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.
be opened unto him, as unto men in days of old. He <February 15.> shall be mighty in the hands of God, and shall convince thousands that God has sent him, and his days may be prolonged until the coming of the Son of man. He shall be wafted as on Eagles wings, from country to country, and from people to people, and be able to do wonders in the midst of this generation. Even So amen.
<’s Blessing. 8> ’s Blessing. Thou hast prevailed and thou shalt prevail, and thou shalt declare the gospel unto many nations. Thou shalt be made mighty before God, and although thou shalt be cast out from the face of men, yet thou shalt have power to prevail, thou shalt lead the Elect triumphantly to the place of refuge. Thou shalt be like thy brethren who have been blessed before thee. Thou shalt stand in that day of calamity when the wicked shall be consumed. and present unto the Father, spotless, the fruits of thy labor. Thou shalt overcome all the evils that are in the world. Thou shalt have wisdom to put to silence all the wisdom of the wise, and thou shalt see the face of thy redeemer in the flesh. These blessings are pronounced and sealed upon thee, even so. Amen.
<’s Blessing. 9.> ’s Blessing. That he may be purified in heart, that he may have communion with God. That he may be equal with his brethren in holding the keys of this ministry. That he may be kept and be instrumental in leading Israel forth; that he may be delivered from the hands of those who seek to destroy him; that he may be enabled to bear testimony to the nations, that Jesus lives. That he may stand in the midst of pestilence and destruction. He shall be mighty in the hands of God in bringing about the restoration of Israel. The nations shall rejoice at the greatness of the gifts which God has bestowed upon him; That his tongue shall be loosed. That he shall have power to <do> great things in the name of Jesus. He shall be preserved and remain on the earth. until Christ shall come to take vengeance on the wicked.
<21. Meeting.> February 21st. 1835. Persuant to adjournment A Meeting of the church was held, and after prayer by president , and a short address, by president , to the congregation Elder was called to the stand, and ordained one of the twelve by president Joseph Smith Junr., , and .
<s’ Blessing.> ’s Blessing, by . O Lord, smile from heaven upon this thy servant, forgive his sins, sanctify his heart, and prepare him to receive the blessing. Increase his love for thee and <for> thy cause. Increase his inteligence, communicate to him all that wisdom, that prudence, and that understanding [p. 568]