Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 1 Aug. 1842, vol. 3, no. 19, pp. 863–878; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 1 August 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons was the eleventh JS oversaw as editor. The issue opened with a reprint from the Bostonian that reported a religious debate between Dr. George Montgomery West (a New England preacher) and Latter-day Saint missionary . It also presented a new installment of the “History of Joseph Smith” and reprinted a note on starvation riots in Ireland. The remainder of the issue was dedicated primarily to denouncing , who had been publishing defamatory statements against JS and the Latter-day Saints. The editorial staff of the Times and Seasons utilized the pages of the 1 August issue to defend JS and condemn Bennett.
Nearly all of this issue’s editorial content about was also published in the Wasp, a general-interest newspaper in , Illinois, that had initially been edited by JS’s brother . However, William had distanced himself from the paper by August 1842, and had assumed the editorial responsibilities of the paper. Taylor, , and others in the appear to have worked on both the Wasp and the Times and Seasons and created content for both newspapers in August. An extra edition of the Wasp dated 27 July bore the title “Bennettiana” and contained affidavits, statements, and articles focused exclusively on exposing the former mayor’s misdeeds. Several of these same official records and editorial comments were printed a second time in this 1 August 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons; this selection therefore features editorial content from both newspapers. The Times and Seasons editorial staff made slight revisions to the editorial commentary in order to customize it to their newspaper. JS’s involvement in the creation of this editorial content is unclear, but as editor of the Times and Seasons, he oversaw the paper and assumed responsibility for all editorial statements.
The editorial content in the 1 August issue includes an article on , which was followed by reprinted affidavits from several City Council members, concluding with a short editorial comment. Certified statements attesting to JS’s character, republished from the Wasp, were then inserted. This was followed by a section contrasting Bennett’s slandering of JS and the with earlier statements Bennett had written, originally published in various newspapers between 1840 and 1842, wherein he spoke positively of JS and the Saints. Another featured selection, also previously published in the Wasp, introduced opinion pieces on Bennett reprinted from several newspapers across the . The editorial content in the issue concluded by reprinting the Wasp’s response to an inflammatory article, written by , that had been published a week earlier in the Quincy Whig.
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.
Although William Smith was acknowledged as editor until October 1842, by August 1842 he appears to have been only a nominal editor. In a disgruntled letter to the editor of the Sangamo Journal,George W. Robinson commented on the confusing status of the editorship of the Wasp, sarcastically stating that because of “the dozen would be editors, who are prowling and loafing about the printing office, it would be difficult to ascertain the editors!” (Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:192–193; “To the Public,” Wasp, 8 Oct. 1842, ; “Letter from Col. Robinson,” Sangamo Journal [Springfield, IL], 26 Aug. 1842, , italics in original.)
Crawley, Peter. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. 3 vols. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997–2012.
of baptism by immersion, for the remission of sins, and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.” He said this Aaronic priesthood had not the power of laying on of hands, for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that this should be conferred on us hereafter, and he commanded us to go and be baptized, and gave us directions that I should baptize , and afterwards that he should baptize me.
Accordingly we went and were baptized, I baptized him first, and afterwards he baptized me, after which I laid my hands upon his head and ordained him to the Aaronic priesthood, and afterwards he laid his hands on me and ordained me to the same priesthood, for so we were commanded.
The messenger who visited us on this occasion, and conferred this priesthood upon us said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist, in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James, and John, who held the keys of the priesthood of Melchisedeck, which priesthood he said should in due time be conferred on us—and that I should be called the first elder, and he the second. It was on the fifteenth day of May, eighteen hundred and twenty nine, that we were baptized and ordained under the hand of the messenger.
Immediately upon our coming up out of the water, after we had been baptized, we experienced great and glorious blessings from our heavenly father. No sooner had I baptized than the Holy Ghost fell upon him and he stood up and prophecied many things which should shortly come to pass: And again so soon as I had been baptized by him, I also had the spirit of prophecy, when, standing up I prophesied concerning the rise of the church, and many other things connected with the church, and this generation of the children of men. We were filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our salvation.
Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us, in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of. In the mean time we were forced to keep secret the circumstances of our having been baptized, and having received the priesthood; owing to a spirit of persecution which had already manifested itself in the neighborhood. We had been threatened with being mobbed, from time to time, and this too by professors of religion. And their intentions of mobbing us were only counteracted by the influence of my ’s ’s family, (under Divine Providence,) who had became very friendly to me, and were opposed to mobs, and were willing that I should be allowed to continue the work of translation without interruption: And therefore offered and promised us protection from all unlawful proceedings as far as in them lay.
After a few days however, feeling it to be our duty, we commenced to reason out of the scriptures, with our acquaintances and friends, as we happened to meet with them. About this time my brother came to visit us. We informed him of what the Lord was about to do for the children of men; and to reason with him out of the bible. We also showed him that part of the work which we had translated, and labored to persuade him concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ which was now about to be revealed in its fulness. He was not however very easily persuaded of these things, but after much enquiry & explanaion, he retired to the woods, in order that by secret and fervent prayer he might obtain of a merciful God, wisdom to enable him to judge for himself. The result was that he obtained revelations for himself sufficient to convince him of the truth of our assertions to him, and on the fifteenth day of that same month in which we had been baptized and ordained, baptized him; and he returned to his ’s house greatly glorifying and praising God, being filled with the Holy Spirit.— Not many days afterwards my brother came to us to enquire concerning these things, when, at his earnest request, I enquired of the Lord through the Urim and Thummim, and received for him the following:
Revelation given to , , Susquehannah co. Penn. May, 1829.
A great and marvellous work is about to come forth among the children of men: behold I am God and give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharp [p. 866]