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 21> Majesty, and heard the voice of his excellent glory, and what could be more sure? when he was transfigured on the Mount what could be more sure to them?
“Divines have been quarreling for ages about the meaning of this.
[“]I am like a <huge> rough stone rolling down <from> a <high> mountain, and the only polishing I get, is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else striking with accelerated force against Religious bigotry, Priestcraft, Lawyer craft, Doctor craft, Lying Editors suborned Judges and Jurors, and the authority of Perjured Executives, backed by Mobs, Blasphemers, Licentious and corrupt men and women; all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there; thus, I <will> become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty, who will give me dominion over all and every one of them, when their refuge of lies shall fail, and their hiding place shall be destroyed, while these smooth polished stones with which I come in contact, become marred.
“There are three grand secrets lying in this chapter, which no man can dig out, unless by the light of revelation, and which unlocks the whole chapter, as the things that are written, are only hints [HC 5:401] of things which existed in the Prophet’s mind which are not written, concerning eternal glory.
“I am going to take up this subject by virtue of the knowledge of God in me, which I have received from heaven, the opinions of men so far as I am concerned are to me, as the crackling of the thorns under the pot, or the whistling of the wind. I break the ground, I lead the way. like Columbus when he was invited to a banquet, where he was assigned the most honorable place at table and served with the ceremonials which were observed towards Soverigns. A shallow Courtier present, who was meanly jealous of him, abruptly asked him whether he thought, that in case he had not discovered the Indies, there were not other men in Spain, who would have been capable of the enterprise? Columbus made no reply, but took an egg and invited the Company to make it stand on end. They all attempted it, but in vain, whereupon he struck it upon the table, so as to break one end, and left it standing on the broken part. illustrating that when he had once shewn the way, to the New world, nothing was easier than to follow it.
“Paul ascended into the third Heavens and he could understand the three principal rounds of Jacob’s Ladder, the Telestial, the Terrestrial and the Celestial glories or Kingdoms, where Paul saw and heard things which were not lawful for him to utter. I could explain a hundred fold more than I ever have, of the glories of the Kingdoms manifested to me in the vision, were I permitted, and were the people prepared to receive it, the Lord deals with this people as a tender parent with a child, communicating light and intelligence and the knowledge of his ways, as they can hear it.
<see below +> <+The Inhabitants of the Earth are asleep, they know not the day of their visitation. The Lord hath set the bow in the cloud for a sign that while it shall be seen, seed time and harvest, summer and winter shall not fail, but when it shall disappear, wo to that generation, for behold the end cometh quickly.>
“contend earnestly for the like precious faith with the apostle Peter, and add to your faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, Godliness, brotherly kindness, charity, for if these things be in you and abound, ye shall neither be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, another point after having all these qualifications, he lays this injunction upon the people, but rather make your calling and election sure, he is emphatic upon the subject. after adding all this virtue, knowledge &c. make your calling and election sure. What is the secret, the starting point? according [HC 5:402] to his divine power which hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and Godliness. How did he obtain all things? through the knowledge of him who hath called him, there could not anything be given, pertaining to life and Godliness without knowledge. Wo, Wo, Wo, to christendom, especially the Divines and Priests, if this be true. [p. 1556]