Converts to Joseph Smith's 1820s restoration of primitive Christianity were attracted to the non-hierarchical nature of the movement. It was precisely because there were no priests, ordinances, or dogma that people were attracted to him. His intent was that everyone should be a prophet; anyone who felt called was invited to minister freely without formal office.
It wasn't until seven years later that Latter-day Saints first learned of priesthood authority restored by angels or of the need for a hierarchy mirroring the Pauline model That same year a Quorum of Twelve Apostles was organized, but their jurisdiction was limited to areas outside established stakes (dioceses), which were still led by both a president and bishop.
At Smith's martyrdom the church had five leading quorums of authority. The obvious successor to Smith, Illinois stake president William Marks, opposed the secret rites of polygamy, anointing, endowment, and clandestine political activity. The Council of Fifty had secretly ordained Smith King on Earth and sent ambassadors overseas to form alliances against the United States.
To preserve Smith's legacy in areas most church members knew nothing about, Brigham Young moved decisively to eliminate contenders for the presidency. He also continued the hierarchical stratification that exists today.