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.
<19.> Saturday morning 19th. At home. Sent the above letter to Bro . I have had many solemn feelings this day concerning my brother , and have prayed in my heart fervently, that the Lord will not cast him off, but that he [HC 2:343] may return to the God of Jacob, and magnify his apostleship and calling: May this be his happy lot for the Lord of Glory’s sake. Amen.
<Sunday 20> Sunday 20th. At home all day: took solid comfort with my family: had many serious reflections. Brothers Palmer and called to see me. I showed them the sacred records to their joy and satisfaction. O may God have mercy upon these men, and keep them in the way of everlasting life, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
<21.> Monday 21st. Spent this day at home in endeavoring to treasure up knowledge for the benefit of my calling. The day passed off very pleasantly. I thank the Lord for his blessings to my soul, his great mercy of over my family in sparing our lives. O continue thy care over me and mine for Christ’s sake.
<22> Tuesday 22 at home. Continued my studies. O may God give me learning even language: and endue me with qualifications to magnify his name while I live. I also delivered an address to the Church this evening. The Lord blessed my soul. is unwell. O my God heal him; and for his kindness to me. O my soul be thou grateful to him, and bless him. and he shall be blessed of God forever. for I believe him to be a faithful friend to me therefore my soul delighteth in him. Amen. Joseph Smith Jr.
<23> Wednesday 23d. In the forenoon at home studying the Greek Language, and also waited upon the brethren who came in, and exhibited to them the papyrus. Afternoon visited brother with the relations of brother . Had not a very agreeable visit for I found them filled with prejudice against the work of the Lord, and their minds blinded with superstition, Ignorance &c.
<26> Saturday 26th. commenced studying the Hebrew Language in company with bros. and . In the mean time bro came in, and requested to have the word of the Lord through me for, said he, “I have been wrought upon to make known to you my feelings and desires, and was promised that I should have a revelation, which should make <Revelation to .> known my duty.” Revelation Given to Dec 26th 1835.
Verily thus saith the Lord unto you my servant , your [p. 672]