Elders’ Journal of the Church of Latter Day Saints, , Geauga Co., OH, Nov. 1837. For more complete source information, see the source note for Elders’ Journal, Oct. 1837.
In November 1837, the second issue of the church’s new periodical, Elders’ Journal of the Church of Latter Day Saints, was published in , Ohio. The paper was first published in October 1837 as an instrument for the of the to “communicate to others, all things pertaining to their mission, and calling as servants of the living God, and messengers of righteousness to the nations among whom they are sent.” As editor of the Elders’ Journal, JS was ultimately responsible for its content, including editorial selections in the November issue that introduced conference minutes, prefaced a letter from in , articulated an editorial philosophy, and implored subscribers to remit payment for their subscriptions. Though JS authored an account of his trip to and an attending list of questions, the extent of his involvement in writing the other editorial pieces is unclear. Given that he did not return to Kirtland from , Missouri, until 10 December 1837, the November issue was likely not published until after that date.
Note that only the editorial content created specifically for this issue of the Elders’ Journal is annotated here. Articles reprinted from other papers, letters, conference minutes, and notices, are reproduced here but not annotated. Items that are stand-alone JS documents, such as JS’s travel account, are annotated elsewhere.
Vilate Murray Kimball, Kirtland, OH, to Heber C. Kimball, Preston, England, 19–24 Jan. 1838, Heber C. Kimball, Collection, CHL; Thomas B. Marsh to Wilford Woodruff, in Elders’ Journal,July 1838, 36–38.
Kimball, Heber C. Collection, 1837–1898. CHL. MS 12476.
9th, What signs does Jo Smith give to establish his divine mission?
10th, Was not Jo Smith a money digger?
11th, Did he not Steal his ?
12th, Do the people have to give up their money when they join his church?
13th, Are the Mormons Abolitionists?
14th, Do they not stur up the Indians to war and to commit depredations?
15th, Do the Mormons baptize in the name of Jo Smith?
16th, If the Mormon doctrine is true, what have become of all that have died since the days of the apostles?
17th Does not Jo Smith pretend to be Jesus Christ?
18th, Is there any thing in the bible that liscences you to believe in revelation now days?
19th, Is not the canon of the scriptures full?
20th, What are the fundamental principles of your religion?
The above questions are as many as we probably shall have room to answer in our next article, though many more may hereafter be asked and answered as circumstances will permit.
The following notice introduced minutes of a general assembly held in , Missouri, on 7 November 1837. After departing in late September and proselytizing in towns in , , and , JS and several other leaders arrived in Far West by 6 November. On 7 November, an assembly of members voted on the organization of leaders and conducted other matters of church business.
In consequence of the delay of this No. which was occasioned by the preasure of times operating against us, so that paper was not to be obtained in season for its is[s]ue, we are enabled to lay before our readers a few items of the proceedings of our brethren in the during our visit to that place; which we trust will satisfy for the delay.
, Mo. Nov. 7, 1837.
At a general assembly of the church of Latter Day Saints, assembled at , to take into consideration and transact the business of said church, Elder was chosen Moderator, and appointed Clerk.
After singing, the Moderator addressed the throne of grace in prayer: after which pres’t. explained the object of the meeting, giving a relation of the recent re-organization of the church in —the minutes of said meeting were read by the Moderator, who also nominated Joseph Smith jr. the first pres’t. of the whole church, to preside over the same All were requested (males and females to vote—who was unanimously chosen. He then made a few remarks, accepting the appointment, requesting the prayers of the church in his behalf.
President Smith then nominated pres’t. to be one of his Counselors—who was unanimously chosen.
He then nominated pres’t. to be his next Counselor, who was objected to by Elder , in a few remarks, refering to a certain letter, written to this place by the said : also objected to . Elder also object to .
Bishop said he seconded ’ nomination, and should vote for him; and as to said letter, be had heard it, and saw nothing so criminal in it.
President also made a few remarks in ’ favor. made further remarks. Elder also objected to .
President then nominated pres’t. to take ’ place. He then called for a vote in favor of , who was rejected. He then called for a vote in favor of pres’t. , which was carried unanimous.
Some few remarks were made by pres’ts. and .
was nominated as the President of this branch of the church, and was objected to by . said he should vote for Elder made a few remarks. Elder made remarks in favor of —also Elder .
Elder spake against —also Elder .
Elder spake in favor of . Further remarks from by request of who made satisfaction for him. Remarks from pres’t. Joseph Smith jr. who called for an expression which was carried by almost a unanimous vote in favor of .
President Joseph Smith jr. then nominated for an assistant president, who was objected, and spake in opposition to him [p. 29]