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.
Sir, The folowing short extract of my journal kept during the past season is at your disposal, or for insertion in the Journal, if it is deemed worthy to occupy the pages of that highly interesting paper.
May 9th I left in company with Elder , intending if Providence so directed to blow the trumpet of the gospel in New England, this season: Our first stop was in Madison, Ohio, where we spent a few days with the brethren of that place, held three meetings and baptized one. From thence we turned our course S. E. intending to visit those churches in and that were built up by us in 1836. We arrived at elder Blanchards in Andover, As[h]tabula Co. Ohio, on the evening of the 13th, about 10 o’clock, much fatigued as you will judge after learning that our journey for the last several miles, was through an abundance of mud and scores of tree tops, which you know are nothing uncommon in that country. The Andover church commenced its rise in Aug. 1836, by the instrumentality of elders and ; The number of its members I have forgotten: we tarried preaching in Andover and its vicinity about ten days and baptized four: during the last two days of our tarry in that place, I was drawn into a debate with the Rev. Mr. Roberts, a learned clergyman of that place, upon the authenticity of the book of Mormon, which lasted about 8 hours.
Though I consented to the discussion to gratify the intense anxiety of many friends both in, and out of the church, yet I think it was productive of much good, for the weakness of error and the strength of truth were clearly manifested; and when we closed (about 12 o’clock in the evening of the second day) the aspect of the people was entirely changed: our meeting was held at the center of Andover, in the town house, which was full to overflowing, and many listened from without by the windows and in the waggons.
After discussion some others desired to be buried beneath the yielding wave, but feeling ourselves in a hurry we left it to be attended to by elder Adams and others of that place. May the 23rd, we took leave of the brethren and pursued our journey: on the evening of the 25th we arrived at elder Stevensons in Venango Co. Pa. in that vicinity we preached a few times, and added one to that branch. From thence we went South to Butler Co. visited two members near Unionsville and baptized one. Here I parted wlth and went to Be[a]ver Co. When I visited the branch at Bridgewater elder had just left, having baptized eight. I tarried preaching in the vicinity until the 13th of June, and baptized one more. From there I bent my course to Brushvalley church, Indiana Co. where I again met with who had visited the Plum Creek branch, in Armstrong Co. unto which he added one member.
We tarried in Indiana Co. until we added 16 to that church. On the 25th of June we held a council with the church and its officers, and ordained John F. Wakefield (formerly teacher) to the office of an elder, and Wm. P. Mc’intire to that of a priest. Elders and Wakefield then left on a mission to the lower counties of — that they might cause light to spring up among those that sit in darkness and the shadow of death; for the Spirit in our councils directed us to abandon the idea of our eastern journey and take a southern mission. I started alone from Brushvalley, on the 3rd of July, and passing through several southern counties of I went as far as Washington Co. Md. about 40 miles from Baltimore.
In Washington, Franklin and Bedford counties, were my labors confined for about four months: It is a thickly populated, and wealthy country, but the ministers of our God had not visited their habitations, and the glorious sound of the fullness of the gospel had not saluted their ears: Though it is a place of many sects, I think not less than about fifteen, and battalions of priests very much divided. They have a factory for making them (priests) in Franklin Co. I suppose you know the machine by which they fashion them, and teach them the laws of interpretation. I of course met with considera [p. 22]