The other night my wife and I were having dinner with another couple that are close friends. They had both recently received the results of DNA testing (23 and Me) and were anxious to share the results with us. The most starting revelation was that the wife had 8% African ancestry. She is lily white, and has no visual indication of African blood.
This got me to thinking about the LDS church’s priesthood/temple ban for people of African decent, and if it could be in place today with modern DNA testing. Or what would have happened if DNA testing had become widespread in the 1960’s?
These friends of ours have several sons and grandsons who are all active and hold the priesthood. How would the church have handled DNA testing? Would the ban have moved from a visual test to a blood test? What would the church have done if large prominent families in the hierarchy found out they had African blood?
While the pressure to change the “policy” was from the outside in 1978, I believe the pressure from within the church would have become insurmountable if DNA testing had become common while the ban was in place, and a “revelation” would have been forthright.