BETA

Excerpts from journal and writings of William E. McLellin, early apostle

"Commenced the 18th of July 1831

"At this time I was living in Paris, Illinois. Teaching school -"This morning I heard very early that two men (who said they were traveling to Zion, which they said was in upper Missouri. They had also a book with them which they said was a Revelation from God, calling it the book of Mormon) were to preach 2 1/2 miles below Paris. . . . Their names were Harvey Whitlock and David Whitmer. The people were assembled in a beautiful sugartree grove. Mr. Whitlock arose and gave some particulars respecting the book and some reasons why he believes it to be a divine revelation. Spoke some of the signs of the times. Then he expounded the gospel [with moreT plainness than I ever heard in my life, which astonished me. D. Whitmer then arose and bore testimony to having seen an Holy Angel who had made known the truth of the record to him. All these strange things I pondered in my heart. I invited them to go and preach in Paris, which they did next day. . . . I made many inquiries and had much conversation with them. Thence I went with them to their appointment, it being Sunday. A large congregation attended. And from the solemnity which attended these men in giving their testimony and the plainness of the truths which they declared I was induced to believe something in their mission. People seemed to be anxious for them to stay longer. They told me that Joseph Smith, the man who translated the book, and a number of others had gone to Jackson Co. Mo. and if I would go there I could see them. They said also that Smith was a prophet. Finally I told them if they would stay one week longer that I would go with them. They agreed to stay. Then H. W. arose and spoke about three hours. I never heard such preaching in all my life. The glory of God seemed to encircle the man and the wisdom of God to be displayed in his discourse. Some of the people seemed to be much affected. The meeting was closed by a few observations of D. W. A solemn testimony also of the truths which they had just heard." - Journal, pages 1-2.

"August 18 [1831]. I rose and paid 37 cents and rode on 10 miles to Independence - Jackson Co. I stopped and took breakfast and fed my horse and rested about 5 hours in which time I conversed with a number in the village about those people that they called Mormonites. They thought they were generally a very honest people but very much deluded by Smith and others. Notwithstanding all I felt anxious to see them and examine for myself. I bought Brown's Concordance for 75 cents. I then started but before I got out of the village I met with David Whitmer & Martin Harris who accompanied me about 10 miles further westward where I found The Bishop E. Partridge and his council Isaac Morley and John Corrill with several other Elders and a number of private members both male and female. I spent the evening with them and had very agreeable conversation."

"Friday 19th. I rose early, talked much with those people: Saw Love, Peace, harmony and Humility abounding among them. A rare circumstance occurred while attending family prayer which convinced me that the Elders had the power of discerning spirits. It affected me so that my weakness was manifest. I took Hiram the brother of Joseph and we went into the woods and set down and talked together about 4 hours. I inquired into the particulars of the coming forth of the record, of the rise of the church and of its progress and upon the testimonies given. . . . This evening I went to one of their prayer meetings. Here I saw the manner of their worship, heard them converse freely upon the things of religion. After meeting I returned to Mr. J. Lewis' and stayed all night."

"Saturday, the 20th. I rose early and betook myself to earnest prayer to God to direct me into truth, and from all the light that I could gain by examinations, searches and researches I was bound as an honest man to acknowledge the truth and validity of the book of Mormon and also that I had found the people of the Lord. The Living Church of Christ. Consequently as soon as we took breakfast I told Elder H. Smith that I wanted him to baptize me because I wanted to live among a people who were based upon pure principles and actuated by the Spirit of the Living God. I went with the Elders present to the water and was immersed according to the commandment of Jesus Christ by H. S. and was confirmed by the water's edge by the laying on of hands. We returned to brother Lewis.'

"I felt very happy, calm and pleasant during the day until evening, then the Enemy of all righteousness made a mighty struggle to persuade me that I was deceived until it seemed to me sometimes that horror would overwhelm me. I did not doubt the truth of the things which I had embraced, but my fears were respecting my own salvation. The time for evening prayer came, and I was glad. I told my brethren that I felt bad and they prayed for me. Bro. N. Knight after arising from prayer came and by the spirit of God was enabled to tell me the very secrets of my heart and in a degree to chase darkness from my mind." - Journal, pages 5-7.

"Sunday [Aug.T 21st [1831T]

". . . We assembled at a schoolhouse . . . and had a prayer meeting. . . . Instead of shouting, screaming, jumping or shaking of hands in confusion, Peace, order, harmony and the Spirit of God seemed to cheer every heart, warm every bosom and animate every tongue. I really felt happy that I had seen the day that I could meet with such a people and worship God in the beauty of Holiness, For I saw more beauty in Christianity now than I ever had seen before." - Journal, page 7.

"Wednesday [Aug.] 24th [1831]

". . . For the first time I went to the grove and made it a subject of solemn prayer respecting my ordination to the ministry. when I arose from prayer this question suggested itself to my mind "What is your motive?" And this answer seemed to be whispered into my heart. (viz) The glory of God, The salvation of my own soul and The welfare of the human Family. I returned to the house perfectly resigned to the will of God and seated myself in conference with my brethren, which was opened by prayer, and after doing some church business and partaking of the Lord's supper, they called on me to know if I had any thing to offer. I arose and told them that I was resigned to the will of God in the matter and I believed that God will make my duty known to them if they would inquire. I then sat down. Brother H. S. [Hyrum SmithT immediately arose & said he had received a witness of the Spirit that I should be ordained an Elder. This agreed with the minds of all present and Elder H. Smith and Bishop E. Partridge ordained me to be an Elder in the Church of Christ." - Journal, pages 8-9.

"Thursday [Sept.] 15th [1831T] "We started on, though I was quite sick. About noon I felt so much worse that I lit from my horse in the prairie and lay down on my great coat and blanket and gave up to shake again. But immediately I began to think that God had not called me to proclaim the `Gospel' and then would suffer me to be sick because I had to pass through an unhealthy country in the sickly season. I opened my mind to bro. H. We immediately bowed before the Lord and with all the faith which we had, we opened our heart to him. bro. H. arose and laid his hands upon me. But marvelous for me to relate that I was instantly healed And arose and pursued my journey in health with vigour." - Journal, pages 12-13.

"Sunday [Sept.] 18th [1831]

". . . I arose and attempted to preach, but could not, I had no animation in it, no memory, and in truth I had lost the Spirit of God. Hence I was confounded. I sat down and told bro. H. to preach for I could not. He, although he had laboured so hard during the day, yet he preached. Monday morning, I went into the woods, and bowed before the Lord and cried and prayed & prayed until I found out what was the matter. One thing, it was to show me, my own weakness, and that It was not me who had preached so many great sermons, but that the Lord had given me Light & Liberty. And I found too by close examination that my [confounding of a minister] so completely the day before had tended to lift me up. This was the whole secret" - Journal, pages 15-16.

"Wednesday [Dec.] 21st [1831]

"My cold increased and my breath and lungs became so exceeding sore I was cast down upon my bed and mostly confined until

"Tuesday [Dec.T 27th] "Brothers Joseph, Hyrum, Reynolds & Lyman visited me and

"Wednesday [Dec.T 28th] "In the morning Brother Joseph came to my bedside and laid his hands upon me and prayed for me and I was healed so that I got up and eat breakfast and attended an appointment made for then. The brethren spoke. I then arose and was enabled to speak about half an hour." - Journal (unnumbered page)

"Friday [March] 22nd [1833]

"This morning, friend Dodson came in sat down and reasoned with us a while. Br. Parley read Alma's and Amulek's teaching and suffering in Moronihah to him and then the spirit fell on us so that Br. Parley was melted into tears and his words were powerful even unto the cutting of those to the heart who were present and I was filled so that I walked through the room praising and blessing the name of the Lord and testifying to his word even the book of Mormon until Sister Russel spoke out and said that she believed it' - We left our once strong opposer in tears, so affected that he did not utter farewell but shaking us warmly by the hand we parted. Friend Russel accompanying us out, insisting that we should return, saying thathis house should be our home.' " - Journal, pages 32-33

"Wednesday [Aug.] 20, [1834]

"I attended the appointment and after the meeting was opened I gave them a dissertation of about an hour's length on the 12th Chapter of 1 Corinthians and closed with an oration in the gift of tongues. The effect was tremendous on the congregation both believing and unbelieving. Bro. H. Hubbard manifested also by speaking that he had received the gift of tongues which I interpreted for him." - Journal, page 4

"Friday eve [Oct. 14, 1834] "The weather was inclement, cold and rainy, only a few turned out. Bro. I. preached to them from Gal. 1:6-10 about an hour. It was a fine discourse but he never mentioned the book of Mormon once." - Journal, page 21.

"Wednesday [Oct.] 19, [1834]

"We returned through the rain and mud to Kirtland. And I found a letter from (my dear) little Emiline. It contained much that filled me with sorrow because of their afflictions. I read it to bro. Joseph and his heart was much affected because of the affliction of Zion. And he called a few of the most faithful High Priests together and we had a solemn meeting and prayer that God might spare the innocent in Zion and hasten their deliverance. We had a very affecting time indeed. The brethren also while They were together chose Joseph, Sidney, Frederick and Oliver as trustees of the high school in Kirtland and they engaged me for $18 per month to assist in instructing in said school." -Journal, page 22.

"Sunday [April] 24, [1836]

"Brother N. W. circulated an appointment for me for two o'clock in the afternoon and I addressed a small congregation in the courthouse for about one hour and a quarter - and as they had never heard one of our Elders before, I gave them a history of the work and the design of it as far as I was enabled to in one discourse. After I closed I was shaken very heartily by the hand and told that I had preached a very excellent discourse, if I had only left out the new record. I told them that that was all the glory of it." - Journal, (unnumbered page)

McLellin wrote the following in 1878, many years after his apostasy. It reflects his rejection of Church doctrine pertaining to the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood. The reference in the title to "any click [cliqueT or party" likely refers to the Church as well as to the several off-shoot groups that emerged following the martyrdom of Joseph Smith.

"I never saw such an amount of egregious folly as is manifest in trying to introduce a dead priesthood into the church of Christ and then continue in all the parties of L. D. Saintism. It's a perfect impossibility that the old law priesthood should be revived into existence again. And then a priest of that order would be bound to administer the laws of Moses, but not the gospel of Jesus. He would only know the law, but would not know the gospel of Christ, hence could not administer it. Again I say O the folly of otherwise good men!!" - Some of My Thoughts in 1878 - Why I Am Not an L.D. Saint of any Click or Party, (unnumbered page)