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 .
“By the counsel and advice of President . Messrs. and , who have been appointed to go on a Mission to Russia will deliver two addresses on the subject of our holy religion for the benefit and edification not only of our own citizens but also for strangers who may be pleased to visit our town on that day. The morning’s address by at ½ past 10 o’Clock and the afternoon’s by at 2 o’Clock. From the circumstances under which we are placed this course is thought far more advisable for all who wish to be considered Saints to assemble for religious worship, and collectively offer up our prayers to almighty God for peace and prosperity to attend us as a people. The giddy and unthinking will no doubt resort to public dinners, festivals, and perhaps to the Ball chamber to spend their time and money to gratify their appetite and vanity, but no true hearted Saint at this peculiar moment will do it.
At the close of each address a collection will be taken for the especial purpose of assisting to complete s house, that he may be the sooner liberated to proceed on his important Mission to St. Petersburgh. He who has money to spend on that day can spend it more to the glory of God in the above manner than after the custom and practice of the corrupt age in which we live. It is hoped that the band and choir will favor us on that occasion.
Lectures to be delivered in the near the where seats are provided.” <See page 1589 June 28th, 1843.>.
<29> At 9 A.M. I met in Council with brother , , [HC 5:412] , and , singing, and prayer by . Conversation instruction and teaching concerning the things of God, had a pleasant interview
2 P.M. In Mayors Court tried a case “The people vs Thomson” for assault, fined Thomson [James Thompson] $3.00
Gave instructions to have the account of <the> Estate made out.
Judge gave a deed of Eleven quarter sections of land on the Prairie to the Trustee in Trust.
6 P. M. The met and directed the following to be published in the Times and Seasons
“Special Message. To the church in :— All the members of that branch of that church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which is located in Pennsylvania, who are desirous of doing the will of heaven, and of working out their own salvation, by keeping the laws of the celestial Kingdom, are hereby instructed and counselled to remove from thence without delay, and locate themselves in the city of , where God has a work for them to accomplish.
Done at , this 29th. day of May, 1843; agreeable to the instructions of the First Presidency.
By order of the Quorum of the Twelve. , President of the Quorum , Clerk.” [p. 1564]