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.
found to be nine hundred yards; though in some parts it is wider. The length, in another direction, was two thousand three hundred and thiry-three yards.— The norhtern slope of the plain was estimated to be somewhat less than a mile in length, by one third of a mile in breadth. The whole surface, including one or two recesses or wadys, amounts to nearly two square miles. It is obvious, that here was room enough to satisfy all the requisitions of the narrative in Exodus, so far as it relates to the assembling of the congregation to receive the law.— Here, also, one may see the fitness of the injunction, to set bounds around the Mount, that neither man nor beast might approach too near.
The northern brow of Horeb, which overlooks the plain er-Rahah, rises perhaps 500 feet above the basin. The distance to the summit is more than half a mile. The extreme difficulty, and even danger of the ascent is well rewarded, by the prospect which is spread out from the top.
'Our conviction,' continues Dr. Robinson, 'was strengthened, that here, or on some one of the adjacent cliffs, was the spot where 'the Lord descended in fire,' and proclaimed the Law. Here lay the plain where the whole congregation might be assembled; here was the mount which one could approach and touch, if not forbidden; and here the mountain-brow, where alone the lightnings and the thick clouds would be visible, and the thunders and the voice of the trumpet be heard, when ‘the Lord came down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai.’ We gave ourselves up to to the impression of the awful scene.”’—Rev. Dr. Robinson.
36 Chapel Street, .
EXTRACT OF A LETTER.
You may expect after September, a great ingathering of the Saints from this land—things are in a dreadful condition here, and the desire of the Saints to escape is quite unexampled. I rejoice to say that many excellent and respectable individuals have been added to the of late, and many are enquiring.
and family talk of leaving in January, and of being in by the first of March.
We are very short of news from ; we have received nothing save the “Times and Seasons” dated Feb. 15.
From Jahn’s Biblical Archaeology.
Respecting the Knowledge of God before the time of Christ, as developed by Philosophy.
Not a single philosopher had any idea of a God of such an exalted character, as to be the agent in the construction of the Universe, till ANAXAGORAS, the disciple of Hermotimus. This philosopher came to Athens in the year 456 before Christ, and first taught, that the world was organized or constructed by some mind or mental being, out of matter, which this philosoper supposed, had always existed. Socrates, Plato, and others adopted, illustrated, and adorned this opinion.
Aristotle, on the contrary, supposed the world to have existed in its organized form eternally, and that the supreme being, who was coexistent, merely put in motion.
The Epicureans believed a fortuitous concurrence of atoms to have been the origin of all things. Many were atheists; and were sceptics, who doubted and assailed every system of opinions.
Those, who maintained the existence of a framer or architect of the world, (for no one believed in a creator of it,) held also to an animating principle in matter, which originated from the supreme architect, and which animated, and regulated the material system.
Things of minor consequence, especially those, which touched the destiny of man, were referred by all classes, to the government of the gods, who were accordingly the objects of worship, and not the supreme architect. Paul gives a sufficiently favorable representation of this defective knowledge of God, Rom. 1: 19–24. After all, it may be made an inquiry, whether Anaxagoras or Hermotimus had not learnt some things respecting the God of the Jews from the Jews, who were sold as slaves by the Phoenicians into Greece, Joel 3: 6, or from the Phoenicians themselves, who traded in Ionia and Greece, and whether these philosophers did not thus acquire that knowledge, which was thought to have originated with themselves. Perhaps they derived their notions of an eternal architect from the doctrines of the Persians respecting Hazaruam or the endless succession of time, and Ormuz. However this may be, we observe on this topic,
I. That the Hebrews remained firm to their religion before their acquaintance [p. 918]