Born January 18, 1798, in Dauphin, Pennsylvania, Whitmer moved with his parents' family to New York in 1809. On February 22, 1825, he married Ann Schott (1801–1866) in Fayette, New York. In June of 1829, Christian Whitmer, along with several of his brothers became a special witness of the Book of Mormon. He and Ann were baptized into the newly organized church on April 11, 1830. They subsequently moved to Jackson County, Missouri, where Whitmer was appointed a leading elder of the church.
By 1835, Whitmer and his family had relocated to Far West, Missouri, where Whitmer sat on the "High Council." He died there in 1835, leaving no children. His widow Ann eventually returned to Fayette.