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.
a full explanation. Many will follow should he approve of the Country, &c who will help the cause, because the Lord hath favored them with this world’s goods.” We had an utterance during our meeting, which caused us to sing for joy. The Lord was pleased with our Brother’s holy determination to see you, and we understand that persecution had been great among you, or would be; but we were commanded not to fear for he would be with us Praise the Lord.” “The time is at hand when distance shall be no barrier between us, but when, on the wings of love, Jehovah’s messages shall be communicated by his saints. The Lord bless our brother and may he prove a blessing to you. be not afraid of our enemies, they shall, unless they repent, be cast down by the Lord of Hosts. The workers of iniquity have been used by the Prince of darkness to play the counterfeit but discernment has been given to us that they were immediately put to shame by being detected, so that the flock never suffered as yet by them.” “Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our Father and from the Spirit, Jesus Christ our Lord,— Amen.
“I am, Dear Sirs, Your brother in the Gospel.” (Signed) Thomas Shaw
Barnesly, April 21st 1835
One object, and only one, has induced us to lay the foregoing Letter from England, before our readers, and that is, the good of the cause of God, It might have remained in our possession perhaps for years in silence had it not been for circumstances which we will briefly mention hereafter. (see page 588)
<Note E> An attempt was made in the foregoing council to criminate the Twelve before the High Council for cutting off , at their Bradford Conference; but the attempt totally failed. I decided that the High Council had nothing to do with the Twelve, or the decisions of the Twelve, but if the Twelve erred they were accountable only to the General Council of the Authorities of the whole Church, according to the Revelation. page 621.
<Note F.> Elders and , preferred a charge against Elder in consequence of ’s saying “It is a pity that women, whose husbands cannot do any thing for their comfort, should be obliged to bear children every year.” page 622.
<Note G.> I told , of the Temple Committee, that we must sustain the Twelve and not let them go down, if we do not they must go down, for the burden is on them, and is coming on them heavy heavier and heavier. If the Twelve go down we must go down and we must Sustain them page 666 [p. 2 [addenda]]