26023

“Church History,” 1 March 1842

an exterminating order was issued by Gov. Lilburn W. Boggs

14 Dec. 1796–14 Mar. 1860. Bookkeeper, bank cashier, merchant, Indian agent and trader, lawyer, doctor, postmaster, politician. Born at Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of John M. Boggs and Martha Oliver. Served in War of 1812. Moved to St. Louis, ca...

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,10

Boggs charged the state militia with restoring peace to northwest Missouri. If necessary, the governor ordered, the Mormons were to be “exterminated or driven from the state.” (Lilburn W. Boggs, Jefferson City, MO, to John B. Clark, Fayette, MO, 27 Oct. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


and under the sanction of law an organized banditti ranged through the country, robbed us of our cattle, sheep, horses, hogs &c., many of our people were murdered in cold blood,11

About twenty Mormons were killed during the “Mormon War” in Missouri. (LeSueur, 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 162–168; Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 238–240, 253–298.)  


the chastity of our women was violated, and we were forced to sign away our property at the point of the sword, and after enduring every indignity that could be heaped upon us by an inhuman, ungodly band of maurauders, from twelve to fifteen thousand souls men, women, and children were driven from their own fire sides, and from lands that they had warrantee deeds of, houseless, friendless, and homeless (in the depth of winter,) to wander as exiles on the earth or to seek an asylum in a more genial clime, and among a less barbarous people.12

Although the number of Mormons driven from Missouri is unknown, the estimate of “twelve to fifteen thousand” appears to be too high. Others estimated that about eight thousand Mormons were driven from Missouri. (Eliza R. Snow, Caldwell Co., MO, to Isaac Streator, Streetsborough, OH, 22 Feb. 1839, photocopy, CHL; see also Hartley, “Almost Too Intolerable a Burthen,” 7n2.)  


Many sickened and died, in consequence of the cold, and hardships they had to endure; many wives were left widows, and children orphans, and destitute. It would take more time than is allotted me here to describe the injustice, the wrongs, the murders, the bloodshed, the theft, misery and woe that has been caused by the barbarous, inhuman, and lawless, proceedings of the state of Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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.
In the situation before alluded to we arrived in the state of Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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in 1839, where we found a hospitable people and a friendly home; a people who were willing to be governed by the principles of law and humanity. We have commenced to build a city called “Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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” in Hancock co., we number from six to eight thousand here13

This may be an overstatement of the Nauvoo population. Although some estimates ran even higher (an article in the 1 October 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons described “a population of 14 or 15,000”), a circa February 1842 church census listed 3,413 Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo. (“Nauvoo,” Times and Seasons, 1 Oct. 1842, 3:936–937; Platt, Nauvoo, vii; Leonard, Nauvoo, 179.)  


besides vast numbers in the county

Formed from Pike Co., 1825. Described in 1837 as predominantly prairie and “deficient in timber.” Early settlers came mainly from mid-Atlantic and southern states. Population in 1835 about 3,200; in 1840 about 9,900; and in 1844 at least 15,000. Carthage ...

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around and in almost every county of the state

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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. We have a city charter granted us and a charter for a legion the troops of which now number 1500. We have also a charter for a university, for an agricultural and manufacturing society, have our own laws and administrators, and possess all the privileges that other free and enlightened citizens enjoy.14

The Nauvoo charter was passed by the Illinois legislature and signed by the governor in December 1840. It included a provision for a city university. The agricultural and manufacturing association was incorporated in February 1841. (Journal of the Senate . . . of Illinois, 9 Dec. 1840, 61; Journal of the House of Representatives . . . of Illinois, 12 Dec. 1840, 110; An Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo [16 Dec. 1840], Laws of the State of Illinois [1840–1841], 52–57; An Act to Incorporate the Nauvoo Agricultural and Manufacturing Association, in the County of Hancock [27 Feb. 1841], Laws of the State of Illinois [1840–1841], 139–141.)  


Persecution has not stopped the progress of truth, but has only added fuel to the flame, it has spread with increasing rapidity, proud of the cause which they have espoused and conscious of their innocence and of the truth of their system amidst calumny and reproach have the elders of this church gone forth, and planted the gospel in almost every state in the Union

North American constitutional republic. Constitution ratified, 17 Sept. 1787. Population in 1805 about 6,000,000; in 1830 about 13,000,000; and in 1844 about 20,000,000. Louisiana Purchase, 1803, doubled size of U.S. Consisted of seventeen states at time ...

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; it has penetrated our cities, it has spread over our villages, and has caused thousands of our intelligent, noble, and patriotic citizens to obey its divine mandates, and be governed by its sacred truths. It has also spread into England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales: in the year of 1839 where a few of our missionaries were sent over five thousand joined the standard of truth,15

A revelation dated 8 July 1838 commanded the Quorum of the Twelve to depart on a mission to Europe. Most of the quorum, along with several other missionaries, left Commerce, Illinois, in 1839, arriving in England in April 1840. They proselytized throughout the British Isles until April 1841, adding approximately five thousand people to the church. (Revelation, 8 July 1838–A, in JS, Journal, 8 July 1838 [D&C 118]; Allen et al., Men with a Mission, 54–302.)  


there are numbers now joining in every land.
Our missionaries are going forth to different nations, and in Germany, Palestine, New Holland, the East Indies, and other places, the standard of truth has been erected:16

Although this description of global missionary work reflected assignments and endeavors that had begun by this time, the effort was still in its infancy. After being appointed to fulfill a mission to the Jews, Orson Hyde traveled to Jerusalem, where on 24 October 1841 he dedicated the land in preparation for the gathering of “Judah’s scattered remnants.”a In July 1840, English convert William James Barratt emigrated to New Holland (now Australia) after being ordained an elder by George A. Smith.b The Times and Seasons noted that “Elder William Donaldson, member of the army” was “bound for the East Indies.”c Simeon Carter was assigned to Germany, but the call was suspended.d  


aOrson Hyde, “Interesting News from Alexandria and Jerusalem,” LDS Millennial Star, Jan. 1842, 2:132–136; see also Hyde, Voice from Jerusalem, 6–35.

bDevitry-Smith, “William James Barratt,” 53–66.

c“News from the Elders,” Times and Seasons, 1 Dec. 1840, 2:229.

dJS History, vol. C-1, 1224.

no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing, persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done.
We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in his son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
We believe that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam’s transgression.
We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
We believe that these ordinances are 1st, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; 2d, Repentance; 3d, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; 4th, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
We believe that a man must be called of God by “prophesy, and by laying on of hands”17

See 1 Timothy 4:14.  


by those who are in authority to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive church, viz: apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists &c.18

See Ephesians 4:11.  


We believe in the gift of tongues, prophesy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues &c.
We believe the bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we be [p. 709]
an exterminating order was issued by  Gov. [Lilburn W.] Boggs

14 Dec. 1796–14 Mar. 1860. Bookkeeper, bank cashier, merchant, Indian agent and trader, lawyer, doctor, postmaster, politician. Born at Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of John M. Boggs and Martha Oliver. Served in War of 1812. Moved to St. Louis, ca...

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,10

Boggs charged the state militia with restoring peace to northwest Missouri. If necessary, the governor ordered, the Mormons were to be “exterminated or driven from the state.” (Lilburn W. Boggs, Jefferson City, MO, to John B. Clark, Fayette, MO, 27 Oct. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


and under the sanction of  law an organized banditti ranged through  the country, robbed us of our cattle,  sheep, horses, hogs &c., many of our  people were murdered in cold blood,11

About twenty Mormons were killed during the “Mormon War” in Missouri. (LeSueur, 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 162–168; Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 238–240, 253–298.)  


the  chastity of our women was violated, and  we were forced to sign away our proper ty at the point of the sword, and after en during every indignity that could be  heaped upon us by an inhuman, ungodly  band of maurauders, from twelve to fif teen thousand souls men, women, and  children were driven from their own  fire sides, and from lands that they had  warrantee deeds of, houseless, friendless,  and homeless (in the depth of winter,) to  wander as exiles on the earth or to seek  an asylum in a more genial clime, and  among a less barbarous people.12

Although the number of Mormons driven from Missouri is unknown, the estimate of “twelve to fifteen thousand” appears to be too high. Others estimated that about eight thousand Mormons were driven from Missouri. (Eliza R. Snow, Caldwell Co., MO, to Isaac Streator, Streetsborough, OH, 22 Feb. 1839, photocopy, CHL; see also Hartley, “Almost Too Intolerable a Burthen,” 7n2.)  


Many sickened and died, in conse quence of the cold, and hardships they  had to endure; many wives were left  widows, and children orphans, and desti tute. It would take more time than is al lotted me here to describe the injustice,  the wrongs, the murders, the bloodshed,  the theft, misery and woe that has been  caused by the barbarous, inhuman, and  lawless, proceedings of the state of Mis souri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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.
In the situation before alluded to we  arrived in the state of Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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in 1839,  where we found a hospitable people and  a friendly home; a people who were wil ling to be governed by the principles of  law and humanity. We have commen ced to build a city called “Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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” in  Hancock co., we number from six to  eight thousand here13

This may be an overstatement of the Nauvoo population. Although some estimates ran even higher (an article in the 1 October 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons described “a population of 14 or 15,000”), a circa February 1842 church census listed 3,413 Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo. (“Nauvoo,” Times and Seasons, 1 Oct. 1842, 3:936–937; Platt, Nauvoo, vii; Leonard, Nauvoo, 179.)  


besides vast numbers  in the county

Formed from Pike Co., 1825. Described in 1837 as predominantly prairie and “deficient in timber.” Early settlers came mainly from mid-Atlantic and southern states. Population in 1835 about 3,200; in 1840 about 9,900; and in 1844 at least 15,000. Carthage ...

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around and in almost every  county of the state

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

More Info
. We have a city  charter granted us and a charter for a le gion the troops of which now number  1500. We have also a charter for a uni versity, for an agricultural and manufac turing society, have our own laws and  administrators, and possess all the priv ileges that other free and enlightened  citizens enjoy.14

The Nauvoo charter was passed by the Illinois legislature and signed by the governor in December 1840. It included a provision for a city university. The agricultural and manufacturing association was incorporated in February 1841. (Journal of the Senate . . . of Illinois, 9 Dec. 1840, 61; Journal of the House of Representatives . . . of Illinois, 12 Dec. 1840, 110; An Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo [16 Dec. 1840], Laws of the State of Illinois [1840–1841], 52–57; An Act to Incorporate the Nauvoo Agricultural and Manufacturing Association, in the County of Hancock [27 Feb. 1841], Laws of the State of Illinois [1840–1841], 139–141.)  


Persecution has not stopped the pro gress of truth, but has only added fuel to  the flame, it has spread with increasing  rapidity, proud of the cause which  they have espoused and conscious of  their innocence and of the truth of their  system amidst calumny and reproach  have the elders of this church gone forth,  and planted the gospel in almost every  state in the Union

North American constitutional republic. Constitution ratified, 17 Sept. 1787. Population in 1805 about 6,000,000; in 1830 about 13,000,000; and in 1844 about 20,000,000. Louisiana Purchase, 1803, doubled size of U.S. Consisted of seventeen states at time ...

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; it has penetrated our  cities, it has spread over our villages, and  has caused thousands of our intelligent,  noble, and patriotic citizens to obey its  divine mandates, and be governed by its  sacred truths. It has also spread into  England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales:  in the year of 1839 where a few of our  missionaries were sent over five thous and joined the standard of truth,15

A revelation dated 8 July 1838 commanded the Quorum of the Twelve to depart on a mission to Europe. Most of the quorum, along with several other missionaries, left Commerce, Illinois, in 1839, arriving in England in April 1840. They proselytized throughout the British Isles until April 1841, adding approximately five thousand people to the church. (Revelation, 8 July 1838–A, in JS, Journal, 8 July 1838 [D&C 118]; Allen et al., Men with a Mission, 54–302.)  


there  are numbers now joining in every land.
Our missionaries are going forth to  different nations, and in Germany, Pales tine, New Holland, the East Indies, and  other places, the standard of truth has  been erected:16

Although this description of global missionary work reflected assignments and endeavors that had begun by this time, the effort was still in its infancy. After being appointed to fulfill a mission to the Jews, Orson Hyde traveled to Jerusalem, where on 24 October 1841 he dedicated the land in preparation for the gathering of “Judah’s scattered remnants.”a In July 1840, English convert William James Barratt emigrated to New Holland (now Australia) after being ordained an elder by George A. Smith.b The Times and Seasons noted that “Elder William Donaldson, member of the army” was “bound for the East Indies.”c Simeon Carter was assigned to Germany, but the call was suspended.d  


aOrson Hyde, “Interesting News from Alexandria and Jerusalem,” LDS Millennial Star, Jan. 1842, 2:132–136; see also Hyde, Voice from Jerusalem, 6–35.

bDevitry-Smith, “William James Barratt,” 53–66.

c“News from the Elders,” Times and Seasons, 1 Dec. 1840, 2:229.

dJS History, vol. C-1, 1224.

no unhallowed hand can  stop the work from progressing, persecu tions may rage, mobs may combine, ar mies may assemble, calumny may de fame, but the truth of God will go forth  boldly, nobly, and independent till it has  penetrated every continent, visited every  clime, swept every country, and sounded  in every ear, till the purposes of God  shall be accomplished and the great Je hovah shall say the work is done.
We believe in God the Eternal Father,  and in his son Jesus Christ, and in the  Holy Ghost.
We believe that men will be punished  for their own sins and not for Adam’s  transgression.
We believe that through the atone ment of Christ all mankind may be sa ved by obedience to the laws and ordinan ces of the Gospel.
We believe that these ordinances are  1st, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; 2d,  Repentance; 3d, Baptism by immersion  for the remission of sins; 4th, Laying on  of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
We believe that a man must be called  of God by “prophesy, and by laying on  of hands”17

See 1 Timothy 4:14.  


by those who are in authority  to preach the gospel and administer in  the ordinances thereof.
We believe in the same organization  that existed in the primitive church, viz:  apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers,  evangelists &c.18

See Ephesians 4:11.  


We believe in the gift of tongues,  prophesy, revelation, visions, healing, in terpretation of tongues &c.
We believe the bible to be the word of  God as far as it is translated correctly;  we also believe the Book of Mormon to  be the word of God.
We believe all that God has revealed,  all that he does now reveal, and we be [p. 709]
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In 1842, Boston

Capital city located on eastern seaboard of Massachusetts at mouth of Charles River. Founded by English Puritans, 1630; received city charter, 1822. Population in 1820 about 43,000; in 1830 about 61,000; and in 1840 about 93,000. JS’s ancestor Robert Smith...

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lawyer George Barstow

19 June 1812–9 Sept. 1883. College professor, lawyer, historian. Born in Haverhill, Grafton Co., New Hampshire. Son of William Barstow and Abigail Townsend. Attended Dartmouth College, 1835, in Hanover, Grafton Co. Moved to Yarmouth Port, Barnstable Co., ...

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asked his friend John Wentworth

5 Mar. 1815–16 Oct. 1888. Teacher, newspaper editor and owner, lawyer, politician, historian. Born in Sandwich, Strafford Co., New Hampshire. Son of Paul Wentworth and Lydia Cogswell. Graduated from Dartmouth College, 1836. Moved to Chicago, 25 Oct. 1836....

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, owner and editor of the weekly Chicago Democrat, to write to JS requesting a summary of the doctrines and history of the Latter-day Saints. Barstow was working on a history of New Hampshire, and he sought information about the Mormons for possible inclusion in the book. Barstow ultimately made 1819 the closing date of his study, and because the Mormons did not organize as a church until 1830, they did not have a place in his volume. JS’s essay was published instead as “Church History” in the church’s newspaper Times and Seasons.1

George Barstow, The History of New Hampshire from Its Discovery, in 1614, to the Passage of the Toleration Act, in 1819 (Concord, NH: I. S. Boyd, 1842). Barstow’s initial interest in Mormonism may have been prompted by recent Latter-day Saint missionary activity and church growth in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. (See Eli P. Maginn, Salem, MA, to JS, Nauvoo, IL, 22 Mar. 1842, Times and Seasons, 2 May 1842, 3:778–779; see also Williams, “Missionary Movements of the LDS Church in New England,” 128–133, 147–156.)  


Opportunities for favorable treatment of the church in non-Mormon publications were rare, and some previous attempts had not been entirely successful. On 4 January 1833, JS wrote a letter to Noah C. Saxton

25 Jan. 1798–23 June 1834. Evangelist, Christian newspaper editor. Born in Wilbraham, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. Son of Noah Saxton and Patty Bliss. Graduated from Union College in Schenectady, Schenectady Co., New York, 1818. Received preacher license, ...

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, editor of the New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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newspaper American Revivalist, and Rochester Observer. JS told Saxton that the letter had been written “by the commandment of God” and asked the editor to publish the entire letter, but Saxton published only excerpts. JS wrote again on 12 February 1833 asking that the whole of his previous letter be “laid before the public,” but Saxton did not publish it.2

“Mormonism,” American Revivalist, and Rochester [NY] Observer, 2 Feb. 1833, [2]; JS, Kirtland, OH, to Noah C. Saxton, Rochester, NY, 4 Jan. 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 14–18; JS, Kirtland, OH, to Noah C. Saxton, Rochester, NY, 12 Feb. 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, p. 28.  


In 1836, in a volume titled The Religious Creeds and Statistics of Every Christian Denomination in the United States and British Provinces, editor John Hayward included a summary of the Book of Mormon and short excerpts from the Doctrine and Covenants as well as a statement of beliefs furnished by church member Joseph Young

7 Apr. 1797–16 July 1881. Farmer, painter, glazier. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Moved to Auburn, Cayuga Co., New York, before 1830. Joined Methodist church, before Apr. 1832. Baptized into LDS...

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, but these materials were bracketed by negative statements from Isaac Hale

21 Mar. 1763–11 Jan. 1839. Farmer, hunter, innkeeper. Born in Waterbury, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Reuben Hale and Diantha Ward. Member of Methodist church. Moved to Wells, Albany Co., New York (later in Rutland Co., Vermont), ca. 1771, to live with...

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(the father of JS’s wife Emma Smith

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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) and from the skeptical Hayward.3

Hayward, Religious Creeds and Statistics, 130–142. In 1842 Hayward published The Book of Religions; Comprising the Views, Creeds, Sentiments, or Opinions, of All the Principal Religious Sects in the World, Particularly of All Christian Denominations in Europe and America; to Which Are Added Church and Missionary Statistics, together with Biographical Sketches (Boston: John Hayward, 1842). After referring to the material on “Mormonites” in his 1836 volume, Hayward excerpted passages from “Church History.” (Hayward, Book of Religions, 260–266.)  


In 1839, the editor of the St. Louis Gazette asked church apostle John Taylor

1 Nov. 1808–25 July 1887. Preacher, editor, publisher, politician. Born at Milnthorpe, Westmoreland Co., England. Son of James Taylor and Agnes Taylor, members of Church of England. Around age sixteen, joined Methodists and was local preacher. Migrated from...

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for an article about the church but then declined to print it; Taylor published the history himself as A Short Account of the Murders, Roberies, Burnings, Thefts, and Other Outrages Committed by the Mob and Militia of the State of Missouri, upon the Latter Day Saints.4

John Taylor, A Short Account of the Murders, Roberies, Burnings, Thefts, and Other Outrages Committed by the Mob and Militia of the State of Missouri, upon the Latter Day Saints. The Persecutions They Have Endured for Their Religion, and Their Banishment from That State by the Authorities Thereof ([Springfield, IL]: [By the author], [1839]).  


JS responded to Wentworth

5 Mar. 1815–16 Oct. 1888. Teacher, newspaper editor and owner, lawyer, politician, historian. Born in Sandwich, Strafford Co., New Hampshire. Son of Paul Wentworth and Lydia Cogswell. Graduated from Dartmouth College, 1836. Moved to Chicago, 25 Oct. 1836....

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’s request with a “sketch of the rise, progress, persecution, and faith of the Latter-Day Saints.” In this history, which later came to be known among Latter-day Saints as the “Wentworth letter,” JS recounted his first vision of Deity and the production of the Book of Mormon. He also included a thirteen-point summary of Latter-day Saint beliefs, known today as the Articles of Faith.5

In 1851, Franklin D. Richards published the Articles of Faith as part of a pamphlet titled The Pearl of Great Price: Being a Choice Selection from the Revelations, Translations, and Narrations of Joseph Smith, First Prophet, Seer, and Revelator to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The entire Pearl of Great Price, including the Articles of Faith, was canonized as scripture in 1880. (See Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 2:234–238; see also Whittaker, “Articles of Faith,” 63–78.)  


As he had done when he wrote Saxton

25 Jan. 1798–23 June 1834. Evangelist, Christian newspaper editor. Born in Wilbraham, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. Son of Noah Saxton and Patty Bliss. Graduated from Union College in Schenectady, Schenectady Co., New York, 1818. Received preacher license, ...

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nine years earlier, JS asked that Barstow

19 June 1812–9 Sept. 1883. College professor, lawyer, historian. Born in Haverhill, Grafton Co., New Hampshire. Son of William Barstow and Abigail Townsend. Attended Dartmouth College, 1835, in Hanover, Grafton Co. Moved to Yarmouth Port, Barnstable Co., ...

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“publish the account entire, ungarnished, and without misrepresentation.”6

JS, “Church History,” 706.  


The essay appeared under the title “Church History” in the 1 March 1842 issue of the Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, Illinois, Times and Seasons.7

The issue was published no earlier than 2 March, when JS read the proof sheets. (JS, Journal, 2 Mar. 1842.)  


No manuscript copy has been located, and it is not known how much of the history was originally written or dictated by JS. “Church History” echoes some wording from Orson Pratt

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

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’s A[n] Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions, and of the Late Discovery of Ancient American Records. Pratt’s summary of church beliefs, upon which JS drew for the list of thirteen church beliefs in “Church History,” was in turn based on a theological summary written by Parley P. Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

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.8

See Pratt and Higbee, An Address . . . to the Citizens of Washington,; compare Pratt, Late Persecution of the Church, iii–xiii.  


Other individuals may have been involved in compiling the essay, including Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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, who wrote extensively as JS’s scribe during this period. Because William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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revised and expanded the text of “Church History” a year later in answer to a request from editor Israel Daniel Rupp

10 July 1803–31 May 1878. Bookseller, editor, historian, insurance agent, teacher, translator. Born in East Pennsboro (later in Hampden), Cumberland Co., Pennsylvania. Son of George Rupp and Christina Boeshor. Member of Reformed faith. Moved to Allen, Cumberland...

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, it is possible that Phelps helped compose the original essay. However, Phelps’s active role as scribe and composer for JS apparently did not commence until late 1842.
Whatever his debt to Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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, Pratt

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

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, or others, JS took responsibility for “Church History” when it was published in the Times and Seasons. His name appears as author, and a note below his name further confirms his approval: “This paper commences my editorial career, I alone stand responsible for it, and shall do for all papers having my signature henceforward.”9

“To Subscribers,” Times and Seasons, 1 Mar. 1842, 3:710; see also Woodruff, Journal, 3 Feb. 1842.  


When the history was updated and sent to Rupp

10 July 1803–31 May 1878. Bookseller, editor, historian, insurance agent, teacher, translator. Born in East Pennsboro (later in Hampden), Cumberland Co., Pennsylvania. Son of George Rupp and Christina Boeshor. Member of Reformed faith. Moved to Allen, Cumberland...

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for publication, JS again accepted responsibility for the text.

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