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McLellin, William E. (William Earl)

 Person

Biographical History

William E. McLellin (1806-1883) was an early Mormon apostle.

William E. McLellin was born January 18, 1806 in Smith County, Tennessee to parents Charles McLellin and Sarah (a Cherokee Indian). In 1829, he married Cynthia Ann, but she died by the summer of 1831. On August 20, 1831, he was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Hyrum Smith. He married Emeline Miller in 1832 at Portage County, Ohio, and they had six children together. Together they moved to Independence, Missouri in 1832. Later that year in December, McLellin was excommunicated for the first time. In 1833, with membership reinstated, he left his family to serve missions in Missouri and Illinois with Parley P. Pratt. He and his family also fled from persecution in Jackson County into Clay County, Missouri. McLellin moved to Ohio where he was appointed as an instructor for the Kirtland School on November 19, 1834.

He was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on February 15, 1835. Soon after he was disfellowshipped, but had his membership reinstated in 1835. A year later he wrote a letter withdrawing his membership from the Church, but in 1837 was sustained to Quorum of the Twelve again. He was finally excommunicated in 1838 and broke with all organized religion in 1869. In 1837, he was a commissioned captain in the Missouri State Militia. Throughout his life he associated with splinter groups of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint and unsuccessfully tried to start one of his own. Though disillusioned with Joseph Smith and disbelieving in his role as a prophet of God, McLellin's writings show that he maintained faith and testimony in The Book of Mormon and other Latter-day Saint teachings throughout his life.

He moved back to Independence, Missouri in 1870 and died there in 1883.

Citation

The journals of William E. McLellin ... c1994: CIP t.p. (William E. McLellin) data sheet (William Earl McLellin)

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1992: v. 4 p. 1642 (McLellin, William E.; apostle, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, February 15, 1835; excommunicated May 11, 1838; b. Jan 18, 1806, Smith County, Tennessee; d. April 24, 1883, Independence, Missouri; educator)

Wikipedia, website viewed 3 May 2012 (William E. M'Lellin; William Earl M'Lellin; b. January 18, 1806, Smith County, Tennessee; d. April 24, 1853, Independence, Missouri; Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, February 15, 1835-May 11, 1838; Excommuncated for apostasy)

UPB files, Jan. 27, 2014 (interest in religion and theology; disbelief in Joseph Smith; disillusionment with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an institution; belief in doctrines of Church, especially Book of Mormon)

Joseph Smith Papers website, January 27,2014 (b.1806 in Smith County, TN and d.1883 in Independence, MO; son of Charles McLellin and Sarah who was Cherokee; Married Cynthia Ann, 1829, who died summer 1831; baptized on August 20, 1831 by Hyrum Smith; married Emeline Miller in 1832 at Portage Country, Ohio; they had six children; moved to Independence in 1832; excommunicated December 1832 and for the last time in 1838; 1833 had membership reinstated, served mission in Missouri and Illinois with Parley Pratt; fled persecution from Jackson County to Clay County; moved to Ohio and became instructor for Kirtland School on Nov. 19, 1834; ordained member of the Quorum of the Twelve on February 15, 1835; disfellowshipped and reinstated, 1835; withdrew membership from church; 1837 sustained to Quorum again; broke with organized religion in 1869; commissioned captain of Missouri State Militia in 1837; associated with splinter groups; tried to start own church) http://josephsmithpapers.org/person/william-e-mclellin

William E. McLellin's Testimony of the Book of Mormon, January 27, 2014: https://byustudies.byu.edu/showtitle.aspx?title=4922 (McLellin grew disillusioned with Joseph Smith; kept testimony of Book of Mormon throughout life; progressed to top leadership positions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints despite criticisms of them)

Doctrine and Covenants Section 66, January 27, 2014: http://classic.scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/66 (revelation through Joseph Smith to William E. McLellin; October 1831)

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

William E. McLellin and Orson Hyde meeting minutes of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 3900
Abstract The William E. McLellin and Orson Hyde meeting minutes of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is a typed copy of the proceedings that occurred in meetings of 1835.
Dates: 1835

William E. McLellin diaries

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS 2201
Scope and Contents This collection, containing photocopies and typescripts of the journals of William E. McLellin, has been organized chronologically into folders.
Dates: 1831-1836

William E. McLellin journal

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8360
Scope and Contents Collection contains digital copies and transcriptions of William E. McLellin's original journal of 1871-1872, written after McLellin broke with all organized religion in 1869. It contains about 200 pages of his commentary on scripture and religious doctrines (a mixture of Mormon doctrinal theology, personal opinion, and traditional Christian theology). The style of this journal and the occasional address McLellin uses suggest he may have been writing this journal for publication.
Dates: 1871-1872