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.
arose next and acquiesced in what I had said <January 16. council of the Twelve ’s> and acknowledged to the Twelve that he had not done as he ought, in not citing to trial on the charges that were put into his hands by the Twelve, that he had neglected his duty, in this thing, for which he asked their forgiveness, and would now attend to it, if they desired him to do so, and also observed [HC 2:374] to the Twelve, if he had spoken or reproved too harshly, at any time, and had injured their feelings by so doing, he asked their forgiveness.
<> arose and acquiesced in the above sentiments, expressed by myself and , in full and said many good things.
The then called a vote of that body to know whether they were perfectly satisfied with the explanation which we had given them, and whether they would enter into the covenant we had proposed to them, which was most readily manifested in the affirmative, by raising their hands to heaven in testimony, of their willingness and desire to enter into this covenant, and their entire satisfaction with our explanation upon all the difficulties that were on their minds; we then took each other by the hand in confirmation of our covenant, and there was a perfect union of feeling on this occasion, and our hearts overflowed with blessings, which we pronounced upon each others heads, as the Spirit gave us utterance. is included in this covenant, and these blessings with us, for I love him for the truth and integrity that dwelleth in him, and may God enable us all to perform our vows and covenants, with each other, in all fidelity and righteousness, before him, that our influence may be felt among the nations of the earth in mighty power, even to rend the kingdoms of darkness, assunder, and triumph over priestcraft and spiritual wickedness in high places, and brake in pieces all kingdoms that are opposed to the kingdom of Christ, and spread the light and truth of the everlasting Gospel, from the rivers to the ends of the earth.
called <came in> for council, to know whether it was best for him to return before the Solemn Assembly, or not. After consideration the council advised him to tarry. Council dismissed by singing and prayer. , Scribe
<Sunday 17.> Sunday morning 17th. attended meeting at the at the usual hour. A large Congregation assembled. I pro[HC 2:375]ceeded to organize the several quorums present; first the presidency; then the Twelve; and the Seventy who were present; also the counsellors of and Zion. then arose and observed that instead of preaching, the time would [p. 692]