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, .)
We found the people of in general friendly and disposed to enquire into the truth of these strange matters which now began to be noised abroad: many opened their houses to us in order that we might have an opportunity of meeting with our friends for the purposes of instruction and explanation. We met with many from time to time, who were willing to hear us, and wishful to find out the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, and apparantly willing to obey the gospel when once fairly convinced and satisfied in their own minds; and in this same month of June, my brother , , and were baptized in Seneca lake the two former by myself; the latter by . From this time forth many became believers, and were , whilst we continued to instruct and persuade as many as applied for information.
In the course of the work of translation, we ascertained that three special witnesses were to be provided by the Lord, to whom he would grant, that they should see the from which this work (the Book of Mormon) should be translated, and that these witnesses should bear record of the same; as will be found recorded, Book of Mormon first edition page [blank]  and second edition page [blank] .
Almost immediately after we had made this discovery, it occurred to , , and the aforementioned (who had come to enquire after our progress in the work) that they would have me enquire of the Lord, to know if they might not obtain of him to be these three special witnesses; and finally they became so very solicitious, and teazed me so much, that at length I complied, and through the , I obtained of the Lord for them the following Revelation:
Revelation to , and , at , Seneca co. N. Y. June 1829; given previous to their viewing the plates containing the Book of Mormon.
Behold I say unto you, that you must rely upon my word, which if you do, with full purpose of heart, you shall have a view of the plates, and also the breastplate, the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim, which were given to the brother of Jared upon the mount, when he talked with the Lord face to face and, the miraculous directors which were given to Lehi while in the wilderness, on the borders of the Red sea; and it is by your faith that you shall obtain a view of them, even by that faith which was had by the prophets of old.
And after that you have obtained faith, and have seen them with your eyes, you shall testify of them, by the power of God; and this you shall do that my servant Joseph Smith, jr. may not be destroyed, that I may bring about my righteous purposes unto the children of men, in this work. And ye shall testify that you have seen them, even as my servant Joseph Smith jr. has seen them for it is by my power that he has seen them, and it is because he had faith: and he has translated the book, even that part which I have commanded him, and as your Lord and your God liveth it is true.
Wherefore you have received the same power, and the same faith, and the same gift like unto him; and if you do these last commandments of mine, which I have given you, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; for my grace is sufficient for you: and you shall be lifted up at the last day. And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it unto you, that I might bring about my righteous purposes unto the children of men. Amen.
Not many days after the above commandment was given, we four viz: , , and myself agreed to retire into the woods, and try to obtain by fervent and humble prayer, the fulfilment of the promises given in the revelation; that they should have a view of the plates &c. we accordingly made choice of a piece of woods convenient to house, to which we retired, and having knelt down we began to pray in much faith, to Almighty God to bestow upon us a realization of these promises. According to previous arrangements I commenced, by vocal prayer to our heavenly Father, and was followed by each of the rest in succession; we did not yet however obtain any answer, or manifestation of the divine favor in our behalf. We again observed the same order of prayer each calling on, and praying fer [p. 897]