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 22> mind of the Lord is concerning his people, and of the things that belong to their peace: we are well aware of the embarrassments under which many of you labor in endeavoring to obey the laws pertaining to your salvation. It is then no marvel that in this day when darkness covers the Earth, and gross darkness the people that this generation “who know not the day of their visitation, nor the dispensation of the fulness of times in which they live, should mock at the gathering together of the Saints for salvation, as did the antediluvians at the mighty work of righteous Noah in building an ark in the midst of the land, for the salvation of his cause by water, seeing then that such blindness hath happened to the gentile world which to them is an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation—” and that of God, think it not strange that you should have to pass through the like afflictions which all your brethren the Saints in all ages have done before you; to be reviled, persecuted, and hated of all men, for the name of Christ and the gospel’s sake, is the portion of which all Saints have had to partake who have gone before you. You then can expect no better things then that there be men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the truth, who will evil entreat you, and unjustly despoil you of your property and embarrass you in pecuniary matters, and render it the more difficult to obey the command to gather with the Saints pretending to do God service “whose judgment now lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” But brethren with all these considerations before you in relation to your afflictions, we think it expedient to admonish you, that you bear, and forbear, as becometh Saints, and having done all that is lawful and right to obtain justice of those that injure you wherein you come short of obtaining it, commit the residue to the just judgment of God, and shake off the dust of your feet as a testimony of having done so. Finally brethren, as it is reported unto us that there be some who have not done that which is lawful and right, but have designedly done injury to their neighbor or creditor by fraud, or otherwise, thinking to find protection with us in such iniquity: let all such be warned, and certified, that with them we have no fellowship when known to be such, until all reasonable measures are taken to make just restitution to those unjustly injured. Now therefore let this Epistle be read in all the branches of the Church, as testimony, that as representatives thereof, we have taken righteousness for the girdle of our loins, and faithfulness for the girdle of our reins, and that “for ’s sake we will not rest; and for Jerusalem’s sake we will not hold our peace, until the [HC 5:16] righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth”— Your brethren and servants in the kingdom and patience of Jesus.
May 22. 1842. Attest — Clerk.” [HC 5:17] [p. 1337]