Ron Walker, who was at the Salt Lake Institute of Religion in 1976, said Bill Nelson orchestrated the movement to ban Story of the Latter-day Saints. He looked for people who would write what he wanted them to write.
Gary Bennett [who had reviewed Story of the Latter-day Saints even though he was] not trained in history. Why not Ron Walker? "Because he wouldn't write what I want him to write." [[Bennett was apparently asked by Nelson if he would write a review of the book for Ezra Taft Benson. See Apr. 13, 1981.]] Elder Mark [E.] Petersen [also] sought a reviewer who was not too well-trained or read in history.
Bill Nelson orchestrated the whole business. He didn't like liberals. When Gene England learned of the Committee to Control Members [Strengthening Church Members Committee] he went to Nelson. "Why?" [Nelson had said,] ["]I want to get rid of every liberal in the Church." He Nelson persuaded Elder [Boyd K.] Packer to vote against Tom Alex[ander] as [Charles] Redd professor because of his article on "The Reconstruction of Mormon Doctrine." [[Alexander's article was "The Reconstruction of Mormon Doctrine: From Joseph Smith to Progressive Theology," published in the July-August 1980 issue of Sunstone. Twelve years later, Alexander was appointed Charles Redd Professor.]] [Neal A.] Maxwell & [Dallin H.] Oaks later talked Packer into withdrawing his objection & Tom got the post.
[Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]