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.
pel of Jesus Christ, so far stray from the truth (in order to appear plausible,) as to clearly show that they have need that one teach them the first principles of the gospel, are rather to be pittied than ridiculed.
Yours in the bonds of the covenant.
Another editorial passage served as a short preface to a letter from to his wife, . Along with , , , Isaac Russell, John Goodson, and , Orson Hyde had arrived in around 18 July 1837. In his letter, written on 14 September from the city of , Hyde described the proselytizing experiences of the Mormon in England, including a candid description of the poverty faced by those to whom they preached. The publication of such correspondence embodied the paper’s objective of “making known the progress of the work” in the and abroad.
We are aware that it is not expected by the of the , that their private epistles will be spread before the public, especially when addressed to their wives; & the apology we have to offer for so doing at this time is, that our columes could not be devoted to a better use, than they are with the following epistle from our beloved Bro. . Although it is but ten days later than that of ’s, published in the Oct. No. yet, we think it will be a sweet morsel to every Saint, and will serve as a stimulative to the ministers of our God, that their exertions in the proclatmaion [proclamation] of the gospel may be untiring, until the uttermost corners of the earth shall be made to tremble with the sound of their voices, and the Israel of God be gathered out against the day of disolution, which is speedily to come upon the earth, if the ancient prophets have not prophesied falsely.
, Eng. Sept. 14. 1837.
My dear :—
I have been and procured a large sheet of paper which will give me ample room to redeem the promise I made to you in a few lines which I addressed to you in ’s letter to his . Through the favor of the Lord, I am in good health and spirits, and so are all the brethren. I read your letter with peculiar interest and have but one fault to find, and that is, there was not quite enough of it.— I should like to have heard how the brethren are getting along, but I know you could not think of every thing. I never wanted to see you more than I do at this time: But in this I cannot be gratified at present. There are about four thousand and two hundred long miles which separate us, and the mighty ocean rolling between. Since I came to this place I have been down by the water side and looked westward over the surface of the deep as far as the eye could extend, fancy painting to my imagination the prospect of catching a glimpse of my native shore through the glass of great desire and intense anxiety, but, alas! the greatness of the distance blasted the prospect, and the fleet and extended imagination returned within its own native borders. Again I looked as the sun was fast reclining in the western sky, leaving his golden beams in the mirror of waters, and descried a proud and lofty billow bending its course towards the shore, as if to say, I have brought tidings from your home, your dear native home: But O! how I was disappointed again on seeing this false messenger sink by its own gravity to rise no more. This much is the result of one view of the sea shore
I labor in the vineyard night and day and the Lord labors with me.— There has been between one and two hundred baptized in this place since we came; and is now a laboring about 15 miles from this place where he has raised a small church, and I do not know but that it is a large one by this time. The Lord is with him, and he can preach so loud and so fast that the Catholics call him a noisy devil. Bro. [John] Goodson has this day returned from Bedford and says that he left thirteen baptized into the new covenant there, and is left with them. Bro. Goodson will remain in this place with me for a season.— has returned from the borders of Scotland where he and bro. Russel [Isaac Russell] went to labor, and Bros. and left this place yesterday to go out into the country on a mission, and will go from house to house. Bro. Russel has not baptized any as yet but he will soon I think. Those who have been baptized, are mostly manufacturers and some other mechanics. They know how to do but little else than to spin and weave cotton, and make cambrick, mull and lace, and what they would do in or the city “,” I cannot say. They are extremely poor, most of them not having a change of clothes decent to be babtized in, but they have open hearts and strong faith. We have taught them [p. 19]
Reporting that between one hundred and two hundred people had been baptized since the arrival of the Mormon elders, Hyde confided to his wife, “I can truly say that I never before preached with that power and Spirit that I have since I come to this place.” (Orson Hyde, Preston, England, to Marinda Johnson Hyde, [Kirtland, OH], 14 Sept. 1837, in Elders’ Journal,Nov. 1837, 19–22.)