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.
and then he should relate his story and make confession wherein he <October 31.> had done wrong, and then leave it to Brother and , to decide the matter between us, and I would agree to the decision, and be satisfied therewith: [HC 2:296] He observed that he had not done wrong, and that I was always determined to carry my points whether right or wrong, and therefore he would not stand an equal chance with me. This was an insult, but I did not reply to him in a harsh manner, knowing his inflammatory disposition; but tried to reason with him, and show him the propriety of a compliance with my request. I finally succeeded with the assistance of in obtaining his assent to the proposition that I had made. I then related my story, and wherein I had been wrong I confessed it and asked his forgiveness. After I got through, he made his statements, justifying himself throughout in transgressing the order of the council, and treating the authority of the Presidency with contempt After he had got through, began to make some remarks. in the spirit of meekness; he () became enraged; I joined in trying to calm his stormy feelings, but to no purpose; he insisted that we intended to add abuse to injury, his passion increased, he arose abruptly and declared that he wanted no more to do with us. He rushed out at the door; we tried to prevail on him to stop, but all to no purpose: he went away in a passion, and soon sent his licence to me. He went home and spread the leaven of iniquity among my brethren, and especially prejudiced the mind of . I soon learned that he was in the street exclaiming against me, which, no doubt, our enemies rejoice at, and where the matter will end I know not: but I pray God to forgive him and them, and give them humility and repentance. The feelings of my heart I cannot express on this occasion, I can only pray my heavenly Father to open their eyes, that they may discover where they stand, that they may extricate themselves from the snare <Rode to &c..> they have fallen into. After Dinner I rode out in company with and [HC 2:297] children, , and some others. We visited and family who live near : we had an interesting visit. As soon as I <Saml. Whitney Bapd.> returned, I was called upon to Baptize Samuel Whitney and his wife and daughter. After baptism we returned to their house, and offered our thanks, in prayer. I obtained a testimony that would return to the church and repair the wrong he had done. [HC 2:298]
<November 1. Revelation for .> Sunday Morning, November 1st 1835, verily thus Saith the Lord unto me his servant, Joseph Smith Jr,— mine anger is kindled against my servant because of his iniquities, his covetous and dishonest principles, in himself and family, and he doth not purge them away. and set his house in order; therefore if he repent not, chastisement awaiteth him, even as it seemeth good in my sight; therefore go and declare unto him these words. [p. 633]