My Home Teachers and I were chatting the other day about various subjects, and the conversation swung around to the achievement of having a black President, and how that had shattered a racial barrier in this country that needed to be shattered. And then the conversation turned to racial/gender/social barriers in the Church - which we agreed also need to be shattered. And I felt impressed very strongly that the day will come when we have a black Apostle. And/or asian. And/or hispanic.
The Church is a multi-racial, multi-cultural Church. Yet for its entire history, those at the top - the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve - have all been caucasian and almost exclusively American. But I think that "tradition" is going to change very rapidly - I think it has to change. A global, multi-racial church needs a leadership to match. If you're a child in Primary somewhere in Africa, you want to look up at the portraits of our leaders hanging on the wall and see someone who looks like you do. You need the validation - the vision that there are no barriers in God's Kingdom. That you you have equal opportunity in His Church.
We're already seeing a wider racial/ethnic mix in the Quorum of the Seventy, including many different europeans, blacks, hispanics, asians, Native American and more. That is the 'pool' from which the top quorums are likely to be filled (although not all Apostles come from the Quorum of Seventy). Currently, eight of the fifteen apostles are 80 years old or more. It is likely we will see a lot of change at the top in the near future, and I'm pretty confident at least one of the new Bretheren will not be a white man. I think that last racial barrier in the Church will be shattered; and we will all be better people for it.