Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 15 Oct. 1842, vol. 3, no. 24, pp. 943–958; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
JS, assisted by and , served as editor for the 15 October 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons, the twenty-fourth and final issue in the third volume. It is highly unlikely that JS played any significant role in writing editorial content for this particular issue, because he spent much of October in hiding in Henderson County, Illinois. Nevertheless, as the newspaper’s editor, he was ultimately responsible for its content. This was the last issue published under JS’s editorship.
Editorial content in this issue included commentary on biblical history, a rebuttal of rumors that JS had fled to , and criticism of published comparisons of the Bible with the writing of William Shakespeare. Additional editorial content included a defense of JS’s decision to hide from law enforcement officials who were seeking his arrest and his extradition to ; a passage countering opinions that the Latter-day Saints should flee , Illinois, in order to avoid future persecution; and an article presenting evidence for Christianity’s general falling away from the primitive church described in the New Testament. Furthermore, the editors included comments on reports of ’s lectures in , a description of a pamphlet wrote about the church written in German, an introduction to a brief history of Australia, and a request for church members 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.
should proceed and be organized as a church according to said commandment which we had received. To these they consented by an unanimous vote. I then laid my hands upon and ordained him an elder of the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” After which he ordained me also to the office of an elder of said church. We then took bread, blessed it, and brake it with them, also wine, blessed it, and drank it with them. We then laid our hands on each individual member of the church present that they might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and be confirmed members of the church of Christ. The Holy Ghost was poured out upon us to a very great degree. Some prophesied, whilst we all praised the Lord and rejoiced exceedingly. Whilst yet together I received the following commandment.
Revelation toJoseph Smith, jr. givenApril 6, 1830.
Behold there shall be a record kept among you, and in it thou shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ; being inspired of the Holy Ghost to lay the foundation thereof, and to build it up unto the most holy faith; which church was organized and established, in the year of your Lord eighteen hundred and thirty, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month, which is called April.
Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words, and commandments, which he shall give unto you, as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me: for his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith; for by doing these things, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you: yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you; and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.— For thus saith the Lord God, him have I inspired to move the cause of Zion in mighty power for good; and his diligence I know, and his prayers I have heard: yea, his weeping for Zion I have seen, and I will cause that he shall mourn for her no longer, for his days of rejoicing are come unto the remission of his sins, and the manifestations of my blessings upon his works.
For behold, I will bless all those who labor in my vineyard, with a mighty blessing, and they shall believe on his words, which are given him through me, by the Comforter, which manifesteth that Jesus was crucified by sinful men for the sins of the world; yea, for the remission of sins unto the contrite heart. Wherefore, it behooveth me, that he should be ordained by you, , mine apostle; this being an ordinance unto you, that you are an elder under his hand, he being the first unto you, that you might be an elder unto this church of Christ, bearing my name; and the first preacher of this church, unto the church, and before the world; yea, before the Gentiles: yea, and thus saith the Lord God, lo, lo, to the Jews, also. Amen.
The first editorial selection from this issue, titled “Extracts of History,” prefaced the reprinting of two passages on biblical history. The first passage claimed to identify the location of the rock that Moses struck to bring forth a spring of water during the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and a description of the rock by travelers in that region. The second speculated on the location of Mount Ararat (where the ark constructed by Noah made landfall after the Flood) and the subsequent geographic dispersion of the human population in the generations that followed. The editors of the Times and Seasons stated that they intended to reprint extracts that they thought would benefit the newspaper’s religiously devoted readers.
EXTRACTS OF HISTORY.
It is not incompatible with the revelations of the Lord to become acquainted with nations, histories, governments, laws, and men, and things in general: wherefore, as time and circumstances may offer opportunity, we mean to extract what may answer to instruct, and perpetuate the rules and ways of righteousness.
THE ROCK STRUCK BY MOSES FOR WATER.
The rock which was smitten by Moses, and whence the water afterwards flowed for the relief of the thirsty Israelites under his command, is situated in the desert or wilderness of Sinai. This desert is in the peninsula, made by two branches or bays of the Red Sea, extending into Arabia Petrea. “This is, in truth, a great and terrible wilderness, where there is (little or) no water.” The rock, which tradition has pointed out as the one whence the water gushed out, when struck by Moses, and gave relief to the people complaining of their privations and sufferings, and comparing the abundance they had enjoyed in Egypt under bondage, is not far from Sinai or Horeb; but is nearest the latter. It has been somewhat differently described by the numerous travellers who have given an account of it. One represents it as six yards square, and another to be fifteen feet long, ten wide, and twelve in height. It appears in a tottering state, and the base is smaller than the body of the rock near the top. It is rough and uneven on the sides, indicating a disrupture from the mountain by some volcanic power or uncommon agitation of the earth. [p. 945]
See Exodus 17:6. The reprinted article first appeared in the American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge, a magazine published monthly in Boston. (“The Rock Struck by Moses for Water,” American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge, Nov. 1835, 97.)
American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge. Boston. 1834–1837.
See Genesis 8:4. The reprinted article first appeared in the American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge. (“Mount Ararat, and the Early Abode of Noah and His Descendants,” American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge, Nov. 1835, 111.)
American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge. Boston. 1834–1837.