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Selections from Elders’ Journal, July 1838

was translated, in a hill in Manchester, On tario County New York, being dead; and  raised again therefrom, appeared unto me,  and told me where they were; and gave me  directions how to obtain them. I obtained  them, and the Urim and Thummim with  them; by the means of which, I translated  the plates; and thus came the book of Mor mon.
Question 5th. Do you believe Joseph  Smith Jr. to be a prophet?
Answer. Yes, and every other man who  has the testimony of Jesus. “For the testi mony of Jesus, is the spirit of prophecy.”— Rev. 19: 10.
Question 6th. Do the Mormons believe in  having all things common?
Answer. No.
Question 7th. Do the Mormons believe in  having more wives than one.
Answer. No, not at the same time. But  they believe, that if their companion dies,  they have a right to marry again. But we  do disapprove of the custom which has gain ed in the world, and has been practised among  us, to our great mortification, of marrying in  five or six weeks, or even in two or three  months after the death of their companion.
We believe that due respect ought to be  had, to the memory of the dead, and the feel ings of both friends and children.
Question 8th. Can they raise the dead.
Answer. No, nor any other people that  now lives or ever did live. But God can  raise the dead through man, as an instru ment.
Question 9th. What signs do Jo Smith  give of his divine mission.
Answer. The signs which God is pleased  to let him give: according as his wisdom  thinks best: in order that he may judge the  world agreably to his own plan.
Question 10. Was not Jo Smith a money  digger.
Answer. Yes, but it was never a very prof itable job to him, as he only got fourteen dol lars a month for it.
Question 11th. Did not Jo Smith steal his  wife.
Answer. Ask her; she was of age, she can  answer for herself.
Question 12th. Do the people have to give  up their money, when they join his church.
Answer. No other requirement than to  bear their proportion of the expenses of the  church, and support the poor.
Question 13th. Are the Mormons aboli tionists.
Answer. No, unless delivering the people  from priest-craft, and the priests from the  prower of satan, should be considered such.— But we do not believe in setting the Negroes  free.
Question 14th. Do they not stir up the In dians to war and to commit depredations.
Answer. No, and those who reported the  story, knew it was false when they put it in to circulation. These and similar reports,  are pawned upon the people by the priests,  and this is the reason why we ever thought  of answering them.
Question 15th. Do the Mormons baptize  in the name of Jo Smith.
Answer. No, but if they did, it would be  as valid as the baptism administered by the  sectarian priests.
Question 16th. If the Mormon doctrine is  true what has become of all those who have  died since the days of the apostles.
Answer. All those who have not had an  opportunity of hearing the gospel, and being  administered to by an inspired man in the  flesh, must have it hereafter, before they can  be finally judged.
Question 17th. Does not Jo Smith profess  to be Jesus Christ.
Answer. No, but he professes to be his  brother, as all other saints have done, and now  do.—Matthew, 12: 49, 50—. And he stretched  forth his hand toward his disciples and said,  Behold my mother and my brethren: For  whosoever shall do the will of my father  which is in heaven, the same is my brother,  and sister, and mother.
Question 18th. Is there any thing in the  Bible which lisences you to believe in revela tion now a days.
Answer. Is there any thing that does not  authorize us to believe so; if there is, we  have, as yet, not been able to find it.
Question 19th. Is not the cannon of the  Scriptures full. [p. 43]
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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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