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.
<December 13 High Council> feelings respecting the word of the Lord. President presiding. The Council was opened by prayer by . After prayer made a few remarks saying he thought it all important to have the Council— re-organized, and prepared to do business. He advised the Councillors to be wise and judicious in all their movements and not hasty in their transactions; as for his faith it was the same as ever, and he fellowshipped all such as loved the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in act as well as word. [HC 3:224] arose and said he felt as formerly for he had endeavored to keep a straight forward course; but wherein he had been out of the way, in any manner he meant to mend in that thing, and he was determined to do as much as possible, as he would be done by, and his faith was as good as ever, he was in fellowship with all who wanted to do right. said as to his faith in the work it was the same as ever, he did not think that Joseph was a fallen prophet, but he believed in every <rev>elation that had come through him: Still he thought that perhaps Joseph had not acted in all things according to the best wisdom. yet how far he had been unwise he could not say; he did not think that Joseph would be removed and another planted in his stead; but he believed he would still perform his work, he was still determined to persevere and act in righteousness in all things so that he might at last gain a crown of glory and reign in the Kingdom of God. responded with President ’s feelings and wished still to walk with the brethren. said that he was firm in the faith and he believed the time would come when Joseph would stand before Kings, and speak marvelous words. expressed his feelings in a similar manner— says his faith is the same as ever, and he has confidence in Br. Joseph as ever. says he is a firm believer in the Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants, and that Br. Joseph is not a fallen prophet, but will yet be exalted and become very high. says his confidence in the work is the same as ever, and his faith, if possible, is stronger than ever, he believes that it was necessary that these scourges should come. says that as it respects the scourges which have come upon us, that the hand of God was in it &c. says that his faith is as ever and that he feels to praise God in prisons and in dungeons and in all circumstances.—— . After some consultation it was thought expedient to nominate High Priests to fill the vacancies. The Council was organized as follows No. 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6. 7; , 8; 9; 10; 11; 12. Voted that fill the Vacancy of No. 4, and the place of No. 11, and the place of No. 7. and the place of until he returns. [HC 3:225] Council adjourned until Friday evening 6 o’clock Closed in prayer by . Clerk.” [p. 867]