Selections from Elders’ Journal, August 1838

doubt they are men as much after your own  hearts, as ever David was after the heart of  God. And you Mr. [LaRoy] Sunderland in particu lar you have no doubt, in Warren Parrish an  helpmete, after your own image and your  own likeness. Congratulate yourself great ly, in having obtained a man after your  heart, to help you to lie and persecute.
O ye priests, but you are a heaven born  race; and that all the world may well know  by the company you keep. You have got  Warren Parrish for your associate; a man no torious. for lying, for adultery, for stealing,  for swindling, and for villainy of all kinds,  but for nothing else. Are you not happily  yorked [yoked] together with believers, precisely of  your own character? surely you are, since it  is company of your own choosing.
For our parts, we shall consider it an hon or, to be belied and persecuted by such de bauchees, in it we will rejoice as long as we  have breath, knowing if these men speak well  of us, that we are not doing the will of God.  For the friendship of such, is enmity against  God. And the friendship of God, is enmity  to such.
And there, O ye priests, we leave you with  your holy company, until it shall be said to  you all, “Depart ye workers of iniquity, into  everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and  his angels.”
There is another character, who has figur ed somewhat in the affairs of granny Parrish.  Doctor W[arren] A. Cowdery. This poor pitiful  beggar, came to Kirtland a few years since,  with a large family, nearly naked and desti tute. It was really painful to see this pious  Doctor’s (for such he professed to be) rags  flying when he walked the streets. He was  taken in by us in this pitiful condition, and  we put him into the printing office, and gave  him enormous wages, not because he could  earn it, or because we needed his service, but  merely out of pity. We knew the man’s in competency all the time, and his ignorance,  and inability to fill any place in the literary  world, with credit to himself, or to his em ployers. But notwithstanding all this, out  of pure compassion, we gave him a place,  and afterwards hired him to edit the paper in  that place, and gave him double as much, as  he could have gotten any where else. The  subscribers, many at least, complained to  us of his inability to edit the paper, and there  was much dissatisfaction about it, but still  we retained him in our employ, merely, that  he might not have to be supported as a pau per.
By our means, he got himself and family  decently clothed, and got supplied with all  the comforts of life, and it was nothing more  nor less, than supporting himself and family  as paupers; for his services were actually, not  worth one cent to us, but on the contrary  was an injury. The owners of the establish ment, could have done all the work which,  he did themselves, just as well without him  as with him. In reality, it was a piece of  pauperism.
But now reader mark the sequel. It is a  fact of public notoriety, that as soon as he  found himself and family in possession of de cent apparel he began to use all his influence  to our injury, both in his sayings and doings.  We have often heard it remarked by slave  holders, that you should not make a negro  equal with you, or he would try to walk over  you. We have found the saying verified in  this pious Doctor, for truly this niggardly  spirit manifested itself in all its meanness;  even in his writings, (and they were very  mean at best) he threw out foul insinuations,  which no man who had one particle of noble  feeling would have condescended to. But  such was the conduct of this master of mean ness. Nor was this niggardly co[u]rse confined  to himself, but his sons also, were found en gaged in the same mean business.
His sons, in violation of every sacred obli gation, were found among the number of  granny Parrish’s men, using all there influ ence (which however was nothing; but they  were none the less guilty for that, for if it had  been ever so great it would have been used)  to destroy the benefactors of their family,  who raised their family from rags, poverty,  and wretchedness. One thing we have learn ed, that there are negroes who were white  skins, as well as those who wear black ones.
Granny Parrish had a few others who acted  as lackies, such as Martin Harris, Joseph  Coe, Cyrus P Smalling, etc. but they are so far  beneath contempt that a notice of them would  be too great a sacrifice for a gentleman to  make.
Having said so much, we leave this hope full company, in the new bond of union which  they have formed with the priests. While  they were held under restraints by the church,  and had to behave with a degree of propriety,  at least, the priests manifested the greatest  opposition to them. But no sooner were they  excluded from the fellowship of the church  and gave loose, to all kind of abominations,  swearing, lying, cheating, swindling, drink ing, with every species of debauchery, then  the priests began to extol them to the heav ens for their piety and virtue, and made  friends with them, and called them the finest  fellows in the world.
Is it any wonder then, that we say of the  priests of modern days, that they are of sa tan’s own making, and are of their father the  devil. Nay verily nay; for no being but a  scandalous sycophant, and base hypocrite,  would say other ways. As it was with Doc tor Philastes [Philastus] Hurlbut, so it is with these crea tures. While Hurlburt was held in bounds  by the church, and made to behave himself,  he was denounced by the priests as one of the  worst of men, but no sooner was he excluded  from the church for adultery, than instantly  he became one of the finest men in the world,  old deacon [Orris] Clapp of Mentor ran and took him  and his family into the house with himself,  and so exceedingly was he pleased with him,  that purely out of respect to him, he went to  bed to his wife. This great kindness and re spect, Hurlburt did not feel just so well about  but the pious old deacon gave him a hundred  dollars and a yoke of oxen, and all was well  again.
This is the Hurlburt, that was author of a  book which bears the name of E[ber] D. Howe,  but it was this said Hurlburt that was the  author of it; but after the affair of Hurlburt’s  wife and the pious old deacon, the persecu tors thought it better to put some other name [p. 59]
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.