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History, 1838–1856, volume B-1 [1 September 1834–2 November 1838]

March 28 when dissatisfied, decision may be carried up to a council of the Church. 35. Again, verily, I say unto you; The most important business of the church, and the most difficult cases of the church, inasmuch as there is not satisfaction upon the decision of the bishop, or judges, it shall be handed over and carried up, unto the council of the church, before the presidency of the high priesthood; and the presidency of the council of the high priesthood, shall have power to call other high priests, even twelve to assist as counsellors; and thus the presidency of the high priesthood, and its counsellors Shall have power to decide upon testimony, according to the laws of the church. And after this decision it shall be had in remembrance no more before the Lord; for this is the highest council of the Church of God, and a final decision upon controversies, in spiritual matters.
No person exempt from this council. 36. There is not any person belonging to the church, who is exempt from this council of the church.
Trial of a president of the High Priesthood. 37. And inasmuch as a president of the high priesthood shall shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the common council of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve counsellors of the high priesthood, and their decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him. Thus none shall be exempted from the justice and the laws of God: that all things may be done in order and in solemnity, before him, according to truth and righteousness.
Duty of a presiding Deacon 38. And again, verily I say unto you, the duty of a president over the office of a deacon, is to preside over twelve deacons, to sit in council with them, and to teach them their duty edifying one another, as it is given according to the covenants
President of the Teacher’s— Duty 39. And also the duty of the president over the office of the teachers, is to preside over twenty four of the teachers, and to sit in council with them,— teaching them the duties of their office, as given in the covenants.
President of the priesthood of Aaron his duty. 40. Also the duty of the president over the priesthood of Aaron, is to preside over forty eight priests, and sit in council with them, to teach them the duties of their office, as is given in the covenants. This president is to be a bishop; for this is one of the duties of this priesthood.
President of the Elder’s Quorum his duty. 41. Again, the duty of the president over the office of elders is to preside over ninety six elders, and to sit in council with them, and to teach them according to the covenants. This presidency is a distinct one from that of the seventy, and is designed for those who do not travel into all the world.
President of the office of the High priesthood. Duty. 42. And again, the duty of the president of the office of the high priesthood is to preside over the whole church, and to be like unto Moses. Behold, here is wisdom,— yea to be a seer, a revelator, a translator and a prophet, having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church. [p. 587]
<March 28  when dissatisfied,  decision may be  carried up to a  council of the  Church.> 35. Again, verily, I say unto you; The most important busi ness of the church, and the most difficult cases of the church,  inasmuch as there is not satisfaction upon the decision of the  bishop, or judges, it shall be handed over and carried up,  unto the council of the church, before the presidency of the high  priesthood; and the presidency of the council of the high  priesthood, shall have power to call other high priests, even  twelve to assist as counsellors; and thus the presidency of  the high priesthood, and its counsellors Shall have power to  decide upon testimony, according to the laws of the church.  And after this decision it shall be had in remembrance  no more before the Lord; for this is the highest council of  the Church of God, and a final decision upon controver sies, in spiritual matters.
<No person exempt  from this council.> 36. There is not any person belonging to the church, who is exempt  from this council of the church.
<Trial of a presi dent of the High Priest hood.> 37. And inasmuch as a president of the high priesthood shall  shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the  common council of the church, who shall be assisted by  twelve counsellors of the high priesthood, and their decision upon  his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him. Thus  none shall be exempted from the justice and the laws of God:  that all things may be done in order and in solemnity,  before him, according to truth and righteousness.
<Duty of a pre siding Deacon> 38. And again, verily I say unto you, the duty of a president  over the office of a deacon, is to preside over twelve deacons,  to sit in council with them, and to teach them their duty  edifying one another, as it is given according to the covenants
<President of the  Teacher’s— Duty> 39. And also the duty of the president over the office of the  teachers, is to preside of over twenty four of the teachers, and to  sit in council with them,— teaching them the duties of their office , as given in the covenants.
<President of the  priesthood of Aaron  his duty.> 40. Also the duty of the president over the priesthood of Aaron,  is to preside of over forty eight priests, and sit in council  with them, to teach them the duties of their office, as is  given in the covenants. This president is to be a bishop;  for this is one of the duties of this priesthood.
<President of the  Elder’s Quorum  his duty.> 41. Again, the duty of the president over the office of elders is  to preside over ninety six elders, and to sit in council  with them, and to teach them according to the covenants.  This presidency is a distinct one from that of the seventy,  and is designed for those who do not travel into all the  world.
<President of the  office of the High  priesthood. Duty.> 42. And again, the duty of the president of the office of the  high priesthood is to preside over the whole church, and  to be like unto Moses. Behold, here is wisdom,— yea to be  a seer, a revelator, a translator and a prophet, having all the  gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church. [p. 587]
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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 Far West

Originally called Shoal Creek. Located fifty-five miles northeast of Independence. Surveyed 1823; first settled by whites, 1831. Site purchased, 8 Aug. 1836, before Caldwell Co. was organized for Latter-day Saints in Missouri. William W. Phelps and John Whitmer...

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, Missouri. For a fuller discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to the history.
Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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, 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. Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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’s poor health led to the curtailment of work on B-1 for several months, until 11 December 1844. On that date, Richards and William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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, assisted by Thomas Bullock, 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, Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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and Thomas Bullock 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, Brigham Young

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

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, Heber C. Kimball

14 June 1801–22 June 1868. Blacksmith, potter. Born at Sheldon, Franklin Co., Vermont. Son of Solomon Farnham Kimball and Anna Spaulding. Married Vilate Murray, 22 Nov. 1822, at Mendon, Monroe Co., New York. Member of Baptist church at Mendon, 1831. Baptized...

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, George A. Smith

26 June 1817–1 Sept. 1875. Born at Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co., New York. Son of John Smith and Clarissa Lyman. Baptized into LDS church by Joseph H. Wakefield, 10 Sept. 1832, at Potsdam. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833. Labored on Kirtland temple...

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, 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—Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Ohio, and northwest Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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—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.

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