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 14> respect to publishing any other work either original, or those which have been published before, you will be governed by circumstances; if you think necessary to do so I shall have no objections whatever. It will be well to study plainness and simplicity in whatever you publish “for my soul delighteth in plainness”. I feel much pleased with the Spirit of your letter, and be assured Dear Brethren of my hearty co-operation, and my prayers for your welfare and success. In answer to your enquiry in a former letter, relative to the duty of the Seventies in regulating Churches &c. I say that the duties of the Seventies, are more particularly to preach the Gospel, and build up Churches, rather than regulate them, that a high priest may take charge of them. If a high priest should be remiss in his duty, and should lead, or suffer the Church to be led astray; depart from the Ordinances of the Lord, then it is the duty of one of the Seventies, acting under the special direction of the Twelve— being duly commissioned by them with their delegated authority, to go to that church and if agreeable to a majority of the members of said Church to proceed to regulate and put in order the same, otherwise he can have <no authority to act— Josh. Smith Jr.”> [HC 4:129]
“To the of the Millenial Star— Ledbury Herefordshire May 15 1840. Beloved Brother— Two weeks ago this day, I parted with Brothers and in this place, taking different locations in this part of the vineyard, originally opened by , and after visiting various places in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and Gloucestershire preaching daily, talking night and day, and administering the ordinances of the Gospel as directed by the Spirit; we have again this day found ourselves together, and in our midst; (he is devoted wholly to the ministry) and by comparing minutes, we find there have been in these two weeks about 112 baptized; 200 confirmed; 2 Elders, about 20 Priests, and 1 Teacher ordained— and the Church in these regions now numbers about 320. The branches are small, the brethren much scattered, consequently the field is so large that the reapers cannot call to each other from side to side; neither can they often see each other without a telescope. There are many doors open which we cannot fill; calls for preaching on almost every hand which we cannot answer. Oh! that the Saints would pray to the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers. I have this day received a letter from my Sister in (North America) giving me the intelligence of the death of my aged father; and also that the work of the Lord is rolling forth in that part of the Land. Such intelligence from our native land, makes our hearts rejoice even in affliction. Your brother in the E. Covt. .” [HC 4:130]
<18> Monday 18 met the brethren at ’s, where they had a tea party, praying, singing, confirming, ordaining, and about twenty were baptised, thus they <20> continued their labors from place to place until Wednesday the 20th., when they found themselves with one accord on the top of “The Herefordshire Beacon” and within the old fortification, when after prayer, they expressed their feelings concerning the business of the Church; which were (as they had obtained money <from Elder & other brethren> for printing the Hymn Book, and in part sufficient for the Book of Mormon) that repair immediately to , and join his brethren, previously [p. 1059]