David learned that High Priests were nowhere to be found in the New Testament church, or the New Covenant Book of Mormon church. Jesus was the last High Priest, who, in heaven, intercedes on our behalf.
The next grievous error which crept into the church was in ordaining high priests in June, 1831. This error was introduced at the instigation of Sidney Rigdon. The office of high priests was never spoken of, and never thought of being established in the church until Rigdon came in.
Remember that we had been preaching from August, 1829, until June, 1831—almost two years—and had baptized about 2,000 members into the Church of Christ, and had NOT ONE HIGH PRIEST.
During 1829, several times we were told by Brother Joseph that an elder was the highest office in the church. (David Whitmer, An Address to all Believers in Christ, p. 35)
The following occurred when the first high priests were ordained:
In another part of this pamphlet I devote a chapter to the subject of High Priests. I will remark here, that in that chapter I give you the solemn news—at least, news to many of you—that when the first high priests were ordained at Kirtland, Ohio, in June 1831, THE DEVIL CAUGHT AND BOUND TWO OF THE HIGH PRIESTS AS SOON AS THEY WERE ORDAINED.
Harvey Whitlock, who the devil caught, bound and twisted his face into demon-like shape, also John Murdock, whom the devil bound so he could not speak.
Thus showing that God’s displeasure was upon their works when they ordained the first high priests in the church.
None of the brethren understood this fact then. We still thought that anything Brother Joseph and Sidney Rigdon would do must be all right and according to the will and mind of the Lord.
THE WHOLE CHURCH ACQUIESCED in the error of ordaining high priests. Marvel not that we began to be led into error so soon; the children of Israel went into gross error in forty days, following Aaron while Moses was in the mount.