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.
<February 6.> Saturday 6th. called the anointed together to receive the seal of all their blessings. The high priests and elders in the council room as usual: the seventy with the twelve in the 2nd room; and the Bishops in the third. I labored with each of these quorums for some time to bring them to the order which God had shewn to me. which is as follows: The first part to be spent in solemn prayer before God without any talking or confusion; and the conclusion with a sealing prayer by when all the Quorums are to shout with one accord a solemn hosanna to God and the Lamb with an Amen, Amen, and Amen: and then all take seats and lift up their hearts in silent prayer to God, and if any obtain a prophecy or vision, to rise and speak that all maybe edefied from and rejoice together. I had considerable trouble to get all the quorums united in this order. I went from room to room repeatedly and [HC 2:391] charged each separately, assuring them that it was according to the mind of God; yet notwithstanding all my labor, while I was in the East Room with the Bishop’s quorum, I felt by the Spirit that something was wrong. in the quorum of elders in the west room, and I immediately requested Presidents and to go in and see what was the matter. The quorum of elders had not observed the order which I had given them, and were reminded of it by President , and mildly requested to preserve order, and continue in prayer. Some of them replied that they had a teacher of their own, and did not wish to be troubled by others. This caused the Spirit of the Lord to withdraw. This interrupted the meeting and this quorum lost their blessing in a great measure. The other quorums were more careful, and the quorum of the seventy enjoys a great flow of the <Holy> Spirit. Many arose and spoke testifying that they were filled with the Holy Spirit, which was like fire in their bones, so that they could not hold their peace but were constrained to cry hosanna to God and the Lamb, and glory in the Highest. President , one of the Twelve, saw a vision of the Twelve and seven in council together in old england, and prophecied that a great work would be done by them in the old countries, and God was already beginning to work in the hearts of the people. Prest. , one of the seven, saw a vision of the Lord’s host, and others were filled with the Spirit and spoke in tongues and prophecied. This was a time of rejoicing. long to be remembered! Praise the Lord.
<Sunday 7> Sunday 7th attended meeting at the usual hour. the quorums were seated according to their official standing in the church. The of Zion and his counsellors occupied the standA.M. <forenoon> in confession and exhortation; The [HC 2:392] of and his counsellors occupied the stand in the P.M. <afternoon> The discourses of [p. 702]