Elders’ Journal, , Caldwell Co., MO, Aug. 1838. For more complete suorce information, see the source note for Elders’ Journal, Oct. 1837.
The Elders’ Journal, which published two issues in , Ohio, in 1837 before the church’s was destroyed, was reestablished in , Missouri, in 1838, after JS and most other church leaders migrated from Kirtland to Far West. was the proprietor of the newspaper, and JS was the editor, though the amount and nature of JS’s involvement and editorial oversight is unclear. By May 1838, JS and began working on material for the first Far West issue, dated July 1838. Ultimately, two issues were published in , dated July 1838 and August 1838. The July issue included letters to and from church serving proselytizing missions, as well as articles, minutes of meetings, and other items. The August issue contained similar material, including an editorial by JS and a letter that the commissioned to write to who had not yet gathered to Missouri. The August issue also included an obituary for Ethan Barrows Jr., who died in mid-August 1838, indicating that the issue was published sometime in the second half of the month or later.
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 the Minutes from a 28 June 1838 conference, are annotated elsewhere.
The obituary in the Elders’ Journal states that Barrows died on 15 August, but his father’s later autobiography gives the date of 18 August. (Obituary for Ethan Barrows Jr., Elders’ Journal, Aug. 1838, 64; “The Journal of Ethan Barrows,” Journal of History, Jan. 1922, 46; see also “The Journal of Ethan Barrows,” Journal of History, Oct. 1922, 451–452.)
Journal of History. Lamoni, IA, 1908–1920; Independence, MO, 1921–1925.
proving to the world the truth of his assertion. A poor persecuting booby, by the name of , and who in fact was scarcely a grade above the beast that perish, went and swore out a state’s warrant against the editor of this paper, saying that he was afraid of his life. In so doing, he swore a palpable lie, and every body knew it, and so did the court, and decided accordingly.
One of the witnesses called in behalf of , was . had no doubt but great things would be proven by .— When the day of trial however came, was not forth coming. ’s council demanded an to bring him forthwith, and accordingly was brought. But, behold, the disappointment when was called! Instead of fulfilling ’s expectation, when asked by the lawyers, “Do you know of any thing in the character or conduct of Mr. Smith, which is unworthy of his profession as a man of God,” the answer was “I do not”. The countenance of fell, and if he had possessed one grain of human feelings, would went off with shame, but of this, there is about as much in him as in other beast.
In giving the answer did, he has given the lie, to all he has said, both before and since, and his letter, that is now going the rounds in the priest’s papers, is an outrageous pack of lies, or else he took a false oath at ; and take it which way you will, and the priests have but a feeble helpmate in granny .
The truth is, at the time was called on to give testimony in , he had not got his nerves so strengthened as to take a false oath, and though he could lie most unsufferably, still, he had some fear about swearing lies. But no doubt, if he were called upon now, he would swear lies as fast as tell them; since he denies all revelation, all angels, all spirit, &c. and has taken the liar by the hand, and become his companion.
Some time after had given in his testimony at , he began again to rail, the church would bear it no longer, and cut him off: a short time after he was cut off, he plead with them to receive him back again: and in order to get back, he confessed all he had said to be false, asked forgiveness for it, and by much pleading, and confession, and promising reformation, was received back again.
Thus once under oath, and another time voluntarily, for sake of getting back into the church, he confessed himself, that all that he had said, and all that he had written, were falsehoods; for his letter that is going the rounds in the papers, is no more than a reiteration, of what he had before declared, and denied himself. This is the poor pitiful resort then, of the priests, in order to stop the progress of the truth.
But this is not all concerning mamma . The next business we find him in, is robbing the Bank of twenty five thousand dollars at one time, and large sums at others, the managers had in the mean time, appointed him as Cashier, and as President, and they managed the institution with a witness. stole the paper out of the institution, and went to buying bogus or counterfeit coin with it, becoming a partner with the Tinker’s creek blacklegs, and in company with , in buying different kinds of property with it, and devoting it to his own use, and soon entirely destroyed the institution.
He was aided by his former associates to take his paper, and go and buy bogus with it, from the Tinker’s creek black legs, and on the way coming home, they would waylay and his gang, and rob them, so they would loose the bogus money; at last sold his horse and carriage for bogus money, and behold when he came home and opened his box of bogus, it was sand and stones.— was somewhat chagrined at this, so he gets out a state’s warrant, takes his coadjutor, , and off to Tinker’s creek they go. as constable. The pretended object was, to take the man who had them, the horse and carriage, one for stealing them, and the others as stolen property. Coming to the place where they were, takes after the man and drives him into a barn. in the mean time takes the horse and carriage, and clears to with it, and when had pretendedly tried to take the man, until he supposed had got off with the horse and carriage, he ceased the pursuit and went home.
For this, was taken by the sheriff of Cuyahoga county, his hands bound behind his back, and held in custody untill he paid two hundred dollars, and if he had not paid it, he would have stood a chance for the work house.
Thus O ye Priests, what a blessed company of associates you have got, to help you on in the work of persecution. You aught to rejoice greatly, at the venerable addition which you have added to your numbers. No [p. 58]