Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 1 Apr. 1842, vol. 3, no. 11, pp. 735–750; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 1 April 1842 issue of the ’s , Illinois, newspaper, Times and Seasons, was the fourth issue to name JS as editor. The issue included a report of the organization of the , a lengthy doctrinal article titled “Try the Spirits,” and two short editorials, all of which are featured below. Also included in the issue, but not featured here, were a letter dated 20 March 1842 from the to the Latter-day Saints in Europe, extracts from a letter by , an excerpt of a letter to from his mother, another installment of the serialized “History of Joseph Smith,” and a letter about Nauvoo from “an Observer” to the Columbus Advocate. In addition, the issue included a petition from residents of to church leaders in Nauvoo, with an editorial comment. The comment is one of the editorials featured here; the petition is not reproduced below, but it is featured as a stand-alone document in this volume.
Note that only the editorial content created specifically for this issue of the Times and Seasons is annotated here. Articles reprinted from other papers, letters, conference minutes, and notices, are reproduced here but not annotated. Items that are stand-alone JS documents are annotated elsewhere; links are provided to these stand-alone documents.
While JS likely authored many of the paper’s editorial passages, John Taylor reportedly assisted him in writing content. No matter who wrote individual editorial pieces, JS assumed editorial responsibility for all installments naming him as editor except the 15 February issue. (Woodruff, Journal, 19 Feb. 1842; Historical Introduction to Times and Seasons, 1 Mar. 1842.)
Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.
and his friends forsook him all but some of his blood relations, who have since been nearly destroyed by the mob. was tried by the his papers examined, condemned, and burned, and he cut off from the ; he acknowledged the justice of the decision and said “that he now saw his error; for if he had have been governed by the revelations given before he might have known that no man was to write revelations for the church but Joseph Smith,” and begged to be prayed for and forgiven by the brethren. has also been tried by the high council, and disfellowshiped because he would not have his writings tested by the word of God; evidently proving that he loves darkness rather than light because his deeds are evil. Ed.
VIEWS OF THE LIBERAL.
’s Mother writes him as follows, under date of Feb. 25, A. D. 1842; to wit:
“I will however remark, that I feel much solicitude for the prosperity of your church, as I trust you are building on the rock Christ Jesus, which is a sure foundation, and nothing will be suffered to prevail against it,— I sincerely hope that the days of her persecutions have passed by, and that henceforth she will have peace throughout her borders.”
“After I had retired into the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcome me, and had such astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction. But exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction, not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world who had such a marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being. Just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun; which descended gradually until it fell upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two personages (whose brightness and glory defy all description) standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, (pointing to the other.) “This is my beloved Son, hear him.”
My object in going to enquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right? that I might know which to join. No sooner therefore did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right, (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong,) and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong, and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt, they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; they teach for doctrine the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” He again forbade me to join with any of them: and many other things did he say unto me which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again I found myself laying on my back, looking up into heaven. Some few days after I had this vision, I happened to be in company with one of the methodist preachers who was very active in the before mentioned religious excitement, and conversing with him on the subject of religion I took occasion to give him an account of the vision which I had had. I was greatly surprised at his behavior, he treated my communication not only lightly, but with great contempt, saying it was all of the devil, that there was no such thing as visions or revelations in these days; that all such things had ceased with the apostles, and that there never would be any more of them. I soon found however that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion and was the cause of great persecution which continued to increase, and though I was an obscure boy only between fourteen and fifteen years of age and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world; yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and [p. 748]
On 26 April 1839 Isaac Russell was excommunicated at a churchconference held in Far West, Missouri, for attempting to lead away the members of the church in Alston, England, where Russell served a mission the previous year. (Historian’s Office, General Church Minutes, 26 Apr. 1839; Willard Richards, Alston, England, to Joseph Fielding and William Clayton, Manchester, England, 7 May 1839, CHL.)
Historian’s Office. General Church Minutes, 1839–1877. CHL
Richards, Willard. Letter, Alston, England, to Joseph Fielding and William Clayton, Manchester, England, 7 May 1839. CHL. MS 5946.
Bishop’s trial before the Nauvoohigh council was a recent event. On 11 March 1842 JS attended the trial at his own home. Bishop, present before the high council, was charged with receiving and publishing revelations and doctrines contrary to those of the church. Bishop read his revelations aloud to the council. Scribe Willard Richards recorded in JS’s journal that the revelations “appeard to be the extreme of folly. nonsense, absurdity falsewood [falsehood]. & bombastic Egotism,— so much so as to keep the saints al[l] laughing, when not over awed by sarrow [sorrow] & shame.” JS burned the manuscript, and the council unanimously voted to excommunicate Bishop. (JS, Journal, 11 Mar. 1842; Minutes, 11 Mar. 1842.)