53992717

History, circa June 1839–circa 1841 [Draft 2]

baptism:
19 The Elders or priests are to have a sufficient time to expound all things concerning the church of Christ to their understanding, previous to their partaking of the sacrament, and being confirmed by the laying on of the hands of the elders: so that all things may be done in order. And the members shall manifest before the Church, and also before the elders, by a godly walk and conversation, that they are worthy of it, that there may be works and faith agreeable to the holy scriptures—walking in holiness before the Lord.
20 Every member of the Church of Christ having children is to bring them unto the elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name.
21 No one can be received into the church of Christ unless he has arrived unto the years of accountability before God, and is capable of repentance.
22 Baptism is to be administered in the following manner, unto all those who repent: The person who is called of God, and has authority of Jesus Christ to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented him or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name: Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. Then shall he immerse him or her in the water, and come forth again out of the water.
23 It is expedient that the Church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the Lord Jesus: and the elder or priest shall administer it: and after this manner shall he administer it: he shall kneel with the church, and call upon the Father in solemn prayer, saying, O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy son Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy son, and witness unto thee O God, the Eternal Father that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them Amen.
24 The manner of administering the wine: He shall take cup also, and say, O God, the eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy son Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy son which was shed for them, that they may witness unto thee O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
25 Any member of the Church of Christ transgressing, or being overtaken in a fault, shall be dealt with as the scriptures direct.
26 It shall be the duty of the several churches composing the Church of Christ, to send one or more of their teachers to attend the several conferences held by the elders of the Church; with a list of the names of the several members [p. 33]
baptism:
19 The Elders or priests are to have a sufficient time to expound all  things concerning the church of Christ to their understanding, previous to their par taking of the sacrament, and being confirmed by the laying on of the hands of the  elders: so that all things may be done in order. And the members shall mani fest before the Church, and also before the elders, by a godly walk and conver sation, that they are worthy of it, that there may be works and faith agreeable  to the holy scriptures—walking in holiness before the Lord.
20 Every member of the Church <of Christ> having children is to bring them unto the  elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of  Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name.
21 No one can be received into the church of Christ unless he has arrived unto  the years of accountability before God, and is capable of repentance.
22 Baptism is to be administered in the following manner, unto all those who  repent: The person who is called of God, and has authority of Jesus Christ  to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented him  or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name: Having  authority of been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the  Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. Then shall he  immerse him or her in the water, and come forth out <again> out of the water.
23 It is expedient that the Church meet together often to partake of bread and  wine in remembrance of the Lord Jesus: and the elder or priest shall administer  it: and after this manner shall he administer it: he shall kneel with the  church, and call upon the Father in solemn prayer, saying, O God, the Eternal  Father, we ask thee in the name of thy son Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify  this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remem brance of the body of thy son, and witness unto thee O God, the Eternal Father  that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy son, and always  remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them,  that they may always have his Spirit to be with them Amen.
24 The manner of administering the wine: He shall take cup also, and  say, O God, the eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy son Jesus Christ  to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they  may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy son which was shed for them, that  they may witness unto thee O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always  remember him, and that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
25 Any member of the Church of Christ transgressing, or being overtaken  in a fault, shall be dealt with as the scriptures direct.
26 It shall be the duty of the several churches composing the Church of  Christ, to send one or more of their teachers to attend the several conferences  held by the elders of the Church; with a list of the names of the several members [p. 33]
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In addition to working on an initial draft of JS’s history in summer 1839, 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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devoted some of his time to inscribing the history compiled to that point into a large manuscript book. He began this new draft of the history in the back of the volume in which the 1834–1836 history had been inscribed, turning it over so the back cover became the front cover. Serving as principal sources for this version of the history were the manuscript that JS, Sidney 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 George W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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had created in 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 1838, and Draft 1. Textual evidence that the nonextant 1838 material was used when composing Draft 2 is found in the second paragraph of the latter, which situates the composition in “the eighth year since the [1830] organization of said Church,” and a later passage that gives the date of composition as “the Second day of May, One thousand Eight hundred and thirty eight.”1

JS History, vol. A-1, 1, 8.  


Starting at 15 May 1829, the remainder of the text in Mulholland’s handwriting is a copy of Draft 1. Although the first seven pages of Draft 1 match Draft 2 quite closely, the two versions are markedly less similar after that point. This contrast may indicate that an intermediate draft of the history was made beginning at about page 7 of Draft 1 and that Mulholland copied the text from this intermediate draft, not directly from Draft 1.
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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inscribed pages 1–59 in the large history volume. After his death in November 1839, 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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served as scribe for the history. Little is known about the circumstances surrounding Thompson’s inscription, totaling only sixteen pages, in the large history volume. The transcript of Draft 2 presented herein ends on page 61 of the manuscript volume, after the first two pages of Thompson’s inscription, to correspond with the end of Draft 3; the other fourteen pages in his hand give a biographical sketch of Sidney 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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, including a brief narrative of his conversion to Mormonism. Because the majority of the pages in Thompson’s hand deal with Rigdon’s life before joining the church, Rigdon was likely consulted for this portion of the narrative.
The opening statement of the draft in the large manuscript volume refers to defamation and persecution to which the Latter-day Saints and JS in particular had been subjected, and it characterizes such maltreatment as one motivation for telling the story of the church and its founder: “Owing to the many reports which have been put in circulation by evil disposed and designing men,” JS proclaimed, the history was designed to “disabuse the publick mind, and put all enquirers after truth into possession of the facts” and set the record straight “in relation both to myself and the Church.” This introduction was written not long after JS had fled Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Ohio, for 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, under threat of several lawsuits; thus, when he began the history in summer 1838 he was especially motivated to justify himself and the church in light of what he considered a long history of persecution. Such an introduction may also have been written as a more general response to the accumulated negative reports transmitted orally and in the press beginning in JS’s youth and continuing throughout the 1830s.2

Although the history was begun in 1838, it is possible that the preamble in the first paragraph was added in 1839 when James Mulholland wrote Draft 2. If so, the concern with negative publicity may also have been a reaction to the widespread news of the Mormon conflict in Missouri in fall 1838 andJS’s imprisonment, or to the growing number of publications critical of JS and the church since 1838. See, for example, Origen Bacheler, Mormonism Exposed, Internally and Externally (New York, 1838), and La Roy Sunderland’s eight-part series published in the Methodist Zion’s Watchman from 13 January to 3 March 1838 and republished in pamphlet form as Mormonism Exposed and Refuted (New York: Piercy & Reid, 1838).  


After briefly narrating JS’s birth and early years, Draft 2 proceeds immediately to the circumstances that culminated in his first vision of Deity in the spring of 1820, followed closely by the visitations of an angel in 1823 and JS’s commission to retrieve a sacred record buried nearby. JS’s religious mission is the primary focus; his personal affairs, like his marriage to 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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, whom he met while employed in digging for a rumored silver mine, are discussed only briefly and in the context of that mission.
Following JS’s recitation of his retrieval of the ancient record, the beginnings of his translation thereof, and the loss of the translation manuscript, 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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began including the full texts of JS’s revelations, which became a major element of the account. The revelations were integrated into the history starting with July 1828, and they generally appear in chronological order. Mulholland copied the revelations into the history from the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, rather than from earlier versions. Many of JS’s early revelations underwent significant updating and expansion in order to suit rapidly changing circumstances after the organization of the Church of Christ in 1830, so the inclusion of the 1835 version of revelations into a narrative covering events before 1835 introduced numerous anachronisms. Significant instances of anachronism are identified in the annotation of the text herein.
Additionally, the narrative itself, composed beginning in 1838, necessarily reflects the perspective of JS and his collaborators at the time of its production, thus inadvertently introducing terminology and concepts that were not operative a decade earlier in the period the narrative describes. Examples include using later priesthood nomenclature such as “Aaronic” and “Melchizedek” and calling the church JS established “the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” a name not designated until 1838. Such usage makes it difficult to trace the details of the unfolding of church governance and doctrine in the faith’s dynamic early years. Readers wishing to more fully understand these issues may consult the revelation texts and other documents found in the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers.
While much of the narrative is anchored by documents, particularly published revelations, JS and his associates were dependent upon unrecorded memories for the balance of the historical account found in Draft 2. JS used collective memory and oral recollections of fellow participants, such as Newel Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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, to reconstruct the events of early church history. Such reminiscences formed the basis for not only factual details in the history but likely for quotations as well, such as long portions of the report of the 1830 trial proceedings in South Bainbridge and Colesville

Area settled, beginning 1785. Formed from Windsor Township, Apr. 1821. Population in 1830 about 2,400. Villages within township included Harpursville, Nineveh, and Colesville. Susquehanna River ran through eastern portion of township. JS worked for Joseph...

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, New York. JS evidently had to rely on his own memory and that of others to provide some extensive quotations, such as the words of the angel Moroni during his first appearance to JS and the remarks scholars in New York City

Dutch founded New Netherland colony, 1625. Incorporated under British control and renamed New York, 1664. Harbor contributed to economic and population growth of city; became largest city in American colonies. British troops defeated Continental Army under...

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made to Martin Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

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when he showed them characters copied from the gold plates. Lists of persons baptized may have come from records no longer extant or possibly from eyewitnesses consulted for the production of the history.
The manuscript itself was a dynamic text, emended at several times by various scribes. Revisions made in the hand 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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at the time of inscription or shortly after are included in the transcript herein. Later changes in the hand of 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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, made beginning in December 1842, are not incorporated into the transcript, although substantial changes are described in annotation. Thus, the transcript of Draft 2 presents the history in an early stage, before changes were made by Richards and others, and it approximates the state of the history when Howard Coray

6 May 1817–16 Jan. 1908. Bookkeeper, clerk, teacher, farmer. Born in Dansville, Steuben Co., New York. Son of Silas Coray and Mary Stephens. Moved to Providence, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, ca. 1827; to Williams, Northampton Co., Pennsylvania, by 1830; and...

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used it for a new history draft in about 1841.
For more information about the relationship between this draft and Drafts 1 and 3, see Introduction to Early Drafts of History, 1838–1856.

Facts