Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 16 May 1842, vol. 3, no. 14, pp. 783–798; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 16 May 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons was the sixth issue of the newspaper JS edited. It featured a variety of items, including “A Fac-simile from the Book of Abraham. No. 3,” with an explanation of various figures depicted in the facsimile, a serial installment of the “History of Joseph Smith,” letters from British members, and reprinted articles from the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star and Dollar Weekly Bostonian. In addition, the 16 May 1842 issue included three editorial comments, written by JS or the staff of the newspaper, which are featured here. JS’s level of involvement is unclear—he may have directed their creation or reviewed the material once written—but as editor he assumed editorial responsibility for all of the content in the issues of the paper published during his time as editor.
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.
A letter to the editor from an individual identified only by the initials “I. T.” related and refuted discussions of the church in the Baptist periodical the Cross and Journal, published in Columbus, Ohio.
were allowed to speak at once and that by course some might have been present who did not understand any of the languages that were spoken, interpreters were allowed to interpret what was preached, and all was still in place. But for a man to pretend who understands the English language to speak in an unknown tongue to those who understand the English, is nonsense, and is to them no miracle unless they know the language that he speaks, and know that he speaks in an unknown tongue, and know that he has not learned it of men.
How honest, fair, and above-board is every thing belonging to the Bible, and how different is religious humbuggery. I have by repeated experiments found these remedies to be good. Let people be put in possession of the fact that they have a right to see the miracles of those who pretend to work miracles, and that they are bound to disbelieve all accounts of men working miracles, unless they work them publicly in the presence of enemies as well as friends, and that all who profess to be called of God, as was Aaron, are bound to do as Aaron did. I say let them be put in possession of these facts, and use them to good advantage and the Mormons will shun them.
After perusing the above, sir, I thought, now these Mormons are, in the estimation of this writer, hereticks; and they do not belong to the evangelical church, any more than the Universalists do:—but thinking that it might be some ignoramus who had written those pieces, and that the columns of the “Cross and Journal” were open to all scribblers, I should have passed it over, if I had not met with the following, in the prospectus:—“The Cross and Journal, is published every Friday morning;” . . . “The Advocate of sound doctrine, and of untiring christian exertion. The interests of the Baptist convention, and of other home mission societies in the West, will be particularly regarded.” Upon reading the above, I naturally inferred that the Baptist society was an evangelical society; and that the worthy editor published those pieces for the special benefit of the Baptist convention: and also, for the edification and instruction of other home missions in the West. In puzzling my brain, however, to find out the true definition of the word evangelical—I was led to infer that the Baptist convention was orthodox, and evangelical, and that other home missions in the West, were evangelical, (which missions they are I know not,) but that the Universalists and Mormons are not evangelical is evident. Still, however, I was at a loss to know the import of the term, until I noticed the instructions of the Rev. Mr. Knapp, in regard to searching the bible, and then I could only draw inferences from the bible, and the sentiments of the “Cross and Journal,” by comparing them together; and by strict investigation came, naturally, to the following conclusions:
1. That Paul was not a member of an evangelical church; for he told the church to which he wrote, to “prove all things, and to hold fast that which is good.” Whereas, Mr. Knapp told the members of his church to burn Universalists books, &c.; hence, here is a wide difference. The one would prove the books by reading them; the other would burn them without reading—thus following the practice of the Roman Catholics, who burn the books of hereticks. The Church of Rome must, therefore, be an evangelical church, as it follows the teaching of Mr. Knapp.
2. On the subject of Mormonism, we have given us as a preventative against the horrid evils of Mormonism, the following salutory instructions: “If they have no foothold in your neighborhood, or town, PAY NO ATTENTION TO THEM. This has often prevented them from doing much mischief.” I find from this, sir, that the evangelical church is of very ancient date, and can be traced through all the history of the church, in every age and generation. There was one in ancient days, the most powerful of any in existence; we have no account of any church being so extensive and united as it was, I mean the antediluvian church; especially those that lived in the days of Noah. So powerful were the principles of evangelicism that there could only be one family found, who differed from them in religious opinions; I mean, sir, the family of Noah; and so deep rooted were evangelical principles, that among the thousands that then existed, there could not any be found to pay the least attention to noahs message; hence, they were all purely evangelical. It is true they soon afterwards perished by the flood, but then, that could make little difference, inasmuch as they were orthodox christians, and sound in the faith of evangelical principles, of “taking no notice.”
Another very eminent Evangelical church existed ingreat numbers in Asia, there were several very notable cities that were eminently skilled in the doctrine of paying no attention, to the mesages that might be sent to them. I refer to the famous cities of Admah, Zeboim, Sodom, Gomorah, Zoar, &c. When the angels [p. 792]