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.
, and were blessed <March 8> and was ordained a missionary to the Lamanites. Erastus Rudd. Josiah Fuller, , Roswell Murray, <Blessings> Benjamin Wells, Nehemiah Harman, Thomas Hancock, Oliver Weatherby, Joshua Grant Junr., William Draper Junr., Ransom Van L.euven [Leuwen], , , and Samuel Wilcox <> were blessed. who went to , was set apart to be one of the seventies, and blessed; If thou are not purified thou wilt not be able to execute thy commission. Thou wilt fall into snares, and into the hands of enemies who will take thy <, Clerk.> life. Thou must begin to make a complete reformation in thyself”
The following belong to the seventies, but the date of their ordinatins <Names of some of the seventies> is not definitely known. Milo Andross, Joseph Winchester, , , , , (Hezekiah Fisk was blessed, but was not one of the seventies,) Henry Beaman, Jesse Huntsman, , , Henry Herriman, and . James L. Thompson was blessed but not ordained. [HC 2:208]
<12 Council of the— Twelve.> “ March 12th 1835. This evening the Twelve assembled, and the Council was opened by prayer president Joseph Smith Junr. and he proposed that we take our first mission through the eastern States, to the Atlantic Ocean, and hold conferences in the vicinity of the several branches of the church for the pupose of regulating all things necessary for their welfare. It was proposed that the Twelve leave on the 4th of May, which was unanimously agreed to. It was then proposed that during their present mission Elder should open the door to the remnants of Joseph who dwell among the Gentiles, which was carried. It was motioned and voted that the twelve should hold their <appointments for Conferences in the Eastern States &c.> first conference in , May 2d; in New York, May 9th: In N.Y. May 22nd.: In Lyonstown N.Y. June 5th.: On Pillow Point, June 19th.: In West Loboro, Upper Canida, June 29th.: In Johnsbury, Vermont, July 17th.: In Bradford, Massachusetts, August 7th.: In Dover New Hampshire, September 4th., In , Maine, September 18th.: Farmington, Maine, October 2d.
<x 28. Minutes of a council of the Twelve.> March 28th This afternoon the Twelve met in council and had a time of general confession. On reviewing our past course, we are satisfied, and feel to confess also, that we have not realized the importance of our callings to that degree that we ought. We have been light minded and vain, and in many things done wrong, wrong. For all these things we have asked the forgiveness of our heavenly Father, and wherein we have grieved or wounded the feelings of the presidency, we ask their forgiveness, The [HC 2:209] time when we are about to seperate, and when we shall meet again God only knows. We therefore feel to [p. 581]