Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 15 Apr. 1842, vol. 3, no. 12, pp. 751–766; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 15 April 1842 issue of the ’s , Illinois, newspaper, Times and Seasons, was the fifth issue to identify JS as editor. The issue contained three editorial passages, each of which is featured below with an accompanying introduction. Two other JS texts printed in this issue—a discourse and minutes of the April 1842 special in Nauvoo—are featured as stand-alone documents elsewhere in this volume.
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.
While JS likely authored many of the paper’s editorial passages, John Taylor reportedly assisted him in writing content. No matter who wrote individual editorial pieces, JS assumed editorial responsibility for all installments naming him as editor except the 15 February issue. (Woodruff, Journal, 19 Feb. 1842; Times and Seasons, 1 Mar. 1842.)
Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.
a gentleman, and a man of truth, and so I found him.
I opened the discussion by showing that the Bible did not contain all the word of God, but that it spoke of many books written by the prophets, which, if they had been in the Bible, would be Bible just as much as any of the books already contained in it.
I then set forth that the Book of Mormon was the book spoken of by Isaiah, 29th chap. and also that it was the record of Joseph in the hands of Ephraim, to be brought forth in the last days, just previous to the gathering of Israel, and this in fulfillment of the 37th of Ezekiel, and many other plain prophetic declarations.
When my opponent arose, he seemed astonished that I should prove the Book of Mormon true by the Bible; and I believe he was astonished, for it soon appeared that he knew nothing of the contents of Bible. He did not attempt to answer my arguments, but enquired of the people if he should examine the characters of the saints. Of course some cried out, “Yes,” for some of the priests were present, and they saw that their craft was in danger. He then commenced slandering and belying our , calling them “money diggers,” “Gold Bible Company,” “banditti,” and many other such like terms embracing all manner of evil falsly against us for Christ’s sake.
To these things I replied that if he wished to examine characters we would commence between our two selves, but that I thought we had come before the public to discuss doctrine not characters. I then asked him to prove one of those charges against me, as I was an elder, and all the elders were accused. At this time some of the people cried out, “His name is not Philips, but Boyd.” Others cried out for him to pay the old woman in the market for the eggs and butter that he had cheated her out of some years since, when his name was Boyd. At this time he jumped up in a tremendous rage, and protested against an examination of characters. I began to find that “something was rotton in Denmark.” So much for the character of this champion of the devil and the sectarians.
He said no more about character.
On the third evening, having failed to disprove one of our principles, he, by the council of his sectarian friends, brought with him a glass of poison, and said if I would drink it they would all be Latter Day Saints, although he had previously said that all our doctrines and principles came from hell. I replied that I understood the Bible (not poison) was to be the rule of evidence, but if he would point out one single place in the New Testament where a servant of God ever drank poison to convince a set of ungodly infidels of the truth of the religion of the blessed Jesus, I would then be willing to do the same. This he failed to do, and being his last resource, he lost the day. On a show of hands more than half of the entire congregation held up their hands in our favor.
Dr. Wetherall decided that Mr. P. had failed to prove a single point against us, and said that I had proved every point, the Bible being the rule of evidence.
I would here state that the name of Mr. Wetherall deserves to be cherished by every lover of truth for his noble and disinterested conduct in this discussion, not because he gave a decision in our favor, but because that he throughout the discussion proved himself to be (“one of the noblest works of God.”) an honest man.
After the above I continued laboring in the ministry in for above four weeks, during which time I held two more discussions, one in the Hall of Science, with a Mr. M’Intosh, a Socialist lecturer. This gentleman and his friends treated me with respect and kindness, and I will say that as a people they acted much more Christain-like than any sectarian congregation I have seen since my arrival in . My prayer is that they may be led into the truth.
A few days after the above a Mr. Brindley advertised to lecture against the Latter Day Saints, and stated that any one was at liberty to speak three-quarters of an hour, and then he would reply. I went to hear his lecture; a clergyman of the Church of England took the chair. Mr. B. then commenced slandering, misrepresenting, and I believe, wilfully lying against the Saints in a most shameful manner. At the close I arose and challenged him to meet me in a fair open discussion on [p. 756]