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.
was rising of thirteen thousand dollars. The third item of debt was for <April 6.> the purchase of land, that there might be a place of rest, a place of safety, a place of that the saints might lawfully call their own. All this is to lay a foundation for the gathering of Israel: and when the elders go abroad, they can speak understandingly, and urge the necessity and propriety of the gathering, from the facts that we have a place forthem, and it is the will of God they should come. Prey not one upon another brethren, for the time being, and say pay me what thou owest; but contribute all in your power to discharge the great debts that now hang over the church.
At half past five, bread and water were distributed liberally among the quorums and it was truly a refreshing season to Spirit and body. Many brethren and sisters assembled in the evening for prayer and exhortation, and some tarried nearly all night. [HC 2:480]
<7 Council at .> At a meeting of the presidency of the church in , the High Council, and council, on the 7th of April, it was Resolved that the city plot of retain its present form; and that the alleys be opened by a majorities majority of the owners of each square or block, when they shall desire it; that the price and sale of the Lots Town Lots be left to , , , , , and : That , , and be a building Committee of the in this city, (): That be received as high counsellor, until the arrival of President ; Also. that Presidents , and superintend the building of the , in this city, and receive, Revelation visions &c concerning said house. , April 7, 1837. Clerk
<24 on trial.> preferred a charge against , for teaching erroneous doctrines, which was investigated by the High Council at . April 24th. 1837. , George P. Dykes and others testified that said, that we -[the church]- were under a Telestial <Erroneous doctrine> law, because God does not whip under a Celestial law; therefore he took us -[the church]- out of doors to whip us, as a parent takes his children out of doors to chastise them; And that the Book of Doctrine and Covenants was a telestial law; and the Book of Commandments (a part of the Revelations printed in ) was a Celestial law. The Presidency decided, with the approbation of the council, that had taught erroneous doctrine, and that he [HC 2:481] make an acknowledgement to the Council: also that he go and acknowledge to the Churches where he had preached such abominable doctrine. .. Nathan West, Clerk.
<May 22. High council John Patton on Trial.> Joshua Fairchilds, , and Sheffield Daniels entered a complaint against John Patton for not fulfilling his contracts or covenants, in consequence of which they were materially injured,— which was proved by and Abagail Daniels, before the High Council at , May 22, 1837. After a long investigation by the counsellors, and parties, the presidency, and , decided that both accuser and accused should be disfellowshipped if they did not settle their difficulties: was then cut off from the High council; [p. 758]