Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 15 Mar. 1842, vol. 3, no. 10, pp. 719–734; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 15 March 1842 issue of the ’s , Illinois, newspaper, Times and Seasons, was the third issue that identified JS as editor. This issue contained four editorial passages, each of which is featured here with accompanying introductions. Several other JS texts printed in this issue, including an excerpt from the Book of Abraham and several pieces of correspondence, are featured as stand-alone documents elsewhere 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.
designed by the authors thereof to militate against its character as a church, and its progress in the world, I have been induced to write this history, so as to disabuse the public mind, and put all enquirers after truth into possession of the facts as they have transpired in relation both to myself and the church, so far as I have such facts in possession.
In this history I will present the various events in relation to this church, in truth and righteousness, as they have transpired, or as they at present exist, being now the eighth year since the organization of the said church.
I was born in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and five, on the twenty third day of December, in the town of Sharon, Windsor county, state of Vermont. My father , left the state of , and moved to , Ontario, (now Wayne,) county, in the state of New York, when I was in my tenth year. In about four years after my ’s arrival at , he moved with his family into , in the same county of Ontario. His family, consisting of eleven souls, namely: My father, , my mother, , (whose name, previous to her marriage was Mack, daughter of ,) my brothers, , (who is now dead,) , myself, , , , and my sisters, , , and . Some time in the second year after our removal to , there was in the place where we lived an unusual excitement on the subject of religion. It commenced with the Methodists, but soon became general among all the sects in that region of country, indeed the whole district of country seemed affected by it, and great multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small stir and division amongst the people, some crying, “lo, here,” and some “lo, there;” some were contending for the Methodist faith, some for the Presbyterian, and some for the Baptists. For, notwithstanding the great love which the converts for these different faiths expressed at the time of their conversion, and the great zeal manifested by the respective clergy, who were active in getting up and promoting this extraordinary scene of religious feeling, in order to have every body converted, as they were pleased to call it, let them join what sect they pleased; yet, when the converts began to file off, some to one party, and some to another, it was seen that the seemingly good feelings of both the priests and the converts were more pretended than real, for a scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued; priest contending against priest, and convert against convert, so that all the good feelings, one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife of words, and a contest about opinions.
I was at this time in my fifteenth year. My ’s family was proselyted to the Presbyterian faith, snd four of them joined that church, namely, my mother , my brothers , , and my sister .
During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness; but though my feelings were deep and often pungent, still I kept myself aloof from all those parties, though I attended their several meetings as often as occasion would permit: but in process of time my mind became somewhat partial to the Methodist sect, and I felt some desire to be united with them, but so great was the confusion and strife among the different denominations that it was impossible for a person young as I was and so unacquainted with men and things to come to any certain conclusion who was right, and who was wrong. My mind at different times was greatly excited, the cry and tumult was so great and incessant. The Presbyterians were most decided against the Baptists, and Methodists, and used all their powers of either reason, or sophistry to prove their errors, or at least to make the people think they were in error: on the other hand the Baptists and Methodists in their turn were equally zealous to establish their own tenets, and disprove all others.
In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself, what is to be done? Who of all these parties are right? Or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right which is it, and how shall I know it?
While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties, caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth unto all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given [p. 727]