JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. B-1, created 1 Oct. 1843–24 Feb. 1845; handwriting of and ; 297 pages, plus 10 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the second volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This second volume covers the period from 1 Sept. 1834 to 2 Nov. 1838; the subsequent four volumes, labeled C-1 through F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
This document, volume B-1, is the second of the six volumes of the “Manuscript History of the Church.” The collection was compiled over the span of seventeen years, 1838 to 1856. The narrative in volume B-1 begins with the entry for 1 September 1834, just after the conclusion of the Camp of Israel (later called Zion’s Camp), and continues to 2 November 1838, when JS was interned as a prisoner of war at , Missouri. For a fuller discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to the history.
, serving as JS’s “private secretary and historian,” completed the account of JS’s history contained in volume A-1 in August 1843. It covered the period from JS’s birth in 1805 through the aftermath of the Camp of Israel in August 1834. When work resumed on the history on 1 October 1843, Richards started a new volume, eventually designated B-1.
At the time of JS’s death in June 1844, the account had been advanced to 5 August 1838, on page 812 of volume B-1. ’s poor health led to the curtailment of work on B-1 for several months, until 11 December 1844. On that date, Richards and , assisted by , resumed gathering the records and reports needed to draft the history. Richards then composed and drafted roughed-out notes while Thomas Bullock compiled the text of the history and inscribed it in B-1. They completed their work on the volume on or about 24 February 1845. Richards, , and Jonathan Grimshaw later added ten pages of “Addenda,” which provided notes, extensive revisions, or additional text to be inserted in the original manuscript where indicated.
Though JS did not dictate or revise any of the text recorded in B-1, and chose to maintain the first-person, chronological narrative format established in A-1 as if JS were the author. They drew from a variety of primary and secondary sources including JS’s diaries and letters, minutes of meetings, the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, church and other periodicals, reports of JS’s discourses, and the reminiscences and recollections of church members. As was the case with A-1, after JS’s death, , , , and others modified and corrected the manuscript as they reviewed material before its eventual publication.
Beginning in March 1842 the church’s Nauvoo periodical, the Times and Seasons, began publishing the narrative as the “History of Joseph Smith.” It was also published in England in the church periodical the Millennial Star beginning in June 1842. Once a press was established in Utah and the Deseret News began publication, the “History of Joseph Smith” once more appeared in print in serialized form. Beginning with the November 1851 issue, the narrative picked up where the Times and Seasons had left off over five years earlier.
The narrative recorded in B-1 continued the story of JS’s life as the prophet and president of the church he labored to establish. The account encompasses significant developments in the church’s two centers at that time—, Ohio, and northwest —during a four-year-span. Critical events included the organization of the Quorums of the Twelve Apostles and the Seventy, the dedication of the House of the Lord in Kirtland, Ohio, the establishment of the Kirtland Safety Society, dissension and apostasy in Kirtland and Missouri, the first mission to England, JS’s flight from Kirtland to Missouri in the winter of 1838, the Saints’ exodus from Kirtland later that year, the disciplining of the Missouri presidency, and the outbreak of the Missouri War and arrest of JS. Thus, B-1 provides substantial detail regarding a significant period of church expansion and transition as well as travail.
<November 25.> 3. And again, verily I say unto you, there was joy in heaven when my servant bowed to my scepter and seperated himself from the crafts of men; therefore, blessed is my servant , for I will have mercy on him, and notwithstanding the vanity of his heart I will lift him up inasmuch as he will humble himself before me; and I will give him grace and assurance wherewith he may stand; and if he continues to be a faithful witness and a light unto the church, I have prepared a crown for him in the mansions of my Father; even so: amen.
The same day, Hon. J. T. V. Thompson, state Senator wrote , at . as follows.
<J. T. V. Thompson’s Letter to .> “.” Dear Sir, I will say to you that your case with the people has been mentioned to the highest officer of the State, the . He speaks of it in his message, and so much of his message will be referred to a committee. I am not able to say what will be their report, but I will write you again.. I have the honor &c. J. T. V. Thompson.”
The following is that portion if the ’s Message referred to in the foregoing letter.
<Extract from the Governor’s Message> “In July, 1833, a large portion of the citizens of organized themselves, and entered in resolutions to expel from that county, a religious sect called Mormons, who had become obnoxious to them. In November following they effected their object, not however without the loss of several lives. [HC 2:171] In the judicial enquiry into these outrages, the civil authorities who had cognizance of them, deemed it proper to have a military guard for the purpose of giving protection during the progress of the trials. This was ordered, and the Attorney General was requested to give his attention during the investigation, both of which were performed, but all to no purpose. As yet none have been punished for these outrages, and it is believed that under our present laws, conviction for any violence committed against a Mormon, cannot be had in . These unfortunate people are now forbidden to take possession of their homes; and the principal part of them, I am informed, are at this time living in an adjoining county, in a great measure, upon the charity of its citizens. It is for you to determine what amendments the laws may require so as to guard against such acts of violence for the future.”
<28. Minutes of a council> “ November 28th” Minutes of a council. “A council convened this evening, to transact business according to the regulations of the church. Joseph Smith Junr and , presiding. eight counsellors present. and were appointed to speak.
<Letter from the Church in , acted upon> A letter from the church in , Essex County, New York, was presented by brethren and and read by the , said letter contained an account of money and other property, sent by the church in , [p. 559]