These very early Latter-day Saint journals yield new information about William E. McLellin, one of the original members of the Quorum of the Twelve and long-time mystery to Mormon historians. Never before have we been able to know so much about the dynamic faith and Christian worship of rank-and-file Latter-day Saints in the first six years of the Church.
In the 1980s, the fabled McLellin journals were reportedly located by the infamous document forger, Mark Hofmann. They were later actually found in the holdings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which had acquired them in 1908. The complete text of the six journals sheds light on the religious attitudes in America in the 1830s.
This book received the Steven F. Christensen Best Documentary Award from the Mormon History Association, as well as the RLDS John Whitmer Historical Association Award.
the following is from a Mormon who visited the site:
I do not know if I told you about a great book I read this year. It was "The Journals of William McLellin". It was edited by Jan Shipps (a non-Mormon historian) and John Welch (a LDS apologist). The book read very well. I could not put it down.
In this book you see how a man is pulled in, gives his whole, then leaves due to a myriad of reasons. Parley Pratt's writings can attest to the info in this book.
McLellin's journal tells about him being exed while he was on a mission. He did not know he was exed and still brought in converts. Joseph Smith exed him w/o letting anyone else know it. It appears McLellin married a woman Joseph wanted for himself. After finding out that William had married her, Joseph exed him.
When the other Apostles found out about this, they could not believe what had happened and told Joseph Smith he was wrong. Needless to say William was back in good graces. When William got back he did not even realize anything had happened.
Nationally known historian Jan Shipps was the featured speaker as the Missouri Mormon Frontier Foundation unveiled a commemorative monument near the grave site of William E. McLellin, at the Woodlawn Cemetery, Independence, Missouri, on Sunday, 29 September 1996, at 2:00 p.m.
Lettering on the monument reads:
Interest in William E. McLellin, has increased dramatically as a result of the identification and publication of McLellin's missionary journals by Jan Shipps and John Welch, The Journals of William E. McLellin. [an error occurred while processing this directive]