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.
a monstrous effort to bring forth. And when the full time of gestation was come, the wonder come forth, and the priests who were in waiting, seized the animal at its birth, rolled it up in their papers, and sent it abroad to the world; but , , and , in the character of mid-wives, waited around the bed of mamma to get away the after birth; but awful to relate! they no sooner got it away than mamma expired; and the poor bantling was left on the hands of the priests, to protect and nurse it, without any other friend. A short time after the delivery of granny , a little ignorant blockhead, by the name of , whose heart was so set on money, that he would at any time, sell his soul for fifty dollars; and then think he had made an excellent bargain; and who had got wearied of the restraints of religion, and could not bear to have his purse taxed, hearing of the delivery of granny , ran to , got into the , and tried withal his powers to bring forth something, no body knows what,nor did he know himself; but he thought as granny had been fruitfull, so must he: but after some terrible gruntings, and finding nothing coming but an abortion, rose up in his anger, proclaimed all revelation lies, and ran home to his daddy with all his might, not leaving even an egg behind, and there sat down, and rejoiced in the great victory he had obtained, over the great God and all the holy angels, how he had discovered them liars and impostures.
There was also a kind of secondary attendant, that waited upon this grany of modern libels, whose name is . In his character there is something notorious, and that is, that at a certain time in , he signed a libel, in order to avoid the punishment due to his crimes. That libel can be forth coming at any time, when called for. And in so doing, has disqualified himself, for taking an oath, before any court of justice in the .
Thus armed and attended, this modern libeller, has gone forth, to the assistance of the priests, to help them fight against the great God and against his work. How successful they will be, future events will determine.
A few words on the history of this priests helpmate may not be amiss.
He went into Ohio, some few years since to live, and hired his boarding in the house of one ; he had not however been there but a short time, until began to make a grievous complaint, about his taking unlawful freedom with his (’s) wife. was, accordingly, brought to an account, before the authorities of the church, for his crime. The fact was established, that such unlawful conduct had actually taken place between ( and ’s wife.)— finding he could not escape, confessed, plead for forgiveness like a criminal at the bar, promising in the most solemn manner, that if the church would forgive him, he never would do so again, and he was accordingly forgiven.
For some considerable time, there were no outbreakings with him, at least, that was known; but a train of circumstances, began at last to fix guilt on his head, in another point of light. He had the handling of large sums of money, and it was soon discovered, that after the money was counted and laid away, and come to be used and counted again, that there was always a part of it missing; this being the case, repeatedly, and those who owned it, knowing that there was no other person but , who had access to it, suspicion of necessity fixed itself on him. At last, the matter went to such lengths, that a search warrant was called for, to search his trunk. The warrant was demanded at the office of Esq. but he refused to grant it, some difficulty arose on account of it.
The warrant, however, was at last obtained, but too late, for the trunk in question was taken out of the way, and could not be found; but as to his guilt, little doubt can be entertained by any person, acquainted with the circumstances.
After this affair, began to discover that there was great iniquity in the church, particularly, in the editor of this paper, and began to make a public excitement about it, but in a short time, he had an opportunity of [p. 57]