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History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842]

March 20 repent, and serve him in health, and in the strength, and power of his mind in order to secure his blessing; and not wait until he is called to die. Also the doctrine of Baptizing Children, or sprinkling them or they must welter in hell is a doctrine not true, not supported in holy writ, and is not consistent with the character of God. All children are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and the moment that children leave this world they are taken to the bosom of Abraham. The only difference between the old and young dying, is, one lives longer in heaven, and eternal light and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from this miserable wicked world— Notwithstanding all this glory, we for a moment lose sight of it, and mourn the loss; but we do not mourn as those without hope. My intention was, to have spoken upon the subject of baptism, but having a case of death before us I thought proper to refer to that subject. I will now however say a few words upon baptism, as I intended. God has made certain decrees which are fixed, and immovable, for instance; God set the sun, the moon, and the stars in the heavens; and gave them their laws, conditions and bounds which they cannot pass, except by his commandments; they all move in perfect harmony in their sphere, and order, and are as lights, wonders, and signs unto us. The sea also has its bounds which it cannot pass. God has set many signs on the Earth, as well as in the heavens, for instance the oak of the forest, the fruit of the tree, the herb of the field; all bear a sign that seed hath been planted there; for it is a decree of the Lord that every tree, plant, and herb bearing seed, should bring forth of its kind, and cannot come forth after any other law, or principle. Upon the same principle do I contend that baptism is a sign ordained of God, for the believer in Christ to take upon himself in order to enter into the kingdom of God, “for except ye are born of water, and of the spirit ye cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” saith the Savior. It is a sign and commandment which God has set for Man to enter into his kingdom. Those who seek to enter in any other way will seek in vain; for God will not receive them, neither will the angels acknowledge their works as accepted; for they have not obeyed the ordinances, nor attended to the signs which God ordained for the salvation of Man to prepare him for, and give him a title to a Celestial glory; and God has decreed that all who will not obey his voice shall not escape the damnation of hell. What is the damnation of hell? to go with that Society who have not obeyed his commands. Baptism is a sign to God, to Angels, and to heaven that we do the will of God: and there is no other way beneath the heavens whereby God hath ordained for Man to come to him, to be saved, and enter into the kingdom of God, except faith in Jesus Christ; repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, and any other course is in vain; then you have the promise of the gift of the Holy Ghost. What is the sign of the healing of the sick? the laying on of hands is the sign, or way marked out by James; and the custom of the ancient Saints as ordered by the Lord; and we cannot obtain the blessing by pursuing any other course, except the way marked out by the Lord. What if we should attempt to get the gift of the Holy Ghost through [p. 1296]
<March 20> repent, and serve him in health, and in the strength, and power of his mind  in order to secure his blessing; and not wait until he is called to die. Also  the doctrine of Baptizing Children, or sprinkling them or they must welter in  hell is a doctrine not true, not supported in holy writ, and is not consistent  with the character of God. All children are redeemed by the blood of Jesus  Christ, and the moment that children leave this world they are taken to the  bosom of Abraham. The only difference between the old and young dying,  is, one lives longer in heaven, and eternal light and glory than the other, and  is freed a little sooner from this miserable wicked world— Notwithstanding  all this glory, we for a moment lose sight of it, and mourn the loss; but we  do not mourn as those without hope. My intention was, to have spoken  upon the subject of baptism, but having a case of death before us I thought proper  to refer to that subject. I will now however say a few words upon baptism,  as I intended. God has made certain decrees which are fixed, and immovable,  for instance; God set the sun, the moon, and the stars in the heavens; and  gave them their laws, conditions and bounds which they cannot pass, except  by his commandments; they all move in perfect harmony in their sphere,  and order, and are as lights, wonders, and signs unto us. The sea also  has its bounds which it cannot pass. God has set many signs on the  Earth, as well as in the heavens, for instance the oak of the forest, the fruit of  the tree, the herb of the field; all bear a sign that seed hath been planted  there; for it is a decree of the Lord that every tree, plant, and herb bearing  seed, should bring forth of its kind, and cannot come forth after any other  law, or principle. Upon the same principle do I contend that baptism is  a sign ordained of God, for the believer in Christ to take upon himself in  order to enter into the kingdom of God, “for except ye are born of water, and  of the spirit ye cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” saith the Savior.  It is a sign and commandment which God has set for Man to enter into  his kingdom. Those who seek to enter in any other way will seek in vain;  <for> God will not receive them, neither will the angels acknowledge their works  as accepted; for they have not obeyed the ordinances, nor attended to the signs  which God ordained for the salvation of Man to prepare him for, and give him  a title to a Celestial glory; and God has decreed that all who will not obey his  voice shall not escape the damnation of hell. What is the damnation of hell?  to go with that Society who have not obeyed his commands. Baptism is a sign  to God, to Angels, and to heaven that we do the will of God: and there is no  other way beneath the heavens whereby God hath ordained for Man to come to  him, to be saved, and enter into the kingdom of God, except faith in Jesus Christ;  repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, and any other course is in  vain; then you have the promise of the gift of the Holy Ghost. What is the sign of the  healing of the sick? the laying on of hands is the sign, or way marked out by James;  and the custom of the ancient Saints as ordered by the Lord; and we cannot  obtain the blessing by pursuing any other course, except the way marked out by  the Lord. What if we should attempt to get the gift of the Holy Ghost through [p. 1296]
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This document, volume C-1, is the third of six volumes of the “Manuscript History of the Church.” The collection was compiled over an eighteen-year span from 1838 to 1856 and covers the period from 23 December 1805 to 8 August 1844. The narrative in this volume commences on 2 November 1838 with JS and other church leaders being held prisoner by the “Governor

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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’s forces” at Far West

Originally called Shoal Creek. Located fifty-five miles northeast of Independence. Surveyed 1823; first settled by whites, 1831. Site purchased, 8 Aug. 1836, before Caldwell Co. was organized for Latter-day Saints in Missouri. William W. Phelps and John Whitmer...

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, Missouri, and concludes with the death of Bishop Vinson Knight

14 Mar. 1804–31 July 1842. Farmer, druggist, school warden. Born at Norwich, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Rudolphus Knight and Rispah (Rizpah) Lee. Married Martha McBride, 14 Mar. 1826. Moved to Perrysburg, Cattaraugus Co., New York, by Mar. 1834....

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at 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, on 31 July 1842. For a more complete discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to this history.
Volume C-1 was created beginning on or just after 24 February 1845 and its narrative completed on 3 May although work continued on the volume through 3 July of that year (Richards, Journal, 24 and 28 Feb. 1845; Historian’s Office, Journal, 3 May 1845; 3 and 4 July 1845). It is in the handwriting of Thomas Bullock and contains 512 pages of primary text, plus 24 pages of addenda. Additional addenda for this volume were created at a later date in a separate volume, and will appear in this collection as a separate document. Compilers 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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and Thomas Bullock drew heavily from JS’s letters, discourses, and diary entries; meeting minutes; church and other periodicals and journals; and reminiscences, recollections, and letters of church members and other contacts. At JS’s behest, they had maintained the first-person, chronological-narrative format established in previous volumes, as if JS were the author. Brigham Young

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

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, Heber C. Kimball

14 June 1801–22 June 1868. Blacksmith, potter. Born at Sheldon, Franklin Co., Vermont. Son of Solomon Farnham Kimball and Anna Spaulding. Married Vilate Murray, 22 Nov. 1822, at Mendon, Monroe Co., New York. Member of Baptist church at Mendon, 1831. Baptized...

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, George A. Smith

26 June 1817–1 Sept. 1875. Born at Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co., New York. Son of John Smith and Clarissa Lyman. Baptized into LDS church by Joseph H. Wakefield, 10 Sept. 1832, at Potsdam. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833. Labored on Kirtland temple...

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, and others reviewed and modified the manuscript prior to its eventual publication in the Salt Lake City newspaper Deseret News.
The historical narrative recorded in volume C-1 continued the account of JS’s life as prophet and president of the church. Critical events occurring within the forty-five-month period of this volume include the 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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Mormon War; subsequent legal trials of church leaders; expulsion of the Saints from Missouri; missionary efforts in England by the Twelve

Members of a governing body in the church, with special administrative and proselytizing responsibilities. A June 1829 revelation commanded Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer to call twelve disciples, similar to the twelve apostles in the New Testament and ...

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and others; attempts by JS to obtain federal redress for the Missouri depredations; publication of the LDS Millennial Star in England; the migration of English converts to America; missionary efforts in other nations; the death of church patriarch Joseph Smith Sr.

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

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; the establishment 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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city charter; the commencement of construction of the Nauvoo temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1841, commanded Saints to build temple and hotel (Nauvoo House). Cornerstone laid, 6 Apr. 1841. Saints volunteered labor, money, and other resources for temple construction. Construction directed by committee, which included Reynolds...

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; the Wisconsin “pinery”

Also known as pinery. Area near Black River where lumbering operation was established to provide timber for construction of Nauvoo temple, Nauvoo House, and other public buildings. Four mills established on Black River, ca. Sept. 1841: three near Black River...

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expedition that facilitated temple construction; the introduction of the doctrine of proxy baptism for deceased persons; the dedicatory prayer by Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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on the Mount of Olives in Palestine; publication of the “Book of Abraham” in the Nauvoo Times and Seasons; publication of the JS history often referred to as the “Wentworth letter;” the organization of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo; and the inception of Nauvoo-era temple endowment ceremonies.

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