Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 1 July 1842, vol. 3, no. 17, pp. 831–846; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 1 July 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons was the ninth issue published under JS’s editorship. Much of the issue was devoted to the publication of correspondence regarding ’s immoral conduct in , Illinois. This correspondence included a letter that JS wrote telling members about Bennett and describing how church leaders had handled his situation. To corroborate JS’s statements in that letter, the issue included excerpts of correspondence from unidentified individuals and from , who had evidently been sent to verify information about Bennett in . These statements, as well as JS’s letter, had been previously published in the 25 June 1842 issue of the Wasp.
In addition to information about , the 1 July issue contained an article by , excerpts from the “History of Joseph Smith,” an article on the Jews, and a reprint of a letter published in the Dollar Weekly Bostonian recounting a meeting at which “, the Mormon lecturer of the city of ” spoke. Also included were accounts of earthquakes that had occurred in Haiti and in Greece, a letter from to JS, communications from preaching outside of , minutes of in outlying , and a poem by about the . The issue also featured editorial commentary and notices written by the editorial staff. How involved JS was in composing the editorial material is unclear. While assisted him in editing the paper, JS, as editor, assumed primary responsibility for the paper’s content.
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.
handed acts; you even threaten to vote at the next election, and may be (at least we fear) you will send a member to the Legislature; none of which doings we the good mobocrats and Anti-Mormon politicians, (and some priests as well,) are willing to bear. This is the cry of the base and vile, the priest and the speculator, but the noble, the high minded, the patriotic, and the virtuous, breathe no such sentiments; neither will those who feel an interest in the welfare of the , for who does not know that to increase the population ten thousand a year with the most industrious people in the world, to pay thousands of dollars of taxes, to bring into the immense sums of gold, and silver, from all countries; to establish the greatest manufactoring city in , (which will be in a few years,) and to create the best produce market in the west, is for the good and prosperity of the community at large, and of the State of in particular.
As to the ordinances, we have passed, all such as we deemed necessary for the peace, welfare, and happiness of the inhabitants, whether Jew, or Greek; Mohammedan, Roman Catholic, Latter-Day Saint, or any other; that they all worship God according to their own conscience, and enjoy the rights of American fremen.
, June 17th, 1842.
The first editorial piece featured here followed an article written by titled “Much Ado about Nothing.” Law’s article argued that the Latter-day Saints were a law-abiding people, stating that in the three years since the main body of the moved to , no church member had been convicted of a crime in the state. Instead, members had shown “the highest act of charity towards the poor” by embracing numerous converts fleeing “foreign lands, from under the yoke of oppression, and the iron hand of poverty.” Law’s article appears to have been an attempt by church leaders to distance themselves from church members who had been accused of theft. An article in the Hawk-Eye and Iowa Patriot in September 1841 alleged that church members were guilty of thefts in and around , Illinois, and , Iowa Territory. In response, JS published an affidavit in the 1 December 1841 issue of the Times and Seasons stating that he had never taught church members to steal and that any who did so were “devils and not saints, totally unfit for the society of Christians.” Likewise, an editorial in that same issue of the Times and Seasons declared, “It has been a source of grief unto us that there were any in our midst, who would wilfully take property from any person which did not belong to them; knowing that if any person, who does, or ever did belong to this church, should steal, the whole church would have to bear the stigma, and the sound goes abroad, that the Mormons are a set of thieves and robbers, a charge which we unequivocally deny.” Later, in a discourse given on 10 April 1842, JS emphasized the need for the Saints to be upstanding citizens; he stated that there were thieves among the Saints in and admonished church members to cleanse the church and “proclaim against all iniquity.” Law’s article and the editorial commentary that followed, which is featured here, were apparently additional attempts to assure the public that true Latter-day Saints were law-abiding people.
The above are plain matters of fact, that every one may become acquainted with by a reference to the or records, we might add that in regard to moral principles there is no city either in this , or in the , that can compare with the city of ; you may live in our city for a month and not hear an oath sworn, you may be here as long and not see one person intoxicated so notorious are we for sobriety, that at the time the Washingtonian convention passed through our a meeting was called for them; but they expressed themselves at a loss what to say, as there were no drunkards to speak to; so that whether as a civil, moral or religious community we think that we can say without vanity that we are as orderly as any other community, in any town or city in this , or in the ; and we are laying a foundation for agricultural and manufactoring purposes, that bids fair to rival if not to exceed, any city in the western country. Ed.
On the fifteenth day of April, eighteen hundred and twenty nine, came to my house, until when I had never seen him. He stated to me that having been teaching school in the neighborhood where my father resided; and my father being one of those who sent to the school; he had went to board for a season at my father’s house, and while there the family related to him the circumstance of my having received the plates, and accordingly he had come to make enquiries of me.
Two days after the arrival of , (being the 17th of April,) I commenced to translate the Book of Mormon and he commenced to write for me, which having continued for some time, I enquired of the Lord, through the Urim and Thummim, and obtained the following revelation:—
Revelation givenApril, 1829. to , andJoseph Smith, Jr.
A great and marvellous work is about to come forth unto the children of men: behold I am God, and give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow: Therefore give heed unto my words.
Behold the field is white already to harvest, therefore whoso desireth to reap, let him thrust in his sickle with his might and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God: Yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God; therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you.
Now as you have asked, behold I say unto you, keep my commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion: seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, even as you desire of me, so shall it be unto you; and if you desire, you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation. Say nothing but repentance unto this generation: keep my commandments and assist to bring forth my work according [p. 832]
Affidavit, 29 Nov. 1841. An affidavit from Hyrum Smith, also published in the 1 December 1841 issue of the Times and Seasons, stated that theft was “in violation of the rules, order, and regulations of the church.” JS’s statement that he had never taught the Saints to steal was a response to accusations that during the Latter-day Saints’ conflict with other Missourians in 1838, JS had sanctioned stealing from those who were not church members. Those making these claims argued that JS justified such stealing based on a February 1831 revelation that declared God would “consecrate the riches of the Gentiles unto my people which are of the house of Israel.” David and Edward Kilbourne made this same accusation against JS in September 1841, stating that JS “justif[ied] theft, by citing the example of Christ,” who allowed his disciples to pluck corn from a cornfield on the Sabbath. (“Hyrum Smith’s Affidavit,” Times and Seasons, 1 Dec. 1841, 3:616; George M. Hinkle, Testimony, Richmond, MO, Nov. 1838; James C. Owens, Testimony, Richmond, MO, Nov. 1838, State of Missouri v. JS et al. for Treason and Other Crimes [Mo. 5th Jud. Cir. 1838], in State of Missouri, “Evidence,” , ; Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:39]; David Kilbourne and Edward Kilbourne, “Latter-Day-Ism, No. 1,” Hawk-Eye and Iowa Patriot [Burlington], 30 Sept. 1841, .)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Hawk-Eye and Iowa Patriot. Burlington, IA. 1839–1851.
In response to William Law’s article, John C. Bennett wrote a letter on 15 July 1842 in which he outlined six cases where Latter-day Saints had been accused of theft in Hancock, McDonough, and Adams counties. Law declared that the names of the individuals Bennett used as examples either had never been church members or had been cut off from the church. (John C. Bennett, St. Louis, MO, 15 July 1842, Letter to the Editor, Sangamo Journal [Springfield, IL], 22 July 1842, ; William Law, “For the Wasp,” Wasp, between 30 July and 4 Aug. 1842, .)
The Washingtonians were members of the Washington Temperance Benevolent Society, formed in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1840. The organization focused on persuading craftsmen, laborers, and lower-class workers to stop drinking alcohol by emphasizing the economic consequences of drinking, rather than focusing on moral reasons. Although there is no record of a Washingtonian meeting in Nauvoo, a group of Washingtonians were in Quincy, Illinois, in spring 1842. (Wilentz, Chants Democratic, 307–308; “Illinois,” Journal of the American Temperance Union, Apr. 1842, 62.)
Wilentz, Sean. Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the American Working Class, 1788–1850. 20th anniversary ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
“Illinois.” Journal of the American Temperance Union 6, no. 4 (Apr. 1842): 62.
Contrary to this assertion, there was some drunkenness in Nauvoo. An 1833 revelation known to church members as the Word of Wisdom stated that it was “not good” to drink “wine or Strong drink,” although enforcement varied during JS’s lifetime. JS himself reportedly said in a November 1841 discourse that “drunkenness is not good; but in such a case God might take no notice of it, if no one entered a complaint or accused the parties.” Despite such pronouncements, the Warsaw Signal reported in July 1841 that it was common to see drinking and drunkenness in Nauvoo. A city ordinance passed in November 1841 issued penalties for individuals “found drunk in or about the Streets.” Another ordinance was passed in April 1842 requiring licenses for tavern owners and prohibiting those keeping taverns from “selling spirituous liquors,” but this ordinance was repealed the following month. (Revelation, 27 Feb. 1833 [D&C 89:5]; Willard Richards, Nauvoo, IL, to Levi Richards, Manchester, England, 11 Nov. 1841, typescript, Richards Family Papers, CHL; “Temperance among the Mormons,” Warsaw [IL] Signal, 14 July 1841, ; Minutes, 13 Nov. 1841; Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 9 Apr. 1842, 70–72.)
In December 1840, JS had written to the apostles who were in England about Nauvoo’s prospects. He stated that the region had “advantages for manufacturing and commercial purposes which but very few can boast of; and by establishing Cotton Factories, Founderies, Potteries &c &c would be the means of bringing in wealth and raising it to a very important elevation.” In March 1842, the Twelve Apostles composed a letter to the church encouraging “individuals of capital” to move to Nauvoo “and build Factories,” since there was “every natural advantage at this place for facilitating such an order of things; water, wood and coal in abundance.” In June 1842, JS gave a discourse encouraging further development of the Nauvoo Agricultural and Manufacturing Association. The association was meant to promote “agriculture and husbandry in all its branches.” (Letter to Quorum of the Twelve, 15 Dec. 1840; Brigham Young et al., “An Epistle of the Twelve,” Times and Seasons, 1 Apr. 1842, 3:738; Account of Meeting and Discourse, 18 June 1842; “Miscellaneous,” Times and Seasons, 15 Mar. 1841, 2:355–356.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.