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.
ly, until it shall be finished, from the corner stone thereof unto the top thereof; untill there shall not any thing remain that is not finished.
Verily I say unto you, let not my servant Joseph, neither my servant , neither my servant , get in debt any more for the building an unto my name.— But let my be built unto my name according to the pattern which I will show unto them, and if my people build it not according to the pattern which I shall show unto their presidency; I will not accept it at their hands. But if my people do build it according to the pattern which I show unto their presidency, even my servant Joseph and his counsellors; then I will accept it at the hands of my people.
And again: Verily I say unto you, it is my will that the City should be built up speedily by the gathering of my saints; and also that other places should be appointed for stakes in the regions round about as they shall be manifested unto my servant Joseph from time to time. For behold I will be with him, and I will sanctify him before the people; for unto him have I given the keys of this ministry. even so amen.
TO THE SAINTS ABROAD.
In order that the object for which the saints are gathered together in the last days, as spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began, may be obtained, it is essentially necessary, that they should all be gathered into the Cities appointed for that purpose; as it will be much better for them all, in order that they may be in a situation to have the necessary instruction, to prepare them for the duties of their callings respectively.
The advantages of so doing are numerous, while the disadvantages are few, if there are any. As intelligence is the great object of our holy religion, it is of all things important, that we should place ourselves in the best situation possible to obtain it. And we wish it to be deeply impressed on the minds of all, that to obtain all the knowledge which the circumstances of man will admit of, is one of the principle objects the saints have in gathering together. Intelligence is the result of education, and education can only be obtained by living in compact society; so compact, that schools of all kinds can be supported, and that while we are supporting schools, we, without any exception, can be benefited thereby.
It matters not how advanced many who embrace the gospel, be in life, the true object of their calling, is to increase their intelligence; to give them knowledge and understanding in all things which pertain to their happiness and peace, both here and hereafter.— And it is therefore required, that they place themselves in a situation accordingly.
Vain are the hopes of those who embrace the gospel, and then suppose, like the ignorant sectarians of the day, they have nothing more to do, but hold on to what they have gotten. Oh indeed! they think, or at least some of them do, that it is very well to have their priest educated, as well as they can; but for the people, they can serve God as well in ignorance as any other way: they can say their prayers, whether there is sense in them or not; and sing Psalms, it matters not whether they are suited to their condition or not; and thus in the most profound ignorance, with a learned blockhead, at their head, blunder on, until they blunder into heaven. But this stupid ignorance cannot exist among the saints.— It will do well enough, for creatures that know not God, and have not obeyed the gospel. But for saints it will not do. The great God when he began to work for his name’s glory, never thought of doing so, by raising up a society of ignoramuses, but of men and women of intelligence; of first intelligence. Of intelligence as high as human nature was susceptable; and by this means glorify himself.
One of the principal objects then, of our coming together, is to obtain the advantages of education; and in order to do this, compact society is absolutely necessary: it cannot be obtained without it, at most only by the few, to the exclusion of the many; which is a principle, at war with the principles of the church of Christ; for the principle of the church is, that what one has, all have; and equal privileges must be granted to all, or else it is not the church of Christ. And if those, on whom the important duty of regulating this matter devolves, should neglect to do their duty in this matter, they will be found transgressors.
We wish the saints then to be apprised of this, that in order to obtain [t]he ends of their calling, they will find [i]t, unavoidably, necessary that they [p. 53]