Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 1 Apr. 1842, vol. 3, no. 11, pp. 735–750; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 1 April 1842 issue of the ’s , Illinois, newspaper, Times and Seasons, was the fourth issue to name JS as editor. The issue included a report of the organization of the , a lengthy doctrinal article titled “Try the Spirits,” and two short editorials, all of which are featured below. Also included in the issue, but not featured here, were a letter dated 20 March 1842 from the to the Latter-day Saints in Europe, extracts from a letter by , an excerpt of a letter to from his mother, another installment of the serialized “History of Joseph Smith,” and a letter about Nauvoo from “an Observer” to the Columbus Advocate. In addition, the issue included a petition from residents of to church leaders in Nauvoo, with an editorial comment. The comment is one of the editorials featured here; the petition is not reproduced below, but it is featured as a stand-alone document in this volume.
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.
While JS likely authored many of the paper’s editorial passages, John Taylor reportedly assisted him in writing content. No matter who wrote individual editorial pieces, JS assumed editorial responsibility for all installments naming him as editor except the 15 February issue. (Woodruff, Journal, 19 Feb. 1842; Historical Introduction to Times and Seasons, 1 Mar. 1842.)
Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.
A few minutes now offer for me to write, and I improve them in writing to you.
I have only time to say that I have seen precisely according to the vision which I had. I saw no one with me in the vision; and although was appointed to accompany me there, yet I found myself there alone.
The Lord knows that I have had a hard time, and suffered much, but I have great reason to thank him that I enjoy good health at present, and have a prospect before me of soon going to a civilized country, where I shall see no more turbans or camels. The heat is most oppressive, and has been all through Syria.
I have not time to tell you how many days I have been at sea, without food, or how many snails I have eaten; but if I had had plenty of them, I should have done very well. All this is contained in a former letter to you written from Java.
I have been at Cairo, on the Nile, because I could not get a passage direct.— Syria is in a dreadful state— a war of extermination is going on between the Druses and Catholics. At the time I was at Beyroote a battle was fought in the mountains of Lebanon, near that place, and about 800 killed. Robberies, thefts, and murders are daily being committed. It is no uncommon thing to find persons in the street without heads. An English officer, in going from St. Jean d’Acre to Beyroote, found ten persons murdered in the street, and was himself taken prisoner, but was rescued by the timely interferance of the Pacha. The particulars of all these things are contained in a former letter.
An American traveller, by the name of Gager, who was a licensed minister of the Congregational or Presbyterian Church, left in company with me. He was very unwell with the jaundice when we left, and at Damietta we had to perform six days’ quarantine befor we ascended the Nile. On our passage up he was taken very ill with a fever, and became helpless. I waited and tended upon him as well as our circumstances would allow; and when we landed at Bulack, I got four men to take him to the American consul’s, in Cairo, on a litter; I also took all his baggage there, and assisted in putting him upon a good bed—employed a good faithful Arabian nurse, and the English doctor. After the physician had examined him, he told me that he was very low with a typus fever, and that it would be doubtful whether he recovered. Under these circumstances I left him to obtain a passage to this place. After I had gone on board a boat, and was just about pushing off, a letter came from the doctor, stating that poor Mr. Gager died in about two hours after I left him. He told me before we arrived at Cairo that he was 27 years of age, and his friends lived in Norwich, Connecticut, near New London, I think. There are many particulars concerning his death which would be interesting to his friends, but I have no time to write them now.
On Sunday morning, October 24, a good while before day, I arose from sleep, and went out of the as soon as the gates were opened, crossed the brook Cedron, and went upon the Mount of Olives, and there, in solemn silence, with pen, ink, and paper, just as I saw in the vision, offered up the following prayer to him who lives for ever and ever:—
“O Thou! who art from everlasting to everlasting, eternally and unchangeably the same, even the God who rules in the heavens above, and controlls the destinies of men on the earth, wilt Thou not condescend, through thine infinite goodness and royal favour, to listen to the prayer of thy servant which he this day offers up unto thee in the name of thy holy child Jesus, upon this land where the Sun of Righteousness sat in blood, and thine Anointed One expired.
“Be pleased, O Lord to forgive all the follies, weaknesses, vanities, and sins of thy servant, and strengthen him to resist all future temptations. Give him prudence and discernment that he may avoid the evil, and a heart to choose the good; give him fortitude to bear up under trying and adverse circumstances, and grace to endure all things for thy name’s sake, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall rest in peace.
“Now, O Lord! thy servant has been obedient to the heavenly vision which thou gavest him in his native land; and [p. 739]