31772

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

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

all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do, that all may  be benefited, that seeketh or asketh of me, that asketh, and not for a  sign, that he may consume it upon his lusts.
5. And again, verily I say unto you, I would that ye should always  remember, and always retain in your minds what those gifts  are, that are given unto the church, for all have not every gift  given unto them: for there are many gifts, and to every man  is given a gift by the Spirit of God: to some it is given one,  and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby; to  some is given another, that all may be profited thereby; to some it  is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the son of  god, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world; to others  is it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have et ernal life, if they continue faithful.
6. And again, to some it is given by the Holy Ghost, to know the  differences of Administration, as it will be unto the same Lord, accord ing as the Lord will suiting his mercies according to the conditions of  the children of men. And again, it is given by the Holy Ghost to some the  diversities of operations, whether it be of God, that the manifestations of  the spirit may be given to every man to profit withal.
7. And again, verily I say unto you, to some it is given, by the Spirit  of God, the word of wisdom; to another it is given the word of knowl edge, that all may be taught to be taught wise and to have knowledge.—  And again, to some it is given to have faith to be healed, and to others  it is given to have faith to heal. And again, to some is given the  working of miracles; and to others it is given to prophesy, and to others  the discerning of spirits. And again, it is given to some to speak with  tongues, and to another it is given the interpretation of tongues; and  all these gifts cometh from God, for the benefit of the children of  God. And unto the bishop of the church, and unto such as God  shall appoint and ordain to watch over the church, and to be  elders unto the church, are to have it given unto them to  discern all those gifts, lest there shall be any among you [professing], and yet  be not of God.
8 And it shall come to pass, that he that asketh in spirit shall re ceive in spirit; that unto some it may be given to have all those gifts,  that there may be a head, in order that every member may be  profited thereby: he that asketh in spirit, asketh according to the  will of God; wherefore it is done even as he asketh. [p. 110]
PreviousNext
This document, volume A-1, is the first of the six volumes of the “Manuscript History of the Church.” The collection was compiled over the span of seventeen years, 1838 to 1856. Volume A-1 encompasses the period from JS’s birth in 1805 to 30 August 1834, just after the return of the Camp of Israel (later known as Zion’s Camp) from Missouri to Kirtland, Ohio. For a fuller discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to the history.
In April 1838 JS renewed his effort to draft a “history” with the aid of his counselor Sidney Rigdon. George W. Robinson served as scribe. JS’s journal for late April and early May 1838 notes six days on which JS, Rigdon, and Robinson were engaged in “writing history.” Though not completed and no longer extant, that draft laid the foundation for what became a six-volume manuscript eventually published as the “History of Joseph Smith,” and at least a portion of its contents are assumed to have been included in the manuscript presented here.
On 11 June 1839 in Commerce, Illinois, JS once again began dictating his “history.” James Mulholland now served as scribe. Apparently the narrative commenced where the earlier 1838 draft left off. When work was interrupted in July 1839, Mulholland inscribed the draft material, including at least some of Robinson’s earlier material, into a large record book already containing the text of an incomplete history previously produced over a span of two years, 1834–1836. For the new history, Mulholland simply turned the ledger over and began at the back of the book. The volume was later labeled A-1 on its spine, identifying it as the first of multiple volumes of the manuscript history.
Prior to his untimely death on 3 November 1839, Mulholland recorded the first fifty-nine pages in the volume. Subsequently, his successor, Robert B. Thompson, contributed about sixteen more pages before his death in August 1841. William W. Phelps then added a little over seventy-five pages. However, it was not until Willard Richards was appointed JS’s “private secretary and historian” that substantial progress was made on the compilation of the history. Richards would contribute the remainder of the text inscribed in the 553-page first volume. The narrative recorded in A-1 was completed in August 1843. Thomas Bullock and Charles Wandell subsequently added sixteen pages of “Addenda” material, which provided notes, extensive revisions, or additional text to be inserted in the original manuscript where indicated. For instance, several of the addenda expanded on the account of the Camp of Israel as initially recorded.
JS dictated or supplied information for much of A-1, and he personally corrected the first forty-two pages before his death. As planned, his historian-scribes maintained the first-person, chronological narrative format initially established in the volume. When various third-person accounts were drawn upon, they were generally converted to the first person, as if JS was directly relating the account. After JS’s death, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, George A. Smith, and others modified and corrected the manuscript as they reviewed material before its eventual publication.
Beginning in March 1842 the church’s Nauvoo periodical, the Times and Seasons, began publishing the narrative as the “History of Joseph Smith.” At the time of JS’s death only the history through December 1831 had been published. When the final issue of the Times and Seasons, dated 15 February 1846 appeared, the account had been carried forward through August 1834—the end of the material recorded in A-1. The “History of Joseph Smith” was also published in England in the church periodical the Millennial Star beginning in June 1842. Once a press was established in Utah and the Deseret News began publication, the “History of Joseph Smith” once more appeared in print in serialized form. Beginning with the November 1851 issue, the narrative picked up where the Times and Seasons had left off over five years earlier.
Aside from the material dictated or supplied by JS prior to his murder, the texts for A-1 and for the history’s subsequent volumes were drawn from a variety of primary and secondary sources including JS’s diaries and letters, minutes of meetings, the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, church and other periodicals, reports of JS’s discourses, and the reminiscences and recollections of church members. The narrative in A-1 provides JS’s personal account of the foundational events of his life as a prophet and the early progress of the church. It also encompasses contentions and disputations that erupted between the Latter-day Saints and their neighbors in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Missouri. While it remains difficult to distinguish JS’s own contributions from composition of his historian-scribes, the narrative trenchantly captures the poignancy and intensity of his life while offering an enlightening account of the birth of the church he labored to establish.

Facts