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Times and Seasons

The Times and Seasons was the periodical of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints published in Nauvoo, Illinois, from November 1839 until February 1846. During that time, the editorship of the Times and Seasons changed hands on several occasions. Each issue consisted of 16 pages. During the first year (Volume 1) it was published once a month, and twice a month thereafter. The first editors of the paper were Ebenezer Robinson and Don Carlos Smith (one of Joseph Smith Jr.ΓÇÖs younger brothers). Don Carlos became sole proprietor in December of 1840. After the sudden death of Don Carlos on August 7, 1841, Ebenezer Robinson returned to take over the editorship of the Times and Seasons (Times and Seasons 2:503). In late 1841 the Twelve Apostles, headed by Brigham Young, expressed their disapproval of the manner in which the Times and Seasons was conducted. They voted to remove Ebenezer Robinson from his position as editor, and appoint Willard Richards in his place. It was finally decided that Joseph Smith Jr. would be the chief editor of the paper, assisted by John Taylor (Church History 2:552-557; see also Times and Seasons 3:729). RobinsonΓÇÖs valedictory statement in his last issue (February 15, 1842) is interesting, as it gives the early history of the Times and Seasons, and indicates that as long as the paper would be under the supervision of Joseph Smith "all things will go right" (Times and Seasons 3:696). The first issue of the Times and Seasons edited by Joseph Smith Jr. was March 1, 1842. This issue contains the so-called "Wentworth letter" to John Wentworth, editor of the Chicago Democrat, telling of JosephΓÇÖs early revelatory experiences (Times and Seasons 3:706-710). (Note: there is a typo on page 710 of this issue which incorrectly gives the date as March 15, 1842. A careful review of Volume 3, pages 702-735, shows that the date should have been March 1.) Joseph Smith continued as editor throughout the 3rd volume, during which his personal history began to be published as a series of articles in the Times and Seasons. Due to the great burden of activity which he carried, Joseph turned over the paper to Apostle John Taylor, beginning with Volume 4 in November, 1842 (Times and Seasons 4:8). Apostle Taylor continued as editor for the remainder of the Times and Seasons. He was assisted by Willard Richards until early in 1845. The last issue of the Times and Seasons was on February 15, 1846, after which the exodus of saints from Nauvoo began.

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