| Picture in your mind the following scenario:
A BYU professor writes a controversial article on a sensitive subject. His superior calls him in to tell him not to publish the piece because of the provocative and sensitive nature of the topic. Let's say it is Adam-God, or polygamy. The professor asks his chairman, "Have you even read my article?" The chairman replies, "No, but one of the Twelve contacted me and told me to instruct you not to publish this article. The subject matter is too sensitive, and it may drive people away from the Church." The professor, dumbfounded by the unjust and unscholarly way his good work has been summarily dismissed without any serious engagement, returns to his office to write his letter of resignation.
Imagine, now, how critics and apologists would likely react to this story. Critics would be outraged that this scholar, working at a university, and doing honest historical scholarship, should be muzzled by an apostle, who probably hadn't even read his work. The critics would conclude that the apostle was trying to hide the truth, because "not all truth is useful." The apologists would counter that the apostle is right, and that the professor as a good member of the LDS faith has a duty not to publish work that could harm the testimonies of members and drive them out of the Church.
That is a scenario we can easily understand.
And then there is the scenario unfolding on MDDB, wherein an apologist who is a BYU professor is frothing at the mouth, ranting in utter disbelief, that Greg Smith's piece on John Dehlin, which was suppressed on the orders of an apostle, WAS NOT EVEN READ. The horror! The shock! The affront to the scholarly enterprise!
Bill Hamblin wrote:
NONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO OPPOSED THE PUBLICATION HAD ACTUALLY READ THE PAPER!!!!
And, indeed, not a single one has read it to this day. Bradford expressly told Dan he did not want to read the article.
Let me repeat this for clarification purposes:
NONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO OPPOSED THE PUBLICATION HAD ACTUALLY READ THE PAPER!!!! Not a single one.
Now the shoe is on the other foot, my friends. Now an apostle has suppressed an apologetic article, likely because he feared it would do more harm to struggling members than good. For those teetering on the edge of apostasy, who have found in the Mormon Stories community some place where they were not treated like villains, but like suffering human beings, to learn that the person who made that possible was being defamed in print by the Church's leading apologists, the same men whom they believe had failed to answer their questions... well, who is to say that they would not have thrown in the towel on the LDS Church altogether, or that families would have fallen into bitter arguments and further division over the treatment doled out to Dehlin?
Finding themselves in this unusual position, these apologists do not consider that it was an apostle that told them to desist. No, they are worried about the truth with a capital "T" and how it is terrible to suppress it, especially when it has not been given proper and due intellectual consideration. This time an apostle judged what they believed to be true not to be useful to the Church's mission, and it is eating them up.
All I can say, good sirs, is, whether you ever acknowledge it or not, welcome to Mike Quinn's world.