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, Willmer Benson, 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.
neighbor. And again that Mr Aldridge, as has been shewn, has <September 16.> been guilty of neglecting his prayers before God, and therefore has not had the Spirit of God, to preserve him from the temptation of satan, and has fallen into evil, and actually did do wrong in raising objections to the price of the Book, presented last Sabbath, and was under the influence of an evil spirit.— Brother Green fellowships the evil spirit in brother Aldridge, and says he is justifiable in what he has done, and therefore it is evident that an evil spirit is reigning in the breast of brother Green. And it is also as evident that president Joseph Smith Junr. was justifiable in rebuking that evil spirit, and it was not only justifiable in president Smith, to rebuke that evil spirit, but also his duty as president and first high priest in the church of christ appointed of God to lead the same into all righteousness. The decision then of the presidency of the high council <Bro. Green excluded.> is in short that brother Green be, and is now excluded from this church, and shall be a member no more, until he come in by the ordinance of baptism, as appointed by the gospel, to be done in the church. This was agreed to by all < objects.> the counsellors, except , queried whether Mr Green should not have the privilege of confessing his faults, and still be retained in the church. He therefore thought that it was the privilege of bro Green to have a reorganization of the council. and a re-hearing. This was about to be granted, and the council to be adjourned till tomorrow, but requested some explanation from the president, and was instructed as follows, <Instruction from the presidency.> When a heinous crime is committed, and indignity offered to the high Council, then it is the privilege of the presidency of the high council, to stamp it with indignation under foot, and cut off the offended as in the case just decided. <Objection withdrawn> then withdrew his objection to the decision of the [HC 2:276] presidency, which was acknowledged by the whole house, and council adjourned” Clerk”
<19. Minutes, of High council.> “Minutes of a High Council, held in September 19: 1835. Presidents Joseph Smith Junr—., , , , and , present.
<Counsellors present.> counsellors
<Object of Council> The object of the Council was slated by President Joseph Smith Jun. as follows; Some weeks since elder preached on the Sabbath in the church, and some of the brethren found fault with his teachings, and this council is called upon to decide this matter, and to see who was in fault.— six were appointed to speak. [p. 615]