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 5 General Assembly Continued.> and said that he should not raise his hands against them at present, although he did not uphold the Presidents in their iniquity
spoke against the meeting as being hasty, followed in like observations
again took the stand in vindication of the cause of the meeting.
spoke against the Presidency, at the same time pleading mercy.
said he could not vote until they had a hearing in the common Council.
said that the meeting was according to the direction of Bro Joseph, he therefore considered it legal.
Elder spoke if in favor of the legality of the meeting, and against the conduct of the Presidency, with great energy, alledging that the present corruptions of the church here. were owing to the wickedness and mismanagement of her leaders.
The then called the vote in favor of the present <Presidency at Zion Rejected> Presidency. The Negative was then called and the vote against , and was unanimous, excepting 8 or 10, and this minority only wished them to continue in office a little longer or until Joseph Smith Junr. came up.
In ’s Settlement. the saints <6> assembled on the 6th inst, when they unanimously rejected the three <7> above named Presidents. On [HC 3:5] the 7th. the Saints assembled at ’s, agreeable to appointment. where the above named Presidents <8> were unanimously rejected: Also on the 8th. at ’ dwelling <9> house, they were unanimously rejected by the assembly. Also at Haun’s Mills on the 9th, the Saints unanimously rejected them.
At a meeting of the High Council, the and his council Feb 10— 1838, it was <See statement of on file> <Council. 10> moved seconded and carried, that , and , stand no longer as chairman and Clerk to sign and record Licences. Voted that and be authorized to attend to such business for the time being. Also voted that and be Presidents, pro tempore, of the church of Latter Day Saints in , until Presidents Joseph Smith Junior and arrived in the Land of Zion.
<March 10. High Council> “The High Council of Zion met in . on Saturday. March 10. 1838 agreeable to adjournment, when after discussion it was Resolved 1st. That the High Council recommend by writing, to the various branches of this church, that all those who wish to receive ordination, procure a recommend from the branch to which he belongs, and have it pass through the hands of the different quorums for inspection, previous to his ordination.
2d Resolved, that the High Council recommend to all those who hold Licences. between the ages of 18 and 45, and do not officiate in their respective offices, to be subject to military duty.— A charge was then preferred against and , for persisting in unchristian like conduct. Six Counsellors were appointed to speak, viz. , and , on the part of the accuser: , and , on the part of the accused: when the following letter was read by [HC 3:6] Brother Marcellus <F> Cowdery, bearor of the same, Belonging to , previous to giving it to its rightful <owner>
<Letter of and > “, March 10th 1838. Sir: It is contrary to the principles of the Revelations of Jesus Christ, and his gospel, and the laws of the land, [p. 782]