70 years ago today - Jan 17, 1954

David O. McKay tells a meeting of LDS missionaries in South Aftrica that he wanted to ordain an African-American in 1921 but that is not possible "until the Lord gives us another revelation changing this practice." McKay acknowledges two exceptions to this policy: one African-American (Elijah Abel) received the priesthood during Joseph Smith's presidency and one other (identity unknown and probably myth) received the endowment during Brigham Young's presidency. However, McKay liberalizes the church's policy by no longer requiring priesthood eligibility to depend on the South African's ability to trace all his ancestral lines to Europe.

[The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database ( http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase )]]

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