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History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834]

1 The rise of the Church of Christ

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

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in these last days, being One thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established, agreeably to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
of God in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April: which commandments were given to Joseph Smith Jr who was called of God, and ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

View Glossary
an apostle

A title indicating one sent forth to preach; later designated as a specific ecclesiastical and priesthood office. By 1830, JS and Oliver Cowdery were designated as apostles. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church explained that an “apostle is an elder...

View Glossary
of Jesus Christ, to be the first Elder

Presiding officers of the church; also, leading elders of the church. A December 1832 revelation directed the first elders, or “first labourers,” to preach the gospel and instructed them to create a school to prepare for their ministry. A June 1834 revelation...

View Glossary
of this Church: and to 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...

View Full Bio
, who was also called of God, an apostle of Jesus Christ; to be the second elder of this Church, and ordained under his hand: and this according to the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom be all glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 After it was truly manifested unto this first elder that he had received a remission of his sins, he was entangled again in the vanities of the world; but after repenting, and humbling himself, sincerely, through faith God ministered unto him by an holy angel, whose countenance was as lightning, and whose garments were pure and white above all other whiteness; and gave unto him commandments, which inspired him, and gave him power from on high, by the means which were before prepared, to translate

To produce a new text through a revelatory, rather than scholarly, process, by the “gift and power of God.” In the Book of Mormon, the ancient prophet Mosiah translated records into his own language using “interpreters,” or “two stones which was fastened ...

View Glossary
the Book of Mormon, which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles

Those who were not members of the House of Israel. More specifically, members of the church identified gentiles as those whose lineage was not of the Jews or Lamanites (understood to be the American Indians in JS’s day). Certain prophecies indicated that ...

View Glossary
, and to the Jews also, which was given by inspiration, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and is declared unto the world by them, proving to the world that the holy Scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men, and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old, thereby showing that he is the same God, yesterday, today, and for ever.— Amen.
3 Therefore having so great witnesses, by them shall the world be judged, even as many as shall hereafter come to a knowledge of this work; and those who receive it in faith, and work righteousness, shall receive a crown of eternal life; but those who harden their hearts in unbelief, and reject it, it shall turn to their condemnation, for the Lord God has spoken it; and we the elders of the Church, have heard and bear witness to the words of the glorious Majesty on high, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
4 By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting, the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth and all things which are in them, and that he created man male and female: after his own image, and in his own likeness created he them, and gave unto them commandments, that they should love and serve him the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship: but by the transgression of these holy laws, man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man.
5 Wherefore the Almighty God gave his only begotten Son, as it is written in those scriptures which have been given of him; he suffered temptations but gave no [p. 30]
1 The rise of the Church of Christ

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
in these last days, being One thousand eight  hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the  flesh, it being regularly organized and established, agreeably to the laws of our country,  by the will and commandments

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
of God in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the  month which is called April: which commandments were given to Joseph Smith Jr  who was called of God, and ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

View Glossary
an apostle

A title indicating one sent forth to preach; later designated as a specific ecclesiastical and priesthood office. By 1830, JS and Oliver Cowdery were designated as apostles. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church explained that an “apostle is an elder...

View Glossary
of Jesus Christ, to be the first Elder

Presiding officers of the church; also, leading elders of the church. A December 1832 revelation directed the first elders, or “first labourers,” to preach the gospel and instructed them to create a school to prepare for their ministry. A June 1834 revelation...

View Glossary
 of this Church: and to 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...

View Full Bio
, who was also called of God, an apostle of  Jesus Christ; to be the second elder of this Church, and ordained under his hand:  and this according to the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom  be all glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 After it was truly manifested unto this first elder that he had received a remission  of his sins, he was entangled again [in] the vanities of the world; but after repenting,  and humbling himself, sincerely, through faith God ministered unto him by  an holy angel, whose countenance was as lightning, and whose garments were pure  and white above all other whiteness; and gave unto him commandments, which  inspired him, and gave him power from on high, by the means which were before  prepared, to translate

To produce a new text through a revelatory, rather than scholarly, process, by the “gift and power of God.” In the Book of Mormon, the ancient prophet Mosiah translated records into his own language using “interpreters,” or “two stones which was fastened ...

View Glossary
the Book of Mormon, which contains a record of a fallen  people, and the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles

Those who were not members of the House of Israel. More specifically, members of the church identified gentiles as those whose lineage was not of the Jews or Lamanites (understood to be the American Indians in JS’s day). Certain prophecies indicated that ...

View Glossary
, and to the Jews  also, which was given by inspiration, and is confirmed to others by the ministering  of angels, and is declared <un>to the world by them, proving to the world that the holy  Scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men, and call them to his holy work  in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old, thereby showing that  he is the same God, yesterday, today, and for ever.— Amen.
3 Therefore having so great witnesses, by them shall the world be judged, even as many  as shall here hereafter come to a knowledge of this work; and those who receive it in  faith, and work righteousness, shall receive a crown of eternal life; but those who  harden their hearts in unbelief, and reject it, it shall turn to their condemnation,  for the Lord God has spoken it; and we the elders of the Church, have read <heard> and  bear witness to the words of the glorious Majesty on high, to whom be glory forever  and ever. Amen.
4 By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and  eternal, from everlasting to everlasting, the same unchangeable God, the framer  of heaven and earth and all things which are in them, and that he created man  male and female: after his own image, and in his own likeness created he them,  and gave unto them commandments, that they should love and serve him the only  true and living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should  worship: but by the transgression of these holy laws, man became sensual and  devilish, and became fallen man.
5 Wherefore the Almighty God gave his only begotten Son, as it is written in those  scriptures which have been given of him; he suffered temptations but gave no [p. 30]
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JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. A-1, created 11 June 1839–24 Aug. 1843; handwriting of 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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, Robert B. Thompson

1 Oct. 1811–27 Aug. 1841. Clerk, editor. Born in Great Driffield, Yorkshire, England. Member of Methodist church. Immigrated to Upper Canada, 1834. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, May 1836, in Upper Canada. Ordained an elder by John Taylor, 22...

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, 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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, and 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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; 553 pages, plus 16 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the first volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This first volume covers the period from 23 December 1805 to 30 August 1834; the remaining five volumes, labeled B-1 through F-1, continue through 8 August 1844.

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