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 .
<May 14> some remarks. Add to your faith, knowledge &c. The principle of knowledge, is the principle of salvation, this principle can be comprehended by the faithful and diligent, and every one that does not obtain knowledge sufficient to be saved will be condemned. The principle of Salvation is given us through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Salvation is nothing more or less, than to triumph over all our enemies, and put them under our feet <and when we have power to put all enemies under our feet> in this world, and a knowledge to triumph over all evil Spirits in the world to come, then we are saved; as in the case [HC 5:387] of Jesus, who was to reign until he had put all enemies under his feet, and the last enemy was death. Perhaps there are principles here that few men have thought of. No person can have this salvation, except through a tabernacle. Now in this world, mankind are naturally selfish, ambitious, and striving to excel one above another, yet some are willing to build up others as well as themselves, so in the other world there are a variety of Spirits; some seek to excel, and this was the case with Lucifer, when he fell, he sought for things which were unlawful, hence he was cast down, and it is said he drew away many with him, and the greatness of his punishment is, that he shall not have a tabernacle; this is his punishment, so the Devil thinking to thwart the decree of God, by going up and down in the earth, seeking whom he may destroy, any person that he can find, that will yield to him, he will bind him, and take possession of the body, and reign there glorying in it mightily, not thinking that he had <got> a stolen tabernacle, and by and by some one having authority will come along, and cast him out and restore the Tabernacle to its rightful owner, but the Devil steals a Tabernacle because he has not one of his own, but if he steals one, he is always liable to be turned out of doors
Now there is some grand secret here, and keys to unlock the subject. Notwithstanding the Apostle exhorts them to add to their faith virtue, knowledge, temperance &c. yet he exhorts them to make their calling and election sure, and though they had heard an audible voice from heaven bearing testimony that Jesus was the son of God, yet he says we have a more sure word of Prophecy whereunto ye do well that ye take heed as unto a light shin-ing in a dark place. Now wherein could they have a more sure word of prophecy than to hear the voice of God saying this is my beloved son &c. Now for the secret and grand key. Though they might hear the voice of God, <& know that Jesus was the son of God> this would be no evidence that their election and calling was made sure that they had part with Christ, and were joint heirs with him: they then would want that more sure word of prophecy, that they were sealed in the heavens and had the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God, then having this promise sealed unto them, it was as an anchor to the Soul sure and stedfast, though the thunders might roll, and lightnings flash, and earthquakes bellow, and war gather thick around, yet this hope and knowledge would support the soul in every hour of trial, trouble [HC 5:388] and tribulation. Then knowledge through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the grand key that unlocks the glories and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Compare this principle once with Christendom at the present day, and where are they with all their boasted religion, piety and sacredness, while at the same time they are crying out against Prophets, Apostles, Angels, Revelations, Prophesyings, [p. 1549]