Doctrine and Covenants 66: William E. McClellin—"You Are Clean, but Not All"

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 78–79


William E. McLellin (sometimes spelled M’Lellin) asked the Prophet Joseph Smith for a revelation that would help him know how to better live the gospel. As you studyDoctrine and Covenants 66, think about how Brother McLellin might have felt about this revelation. Which parts are comforting and encouraging? Which parts might have been troubling?

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 66

Iniquities(v. 1)Sins 
Proclaim(v. 5)Declare, teach 
Tarry(v. 6)Stay, delay 
Cumbered(v. 10)Burdened, weighed down 

Doctrine and Covenants 66—William E. McLellin

William McLellin was living in Paris, Illinois, when he heard the message of the restored gospel from Harvey Whitlock and David Whitmer. He closed his school of 30–40 students and left for Independence, Missouri. He was baptized by Hyrum Smith on August 20, 1831. He was excommunicated from the Church in 1838 for apostasy.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 66.

Activity A iconFind an Example

Doctrine and Covenants 66contains encouraging promises to William E. McLellin, as well as words of correction and warning.

  1. 1.

    In your notebook, write an example of a promise and an example of correction in this revelation. Give the verse numbers where you found them.

  2. 2.

    How is this revelation similar to a patriarchal blessing we might receive today?

  3. 3.

    ReadJacob 4:7andEther 12:27along withDoctrine and Covenants 66:3. From what you learn in those verses, why did the Lord tell Brother McLellin what was “not pleasing” in his life when he went to the Lord for counsel? (Consider writingJacob 4:7andEther 12:27as cross-references in the margin next toD&C 66:3; note thatJacob 4:7is in a footnote toD&C 66:3.)

    Lost sheep

    If we come unto Jesus Christ, He will help us repent (see D&C 66:3).