One can state his or her opinion on this matter, but the truth is, whatever the answer is, we should not believe it or disbelieve it due to our sensibilities, but seek the truth.
I don't know why blacks were denied the priesthood for so many years. I also don't let it bother me. The Lord can grant me His priesthood or not as He sees fit. But concerning the 1978 revelation, if I didn't believe it to be a revelation, I wouldn't be a member of the church.
I've heard the blacks descended from Cain theory for years, but have never really cared one way or the other who anyone is descended from. We know that some were more valient than others, and it's almost easy to guess who the less valient ones may have been, and it has nothing to do with the color of their skin. Some folks just seem to be born bad, despite the best treatment and upbringing possible. Others seem to be born to excel (like Hugh Nibley -- everyone in his family knew he was gifted). I've known white folks raised in good homes who have been vipers, and black folks born into bad homes who were some of the greatest people I've ever seen. The viper might have been descended from the apostle Peter himself, and the black man may have been descended from Cain, Hannibal, or both. It doesn't matter.
Nowhere are we told to judge people via their lineage or by the color of their skin.
The 1978 revelation, interestingly, never talked about a reversal of doctrine, but simply that that time had come when all men should have the blessings of the priesthood. That shouldn't be too surprising as God is One who works via dispensations, where often the first becomes last and the last becomes first.
One should also not become angry at someone else for their beliefs. If someone believes something you don't, understand why that person believes the way they do and talk it out. The elder who hadn't given it much thought but believed blacks may not have been valient probably got that notion from someone else who, in turn, got it from someone even further up. Brigham Young himself may have believed it, but lots of people believed stupid things back then, even prophets.
Edited by Cold Steel, 01 November 2006 - 10:34 PM.