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 .
<August 29> comes I will then shew them that there is a Moses and a Joshua amongst us; and I will fight them, if they don’t take off oppression from me, I will do as I have done this time, I will run into the woods, I will fight them in my own way. I will send brother to call conferences every where throughout the States and let documents be taken along and show to the world the corrupt and oppressive—— conduct of , [HC 5:138] , and others, that the public may have the truth laid before them. Let the Twelve, send all who will support the character of the Prophet, the Lord’s anointed, and if all who go, will support my character, I prophecy in the name of the Lord Jesus, whose servant I am, that you will prosper in your missions. I have the whole plan of the kingdom <before me,> and no other person has. And as to all that , , or can do to prevent me, I can kick them off my heals, as many as you can name, I know what will become of them; I concluded my remarks by saying I have the best of feelings towards my brethren, since this last trouble began, but to the Apostates and enemies, I will give a lashing every opportunity and I will curse them. During the address an indescribable transport of good feeling was manifested by the Assembly. and about 380 Elders volunteered to go immediately on the proposed Mission.
<Treaty signed between Great Britain and China. Chinese to pay 21,000,000 $— throw open five ports for trade, and Cede Hong Kong to Great Britain.>
<31> Wednesday 31. At home in the forenoon—’ Afternoon rode to the with , and attended the Female Relief Society’s meeting. <The following minutes were reported by Miss . See addenda page 2.> [HC 5:139] [HC 5:140] [HC 5:141]
Some time this month, Elder published a pamphlet in the German language in Germany, entitled, “A cry out of the Wilderness” &c of about 120 pages setting forth the rise, progress, and doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
about <this time> [blank] while I was crossing from to in a boat, in company with brother , we passed through an immense shoal of Fish of considerable size, hundreds jumped in and over the boat, but we succeeded in securing about 16. which we brought to shore.
<September 1.> Thursday September 1. 1842. During the morning in the and in the afternoon at home attending to business. I wrote the following
“To all the Saints in — Forasmuch as the Lord has revealed unto me that my enemies, both of and this , were again on the pursuit of me; and inasmuch as they pursue me without cause, and have not the least shadow, or coloring of justice or right on their side, in the getting up of their prosecutions against me: and inasmuch as their pretensions are all founded in falsehood, of the blackest die, I have thought it expedient, and wisdom in me to leave the place for a short season, for my own safety, and the safety of this people. I would say to all those with whom I have business, that I have left my affairs with agents and clerks, who will transact all business in a [HC 5:142] prompt and proper manner; and will see that all my debts are cancelled in due time, by turning out property, or otherwise as the case may require, or as the circumstances may admit of. When I learn that the storm is fully blown over, then I will return to you again.
And as for the perils which I am called to pass through, they seem but a small thing to me, as the envy and wrath of man have been my common lot all the days [p. 1389]