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.
5th All persons are prohibited from going into the several pulpits <January 14th. Rules of the Continued> except the officers who are appointed to officiate in the same.
6th.. All persons are prohibited from cutting, marking, or marring the inside or outside of the with a knife, pencil or any other instrument whatsoever, under pain of such penalty as the law shall inflict
7.th All children are prohibited from assembling in the , above or below or any part of it to play, or for recreation at any time, and all parents guardians or masters, shall be amenable for all damage that shall accrue in consequence of their children
8th All persons, whether beleivers or unbeleivers, shall be treated with due respect, by the authorities of the Church.
9th No imposition shall be practiced upon any member of the Church by depriving them of their rights in the house.
Council adjourned Sini die. Returned home and spent the afternoon.
Towards evening returned from , the Capital of the . I could spend but little time with him, being under obligation to attend at es, to join Mr and Mrs in Matrimony; Also Mr and Miss at the same place, all which I performed in my usual style, in the midst of a large assembly. We then partook of some refreshment, and our hearts were made glad with the fruit of the vine. This is according to the pattern set by our Savior himself, and we feel disposed to patronize all the institutions of heaven. [HC 2:369]
<15. Council> Friday the 15th. 9. A.M. Met in council agreeable to adjournment at the council room in the , and organized the authorities of the church agreeably to their respective offices. I then made some observations respecting the order of the day, and the great responsibility we were under to transact all our business in righteousness before God, inasmuch as our decisions will have a bearing upon all mankind, and upon all generations to come. Council opened in usual form and proceeded to business by reading <Rules of the adopted.> the rules and regulations to govern the , three times: The vote of the Presidency was then called upon these rules, followed by the High Council of ; the High Council of Zion; the Twelve; the Seventy; The Bishop’s of Zion and with their counsellors: each in their turn: and after a few queries, answers, and debate, the above rules passed the several quorums, in their order, & by the unanimous voice of the whole. and are therefore received and established as a law to Govern the in . In the investigation of this subject, I found that many who had deliberated upon this subject were darkened in their mind which drew forth some remarks from me respecting the privileges of the authorities of the church, that they should each speak in his turn, and in his place, and in his time and season, that there may be perfect order in all things, and that every man, before he makes an objection to any item that is thrown before them, [p. 688]