JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. E-1, created 20 Aug. 1855–5 Apr. 1856; handwriting of Robert L. Campbell, , and Jonathan Grimshaw; 392 pages, plus 11 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the fifth volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This fifth volume covers the period from 1 July 1843 to 30 Apr. 1844; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, C-1, D-1, and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
History, 1838–1856, volume E-1, constitutes the fifth 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 July 1843 to 30 April 1844, and it was compiled in Utah Territory in the mid-1850s.
The material recorded in volume E-1 was initially compiled under the direction of church historian , who was JS’s cousin. Smith collaborated with in collecting material for the history and creating a set of draft notes that Smith dictated to Bullock and other clerks.
Robert L. Campbell, a recently returned missionary and member of the Historian’s Office staff, transcribed ’s notes into the volume along with the text of designated documents (such as letters and meeting minutes). The Church Historian’s Office journal entry for 2 May 1855 pinpoints the beginning of his work: “R. L. C. on Book D forenoon, afternoon began book E.” Campbell’s work on the volume apparently concluded on 5 April 1856; entries in the Historian’s Office journal indicate that he then moved on to other assignments while another clerk, Jonathan Grimshaw, began work on volume F-1, the last manuscript in the series. (Historian’s Office, Journal, 2 May 1855; 5 and 9 Apr. 1856.)
Volume E-1 contains 391 pages of primary text and 11 pages of addenda. The initial entry on page 1637 is a continuation of the 1 July 1843 entry that closed volume D-1. The final entry in volume E-1 is for 30 April 1844.
The 391 pages of volume E-1 document a crucial period of JS’s life and the history of the church. Important events recorded here include
• An account of JS’s 2 July 1843 meeting with several Pottawatamie chiefs.
• JS’s 4 July 1843 address regarding his recent arrest, the Legion, and Mormon voting practices.
• JS’s 12 July 1843 dictation of a revelation regarding eternal marriage, including the plurality of wives, in the presence of and .
• Dispatch of the first missionaries to the Pacific Islands on 20 September 1843, led by .
• JS’s 1 October 1843 announcement of ’s appointment to a mission to Russia.
• Minutes of a 6–9 October 1843 general conference inserted under the date of 9 October at which pled his case in regard to his 13 August 1843 disfellowshipment and was permitted to continue as counselor in the First Presidency.
• Text of JS’s appeal to the Green Mountain Boys of , inserted under the date of 29 November 1843.
• A 20 January 1844 entry that includes a poem by commemorating the presentation of two copies of the Book of Mormon to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert by .
• JS’s nomination on 29 January 1844 as an independent candidate for the presidency of the .
<September 9> ‘Some Elders tell us that they have taught the gathering according to the Scriptures, but it is not sufficient to teach the principle from the Scriptures alone; for if there was no other guide, the people would be left in doubt as to whether they should gather to , Africa, , or elsewhere. It is right to teach the gathering according to the Scriptures although some predictions of the prophets are obscure, but we are not left to them alone. We know, and all the Saints ought to know, that God has appointed a place and time of gathering, and has raised up a prophet to bring it about; of which we are witnesses. Our message is, that we are witnesses of the filfilment of the predictions of the prophets.
We have not to lay down a long round-about of arguments and calculations:— the specific time and place are pointed out, the stakes are driven, the foundations of the and are laid, and a people already gathered. We therefore know where to go; and to reject the Revelations of God which have pointed out these things to us, only brings condemnation. If this is not the case, then our faith is vain, and our works and hopes are vain also.
We worship a God who can inspire his servants to tell the people what to do. We have already got the opinions of men enough concerning the coming of Jesus Christ; but we need the voice of a Prophet in such a case, and we have it. I am willing to risk my all upon it; and if the Elders understand the principle of gathering and teach it correctly, the people will have the correct Spirit of the gathering.
It is time we came out, and declared boldly and definitely what God has for the people; we want more than opinions— we want your works. He has said he would send a prophet to prepare the way; and [HC 6:11] let me ask these profound Sectarians why he has not done it? If the angels found a God in heaven able to give instructions, shield them from sword and famine &c. why have we not found him? Let the teachers bear the Message they are entrusted with, and if they wish then for scripture, tell them that they were in fulfilment of prophecy; but let them have the whole message.’
Elder said he for one had taught the gathering according to the Scriptures, but he considered all modern revelations Scripture as well as those given anciently.
Elder addressed the meeting on the subject of our faith.
‘We hear the Elders represent the feeling of the brethren concerning the gathering— this is right. The Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ is a gathering spirit; its tendency is to gather the virtuous and good, the honest and meek of the earth, and in fine the Saints of God. The time has come when the Lord is determined to fulfil his purposes. The people are apt to say that if they had lived in the days of Jesus Christ they would have received his work; but judge ye if the people are better now than then. They are not. When the full set time was come, the Lord came in the flesh to do his work whether the people were prepared or not, and he would not have come at all if he had waited till the people were prepared to receive him. It was decreed from all eternity that he should come, and he came; the people were not prepared then, nor are they any more prepared now. And now the full set time has come for the Lord [p. 1717]