Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 15 Sept. 1842, vol. 3, no. 22, pp. 911–926; 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 15 September 1842 issue, the twenty-second issue in the third volume, of the Times and Seasons, a newspaper published in , Illinois. He was assisted in his editorial responsibilities by and . Together, these three men produced the semimonthly newspaper, including composing its editorial material. While the extent to which JS was involved in the creation and publication of this issue is unclear, as the newspaper’s editor he was responsible for its content.
The 15 September 1842 issue contained both non-editorial and editorial material. Non-editorial content in the issue included an installment of the “History of Joseph Smith,” a description of Mount Sinai from an English clergyman, an extract of a letter from on the desire of many converts in to immigrate to , and a letter from the “to all the Saints in Nauvoo.” In addition, the issue contained a notice that a concordance of scripture and writings about the church’s ecclesiastical history published by in was available; a reprinting of a letter from church member William Rowley reporting on his missionary efforts in , England; a reprinting of an article in the Antigua Herald on an earthquake on the Caribbean island of Antigua; a brief letter to the editor from and ; and a notice that copies of hymnbooks and of the Book of Mormon were available for purchase.
The issue’s editorial content, featured here with introductions to each passage of text for which JS was ultimately responsible, included commentary on the Book of Mormon in light of recent archaeological discoveries, reflections on the risks of philosophizing about religious matters, a condemnation of the way government officials condoned the expulsion of church members from in 1838, and a report of a recent discourse delivered by to church members in . The issue also included editorials encouraging church members living outside the city to send donations to facilitate the construction of the Nauvoo temple, urging traveling elders to arrange for the free delivery of the Times and Seasons and the Wasp through the postal service, and insisting that JS was consistent in condemning vice and promoting virtue.
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.
and my children, and those who were called my people. And I did teach my people, to build buildings: and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of 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. And on page 280–1 is a full description of the Isthmus.
Mr. Stephens’ [John Lloyd Stephens’s] great developements of antiquities are made bare to the eyes of all the people by reading the history of the Nephites in the Book of Mormon. They lived about the narrow neck of land, which now embraces Central America, with all the cities that can be found. Read the destruction of cities at the crucifixion of Christ, page 459–60. Who could have dreamed that twelve years would have developed such incontrovertible testimony to the Book of Mormon? surely the Lord worketh and none can hinder.
Meantime we continued to translate, at intervals, when not necessitated to attend to the numerous enquirers, that now began to visit us; some for the sake of finding the truth, others for the purpose of putting hard questions, and trying to confound us. Among the latter class were several learned priests who generally came for the purpose of disputation: however the Lord continued to pour out upon us his Holy Spirit, and as often as we had need, he gave us in that moment what to say; so that although unlearned, and inexperienced in religious controversies, yet were we able to confound those learned Rabbis of the day, whilst at the same time, we were enabled to convince the honest in heart, that we had obtained (through the mercy of God) to the true and everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, so that almost daily we administered the ordinance of baptism for the remission of sins, to such as believed. We now became anxious to have that promise realized to us, which the angel that conferred upon us the Aaronic Priesthood had given us, viz: that provided we continued faithful; we should also have the Melchesidec Priesthood, which holds the authority of the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. We had for some time made this matter a subject of humble prayer, and at length we got together in the chamber of house in order more particularly to seek of the Lord what we now so earnestly desired: and here to our unspeakable satisfaction did we realize the truth of the Saviour’s promise; “Ask, and you shall receive, seek, and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you;” for we had not long been engaged in solemn and fervent prayer, when the word of the Lord, came unto us in the chamber, commanding us; that I should ordain to be an elder in the church of Jesus Christ, and that he also should ordain me to the same office, and then to ordain others as it should be made known unto us, from time to time: we were however commanded to defer this our ordination until, such times, as it should be practicable to have our brethren, who had been and who should be baptized, assembled together, when we must have their sanction to our thus proceeding to ordain each other, and have them decide by vote whether they were willing to accept us as spiritual teachers, or not, when also we were commanded to bless bread and break it with them, and to take wine, bless it, and drink it with them, afterward proceed to ordain each other according to commandment, then call out such men as the spirit should dictate, and ordain them, and then attend to the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, upon all those whom we had previously baptized; doing all things in the name of the Lord.
The following commandment will further illustrate the nature of our calling to this Priesthood as well as that of others who were yet to be sought after.
Revelation toJoseph Smith, jr. and , making known the calling of twelve apostles in these last days, and also, instructions relative to building up the church of Christ, according to the fulness of the gospel: Given in , New York, June, 1829.
Now behold, because of the thing which you, my servant , have desired to know of me, I give unto you these words: behold I have manifested unto you, by my Spirit in many instan [p. 915]