Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 1 Sept. 1842, vol. 3, no. 21, pp. 895–910; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
JS served as editor for the 1 September 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons, a newspaper published in , Illinois. It was the twenty-first issue in the third volume of the newspaper. JS purchased the newspaper and the from in February 1842 and began his work as editor on the 1 March 1842 issue. and assisted JS with his editorial responsibilities; in moments when JS was occupied with other pressing business, Taylor and Woodruff commonly performed most—if not all—of the editing required for the publication of each issue, including the writing of editorial content. While it is unclear how involved JS was in preparing this particular issue, he nevertheless assumed editorial responsibility for this and all issues produced during his time as editor.
Like all issues of the Times and Seasons, the 1 September 1842 issue contained both non-editorial and editorial content. The non-editorial content included a letter from members of the who were then serving missions in Great Britain, a selection from the “History of Joseph Smith,” and a reprinted letter to the editor of the Bostonian that described a debate in between church member and Dr. George Montgomery West. The issue also featured a notice from member , a brief letter from members of the temple committee, and two poems.
The issue’s editorial content, for which JS was ultimately responsible, is featured here with introductions. It included commentary on news of social unrest throughout the world, a counter to claims in a newspaper that church members were superstitious and deluded, an explanation of the persecution JS experienced in the context of the persecution aimed at biblical prophets, an editorial on the proper mode of baptism, and a defense against claims made in recent publications that were antagonistic toward the church. The editorial passages also included a positive description of the current health of Nauvoo’s residents, a supposed conversation between a Latter-day Saint and a Protestant clergyman likely written as an editorial device to argue for the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, commentary on a selection from a book about biblical archaeology, a reprinting of the church’s official statement on marriage from 1835, a humorous proverb, and a notice encouraging readers to renew their subscriptions to the newspaper.
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.
“An Epistle of the Twelve,” “History of Joseph Smith,” and “Mormons, or ‘Latter Day Saints,’” Times and Seasons, 1 Sept. 1842, 3:895–900. Although the Times and Seasons identifies West only as “Dr. West,” he is fully named in the Boston Investigator’s coverage of West’s preaching. (“Rev. Dr. George Montgomery West,” Boston Investigator, 8 June 1842, ; “Dr. West and the Mormons,” Boston Investigator, 22 June 1842, .)
Vol. III. No. 21.]- CITY OF , ILL. SEPT. 1, 1842. -[Whole No. 57
From the Millennial Star.
AN EPISTLE OF THE .
To the in , Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and the Isle of Man, Greeting:—
Beloved Brethren,—Inasmuch as we have been laboring for some time in this , and most of us are about to depart for the land of our nativity; and feeling anxious for your welfare and happiness in time and in eternity, we cheerfully offer you our counsel in the closing number of the first volume of the Star, hoping you will peruse it when we are far away, and profit by the same.
First of all, we would express our joy and thanksgiving to Him who rules and knows the hearts of men, for the heed and dilligence with which the saints in this have hearkened to the counsel of those whom God has seen fit to send among them, and who hold the keys of this ministry. By this means a spirit of union, and consequently of power, has been generally cultivated among you.
And now let the saints remember that which we have ever taught them, both by precept and example. viz: to beware of an aspiring spirit, which would lift you up one above another; to seek to be the greatest in the kingdom of God. This is that spirit which hurled down the angels—it is that spirit which actuates all the churches of the sectarian world, and most of the civil and military movements of the men of the world—it is that spirit which introduces rebellion, confusion, misrule, and disunion, and would, if suffered to exist among us, destroy our union, and consequently our power, which flows from the spirit, through the —which spirit, and power, and priesthood, can only exist with the humble and meek of the earth.
Therefore beware, O ye priests of the Most High! lest ye are overcome by that spirit which would exalt you above your fellow-laborers, and thus hurl you down to perdition, or do much injury to the cause of God. Be careful to respect, not the eloquence—not the smooth speeches—not the multitude of words—not the talents of men: but be careful to respect the officers which God has placed in the church. Let the members hearken to their officers, let the , , and hearken to the , and let the elders, hearken to the presiding officers of each church or . And let all the churches and conferences hearken to the counsel of those who are still left in this to superintend the affairs of the church; and by so doing, a spirit of union will be preserved, and peace and prosperity will attend the people of God.
We have seen fit to appoint our beloved brethren and fellow-laborers, and , to travel from conference to conference, and to assist in the general superintendence of the church in this . These are men of experience and soundness of principle, in whose counsel the church may place entire confidence, so long as they uphold them by the prayer of faith.
The spirit of emigration has actuated the children of men from the time our first parents were expelled from the garden until now; it was this spirit that first peopled the plains of Shinar, and all other places; yes, it was emigration that first broke upon the deathlike silence and loneliness of an empty earth, and caused the desolate land to teem with life, and the desert to smile with joy. It was emigration that first peopled ,—once a desolate island, on which the foot of man had never trod, but now abounding in towns and cities. It was emigration that turned the wilds of into a fruitful field, and besprinkled the wilderness with flourishing towns and cities, where a few years since the war whoop of the savage, or the howl of wild beasts was heard in the distance. In short, it is emigration that is the only effectual remedy for the evils which now afflict the over-peopled countries of Europe. With this view of the subject, the saints, as well as thousands of others, seem to be actuated with the spirit of enterprise and emigration, and as some of them are calculating to emigrate to , and settle in the colonies of our brethren, we would here impart a few words of counsel on the subject of emigration.
It will be necessary, in the first place for men of capital to go on first and make large purchases of land, and erect mills, machinery, manufactories, &c. so that the poor who go from this can find employment.— Therefore it is not wisdom for the poor to flock to that place extensively, until the necessary preparations are made. Neither is it wisdom for those who feel a spirit of benevolence to expend all their means in helping others emigrate, and thus all arrive in a new country empty [p. ]