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Selections from Elders’ Journal, August 1838

to God, that I had avoided. But this much I  can say that the time past can only teach us  to be more wise for the future. I close this  communication by saying that from 1830 un til now, I have had full confidence in the  book of Mormon, the Revelations of God to  Joseph Smith Jr., and I still esteem both him  and President Rigdon. as men of the highest  integrity, the most exalted principles of vir tue and honor, and men who will yet be in struments in the Lord’s hand to accomplish a  work in which I shall esteem it the highest  honor and the greatest blessing to bear some  humble part.
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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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