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.
<26> Saturday 26. Elder received his final instructions from the President and received his blessing from Elder , with the laying on of the hands of President Joseph, , and , and started for England this day.
<27> Sunday 27. After speaking to the Saints for some time on the subject of baptism for the dead, I baptized 107 individuals. <See addenda book page 61.> [HC 4:568] I also witnessed the landing of 170 English brethren from the Steamer “Ariel”, under the presidency of Elder , <Stephen Nixon> <Elder also, <brought> about $3000 worth if goods for the and .>
<28> Monday 28. I was at the received s donations from England, and attended to a variety of business, as also on the 29th. and 30th..
The following extract is from a letter received from Elder
“Bristol March 28. 1842— , much esteemed brother I am happy to be able to state to you that I arrived here in safety and in health on Saturday the 26th. instant after making a tour through a number of Churches on my way from Cheltenham, which place I left in the evening of the 14th. visited the Church at Lea; in the neighborhood of which I preached twice. I then went to Garway, where I preached five times to overflowing congregations, from thence visited Abergavenny, and preached three times, The work appears to be upon the onward march in all these places. Many are enquiring after truth and embracing it. The brethren and friends appeared very anxious for me to tarry longer, but being desirous to commence my labors in this City, I took my leave on Saturday the 26th. and came, via Newport, by the packet to this City, and preached [HC 4:569] three times yesterday. There appears to be a good feeling manifested here at present.” In the evening our Hall was quite full, and the people listened very attentively, persons of respectable appearance were present. We intend getting a large Hall, and putting out bills shortly. Enclosed is an order for ten shillings, it being a donation for the building of the in , mostly from the branch of the church at Frogmarsh— Yours in the bonds of the New Covenant, .”
<April 1> Friday April 1. 1842. I was engaged in the general business
“Try the Spirits. Recent occurrences that have transpired amongst us render it an imperative duty devolving upon me to say something in relation to the Spirits by which men are actuated. It is evident from the Apostle’s writings that many false spirits existed in their day, and had “gone forth into the world,” and that it needed intelligence which God alone could impart to detect false spirits, and to prove what spirits were of God. The world in general have been grossly ignorant in regard to this one thing, and why should they be otherwise, “For no man knows the things of God, but by the Spirit of God.” The Egyptians were not able to discover the difference between the Miracles of Moses, and [p. 1303]