Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 2 May 1842, vol. 3, no. 13, pp. 767–782; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 2 May 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons, a periodical published in , Illinois, was the thirteenth number in its third volume.JS purchased the and the newspaper from in February 1842 and was identified as its editor from 15 February to 15 October 1842. Although JS was named as the editor in the 15 February issue, he did not consider himself the editor of the newspaper until the 1 March 1842 issue. , , and others helped JS produce the Times and Seasons from March through October 1842, but JS was directly responsible for the content of the newspaper.
The fifth issue that JS oversaw as editor was dated 2 May 1842 and contained a letter to the Saints from the , urging them to fund the construction of the ; letters from missionaries and church members in the eastern and Europe; an extract of the “History of Joseph Smith,” which was printed serially in the newspaper; and reprinted articles from several other newspapers, including the church newspaper in , the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star. In addition to this material, the issue also contained editorial content, meaning content created by JS as the editor or his editorial staff for the paper. This content in the 2 May issue included commentaries on articles about mummies, an editorial on the Nauvoo temple, news from proselytizing , commentary on an article about Judaism, and notices concerning temple donations and a position with the printing office staff. Selected editorial content from the 2 May issue is featured here, with individual introductions for each passage.
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.
How can we prosper while the , while the , while the , while those who have sacrificed every thing but life, in this thing, for our salvation, are thus encumbered? it cannot be—arise, then, brethren, set them free, and set each other free, and we will all be free together, we will be free indeed.
Let nothing in this epistle be so construed as to destroy the validity of contracts, or give any one license not to pay his debts. The commandment is to pay every man his dues, and no man can get to heaven while he justly owes his brother or his neighbor, who has or can get the means and will not pay; it is dishonest, and no dishonest man can enter where God is.
We remain your brethren in
the Gospel of Peace.
From the Millennial Star.
PHILOSOPHY OF THE RESURRECTION.
“But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
* * That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat or some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts another of fishes, and another of birds. There are the celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.”
1st Cor.15 chap. 35 & 40.
The resurrection of the body has been objected to by many as a principle which comes in contact with the known laws of nature, and therefore both unreasonable and impossible.
For instance, it is ascertained beyond a doubt that the human system is constantly changing, by throwing off particles of matter, and receiving new ones. By the several natural evacuations from the body, parts of the old system are dispensed with, and by the nourishment received into the stomach, and by means of the blood vessels diffused through the system, new particles are constantly added.
Thus the whole matter which constitutes the physical system of the human body at any given time is said to pass away in exchange for new matter to the same amount, once in about ten years.
According to this calculation, man at the age of seventy years has been composed of matter sufficient to constitute seven human bodies, each about equal in dimensions to that which he possesses at any one given time.
The second consideration is that the particles of matter thus thrown off become parts of the earth from which they originated, and at lenght grow up and live again in vegetable substances, such as grass, grain, fruit, &c.— These in turn become food for animals; thus these animals are in part composed of the same particles which constituted parts of the human system. These animals are in turn devoured by man, and thus help to form parts of other human systems: and so on in an endless variety of alternate changes and subdivisions.
These facts are brought forward by some as so many proofs that it is impossible for the physical system of man ever to rise from the dead.
They urge that in the resurrection one individual would necessarily claim some of the same particles of matter as another, because both had once possessed some of the same particles.
All these objections appear very plausible at first sight, and have doubtless been a means of overthrowing the faith of many in regard to a resurrection of the body. While, on the other hand, these objections have been met by superstition, bigotry, and ignorance, not with a design to enlighten the understanding or to inform and convince the judgment, but with an endeavor to throw a veil of sacredness over the whole subject, as if it were a mystery to be believed without the possibility of understanding it.
Perhaps a few sentences like the following have been sufficient to smother all further enquiry:—“Ignorance is the mother of devotion.” “Don’t let your mind think on such subjects, it is a temptation to infidelity.” “It is wicked to enquire into such things.” “All things are possible with God,” &c.
Others have pretended to solve the difficulty, by supposing that the doctrine of the resurrection, although true, does not imply a material body, but rather a spiritual body, or formation unconnected with matter. [p. 769]