Our Grandfather (and Great-Grandfather) Joseph Fielding, left us his valuable Diary consisting of five hand-written volumes.
It covers his coming to America from England, his hearing and accepting the Gospel in Canada, his great responsibility as one of the first seven missionaries to England, his being called to serve as the second president of the British Isles Mission, his disappointment when his family failed to accept the gospel, his marriages, his family, his life in Nauvoo, his account of the Martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum Smith, the expulsion of the Saints from Nauvoo, his emigration to Utah and on to the closing years of his life.
The original manuscript is in the L.D.S. Church Historical Library, but it cannot be taken out for study. It has been typed and then reproduced by the Ditto process. This method of reproduction has been chosen in order to have approximately 200 copies available to the immediate family at a minimum cost. In case the demand for this diary should justify another edition it can be reproduced at a later date, printed in book form at a greater price per copy.
The Diary has been copied as nearly as possible as it was written. A few of the original pages have been damaged at an early date by dampness, causing some sections to be unreadable. The spelling of many words in the original is different than present usage. These have been copied as shown in the manuscript; example, Councillor for Counselor. When the Diary was written it was evidently the custom to capitalize nouns, so they have been so typed in the reproduction.
Scattered through the original are spaces were words have been omitted, and in some other places words were not clear. When the meaning was obvious the words have been inserted in parentheses. Otherwise, blank spaces have been left in the copy. Page 145 is an example of this.
The Reproduction Committee:
Josephine Burton Bagley (a granddaughter)
W. Lester Bagley
Rae Barlow Barker (a great-granddaughter)
from page 48:
December 27, 1837
On the 25, Christmas Day, had a good day. 5 were baptized in the Morning. The Church met together at ten, with their Children; the Meeting was opened by Prayer, etc., then as the Children were many, several Scores, I believe, we attended to the blessing of them; and as the Place we met in is round, and the Bottom bare Earth, (it) reminded us of the Account of Christ blessing the Children. Book of Mormon, P. 516. Next 11 were proposed to receive Ordination as Priests, viz. Henry Clegg, Peter Melling, Thomas Walmsley, John Halsall, Thomas Richardson and George Watts, who before were Teachers; also William Clayton, William Greenhalgh, Joseph Gill and David Wilden, who had not before been in office -- Robert Smart, James Whitehead, Miles Hodgson, John Parker, Amos Fielding, John Garner, and James Lea were ordained to the office of Teacher, and about 16 were confirmed. The Lord was with us. The Priests of the Sects are very contentious, but my Brethren are not disposed to contend longer with them. Today Elders Kimball, Hyde and myself are going in different (pg. 49) directions into the Country for a week or two.
Contributed by Carol Poulter