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.
an exterminating order was issued by , and under the sanction of law an organized banditti ranged through the country, robbed us of our cattle, sheep, horses, hogs &c., many of our people were murdered in cold blood, the chastity of our women was violated, and we were forced to sign away our property at the point of the sword, and after enduring every indignity that could be heaped upon us by an inhuman, ungodly band of maurauders, from twelve to fifteen thousand souls men, women, and children were driven from their own fire sides, and from lands that they had warrantee deeds of, houseless, friendless, and homeless (in the depth of winter,) to wander as exiles on the earth or to seek an asylum in a more genial clime, and among a less barbarous people.
Many sickened and died, in consequence of the cold, and hardships they had to endure; many wives were left widows, and children orphans, and destitute. It would take more time than is allotted me here to describe the injustice, the wrongs, the murders, the bloodshed, the theft, misery and woe that has been caused by the barbarous, inhuman, and lawless, proceedings of the state of .
In the situation before alluded to we arrived in the state of in 1839, where we found a hospitable people and a friendly home; a people who were willing to be governed by the principles of law and humanity. We have commenced to build a city called “” in Hancock co., we number from six to eight thousand here besides vast numbers in the around and in almost every county of the . We have a city charter granted us and a charter for a the troops of which now number 1500. We have also a charter for a university, for an agricultural and manufacturing society, have our own laws and administrators, and possess all the privileges that other free and enlightened citizens enjoy.
Persecution has not stopped the progress of truth, but has only added fuel to the flame, it has spread with increasing rapidity, proud of the cause which they have espoused and conscious of their innocence and of the truth of their system amidst calumny and reproach have the of this gone forth, and planted the gospel in almost every state in the ; it has penetrated our cities, it has spread over our villages, and has caused thousands of our intelligent, noble, and patriotic citizens to obey its divine mandates, and be governed by its sacred truths. It has also spread into , Ireland, Scotland and Wales: in the year of 1839 where a few of our missionaries were sent over five thousand joined the standard of truth, there are numbers now joining in every land.
Our missionaries are going forth to different nations, and in , Palestine, New Holland, the East Indies, and other places, the standard of truth has been erected: no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing, persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done.
We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in his son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
We believe that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam’s transgression.
We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and of the Gospel.
We believe that these ordinances are 1st, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; 2d, Repentance; 3d, by immersion for the remission of sins; 4th, for the .
We believe that a man must be called of God by “prophesy, and by laying on of hands” by those who are in authority to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive church, viz: apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists &c.
We believe in the gift of tongues, prophesy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues &c.
We believe the bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we be [p. 709]