The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831–1836

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For years, William E. McLellin (1806–1883) has been a mystery to Mormon historians. Converted in 1831, he served missions with Hyrum Smith, Samuel Smith, Parley Pratt, and others. He was also ordained one of the twelve original Latter-day Saint Apostles in 1835. Yet seeds of doubt and difficulty were already evident in his brief period of excommunication in 1832 and in various points of tension and later conflict with Church leaders.

In the early 1980s, the fabled McLellin journals were reportedly located by the infamous document forger, Mark Hofmann. Little did anyone know that they were soon to be found in the holdings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which had acquired the journals in 1908.

These six detailed and fascinating journals, written from 1831 to 1836 during McLellin’s most faithful years, now shed new light on the nature of early Mormon worship and doctrine, as well as on religious attitudes in America in the 1830s. They document his daily travels, meetings, preachings, healings, sufferings, and feelings. They offer many clues toward solving the mystery of McLellin in early Mormon history.

McLellin died in Independence, Missouri, in 1883. Although no longer affiliated with any LDS church or party, he held firm to his testimony of the Book of Mormon and to the events he experienced and reported in these remarkable journals.

 

“McLellin’s unusually full and literate journals open to view another side of Mormonism that was flourishing in the tiny hamlets and small towns of America.”

— Jan Shipps

“In early Mormon documents like McLellin’s journals, one finds all of the makings of a modern Acts of the Apostles.”

— John W. Welch

 

An essential source for anyone interested in the beginnings of Mormonism and the religious history of America.

Copublished by the University of Illinois Press and BYU Studies, with permission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

For years, William E. McLellin (1806–1883) has been a mystery to Mormon historians. Converted in 1831, he served missions with Hyrum Smith, Samuel Smith, Parley Pratt, and others. He was also ordained one of the twelve original Latter-day Saint Apostles in 1835. Yet seeds of doubt and difficulty were already evident in his brief period of excommunication in 1832 and in various points of tension and later conflict with Church leaders.

In the early 1980s, the fabled McLellin journals were reportedly located by the infamous document forger, Mark Hofmann. Little did anyone know that they were soon to be found in the holdings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which had acquired the journals in 1908.

These six detailed and fascinating journals, written from 1831 to 1836 during McLellin’s most faithful years, now shed new light on the nature of early Mormon worship and doctrine, as well as on religious attitudes in America in the 1830s. They document his daily travels, meetings, preachings, healings, sufferings, and feelings. They offer many clues toward solving the mystery of McLellin in early Mormon history.

McLellin died in Independence, Missouri, in 1883. Although no longer affiliated with any LDS church or party, he held firm to his testimony of the Book of Mormon and to the events he experienced and reported in these remarkable journals.

 

“McLellin’s unusually full and literate journals open to view another side of Mormonism that was flourishing in the tiny hamlets and small towns of America.”

— Jan Shipps

“In early Mormon documents like McLellin’s journals, one finds all of the makings of a modern Acts of the Apostles.”

— John W. Welch

 

An essential source for anyone interested in the beginnings of Mormonism and the religious history of America.

Copublished by the University of Illinois Press and BYU Studies, with permission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Additional information

Weight 44.909519 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 in
Pages

520

Binding

Paperback