Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 15 July 1842, vol. 3, no. 18, pp. 847–862; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 15 July 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons was the tenth published under JS’s editorship. This issue featured correspondence from missionaries and various articles about the and the wider world. The contents covered a wide range of topics and included a letter from in Europe to his fellow members of the , an installment of the serialized “History of Joseph Smith,” an article about a destructive fire in , minutes from a held by missionaries in Utica, New York, and an article reprinted from the Boston Investigator reporting on a debate between Dr. George Montgomery West and in .
In addition to this, content created by the editorial staff for the issue included two articles, as well as a notice from the and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The first editorial article advocated theocracy as the ideal form of government, while the second—written after a lengthy excerpt from Josiah Priest’s book American Antiquities—used excerpts from the Book of Mormon to expand on Priest’s argument about an ancient people who had lived on the American continent. Although these editorials were each signed “Ed.,” for “Editor,” JS does not appear to have authored them, and his involvement in writing them is unclear. As the acknowledged editor of the paper, however, he would have taken responsibility for the editorial statements and presumably approved the content; such content is therefore featured here.
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.
gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance. And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon, save it were not built of so many precious things: for they were not to be found upon the land; wherefore it could not be built like unto Solomon’s temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceeding fine.
In regard to there being great wars, the following will shew:—
And it came to pass when Coriantumr had recovered of his wounds, he began to remember the words which Ether had spoken unto him . . . he saw that there had been slain by the sword already nearly two millions of his people, and he began to sorrow in his heart; yea, there had been slain two millions of mighty men, and also their wives and their children. He began to repent of the evil which he had done; he began to remember the words which had been spoken by the mouth of all the prophets, and he saw them that they were fulfilled, thus far, every whit; and his soul mourned, and refused to be comforted. . . . . .
And it came to pass that they did gather together all the people, upon all the face of the land, who had not been slain, save it was Ether. And it came to sass [pass] that Ether did behold all the doings of the people; and he beheld that the people who were for Coriantumr, were gathered together for the army of Coriantumr; and the people who were for Shiz, were gathered together to the army of Shiz; wherefore they were for the space of four years gathering together the people, that they might get all who were upon the face of the land, and that they might receive all the strength which it was profitable that they could receive. And it came to pass that when they were all gathering together, every one to the army which he would with their wives and their children; both m[e]n, women, and children being armed with weapons of war, having shields and breast plates, and head plates, and being clothed af[te]r the manner of war, they did march forth one against another, to battle; and they fought all that day, and conquered not. And it came to pass that when it was night they were weary, and retired to their camps; and after they had retired to their camps, they took up a howling and a lamentation for the loss of the slain of their people; and so great were their cries, their howlings and lamentations, that it did rend the air exceedingly.
If men, in their researches into the history of this , in noticing the mounds, fortifications, statues, architecture, implements of war, of husbandry, and ornaments of silver, brass, &c.—were to examine the Book of Mormon, their conjectures would be removed, and their opinions altered; uncertainty and doubt would be changed into certainty and facts; and they would find that those things that they are anxiously prying into were matters of history, unfolded in that book. They would find their conjectures were more than realized—that a great and a mighty people had inhabited this continent—that the arts sciences and religion, had prevailed to a very great extent, and that there was as great and mighty cities on this continent as on the continent of Asia. Babylon, Ninevah, nor any of the ruins of the Levant could boast of more perfect sculpture, better architectural designs, and more imperishable ruins, than what are found on this continent. Stephens and Catherwood’s researches in Central America abundantly testify of this thing. The stupendous ruins, the elegant sculpture, and the magnificence of the ruins of Guatamala, and other cities, corroborate this statement, and show that a great and mighty people—men of great minds, clear intellect, bright genius, and comprehensive designs inhabited this continent. Their ruins speak of their greatness; the Book of Mormon unfolds their history.—Ed.
Mr. Editor—Dear Sir—We forward you in this letter an extract of the minutes of a Conference held in this place on the 11th, 12th, and 13th days of June, and if it be consistent with your other business, should be pleased to see it published in the Times and Seasons.
Minutes of a Conference of the , held atUtica, N. Y., June 11, 1842.
The Conference was organized at half after ten o’clock A. M., by electing , President, and James M. Monroe, Clerk.
After singing, and prayer by Elder , the briefly addressed the Conference, stating the object of convening to [p. 860]
Stephens and Catherwood were explorers who met in 1836 and partnered on an expedition to Central America in 1839. Stephens was a writer, while Catherwood was an architect and artist. Together they illustrated and wrote about the Mayan ruins in Central America. (See Stephens, Incidents of Travel, 1:9–11; “Late John L. Stephens,” 64–68; and Carlsen, Jungle of Stone, 11–16.)
Stephens, John L. Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan. 2 vols. 11th ed. New York City: Harper and Brothers, 1841.
“The Late John L. Stephens.” Putnam’s Monthly 1, no. 1 (Jan. 1853): 64–68.
Carlsen, William. Jungle of Stone: The Extraordinary Journey of John L. Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, and the Discovery of the Lost Civilization of the Maya. New York: William Morrow, 2016.
A notice in the 18 June 1842 issue of the Wasp informed readers that Stephens and Catherwood were about to return from Guatemala and that Stephens would be printing a supplemental volume to document their new discoveries. (“Central America,” Wasp, 18 June 1842, .)