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Journal, March–September 1838

12 August 1838 • Sunday

Sunday 12th This day the first 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...

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were in the north country, not having returned from the forks of Grand river

Area also known as Three Forks due to confluence of west, middle, and east forks of Grand River. Located about thirty miles northwest of Adam-ondi-Ahman, Missouri. Area settled, 1834. Some Saints, including many Canadian Saints, initially settled there against...

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, to which place they went with Elder Babbit [Almon Babbitt]

9 Oct. 1812–Sept. 1856. Postmaster, editor, attorney. Born at Cheshire, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Ira Babbitt and Nancy Crosier. Baptized into LDS church, ca. 1830. Located in Amherst, Lorain Co., Ohio, July 1831. Served mission to New York, fall...

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, I remained in 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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during this Journey taken by them.

13 August 1838 • Monday

Monday 13th This day was spent as usual, the first 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
returned at evening all sound and well, though some what fatigued with the Journey, they were chased some 10 or 12 miles by some evil designing persons but escaped out of their hands, men were sent to notify them, that a writ had been ishued by Judge [Austin A.] King

21 Sept. 1802–22 Apr. 1870. Attorney, judge, politician, farmer. Born at Sullivan Co., Tennessee. Son of Walter King and Nancy Sevier. Married first Nancy Harris Roberts, 13 May 1828, at Jackson, Madison Co., Tennessee. In 1830, moved to Missouri, where he...

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the circuit Judge to aprehend Prest. Joseph Smith Jr & Lyman Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

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for defending their rights &c. They met the presidency about 8 miles from this place and all returned safe to this place,

14 August 1838 • Tuesday

Tuesday 14th 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 secular buisness of their own

15 August 1838 • Wednesday

The 15th was also spent in the same manner

16–18 August 1838 • Thursday–Saturday

The 16th was spent principally at home, the sherriff of Daivess County

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

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acompanied by Judge [Josiah] Morin

8 Jan. 1791–25/26 Oct. 1885. Farmer, merchant, judge. Born at Bourbon Co., Virginia (later in Kentucky). Son of John Morin and Sarah Fishback. Served in War of 1812. Married first Mary Shipp, 4 July 1815, in Kentucky. Wife died. Married second Harriet Barnet...

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: called on Prest. Smith and notified him that he had a writ for take him into Daviess County

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

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and try him, for visiting that County as before stated, Prest. Smith did not refuse to be taken, as some people had reported that he would not be taken nor submit to the Law, but he said he would or calculated always to submit to the Laws of our Country. But he told the Sheriff that he wished to be tried in his own County as the Citisens of Daviess County

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

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were [p. 70]

12 August 1838 • Sunday

Sunday 12th This day the first 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
 were in the north country, not having returned  from the forks of Grand river

Area also known as Three Forks due to confluence of west, middle, and east forks of Grand River. Located about thirty miles northwest of Adam-ondi-Ahman, Missouri. Area settled, 1834. Some Saints, including many Canadian Saints, initially settled there against...

More Info
, to which place  they went with Elder Babbit [Almon Babbitt]

9 Oct. 1812–Sept. 1856. Postmaster, editor, attorney. Born at Cheshire, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Ira Babbitt and Nancy Crosier. Baptized into LDS church, ca. 1830. Located in Amherst, Lorain Co., Ohio, July 1831. Served mission to New York, fall...

View Full Bio
, I remained in  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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during this Journey taken by them.195

Anson Call, who had begun farming a large tract of land at the “Forks of Grande River” before the Canadian immigrants reached that vicinity, wrote that the presidency visited there on a Sunday in September and instructed the Saints to leave for either Adam-ondi-Ahman or Far West. The context Call provided and the information available concerning the presidency’s whereabouts in September suggest the visit took place on 12 August rather than in September. (Call, Autobiography and Journal, 10; Call, Statement, 30 Dec. 1885, 10–12.)  


13 August 1838 • Monday

Monday 13th This day was spent as usual, the  first 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
returned at evening all  sound and well, though some what fatigued  with the Journey, they were chased some 10 or  12 miles by some evil designing persons  but escaped out of their hands, men were  sent to notify them, that a writ had been  ishued by Judge [Austin A.] King

21 Sept. 1802–22 Apr. 1870. Attorney, judge, politician, farmer. Born at Sullivan Co., Tennessee. Son of Walter King and Nancy Sevier. Married first Nancy Harris Roberts, 13 May 1828, at Jackson, Madison Co., Tennessee. In 1830, moved to Missouri, where he...

View Full Bio
the circuit Judge  to aprehend Prest. Joseph Smith Jr & Lyman  Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

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for defending their rights &c.196

Based on William Peniston’s affidavit, King on 10 August issued an arrest warrant for JS and Wight. The warrant may have been based on Missouri’s statutes for riot, under which they were later formally charged. Daviess County sheriff William Morgan came to Far West to serve the warrant on JS three days later. (State of Missouri, Warrant for JS and Lyman Wight, Ray Co., MO, 10 Aug. 1838, private possession, copy in CHL; William Peniston, Affidavit, Ray Co., MO, 10 Aug. 1838, private possession, copy in CHL; An Act Concerning Crimes and Their Punishments [20 Mar. 1835], Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri [1835], pp. 202–203, art. 7, secs. 6–8; State of Missouri, Recognizance of JS and Lyman Wight, Daviess Co., MO, 7 Sept. 1838, private possession, copy in CHL; State of Missouri, Indictment of JS and Others for Riot, Daviess Co., MO, Apr. 1839, copy, Boone Co., MO, Circuit Court Records, Western Historical Manuscript Collection, Ellis Library, University of Missouri, Columbia.)  


They  met them the presidency about 8 miles from  this place and all returned <safe> to this place,

14 August 1838 • Tuesday

Tuesday 14th 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 secular buisness of their own

15 August 1838 • Wednesday

The 15th was also spent in the same manner

16–18 August 1838 • Thursday–Saturday

The 16th was spent principally at home,197

TEXT: The remainder of this entry was inscribed with a sharper instrument and matches the entries for 20–23 August, indicating that it was recorded at a later time.  


the sher riff of Daivess County

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

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198

William Morgan. (History of Daviess County, 243.)  


acompanied by Judge [Josiah] Mo rin

8 Jan. 1791–25/26 Oct. 1885. Farmer, merchant, judge. Born at Bourbon Co., Virginia (later in Kentucky). Son of John Morin and Sarah Fishback. Served in War of 1812. Married first Mary Shipp, 4 July 1815, in Kentucky. Wife died. Married second Harriet Barnet...

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: called on Prest. Smith and notified him  that he had a writ for take him into Daviess  County

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

More Info
and try him, for visiting that County as  before stated, Prest. Smith did not refuse to be  taken, as some people had reported that he would  not be taken nor submit to the Law, 199

These rumors were not without foundation. JS arrived in Missouri indignant about the “vexatious lawsuits” he had experienced in Ohio.a Sidney Rigdon’s public declaration at the Mormon Fourth of July celebration that such suits would not be tolerated soon spread throughout northern Missouri.b Also in early July, JS instructed that John Cleminson, clerk of the Caldwell County court, should not issue any warrants stemming from “vexatious” claims. William W. Phelps, a judge of the Caldwell County court, reported these instructions to circuit court judge Austin A. King during the next term of the court in Caldwell.c As Mormon dissenter John Corrill later recounted, when Black and others reported the confrontation at Black’s home, “it was said that L. Wight and J. Smith would not be taken, but would die first.”d  


aJS, Journal, Mar.–Sept. 1838 [undated entry]; Letter to the Presidency in Kirtland, 29 Mar. 1838.

b“Mormon Difficulties,” Missouri Republican, 22 Sept. 1838, [2], daily edition.

cJohn Cleminson, Testimony, Richmond, MO, Nov. 1838, in State of Missouri, “Evidence”; William W. Phelps, Testimony, Richmond, MO, Nov. 1838, in State of Missouri, “Evidence”; Reed Peck, Quincy, IL, to “Dear Friends,” 18 Sept. 1839, p. 37, Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.

dCorrill, Brief History, 34.

but he said  he would or calculated always to submit to  the Laws of our Country. But he told the  Sheriff that he wished to be tried in his own  County as the Citisens of Daviess County

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

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were [p. 70]
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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