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.
a safe journey, and no accident or sickness of the least <October 7.> kind befal them, that they may return in health, and in safety to the bosom of their families.
<’s Blessing> Blessed of the Lord is , even the bishop of the church of the Latter Day Saints; for the bishoprick shall never be taken away from him while he liveth; and the time cometh that he shall overcome all the narrowmindedness of his heart, and all his covetous desires that so easily besetteth him, and he shall deal with a liberal hand to the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted, the widow and the fatherless, and marvalously and miracalously shall the Lord his God provide for him, even that he shall be blessed with all the fullness of the good things of this earth, and his seed after him from generation to generation; and it shall come to pass, that according to the measure that he meeteth out with a liberal hand unto the poor, so shall it be measured to him again by the hand of his God even an hundred fold. Angels shall guard his house, and shall guard the lives of his posterity, and they shall become very great, and very numerous on the earth; whomsoever he blesseth they shall be blessed; whomsoever he curseth, they shall be cursed; and [HC 2:288] when his enemies seek him unto his hurt and destruction, let him rise up and curse and the hand of God shall be upon his enemies in judgment, they shall be utterly confounded and brought to desolation; therefore he shall be preserved unto the utmost, and his life shall be precious in the sight of the Lord; he shall rise up and shake himself as a lion riseth out of his nest, and roareth until he shaketh the hills; and as a lion goeth among the lesser beasts, so shall the going forth of him be whom the Lord hath anointed to exalt the poor. and to humble the rich, therefore, his name shall be on high, and his rest among the sanctified.
This afternoon, recommenced translating the Ancient Records.
<10. > Saturday 10th. At home; and visited the house of , found <11.> him failing very fast. Sunday 11th. waited on again who was very sick. In secret prayed in the morning, the Lord said, My Servant. thy Father shall live. I waited on him all this day, with my heart raised to God in the name of Jesus Christ, that he would restore him to health again, that I might be blessed with his company and advice esteeming at it one of the greatest earthly blessings, to be blessed with the society of parents, whose mature years and experience, render them capable of administering the most wholesome advice. At evening brother came in; we called on the Lord in mighty prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, and laid our hands on him, and < Healed.> rebuked the disease, and God heard and answered our prayers, to the great joy and satisfaction of our souls; Our aged arose and dressed himself, shouted and praised the Lord, called [p. 628]