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 .
<December 20> days He had been long connected with the Church, and had been distinguished both in his native land and in Great Britain for his piety and virtue, and general amiability of character, that endeared him much to all who knew him <he was one of the most active and efficient Elders, and one whose labors were most extensive, and was eminently successful in his ministry> and while we lament his loss, yet we mourn not for him as without hope, knowing that shortly he shall come forth in the resurrection of the just, and stand in his lot at the last day.
<21> Wednesday 21 At home transacting a variety of business, gave instructions about a letter to General —
I appointed Dr. my private Secretary and Historian, and he immediately entered on the duties of his calling— Elder had previously been appointed Temple Recorder, and continued to be Clerk in my temporal business as he had been since went East in the Summer. He is a faithful man, and called on me with the Temple Committee for some advice, concerning their laying by provisions— stone cutting &c after listening to their business, I wrote the following
“ Decr. 21. 1842 To the hands in the Stone Shop— Whereas an appeal has been made to me, as Sole Trustee in Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for a decision in relation to sundry matters in regulating the stone cutting &c &c by the Temple Committee I have duly considered their complaints, and heard all their arguments in relation to the matter, and am satisfied that a proper deference, has not been paid to their high standing by some or many of the hands in the Stone Shop. And further, that their policy in relation to the Pork, and Beef, and Provisions, is for the furtherance of the building of the , in the ultimatum thereof. These are therefore to advise you, to submit patiently to their economy, and instructions; and that we, with one accord, with—— united feelings, submit patiently to the yoke that is laid upon us, and thereby secure the best interests, to the of the Most High God, that our limited circumstances can possibly admit of: and then having done all on our part, that <the> great Eloheem, who has commanded us to build a house shall abundantly bless us, and reward us for all our pains. I am Sirs, your sincere friend and brother and fellow sufferer in the bonds of the great work. Joseph Smith, Sole Trustee in Trust for the Church”
<22> Thursday 22d I was about home; Read correspondence between , and General , and read German with Elder . enquired the meaning of the “little leaven which a woman hid in three measures of Meal” I replied “It alluded expressly to the last days, when there should be but little faith on the earth, and it should leaven the whole world; also there shall be safety in Zion, and , and in the remnants whom the Lord our God shall call. The 3 Measures refer directly to the Priesthood; truth springing up on a fixed principle, to the three in the Grand Presidency, confining the oracles to a certain head on the principle of Three.[”]
<24> Saturday 24. At home. Afternoon Read and revised my history with , and walked with him to see who was sick, her babe died a few minutes before our arrival. From there we went to [HC 5:207] brother Sabine’s to complete expence money for our journey to having just borrowed $100 for that purpose— while there asked if I wanted a wicked man to pray for me? I replied, yes, if the fervent affectionate prayer of a righteous man availeth much, a wicked man may avail a little when praying for a righteous man. There [p. 1429]