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.
grow together: for Zion must be redeemed with judgment, and her <June. 7 . The elders of Zion to go forth and clear their garments> converts with righteousness. Every elder that can, after providing for his family (if he has any.) and paying his debts, must go forth and clear his skirts from the blood if this generation. While they are in that region, instead of trying members for transgression, or offences, let every one labor to prepare himself for [HC 2:228] the vineyard, sparing a little time to comfort the mourners; to bind up the broken hearted; to reclaim the backslider; to bring back the wanderer; to re-invite into the kingdom such as have been cut off, by encourageing them to lay to while the day lasts, and work righteousness, and, with one heart and one mind, prepare to help redeem Zion, that goodly land of promise, where the willing and obedient shall be blessed. [HC 2:229] <Note D Addedum page 2>
<visit of Mr Hewitt, from Europe.> About this time I received an introduction from <to> Mr [John] Hewitt, a preacher, who had come out from Europe, with his lady, to examine this work, and as he stated was delegated by his church ortheclergy for this purpose. [HC 2:230] [HC 2:231] His interview was short, and he left with the understanding he would call again, and renew his investigation.— As he did not return according to agreement, and hearing he was at , The A council of the presidency sent him the following letter,
<June 14 Letter of the presidency to the Rev Mr Hewitt.> “June 14th. To the Rev Mr Hewitt; Sir, in consequence of your not returning tousas we understood you at your introduction to us. It was resolved and approved in council, on the evening of the 14th instant, that the bearor, , one of the presiding elders of our church, should proceed to , and ascertain if possible, the cause of your delay, and this is done as one reason, that we feel an anxious desire for the salvation of the souls of men. and to satisfy your enquiries concerning the religion we profess. If at it is the sincere desire of the council, that Mr Hewitt return, that we may satisfy him concerning our religion, and he satisfy us concerning his for we feel as great a desire for the welfare of his people as he can for ours. With respect &c. , Clerk.” [HC 2:232]
<’s Report of his visit to Mr Hewitt.> repaired immediately to , on on the day following reported to the council that Mr Hewitt was not in the place, that he left their letter with Mrs Hewitt, who informed him that her “husband had frequently spoken of his wish to become further acquainted with this people whom he had come out from Europe to see,” but the next we heard of the Revd John Hewitt was, that he had ReturnedtoEngland, opened a school in Ohio.
<Mr Hewitts Delegation from Barnsley, Engd.> Mr Hewitt was elder of the Irvingite church in Barn[HC 2:233]sley, England, and received a delegation from that church, as expressed in a letter from Mr Shaw, <Thomas Sha[w] of April 21,> to visit the saints in , and ascertain their faith and principles, and if Mr Hewitt found them as they expected, the saints in might expect help from them (the church in Barnsley) as they were rich in Temporal things. and had received the gift of tongues, in their church. [p. 594]