JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. D-1, created 4 July 1845–4 Feb. 1846 and 1 July 1854–2 May 1855; handwriting of , Robert L. Campbell, and ; 275 pages, plus 6 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the fourth volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This fourth volume covers the period from 1 Aug. 1842 to 1 July 1843; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, C-1, E-1 and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
History, 1838–1856, volume D-1, constitutes the fourth of six volumes documenting the life of Joseph Smith and the early years of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The series is also known as the Manuscript History of the Church and was originally published serially from 1842 to 1846 and 1851 to 1858 as the “History of Joseph Smith” in the Times and Seasons and Deseret News. This volume contains JS’s history from 1 August 1842 to 1 July 1843, and it was compiled after JS’s death.
The material recorded in volume D-1 was initially compiled under the direction of church historian , with the assistance of . After Richards’s death in 1854, continued work on the volume as the new church historian with Bullock’s continued help. The process adopted by Richards and Bullock involved Richards creating a set of rough draft notes and Bullock transcribing the notes into the volume along with the text of designated documents (such as letters and meeting minutes). George A. Smith followed a similar pattern, though he dictated the draft notes to Bullock and other scribes.
According to the Church Historian’s Office journal, finished the third volume of the series, volume C-1, on Thursday, 3 July 1845, in , Illinois. He began work on the fourth volume, D-1, the next day, beginning on page 1362 with the entry for 1 August 1842. (The pages in volumes A-1–E-1 were numbered consecutively.) Bullock continued work on the record, drawing upon ’s draft notes, until 3 February 1846—the day before D-1 and the other volumes were packed up in preparation for the Latter-day Saints’ exodus from Nauvoo. At that point he had reached page 1485 with the entry for 28 February 1843. Subsequently, apparently after the collection had arrived in Utah, Bullock added a brief comment beneath that entry: “end of W. Richard’s compiling[.] the books packed Feby. 4— 1846 in Nauvoo[.] Miles Romney— present. The records carried by T Bullock from Winter Quarters to G S L [Great Salt Lake] City in 1848.”
A notation at the top of page 1486 reports that “the books were unpacked in G. S. L. City by and . June 7. 1853. J[onathan] Grimshaw & Miles Romney present.” Vertically, in the margin, is a poignant epitaph: “Decr. 1 1853 Dr. Willard Richards wrote one line of History—being sick at the time—and was never able to do any more.” With Richards’s death on 11 March 1854, JS’s cousin was called to the office of church historian. The notation on the top of page 1486 acknowledges this change in officers, noting, “commencement of George A. Smith’s compiling as Historian. April 13. 1854[.] [C]ommenced copying July 1. 1854.” From mid-April to the end of June 1854, George A. Smith, in collaboration with Thomas Bullock, worked on the draft notes for the history before a new scribe, , resumed writing in D-1 on 1 July 1854, beginning with the entry for 1 March 1843.
continued transcribing intermittently into the late fall of 1854, when he was assigned other duties in the Historian’s Office. He had reached page 1546 with the entry for 5 May 1843. Work resumed in February 1855 in the hand of Robert L. Campbell, recently returned from a mission. He concluded volume D-1 on the morning of 2 May 1855 and began writing in E-1 that afternoon.
The 274 pages of volume D-1 contain a record of much that is significant in the life of JS and the development of the church he founded. Among these events are
• JS’s 6 August 1842 prophecy that the Saints would become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.
•JS’s 8 August 1842 arrest on a warrant for being “an accessory before the fact” to an attack on former governor .
• ’s 17 August 1842 letter to governor , pleading for the humane treatment of her husband and family.
•JS’s 1 and 6 September 1842 instructions regarding the proper procedures for performing baptisms for the dead.
• JS’s 15 November 1842 “Valedictory” as he stepped down as editor of the Times and Seasons.
• The 26 December 1842 arrest of JS on a “proclamation” by former governor , and subsequent hearing in , Illinois.
• The 7 February 1843 recovery of a volume of patriarchal blessings given by , which had been stolen in , Missouri.
• JS’s 21 February 1843 remarks regarding the and .
• JS’s 2 April 1843 instruction at , Illinois, on the nature of God and other subjects.
• JS’s 16 May 1843 remarks at , Illinois, on the everlasting covenant and eternal marriage.
• The account of JS’s 23 June 1843 arrest and his hearing the following week at .
Dear Sir. I have this day received your favor of the 17th. ult covering one from John C. Walsh, and barely state in this, that I shall despatch a Messenger immediately to to deposit the $500— in the hands of Genl. [Samuel] Leach, according to your instructions; but seeing that I had little time to lose, I concluded to send this by the first Mail to inform you of my intentions. My next in which I shall enclose Gen Leach’s receipt, together with my obligations will be mailed at and may be expected three days after you receive this. I shall not be able to obtain ’s name as Security, he being at this time several hundred miles north of , and is not expected back until Spring. I can however obtain the Signature of Mr. late from Penn: who owns about 20 thousand dollars worth of—— property in this vicinity, and probably as much more in the East, which I presume will be entirely satisfactory to Mr. Walsh, instead of Mr. Miller. ’s name will be on the obligations. When you receive this, you may expect the other, three days later. All the difference will be the time required to go from here to and do the business.
Some time ago a Petition signed by the principal Inhabitants of this , praying the Post Master General to remove the present Post Master and appoint another in his stead, was put into the hands of Esqre. of , with a request that he would hand it to you about the time you left for . We have not yet heard anything whether handed it to you or neglected so to do, but we feel extremely anxious to learn something on the subject, as the Citizens generally are suffering severely from the impositions and dis[HC 5:266]honest conduct of the Postmaster and those connected with the Post Office in this — The Petition was accompanied by some affidavits proving that letters had frequently been broken open, money detained, and letters charged twice over &c, &c, at this office, the repeated occurrence of which circumstances caused the people to be anxious for an immediate change. It will be seen by the Petition that I was nominated for the office, I can only say that if I receive the appointment, I shall do my utmost to give general satisfaction. Whoever may be appointed, it is necessary in my estimation to have it done as soon as circumstances will possibly admit. Accept Sir of my sincere acknowledgments for past favors, which are not forgotten, and accept of the best wishes and sincere thanks of Yours respy. Joseph Smith by his Agent.
Spent most of the day in conversation with and others.
There are two kinds of beings in heaven, viz; Angels who are resurrected personages having bodies of flesh and bones, for instance Jesus said “handle me and see, for a Spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have”. 2nd. The Spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory. When a Messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand, and request him to shake hands with you. If he be an Angel, he will do so, and you will feel his hand. If he be the Spirit of a just man made perfect, he will come in his glory, for that is the only way he can appear. Ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of Heaven for a just man to deceive, but he will still deliver his Message— If it be the Devil as an Angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands, he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel any thing, you may therefore detect him. These are three grand keys whereby you may know whether any Administration is from God. A man came to see me in and told me he had seen an Angel, and described his dress. I told him he had seen no Angel, and that there was no such dress in heaven, he grew mad and went into the Street, and commanded fire to come [HC 5:267] down out of heaven to consume me— I laughed at him and said, you are [p. 1465]