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.
<October 12> Major, dog; his , children and a little household furniture, and this is the amount of the great possessions of that Man whom God has called to lead his people in these last days; this is the sum total of the great Estates, the splendid mansions and noble living of him who has spent a life of toil and suffering, of privation and hardships, of imprisonments and chains, of dungeons and vexatious <law> suits, and every kind of contumely and contempt ungodly men could heap upon him, and last of all report him as rolling in wealth and luxury which he had plundered from the spoils of those for whose good he had <thus> toiled and suffered. Who would be willing to suffer what he has suffered, and labor near twenty years as he has done, for the wealth he is in possession of? Brethren, in view of all these things let us be up and doing. Let those in the Eastern States use all diligence in communicating to us their ability to assist in the payment, assured that no exertion they can make, will equal what has already been made for them and the church generally; and let all the Saints come up to the places of gathering and with their mites and their abundance as God has given them in trust, help to build up the old waste places which have been thrown down for many generations, knowing, that when they are completed, they will belong unto the people of the Most High God, even the meek, the honest in heart, he shall possess all things in the due time of the Lord. Be not covetous, but deal in righteousness, for what the Saints shall not possess by purchase and in righteousness they shall not possess, for no unrighteous thing can enter into the kingdom; therefore, beloved brethren, deal justly, love mercy, walk humbly before God, and whatever your hands find to do, do it with your might, keeping all the commandments, and then, whether in life or in death, all things will be yours, whether they be temples or lands, houses or vineyards, baptisms or enduements, revelations or healings, all things will be yours, for you will be Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.