26017

History, 1834–1836

Perhaps, an arrangement of this kind in a former day would have occasioned some unpleasant reflections, in the minds of many, and at an earlier period, in this church, others to have forsaken the cause, in consequence of weakness, and unfaithfulness; but that the leaders of the church should wait so long before stepping forward according to the manifestation of the Spirit, deserved a reproof. And that the church should be chastened, for their uncultivated manner of salutation, is also just. But to proceed with the account of the interview.
After addressing the throne of mercy,14

See Hebrews 4:16.  


President Smith laid hands upon High Counsellor Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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, and ordained him to the Presidency of the High priesthood in the Church, saying:
Brother, In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who was crucified for the sins of the world, that we through the virtue of his blood might come to the Father,15

See Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 12:1, 1835 ed. [D&C 38:4].  


I lay my hands upon thy head, and ordain thee a President of the high and holy priesthood, to assist in presiding over the Church, and bearing the keys of this kingdom—16

See Matthew 16:19; Revelation, 15 Mar. 1832, in Doctrine and Covenants 79:1, 1835 ed. [D&C 81:2]; and Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833, in Doctrine and Covenants 84:1–3, 1835 ed. [D&C 90:1–6].  


which priesthood is after the order of Melchizedek— which is after the order of the Son of God—17

See Psalm 110:4; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 260 [Alma 13:18]; and Vision, 16 Feb. 1832, in Doctrine and Covenants 91:5, 1835 ed. [D&C 76:57].  


And now, O Father, wilt thou bless this thy servant with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding— give him, by the Holy Spirit, a correct understanding of thy doctrine, laws, and will— Commune with him from on high— let him hear thy voice, and receive the ministring of the holy angels— deliver him from temptation, and the power of darkness— deliver him from evil,18

See Matthew 6:13.  


and from those who may seek his destruction,— be his shield, his buckler, and his great reward—19

See Genesis 15:1; Psalm 91:4; and Revelation, 7 Dec. 1830, in Doctrine and Covenants 11:4, 1835 ed. [D&C 35:14].  


endow him with power from on high,20

See Luke 24:49; Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 12:7, 1835 ed. [D&C 38:32]; Revelation, Feb. 1831–A, in Doctrine and Covenants 14:4, 1835 ed. [D&C 43:15–16]; and Revelation, 22 June 1834, in Doctrine and Covenants 102:10, 1844 ed. [D&C 105:33].  


that he may write, preach, and proclaim the gospel to his fellowmen in demonstration of the Spirit and of power—21

Cowdery had a special calling to be a preacher and teacher to the church. (See Revelation, Sept. 1830–B, in Doctrine and Covenants 51:1–2, 1835 ed. [D&C 28:1–4].)  


may his feet never slide— may his heart never feint— may his faith never fail. Bestow upon him the blessings of his fathers Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and of Joseph— Prolong his life to a good old age, and bring him in peace to his end, and to rejoice with thy saints, even the sanctified, in the celestial kingdom;22

See 1 Corinthians 15:40–41; Vision, 16 Feb. 1832, in Doctrine and Covenants 91:5, 1835 ed. [D&C 76:50–70]; and Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832, in Doctrine and Covenants 7:4–5, 1835 ed. [D&C 88:17–22].  


for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.23

See Matthew 6:13; and Revelation, 30 Oct. 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 24:1, 1835 ed. [D&C 65:6].  


Presidents Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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, and Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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, confirmed the ordinance and blessings by the laying on of hands and prayer, after which each were blessed with the same blessings and prayer.
Much light was communicated to our minds, and we were instructed into the order of the Church of the saints, and how they ought to conduct in respecting and reverencing each other. The praise of men, or the honor of this world, is of no benefit; but if a man is respected in his calling, and considered to be a man of righteousness, the truth may have an influence, many times, by which means they may teach the gospel with success, and lead men into the kingdom of heaven. [p. 19]
Perhaps, an arrangement of this kind in a former day would have occasioned  some unpleasant reflections, in the minds of many, and at an early <earlier> period, in  this church, others to have forsaken the cause, in consequence of weakness, and unfaith fulness; but that the leaders of the church should wait so long before stepping forward  according <to> the manifestation of the Spirit, deserved a reproof. And that the  church should be chastened, for their uncultivated manner of salutation, is  also just. But to proceed with the account of the interview.
After addressing the throne of mercy,14

See Hebrews 4:16.  


President Smith laid hands up on High Counsellor Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
, and ordained him to the Presidency of the High  priesthood in the Church, saying:
Brother, In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who was crucified for  the sins of the world, that we through the virtue of his blood might come to the  Father,15

See Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 12:1, 1835 ed. [D&C 38:4].  


I lay my hands upon thy head, and ordain thee a President of the high and  holy priesthood, to assist in presiding over the Chu[r]ch, and bearing the keys of this king dom—16

See Matthew 16:19; Revelation, 15 Mar. 1832, in Doctrine and Covenants 79:1, 1835 ed. [D&C 81:2]; and Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833, in Doctrine and Covenants 84:1–3, 1835 ed. [D&C 90:1–6].  


which priesthood is after the or der of Melchizedek— which is after the order of the Son of God—17

See Psalm 110:4; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 260 [Alma 13:18]; and Vision, 16 Feb. 1832, in Doctrine and Covenants 91:5, 1835 ed. [D&C 76:57].  


And now, O Father, wilt thou bless this thy servant  with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding— give him, by the Holy Spirit,  a correct understanding of thy doctrine, laws, and will— Commune with  him from on high— let him hear thy voice, and receive the ministries ministring  of the holy angels— deliver him from temptation, and the power of  darkness— deliver him from evil,18

See Matthew 6:13.  


and from those who may seek his destruction, — be his shield, his buckler, and his great reward—19

See Genesis 15:1; Psalm 91:4; and Revelation, 7 Dec. 1830, in Doctrine and Covenants 11:4, 1835 ed. [D&C 35:14].  


endow him with power from on  high,20

See Luke 24:49; Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 12:7, 1835 ed. [D&C 38:32]; Revelation, Feb. 1831–A, in Doctrine and Covenants 14:4, 1835 ed. [D&C 43:15–16]; and Revelation, 22 June 1834, in Doctrine and Covenants 102:10, 1844 ed. [D&C 105:33].  


that he may write, preach, and proclaim the gospel to his fellowmen in dem onstration of the Spirit and of power—21

Cowdery had a special calling to be a preacher and teacher to the church. (See Revelation, Sept. 1830–B, in Doctrine and Covenants 51:1–2, 1835 ed. [D&C 28:1–4].)  


may his feet never slide— may his  heart never feint— may his faith never fail. Bestow upon him the bles sings of his fathers Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and of Joseph— Prolong his  life to a good old age, and bring him in peace to his end, and to rejoice with  thy saints, even the sanctified, in the celestial kingdom;22

See 1 Corinthians 15:40–41; Vision, 16 Feb. 1832, in Doctrine and Covenants 91:5, 1835 ed. [D&C 76:50–70]; and Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832, in Doctrine and Covenants 7:4–5, 1835 ed. [D&C 88:17–22].  


for thine is the  kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.23

See Matthew 6:13; and Revelation, 30 Oct. 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 24:1, 1835 ed. [D&C 65:6].  


Presidents Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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, and Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
, confirmed the ordinance and bles sings by the laying on of hands and prayer, after which each were blessed  with the same blessings and prayer.
Much light was communicated to our minds, and we were instructed into  the order of the Church of the saints, and how they ought to conduct in re specting and reverencing each other. The praise of men, or the honor of this world,  is of no benefit; but if a man is respected in his calling, and considered to be  a man of righteousness, the truth may have an influence, many times, by which  means they may teach the gospel with success, and lead men into the kingdom  of heaven. [p. 19]
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JS, History, [Dec. 1834–May 1836?]; handwriting of Warren Parrish

10 Jan. 1803–3 Jan. 1877. Clergyman, gardener. Born in New York. Son of John Parrish and Ruth Farr. Married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Patten of Westmoreland Co., New Hampshire, ca. 1822. Lived at Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, 1830. Purchased land at...

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, Warren Cowdery

17 Oct. 1788–23 Feb. 1851. Physician, druggist, farmer, editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Married Patience Simonds, 22 Sept. 1814, in Pawlet, Rutland Co. Moved to Freedom, Cattaraugus Co., New York, 1816...

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, Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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, and Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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; includes genealogical and financial tables; 154 pages; verso of JS History, 1838–1856, vol. A-1, CHL. Includes redactions, use marks, and archival marking.
Large blank book composed of ruled paper printed with forty horizontal lines in (now faint) blue ink. The text block includes thirty gatherings of various sizes, each about a dozen leaves per gathering, and originally had 384 interior leaves cut to measure 13⅝ x 9 inches (35 x 23 cm). The text block, which was conserved in the late twentieth century, was probably originally sewn on recessed cords and was apparently also glued on leather tapes. The binding features false bands. The endpapers were single-sided marbled leaves featuring a traditional Spanish pattern with slate blue body and black and red veins. The block was bound to pasteboard covers, probably with a hollow-back ledger binding, making a book measuring 14¼ x 9½ x 2½ inches (36 x 24 x 6 cm). The boards were bound in brown suede calfskin. At some point, blind-tooled decorations were made around the outside border and along the board edges and the turned-in edges of the inside covers.
Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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began the text of the document on the thirteenth page of the text block, numbering it as page 9. Cowdery set aside pages 9–16 for genealogical tables for the members of the church presidency. He inscribed the page numbers, table headings, and column and row ruling for the tables in red ink with a quill pen. The content of the tables was inscribed in ink that is now brown with a quill pen, as was the rest of the history. Cowdery inscribed journal-like entries for 5 and 6 December 1834 on pages 17–20. Pages 21–45 are blank except for page numbering. Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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and Warren Parrish

10 Jan. 1803–3 Jan. 1877. Clergyman, gardener. Born in New York. Son of John Parrish and Ruth Farr. Married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Patten of Westmoreland Co., New Hampshire, ca. 1822. Lived at Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, 1830. Purchased land at...

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copied Cowdery’s 1834–1835 historical articles, published serially in the Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, onto pages 46–103. A passage that Parrish missed while copying the first installment of the Cowdery history is supplied on a slip of paper attached to page 50 with adhesive wafers. On pages 103–104, Parrish copied part of a JS letter, also published in the church newspaper. On pages 105–187, Parrish and Warren Cowdery

17 Oct. 1788–23 Feb. 1851. Physician, druggist, farmer, editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Married Patience Simonds, 22 Sept. 1814, in Pawlet, Rutland Co. Moved to Freedom, Cattaraugus Co., New York, 1816...

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wrote historical entries based on the entries in JS’s 1835–1836 journal. The genealogical table headings written by Oliver Cowdery, the letter headings and closings written by Williams and Parrish, and the datelines written by Parrish and Warren Cowdery are slightly larger than the ordinary script of these individuals. Parrish’s datelines also feature a vertical stress that contrasts with the oblique stress of his entry inscriptions. In their copying from the Messenger and Advocate, Frederick G. Williams and Warren Parrish often used a slightly larger script for words that appear in small caps in the printed version. Although pagination for the 1834–1836 history was inscribed up to page 241, the actual chronicle reaches only to page 187. Oliver Cowdery numbered pages 9–21, Frederick G. Williams numbered pages 22–58, Warren Parrish numbered pages 59–111, and Warren Cowdery numbered pages 112–241. Sometime later, 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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inscribed year and month-and-year headings in black ink on pages 17–20, 46–47, 105–173, and 176–187. Various pages also bear redactions in unidentified handwriting in black and blue pencil.
In 1839, the book was repurposed for the inscription of a new history. The book was turned over so that the back cover became the front and the last leaf became the first. From this new front of the book, JS’s scribes began writing what became the first volume of JS’s multivolume manuscript history (the first 61 pages of which are transcribed as “Draft 2”). That later history filled most of the remaining leaves of the book, running well into the blank pages that were numbered for the 1834–1836 history and up to within five pages of the inscribed entries in the earlier history. However, only numbering on pages 235–241 of the 1834–1836 history were erased (by knife eraser). With the later history’s side of the book upward, the spine of the book was labeled as volume “A | 1” of the multivolume history. Archival stickers were also added at some point to the spine and the inside front cover. Two interior leaves are now missing from the initial gathering of the volume and one leaf is missing from the final gathering. The flyleaves and pastedowns were also lost or removed from the book.1

See JS History, vol. A-1, microfilm, Dec. 1971, CHL. Only one leaf of the original pastedowns and flyleaves is extant. The pastedowns were replaced with undecorated paper in 1994, according to a conservation note on the verso of the extant marbled leaf archived with the volume.  


The volume shows moderate wear, browning, water staining, and brittleness. It has been resewn, rebound, and otherwise conserved.
While the 1834–1836 history was being created, the volume was apparently kept in the homes of JS’s scribes.2

See JS, Journal, 29 Oct. 1835 and 25 Jan. 1836 (see also entry for 29 Oct. 1835 herein).  


In 1839, scribe James Mulholland

1804–3 Nov. 1839. Born in Ireland. Baptized into LDS church. Married Sarah Scott, 8 Feb. 1838, at Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri. Engaged in clerical work for JS, 1838, at Far West. Ordained a seventy, 28 Dec. 1838. After expulsion from Missouri, lived ...

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converted the book into the first volume of JS’s multivolume manuscript history.3

Jessee, “Writing of Joseph Smith’s History,” 439–441, 450–451, 464.  


In 1842, the church newspaper in 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, began publishing this later history.4

The serialized publication of this history began in the 15 March 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons.  


JS maintained custody of the volume through his later life, as indicated by a note he inscribed memorializing his deceased brother Alvin Smith

11 Feb. 1798–19 Nov. 1823. Farmer, carpenter. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; returned to Tunbridge, before May 1803. Moved to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804, and to...

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, which was attached to the verso of the flyleaf preceding the later history. The volume is listed in the first extant Historian’s Office inventory, made in Nauvoo in February 1846 by clerk Thomas Bullock, and it is listed in inventories of church records made in Salt Lake City in the second half of the nineteenth century.5

“Schedule of Church Records. Nauvoo 1846,” [1]; “Historian’s Office Catalogue 1858,” 2, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL.  


These and later archival records, as well as archival marking on the volume, indicate continuous institutional custody.

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