Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 1 June 1842, vol. 3, no. 15, pp. 799–814; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 1 June 1842 issue of the periodical Times and Seasons was the seventh edited by JS. He had assumed the editorship of the newspaper beginning with its 1 March 1842 issue, and in that role he took responsibility for all of the published content, including this 1 June issue. The issue contained an article on the “Word of Wisdom,” which was a revelation JS dictated in February 1833 outlining a code of health for the Latter-day Saints; an installment from the serialized “History of Joseph Smith”; and reprints of articles from newspapers, including Latter-day Saint publications, on topics such as ’s missionary work in , JS’s work on the Book of Abraham, the necessity of baptism, the beliefs of church members, and ancient writings discovered in the . The issue also included a letter from the presidency and high council of the , Illinois, stake “to the saints scattered abroad.”
In addition to these items, the issue published editorial content that was presumably written by JS as editor or by his editorial staff. This editorial content, which is featured here, includes four items: commentary on the assassination attempt on former governor ; a lengthy statement disputing a speech , a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, made criticizing the Saints; a preface to an article about the Jews; and a notice to church members in the eastern about ’s planned fund-raising mission for the construction of the .
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.
ble when Jehovah would not speak to them; but the most orthodox religionists of this age deem it quite heterodox to ever admit the probablilty that he ever will speak again. O my soul! language fails to paint the absurdity and abomination of such heaven-opposing and truth excluding dogmas; and were it possible for those bright seraphs that surround the throne above, and bask in the sun beams of immortality, to weep over the inconsistency and irrationality of mortals, the earth must be bedewed with celestial tears. My humble advice to all such is, that they repent and cast far from them these wicked traditions, and be baptized into the new and everlasting covenant, lest the Lord speak to them in his wrath, and vex them in his own sore displeasure.
“After some considerable conversation upon the priesthood and the renewal of the covenant, I called upon him to be baptized for the remission of sins, that he might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. What, said he, I be baptized? Yes, said I, you be baptized. Why, saith he, I have been baptized already. I replied something after the following:—’You have probably been sprinkled, but that has no more to do with baptism than any other ordinance of man’s device; and even if you had been immersed, you would not have bettered your condition, for your priesthood is without power. If, inindeed, the Catholic Church has power to give you an ordination, and by that ordination confer the priesthood upon you, they certainly had power to nullify that act, and take the priesthood from you; and this power they exercised when you dissented from their communion, by excluding you from their church. But if the Catholic church possessed not the priesthood, of course your claims to it are as groundless as the airy phantoms of heathen mythology. So, view the question on which side you may, there is no possible chance of admitting the validity of your claims to it. Be it known, therefore, that ordinances performed under the administration of such a priesthood, though they may even be correct in form, will be found destitute of the seal of that authority by which heaven will recognise his in the day when every man’s work shall be tried. Though a priesthood may be clothed with the wealth and honors of a great and powerful nation, and command the respect and veneration of multitudes, whose eyes are blinded by the thick veil of popular opinion, and whose powers of reflection and deep thought are confused and lost in the general cry of ‘Great is Diana of the Ephesians,’ yet all this does not impart to it the Divine sanction, or animate it with the spirit of life and power from the bosom of the living God; and there is a period in future time when in the smoking ruins of Babel’s pride and glory, it must fall and retire to the shades of forgetfulness, to the grief and mortification of its unfortunate votaries.
“In consequence of his great volubility, I was under the disagreeable necessity of tuning my voice to a pretty high key, and of spacing short between words, determining that neither his greatness nor learning should shield him from the shafts of a faithful testimony. But there is more hope of those Jews receiving the fulness of the gospel, whose mind have never been poisoned by the bane of modern sectarianism, which closes the mouth of Deity and shuts up in heaven all the angels, visions and prophesying. Mrs. Whiting told me that here had been four Jewish people in converted and baptized by the English minister, and four only; and that a part of the ground for an English church had been purchased there. It was by political power and influence that the Jewish nation was broken down, and her subjects dispersed abroad; and I will here hazard the opinion, that by political power and influence they will be gathered and built up; and further, that England is destined in the wisdom and economy of heaven to stretch forth the arm of political power, and advance in the front ranks of this glorious enterprize. The Lord once raised up a Cyrus to restore the Jews, but that was not evidence that he owned the religion of the Persians. This opinion I submit, however, to your superior wisdom to correct if you shall find it wrong.
“There is an increasing anxiety in Europe for the restoration of that people; and this anxiety is not confined to the pale of any religious community, but it has found its way to the courts of kings. Special ambassadors have been sent, and consuls and consular agents have been appointed. The rigorous policy which has hitherto characterized the course of other nations towards them now begins to be softened by the oil of friendship, and modified by the balm of humanity The sufferings and privations under which they have groaned for so many centuries have at length touched the main-springs of Gentile power and sympathy; and may the God of their father’s Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, fan the flame by celestial breezes, until Israel’s banner, sanctified by the Saviour’s blood, shall float on the walls of old , and the mountains and valleys of Judea reverberate with their songs of praise and thanksgiving to the Lamb that was slain.
“The imperial consul of Austria, at Galatz, near the mouth of the Danube, to whom I had a letter of introduction from his cousin at Vienna, told me that in consequence of so many of their Jewish subjects been inclined, of late, to remove to Syria and Palestine, his government had established a general consul at Beyroote for their protection. There are many Jews who care nothing about , and have no regard for God. Their money is the God they worship; yet there are many of the most pious and devout among them who look towards as the tender and affectionate mother looks upon the home where she left her lovely little babe”
The Times and Seasons, the Mormon newspaper, published at by Joseph Smith, has commenced the translation of a book written by Abraham, and discovered in the catecombs of Egypt! This people, from a handful of persecuted outcasts, have become a numerous sect, and are able to protect themselves against insult and oppression; in fact, it is said that they have revolutionized the state of .—-[ State Mechanic. [p. 805]