Friday, April 1, 2016

Original Apostle: William E. McLellin

This is a character in church history that I really have never heard of before.  However I should have.  D&C 66 was written for him.  In fact this section was a test McLellin had devised for the prophet.  He came with five questions, and expected the prophet to answer them.  He asked the prophet to tell him God's desires for himself.  And section 66 is the response.  He had five questions in mind, and all five of his questions were answered to his satisfaction.  McLellin took this as a divine witness of Joseph Smith as a prophet.  Although the Lord was pleased with McLellin for embracing the gospel, there are some words of warning in the section as well.  "Verily I say unto you, my servant William, that you are clean, but not all; repent, therefore, of those things which are not pleasing in my sight, saith the Lord, for the Lord will show them unto you." . . .  Seek not to be cumbered. Forsake all unrighteousness. Commit not adultery—a temptation with which thou hast been troubled."  The Lord called him on a mission at this time.  He was to travel with the prophet's brother Samuel Smith.  He also told him that he would be able to heal the sick by the laying on of hands.
When the first quorum of twelve apostles was established, McLellin was one of the members.  
McLellin is mentioned in more sections.  Another mission is mentioned in section 76.  In section 90 the Lord says, "I am not well pleased with many things; and I am not well pleased with my servant William E. McLellin."  McLellin would fall away from the church, and actually persecuted the Saints in Missouri.  
Even though he fell away from and persecuted the church McLellin did not deny his testimony of the Book of Mormon nor his experience of knowing Joseph was a prophet of God.  However he contended Joseph was a fallen prophet.  

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