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.
<March 20> that they would have nothing more to do than go on Shipboard and land at ; from thence we would take them on our Steamers, and bring them to this place, for this is the best place for the Saints to stop at, for the present. There may be other places where individuals might have the prospect of adding at once more rapidly to their pecuniary interest, than they could here; but we can only say it is the will of the Lord that the Saints build , and settle therein or in the vicinity; and we know assuredly, that those who give heed to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord, will be richer, eventually, and not far distant, than those who may seem to prosper more by following their own inclinations. Brethren we wish not to control you or your means, it is not for our peace or interest; nay, rather, it is a source of labor trouble and anxiety to have ought to do with the pecuniary business of the Church which we would gladly avoid, could we do it, and do our duty; could we do it and the things desired be accomplished, and we stand guiltless where God hath placed us; and for this reason we desire to make such arrangements as will most tend to leave the business in your own hands, or in the hands of those whom you shall select; men of your own acquaintance in whom you can repose confidence that they will execute [HC 4:560] their trust in righteousness: and that our plans may be understood by you, and carried into execution, we have sent unto you our beloved brother, Elder , the bearer of this Epistle, and other Epistles also previously written by us to you; and we beseech you, brethren, to receive him as a servant of the Most High, authorized according to the order of the Kingdom of heaven, and assist him by all lawful means in your power to execute the mission entrusted to him; for great events depend upon his success; but to none will they be greater than to yourselves. Our authority for thus sending to you, is found in the “book of the law of the Lord”, page 36 as follows;
“ December 22. 1841. The word of the Lord came unto Joseph the Seer, verily thus saith the Lord; Let my servant take a mission to the Eastern Continent, unto all the Conferences now sitting in that region, and let him carry a package of Epistles that shall be written by my servants, the Twelve, making known unto them their duties concerning the building of my houses, which I have appointed unto you saith the Lord, that they may bring their Gold, and their Silver, and their precious Stones, and the Box Tree, and the Fir Tree, and all fine wood to beautify the place of my sanctuary saith the Lord; and let him return speedily with all means which shall be put into his hands, even so, Amen.”
In this Revelation, the brethren will discover their duty, in relation to the building of the <of the Lord in > and the ; and we call upon them with united cry to give heed unto the things written and help to build the Houses which God hath commanded, so that may speedily <(see addenda page 1.) [HC 4:561] [HC 4:562] [HC 4:563] [HC 4:564]>
<22> Tuesday 22. I was at the general business office through the day, and at home in the evening— The following is from the “advocate” printed at , the residence of
“ and the Mormons— Mr. Editor— Having recently had occasion to visit the City of , I cannot permit the opportunity to pass, without expressing the agreeable disappointment that awaited me there. I had supposed from what I had previously heard, that I should witness an impoverished, ignorant and bigoted population, completely priest ridden and tyranized over by Joseph Smith, [p. 1300]