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The younger Elijah Abel also received the Melchizedek priesthood and was ordained to the office of elder on September 29, 1935.

As the church began expanding in areas of the world that were not so racially segregated, the church began having problems distinguishing who had black ancestry.

Several black men received the priesthood after the racial restriction policy was put in place, including Elijah Abel's son Enoch Abel, who was ordained an elder on November 10, 1900.

Enoch's son and Elijah Abel's grandson—who was also named Elijah Abel—received the Aaronic priesthood and was ordained to the office of priest on July 5, 1934.

In Brazil, which had a high proportion of people with mixed ancestry, LDS officials advised missionaries in the 1920s to avoid teaching people who appeared to have black ancestry, advising them to look for relatives of the investigators if they were not sure about their racial heritage.

Despite the precautions, by the 1940s and 1950s some people with African ancestry had unwittingly been given the priesthood, which prompted an emphasis on missionaries scrutinizing people's appearances for hints of black ancestry and an order to avoid teaching those who did not meet the "one-drop rule" criteria.

The racial restriction policy was applied to black Africans, persons of black African descent, and any one with mixed race that included any black African ancestry.

The policy was not applied to Native Americans, Hispanics, Melanesians, or Polynesians.

Latter Day Saints believe that those marriages sealed in Mormon temples can become celestial marriages that bind the family together forever, whereas those marriages that are not sealed are terminated upon death.

Brigham Young taught that black men would not receive the priesthood until "all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the priesthood and the keys thereof".

The priesthood restriction was particularly limiting, because the LDS Church has a lay priesthood and all worthy male members may receive the priesthood if they choose to do so.

In 1978, the church's First Presidency declared in a statement known as "Official Declaration 2" that the ban had been lifted as a result of a revelation from God.

In December 2013, the LDS Church published an essay approved by the First Presidency that disavowed most race-based explanations for the past priesthood restriction and denounced racism.

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He was later given a card designating him as an "Honorary High Priest".

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