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Journal, March–September 1838

3 May 1838 • Thursday

Thursday the 3.rd. This day also was spent in Writing & parsing and in administering to the Sick.

4 May 1838 • Friday

Friday 4.th. This day also was spent in studying, & writing history, by the presidency

The highest presiding body of the church. An 11 November 1831 revelation stated that the president of the high priesthood was to preside over the church. JS was ordained as president of the high priesthood on 25 January 1832. In March 1832, JS appointed two...

View Glossary
. also a letter from John E. Page

25 Feb. 1799–14 Oct. 1867. Born at Trenton, Oneida Co., New York. Son of Ebenezer Page and Rachel Hill. Married first Betsey Thompson, 1831, in Huron Co., Ohio. Baptized into LDS church by Emer Harris, 18 Aug. 1833, at Brownhelm, Lorain Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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.89

The letter from Page, who was proselytizing in Canada, may have concerned the immigration of Canadian converts to Missouri. (See JS, Journal, 5 May 1838.)  


5 May 1838 • Saturday

Saturday 5.th This day was spent, by the Presidency

The highest presiding body of the church. An 11 November 1831 revelation stated that the president of the high priesthood was to preside over the church. JS was ordained as president of the high priesthood on 25 January 1832. In March 1832, JS appointed two...

View Glossary
, in writing for the Elders Journal.90

JS and his associates were preparing materials for the first Missouri issue of the Elders’ Journal (July 1838).  


Also received intelligence from Cannada

In late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Canada referred to British colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada. Divided into Upper Canada and Lower Canada, 1791; reunited 10 Feb. 1841. Boundaries corresponded roughly to present-day Ontario (Upper...

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, by one br— Bailey. who called upon Pres. Smith, and stated that two hundred Wagons, with families; would probably be here in three weeks.91

Many Mormon converts from Canada made their way to Missouri during 1838, including a group led by Almon Babbitt that arrived at Far West in late July and a group of about thirty families accompanied by missionary John E. Page that arrived in De Witt during the last week of September 1838. However, no known group of Canadian immigrants was as large as or arrived as soon as the group described in Bailey’s report. (JS, Journal, 28 July 1838; Gentry, “Latter-day Saints in Northern Missouri,” 199; see also Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 158.)  


The presidency also attended an address, dilivered by Gen. Willson John Wilson

28 Jan. 1790–2 Feb. 1877. Lawyer, newspaper editor, government official. Born in Virginia. Son of William Wilson and Catharine Yancey. Served in War of 1812. Married first Percilla McGowen (McCoun). Married second Martha Woods, 24 June 1817, at Augusta Co...

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. upon Political matters General Willson

28 Jan. 1790–2 Feb. 1877. Lawyer, newspaper editor, government official. Born in Virginia. Son of William Wilson and Catharine Yancey. Served in War of 1812. Married first Percilla McGowen (McCoun). Married second Martha Woods, 24 June 1817, at Augusta Co...

View Full Bio
. is a candidate for Congress. ( a Federalist.)92

Wilson, from Randolph County, belonged to the Whig Party. The Federalist Party died out in the second decade of the nineteenth century, but Democrat rhetoric commonly attacked the new Whig Party by casting its members as reconstituted aristocratic Federalists. The Northern Times—the political newspaper published by the Mormons in Kirtland—had portrayed the Whigs in this manner. (Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri, 6:484; Holt, Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party, 2–3; “The Election,” Northern Times, 2 Oct. 1835, [2]; see also “Extract of a Letter to the Editor of the Telegraph,” Painesville Telegraph, 17 Apr. 1835, [3].)  


6 May 1838 • Sunday

Sunday 6th This day, President Smith. delivered a discourse. to the people. Showing, or setting forth the evils that existed, and would exist, by reason of hasty Judgement or dessisions upon any subject, given by any people. or in judgeing before they hear both sides of the question,93

Among other things, JS may have been cautioning the Saints against reacting hastily to the electioneering speech delivered by John Wilson the day before. In his discourse the following Thursday, Rigdon discussed “both sides”—the policies of both Wilson’s Whig party and the opposing Democratic party. (JS, Journal, 10 May 1838.)  


He also cautioned them against men men, who should come here whining and grouling about their money, because they had helpt the saints and bore some of the burden with others. and thus thinking that others, (who are still poorer and who have still bore greater burden than themselves) aught to make up their loss &c.94

Following the depression of 1837 and the collapse of the Kirtland Safety Society, some Latter-day Saints aggressively sought the repayment of debts, including those owed by fellow church members, through legal means. Prominent among these creditors were excommunicants Lyman Johnson and Oliver Cowdery. (See Minute Book 2, 12 and 13 Apr. 1838; and Synopsis of Oliver Cowdery Trial, 12 Apr. 1838.)  


And thus he cautioned them to beware of them for here and there they through throw out foul insinuations, to level as it were a dart to the best interests of the Church, & if possible to destroy the Characters of its Presidency

The highest presiding body of the church. An 11 November 1831 revelation stated that the president of the high priesthood was to preside over the church. JS was ordained as president of the high priesthood on 25 January 1832. In March 1832, JS appointed two...

View Glossary
He also instructed the Church, in the mistories of the Kingdom of God; giving them a history of the Plannets &c. and of Abrahams writings upon the Plannettary System &c.95

This understanding grew out of JS’s work on the Egyptian papyri that he acquired while living in Kirtland. (See JS, Journal, 1 Oct. and 16 Dec. 1835.)  


In the after part of the day Prest. Smith spoke upon different subjects he dwelt some upon the Subject of Wisdom, & upon the word of Wisdom. &c.96

A reference to either or both the general gift of the spirit and the particular “word of wisdom” dictated by JS as a revealed health code, which was an issue in the 13 April trial of David Whitmer. (1 Corinthians 12:8; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 586 [Moroni 10:9]; Revelation, ca. 8 Mar. 1831–A, in Doctrine and Covenants 16:7, 1835 ed. [D&C 46:17]; Revelation, 27 Feb. 1833, in Doctrine and Covenants 80, 1835 ed. [D&C 89].)  


—— [p. 38]

3 May 1838 • Thursday

Thursday the 3.rd. This day also was spent in Writing & parsing  and in administering to the Sick.

4 May 1838 • Friday

Friday 4.th. This day also was spent in studying, &  writing history, by the presidency

The highest presiding body of the church. An 11 November 1831 revelation stated that the president of the high priesthood was to preside over the church. JS was ordained as president of the high priesthood on 25 January 1832. In March 1832, JS appointed two...

View Glossary
. also <a> letter from J[ohn] E. Page

25 Feb. 1799–14 Oct. 1867. Born at Trenton, Oneida Co., New York. Son of Ebenezer Page and Rachel Hill. Married first Betsey Thompson, 1831, in Huron Co., Ohio. Baptized into LDS church by Emer Harris, 18 Aug. 1833, at Brownhelm, Lorain Co., Ohio. Ordained...

View Full Bio
.89

The letter from Page, who was proselytizing in Canada, may have concerned the immigration of Canadian converts to Missouri. (See JS, Journal, 5 May 1838.)  


5 May 1838 • Saturday

Saturday 5.th This day was spent, by the Presidency

The highest presiding body of the church. An 11 November 1831 revelation stated that the president of the high priesthood was to preside over the church. JS was ordained as president of the high priesthood on 25 January 1832. In March 1832, JS appointed two...

View Glossary
,  in writing for the Elders Journal.90

JS and his associates were preparing materials for the first Missouri issue of the Elders’ Journal (July 1838).  


Also received  intelligence from Cannada

In late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Canada referred to British colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada. Divided into Upper Canada and Lower Canada, 1791; reunited 10 Feb. 1841. Boundaries corresponded roughly to present-day Ontario (Upper...

More Info
, by one br— Bailey. who  called upon Pres. Smith, and stated that two hundred  Wagons, with families; would probably be here in three  weeks.91

Many Mormon converts from Canada made their way to Missouri during 1838, including a group led by Almon Babbitt that arrived at Far West in late July and a group of about thirty families accompanied by missionary John E. Page that arrived in De Witt during the last week of September 1838. However, no known group of Canadian immigrants was as large as or arrived as soon as the group described in Bailey’s report. (JS, Journal, 28 July 1838; Gentry, “Latter-day Saints in Northern Missouri,” 199; see also Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 158.)  


The presidency also attended an address, dilivered  by Gen. Willson [John Wilson]

28 Jan. 1790–2 Feb. 1877. Lawyer, newspaper editor, government official. Born in Virginia. Son of William Wilson and Catharine Yancey. Served in War of 1812. Married first Percilla McGowen (McCoun). Married second Martha Woods, 24 June 1817, at Augusta Co...

View Full Bio
. upon Politics. <Political matters> General  Willson

28 Jan. 1790–2 Feb. 1877. Lawyer, newspaper editor, government official. Born in Virginia. Son of William Wilson and Catharine Yancey. Served in War of 1812. Married first Percilla McGowen (McCoun). Married second Martha Woods, 24 June 1817, at Augusta Co...

View Full Bio
. is a candidate for Congress. (he is a Federalist.)92

Wilson, from Randolph County, belonged to the Whig Party. The Federalist Party died out in the second decade of the nineteenth century, but Democrat rhetoric commonly attacked the new Whig Party by casting its members as reconstituted aristocratic Federalists. The Northern Times—the political newspaper published by the Mormons in Kirtland—had portrayed the Whigs in this manner. (Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri, 6:484; Holt, Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party, 2–3; “The Election,” Northern Times, 2 Oct. 1835, [2]; see also “Extract of a Letter to the Editor of the Telegraph,” Painesville Telegraph, 17 Apr. 1835, [3].)  


6 May 1838 • Sunday

Sunday 6th This day, President Smith. delivered  a discourse. to the people. Showing, or setting forth the  evils that existed, and would exist, by reason of hasty  Judgement or dessisions upon any subject, given by  any people. or in judgeing before they hear both sides  of the question,93

Among other things, JS may have been cautioning the Saints against reacting hastily to the electioneering speech delivered by John Wilson the day before. In his discourse the following Thursday, Rigdon discussed “both sides”—the policies of both Wilson’s Whig party and the opposing Democratic party. (JS, Journal, 10 May 1838.)  


He also cautioned them against men  men, who should come here whining and grouling  about their money, because they had helpt the  saints and bore some of the burden with others. and  thus thinking that others, (who are still poorer and  who have still bore greater burden than themselves)  aught to make up their loss &c.94

Following the depression of 1837 and the collapse of the Kirtland Safety Society, some Latter-day Saints aggressively sought the repayment of debts, including those owed by fellow church members, through legal means. Prominent among these creditors were excommunicants Lyman Johnson and Oliver Cowdery. (See Minute Book 2, 12 and 13 Apr. 1838; and Synopsis of Oliver Cowdery Trial, 12 Apr. 1838.)  


And thus he cau tioned them to beware of them for here and there  they through [throw?] out foul insinuations, to level as  it were a dart to <the> best interests of the Church, &  if possible to destroy the Characters of its Presidency

The highest presiding body of the church. An 11 November 1831 revelation stated that the president of the high priesthood was to preside over the church. JS was ordained as president of the high priesthood on 25 January 1832. In March 1832, JS appointed two...

View Glossary
 He also instructed the Church, in the mistories  of the Kingdom of God; giving them a history of  the Plannets &c. and of Abrahams writings upon  the Plannettary System &c.95

This understanding grew out of JS’s work on the Egyptian papyri that he acquired while living in Kirtland. (See JS, Journal, 1 Oct. and 16 Dec. 1835.)  


In the after part of  the day Prest. Smith spoke upon different subjects  he dwelt some upon the Subject of Wisdom, &  upon the word of Wisdom. &c.96

A reference to either or both the general gift of the spirit and the particular “word of wisdom” dictated by JS as a revealed health code, which was an issue in the 13 April trial of David Whitmer. (1 Corinthians 12:8; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 586 [Moroni 10:9]; Revelation, ca. 8 Mar. 1831–A, in Doctrine and Covenants 16:7, 1835 ed. [D&C 46:17]; Revelation, 27 Feb. 1833, in Doctrine and Covenants 80, 1835 ed. [D&C 89].)  


—— [p. 38]
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JS, “The Scriptory Book—of Joseph Smith Jr.—President of The Church of Jesus Christ, of Latterday Saints In all the World,” Journal, Mar.–Sept. 1838; handwriting of 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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and 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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; sixty-nine pages; in “General,” Record Book, 1838, verso of Patriarchal Blessings, vol. 5, CHL. Includes redactions and archival marking.
JS’s “Scriptory Book” is recorded on pages 15 to 83 of a large record book entitled “General” that also includes a list of church members in Caldwell County

Located in northwest Missouri. Settled by whites, by 1831. Described as being “one-third timber and two-thirds prairie” in 1836. Created specifically for Latter-day Saints by Missouri state legislature, 29 Dec. 1836, in attempt to solve “Mormon problem.” ...

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, Missouri (pages 2–14), a copy of JS’s 16 December 1838 letter from the jail in Liberty

Located in western Missouri, thirteen miles north of Independence. Settled 1820. Clay Co. seat, 1822. Incorporated as town, May 1829. Following expulsion from Jackson Co., 1833, many Latter-day Saints found refuge in Clay Co., with church leaders and other...

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, Missouri (pages 101–108), and an aborted record partially entitled “Recor” in unidentified handwriting (page 110). The book, which measures 13 x 8¼ x 1¾ inches (33 x 21 x 4 cm), has 182 leaves of ledger paper sized 12½ x 7¾ inches (32 x 20 cm) with thirty-seven lines in blue ink per page. There are eighteen gatherings of various sizes, each of about a dozen leaves. The text block is sewn all along over three vellum tapes. The heavy pink endpapers each consist of a pastedown and two flyleaves pasted together. The text block edges are stained green. The volume has a hardbound ledger-style binding with a hollow-back spine and glued-on blue-striped cloth headbands. It is bound in brown split-calfskin leather with blind-tooled decoration around the outside border and along the turned-in edges of the leather on the inside covers. At some point the letter “G” was hand printed in ink on the front cover. The original leather cover over the spine—which appears to have been intentionally removed—may have borne a title or filing notation.
The journal is inscribed in black ink that later turned brown and is almost entirely in the handwriting of 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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. 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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’s handwriting appears in a copy of the 23 July 1837 revelation for Thomas B. Marsh

1 Nov. 1800–Jan. 1866. Farmer, hotel worker, waiter, horse groom, grocer, type foundry worker, teacher. Born at Acton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of James Marsh and Molly Law. Married first Elizabeth Godkin, 1 Nov. 1820, at New York City. Moved to ...

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(D&C 112) on pages 72–74. Running heads added by Robinson throughout the journal indicate the months of the entries on the page. The volume was later used 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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, Illinois, as a source for JS’s multivolume manuscript history of the church. During the preparation of the history, redactions and use marks were made in graphite pencil. Redactions in graphite and ink may have been made at other times as well. In 1845, the book was turned over so that the back cover became the front and the last page became the first. This side of the book was used to record patriarchal blessings. The original spine may have been removed at this time. The spine is now labeled with a number “5”, designating its volume number in a series of books of patriarchal blessings.
The volume 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 Catalogue,” [2]; Historian’s Office, “Index of Records and Journals,” [12], Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL; JS, Journal, Mar.–Sept. 1838, microfilm, JS Collection, CHL.  


At some point, the leaf containing pages 54 and 55 was torn from the journal. This removed leaf—which is transcribed herein and contains, among other writings, the earliest extant text of an 8 July 1838 revelation for the Quorum of the Twelve (D&C 118)—was for a time kept in Revelation Book 2.2

Best, “Register of the Revelations Collection,” 19.  


It is now part of the Revelations Collection at the Church History Library.

Facts