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.
out for the benefit of the saints about 25 miles from , called , it is on the , surrounded by a beautiful country of land.
Crops in this upper country, are exceedingly flourishing this season: I think that the prospects for an abundant crop of corn, were never greater. Wheat is from fifty to seventy five cents per bushel, corn meal is sold in this place for 75 cents per bushel and will probably remain as high as that until the new corn is ripe, when it will probaby be much lower, as we understand that contracts are making for corn at 20 cents per bushel; good bacon is from 6 to 8 dollars per hundred, and pickled pork about the same. I think that provisions of all kinds will soon be very plenty among us.
Yours with respect,
, August, 1838.
is situated immediately on the north side of in Mo. about 25 miles north of . It is situated on a beautiful elevated spot of ground overlooking the and country round about, which renders the place as healthy as any part of the . The river is navigable for small boats, three quarters of the year. The advantage of large bodies of timber, which surrounds the town, the advantage of the beautiful rolling prairie, and the advantage of trade which it has, in consequence of navigation, renders it equal to any other place in the upper counties in the State of .
And when we look upon this beautiful situation, with the transcendant landscape which surrounds it, attended with all the above named advantages, we are ready to say truly this is like unto the land which the Lord our God promised to his saints in the last days.
The county of is as well calculated for agriculture and commerce as any other county in the state; having running quite through it, near the centre, and a very large body of timber accompanying the river, that, together with the timber accompanying the creeks and branches makes a sufficient quantity of timber to settle almost the whole of the .
The immense emigration and rapid population of this new , astonishes the people of the surrounding country, encourages the saints, and induces us to believe that God is about to bring to pass his strange acts, of which he has spoken by his ancient Prophets.
The immence growth of corn and other produce, this season, in this , as well as all other counties in this upper country, has not to our knowledge, had a parallel in this generation; and if the Lord should continue to bless, as he has now set his hand to do, there must soon be a surplus, so that believers abroad must actually be constrained to say, the Saints have brought their tithes and offerings into the Store House of the Lord, that a blessing of this magnitude, is heaped upon the inhabitants of this upper country.
AN EXTRACT OF REVELATION
Given, , April 26th, A. D, 1838.
Verily thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph Smith Jr., and also my servant , and also my servant and your counsellors, who are, and who shall be hereafter appointed; and also unto my servant and his Counsellors, and also unto my faithful servants who are of the High Council of my church in Zion (for thus it shall be called) and unto all the Elders and people of my church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints scattered abroad in all the world; for thus shall my church be called in the last days. viz, The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Verily I say unto you all; arise and shine forth that thy light may be a standard for the nations, and that thy gathering together upon the land of Zion and upon her stakes may be for a defence and for a refuge from the storm and from wrath, when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole Earth. Let the City be a holy, and a consecrated land unto me, and it shall be called most holy, for the ground upon which thou standest is holy. Therefore I command you to build an unto me, for the gathering together of my saints, that they may worship me, and let there be a beginning of this work, and a foundation, and a preparatory work for the foundation, in this following season, and let this beginning be made on the 4th day of July next, and from that time forth, let my people labor diligently to build an unto my name; and in one year from this day, let them recommence laying the foundation of my . Thus let them, from that time forth labor diligent [p. 52]