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, Willmer Benson, 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.
<April 26. Revelation concerning . &c.> Verily thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph Smith Junr, and also my Servant , and also my Servant , and your counsellors who are and shall be appointed hereafter appointed, and also unto my servant and his counsellors, [HC 3:23] and also unto my faithful servants, who are of the High council of my church in Zion (for thus it shall be called,) and unto all the elders and people of my church, of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, scattered abroad, in all the world: for thus shall my church be called in the last days, even the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Verily I say unto you all; arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations, and that thy gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes may be for a defence, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth.
Let the city, , be a holy and consecrated land unto me, and it shall be called most holy, for the ground upon which thou standest is holy; Therefore I command you to build a unto me for the gathering together of my saints, that they may worship me, and let there be a beginning of this work: and a foundation and a preparatory work, this following Summer: And let the beginning be made on the 4th day of July next, and from that time forth let my people labor diligently to build an , unto my name, and in one year from this day let them re-commence laying the foundation of my house; Then let them from that time forth labor diligently, until it shall [HC 3:24] be finished, from the corner stone thereof, unto the top thereof, until there shall not any thing remain that is not finished.
Verily I say unto you, let not my Servant Joseph, neither my servant , neither my servant , get in debt any more for the building of an house unto my name; but let my be built unto my name according to the pattern which I will shew unto them, and if my people build it not according to the pattern which I shall shew unto their presidency. I will not accept it at their hands. But if my people do build it according to the pattern which I shall shew unto their presidency, even my servant Joseph and his counsellors; then I will accept it at the hands of my people. And again; verily I say unto you. it is my will that the City should be build built up speedily by the gathering of my Saints; and also that other places should be appointed for stakes in the region round about, as they shall be manifest unto my Servant Joseph from time to time; for behold I will be with him, and I will sanctify him before the people, for unto him have I given the Keys of this Kingdom and ministry, even so. Amen.
<Teachers Quorum Resolutions.> , April 26th. the Teacher’s quorum voted not to hold any member of the quorum in fellowship who would not settle his own difficulties in the church, and shew himself approved in all things, and that they would not hold any member of the quorum in fellowship who would take unlawful interest.