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 6> themselves our character, kept entirely aloof, but were ready at all times to listen to those who had the “poison of adders under their tongues,” and who sought our overthrow— Let every person who may have imbibed sentiments prejudicial to us, imitate the honorable example of our distinguished visitors ( and ) and I believe they will find much less to condemn than they anticipated, and probably a great deal to commend— What makes the late visit more pleasing, is the fact, that Messrs. and , have long been held in high estimation as politicians, being champions of the two great parties that exist in the ; but laying aside all party strife, like brothers, citizens and friends, [HC 4:357] they mingle with us, mutually disposed to extend to us <that> courtesy, respect, and friendship, which I hope we shall ever be proud to reciprocate— I am, very respectfully, yours &c Joseph Smith.”
<16> Sunday 16. I addressed the Saints— The following <is a sketch> of my Sermon by the Editor <of the Times and Seasons>,
“At 10 o clock A.M. a large concourse of the Saints assembled on the Meeting Ground, and were addressed by President Joseph Smith, who spoke at considerable length. He commenced his observations by remarking that the kindness of our heavenly Father, called for our heartfelt gratitude. He <*> then observed that Satan was generally blamed for the evils which we did, but if he was the cause of all our wickedness, men could not be condemned. The devil cannot compel mankind to <do> evil, all was voluntary. Those who resist the Spirit of God, are liable to be led into temptation, and then the association of heaven is withdrawn from those who refuse to be made partakers of such great glory — God would not exert any compulsory means, and the Devil could not; and such ideas as were entertained by many, were absurd. The creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but Christ subjected the same in hope— we are all subject to vanity while we travel through the crooked paths, and difficulties which surround us. Where is the man that is free from vanity? None ever were perfect but Jesus, and why was he perfect? because he was the Son of God, and had the fulness of the Spirit, and greater power than any Man. But, notwith[HC 4:358]standing our vanity, we look forward with hope, (because “we are subjected in hope,”) to the time of our deliverance. He then made some observations on the first principles of the gospel, observing that many of the Saints who had come from different states and nations had only a very superficial knowledge of these principles, not having heard them fully investigated. He then briefly stated the principles of faith, repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, which were believed by some of the religious societies of the day, but the doctrine of laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, was discarded by them. The speaker then referred to the 6th. chap. of Hebrews 1 and 2 verses, “not [p. 1202]