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.
by a general philanthropist, but does not belong to any church. The place will accommodate towards eight hundred people, and we have it free of charge. The priests have been to him telling him that he was encouraging false doctrine by letting us have the house &c. His reply to them is, “You are at liberty to go and contest the point with them; and if you think their doctrine incorrect, go and expose them.— You shall have your turn in the use of the house:” This shuts their mouths and put them in rather an awkward position. The people here are quite anxious to build a chappel for themselves by laying aside sixpence a week out of their scanty earnings, but we shall advise them upon this subject to do differently. * * * *
We have not said a hard word against the priests since we came here, neither have we spoken against any sect, yet they say all manner of evil against us. The people have discovered this difference between us, and they are most agreeably surprised, and it gives us unbounded influence. We tell them that God has not sent us to judge and condemn another man’s servant: But he has sent us to preach the kingdom of God. The short experience that I have had here, causes me to regret that all the elders have not observed the same course. I am quite satisfied that thegreat and frequent anathemas pronounced by many of our elders upon people who do not believe their testimony, are not by the Spirit of God: neither do I think it wisdom to be clubing the sects always: but let them alone, and preach Jesus Christ.
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My dear :
I take the liberty to write a few more words across the lines which I hope you will be able to read: I feel that I have given myself wholy to the Lord and to the work of the ministry. I feel that I am far from home and no arm to lean upon but the arm of the Almighty. In him do I put my trust; and to him do I look for every blessing that I need. I know that in me there is no goodness, that is, in my flesh, For when I view my past course, I am ready to say, O Lord deliver thy servant from vanity—Cleanse his heart from all unholy desires. Let the virtue of thy blood wash him and make him fit for an inheritance with the Saints in light. Let him be sanctified, a vesel of honor to bare glad tidings to those who sit in darkness, and call upon poor wandering prodigals to return to their father’s house. Give him prosperity in the promulgation of thy words; and let the enemies of the cross be confounded and put to shame before the sublimity and power of his arguments. Let him raise the standard of the cross in every land and nation where he shall go; and let the simple and broken hearted flock unto it and rejoice beneath its heavenly banner. Before the light which he shall hold forth, let error, ignorance, and superstition fall like Dagon before the ark of God, or flee like the shades of night before the rising glory of the king of day. Let his heart become the storehouse of charity and good will to men, and his body the temple of the Holy Ghost. Let his tongue be armed with truth supplied from the rich and flowing fountain of the heart. O Lord, remember the partner of all my joys and sorrows; and when she reads this epistle from her dear and affectionate husband, Bless, O bless her with the same love and joy that now inspire my bosom. Let her enjoy health of body and peace of mind. When she is sick, do thou heal her: When she is cast down do thou raise her up. When she is sorrowful do thou comfort her, when the tear of deep affection steels down her cheeks, do thou cheer her mind with the prospect of once more seeing the object of her earthly hopes; and with open arms embracing her nearest and dearest friend. And now O Lord, have thou respect unto the little babe which thou hast given us. Take it not from us, but let it remain as a source of comfort unto its parents. Give her health and prosperity and may she grow like thine own plants and let the blessings of heaven rest upon her. Let the babe and her mother be faithfully preserved until thy servant shall return to his home. Let these, the humble petitions of thy servant be answered, for I ask them in the name of Jesus Christ thy Son, Amen. * * * *