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, .)
In this issue’s final editorial selection, the editors encouraged readers of the Times and Seasons to renew their subscriptions by making payments in advance of the new volume that was scheduled to commence in November. The newspaper’s editors had long struggled to get subscribers to pay for their subscriptions beforehand. According to the publication information in this issue of the Times and Seasons, the subscription rate was “Two Dollars per annum, payable in all cases in advance.”
TO THE PATRONS OF THE TIMES AND SEASONS.
Three numbers more closes this volume, and as the distance to many of our subscribers, requires three or four weeks for the papers to reach them. we take the time in advance to stir up their minds by way of remembrance, that our terms are in advance, and to continue the paper in as respectable a standing as it is entitled to by the it repsesents, we solicit a continuance of the subscribers, and an extra effort by and agents for new subscribers; and request those in arrears to remit the balance due immediately; as well as to invite all that wish the fourth volume, which we mean to make worthy the patronage of all well wishers to the great cause of Jesus Christ, to send us the amount of their subscriptions before the commencement of said volume on the 1st of Nov. next.
Times & Seasons Office,)
, Sept. 1, 1842.)
For the Times and Seasons.
by miss .
O God! thou God that rules on high,
Bow down thy ear to me;
Listen, O listen to my cry—
Hear thou, my fervent plea.
Rebuke the heartless, wicked clan
That fain would do us harm;
Protect us from the power of man,
By thy Almighty arm.
Let unseen watchman wait around
To shield thy servant’s head—
Let all his enemies be found
Caught in the net they spread.
Thy grace, like prairie dews distill’d,
To all his needs apply;
And let his upright heart be filled
With spirit from on high.
The work is thine—thy promise sure—
Though earth and hell oppose;
Roll, roll it onward and secure
Thy prophet from his foes.
O hide him in thy secret fold
When on his path they tred;
Safe as Elijah who of old,
Was by the ravens fed.
Bring his accusers’ deeds to light,
And give thy people rest;
Eternal God! gird on thy might
And succor the oppressed.
August 13th, 1842.
THE SPIRIT OF GOD.
The prospects of life, on the earth are dear,
While fortune to youth, or to age seems near;
While time gives a moment new scenes to scan,
Or hope holds a laurel afar for man:
Yet one better blessing than these is given—
The Spirit of God as a guide to heaven.
The fame of the world is immensly great,
Where wealth rides in splendor, and art in state;
Where pearls from the ocean do shine in crowns;
And gold from the mines with the rich abounds;
Yet one thing is richer than wealth or art—
The spirit of God to the pure in heart.
The glory of earth is sublime and grand,
When spring lends her charms, and the zephyr bland,
Perfumed with oders from ev’ry lawn,
Salutes us with joy as she passes on:—
Yet one thing is sweeter than spring’s soft breath—
The spirit of God in the hour of death.
The sun, O the sun! what a world of light?
The moon from his fountain can lamp the night,
And comets in splendor, as spirit cars,
May luminate heaven, amid the stars:
Yet one thing is greater than all we see—
The Spirit of God fills eternity.
BOOKS OF MORMON, &C.
Just published and for sale, Books of Mormon, and Hymn Books, together with some other publications in defence of the faith of the saints.
, Aug 20, 1842.
The Times and Seasons,
Is edited, printed and published about the first and fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, , Hancock County, Illinois, by
TERMS.—Two Dollars per annum, payable in all cases in advance. Any person procuring five new subscribers, and forwarding us Ten Dollars current money, shall receive one volume gratis. All letters must be addressed to Joseph Smith, publisher, post paid, or they will not receive attention. [p. 910]