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Selections from Elders’ Journal, July 1838

Answer. If it is, there is a great defect in  the book, or else it would have said so.
Question 20th. What are the fundamental  principles of your religion.
Answer. The fundamental principles of  our religion is the testimony of the apostles  and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, “that  he died, was buried, and rose again the third  day, and ascended up into heaven;” and all  other things are only appendages to these,  which pertain to our religion.
But in connection with these, we believe in  the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power of faith,  the enjoyment of the spiritual gifts according  to the will of God, the restoration of the  house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth. [p. 44]
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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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