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 .
<April 7.> At 3¼ <p.m.> The President having arrived: the choir sung a hymn. Elder offered prayer.
President Joseph Smith delivered the following discourse before about 20,000 Saints, being the Funeral Sermon of Elder , Reported by , , , and . [HC 6:301]
“Beloved Saints:— I will call the attention of this congregation, while I address you on the subject of the dead. The decease of our beloved brother, Elder , who was crushed in a well by the falling of a tub of rock, has more immediately led me to that subject. I have been requested to speak by his friends and relatives; but inasmuch as there are a great many in this congregation who live in this , as well as elsewhere, who have lost friends I feel disposed to speak on the subject in general, and offer you my ideas so far as I have ability, and so far as I shall be inspired by the Holy Spirit to dwell on this subject. I want your prayers and faith that I may have the instruction of Almighty God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, so that I may set forth things that are true, and which can be easily comprehended by you; [HC 6:302] and that the testimony may carry conviction to your hearts and minds of the truth of what I shall say; pray that the Lord may strengthen my lungs, stay the winds, and let the prayers of the Saints to heaven appear, that they may enter into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth; for the effectual prayers of the righteous availeth much. There is strength here, and I verily believe that your prayers will be heard. Before I enter fully into the investigation of the subject which is laying before me, I wish to pave the way, and bring up the subject from the beginning, that you may understand it. I will make a few preliminaries, in order that you may understand the subject when I come to it. I do not calculate or intend to please your ears with superfluity of words or oratory, or with much learning; but I calculate to edify you with the simple truths from heaven. In the first place I wish to go back to the beginning to the morn of creation; there is the starting point for us to look to, in order to understand and be fully acquainted with the mind, purposes, and decrees of the great Eloheim, who sits in yonder heavens as he did at the creation of this world. It is necessary for us to have an understanding of God himself in the beginning. If we start right, it is easy to go right all the time; but if we start wrong, we may go wrong, and it will be a hard matter to get right. There are but a very few beings in the world who understand rightly the character of God. The great majority of mankind do not comprehend anything either that which is past, or that which is to come, as it respects their relationship to God; they do not know, neither do they understand the nature of that relationship; and consequently, they know but little above the brute beast, or more than to eat, drink and sleep; this is all man knows about God, or his existence, unless it is given by the inspiration of the Almighty. If a man learns nothing more than [p. 1968]