Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 15 July 1842, vol. 3, no. 18, pp. 847–862; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 15 July 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons was the tenth published under JS’s editorship. This issue featured correspondence from missionaries and various articles about the and the wider world. The contents covered a wide range of topics and included a letter from in Europe to his fellow members of the , an installment of the serialized “History of Joseph Smith,” an article about a destructive fire in , minutes from a held by missionaries in Utica, New York, and an article reprinted from the Boston Investigator reporting on a debate between Dr. George Montgomery West and in .
In addition to this, content created by the editorial staff for the issue included two articles, as well as a notice from the and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The first editorial article advocated theocracy as the ideal form of government, while the second—written after a lengthy excerpt from Josiah Priest’s book American Antiquities—used excerpts from the Book of Mormon to expand on Priest’s argument about an ancient people who had lived on the American continent. Although these editorials were each signed “Ed.,” for “Editor,” JS does not appear to have authored them, and his involvement in writing them is unclear. As the acknowledged editor of the paper, however, he would have taken responsibility for the editorial statements and presumably approved the content; such content is therefore featured here.
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.
gress of the flames. This was completely effected by Sunday morning. The Senate ordered every person to leave town and nothing could exceed the heartrending spectacle of thousands of poor people frantic with their losses, and without the means of procuring food or shelter.
The destruction of Hamburgh is one of those calamities which will be felt in every part of the commerical world.— Great as may be the credit of the Senate and people of Hamburgh with foreign states, a century will elapse before the city can be replaced in all the prosperity destroyed by this conflagration. In the midst of the confusion an incident occurred characteristic of the government and the people. A public notice was every where put up, stating that the vault under the bank, containing the gold and silver bars, were fire proof, and that the bank books were all removed in perfect safety,
The Hamburgh Noue Zeitung of the 10th inst. thus sums up the results of the sad catastrophe:—
“Sixty streets, containing from 1500 to 2000 houses, lie smouldering on the ground, and form a fearful but picturesque ruin. Two splended churches, with steeples exceeding 400 feet in height, another church with its tower, the Rath Haus, where the Senate hold their sittings, the old Exchange, the repository of archives, the building of the Patriotic Society, are all destroyed. Reichspost Amt, nearly all the booksellers, the offices of two newspapers, (the Borsenballe, and the Correspondent,) nearly all the the great hotels and inns, (the Old London, the Belvidere, Hotel de Ruisse, St. Petersburgh, Street’s Hotel, the Crown Prince, the Wild Man, the Bramer Anthaus, the Black Elephant,) the principle magazins des modes and repositories of fashion, and nearly all the chief apothecaries, are destroyed. The following are safe:—The cellar where the bullion is deposited at the bank, the Catharinenstrase der Wandralune, du Reichenstrase, &c.”
Religion.—Is a flower whose bud is peace, whose blossom is joy unspeakable, and whose fruit is everlasting glory.
If you would be truly happy, strive to make others so and learn to cultivate good feelings towards all mankind.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF ,
FRIDAY, JULY 15, 1842.
The first editorial in the 15 July 1842 issue was titled “The Government of God.” It specified that the government of God, which functioned as a theocracy, was directed through divine revelation and . The editorial gave a general overview of forms of government and then enumerated instances of political and social unrest around the world, which the author attributed to the flawed governments of man. The emphasis on creating a godly and perfect government was especially pronounced after the Saints’ experiences in . With their expulsion from Missouri, the incarceration of JS and other leaders, and the dismissal of their requests for redress from the federal government, many Saints expressed concerns and misgivings about the shortcomings of the current state and federal governments.
Authorship of the editorial is unclear. Although attributed to the editor, it does not appear to have been written by JS. When was writing JS’s history in 1844, he did not attribute the editorial to JS and noted only that the editorial had been published in the Times and Seasons. may be the most likely author of the editorial. Taylor had been working in the , Illinois, since February 1842 and had helped JS with editorial responsibilities for the Times and Seasons and possibly the Wasp. Taylor had also recently returned from a mission to Britain, which may explain why the editorial’s discussion of social and political developments in Europe were noticeably more detailed for Great Britain. In the 1850s, Taylor published a pamphlet titled The Government of God that echoed some of the content of this editorial and expanded the discussion on the significance of the priesthood. Additionally, in his sermons in the 1850s, Taylor expressed similar anti-imperial sentiments and emphasized the need for government directed by God through the and revelation. Another possible author of the editorial is , who had agreed to work on JS’s history and appears to have done so for a short time in June 1842, resuming work in 1843. While Phelps later worked as a scribe for JS, there is no documentation connecting him to such work at this time, and it is not clear that he had any connection to the Times and Seasons in summer 1842.
THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD.
The government of the Almighty, has always been very dissimilar to the government of men; whether we refer to his religious government, or to the government of nations. The government of God has always tended to promote peace, unity, harmony, strength and happiness; while that of man has been productive of confusion, disorder, weakness and misery. The greatest acts of the mighty men have been to depopulate nations, and to overthrow kingdoms; and whilst they have exalted themselves and become glorious, it has been at the expense of the lives of the innocent—the blood of the oppressed—the moans of the widow, and the tears of the orphan. Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Persia, Carthage, Rome—each were raised to dignity amid the clash of arms, and the din of war; and whilst their triumphant leaders led forth their victorious armies to glory and victory, their ears were saluted with the groans of the dying, and the misery and distress of the human family;—before them the earth was a paradise, and behind them a desolate wilderness; their kingdoms were founded in carnage and bloodshed, and sustained by oppression, tyranny, and despotism. The designs of God, on the other hand, have been to promo[t]e the universal good, of the universal world;—to establish peace and good will among men;—to promote the principles of eternal truth;—to bring about a state of things that shall unite man to his fellow man—cause the world to “beat their swords into plow-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks”—make the nations of the earth dwell in peace; and to bring about the millenial glory—when “the earth shall yield its increase, resume its paradisean glory, and become as the garden of the Lord.”
The great and wise of ancient days have failed in all their attempts to promote eternal power, peace, and happiness. Their nations have crumbled to pieces; their thrones have been cast down in their turn; and their cities, and their mightiest works of art, have been annihilated; or their dilapidated towers, or time worn monuments have left us but feeble traits of their former magnificence, and ancient grandeur. They proclaim as with a voice of thunder, those imperishable truths—that man’s [p. 855]
Phelps first began working on JS’s history in June 1842 but ceded primary responsibility for the work to Willard Richards on 1 December 1842. Phelps noted in his diary that he “commenced writing on the history of the church for B[rother] Joseph” on 19 January 1843. (William W. Phelps, Nauvoo, IL, to Parley P. Pratt, Liverpool, England, 16 June 1842, Parley P. Pratt, Correspondence, CHL; JS, Journal, 1 Dec. 1842; Richards, Journal, 1 Dec. 1842; Phelps, Diary and Notebook, 19 Jan. 1843.)
Pratt, Parley P. Correspondence, 1842–1855. CHL. MS 897.