Hugh W. Nibley concludes that the Priesthood restriction has its origin with God.

Hugh W. Nibley

Hugh W. Nibley, "The Best Possible Test." Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 8, no. 1 (Spring 1973): 77

Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought
Hugh W. Nibley, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought
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So now the whole issue boils down to asking whether it is really God and not man who has ordered this thing. Members and non-members alike who up until now have laughed at the thought of asking such a question are now suddenly exercised by it.. And so it gives me great pleasure to be in a position to answer the question with an unequivocal affirmative: it is indeed the Lord's doing. How do I know it? By revelation—which I am in no position to bestow upon others; this goes only for myself. And that makes the "negro question" as unreal as the "Mormon Question" which kept the nation in an uproar for many years. Left to myself, the last thing in the world I would do would be to advocate polygamy or impose any limitations whatever on the Negro—and I have often heard the Brethren express themselves to the same effect. When the Lord told Joseph Smith that he couldn't always tell his friends form his enemies, what was left for him to do? ". . . therefore I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter" (D.&C. 10:37). Granted that this puts us, as it put the Prophet, in an uncomfortable and even dangerous position, still it provides the best possible test for our faith, our hope, and above all our charity.
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