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> and visions &c. why they are just ripening for the damnation of hell. They will be damned, for they reject the most glorious principle of the Gospel of Jesus christ and treat with disdain and trample under foot the—— key that unlocks the heavens, and puts in our possession the glories of the celestial world. Yes, I say, such will be damned with all their professed Godliness. Then I would exhort you to go on and continue to call upon God, until you make your calling and election sure for yourselves, by obtaining this more sure word of prophecy, and wait patiently for the promise until you obtain it. &c &c
Elders and followed him with a few remarks, and meeting closed for one hour, when we met again, opened meeting and spoke upon revelation, obeying the commandments by building the , was followed by upon the same subject. Elder then spoke somewhat at length, concerning his mission to , which was interesting; after meeting, we all rode to , and took supper with , and while we were conversing with Brother Joseph, and . Brother Joseph made the following remarks.
The way to get along in any important matter, is to gather unto yourselves wise men, experienced and aged men to assist in Council in all times of trouble. Handsome men are not apt to be wise and strong minded men, but the strength of a strong minded man will generally create coarse features, like the rough strong bough of the oak. You will always discover in the first glance of a man, in the outlines of his features<,> something of his mind.
Excitement has almost become the essence of my life, when that dies away I feel almost lost; when a man is reined up continually by excitement, he becomes strong and gains power and knowledge; but when he relaxes for a season he loses much of his power and knowledge; but in all matters temporal or spiritual preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or in leading an army to battle, victory almost entirely depends upon good order and moderation. In going to battle move slowly, dress up into line, and though your enemy rush upon you with [HC 5:389] fury, meet them slowly but firmly, let not confusion or terror seize upon you, but meet them firmly, and strike a heavy blow and conquer. A man can bear a heavy burthen by practice and continuing to increase it. The inhabitants of this Continent anciently were so constituted, and were so determined, and persevering either in righteousness or wickedness, that God visited them immediately either with great judgments or blessings. But the present generation if they were going to battle, if they got any assistance from God, they would have to obtain it by faith.”
preached at .
preached all the [illegible] <afternoon> and prevented and from giving instructions regarding their Mission at .
The Wind blew terribly from South West all day.
A naval action took place between the Texan and Mexican fleets off Campeachy. [p. 1550]