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.
Gen. Joseph Smith, the and founder of the sect called “the ” was born in , Windsor co. Vt. in 1805, 23d of December. Old Windsor county is now boasting of as many distinguished men in different spheres as any in the Union. This poor farmer’s son has built up a denomination of nearly 100,000 people in Europe, Asia, Africa, and nearly all the islands of the great oceans. Besides, Gen. Smith did not invent his creed himself; but an angel of the Lord delivered it to him on Mount Moriah, N. Y. on the 22nd September, 1827.
The above is from the able pen of that fearless champion of the rights of man, Col. , Editor of the Democrat. The west can boast of no more able editor, nor can any of her growing cities produce a better conducted paper. As to ’s religious views we know nothing—we presume he has no particular predilections for us; but that he entertains the same noble and generous feelings towards all professing christains, and all good men. He certainly is one of the most brilliant stars in the constellation of —and as political leader he has no superior.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF ,
FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 1842.
The third editorial passage was a theological treatise explaining the practice of for the dead through an appeal to scripture. JS first introduced the subject on 15 August 1840 during a funeral sermon for member , and the earliest vicarious baptisms took place in the by 13 September 1840. JS had preached extensively on baptism for the dead since, but this editorial was the first time he provided a full explanation and defense in print.
FOR THE DEAD.
The great designs of God in relation to the salvation of the human family are very little understood by the professedly wise, and intelligent generation in whieh we live; various and conflicting are the opinions of men concerning the plan of salvation; the requisitions of the Almighty; the necessary preparations for heaven; the state and condition of departed spirits; and the happiness, or misery that is consequent upon the practice of righteousness and iniquity according to their several notions of virtue, and vice. The Mussulman condemns the Heathen, the Jew, and the Christian, and the whole world of mankind that reject his Koran as infidels, and consigns the whole of them to perdition. The Jew believes that the whole world that reject his faith, and are not circumcised, are gentile dogs, and will be damned. The Heathen are equally as tenacious about their principles, and the Christian consigns all to perdition who cannot bow to his creed and submit to his ipse dixit. But while one portion of the human race are judging and condemning the other without mercy, the great parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care, and paternal regard; he views them as his offspring; and without any of those contracted feelings that influence the children of men, causes “his sun to rise on the evil and the good; and sends his rain on the just and unjust.” He holds the reins of judgment in his hands; he is a wise lawgiver, and will judge all men, -[not according to the narrow contracted notions of men, but]- “according to the deeds done in the body whether they be good or evil;” or whether these deeds were done in , , Spain, Turkey India: he will judge them “not according to what they have not, but according to what they have;” those who have lived without law, will be judged without law, and those who have a law, will be judged by that law; we need not doubt the wisdom and intelligence of the great Jehovah, he will award judgment or mercy to all nations according to their several deserts, their means of obtaining intelligence, the laws by which they are governed; the facilities afforded them of obtaining correct information; and his inscrutable designs in relation to the human family: and when the designs of God shall be made manifest, and the curtain of futurity be withdrawn, we shall all of us eventually have to confess, that the Judge of all the earth has done right.
The situation of the Christian nations after death is a subject that has called forth all the wisdom, and talent of the philosopher, and the divine; and it is an opinion which is generally received, that the destiny of man is irretrievably fixed at his death; and that he is made either eternally happy, or eternally miserable’ that if a man dies without a knowledge of God, he must be eternally damned; without any mitigation of his punishment, alleviation of his pain or the most latent hope of a deliverance while endless ages shall roll along. However orthodox this principle may be, we shall find that it is at variance with the testimony of holy writ; for our Saviour says that all manner of sin, and blasphemy shall be forgiven men wherewith they shall blaspheme; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in the world to come; evidently showing that there are sins which may be forgiven in the world to come; although the sin of blasphemy cannot be forgiven.
Peter also in speaking concerning our Saviour says, that “he went and preached unto [p. 759]
Simon Baker, “15 Aug. 1840 Minutes of Recollection of Joseph Smith’s Sermon,” JS Collection, CHL; see also Jane Harper Neyman and Vienna Jaques, Statement, 29 Nov. 1854, Historian’s Office, JS History Documents, ca. 1839–1860, CHL.
Smith, Joseph. Collection, 1827–1846. CHL. MS 155.
Historian’s Office. Joseph Smith History Documents, 1839–1860. CHL. CR 100 396.