Journal, December 1842–June 1844; Book 1, 21 December 1842–10 March 1843

Journal, December 1842–June 1844; Book 1, 21 December 1842–10 March 1843

leaven the whole world. There shall  be safity [safety] in Zion & Jerusalem & the  remnants whom the Lord shall call.  It refers to the Pristhood.— Truth  springing up on a fixd prin[c]iple  3 measures refers to the 3 in the grand  Presidency confining the oracles to  a certain head on the principle of 3.

23 December 1842 • Friday

23— I7

In this case, Willard Richards. (Richards, Journal, 18 and 23 Dec. 1842.)
Comprehensive Works Cited



Richards, Willard. Journals, 1836–1853. Willard Richards, Papers, 1821–1854. CHL.

visited with Franklin [D. Richards] & his wife8

Jane Snyder Richards.  


24 December 1842 • Saturday

24— P.M. read & revised history9

Three weeks earlier JS resumed actively directing Willard Richards in compiling and writing JS’s history. (JS, Journal, 1 Dec. 1842; see also 21 Dec. 1842.)  

 walked with secy. to see sister Lyons [Sylvia Sessions Lyon]  who was sick— her babe died 30 minutes  before he arrived.10

Asa W. Lyon, son of Windsor and Sylvia Lyon, was twelve hours old when he died. His gravestone gives 25 December 1842 as the date of his death. (Cook, Nauvoo Deaths and Marriages, 49.)
Comprehensive Works Cited



Cook, Lyndon W., comp. Nauvoo Deaths and Marriages, 1839–1845. Orem, UT: Grandin Book, 1994.

thence to Bro Sabins [Elijah J. Sabin’s]  to get some money for expences to Sp[r]in gfield11

Following the advice of his attorney, Justin Butterfield, JS left the following week for Springfield, Illinois, to obtain a writ of habeas corpus in an effort to avoid extradition to Missouri. (See Justin Butterfield to JS, 17 Dec. 1842.)  

having Just borrowd $100 of  Nehemiah [Jeremiah] Hatch.12

William Clayton wrote: “P.M. went to prest Josephs. He was in trouble. At his request I & bro N[ewel] K. Whitney went to Jeremiah Hatch and borrowed $100 for expenses to Springfield. Whitney & I each signed the note for Joseph. We wanted $200 but the old gentleman said he would not let us have more than $100.” (Clayton, Journal, 24 Dec. 1842.)
Comprehensive Works Cited



Clayton, William. Journals, 1842–1845. CHL.

In reply to the [p. 2]
JS, “President Joseph Smith’s Journal,” Journal, 4 vols., Dec. 1842–June 1844; handwriting and signatures of Willard Richards; 1,045 pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes shorthand and illustrations; also includes redactions, use marks, and archival stickers.
Willard Richards kept “President Joseph Smith’s Journal” in four small memorandum books. The paper in book 1 is blue, while the paper in books 2–4 is white. In the first two books, the paper was printed with seventeen blue lines and extra space for page headers, whereas the paper for book 3 was printed with nineteen blue lines and no header space. The first eight gatherings of paper for book 4 were printed with sixteen blue lines and header space, while the last nine gatherings were printed with nineteen blue lines and no header space. The four volumes have 147, 160, 142, and 190 free leaves, respectively, and were sewn with all-along sewing. The leaves in books 1–3 were trimmed to measure 6 × 3¾ inches (15 × 10 cm), while the paper in book 4 measures 6¼ × 3¾ inches (16 × 10 cm). Books 2–4 have the same red-speckled stain on the page edges. All four books were bound with a tight-back case binding and have brown leather over pasteboards. Books 1–3 measure 6¼ × 4 × ¾ inches (16 × 10 × 2 cm); book 4 measures 6⅜ × 4 × ¾ inches (16 × 10 × 2 cm). The outside covers of book 1 feature an embossed pattern around the borders. The cover of book 4 is red and features a gold pattern around the borders on the front and the back.
Willard Richards inscribed most of the journal entries in these memorandum books with a quill pen in ink that is now brown, although he also used blue ink for several entries. Some of the graphite inscriptions in the volumes are also contemporaneous. Richards paginated the first 114 of the 285 inscribed pages in book 1—discounting the title page that precedes the pagination—and the first 20 of the 309 inscribed pages in book 2. There is no pagination in books 3–4. In book 2, pages 11, 17, and 20–21 feature illustrations of celestial observations.
The Richards memorandum books include later inscriptions that are not transcribed in this edition. At the end of book 2, Thomas Bullock added a list of Nauvoo-era plural marriages. A few revisions, additions, or notes are penciled in throughout the volumes. There are also several use marks throughout the volumes—probably made when the journal entries were later revised for inclusion in the “History of Joseph Smith” published in Mormon newspapers in the mid-nineteenth century.1

This serialized history drew on the journals beginning with the 4 July 1855 issue of the Deseret News and with the 3 January 1857 issue of the LDS Millennial Star.  

The spines of the volumes are now labeled with blue-colored paper stickers that probably date from the early Utah period.2

The labels on the spines of the four volumes read respectively as follows: “Joseph Smith’s Journal—1842–3 by Willard Richards” (book 1); “Joseph Smith’s Journal by W. Richards 1843” (book 2); “Joseph Smith’s Journal by W. Richards 1843–4” (book 3); and “W. Richards’ Journal 1844 <Vol. 4>” (book 4; Richards kept JS’s journal in the front of this volume, and after JS’s death Richards kept his own journal in the back of the volume).  

Each of the four volumes also bears the mark of a square sticker removed from the upper right-hand corner of the outside front cover. Finally, a “Historian’s Office Archives” self-adhesive paper sticker appears in the front inside cover or on the first flyleaf of each book.
Willard Richards identified himself as the scribe for the journal on the title pages of books 1 and 4. Because Richards kept the journals for JS and kept his own journal in the back of book 4 after JS’s death, the books may be included in the listing of “Drs private books & Papers”3

“Drs” in the quotation is a reference to Richards, a Thomsonian doctor. (“History of Willard Richards,” Deseret News, 23 June 1858, 73)
Comprehensive Works Cited



Deseret News. Salt Lake City. 1850–.

in the inventory of church records made in Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1846.4

“Schedule of Church Records,” Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL.  

The volumes are listed in inventories made in Salt Lake City, Utah, by the Church Historian’s Office in 1855, 1858, and 1878, as well as in the 1973 register of the JS Collection.5

“Inventory. Historian’s Office. 4th April 1855,” [1]; “Contents of the Historian and Recorder’s Office G. S. L. City July 1858,” 2; “Index of Records and Journals in the Historian’s Office 1878,” [11]–[12], Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL; Johnson, Register of the Joseph Smith Collection, 7.
Comprehensive Works Cited



Historian’s Office. Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904. CHL.

Johnson, Jeffery O. Register of the Joseph Smith Collection in the Church Archives, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Historical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1973.

These archival records and the physical evidence of archival stickers indicate continuous institutional custody and authenticity.
Note: The journal Willard Richards kept for JS is divided into four physical books. The transcript and annotation here are for the first of these books, covering 21 December 1842 through 10 March 1843. The transcript and annotation for the first part of book 2, covering 10 March through 30 April 1843, are also available on this website. The transcript and annotation for the remainder of book 2 and for books 3 and 4 will be published later.