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.
ble opposition, but personal abuse I received none but once, when I was waylaid by a secret company in the evening and besmered with rotten eggs.
I preached in their court houses, chapels, school houses and dwellings; when these were closed, I occupied the streets or groves. Some would close their ears against my words, but most people wished to hear what the babler had to say; and when their ears could be obtained once, their next cry would be “We would hear thee again on this matter:” and after the people were awakened to the subject, I had many more calls than I could supply.— Though the presses of those counties frequently teamed with intelligence about the notorious imposter that had invaded their quiet possions: the priests were howling from their pulpits, and babylons bells were tolling; and priests not unfrequetly manifested a disposition like that of a hireling shepherd, who stands upon the hills and exclaims to the sheep, take care of yourselves for the wolves are after you; but now and then there would be one so daring as to make an attack upon the supposed wolf in the attire of a lamb; among them were several followers of Mr. ; at different times and places of whom was the Rev. Mr. Bell, who in the village of Leitersburgh made an attack upon our principles in the greatnes of his strength, by two oral discourses, to which I replied before the same audience, which afterwards occasioned a formal debate and the whole discussion lasted about ten hours, chiefly upon the spiritual gifts, order of Christs church and the priesthood; which was conducted and closed in mildness and good order, and I think to the entire satisfaction of a large and attentive audience: which laid the axe at the root of Campbellism in that place, and produced much good as I have reason to believe from the fact, that I shortly after baptized eleven persons; where also the last of Sept. by the assistance of another elder which the Lord sent to me and the voice of the Saints, we ordained brother George Crouse an elder; he was formerly a Methodist exhorter, a man of influence and dearly beloved among them.
I do not like to engage in such debates lest some spirit should be admited that should displease the Lord, neither will I, except in defence of the truth for the truths’ sake when it is unhallowedly attackted. The 16 of Oct. I left Md. and returned visiting the branches and preaching by the way; arriving in Bedford Co. I found elders and Wakefield laboring in the vineyard, they had baptized 18 in that Co. one of whom was a Campbellite preacher, and many more were believing: I baptized ten in Bridgeport, Franklin Co. and several in Bedford Co. I think the whole in Bedford Co. is about 30, a part in Mc’connelscove, and part on Clear ridge. I spent two weeks in Indiana Co. on my return found the church in prosperous circumstances, some additions having been made since I left them. All the churches I visited during the season seemed with few exceptions to be abounding in the work of the Lord. In the city of I unexpectedly fell in company with elder : During our association we preached several times and baptized one in Ohio river: We separated a few days ago in Columbiana Co. I arrived in this place (Troy) Saturday, preached on Sunday when elder Sliter administered the ordinance to some others.
Now in taking a review of my journal, I find I have since I left travelled about 1600 miles, preached about 150 times obtained 27 subscribers for your periodical, baptized 43 and witnessed the baptism of several others; and feel myself authorized to say that truth is gaining influence in those regions within the limits of my travels, and will prevail though persecution rages and falsehoods are wafted on every breeze; and slanderous reports rolling as a sweet morsel under the tongues of almost every religious bigot, yet error is like exploding gun powder, put no constraint upon it and it will consume itself and do no harm; but truth is like oil in water always upermost.—
Continued from page 15.
I now come to your proposal for a debate. You propose holding a personal interview as you have desired the opportunity for some time with some competant person believing as I do, I acknowledge myself imcompetant to the task of exhibiting this subject in all its splendent glory, but am willing to reflect what light I am able. You [p. 23]