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.
< &c.> , Asa Lyman, , <March 7.> and received the same blessing. The blessing referred to is was according to each man’s labor or donation, and in addition was promised wisdom and ability to <Blessings &c. &c.> proclaim the gospel. Edmund Durfee Junr. and <A. Miner &c> Gideon Ormsby received the same blessing and Edmund Durfee Junr was ordained an . Albert miner, and , , Isaac Hubbard and Horace Burgess were blessed, < &c> and and H. Burgess were ordained Elders. , , and were blessed, , < &c> and were blessed. Giles Cook Junr and were blessed and ordained elders. <Wm. Carter.> William Carter who was blind, was promised a restoration to sight if faithful. , Joel Mc. Withy [McWithee], Matthew Foy, ,<.> and were blessed. was ordained a missionary to the Lamanites, after others have unlocked the door with a promise of gathering many to Zion, and of returning at the end of his mission, with great joy to enjoy the blessings <> of his family. , and were blessed, and was told that God had a work for him, to go and preach the gospel to the Sectarian Priests of this age; to call after them, and hunt them up, wherever he could hear of them, and preach the gospel to them, whether they will hear or not. and were <> blessed and ordained elders. was blessed with a promise of wisdom to proclaim the gospel and also <.> to write in wisdom. and <Adjournment> Oliver Higby were blessed. Adjourned till tomorrow.
<Sunday 8.> March 8th. Met in the pursuant to adjournment. , Levi Osgood, , , , Z. H. Brewster, Samuel Tompkins, John Ormsby, Luman Carter, , , Thomas Fisher, Stirry Fisk, <Amos R. Orton> Amos R. Orton and Almon Sherman were blessed. Amos R. Orton was ordained an elder and a missionary to the Lamanites. Andrew H. Aldrich, Thomas Baily, Seba Ives, , , , James Lake, and William Redfield were blessed and Wm Redfield was ordained an elder. [HC 2:207] Harvey Smith, Isaac Cleveland. William Baker, , . Henry Baker, William Fisk, , , and were blessed and was set apart a Missionary to the Lamanites. , , , , Blake Baldwin, and Joseph B. Baldwin. were blessed, , , and Gad Yale were blessed, and Gad Yale being one who went to the relief of the brethren in — <Gad Yale> was blessed accordingly. , , , Robert Quigley, and were blessed; and Samuel Canfield was blessed and ordained an Elder. [p. 580]