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.
by unanimous vote of the conference. A motion was then <September 8.> made and passed by unanimous vote, that a letter be written to Brother , informing him of the last decision: That <Conference > he has acted out of place in opposing in a former council, when requested to take his seat, that the business might proceed according to order, and that such letter be signed by <Complaint vs. .> the clerk of this conference. The case of Elder was then presented, when it was proved that he had delivered prophecies, at two different times, which were not true: at one time that in saying that was redeemed; and at another in saying that brother Carpenter was cut off forever, and also in saying that Sister Carpenter was dead: When it was decided by vote <Decision on > that brother be, and by the decision of this conference is, suspended from the priviliges of the , and from acting in the authority of an elder in said Church of Latter Day Saints till he appear before the in , and make proper Satisfaction.= Conference Closed by prayer, , Clerk of Confera.”
The fo[llo]wing Letter was written acording to the instructions of the conference, as recorded in the foregoing minutes.
, Ohio. Sept. 8th 1834
<8. Letter to .> “To a high priest in the Church of the Latter Day Saints.
Dear Brother, Buy By a decision of this conference I am directed to inform you, that a previous difficulty has been presented to this body which arose [HC 2:163] in a former council; between yourself and Elder , informing us, that in a council where presided, according to the office of his appointment, as president of this branch of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, you, when requested by him to be seated, refused to submit to his decision, and spoke disrespectfully of our brother, while acting in his calling, which has occasioned a wound in this conference. It is the decision of this conference that you come before the church, (as you are not present to do it at this conference,) and make the proper confession required in the Law of the Lord. Why I say, disrespectfully, is because when you were requested to be seated and desist speaking, you said you had as much right to speak as he () had.”
<10 Minutes of the High Council of Zion> Extracts from the minutes of the of Zion assembled in “ September 10th 1834. The following were chosen to fill the place of absent member for ; for ; for ; for ; for . was ordained to the . A. Letter was read, from President Joseph Smith To , dated 16th of August; also a Petition written by to the [p. 555]