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 .
<October 29> &c After Elders , and , had addressed the brethren and Sisters, I spoke to them at considerable length, showing them the proper course to pursue, and how to act in regard to making purchases of land &c. I shewed them that it was generally in consequence of the brethren disregarding or disobeying Council. that they became dissatisfied and murmured, and many when they arrived here were dissatisfied with the conduct of some of the Saints because every thing was not done perfectly right, and they get mad and thus the devil gets advantage over them to destroy them. I told them I was but a man, and they must not expect me to be perfect; if they expected perfection from me, I should expect it from them, but if they would bear with my infirmities, and the infirmities of the brethren, I would likewise bear with their infirmities. I told them it was likely I would have again to hide up in the woods, but they must not be discouraged but roll on the , the &c When my enemies take away my rights, I will bear it and keep out of the way, but if they take away your rights I will fight for you. I blessed them and departed. [HC 5:181]
Dr. returned to with his family, <having visited most of the Churches in the Eastern States, and preached to them the necessity of building the , and gathering to this place, in obedience to the commandment of God to his people>
<30> Sunday 30 The Saints met to worship <on a temporary floor> in the <the walls of which were about four feet high, above the basement.> and notwithstanding its size it was well filled. It had been expected that I would address them, but I sent word that I was so sick that I could not meet with them; consequently Elder delivered a discourse— In the <evening> I went to visit the sick &c.
<November 1> Tuesday November 1. 1842 I rode with to the for the benefit of her health, she is rapidly gaining. In the <afternoon> went to see Dr. who was very sick at ’s; afterwards accompanied by my children and rode out towards the . When going down the hill near Casper’s the carriage got over balanced and upset, I was thrown some distance from the carriage and all three of the children almost under it. I arose and enquired if any of the Children were killed, but upon examination there was no one seriously hurt. had his cheek bruised which was the worst injury received. It seemed miraculous how we escaped serious injury from this accident, and our escape could not be attributed to any other power than that of divine providence. I felt thankful to God for this instance of his kind and watchful care over his servant and family. The carriage was so much broke, we left it, and putting the children in brother Stoddard’s buggy, returned. In the evening I rode to the with two of my children. [HC 5:182] < had a severe attack of Cholera Morbus.>
<4.> Friday 4. Rode out with to examine his Timber, north of the . brothers , and returned from their mission to the East. They bring very good reports concerning the public feeling, and say that ’s expose has done no hurt but much good. <President , , and > of the Twelve also returned from their Missions. <and brought a similar report. They had visited the Conferences according to the notice which they published on Septr. 12th. and had also visited many of the principal places in the delivered addresses to the people and found a friendly feeling in most cases.>