Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 1 June 1842, vol. 3, no. 15, pp. 799–814; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 1 June 1842 issue of the periodical Times and Seasons was the seventh edited by JS. He had assumed the editorship of the newspaper beginning with its 1 March 1842 issue, and in that role he took responsibility for all of the published content, including this 1 June issue. The issue contained an article on the “Word of Wisdom,” which was a revelation JS dictated in February 1833 outlining a code of health for the Latter-day Saints; an installment from the serialized “History of Joseph Smith”; and reprints of articles from newspapers, including Latter-day Saint publications, on topics such as ’s missionary work in , JS’s work on the Book of Abraham, the necessity of baptism, the beliefs of church members, and ancient writings discovered in the . The issue also included a letter from the presidency and high council of the , Illinois, stake “to the saints scattered abroad.”
In addition to these items, the issue published editorial content that was presumably written by JS as editor or by his editorial staff. This editorial content, which is featured here, includes four items: commentary on the assassination attempt on former governor ; a lengthy statement disputing a speech , a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, made criticizing the Saints; a preface to an article about the Jews; and a notice to church members in the eastern about ’s planned fund-raising mission for the construction of the .
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.
Vol. III. No. 15.]- CITY OF , ILL. JUNE 1, 1842. -[Whole No. 51
We had a very instructive, impressive, and salutary discourse delivered us in the City of , last Sabbath on the above subject, to a large and attentive congregation, by . He stated “that there were many of the commands of God that seemed to be overlooked by this generation,[”] and he was fearful that many of the Latter Day Saints in this respect were following their old traditions, and former practices of spiritualizing the word of God, and through a vain philosophy departing from the pure principles of eternal truth which God had given by revelation for the salvation of the human family; but, that every word of God is of importance, whether it be the word contained in the Bible, in the Book of Mormon, or in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, for ‘man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.’ The principles that are taught in the Bible are pure, and ought to be adhered too; and if people adhere to that teaching it will prove their salvation. The principles that are taught in the Book of Mormon are also pure, and holy and righteous, and will if followed lead men to God. And the principles that are taught in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, are from God, they are principles of righteousness;—they are given for a blessing to the human family, and the salvation, temporal and spiritual, of his saints; and that man who wantonly departs from any of the revelations of Jehovah, and treats lightly the word of God, whether contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Mormon, or the Bible, is void of understanding; he is not wise concerning the doings of the Lord, the plan of salvation, the past dealings, present designs, or future purposses of the Amighty. The God of the armies of Israel is a wise God, he comprehended the end from beginning, and adapted his plans, his designs and teaching, to the peculiar wants, the local situation, the exigences of mankind; and the present and future good of the human family; and every thing that he has deigned to notice by way of instruction to the children of men, is given by infinite wisdom; by the intelligence of Jehovah; and if obeyed, when his designs shall be fully unravelled, it will be seen that there was wisdom in it beyond the comprehension of man in his present state.
When God first made man upon the earth, he was a different being entirely to what he now is; his body was strong, athletic, robust, and healthy; his days were prolonged upon the earth; he lived nearly one thousand years, his mind was vigorous and active, and his intellectual faculties clear and comprehensive, but he has become degenerated; his life has dwindled to a span; disease preys upon his system; his body is enervated and feeble; and his mentle and intellectual faculties are impaired, and weakened; and man is not now that dignified, noble, majestic, honorable, and mighty being that he was when he first proceded from the hands of his maker.
The Lord has in his wise designs revealed unto us his will; he has made known unto us his future purposses; he has told us as he did his ancient prophets that the ‘earth shall be redeemed—that the curse shall be removed from it—that the wolf and the lamb shall lie down together—that the lion shall eat straw like the ox;—and that they shall not hurt nor destroy—that the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters covers the sea’—that man’s days shall be as ‘the days of a tree,’ that he shall again live one thousand years on the earth—this is the ‘time of the restoration of all things,’ and this has got to be brought about by the wisdom and power of God, and the wisdom, obedience and faith of man combined.
Every thing has become degenerated from what it was in its primitive state; ‘God made man pure, but he has found out many inventions:’ his vices have become innumerable, and his diseases multiplied; his taste has become vitiated, and his judgment impaired; he has fallen—fallen—fallen, from that dignified state that he once occupied on the earth; and it needs a restorative that man has not in his possession—wisdom which is beyond the reach of human intellect;—and power which human philosophy, talent and ingenuity cannot control. God only is acquainted with the fountain of action, and the main springs of human events; he knows where disease is seated, and what is the cause of it;—he is also acquainted with the spring of health; the balm of Gilead—of life; he knows what course to pursue to restore mankind to their pristine excellency and primitive vigour, and health; and he has appointed the word of wisdom as one of the engines to bring about this thing, to remove the [p. ]