Journal, December 1841–December 1842
JS, Journal, Dec. 1841–Dec. 1842; handwriting of , , , and ; signatures of and ; 90 pages; in “The Book of the Law of the Lord,” Record Book, 1841–1845, CHL. Includes shorthand; also includes redactions and use marks.JS’s journal for December 1841–December 1842 was inscribed in a large, leather-bound blank book made with thick paper. The paper bears a star-shaped watermark in the middle of each leaf and was printed with forty-seven blue lines on each side. The text block was originally formed with thirty gatherings of eight leaves each. The second gathering, however, has only six leaves. This six-leaf gathering was either a binding error or one sheet came loose from the binding before the book was inscribed (the book’s inscription and pagination runs through this gathering without skipping any text or page numbers). The gatherings were sewn all along. Each set of front and back endpapers consisted of a gathering of four leaves of unlined paper, but only two leaves are now extant in the back gathering. The trimmed pages measure 16¼ × 10½ inches (41 × 27 cm). Headbands were sewn onto the text block. The exterior pages of the endpapers are joined to the pasteboards with a strip of pink cloth. Marbled papers featuring a shell pattern with green body and veins of red and yellow are glued to the inside covers of the boards and to the exterior page of each gathering of endpapers. The leaf edges are stained green. The text block is bound in a ledger style to the boards. The spine was constructed with four false raised bands demarcating five panels. The boards and spine are covered in suede leather with additional leather strips over the top and bottom of the book. The suede leather was blind tooled on the outside covers, the raised bands of the spine, and the turned-in edges on the inside cover. The additional leather strips, which also cover the first and fifth panels of the spine, are embossed with dual lines and vegetal designs along the borders and have gold line filling. The spine is further embossed with the number “6” in 20-point type on the fifth panel. The second and fourth panels have black-painted squares of paper glued to them. These feature gold lining and decoration at the top and bottom. The completed volume measures 17 × 11 × 2¼ inches (43 × 28 × 6 cm) and includes 244 free leaves. A penciled inscription at the inside top corner of page [ii]—the verso of the front marbled flyleaf—gives what appears to be an expensive price for this high-quality blank book: “bth | 10.00”.inscribed nine revelations in the book on the first twenty-three pages of lined paper. made minor revisions to these revelation texts. Apparently either Richards or Thompson inscribed page numbers on pages 3–18, beginning at the first page of lined paper, in a stylized script. Richards inscribed page numbers on pages 19–25 as well as on the next several dozen pages—which included journal entries for JS and records of donations in cash and in kind for the construction of the . At some point page , the recto of the last leaf of unlined endpaper in the front of the book, was inscribed with a title: “THE | BOOK | of the | LAW | of the | LORD”. Because these words are hand lettered in various ornate styles, the handwriting cannot be identified. A matching title appears on the spine of the volume: the square label of black paper on the second panel of the spine bears a smaller square label of white paper with a hand-lettered inscription: “LAW | — of the — | LORD.” Willard Richards inscribed pages 26–126 of the book, with help from on pages 27–28 and 72–87. Clayton inscribed the rest of the volume, pages 127–477, with help from on pages 168–171 and from on pages 189–190 and 192–201. These clerks and scribes generally paginated the book and inscribed dateline page headers along the way as they inscribed its texts.The donation records constitute the bulk of the volume. The journal entries are inscribed on pages 26, 31, 33, 36, 39, 43, 44, 48, 56–61, 66–67, 88–95, 122–135, and 164–215. As is also the case with the pages bearing donation records, many of the pages bearing journal entries have vertical margin lines inscribed in graphite. The journal entries themselves are inscribed in ink that is now brown. Pages 165–181, however, either include or are entirely in blue ink. Some of the entries begin with a descriptive heading as well as a dateline. The entry for 6 January 1842, for example, features the large heading “The New Year”. Page 58 features the large double underlined heading “Journal of President Joseph”. Many of the entries are divided by horizontal lines. Where groups of journal entries span several pages, notes written at the beginning and end of these spans reference the previous or succeeding pages of journal entries. At various stages in the production of the volume, and signed their names to their work (pages 126, 181, 215).The volume contains a number of redactions that were made as the journal entries were later revised for inclusion in the “History of Joseph Smith” published in Mormon newspapers in the mid-nineteenth century. Most of these redactions, made in graphite, were subsequently erased. The upper left-hand corner of page 3 bears the graphite inscription “6”, a redactive note on page 43 is inscribed in purple pencil, and red-penciled “X”s appear in the margins next to entries on pages 164 and 180. Notes written on three white and three blue slips of paper of various sizes have been inserted in various places, as well as a clipped portion of a -era elder’s certificate form with no notes (apparently just a placeholder). There are also two leaves of pink paper just inside the front of the volume. All of these slips and leaves of paper are loose and appear to have been added to the book subsequent to its use as a journal.The book is intricately related to its successor volume, the 1844–1846 donation record, and to a volume that indexed the donation records. The “Law of the Lord” is listed as such in inventories of church records made in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the 1850s. These show that the volume was held for a time in the office of church president Brigham Young. In 1880, , president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, carried the book to a stake Relief Society conference in Salt Lake City. At some point the book was marked on the spine with an archival sticker, which was later removed. The book eventually was housed with the papers of Joseph Fielding Smith, apparently during his tenure as church historian and recorder (1921–1970), and then became part of the First Presidency’s papers when he became church president in 1970. In 2010, the First Presidency gave custody of the book to the Church History Library. This evidence indicates continuous institutional custody and authenticity.
Tithing and Donation Record, 1844–1846. CHL.
Trustee-in-Trust. Index and Accounts, 1841–1847. CHL.
Historian’s Office. Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904. CHL. CR 100 130.
Woman’s Exponent. Salt Lake City. 1872–1914.
“Inventory of President Joseph Fielding Smith’s Safe,” 23 May 1970. First Presidency, General Administration Files, 1921–1972. CHL.
Letter of Transfer, Salt Lake City, UT, 8 Jan. 2010. CHL.
, , , and recorded JS’s journal entries from 13 December 1841 through 20 December 1842 in a large leather-bound blank book. The book was first used by church recorder to copy revelations. Between January 1841 and his death on 27 August the same year, Thompson recorded nine of JS’s revelations, beginning with the 19 January 1841 revelation commanding the building of the , Illinois, and a boardinghouse called the . On 11 December 1841, following his election as “sole Trustee in Trust for the Church” earlier in the year, JS instructed that all donations for building the Nauvoo temple be received directly through his office rather than through the committee overseeing construction of the temple. Two days later, he appointed Willard Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as recorder for the temple and as his personal scribe. Richards then became custodian of the book Thompson had used for recording revelations, and Richards apparently began recording journal entries and tithing donations in some manner on that same day. However, the quality of inscription for the journal entries in the book suggests that they are copies of previously inscribed notes, and if Richards began making such notes in mid-December it is less certain when he began copying them into the book. The book apparently was kept in the “counting room” on the lower floor of on Water Street, where Richards received and entered donations and also inscribed JS’s journal.Journal entries and donations were kept concurrently in the book, alternating sometimes every other page and chronologically leapfrogging each other. This pattern was especially pronounced near the beginning of the book, where donations and journal entries occasionally appear together on a single page. Over time, however, larger and larger blocks of text were dedicated to either donations or journal entries until eventually, in December 1842, the journal was transferred to another book. This slow separation or disentanglement of the journal and donation records—the reasons for which are unclear—was completed long before the volume was filled; indeed, only 90 of the volume’s 478 pages include journal entries, and all of these are within the first 215 pages. In several places it is clear that lists of donations were recorded earlier than were the journal entries found on preceding pages; that is, Richards and William Clayton—who was assigned to assist in the recorder’s office 10 February 1842—left several pages blank between lists of donations and then later filled in those pages with journal entries. This practice sometimes left the scribes with insufficient space to finish a journal entry before running into the list of donations, requiring them to continue the entry several pages later.The interspersing of journal entries with pages of donation records, as well as JS’s conscious efforts to record the names of people who helped him, suggests that the volume as a whole was understood in terms of an 1832 revelation that “a hystory and a general church record” must be kept “of all things that transpire in Zion and of all those who consecrate properties . . . and also there manner of life and the[ir] faith and works.” This record was to be kept in a book called “the book of the Law of God”—a book whose name parallels that of “the book of the law of the Lord” mentioned in the Old Testament. continued the pagination of ’s revelation transcripts and, at some point in time, the title “The Book of the Law of the Lord” was inscribed in the front of the book Richards was filling with journal entries and donation records. That the revelation transcripts, donation records, and journal entries appear under the same title and pagination suggests the book’s creators understood its title to comprehend all of its parts.During the first few months of keeping JS’s journal, included events that occurred before his appointment as JS’s scribe and temple recorder as well as current journal entries. For example, in his 13 December 1841 entry on deteriorating conditions in , Illinois, Richards explained what led church members to settle there in the first place. At times these retrospective entries eclipse the events of the day on which they were written and have no apparent connection to surrounding entries. The entries for 17 and 29 December 1841, for example, relate to ’s July 1841 arrival at following his mission to England and to the October 1841 laying of the cornerstone for the , respectively, but they record nothing about the events of 17 and 29 December. Multiple entries for individual days, sometimes separated by several pages, add to the complexity of the first part of the journal and also suggest that Richards wrote retrospectively at least part of the time. Only after Richards moved into the Smith home in mid-January 1842 and was able to more closely observe JS’s actions did the entries become more regular, and even then multiple entries occasionally occurred. Immediately preceding the entry for 15 January 1842, the header “Journal of President Joseph” appears—showing that by the time he moved into JS’s home, Richards considered the daily entries he was keeping as journal entries.kept JS’s journal in the Book of the Law of the Lord through 29 June 1842, shortly after which he left for , Massachusetts, to bring his family to . Among the numerous topics addressed in Richards’s entries are problems relating to the purchase of land in the Nauvoo area, the organization of the Female Relief Society, and the developing rift between JS and two of his close associates, and . When Richards left for , he transferred the book—and therefore JS’s journal—to his assistant, , to keep during his absence. Two months later, in early September, Clayton was appointed temple recorder, officially replacing Richards as custodian of the Book of the Law of the Lord. Some of Clayton’s entries include accounts of JS’s activities during the day as well as his activities later in the evening. In some of these entries, the record of the evening events is inscribed in an ink that differs from the ink he used to record JS’s activities earlier in the day yet matches that of the following day’s entry. This indicates that he was probably writing in the book about some events the very day they occurred.’s first entry (30 June 1842) retrospectively records three events dealing with the —the dedication of the baptismal font on 8 November 1841, a miraculous healing in the waters of the font in February 1842, and a deposit made in the cornerstone on 25 September 1841. JS may have directed the inclusion of this material after having “heard the Recorder  Read in the Law of the Lord” the day before; alternatively, Clayton may have recorded it on his own in his role as assistant temple recorder. Either way, its inclusion clearly demonstrates the desire to include information about the temple in the record. The Book of the Law of the Lord was to be kept in the temple when it was completed.had kept JS’s journal for little more than a month when, on 8 August 1842, JS was arrested as part of an effort to extradite him to to stand trial for alleged complicity in the attempted assassination of former Missouri governor . JS’s subsequent efforts to avoid extradition to Missouri were attended by a flurry of letter writing among JS, his associates, and governor . , a private teacher living in the Smith home, and , who also had clerical skills, assisted Clayton in copying these and other letters into the journal. Among other things, this correspondence provides valuable insight into the thoughts and character of several of ’s leading citizens. ’s articulate and thoughtful letters to Carlin, for example, in which she argued against the legality of Boggs’s affidavit and the entire extradition proceedings, reveal a woman of ability and resourcefulness. Two of JS’s letters written to members of the church during this period provided important instructions regarding proxy baptisms for deceased persons and record keeping. Clayton and Snow also copied into the journal three of the early letters in a lengthy series between JS and his correspondent .JS spent much of the last five months of 1842 in hiding to avoid arrest and extradition to . Periods of enforced solitude gave him time for sustained reflection and opportunity to commit his thoughts to paper. Lengthy recitations of the names and deeds of his loyal friends, and explicit references to his desire to have them recorded in the Book of the Law of the Lord are unique features of this part of his journal and contribute—like the lists of donations for the temple—to the unusual character of the book as a whole.Although returned to with his family on 30 October 1842, continued keeping JS’s journal in the Book of the Law of the Lord through 20 December of that year. Clayton’s entries end with a recital of his, Richards’s, and several other men’s efforts in , Illinois, to resolve a bankruptcy case involving JS. While there, they also counseled with Judge , United States district attorney , and newly elected Illinois governor regarding the effort to extradite JS to . All three gave suggestions for how JS might safely and successfully proceed in the case against him. On 21 December 1842, the day following the party’s return to , JS appointed Richards his “private se[c]retary & historian” and Richards began keeping a new journal for JS in a small memorandum book. As temple recorder, Clayton retained possession of the Book of the Law of the Lord, in which he continued to record tithing and other donations.Chronological Index to Journal EntriesJournal entries in the Book of the Law of the Lord were not always dated sequentially. In addition, there are several dates for which more than one entry was made, often with entries for other dates intervening. This chronological index helps to locate journal entries. In this index, sequential journal entries are not individually listed, and dates with no journal entry are not noted.
Date Manuscript Page Page in JSP, J2 December 1841 26, 31, 33, 36, 39, 43–44 10–21 Dec. 1841 36 16 11–13 Dec. 1841 33 14–15 13 Dec. 1841 26, 33 10–11, 15–16 14 Dec. 1841 26 11 15–16 Dec. 1841 31 13–14 17 Dec. 1841 26 11 22 Dec. 1841 36 16–17 24–28 Dec. 1841 39 17–19 29–31 Dec. 1841 43–44 19–21 January 1842 31, 43–44, 48, 56–60, 66–67 14, 21–32, 36–38 1 Jan. 1842 44 21 4 Jan. 1842 48 23–24 5 Jan. 1842 31, 44 14, 21 6 Jan. 1842 57 25–26 12–16 Jan. 1842 48 24 15 Jan. 1842 58 26–27 16 Jan. 1842 48, 58 24, 27 17 Jan. 1842 43, 56, 58 20–21, 24–25, 27 18–22 Jan. 1842 58 27–30 23 Jan. 1842 59, 66 30, 36–37 24 Jan. 1842 59 30 25 Jan. 1842 59, 66 30, 37 26–27 Jan. 1842 59 30–31 28 Jan. 1842 59, 67 31, 38 29–31 Jan. 1842 60 31–32 February–July 1842 60–61, 88–95, 122–128 32–36, 38–80 August 1842 128–135, 164–167, 179–184 80–99, 115–124 3–15 Aug. 1842 128–135 80–92 16 Aug. 1842 135, 164–165 93–96 17–21 Aug. 1842 165–167 96–99 Copied Correspondence 168–178 100–114 23–31 Aug. 1842 179–184 115–124 September–December 1842 184–215 124–183
Clayton, William. History of the Nauvoo Temple, ca. 1845. CHL. MS 3365.
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Clayton, William. History of the Nauvoo Temple, ca. 1845. CHL. MS 3365.
Clayton, William. Journals, 1842–1845. CHL.
JS Letterbook 1 / Smith, Joseph. “Letter Book A,” 1832–1835. Joseph Smith Collection. CHL. MS 155, box 2, fd. 1.
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
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|Monday 2)||with his family|