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Journal, 1832–1834

returned from Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

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and brought the melancholy intelligence

25 Nov. 1833

JS notified by Orson Hyde and John Gould that Latter-day Saints had been expelled from Jackson County, Missouri, earlier in month, Kirtland, Ohio.

of the riot in Zion with the inhabitants persecuting the brethren.

4–6 December 1833 • Wednesday–Friday

The 4th of December commenced distributing the type, and commenced setting on the 6th. And being prepared to commence our labors in the printing business, I ask God in the [p. 28]
returned from Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

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 and brough[t] the melen cholly intelegen [intelligence]

25 Nov. 1833

JS notified by Orson Hyde and John Gould that Latter-day Saints had been expelled from Jackson County, Missouri, earlier in month, Kirtland, Ohio.

of the  riot in Zion with  the inhabitants in  pers[e]cuting the breth[r]en.35

In August 1833, after hearing of the initial depredations in Missouri, JS dispatched Hyde and Gould to Missouri “with advice to the Saints in their unfortunate situation.” An October revelation assured JS, who was concerned for the safety of the two messengers, that “inasmuch as they keep my commandments they shall be saved.” The pair returned to Kirtland safely but bore the news of vigilantes driving the Latter-day Saint population from Jackson County. (JS History, vol. A-1, 344; Revelation, 12 Oct. 1833, in Doctrine and Covenants 94:4, 1835 ed. [D&C 100:14]; Jennings, “Expulsion of the Mormons”; and Jennings, “Zion Is Fled.”)  


4–6 December 1833 • Wednesday–Friday

the 4th Dec commen ced distributing the  type. and commen ced setting on the  6 and being prepa red to commenced commence  our Labours in the  printing buisness36

A council held in Kirtland on 11 September 1833, consisting of JS, Frederick G. Williams, Oliver Cowdery, and other members of the United Firm, resolved that a printing office be established there under the firm name of F. G. Williams & Co. to commence a new newspaper, Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. The council also resolved to continue publication of The Evening and the Morning Star—the church newspaper that was printed at Independence, Missouri, prior to the destruction of the press there in July 1833—until it could be moved back to Missouri.a They also planned at this time to publish a weekly political paper.b Cowdery began printing the first Kirtland issue of the Star a week and a half later.c The Messenger and Advocate superseded the Star the following October. The first regular issue of the political paper, later titled the Northern Times, did not appear until February 1835.d  


aMinute Book 1, 11 Sept. 1833.

bSee JS, Kirtland, OH, to Edward Partridge, [Liberty], MO, 5 Dec. 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 65–70.

cJS, Journal, 18 Dec. 1833.

dSee Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 47–53.

 I ask God in the [p. 28]
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JS, “Joseph Smith Jrs Book for Record,” Journal, Nov. 1832–Dec. 1834; handwriting of 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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, JS, 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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, Parley P. Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

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, 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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, Freeman Nickerson

2/12 Apr. 1806–16/14 Sept. 1862. Merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Dayton, Cattaraugus Co., New York, mid 1820s. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later...

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, and six unidentified scribes; 105 pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes redactions and archival marking.
Pocket-size memorandum book, 5⅞ x 3¾ x ¼ inches (15 x 10 x 1 cm). The text block consists of fifty-four leaves measuring 5⅞ x 3⅝ inches (15 x 9 cm). There are four gatherings of six sheets each of ledger paper. Each sheet is folded so that each gathering has twelve leaves (twenty-four pages). These pages are ruled with sixteen blue horizontal lines—now almost entirely faded—as well as with red vertical lines for recording financial information. The endpapers consist of pastedowns on the inside covers and two free flyleaves in both the front and back. The gatherings are sewn all along on sawn-in cords. The front and back covers of the journal are pasteboard. The ledger has a tight-back case binding with a black calfskin quarter-leather binding. The outside covers are adorned in schrottel marbled paper, with gray body and veins of black and blue. The volume originally had three leather loops—two in the back and one in the front—that were tipped in between the inside covers and the pastedowns. The former presence of the front cover loop, no longer extant, is evident from creasing and staining on the pastedown, which is now detached. The leather loops and their spacing allowed for the book to be fastened by inserting a pencil between all three loops. The vibrant blue veins and the grain of the marbling, now greatly diminished by water damage, are also visible under the now loose front pastedown.
JS wrote “Joseph Smith 1832.<3–4>” on the front cover in black ink that later turned brown. On the front pastedown, “Joseph Smith” is written sideways, running upward near the bottom of the outer edge. Also, “Joseph” is written sideways, running downward near the top of the inside of the same page. The handwriting of these inscriptions has not been identified. The journal entries begin on the recto of the second leaf (the first flyleaf) and end on the recto of the back pastedown, making 105 numbered pages. Regular journal entries, inscribed in various shades of brown (formerly black) ink, continue through page 93. Pages 94 to 102 are blank except for page 98, which has JS’s name in graphite pencil at the top in JS’s handwriting. Pages 103–105 record subscriptions, which were evidently solicited during JS’s 26 February–28 March 1834 New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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mission, as well as a note apparently inscribed on 20 April 1834 in preparation for the conference held 20–21 April 1834 at Norton

Area first settled, 1814. Formed from Wolf Creek Township, 1818. Reported location of “great Mormon excitement,” 1832–1838. Population in 1830 about 650. Primarily populated by immigrants from New England states. Increased German Pennsylvanian immigration...

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, Ohio. The book has suffered from water and mud damage, evidenced in part by some extremely faded ink on page 2. Glue from tipping in a damaged leaf has also obscured several characters in the gutter of page 2.
The journal’s textual redactions and use marks, in graphite pencil, were made by later scribes who used the journal to produce the multivolume manuscript history of the church. This occurred 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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, indicating the journal remained in JS’s possession. The journal is listed in Nauvoo and early Utah inventories of church records, indicating continuous custody.1

Historian’s Office, “Schedule of Church Records”; Historian’s Office, “Historian’s Office Catalogue,” [7], Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL; Johnson, Register of the Joseph Smith Collection, 7.  


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