JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. E-1, created 20 Aug. 1855–5 Apr. 1856; handwriting of Robert L. Campbell, , and Jonathan Grimshaw; 392 pages, plus 11 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the fifth volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This fifth volume covers the period from 1 July 1843 to 30 Apr. 1844; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, C-1, D-1, and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
History, 1838–1856, volume E-1, constitutes the fifth 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 July 1843 to 30 April 1844, and it was compiled in Utah Territory in the mid-1850s.
The material recorded in volume E-1 was initially compiled under the direction of church historian , who was JS’s cousin. Smith collaborated with in collecting material for the history and creating a set of draft notes that Smith dictated to Bullock and other clerks.
Robert L. Campbell, a recently returned missionary and member of the Historian’s Office staff, transcribed ’s notes into the volume along with the text of designated documents (such as letters and meeting minutes). The Church Historian’s Office journal entry for 2 May 1855 pinpoints the beginning of his work: “R. L. C. on Book D forenoon, afternoon began book E.” Campbell’s work on the volume apparently concluded on 5 April 1856; entries in the Historian’s Office journal indicate that he then moved on to other assignments while another clerk, Jonathan Grimshaw, began work on volume F-1, the last manuscript in the series. (Historian’s Office, Journal, 2 May 1855; 5 and 9 Apr. 1856.)
Volume E-1 contains 391 pages of primary text and 11 pages of addenda. The initial entry on page 1637 is a continuation of the 1 July 1843 entry that closed volume D-1. The final entry in volume E-1 is for 30 April 1844.
The 391 pages of volume E-1 document a crucial period of JS’s life and the history of the church. Important events recorded here include
• An account of JS’s 2 July 1843 meeting with several Pottawatamie chiefs.
• JS’s 4 July 1843 address regarding his recent arrest, the Legion, and Mormon voting practices.
• JS’s 12 July 1843 dictation of a revelation regarding eternal marriage, including the plurality of wives, in the presence of and .
• Dispatch of the first missionaries to the Pacific Islands on 20 September 1843, led by .
• JS’s 1 October 1843 announcement of ’s appointment to a mission to Russia.
• Minutes of a 6–9 October 1843 general conference inserted under the date of 9 October at which pled his case in regard to his 13 August 1843 disfellowshipment and was permitted to continue as counselor in the First Presidency.
• Text of JS’s appeal to the Green Mountain Boys of , inserted under the date of 29 November 1843.
• A 20 January 1844 entry that includes a poem by commemorating the presentation of two copies of the Book of Mormon to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert by .
• JS’s nomination on 29 January 1844 as an independent candidate for the presidency of the .
<July 9> priests cry out concerning me and ask “why is it this babler gains so many followers, and retains them”? I answer, it is because I possess the principle of love, all I can offer the world is a good heart and a good hand. The Saints can testify whether I am willing to lay down my life for my brethren. If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a Mormon, I am bold to declare before heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist or a good man of any other denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter day Saints would trample upon the rights of the other denomination <Roman Catholics> or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves. It is a love of liberty which inspires my Soul, civil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race, love of liberty was diffused into my Soul by my grandfathers, while they dandled me on their knees; and shall I want friends? No. [HC 5:498] The enquiry is frequently made of me, “Wherein do you differ from others in your religions views?” In reality and essence we do not differ so far in our religious views but that we could all drink into one principle of love. One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may. We believe in the great Eloheim, who sits enthroned in yonder heavens, so do the Presbyterians. If a skilful Mechanic, in taking a welding heat uses borax alum &c. and succeeds in welding together iron or steel more perfectly than any other mechanic, is he not deserving of praise? and if by the principles of truth I succeed in uniting all denominations in the bonds of love, shall I not have attained a good object?
If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No; I will left them up, and in their own way too if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning; for truth will cut its own way. Do you believe in <Jesus Christ and> the Gospel of Salvation which [blank] he [blank] revealed? So do I. Christians should cease wrangling and contention with each other and cultivate the principles of union and friendship in their midst; and they will do it before the Millennuim can be ushered in, and Christ takes possession of his kingdom.
[“]Do you believe in the baptism of infants”? asks the Presbyterian. No. “Why”? Because it is no where written in the bible: Circumcision is not baptism. Neither was baptism instituted in the place of circumcision. Baptism is for remission of sins— Children have no <sins>, Jesus blessed them and said Do what you have seen me do. Children are all made alive in Christ, and those of riper years through faith and repentance. So far we are agreed with other Christian denominations; they all preach faith and repentance— The Gospel requires by immersion for the remission of sins, which is the meaning of the word in the original language viz to bury or immerse. We ask the sects Do you believe this? They answer No. I believe in being converted. I believe in this tenaciously— so did the Apostle Peter, and the disciples of Jesus but I further believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. Evidence by Peters preaching on the day of Pentecost Acts 2.38. might as well baptise a bag of sand, as a man, if not done in view of the <remission of sins, and> getting of the Holy Ghost. Baptism by water is but half a baptism, [p. 1666]