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, .)
trine of Christ; that instead of your easy times, the powers of heaven are to be shaken, and a time of trouble ensue which will baffle the skill of philosophy, while earthquakes, rebellion, bloods[h]ed, and calamity will continue until great Babylon falls.
C. Must bid you good bye, sir, that doctrine is unpopular.
For the Times and Seasons.
Many in this, as well as in other ages of the world, suppose, that if a man who professes to be religious, is afflicted it must be on account of his iniquities; behold say they, the hand of God is upon him, he is under transgression, &c. They forget the circumstance of Job, and a thousand others given in the scriptures. We are told that if any man will live Godly in Christ Jesus, he shall suffer persecution. Christ says, The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. John vii, 7. The same hatred has been manifested against every man of God, who stood up to rebuke the wicked ever since the world began. Paul understood the matter perfectly, for his 11th chapter to the Hebrews he says, And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment:
They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
Paul here speaking by inspiration, says, that those thus afflicted and tormented, were characters ‘of whom the world was not worthy,’ and yet God in his infinite wisdom suffered it to be so, that the world might be warned and rebuked, and left without excuse in the day of judgment, and that they might have an opportunity of filling up their cup of iniquity. They are suffered to grow up like a green bay tree, they spread themselves and become exceeding great and high, opportunity is given them to do much good, they are often made stewards over much wealth, that they might administer to the wants of the poor and destitute, but in their pride they forget the God of the universe who gave, and like Nebuchadnezzar, they say, behold I did it. Should the righteous mourn, because the wicked usurp authority, and exercise tyranny and oppression, and seem to go unpunished, no! for behold the day cometh and ‘the righteous shall be mine saith the Lord,’ and in that day the wicked shall cease to trouble, and their names shall be blotted out from amongst men, and the weary and afflicted shall have rest and peace, and they shall enjoy the sweet, for they have tasted of the bitter.
Let none suppose that God is angry with his Saints because he suffers the hand of persecution to come upon them, he chasteneth those whom he loveth, and tryeth and proveth every son and daughter, that they may be as gold seven times refined. Rejoice then ye Saints of the Most High, for the God of Abraham is your God, and he will deliver you from all your enemies; seek dilligently to know his will, and observe to do it, be zealous in the cause of truth, in building up the kingdom of Christ upon the earth, in rearing up the of God at , and in all works of righteousness. And say not, ‘the Lord delayeth his coming,’ for behold, the day draweth near, the hour approacheth, be ye ready. Be virtuous, be just, be honorable, be full of faith, love, and charity, pray much, and be patient, wait a little season and the voice of God shall thunder from the heavens, his voice shall be very terrible, then the wicked shall tremble and fall back, they shall be taken in their own snares and fall into the pits which they have digged for others, but the just shall live by faith, and shall shine forth as the stars in the firmament, their glory shall be as the brightness of the sun, for they are God’s.
The eighth editorial, titled “Books,” argued that the archaeological discoveries described in Jahn’s Biblical Archaeology demonstrated that the fastening together of metal plates was a common way to create books among the ancient Israelites. The editors then reprinted in its entirety section 88 of the book, titled “Respecting Books,” as evidence that JS’s descriptions of the he had reported discovering in 1823 were congruent with the bookmaking practices of ancient Israel.
The following account of preparing and managing books, is taken from Dr. Jahn’s Biblical Archaeology. Tablets, tables, and plates, are all of the same import, and the mode of fastening leaves, plates or tablets together at the back with rings, is the same way the Book of Mormon was connected. We may, at some future day, pursue this subject far enough to convince honest people, that the stone tables of the Bible, and of the Book of Mormon, were constructed and carried alike. [p. 908]