Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 1 Oct. 1842, vol. 3, no. 23, pp. 927–942; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
JS, assisted by and , served as editor for the 1 October 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons, the twenty-third issue in the third volume. The extent to which JS was involved in writing the editorial content in this particular issue is unclear. As the newspaper’s editor, however, he was responsible for its content.
The non-editorial content in the issue, which is not featured here, included an installation of the serialized “History of Joseph Smith,” a letter from JS on the subject of for the dead, and the minutes of a church held in Alexander, New York. In addition, the issue featured a poem by Frederick William Faber titled “The Signs of the Times,” reprinted from the Warder (a newspaper published in Dublin, Ireland), and reprinted a response by the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star (the ’s newspaper published in ) to a letter featured in a British newspaper on the differences between Latter-day Saint and Baptist doctrine.
Editorial content included commentary on a passage from a book about archaeology in Central America; an update on the growth and development of , Illinois; and an editorial encouraging donations to the Nauvoo construction fund. In addition, the editors reprinted with commentary the church’s 1835 statement on marriage, criticized the way was handling the criminal case of three abolitionists, and countered the millenarian claims of and his followers. The issue also included a response to reports circulating in American newspapers that JS had fled Nauvoo to escape arrest. Two passages presumably written by the editors but not included in the selection of editorial content featured here are a single-sentence notice requesting that Martin Titus return to Nauvoo to answer undisclosed charges preferred against him and a recurring notice that new printings of the Book of Mormon and hymnbook were available for purchase.
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.
right to the claim of improvem[en]t by their own industry; or have offered to their surrounding neighbors, a plainer pattern of mechanical skill, domestic economy, practical temperance, common intelligence, every day virtue, and eternal religion, than the .
Such a statement of facts will be considered the simple truth, when it is remembered that we are the only people upon the earth who profess to be governed and guided by direct revelation from the Lord: And in this place let us not forget to mention that important commandment which said: “And again, inasmuch as there is land obtained, let there be workmen sent forth, of all kinds, unto this land, to labor for the saints of God.” Now who that has witnessed the driving of the saints from place to place, and seen them in the short space of two or three years, raise a town or a city, glowing with all the arts, improvements, and curious workmen found any where upon the earth, can doubt this revelation? One thing is certain, the must possess more plausibility, discernment and ingenuity, to find out wise and skilful workmen, than had ever been the lot of the world, or else the revelation is true,—and these elders are blessed with the spirit of God, to assist in bringing to pass his act, his strange act. This light is not under a bushel.
Two steam mills have been put into operation this season, and many other buildings for mechanical labor in the various branches of manufacture, are either under way or in contemplation,—while the of God, a work of great magnitude, and the , which when finished will hardly be surpassed in the western wo[r]ld, are rising up as monuments of the enterprise, industry and reverence of the commandments of God, of the saints in their banishment from .
As to the mercantile business we have but little to say:—The fewer foreign goods that are consumed among the saints, the better it will be for home manufactories,—and the nearer we shall come to the word of the Lord, which says: “Thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands.”
We have two presses doing as much as can be expected from the limited resources of a people twice plucked up by the roots, and plundered, even to their clothes, besides the loss of a good printing establishment. As far as truth can be spread and lies contradicted by two presses, against several thousand, it is done! and we have the gratification of saying that things seem to work together for good to them that look for the second appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Finally, brethren, as this world is not the place of much happiness to the saints, on account of the great prevalence of the powers of darkness upon the earth, and the wickedness and corruption of men’s hearts, we think we can not do better than say, that while other cities are secretly practicing vice in its most horrid form, , like an infant at the breast of its mother, is deriving its nourishment from that fountain of life which invigorates youth without endangering the health; and we do sincerely hope, that we as children of the kingdom, may keep the law of God, and the law of the land, continuing steadfast in the liberty of the gospel, and ever abounding in the knowledge of the Lord, knowing this, for grace and salvation, that in the world there is no deliverance; no; nowhere but in Jerusalem, and in Mount Zion, and in the remnant whom the Lord our God shall call.
, at present is, figuratively, the great fish market of the earth, where all kinds, both good and bad, are gathered—where the good are preserved, and the bad cast away—for until the savior comes, there will be wise virgins and foolish;—blessed are they that continue to the end faithful, for whether they have builded a city in , or , or , they shall enter into the joys of their Lord, and inherit the kingdom prepared before the foundation of the world.
Another editorial selection, titled “The Temple,” reminded members of the spiritual importance of constructing a in and urged them to remain devoted to that project. Following an 1841 revelation instructing church members to build the temple and the , many Saints dedicated one of every ten days of labor to the construction. Church members who had additional resources or who lived farther away from the temple paid their and gave other donations to help cover the costs of the temple, and church members and other individuals purchased stock in the to finance the construction of the Nauvoo House. The editors expressed the ’s concern that such donations of time, money, and goods had decreased, suggesting that the recent attempts to arrest JS and extradite him to were partly to blame. While not mentioned in this editorial, rumors of financial impropriety on the part of the temple committee may have also contributed to the slowing of donations to the temple fund. On 1 October, JS called a meeting of the committee, reviewed its financial records, and certified that no such impropriety existed. In addition, one reminiscent account reported that some church members’ negative reactions to rumors that JS and other church leaders were practicing plural marriage also had a detrimental impact on donations to the temple fund.
If there is any subject in which the saints of the Most High are interested more than another, it is in the completion of that edifice; destitute of a plaec [place] of worship, and so many thousands [s]ubject to the inconvenience of worshipping out of doors where the cold, heat, and damp alternately prey upon the the systems of the weak and delicate, and subject them to colds, fevers, and a variety of diseases, renders it imperative upon us to use our energies in building that . This however is tolerable, when we consider the inconveniences that we have to labor under in the winter season; when instead of having a commodious building to worship in, we are subjected to the inconvenience of worshipping in private houses, or in the best manner that we can, and no matter how important a subject has to be laid before the saints, it is imposible for them to hear it, as there is no place for them to congregate in.
These, as natural reasons, might be considered sufficient to induce any religious community to use their utmost exertions in the accomplishment of so desirable an object. But when [p. 937]
A 29 October 1842 editorial in the Wasp specified that “there are now in successful operation two steam saw mills, one steam grist mill, one water grist mill, one cast iron foundary, and one tool factory.” From the early days of Nauvoo, the construction of mills along the Mississippi River was an important part of church leaders’ economic plans for the city, particularly while planning for the immediate employment of immigrants to the city. It is unclear which two steam mills this Times and Seasons editorial was specifically singling out. William and Wilson Law completed a combined steam-powered lumber and gristmill on the fractional block 152 in September 1842. Given the identification of two steam sawmills in the Wasp, however, the editorial featured here likely referred to a sawmill located elsewhere in the city. (“Lumber—Nauvoo—Our Prospects, &c.,” Wasp, 29 Oct. 1842, ; Brigham Young et al., “An Epistle of the Twelve,” Millennial Star, Apr. 1841, 1:310–311; “Weather, Wind and Works,” Wasp, 17 Sept. 1842, .)
At this time, many church meetings were held outside in groves of trees on the city blocks immediately east and west of the temple lot. Because of its proximity to the temple site, JS sometimes referred to the area as the “temple stand.” (JS, Journal, 9 Apr. 1843; 30 June 1843.)