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.
<April 6> Elder appealed powerfully to the meeting, and covenanted with the Saints present in a bond of mutual prayer during his mission to and the East, which was sustained on the part of the hearers with a hearty. Amen. Elder remarked respecting the rich cake of which they had been partaking, he considered it a type of the good things of that land from whence it came, and from whence they had received the fulness of the gospel. The number of official members’ present at this Conference was then taken, viz:— Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — — — — 9. Patriarchs 2. High Priests 16. Quorum of the Seventies 2. Elders 31. Priests 28. Teachers 17. Deacons 2. Elders and , then sung the hymn, “Adieu my dear brethren,” &c and blessed the Congregation, and dismissed them. , Chairman.— , Clerk.” [HC 4:335]
<7> “Minutes of the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints held at — — , — — Ill. on the seventh day of April, — — — — — one thousand eight hundred and forty one— — — — — at 10 o’clock A.M. <when> the names of the presidents of the several quorums were called who took their seats on the stand, and their Counsellors — — — — — — — — — in front. The meeting was — — — — called to order, — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — <choir> sung a hymn, and — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — <prayer> by . The — — — then — — — — — read the report of the First Presidency, — — — — — — — as follows
Report of the First Presidency.
The Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, feel great pleasure in assembling with the Saints at another general Conference, under circumstances so auspicious and cheering; and with grateful hearts to Almighty God for his providential regard, they cordially unite with the Saints, on this occasion, in ascribing honor, — — — glory, and blessing to his holy name. It is with unfeigned pleasure that they have to make known, the steady and rapid increase of the Church in this , the and Europe. The anxiety to become acquainted with the principles of the gospel, on every hand, is intense, and the cry of “come over and help us”, is reaching the elders on the wings of every wind, while thousands who have heard the gospel, have become obedient thereto, and are rejoicing in its gifts and blessings— Prejudice with its attendant train of evils, is giving way before the force of truth, whose benign rays are penetrating the nations afar off. The reports from the Twelve <Apostles> in Europe are very satisfactory, and state that the work continues to progress with unparallelled rapidity and that the harvest is truly great.
In the Eastern States the faithful laborers are successful, and many are flocking to the standard of truth. [HC 4:336] Nor is the South keeping back— churches have been raised up in the Southern and Western states, and a very pressing invitation has been received from for some of the Elders to visit that , which has been complied with. In our own and immediate neighborhood, many are avowing their attachment to the principles of our holy religion, and have become obedient to the faith. Peace and prosperity attend us; and we have favor in the sight of God and virtuous men. The time was, when we were looked upon as deceivers, and that Mormonism would soon pass away, come to nought, and be forgotten. [p. 1189]