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.
to God, that I had avoided. But this much I can say that the time past can only teach us to be more wise for the future. I close this communication by saying that from 1830 until now, I have had full confidence in the book of Mormon, the Revelations of God to Joseph Smith Jr., and I still esteem both him and . as men of the highest integrity, the most exalted principles of virtue and honor, and men who will yet be instruments in the Lord’s hand to accomplish a work in which I shall esteem it the highest honor and the greatest blessing to bear some humble part.
Surrey Co. N. C. May 18, 1838.
Dear Brother in the Lord,
Although I have been seperated from you many months, I have not forgotten you; and be assured that I have often times desired your company, for I have labored alone most of the time since I left .
I have traveled from state to state, proclaiming the word of God; and for the last six months, I have been preaching the gospel in the counties Stokes, Surrey, Patrick and Rockingham, in this state.
The faith of our church, never had been made known to any of the people in this part of the country, until I came here. They had heard many false reports from the mob in . The people in having sent to their friends in this country, all the exaggerated and false stories, which they were disposed to. And by this means the minds of many have become prejudiced against our people.— And it is almost impossible, to convince this people that the stories are incorrect.
I have one very important request to make, which is, that you would use your utmost endeavors to have some of the elders come to this country without delay. Have this request made known to the Church in ; tell them, that doors are open in every direction throughout those counties, and it is altogether out of the question for me to fill half of the calls, all of which are very urgent indeed; and the prospects are very good for building up a church. But I have to go to so many places, that it is not possible for me to build up churches, unless I can have help in this great work of the Lord.
I have no doubt when I say there can be a large church built up in this country, but that you know that it is a very hard thing for one alone, to start the work, in a state where the sound had never been heard, save by false reports.
But the people are all very willing to hear; and many are very much believing in the principles that I hold forth. You well know that the state of North Carolina has been past by, by all our elders. I am the only elder I think, that has ever visited this state.
; I want that you should send me some of the papers containing the letters of br. Joseph on slavery. Send them to Webb’s Post Office, Stokes Co., N. C. The climate in the country is healthy, and the people hospitable and kind. The elders can come to the Kanawha salt works by water, where they will be within 100 miles of Patrick court house, and when they get there they may enquire for me; and if I am not there, they may enquire for Webbs Post office.
I have baptised 4 since I came to this country, and the prospects are flatterring.
All manner of stories are in circulation here about br. Joseph, he is in Jail for murder! and has runaway from to !!!! How do these sayings agree? Give my love to all.
Yours in the covenant of grace.
Your letter of the 18th of May, directed to Br. , was a few days since handed to us; and we hasten to give you some information relative to our situation in this part of the land. I have used my influence to send some Elders to your assistance, and I think that one or more will be sent to that region, before long.
Heaven seems to smile upon the saints here, in almost every respect, & surely we ought to be the more faithful to Him who pours out his blessings upon us. Many, very many, have emigrated to this place, this season, and we are informed that many more are on the road.