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 .
<September 6> what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they or us, be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times; which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole, and complete, and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed, from the days of Adam even to the present time; and not only this, but those things which have never been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and the prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this dispensation of the fulness of times.
Now what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? “A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from Heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth, glad tidings for the dead: a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy; how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things; and that say unto Zion, behold! thy God reigneth. As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them.” And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfillment of the prophets— [HC 5:151] the book to be revealed. A voice of the Lord in the Wilderness of , Seneca County, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book. The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an Angel of light. The voice of Peter, James, and John, in the wilderness between Susquehannah County, and , Broome County, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times. And again, the voice of God in the chamber of old , in , Seneca County, and at sundry times, and in divers places, through all the travels and tribulations of this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And the voice of Michael, the Arch angel; the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam, down to the present time, all declaring each one their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little— giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope. Brethren shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward— Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceeding glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prisons; for the prisoners shall go free. Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your eternal King. And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy. And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy— and let the eternal creations declare his name for ever and ever. And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and [p. 1395]