Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 1 Sept. 1842, vol. 3, no. 21, pp. 895–910; 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 1 September 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons, a newspaper published in , Illinois. It was the twenty-first issue in the third volume of the newspaper. JS purchased the newspaper and the from in February 1842 and began his work as editor on the 1 March 1842 issue. and assisted JS with his editorial responsibilities; in moments when JS was occupied with other pressing business, Taylor and Woodruff commonly performed most—if not all—of the editing required for the publication of each issue, including the writing of editorial content. While it is unclear how involved JS was in preparing this particular issue, he nevertheless assumed editorial responsibility for this and all issues produced during his time as editor.
Like all issues of the Times and Seasons, the 1 September 1842 issue contained both non-editorial and editorial content. The non-editorial content included a letter from members of the who were then serving missions in Great Britain, a selection from the “History of Joseph Smith,” and a reprinted letter to the editor of the Bostonian that described a debate in between church member and Dr. George Montgomery West. The issue also featured a notice from member , a brief letter from members of the temple committee, and two poems.
The issue’s editorial content, for which JS was ultimately responsible, is featured here with introductions. It included commentary on news of social unrest throughout the world, a counter to claims in a newspaper that church members were superstitious and deluded, an explanation of the persecution JS experienced in the context of the persecution aimed at biblical prophets, an editorial on the proper mode of baptism, and a defense against claims made in recent publications that were antagonistic toward the church. The editorial passages also included a positive description of the current health of Nauvoo’s residents, a supposed conversation between a Latter-day Saint and a Protestant clergyman likely written as an editorial device to argue for the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, commentary on a selection from a book about biblical archaeology, a reprinting of the church’s official statement on marriage from 1835, a humorous proverb, and a notice encouraging readers to renew their subscriptions to the newspaper.
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.
“An Epistle of the Twelve,” “History of Joseph Smith,” and “Mormons, or ‘Latter Day Saints,’” Times and Seasons, 1 Sept. 1842, 3:895–900. Although the Times and Seasons identifies West only as “Dr. West,” he is fully named in the Boston Investigator’s coverage of West’s preaching. (“Rev. Dr. George Montgomery West,” Boston Investigator, 8 June 1842, ; “Dr. West and the Mormons,” Boston Investigator, 22 June 1842, .)
handed. In all settlements there must be capital and labour united in order to flourish. The brethren will recollect that they are not going to enter upon cities already built up, but are going to “build cities and inhabit them.” Building cities cannot be done without means and labor.
On this subject we would call the particular attention of the saints to the epistle, and also to the proclamation, signed by the of the , published in the eleventh number of this work; and would earnestly exhort them to observe the order and instructions there given. We would also exhort the saints not to go in haste, nor by flight, but to prepare all things in a proper manner before they emigrate; and especially in regard to their dealing with the world, let them be careful to settle everything honestly as becometh saints, as far as lies in their power, and not go away in debt, so far as they have the means to pay. And if any go away in debt, because they have not means to pay, let it be with the design of paying as industry shall put it in their power, so that the cause of truth be not evil spoken of.
We have found that there are so many “pick pockets,” and so many that will take every possible advantage of strangers, in , that we have appointed as the of the church, to superintend the fitting out of the saints from to . Whatever information the saints may want about the preparations for a voyage, they are advised to call on , at , as their first movement, when they arrive there as emigrants. There are some brethren who have felt themselves competent to do their own business in these matters, and rather despising the counsel of their friends, have been robbed and cheated out of nearly all they had. A word of caution to the wise is sufficient. It is also a great saving to go in companies, instead of going individually.— First, a company can charter a vessel, so as to make the passage much cheaper than otherwise. Secondly, provisions can be purchased at wholesale for a company much cheaper than otherwise. Thirdly, this will avoid bad company on the passage. Fourthly, when a company arrives in they can charter a steam-boat so as to reduce the passage near one-half. This measure will save some hundreds of pounds on each ship load. Fifthly, a man of experience can go as leader of each company, who will know how to avoid rogues and knaves.
Sovereigns are more profitable than silver or any other money in emigrating to ; and the brethren are also cautioned against the American money, when they arrive in that . Let them not venture to take paper money of that until they become well informed in regard to the different banks; for very few of them will pass current very far from the place where they were issued, and banks are breaking almost daily. It is much cheaper going by than by . But it will never do for emigrants to go by in the summer on account of the heat and sickness of the climate. It is, therefore, advisable for the saints to emigrate in Autumn, Winter, or Spring. Let the saints be careful also to obtain a letter of recommendation, from the elders, where they are acquainted, to the brethren where they are going, certifying their membership, and let the elders be careful not to recommend any who do not conduct themselves as saints; and especially those who would go with a design to defraud their creditors.
In regard to ordaining and licensing officers, each is now organised, under the care of their respective presidents, who, with the voice of the church, may , according to the gifts and callings of God, by the holy spirit, and under the general superintendance of Elders , and . should be signed by the presiding officers.
There are many other items of importance, which we would gladly mention, had we time and space sufficient, but this must suffice for the present; and may the God of our fathers bless you all with wisdom and grace, to act each your part in the great work which lies before us, that the world may be warned, and thousands brought to the knowledge of the truth; and may he bless and preserve you blameless until the day of his coming. Brethren and sisters pray for us. We remain your brethren in the .
, (Eng.) April 15 1841.
A special conference was held in on the 29 ult. an account of which will be given in the next No. of the Times and Seasons. [p. 896]