Question: Was William McClellin disappointed in the endowment at the Kirtland Temple?

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Question: Was William McClellin disappointed in the endowment at the Kirtland Temple?

William McLellin was disappointed in the endowment, because McLellin did not receive what he sought

McLellin was among the first apostles called in this dispensation, on 14 February 1835.[1] McLellin was present for the dedication, but was disappointed with it. He wrote, "We passed through it [the Kirtland endowment]; but I, in all candor say, we were most egregiosly mistaken or disappointed!"[2] McLellin went on to describe the reason for his disappointment:

In a few days I said to Joseph: "I am disappointed! I supposed—yet, I believed that during the endowment, I should get knowledge but I have not."

He said to me, "What do you want?"

I said, "I want to know for myself (italics in original)."[3]

There is no mention here of those who claim to receive knowledge being drunk—we learn only that McLellin did not receive what he sought. This was a recurring theme of McLellin's—he often mentioned the endowment and the fact that it was a disappointment, or did not achieve what was anticipated. For example:

Feb 1847
McLellin forms "Church of Christ" with Martin Harris and others. The new Church faults Joseph Smith for "Engineering the 'endowment' at the Kirtland Temple in March and April 1836, which failed to meet expectation because the Lord would not endow His spirit in those who had drifted so far from divine purpose."[4]
1870
"disappointed" because he did not know for himself.[5]
December 1878
"I told him [Joseph] I wanted knowledge and power from God; that as an Apostle I might go forth to the nationis of the earth, and preach to them in their own lip the pure gospel of the Lord."[6]
1880
"I don't believe, in the attempted endowment in the Temple in Kirtland in 1836. It was an entire failure."[7]
1880
"I do not believe in the authority that dedicated Zion or the Temple in Kirtland. There was no power from God shown forth in those pretended dedications; as was seen and known when Solomon's Temple was dedicated in Jerusalem. If ceremony and nothing but form was seen in Joseph's dedications then we are prepared to say they were not of God; but only manism and nothing more.[8]

Notes

  1. Larry C. Porter, "The Odyssey of William Earl McLellin: Man of Diversity, 1806–86," in The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831–1836, edited by Jan Shipps and John W. Welch (Urbana: Brigham Young University Studies and University of Illinois Press, 1994), 314. ISBN 0842523162.
  2. William E. McLellin in Saints' Herald 17 (15 September 1870): 554; cited in Porter, "Man of Diversity," 320.
  3. McLellin, Saints Herald (15 September 1870): 554.
  4. Richard P. Howard, "Mormonism's Stormy Petrel," in Stan Larson and Samuel J. Passey (editors), The William E. McLellin Papers 1854–1880 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 2007), 19. ISBN 1560851449. Also available in Richard P. Howard, "William E. McLellin: 'Mormonism's Stormy Petrel'," in Differing Visions: Dissenters in Mormon History, edited by Roger D. Launius and Linda Thatcher, (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1994), 76–97. ISBN 0252067312.
  5. McLellin, Saints Herald (15 September 1870): 554.
  6. McLellin to John L. Traughber, 14 December 1878, in Stan Larson and Samuel J. Passey (editors), The William E. McLellin Papers 1854–1880 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 2007), 512. ISBN 1560851449.
  7. McLellin, "Reasons Why I am Not A Mormon, ca. 1880 (italics in original); cited in Stan Larson and Samuel J. Passey (editors), The William E. McLellin Papers 1854–1880 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 2007), 383. ISBN 1560851449.
  8. McLellin, "Reasons Why I am Not A Mormon, ca. 1880 (italics in original); cited in McLellin Papers, 390.