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Selections from Elders’ Journal, October 1837

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We are in hopes that our patrons  from seeing the Journal, close at the  heels of the Messenger and Advocate,  will take courage and forward us the  ready; for they may be assured that if  there is no lack on their part, that the  Journal shall at all times be forth com ing in its season without delay, and by  so doing our readers can get the news  before it gets cold.
When our patrons are aware of the  fact, that on the old subscription, out of  about 1500 subscribers, there is now  between 800 and $1000 behind, they  will not blame our predecessors for  being in the drag—a word to the wise  is sufficient. [p. 15]
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In the final issue of the Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, dated September 1837, a prospectus appeared announcing the forthcoming publication of the Elders’ Journal of the Church of Latter Day Saints. The following month, the first issue of the new paper appeared. The short-lived newspaper ran only four issues—two in Kirtland, Ohio, dated October and November 1837; and two in Far West, Missouri, dated July and August 1838. For the two Far West issues, the title of the paper was changed to Elders’ Journal of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. JS is listed as editor for each of the four issues, with Thomas B. Marsh listed as proprietor or publisher. It is unknown how labor was divided on the newspaper or how much immediate responsibility JS had for the content. The paper presumably would have continued with additional issues in Missouri had it not been for the escalating violence between Mormons and non-Mormons in late 1838, which culminated in the Mormons being driven from the state. After settling at Commerce, Illinois, the Saints began publishing a new paper, the Times and Seasons—though explicitly not as a successor to the Elders’ Journal.
Because of JS’s involvement as editor of the Elders’ Journal, the Joseph Smith Papers will publish the significant editorial content from each issue as a collection of documents. Some of the individual items are signed “Ed[itor]” while others are not. Each of these collections is titled “Selections from Elders’ Journal” and dated with the month and year of publication for the issue.

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