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.
Reflections on the order of God and effects flowing from it.
We often see remarks made by writers of church history and others, who are the adherents of the popular systems of the day, similar to the following, viz. that, when Christ established his kingdom upon the earth he left it without any particular order to administer, or form to be administered: leaving these things, that christians might adopt such order and form in different places, as best suited their convenience, or comported with their consciences. I for one, must dissent from such an idea. In the first place, because it is impossible to establish a kingdom, either spiritual or temporal, without order in it.— And in the second place, because, it is the express declaration of holy, writ, that he, who came a high priest of a royal, everlasting and unchangeable priesthood, placed order in his kingdom or church, which he established, and caused to be established upon the earth. I Cor. 12. 28. And God hath set some in the church; first, apostles; secondarily, prophets; thirdly teachers; after that miracles; then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
Also Eph. 4, 11 and he -[Christ]- gave some apostles, and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors, and teachers.— These passages place the matter beyond a doubt, (and all these persons, who believe the scriptures, must admit the fact,) that God set an order in his church; even an order of officers, to go forth among the nations; and make known the law of Christ, for the obedience of faith. That out of an innumerable company of aliens, they should gather into the one spirit of God, all those, who would believe in one Lord, their Redeemer; exercise one faith, and be baptized with one baptism, in accordance with the commission, which Christ gave the apostles, when he spake unto them saying, “Thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations; go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe,” Thus, we find, that those who were at this time appointed to teach the people, were instructed to teach repentance, and remission of sins in the name of Jesus; witnessing unto the people, that he had died, and rose “again according to the scriptures,“ by which an atonement was made, through the shedding of his blood, for all the children of men. The apostles, after their endowment, were qualified to ordain others after the holy order of God to teach repentance and remission of sins also or, in other words, to teach all those things that Christ had commanded them to teach.— ‘And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God. as was Aaron.” Heb. 5, 4. Now Aaron was ordained, and set apartt to this office, by the Lords servant Moses, who did it in accordance with a revelation, which he received from God to that effect. So also. the apostles had the same power to transmit the priesthood to others. when the Holy Ghost manifested unto them, that any person or persons were worthy of that calling; for the Holy Ghost is a spirit of revelation and prophecy, John 14: 26, “But the Comforter, which is in the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you,” C. 15; 13–15. “Howbeit, when he, the spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine; therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and show it unto you.” The above passages show so plainly, that the spirit of truth is a spirit of revelation and prophecy, that they need no comment. The apostles, therefore, being endowed with the spirit of revelation, had power to transmit this spirit to others, through the laying on of their hands. And their proclamation was, that all should receive it, on condition of their repenting and being baptized for the remission of their sins in the name of Jesus Christ. Acts 2–38.— After the day of pentecost, when believers were increased, and others had been set apart to the ministry; we find there were prophets in the church at Antioch, and, “as they ministered unto the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, seperate me Barnabas and Saul, for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” We have also a saying of Paul in his first epistle to Timothy, which shows how Timothy was set apart to his calling, viz; I Tim. 4—14, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” -[eldership]-. These ensamples may suffice for the present, to show us, that the apostles had power to ordain, and did ordain others, according to the spirit of revelation and prophecy; that there might be a succession of the order, as well as a sufficient number to teach, and administer, until the purpose, for which the order was given, should be fully completed; which purpose was, “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the [p. ]