Letter to John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff, between circa November and circa 20 December 1843

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Messrs. & :—
It has been so long since I addressed the saints through the medium of the Times and Seasons, that I feel confident that a few words from my pen, by way of advice, will be well received, as well as a ‘way mark’ to guide the ‘faithful’ in future. I was sorry to learn, by your remarks upon the resolutions of the ‘Twelve’ concerning your papers, which appeared not long since, that any of the saints abroad were more apt to patronize the common newspapers of the day, than yours: For the important reason, that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has the words of eternal life, and your paper, as it has hitherto done, must continue to publish such portions of them for the benefit of the saints, and the salvation of mankind, as wisdom shall, from time to time, direct.
Freedom is a sweet blessing; men have a right to take and read what papers they please: But do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? It certainly is no more than just to suppose that ‘charity begins at home,’ and if so, what must such as profess to be saints think, when they patronize the splendor of Babylon, and leave the virtue of Zion to linger for want of bread?
Beside which, if virtue is justified rather than vanity: the best of every thing, calculated to happify man, and dignify society, will, yea, must be in : and as the new commandment, given anciently was, to love one another; even so, the works of the saints, at home and abroad, will bear its own testimony; whether they love the brethren.
In all the world, the Times and Seasons]- is the only paper that virtually sustains, according to the forms of Scripture and prophecy, ‘apostles, prophets, evangelists and revelations—and what shall be said of him that is like the ‘Levite’ passes on the other side of the way. When we behold men who ‘have borne the heat and the burden of the day;’ struggled against the popular opinions of a vain world, the burlesque of a giddy throng; the vulgarity of a self-wise multitude, and the falsehoods of what may justly be termed the ‘civilized meanness of the age,’ and not lend a helping hand? The 25th chapter of Matthew contains the simple answer.
Now let me say once for all, like the psalmist of old: ‘How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.’
As the precious ointment upon the head, that run down upon Aaron’s beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments, as the dew of Hermon, that descended upon the mountains [p. 376] of Zion, is such unity—for there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forever more! Unity is power, and when the brethren as one man, sustain the ‘Times and Seasons,’ they sustain me, by giving a spread to the revelations, faith, works, history, and progress of the church.— The brethren who conduct the paper have been appointed to that important station because they are worthy and well qualified, and what a blessed sign of a faithful friend to God and man is it, to see the charity of a brother support his brethren as an evidence that he means to pass from death into life?
Many of the articles which appear in the Times and Seasons, are extracts of revelations, translations, or are the united voice of conferences, which like ‘apples of gold in baskets of silver,’ are treasures more than meet for the called, chosen, and faithful among the saints; and should be more than drink to those that hunger and thirst after righteousness. As is rising in glory and greatness, so shall I expect to see the Times and Seasons increase in circulation by the vigilance of the elders and saints—so as to be a herald of truth, and a standard of pure and undefiled religion. Finally, men and brethren, when you support my friends, you support me.
In the bonds of the new and , I am your humble servant,
JOSEPH SMITH. [p. 377]