
<May 21>“Salvation is for a man to be saved from all his enemies, for until a man can triumph over death, he is not saved, a knowledge of the alone will do this.
“The Spirits in the eternal world are like the Spirits in this world, when those Spirits have come into this world and received tabernacles, then died, and again have risen and received glorified bodies, they will have an ascendancy over the Spirits who have no bodies or kept not their first estate, like the Devil. The punishment of the Devil was, that he should not have a habitation like men, the Devils retaliation is he comes into this world, binds up mens bodies and occupies them himself, when the authorities come along they eject him from a stolen habitation.
“The design of the great God in sending us into this world and organizing us to prepare us for the eternal worlds. I shall keep in my own bosom at present.
“We have no claim in our eternal compact, in relation to eternal things unless our actions and contracts and all things tend to this end. but after all this, you have got to make your calling and election sure. If this injunction would lay largely on those to whom it was spoken; how much more those of the present generation.
“1st. Key: Knowledge is the power of Salvation
“2nd. Key: Make your calling and Election sure
“3rd. Key: It is one thing to be on the Mount and hear the excellent voice &c &c and another to hear the voice declare to you, you have a part and lot in that kingdom.”
<22> Monday. Called at the at 9 A.M. having received letters from Sisters and of complaining of the slanderous conduct of and I directed the to act upon the matter.
This morning received a large hickory walking stick, having a silver head with the Motto B E W A R E from
Rode out to my , dined at ’s— [HC 5:403] then rode to the road and returned home at 7½ p.m.
Wrote Editor of Times and Seasons.
“Dear Brother, In answer to your’s of May 4th. concerning the Latter day Saints forming a Temperance Society, we would say as Paul said;— Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers, but contend for the faith once delivered to the Saints, and, as Peter advises, so say we: add to your knowledge, temperance. As Paul said he had to become all things to all men, that he might thereby save some, so must the Elders of the last days do, and, being sent out to preach the Gospel, and warn the world of the judgments to come, we are sure, when they teach as directed by the Spirit according to the revelations of Jesus Christ, that they will preach the truth and prosper, without complaint. Thus we have no new commandment to give, but admonish elders and members to live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God, lest they come short of the glory that is reserved for the faithful. Clerk.[”] [p. 1557]