Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 1 Mar. 1842, vol. 3, no. 9, pp. 703–718; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The first issue of the -affiliated newspaper Times and Seasons was published near , Illinois, in 1839. Owned jointly by and , the paper was edited at various times by Smith, Robinson, and through summer 1841. Following the deaths of Smith and Thompson in August 1841, Robinson became sole proprietor and editor of the paper. On 28 January 1842 JS dictated a revelation that directed the to assume editorial responsibility for the paper. A week later Robinson sold the newspaper, along with the remainder of his printing establishment, to JS.
Though JS assumed editorship of the Times and Seasons sometime in mid-February, he stated in his first editorial passage that he did not begin reviewing the paper’s content until the 1 March 1842 issue. A 2 March 1842 entry in JS’s journal notes, “Read the Proof of the ‘Times and Seasons’ as Editor for the first time, No. 9[th] Vol 3d. in which is the commencement of the Book of Abraham.” Though JS actively edited the paper at times, apparently assisted him in writing content. Regardless of who penned specific passages of editorial material, JS openly assumed editorial responsibility for all installments naming him as editor except the 15 February 1842 issue.
Included in the 1 March 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons are four editorial passages, which are featured below with introductions. Other JS documents published in this issue of the newspaper, including an excerpt from the Book of Abraham and a rare narrative history of the church, are featured as stand-alone documents in this or other volumes of The Joseph Smith Papers. In the first editorial passage, JS publicly announced his new role as editor of the Times and Seasons to the newspaper’s readership.
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.
Ebenezer Robinson, “To the Patrons of the Times and Seasons,” Times and Seasons, 16 Aug. 1841, 2:511; Ebenezer Robinson, “Items of Personal History of the Editor,” Return, May 1890, 257; July 1890, 302; see also Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:91–92.
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
The Return. Davis City, IA, 1889–1891; Richmond, MO, 1892–1893; Davis City, 1895–1896; Denver, 1898; Independence, MO, 1899–1900.
Crawley, Peter. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. 3 vols. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997–2012.
vah, and I know the end from the beginning, therefore, my hand shall be over thee, and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and priesthood unto all nations; and I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as unto their father, and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee, and in thee, (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed, (that is thy Priesthood,) for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body,) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.
12. Now, after the Lord had withdrawn from speaking to me, and withdrawn his face from me, I said in mine heart, thy servent has sought thee earnestly, now I have found thee. Thou didst send thine angel to deliver me from the Gods of Elkenah, and I will do well to hearken unto thy voice, therefore let thy servant rise up and depart in peace. So I, Abram, departed as the Lord had said unto me, and Lot with me, and I, Abram, was sixty and two years old when I departed out of Haran. And I took Sarai, whom I took to wife when I was in Ur, in Chaldea, and Lot, my brother’s son, and all our substance that we had gathered, and the souls that we had won in Haran, and came forth in the way to the land of Canaan, and dwelt in tents, as we came on our way: therefore, eternity was our covering, and our rock, and our salvation, as we journeyed from Haran by the way of Jershon, to come to the land of Canaan.
13. Now I, Abram, built an altar in the land of Jershon, and made an offering unto the Lord, and prayed that the famine might be turned away from my father’s house, that they might not perish; and then we passed from Jershon through the land, unto the place of Sechem. It was situated in the plains of Moreh, and we had already came into the borders of the land of the Canaanites, and I offered sacrifice there in the plains of Moreh, and called on the Lord devoutly because we had already come into the land of this idolatrous nation.
At the request of Mr. , Editor, and Proprietor of the “Chicago Democrat,” I have written the following sketch of the rise, progress, persecution, and faith of the , of which I have the honor, under God, of being the founder. says, that he wishes to furnish , a friend of his, who is writing the history of New Hampshire, with this document. As has taken the proper steps to obtain correct information all that I shall ask at his hands, is, that he publish the account entire, ungarnished, and without misrepresentation.
I was born in the town of Windsor co., Vermont, on the 23d of December, A. D. 1805. When ten years old my parents removed to New York, where we resided about four years, and from thence we removed to the town of .
My was a farmer and taught me the art of husbandry. When about fourteen years of age I began to reflect upon the importance of being prepared for a future state, and upon enquiring the plan of salvation I found that there was a great clash in religious sentiment; if I went to one society they referred me to one plan, and another to another; each one pointing to his own particular creed as the summum bonum of perfection: considering that all could not be right, and that God could not be the author of so much confusion I determined to investigate the subject more fully, believing that if God had a church it would not be split up into factions, and that if he taught one society to worship one way, and administer in one set of ordinances, he would not teach another principles which were diametrically opposed. Believing the word of God I had confidence in the declaration of James; “If any man lack wisdom let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him,” I retired to a secret place in a grove and began to call upon the Lord, while fervently engaged in supplication my mind was taken away from the objects with which I was surrounded, and I was enwrapped in a [p. 706]