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 Letter of Joseph Smith in > deadly poison— a frank and an open rebuke provoketh a good man to emulation and in the hour of trouble, he will be your best friend, but on the other hand it will draw out all the corruption of a corrupt heart. And lying and the poison of Asps shall be under their tongues, and they do cause the pure in heart to be cast into prison, because they want them out of their way, A fanciful and flowery and heated imagination be aware of, because the things of God are of deep import, and time and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out, thy mind O Man, if thou wilt lead a soul into Salvation must stretch as High as the utmost Heavens, and search into and contemplate the lowest considerations of the darkes<t> abyss, and expand upon the broad <expanse of eternity. Thou> considerations of Eternity’s Expance, he must commune with God, how much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart, none but fools, will trifle with the souls of men, how vain and trifling have been our Spirits, our conferences, our [HC 3:295] councils, our meetings, our private as well as public conversations, too low, too mean, too vulgar, too condescending, for the dignified Characters of the called and chosen of God, according to the purposes of his will from before the foundation of the world, to hold the keys of the mysteries of those things that have been kept hid from the foundation <of the world> until now, of which some have tasted a little, <of these things> and on which many <of> of them <which> are to be poured down from heaven upon the heads of babes, yea the weak, obscure, and despisable ones of the Earth, therefore we beseech of you brethren, that you bear with those, who do not feel themselves more worthy than yourselves, while we exhort one another, to a reformation with one and all, both old and young, teachers and taught, both high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, Male and Female, let honesty, and sobriety, and candor, and solemnity, and virtue, and pureness, and meekness, and simplicity crown our heads in every place, and in fine become as little children without malice, guile or hypocrisy— and now Brethren after your tribulations, if you do these things and exercise fervent prayer, and faith in the sight of God always, he shall give unto you knowledge by his holy Spirit, yea by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now, which our forefathers have waited with anxious expectation to be revealed in the last times which their minds were pointed to, by the angels as held in reserve for the fulness of their glory, a time to come, in the which nothing shall be withheld whether there be one God or many Gods they shall be manifest all thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and also if there be bounds set to the Heavens, or to the Seas, or to the Dry Land, or to the Sun Moon or Stars, all the times of their revolutions, all the appointed days, months and years, and all the days of their days, months and years, and all their glories, laws, and set times shall be revealed in the days of the dispensation of the fulness of times according to that which was ordained [p. 904[b]]