Did David start his “own church?”
I have told you in years past, you doubtless have authority to act IN your church. But the Lord has made it known to me that the CHURCH OF CHRIST is ANOTHER CHURCH, and that no man has authority to officiate in the ordinances thereof, without coming into it ACCORDING TO THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST (ss found in the New Testament and the New Covenant part of the Book of Mormon) (David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, p. 2).
A “Priesthood of All Believers” is what David believed in. In other words, Jesus said signs would follow those who believed “in his name.” And Moroni said if angels or miracles ceased to exist, it would be because of a lack of faith “in his name.” The “other church” David is referring to is the heavenly, where membership occurs the minute one receives Jesus Christ:
Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, THE SAME IS MY CHURCH. (D&C 10:67, Summer 1829)
He that will HEAR MY VOICE shall be my sheep and him shall ye receive into the church and him will I also receive for behold THIS IS MY CHURCH. (Mosiah 26:21-22)
Q. Did David start his “own church?”
He first received the Jesus of the Book of Mormon and was baptized in June of 1829 – a year before Joseph started his church.
Q. What church was he baptized into if Joseph’s church wasn’t started yet?
A. The CHURCH OF CHRIST.
That is the church he was a member of.
Q. Did he build a church building?
David let his light shine before the public, not hide it in a denomination or church building:
No man ever lived here, who had among our people, more friends and fewer enemies. Honest, conscientious and upright in all his dealings, just in his estimate of men, and open, manly and frank in his treatment of all, he made lasting friends who loved him to the end (Richmond Democrat, January 26, 1888 and February 2, 1888).
Q. So David never started his own spin-off of Joseph’s church?
He despised the church Joseph centered himself in, and esteemed the church described in the New Testament and the New Covenant part of the Book of Mormon.
David “re-established the Church in Richmond as the SIMPLE BROTHERHOOD it had been at the start” (Helen Van Cleave Blankmeyer, David Whitmer, Witness for God, Springfield, IL, 1955, p. 60).