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.
haven and organized a small branch of the church to the number of twelve, and broke bread unto them. On the day following we left the Islands, as was desirous to return to his friends in . While on our way to Portland we preached in the town of Bath, to a large and respectable congregation of citizens who met in Pierces Hall: We were treated with every mark of respect and civility, and solicited to meet with them again. I took the parting hand with in South Berwick Me. And after spending a season among the Saints and friends in and Scarborough, I left Portland on board the Bangor (in company with Mrs. [Phebe Carter] Woodruff) for the purpose of returning to the Islands to spend the winter. Notwithstanding we passed through a severe snow storm by the way, we arrived at North Fox Island safe and in good spirits, on the 31st Oct. and found the Saints strong in the faith, and I think growing in grace. I have as yet, mostly, confined my labors since my return to North and South Fox Islands. I have had more calls for preaching than I can fill I find a deep interest manifested in the minds of many while investigating the subject of the fullness of the gospel. The people are more noble in Vinalhaven than in many places, they are generally willing to hear the matter before they judge it. I have baptized a number since my return, and others have offered themselves as candidates. The church now numbers 17 in this town; and I consider it as only the beginning of the work of the Lord upon the Islands of the Sea. I would here remark, that I have visited the Isle of Holt since my return. The vessel in which I sailed left the Island the day following our arrival, consequently I had but little time with the people. I had the privilege of preaching the gospel unto them and leaving the book of Mormon. I have had an interview with persons from several Islands where we have not as yet proclaimed the gospel, and some of the number have manifested their faith in the cause, by inviting me to visit them and offering to open their doors for preaching. Thus doors are open not only upon the maine land, but upon the Islands of Sea for faithful laborers in the vineyard. The enemy of all righteousness is busy in opposing the Saints, and striving to stop the progress of truth in this country, as in all places where truth is proclaimed, by creating and setting afloat every falsehood and foolish story that human ingenuity can invent, or wicked men devise. The doctrines of the shakers, and and others I might name with all the appendages of stories added unto them that have long since been worn out and found a grave, have of late appeared upon these Islands of the Sea, as though they had risen from the dead with redoubled strength and are heaped upon the heads of the Latter Day Saints. But notwithstanding this exertion against the truth the work of God rolls on and will continue to roll until his Kingdom fills the whole earth. I need the prayers of all the Saints as I am alone and much is required at my hands.
I wish to say a word concerning a statement made by Mr. G. J. Newton, in his letter under date of Oct. 12, 1837, published in a Baptist paper at Portland called Zion’s Advocate. In speaking of the fruits of their seven days meeting in the Baptist church on North Fox Island, Mr. Newton (the Pastor of the church,) made mention of two converts that had been impressed before this protracted meeting: one of which he says was afterwards baptized. It is a well known fact that the two mentioned persons were his own son and daughter. He then speaks of several others who had received the fellowship of the Church as candidates for the ordinance of baptism, Mr. Newton sums up the subject by saying “It is worthy of remark that those who have obtained a hope are some of those who stood aloof from hearing the “Mormons” (as he is pleased to call us.) Now what can Mr. Newton think by presenting such a “Sentiment” before the publick, for it is a truth too notorious to be denied, that not only his son and daughter, but some, if not all of the other converts of which he speaks as well as himself attended our meetings from time to time. The cloud of witnesses is to[o] great on this subject to convince the citizens of Vinalhaven that such a statement is correct, and wherever else it may find credit or be believed, it will not be on North Fox Island. Whenever men who profess to be teachers of the people and ministers of the gos [p. 18]