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 .
<September 6> salvation, and honor and immortality, and eternal life: kingdoms, principalities, and powers. Behold the great day of the Lord is at hand, and who can abide the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appeareth, for he is like a refiner’s fire and like fuller’s soap; and he shall sit as a refiner, and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Let us therefore, as a Church and a people, and as Latter Day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness, and let us present in his holy when it is finished, a [HC 5:152] book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation. Brethren, I have many things to say to you on the subject, but shall now close for the present, and continue the subject another time. I am as ever, your humble servant and never deviating friend— Joseph Smith.”
The important instructions contained in the foregoing letter made a deep and solemn impression on the minds of the Saints and they manifested their intentions to obey the instructions to the letter.
In the evening and called to see me concerning a settlement with — also , and called to Counsel concerning their Mission to the branches and people abroad.
<7> Wednesday 7. Early this morning I received a letter from Elders and of , who brought me several letters, one from who, referring to his visit with Esqre. of , says “He would be pleased to receive a letter of President Joseph’s own dictation, Signed by his own hand.” which request I was disposed to comply with, but deferred it till the next day.
wrote as follows
“ September 7. 1842. Dear Madam. Your letter of the 27th. ultimo, was delivered to me on Monday the 5th. instant, and I have not had time to answer it until this evening, and I now appropriate a few moments to the difficult task of replying satisfactorily to its contents, every word of which evinces your devotedness to the interest of your husband, and pouring forth the effusions of a heart wholly his. I am thus admonished that I can say nothing, that does not subserve his interest that can possibly be satisfactory to you, and before I proceed, I will here repeat, my great [HC 5:153] regret that I have been officially called upon to act in reference to Mr. Smith in any manner whatever. I doubt not your candor when you say you do not desire me “to swerve from my duty as executive in the least”, and all you ask is to be allowed the privileges, and advantages guaranteed to you by the Constitution and laws. You then refer me to the 11th. Section of the Charter of the City of , and claim for Mr. Smith the right to be heard by the Municipal Court of said City, under a writ of emanating from said Court— when he was held in Custody under an executive Warrant. The Charter of the City of is not before me at this time, but I have examined both the Charters and City Ordinances upon the subject, and must express my surprise at the extraordinary assumption of power by the board of Alderman as contained in said ordinance? from my recollection of the charter it authorizes the Municipal Court to issue writs [p. 1396]