After watching for a few years, I understand that what motivates much of Mormon apologetics and “defense of Mormonism” efforts is fear.
The worst fear is that Mormonism might not be true, after all, and that it might be obviously untrue to those who look at it objectively. It’s a terrifying thought to contemplate that the “knowledge” by which you organize and live your life might actually be a lie, that you have given so much of yourself for a manmade institution, that your spiritual confirmation of Mormonism might not have been anything spiritual at all.
When you’re afraid you do funny things like see everything in black and white, good and evil, and you carefully draw lines between yourself and the evil around you. You see those who disagree with you not just as opponents but as enemies to be destroyed lest they destroy you. You adopt an exaggerated, overwrought, outward image of certainty, but inside you’re just a scared child.
This is the only way to explain the bizarre antics of so many apologists from an apostle who warns that “some things that are true are not very useful” to university professors who fake photos to self-professed cleaners of the temple who decide for themselves who is faithful and who is not.
People who aren’t afraid stand out because they are comfortable in their own skin, they aren’t threatened by different points of view, and acknowledge that their understanding is always limited, so they could be wrong. That’s the key: Don’t be afraid to be wrong. Often we learn best by discovering we were wrong in our earlier understanding. To insist that what we believe is true, full stop, is to stop learning and growing.