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.
at the hand of our beloved brethren Joseph Smith Junior, and ; (men who have not thought their lives dear unto them in order that the cause of God might be— established.) Presidents, whom God has appointed to preside over the whole Church, and the persons to whom this work b[e]longs that they should go forth, and lay off other stakes of Zion or places of gathering, so that the poor may have a place of refuge, or places of refuge, in the day of tribulation which is coming swiftly on the earth. All these things will be attended with expence. Feeling ourselves under great responsibility by virtue of our office and calling in the Church of God, we present this our memorial to all the saints, making a solemn appeal to the feelings benevolence, and philanthropry of all the saints into whose hands this our memorial comes, in faith and confidence, that this appeal will not be in vain made in vain. It is the fixed purpose of our God, and has been so from the beginning as appears by the testimony of the Ancient prophets, that the great work of the last days was to be accomplished by the tithing of his saints. The saints were required to bring their tithes into the store house and after that, not before, they were to look for a blessing that there should not be room enough to receive it see Malachi 3rd. Chapter 10 verse.
Our appeal then to the Saints is founded on the best of testimony, that which no will feel to gainsay, but rejoice to obey. The saints of God will rejoice in all that the Lord does, and in doing all that the Lord requires. The sacrifice of righteousness which the Lord requires will be offered with a willing heart, and ready mind, and with great joy, because they are counted worthy to offer up sacrifice for his name. In making this appeal to the benevolence of the saints of God, we do not only take into consideration the situation of the poor, the embarrassments of the stake of ; but also their own interests; for every saint has an equal interest in building up of the Zion of our God; for it is after the Lord has built up Zion, that he will appear in his Glory— Psalms— 102:16. We all look for the appearing of the great God, and our Savior Jesus Christ but we shall look in vain, until Zion is built; for Zion is to be the dwelling place of our God when he comes Joel 3:21. Any one who will read this Chapter with attention will see that it treats of the last days, and of the Zion of the last days. How then is the Lord to dwell in Zion, if Zion is not built up & this question we leave the Saints to answer.— The salvation of the Saints one and all depends on the building up of Zion; for without this there is no salvation; for deliverance in the last days is found in Zion, and in Jerusalem, and in the remnant whom the Lord our God shall call, or in other words, in the stakes which he shall appoint— Joel 2:32. It is in Zion where the Lord is to create upon every dwelling place and upon her assemblies, a cloud and a smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night It is upon the glory of Zion, that their will be a defence It is in Zion that there shall be a Tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a Covert from the Storm and from rain Isaiah 4:5, 6. It is upon the walls of Zion, where the watchman shall see [p. 8 [addenda]]