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Selections from Elders’ Journal, November 1837

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We are aware that it is not expect ed by the elders of the church of Lat ter Day Saints, that their private epis tles will be spread before the public,  especially when addressed to their  wives; & the apology we have to offer  for so doing at this time is, that our col umes could not be devoted to a better  use, than they are with the following  epistle from our beloved Bro. O[rson] Hyde.  Although it is but ten days later than  that of elder [Heber C.] Kimball’s, published in  the Oct. No. yet, we think it will be  a sweet morsel to every Saint, and  will serve as a stimulative to the minis ters of our God, that their exertions in  the proclatmaion [proclamation] of the gospel may be  untiring, until the uttermost corners  of the earth shall be made to tremble  with the sound of their voices, and the  Israel of God be gathered out against  the day of disolution, which is speedily  to come upon the earth, if the ancient  prophets have not prophesied falsely.
Ed. [p. 19]
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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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