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.
<October 5 3rd. Quarterly conference at —> presiding— as there was not a sufficient number of members present to form a Quorum for business, after singing and prayer conference adjourned till 2 P.M. when they met and opened as usual Presidents and presiding. There was not a sufficient number of the members of the High Council or any other Quorum to do business as a quarterly conference, they voted to ordain a few Elders, appointed a few missions and adjourned till tomorrow at ten o clock A.M.
About this time I took a journey in company with some others, to the lower part of the County of , for the purpose of selecting a location for a Town. While on my journey, I was met by one of the brethren from , in Carroll County, who stated that our people, who had settled in that place, were, and had been some time, surrounded by a Mob— who had threatned their lives, and had shot at them several times; and that he was on his way to , to inform the brethren there, of the facts. I was surprised on receiving this intelligence, although there had, previous to this time, been some manifestations of mobs, but I had hoped that the good sense of the majority of the people, and their respect for the constitution, would have put down any Spirit of persecution, which might have been manifested in that neighborhood. Immediately on receiving this intelligence, I made prep[HC 3:152]arations to go to that place, and endeavor if possible, to allay the feelings of the citizens, and save the lives of my brethren who were thus exposed to their wrath—
<6 Joseph arrived at > Saturday 6th. I arrived at and found that the accounts of the situation of that place were correct, for it was with much difficulty, and by travelling unfrequented Roads, that I was able to get there; all the principal roads being strongly guarded by the Mob who refused all ingress as well as egress. I found my brethren (who were only a handfull, in comparison to the Mob, by which they were surrounded,) in this situation, and their provisions nearly exhausted, and no prospect of obtaining any more. We thought it necessary to send immediately to the , to inform him of the circumstances; hoping from the Executive, to receive the protection which we needed, and which was guaranteed to us, in common with other Citizens— Several Gentlemen of standing and respectability, who lived in the immediate vicinity, (who were not in any wise connected with the Church of Latter Day Saints) who had witnessed the proceedings of our enemies; came forward and made affidavits to the treatment we had received, and concerning our perilous situation; and offered their services to go and present the case to the themselves—
<Conference continued> The Quarterly Conference convened at ten o clock this day according to adjournment at , Presidents and presiding— Elder Benjamin L. Clapp said he had just returned from Kentucky where he had been laboring, and that many doors were open there— a call was made for volunteers to go into the Vineyard and preach, when Elders , James Gallihu, [HC 3:153], James Dana, Ahaz Cook, , , and Alpheus Gifford offered themselves. instructed them not to go forth boasting of their faith, or of the Judgments of the Lord, but go in the Spirit of meekness and preach Repentance. Elder from , by request gave a statement of his feelings respecting his having been appointed as one of the Twelve <notetobesuppliedby > saying that he was willing to do any thing which God would require of him; when it was voted that Brother [HC 3:154] fill the < one of the Twelve> vacancy of one of the twelve— was ordained President of the Elders Quorum in , Isaac Luncy, Horace Alexander, and Albert Sloan were ordained Elders under the hands of the Presidents, and were appointed to fill the place of and in the High Council, they having [p. 833]