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, .)
time into his mother’s womb, and be born?—Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. This strong and positive answer of Jesus, as to water , settles the question: If God is the same yesterday, to day, and forever; it is no wonder he is so positive in the great declaration: He that believes and is baptised shall be saved, and he that believes not shall be damned! There was no other name given under heaven, nor no other ordinance admitted, whereby men could be saved: No wonder the Apostle said, being “buried with him in baptism,” ye shall rise from the dead! No wonder Paul had to arise and be baptised and wash away his sins: No wonder the angel told good old Cornelius that he must send for Peter to learn how to be saved: Peter could baptise, and angels could not, so long as there were legal officers in the flesh holding the of the kingdom, or the authority of the . There is one evidence still further on this point, and that is that Jesus himself when he appeared to Paul on his way to Damascus, did not inform him how he could be saved. He had set in the church firstly Apostles, and secondly prophets, for the work of the ministry, perfecting of the saints, &c.; and as the grand rule of heaven was that nothing should ever be done on earth without revealing the secret to his servants the prophets, agreebly to Amos 3:7. so Paul could not learn so much from the Lord relative to his duty in the common salvation of man, as he could from one of Christ’s ambassadors called with the same heavenly calling of the Lord, and endowed with the same power from on high—so that what they loosed on earth, should be loosed in heaven; and what they bound on earth should be bound in heaven: He, the Lord being a priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec, and the anointed son of God, from before the foundation of the world, and they the begotten sons of Jesus through the gospel, to teach all nations—and lo I am with you always to the end of the world—that is—by the other comforter which the world cannot receive—for ye are the witnesses—having the testimony of Jesus which is the spirit of prophecy.
From what has already been introduced as testimony to prove that no man can be saved without baptism, it will be seen and acknowledged that if there was sin among men, repentance was as necessary at one time or age of the world as another—and that other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. If, then Abel was a righteous man he had to become so by keeping the commandments; if Enoch was righteous enough to come into the presence of God, and walk with him, he must have become so by keeping his commandments, and so of every righteous person, whether it was Noah, a preacher of righteousness; Abraham, the father of the faithful; Jacob, the prevailer with God; Moses, the man who wrote of Christ, and brought forth the law by commandment, as a school master to bring men to Christ, or whether it was Jesus Christ himself, who had no need of repentance, having did no sin; according to his solemn declaration to John:—now let me be baptised: for no man can enter the kingdom without obeying this : for thus it becometh us to fulfill ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS. Surely, then, if it became John and Jesus Christ, the Saviour, to fulfill all righteousness to be baptised—so surely, then, it will become every other person that seeks the kingdom of heaven to go and do likewise; for he is the door, and if any person climbs up any other way, the same is a thief and a robber!
In the former ages of the world, before the Saviour came in the flesh, “the saints” were baptised in the name of Jesus Christ to come, because there never was any other name whereby men could be saved; and after he came in the flesh and was crucified, then the saints were baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, crucified, risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, that they might be buried in baptism like him, and be raised in glory like him, that as there was but one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and father of us all, even so there was but one door to the mansions of bliss. Amen.— Ed.
The fifth piece of editorial content in this issue, titled “Reply,” sought to dismiss the persistent publication of books attempting to discredit JS and the by comparing such efforts to those who opposed the prophets and apostles as described in the Old and New Testaments. The editorial appears to have been written in response to a literary notice in the New-York Evangelist for a book by Daniel P. Kidder titled Mormonism and the Mormons. According to the notice, this new book and a book published earlier that year by Illinois College professor Jonathan Turner, Mormonism in All Ages, would “set the ridiculous pretentions of the sect in a light too glaringly absurd to leave it much further power.”
From the N. Y. Evangelist, July 21, 1842.
Mormonism and the Mormons: A historical view of the rise and progress of the Latter Day Saints. By Daniel P. Kidder. ; G. Lane & P. P. Sandford, 200 Mulberry st. 1842.
This is a circumstantial and full account of the men, the books, the doctrines and doings, of this extraordinary sect, commencing with their origin, and tracing them to the present time. When we reflect upon the considerable number [t]o which they have already increased, and the skill of its preachers, in getting hold of ignorant and excitable minds, the delusion, otherwise too foolish to waste thought upon, becomes worth examining and exposing. This is ably and efficiently done in the volume before us. This, with the similar work of Prof. [Jonathan] Turner, will set the ridiculous pretensions of the sect in a light too glaringly absurd to leave it much power.
The truth of Solomon is verified in this generation: “to the making of books there is no [p. 905]
“Mormonism and the Mormons,” New-York Evangelist, 21 July 1842, 229. Kidder was a Methodist minister who apparently first met JS on a steamboat on the Mississippi River and visited Nauvoo in November 1840. In his criticism of JS and the church, he attributed authorship of the Book of Mormon to Solomon Spalding and Sidney Rigdon. (Strobridge, Biography of the Rev. Daniel Parish Kidder, 39, 135; Kidder, Mormonism and the Mormons, 3–5, 36, 45–48.)
New-York Evangelist. New York City. 1830–1850.
Strobridge, G. E. Biography of the Rev. Daniel Parish Kidder, D.D., LL.D. New York: Hunt and Eaton, 1894.
Kidder, Daniel P. Mormonism and the Mormons: A Historical View of the Rise and Progress of the Sect Self-Styled Latter-Day Saints. New York: G. Lane and P. P. Sandford, 1842.