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(816) 846-0123

 
COLLECTING SINCE 1981, BUT HALF OF ALL NEW DISCOVERIES IN
MORMON HISTORY HAVE COME THROUGH MY HANDS SINCE 1991

 

Times and Seasons


The Times and Seasons was the Church-owned newspaper printed by Joseph
Smith in frontier Nauvoo, Illinois from 1839-1846, on the banks of the
Mississippi. The Smith print shop used a press and type unearthed in
the front yard of a Saint in Missouri, who hid it from persecutors
when the Mormons surrendered.

This is the most monumental printed work of the early church,
comprising over two thousand pages on soft cotton paper, entirely from
moveable lead type pieces. Much of this was edited, printed, and
published personally by the Prophet Joseph Smith, and therefore this
very copy laid in his gaze, probably went through his hands, and
certainly had his approval. Other intermittent editors and publishers
included Joseph Smith’s brother, Don Carlos Smith, who died exhausted
while editor; and John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff, two future church
presidents developing their administrative talents. The book was
doubtless sold either from the Smith print shop or from the Prophet’s
general store.

Filling the pages were the outdoor discourses of the Prophet and other
authorities, spirit-filled conference minutes, special notices,
revelations, Nauvoo temple announcements, new ordinance and endowment
restorations, implementations of the modern tithing system, priesthood
developments, the organization of the first “Relief Society,” sacred
hymns and poems, emigration news and instructions, the first completed
endowments, and reports from early missionaries introducing the new
Book of Mormon. Here, you can read firsthand reports of the original
baptisms for the dead, or descriptions for the rising Nauvoo temple,
or the surprise orders to move to the Rocky Mountains, and feel
exactly as the early Saints did when they first read the news.

Virtually every revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants, Sections
1-105, is printed somewhere in the Times and Seasons, making this a
book of scripture as much as history. Nine of those revelations are
printed in the Times and Seasons as their place of first publication,
making this essentially a first edition of scripture.

Section 2 Times and Seasons, 15 April 1842
Section 13 Times and Seasons, 1 August 1842
Section 77 Times and Seasons, 1 August 1844
Section 121 Times and Seasons, May and July 1840
Section 122 Times and Seasons, July 1840
Section 123 Times and Seasons, July 1840
Section 124 Times and Seasons, 1 June 1841
Section 127 Times and Seasons, 15 September 1842
Section 128 Times and Seasons, 1 October 1842

Section 76 is printed as a poetic variant, not published elsewhere,
and the only poetry ever written by Joseph Smith (Times and Seasons, 1
February 1843).

Most of the later Pearl of Great Price appears in the Times and
Seasons for the first time anywhere. In fact, the Pearl of Great
Price was first introduced as an 1851 pamphlet compilation of extracts
from the Times and Seasons. This is the first publication of Joseph
Smith’s official account of his first vision, with his descriptions of
the personages of God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, and other
events associated with his founding the church. This is also the
origination of the “Articles of Faith,” which first appeared here as
the “Wentworth Letter” (Times and Seasons, 1 March 1842). Further,
this is the first printing of the translated “Book of Moses” (Times
and Seasons, 16 January 1843 and 1 November 1840).

The Book of Abraham translation also appeared first in the Times and
Seasons, starting with 1 March 1842, and includes all three wood-cut
facsimiles from the ancient papyrus, one of which is a complicated
fold-out that did not appear or did not survive in most copies (Times
and Seasons 15 March 1842).

The whole documentary “History of Joseph Smith,” was being serialized
in the Times and Seasons, completed from his birth through August 1834
(starting with Times and Seasons, 15 March 1842). The earliest
writings, epistles, and acts of the Latter-day apostles are included
in the Times and Seasons, including:

Orson Hyde
Heber C. Kimball
John E. Page
Parley P. Pratt
Orson Pratt
Willard Richards
William Smith
George A. Smith
John Taylor
Lyman Wight
Wilford Wooduff
Brigham Young

This is a newspaper that collectors usually find only one issue at a
time, faced with the impossible task of assembling every newspaper
issued over a period of six years, and never locating most of those
from the first three volumes. All volumes of this newspaper are rare,
however, Volume One and Two are excessively rare. Volume Three is
exceptionally rare especially with the complete fold-out wood-cut
facsimile of the ancient Book of Abraham. Volumes Four, Five and Six
are each successively less rare, as the size of the church grew
rapidly and the printers were increasing the number of newspaper
copies produced with each issue.

This is one of only two complete sets to come on the market in ten
years, and the only one with the original fold-out Book of Abraham
wood-cut. This may be the only one in private hands with no missing
pages and no defective pages. Certainly, it is the copy with the
brightest and most pristine pages; and was chosen as the best copy
from which to prepare past reprints. This copy once belonged to Peter
Crawley, who still says that this is the most essential Mormon
historical book he ever owned.

 

 

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