27468

Journal, March–September 1838

The Scriptory Book—1

Naming this record the “Scriptory Book” apparently indicated that it was intended to be a repository for various “scripts,” or written texts, and not revelatory scripture in particular. Webster defined scriptory as “written; expressed in writing; not verbal.” (“Scriptory,” in American Dictionary, 731.)  


of Joseph Smith Jr.—
President of The Church of
Jesus Christ, of Latterday Saints2

This name for the church became official following a revelation of 26 April 1838. (See Revelation, 26 Apr. 1838, in JS, Journal, 26 Apr. 1838 [D&C 115:4].)  


In all the World.
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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April 12th. 1838.
Kept by Geo. 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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3

Robinson was appointed general church recorder and clerk in September 1837 in Kirtland and was sustained in that office on 6 April 1838 in Missouri. (Minute Book 1, 17 Sept. 1837; Minutes, 6 Apr. 1838.)  


Recorder
of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter Day Saints
[17 lines blank]
The following is a letter from Prest Smith☞4

In the journal the drawn “digit” or “fist” points to the “Motto of the Church of Christ of Latterday Saints,” which is transcribed into the journal on the facing page. The digit apparently refers to the transcript of the motto rather than the retrospective material that precedes it. However, two letters “from Prest Smith” are among the documents copied into the pages that immediately follow, and so it is possible that the digit was meant to refer to one of them instead.  


[p. 15]

George W. Robinson handwriting begins.  


<The Scriptory Book—1

Naming this record the “Scriptory Book” apparently indicated that it was intended to be a repository for various “scripts,” or written texts, and not revelatory scripture in particular. Webster defined scriptory as “written; expressed in writing; not verbal.” (“Scriptory,” in American Dictionary, 731.)  


>
<of Joseph Smith Jr.—>
<President of The Church of>
<<Jesus> Christ, of Latterday Saints2

This name for the church became official following a revelation of 26 April 1838. (See Revelation, 26 Apr. 1838, in JS, Journal, 26 Apr. 1838 [D&C 115:4].)  


>
<In all the World.>
<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...

More Info
April 12th. 1838.>
<Kept by Geo. 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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3

Robinson was appointed general church recorder and clerk in September 1837 in Kirtland and was sustained in that office on 6 April 1838 in Missouri. (Minute Book 1, 17 Sept. 1837; Minutes, 6 Apr. 1838.)  


Recorder>
<of the Church of Jesus Christ>
<of Latter Day Saints>
[17 lines blank]
<The following is a letter from Prest Smith☞4

In the journal the drawn “digit” or “fist” points to the “Motto of the Church of Christ of Latterday Saints,” which is transcribed into the journal on the facing page. The digit apparently refers to the transcript of the motto rather than the retrospective material that precedes it. However, two letters “from Prest Smith” are among the documents copied into the pages that immediately follow, and so it is possible that the digit was meant to refer to one of them instead.  


> [p. 15]
Next
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