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.
doubt they are men as much after your own hearts, as ever David was after the heart of God. And you Mr. [LaRoy] Sunderland in particular you have no doubt, in an helpmete, after your own image and your own likeness. Congratulate yourself greatly, in having obtained a man after your heart, to help you to lie and persecute.
O ye priests, but you are a heaven born race; and that all the world may well know by the company you keep. You have got for your associate; a man notorious. for lying, for adultery, for stealing, for swindling, and for villainy of all kinds, but for nothing else. Are you not happily yorked [yoked] together with believers, precisely of your own character? surely you are, since it is company of your own choosing.
For our parts, we shall consider it an honor, to be belied and persecuted by such debauchees, in it we will rejoice as long as we have breath, knowing if these men speak well of us, that we are not doing the will of God. For the friendship of such, is enmity against God. And the friendship of God, is enmity to such.
And there, O ye priests, we leave you with your holy company, until it shall be said to you all, “Depart ye workers of iniquity, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”
There is another character, who has figured somewhat in the affairs of granny . Doctor . This poor pitiful beggar, came to a few years since, with a large family, nearly naked and destitute. It was really painful to see this pious ’s (for such he professed to be) rags flying when he walked the streets. He was taken in by us in this pitiful condition, and we put him into the , and gave him enormous wages, not because he could earn it, or because we needed his service, but merely out of pity. We knew the man’s incompetency all the time, and his ignorance, and inability to fill any place in the literary world, with credit to himself, or to his employers. But notwithstanding all this, out of pure compassion, we gave him a place, and afterwards hired him to edit the paper in that place, and gave him double as much, as he could have gotten any where else. The subscribers, many at least, complained to us of his inability to edit the paper, and there was much dissatisfaction about it, but still we retained him in our employ, merely, that he might not have to be supported as a pauper.
By our means, he got himself and family decently clothed, and got supplied with all the comforts of life, and it was nothing more nor less, than supporting himself and family as paupers; for his services were actually, not worth one cent to us, but on the contrary was an injury. The owners of the establishment, could have done all the work which, he did themselves, just as well without him as with him. In reality, it was a piece of pauperism.
But now reader mark the sequel. It is a fact of public notoriety, that as soon as he found himself and family in possession of decent apparel he began to use all his influence to our injury, both in his sayings and doings. We have often heard it remarked by slave holders, that you should not make a negro equal with you, or he would try to walk over you. We have found the saying verified in this pious , for truly this niggardly spirit manifested itself in all its meanness; even in his writings, (and they were very mean at best) he threw out foul insinuations, which no man who had one particle of noble feeling would have condescended to. But such was the conduct of this master of meanness. Nor was this niggardly co[u]rse confined to himself, but his sons also, were found engaged in the same mean business.
His sons, in violation of every sacred obligation, were found among the number of granny ’s men, using all there influence (which however was nothing; but they were none the less guilty for that, for if it had been ever so great it would have been used) to destroy the benefactors of their family, who raised their family from rags, poverty, and wretchedness. One thing we have learned, that there are negroes who were white skins, as well as those who wear black ones.
Granny had a few others who acted as lackies, such as , , , etc. but they are so far beneath contempt that a notice of them would be too great a sacrifice for a gentleman to make.
Having said so much, we leave this hopefull company, in the new bond of union which they have formed with the priests. While they were held under restraints by the church, and had to behave with a degree of propriety, at least, the priests manifested the greatest opposition to them. But no sooner were they excluded from the fellowship of the church and gave loose, to all kind of abominations, swearing, lying, cheating, swindling, drinking, with every species of debauchery, then the priests began to extol them to the heavens for their piety and virtue, and made friends with them, and called them the finest fellows in the world.
Is it any wonder then, that we say of the priests of modern days, that they are of satan’s own making, and are of their father the devil. Nay verily nay; for no being but a scandalous sycophant, and base hypocrite, would say other ways. As it was with , so it is with these creatures. While was held in bounds by the church, and made to behave himself, he was denounced by the priests as one of the worst of men, but no sooner was he excluded from the church for adultery, than instantly he became one of the finest men in the world, old deacon [Orris] Clapp of ran and took him and his family into the house with himself, and so exceedingly was he pleased with him, that purely out of respect to him, he went to bed to his wife. This great kindness and respect, did not feel just so well about but the pious old deacon gave him a hundred dollars and a yoke of oxen, and all was well again.
This is the , that was author of a book which bears the name of , but it was this said that was the author of it; but after the affair of ’s wife and the pious old deacon, the persecutors thought it better to put some other name [p. 59]