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.
messengers going forth, and his life shall be prolonged, and <February 14.> the holy [HC 2:188] Priesthood is confirmed upon him that he may do wonders in the name of Jesus, that he may cast out Devils heal the sick, raise the dead, open the eyes of the blind, go forth from land to land and from sea to sea, and that heathen nations shall even call him God himself if he do not rebuke them.
<’s Blessing. 3> ’s blessing was in substance, That he shall be made like unto those who have been blessed before him and be favored with the same blessing. That he might receive visions, the ministration of angels and hear their voice, and even come into the presence of God. That many millions may be converted by his instrumentality, that angels may waft him from place to place, and that he may stand unto the coming of our Lord, and receive a crown in the kingdom of our Lord, that he be made acquainted with the day when Christ shall come, that he shall be made perfect in faith and that the deaf shall hear, the lame shall walk, the blind shall see, and greater things than these shall he do, that he shall have boldness of speech before the nations and great power, &c.
A hymn was then sung, “glorious things of thee are spoken,” &c, and the congregation dismissed by President J. Smith Junr.
<15.> Sunday, February 15th the congregation again assembled. made some observations upon the nature of the meeting, calling upon the Lord for his assistance, &c, after which a number of certificates were read and accepted from brethren who had recently returned from . then called forward , and , and proceeded to their ordination and blessings
<’s 4 Blessing.—> ’s blessing. called upon the Lord to smile upon him, that his faith shall be made perfect, and that the blessings pronounced shall be realized. He shall be made ready mighty and be endued with power from on high and go forth to the nations of the earth to proclaim the gospel. That he shall escape all the pollutions of the world, the angels shall uphold him, and that he shall go forth according to the commandment, both to Jews and Gentiles and shall go to all nations kingdoms and tongues. All who hear his voice shall acknowledge him to be a servant of God. He shall be equal in holding the keys of the Kingdom. He shall stand on the earth and bring souls till Christ comes. We know that he loves thee. And may this thy [HC 2:189] servant be able to walk through pestilence and not be harmed. The powers of darkness shall have no ascendancy over him. He shall have power to smite the earth with pestilence, to divide waters and lead through [p. 566]