JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. C-1, created 24 Feb. 1845–3 July 1845; handwriting of , , Jonathan Grimshaw, and ; 512 pages, plus 24 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the third volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This third volume covers the period from 2 Nov. 1838 to 31 July 1842; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, D-1, E-1 and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
This document, “History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842],” is the third of six volumes of the “Manuscript History of the Church” (in The Joseph Smith Papers the “Manuscript History” bears the editorial title “History, 1838–1856”). The completed six-volume collection covers the period from 23 December 1805 to 8 August 1844. The narrative in this volume commences on 2 November 1838 with JS and other church leaders being held prisoner by the “’s forces” at , Missouri, and concludes with the death of Bishop at , Illinois, on 31 July 1842. For a more complete discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to this history.
Volume C-1 was created beginning on or just after 24 February 1845 and its narrative was completed by 3 May 1845, although some additional work continued on the volume through 3 July of that year (Richards, Journal, 24 and 28 Feb. 1845; Historian’s Office, Journal, 3 May 1845; 3 and 4 July 1845). It is in the handwriting of and contains 512 pages of primary text, plus 24 pages of addenda. Additional addenda for this volume were created at a later date as a supplementary document and appear in this collection as “History, 1838-1856, volume C-1 Addenda.” Compilers and Thomas Bullock drew heavily from JS’s letters, discourses, and diary entries; meeting minutes; church and other periodicals and journals; and reminiscences, recollections, and letters of church members and other contacts. At JS’s behest, Richards maintained the first-person, chronological-narrative format established in previous volumes, as if JS were the author. , , , and others reviewed and modified the manuscript prior to its eventual publication in the Salt Lake City newspaper Deseret News.
The historical narrative recorded in volume C-1 continued the account of JS’s life as prophet and president of the church. Critical events occurring within the forty-five-month period covered by this text include the Mormon War; subsequent legal trials of church leaders; expulsion of the Saints from Missouri; missionary efforts in by the and others; attempts by JS to obtain federal redress for the Missouri depredations; publication of the LDS Millennial Star in England; the migration of English converts to ; missionary efforts in other nations; the death of church patriarch ; the establishment of the city charter; the commencement of construction of the Nauvoo ; the expedition that facilitated temple construction; the introduction of the doctrine of proxy baptism for deceased persons; the dedicatory prayer by on the Mount of Olives in Palestine; publication of the “Book of Abraham” in the Nauvoo Times and Seasons; publication of the JS history often referred to as the “Wentworth letter;” the organization of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo; and the inception of Nauvoo-era temple endowment ceremonies.
<May 17> profess no authority in [HC 3:354] the case whatever; but we have thought, and do still think, that it is not doing our cause justice to make a political question of it in any manner whatever. We have not at any time thought there was any political party, as such chargeable with the barbarities, neither any religious society as such: They were committed by a Mob composed of all parties regardless of all difference of opinion either political or religious. The determined stand in this , and by the people of in particular made against the lawless outrages of the Mobbers by all parties in politics and religion have entitled them equally to our thanks and our profoundest regard, and such, Gentlemen, we hope they will always receive from us— Favors of this kind ought to be engraven on the rock to last for ever. We wish to say to the public, through your paper, that we disclaim any intention of making a political question of our difficulties with , believing that we are not justified in so doing. We ask the aid of all parties both in politics and religion to have justice done us, and obtain redress. We think Gentlemen in so saying, we have the feelings of our people generally, however individuals may differ, and we wish you to consider the letters of as the feelings and views of an individual, but not of the Society as such.
“We are satisfied that our people as a body disclaim all such sentiments and feel themselves equally bound to both parties in this , as far as kindness is concerned, and good will, and also believe that all political parties in are equally guilty. Should this note meet the public eye through the medium of your paper, it will much oblige your humble servants , Joseph Smith Jr. .” [HC 3:355]
<21> Tuesday 21 To shew the feelings of that long scattered branch of the house of Israel, the Jews. I here quote a letter written by one of their number, on <Feelings of the Jews> hearing that his Son had embraced Christianity.
“Breslau May 21. 1839. My Dear Son— I received the letter of the Berlin Rabbi, and when I read it there ran tears out of my eyes in torrents; my inward parts shook, my heart became as a Stone! How! Do you not Know that the Lord sent me already many hard tribulations? That many sorrows do vex me? But this new harm which you are about to inflict makes me forget all the former, does horribly surpass them; as well respecting its sharpness as its stings! I write you this laying on my bed, because my body is affected not less than my soul, at the report that you was about to do something which I had not expected from you. I fainted, my nerves and feelings sunk, and only by the help of a physician for whom I sent immediately, I am able to write these lines to you with a trembling hand. Alas! you, my Son whom I have bred, nourished and fostered; whom I have strengthened spiritually as well as bodily, you will commit a crime on me! Do not shed [p. 941]