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 16 Joseph’s Letter in .> the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and became again entangled and overcome— their latter end is worse than the first— But it has happened unto them according to the word of the Savior “the dog has returned to his vomit, and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire”. Again if we sin wilfully, after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking for, of judgment and fiery indignation to come which shall devour these adversaries. For he who despiseth Moses’ law, died without mercy under two or three witnesses, of how much more severe punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy who hath sold his brother, and denied the new and everlasting Covenant by which he was sanctified, calling it an unholy thing and doing despite to the spirit of grace— And again we say unto you, that inasmuch as there be virtue in us, and the holy Priesthood hath been conferred upon us, and the keys of the kingdom hath not been taken from us, for verily thus saith the Lord, be of good cheer, for the keys that I gave unto you are yet with you” Therefore we say unto you Dear Brethren in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we deliver these characters unto the buffetings of Satan, until the day of redemption, that they may be dealt with according to their works, and from henceforth their works shall be made manifest. And now Dear and Well beloved Brethren and when we say brethren, we mean those who have continued Faithful in Christ, Men, Women, and Children, we feel to exhort you in the name of the Lord Jesus, to be [HC 3:232] strong in the faith in the new and everlasting Covenant, and nothing frightened at your enemies. For what has happened unto us is an evident token to them of damnation, but unto us, of Salvation and that of God. Therefore hold on, even unto death for he that seeks to save his life shall lose it, but he that loseth his life for my sake, and the gospel’s, shall find it, sayeth Jesus Christ.
Brethren from henceforth, let truth and righteousness prevail and abound in you, and in all things be temperate, abstain from drunkenness and from swearing and from all profane language, and from every thing which is unrighteous or unholy; also from enmity, and hatred, and covetousness, and from every unholy desire. Be honest, one with another, for it seemeth, that some have come short of these things, and some have been uncharitable and have manifested greediness because of their debts towards those who have been persecuted and dragged about with chains without cause and imprisoned. Such characters God hates, and they shall have their turn of sorrow in the rolling of the great wheel, for it rolleth and none can hinder. Zion shall yet live, though she seemeth to be dead. Remember that whatsoever measure you mete out to others, it shall be measured to you again. We say unto you, Brethren, be not afraid of your adversaries, contend earnestly against mobs, and the unlawful works of dissenters and of darkness. And the very God of Peace shall be with you, and make a way for your escape from the adversary of your souls. We commend you to God and the word of his grace which is able to make us wise unto Salvation. Amen— Joseph Smith Jr.”— [HC 3:233]