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  VAN HALE
Total Articles: 16
Van Hale is a Mopologist. Van Hale hosts his own Salt Lake area radio program called "Mormon Miscellaneous." Van Hale claims there were no death oathes in Mormon Temples.
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LDS Warnings To So-Called Liberal And Intellectual Mormons
Friday, Feb 18, 2005, at 08:10 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: VAN HALE   -Link To MC Article-
Let's hope Van Hale and other apologists who don't agree with the church are paying attention. Van Hale says the Book of Mormon is "divine fiction" while church leaders testify that it is a historical record. (See: http://www.i4m.com/think/Intro/book_of_mormon.htm )

Attention so-called "liberal" or "intellectual" Mormons: the Church doesn't want you!

"There are those in the Church who speak of themselves as liberals who, as one of our former presidents has said, “read by the lamp of their own conceit.” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine [Deseret Book Co., 1939], p. 373.) One time I asked one of our Church educational leaders how he would define a liberal in the Church. He answered in one sentence: “A liberal in the Church is merely one who does not have a testimony.

"Dr. John A. Widtsoe, former member of the Quorum of the Twelve and an eminent educator, made a statement relative to this word liberal as it applied to those in the Church. This is what he said: 'The self-called liberal [in the Church] is usually one who has broken with the fundamental principles or guiding philosophy of the group to which he belongs. … He claims membership in an organization but does not believe in its basic concepts; and sets out to reform it by changing its foundations.'"

It is folly to speak of a liberal religion, if that religion claims that it rests upon unchanging truth.

"And then Dr. Widtsoe concludes his statement with this: “It is well to beware of people who go about proclaiming that they are or their churches are liberal. The probabilities are that the structure of their faith is built on sand and will not withstand the storms of truth.” (“Evidences and Reconciliations,” Improvement Era, vol. 44 [1941], p. 609.)"
- President Harold B. Lee, General Conference Address “The Iron Rod,” Ensign, June 1971, page 5

"“And the most diabolical deceit of this infamy is that it denies evil to be an absolute. Our religion is one of absolutes and cannot be rationalized into a relativistic philosophy of the ‘liberal Mormons.’ We cannot safely rationalize away righteousness."
- Apostle Ezra Taft Benson quoting Elder Richard Nibley, “Satan’s Thrust–Youth,” Ensign, Dec. 1971, page 53

"We can have a certain testimony that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and Redeemer of mankind, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet commissioned to restore the Church in our day and time without having a complete understanding of all gospel principles. But when you pick up a stick you pick up both ends. And so it is with the gospel. As members of the Church we need to accept all of it."
- Elder James E. Faust, October General Conference 2003, Saturday Morning Session

"Jacob further enlightens us with the following: “O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.” (2 Ne. 9:28.) Jacob then clarifies so we may all understand that learning under the proper circumstances has an important place in our lives. He explains, “But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.” (2 Ne. 9:29.)"

"There are the so-called learned people who have let their intellect undermine their spiritual moorings and who would also attempt to lead the faithful away from those who are appointed by the Lord to lead. There are those who feel that our leaders are out of touch with the realities of the day. They would attempt to lead members by substituting their own knowledge for the revelations from God to His prophets. And unfortunately there are those who would so follow. Christ warned, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matt. 7:15.)"
- Elder Richard C. Edgley, “Keep the Faith,” Ensign, May 1993, page 11, also LDS Church News, February 10, 1996

"Brethren, the Church is true. Those who lead it have only one desire, and that is to do the will of the Lord. They seek his direction in all things. There is not a decision of significance affecting the Church and its people that is made without prayerful consideration, going to the fount of all wisdom for direction. Follow the leadership of the Church. God will not let his work be led astray. Brethren, if we live worthy of his inspiration, there will never be doubt in our minds concerning the truth of this work and the great mission of this kingdom."
- President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Be Not Deceived,” Ensign, Nov. 1983, page 44

"I knew a so-called intellectual who said the Church was trapped by its history. My response was that without that history we have nothing."
- President Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Marvelous Foundation of Our Faith,” Ensign, Nov. 2002, 78

"This is His work. He established it. He has revealed its doctrine. He has outlined its practices. He created its government. It is His work and His kingdom, and He has said, "They who are not for me are against me" (2 Nephi 10:16)."

How grateful, my brethren, I feel, how profoundly grateful for the tremendous faith of so many Latter-day Saints who, when facing a major decision on which the Church has taken a stand, align themselves with that position. And I am especially grateful to be able to say that among those who are loyal are men and women of achievement, of accomplishment, of education, of influence, of strength–highly intelligent and capable individuals."

"Each of us has to face the matter–either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God, or it is nothing."
- President Gordon B. Hinckley. "Loyalty," April Conference, 2003.

"But no child in this Church should be left with uncertainty about his or her parents’ devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Restoration of His Church, and the reality of living prophets and apostles who, now as in earlier days, lead that Church according to “the will of the Lord, . . . the mind of the Lord, . . . the word of the Lord, . . . and the power of God unto salvation.” In such basic matters of faith, prophets do not apologize for requesting unity, indeed conformity, in the eloquent sense that the Prophet Joseph Smith used that latter word. In any case, as Elder Neal Maxwell once said to me in a hallway conversation, “There didn’t seem to be any problem with conformity the day the Red Sea opened.

"What a classic example of the warning Elder Richard L. Evans once gave. Said he: “Sometimes some parents mistakenly feel that they can relax a little as to conduct and conformity or take perhaps a so called liberal view of basic and fundamental things–thinking that a little laxness or indulgence won’t matter–or they may fail to teach or to attend Church, or may voice critical views. Some parents . . . seem to feel that they can ease up a little on the fundamentals without affecting their family or their family’s future. But,” he observed, “if a parent goes a little off course, the children are likely to exceed the parent’s example.”

"To lead a child (or anyone else!), even inadvertently, away from faithfulness, away from loyalty and bedrock belief simply because we want to be clever or independent is license no parent nor any other person has ever been given. In matters of religion a skeptical mind is not a higher manifestation of virtue than is a believing heart, and analytical deconstruction in the field of, say, literary fiction can be just plain old-fashioned destruction when transferred to families yearning for faith at home. And such a deviation from the true course can be deceptively slow and subtle in its impact. As one observer said, “[If you raise the temperature of my] bath water . . . only 1 degree every 10 minutes, how [will I] know when to scream?”
- Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, General Conference, Sunday Arpil 6th 2003
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LDS Talk Radio Host Van Hale Strikes Back
Saturday, Feb 19, 2005, at 11:13 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: VAN HALE   -Link To MC Article-
I can confirm that the post here on RfM from Van Hale is authentic. He sent me the same thing directly in an e-mail.

In fairness to Mr. Hale, I've posted his entire Simon Southerton interview on my website, along with the full text of his "Not History" public statement. I've done this so he will stop accusing people of falsely quoting him. Let the record speak for itself...

See the archive here: http://www.i4m.com/think/van_hale.htm

I have no immediate public response to Mr. Hale, other than to suggest that he read Randy Jordan's response posted here on a now closed thread. Randy summed things up better than I could:

Van Hale wrote:

>The fact is that I have never considered the BM "inspired fiction."

Perhaps not in those exact words, but you're merely arguing semantics here. From the transcripts of your radio comments, your position is that the BOM is both "divinely inspired" and not "literal history." So the term "inspired fiction" is a perfectly valid description of your own stated position. If the BOM is not literal history, then it is by default fiction.

>I have always stated as my belief that the BM is an authentic Divinely inspired book of scripture. Further, I have always maintained that its purpose is religious and everything else is incidental.

But, as several posters here have documented, many LDS church leaders have clearly stated that if the BOM is not literal history just as Joseph Smith claimed it was, then it should be condemned as a fraud, and Mormonism has no right to exist. (I will re-post more of my comments on this from a prior post at the bottom of this post.)

>I contend that it has been remarkably successful in doing that for which it was written. It has been the primary missionary tool of the Church effecting a great change in the life of millions and serving as the keystone of our Church.

One could say the same thing about the Koran, The Communist Manifesto, "Mein Kampf." However, that doesn't mean that we should follow the principles in any of those works, or their authors. The fact that a work of fraud is successful does not equate to it being beneficial to mankind; rather, it merely demonstrates the gullibility of its adherents, and the deceitfulness of its proponents.

>This was the purpose of its publication. I insist that the question of its historicity is incidental.

To repeat, your own church leaders vehemently disagree with you. If the BOM is not literal history, then logic and reason dictate that we consider alternative explanations for its origins. We must look closely at Joseph Smith's 1820's occult folk-magical practices, wherein he used a "peep-stone in a hat" to claim to "see" buried treasure. We must consider his early attempts to make money off the newly-published BOM by sending agents to Canada to sell the book's copyright for $5000. And we must look closely at Smith's lifelong career of deceit, criminal acts, sexual infidelity, etc., which church leaders and apologists try desperately to cover up or deny.

>Joseph Smith claimed the BM was of Divine origin. >Further, he declined giving the full details of its production.

That's true, but numerous eyewitnesses stated that he "translated the golden plates" by placing his "seer stone" into his hat, burying his fact in the hat, and the words on the plates would appear on the stone in English, which Smith would then dictate to a scribe. Read my documentation and comments on this at

http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.religion.mormon/msg/12bcae0e7d34ab64

>There could be nothing more mainstream in Mormon belief than my position on this question, "Did the BM come from God?"

Mr. Hale, you're only fooling yourself. Your position that the BOM is not literal history cannot be considered "mainstream in Mormon belief" by any stretch of the imagination.

>If it has any appeal to you, you might consider a dialogue with me rather than hiding behind the exmormon.org curtain where anyone can say anything about Van Hale, except Van Hale.

Well, your post to which I am responding has been up for almost an hour, and it hasn't been deleted yet. I hope that the admins will allow this discussion to continue, because frankly, your views come just as close to "apostasy" as they do to "defending the faith." Perhaps one day soon you'll take that final step and admit that since the BOM is not literal history, then Mormonism cannot possibly be "true."

Below are my comments from an earlier post. You were quoted as saying on your radio show:

"We don’t have that great commitment in our LDS faith to history anyway."

To which I replied:

Yes, that statement is nonsensical, seeing as how the LDS church has spent untold millions of dollars on buying up sites where incidents in Mormon history occurred, regardless of how trivial, and they put up historical markers noting every tiny event they can recall. Also, the church has collected and maintained many thousands of historical documents including personal pioneer journals etc. So, although the church works mightily to prevent negative aspects of its history from being dispensed, they nevertheless have a "commitment to history" like few other organizations do.

The very reason David O. McKay provided $250k in seed money to fund Thomas Ferguson's New World Archaelogical Foundation (the precursor to FARMS) back in the 1950s was to try to locate and identify data which would verify the Book of Mormon's historicity.

Another of Van Hale's silly opinions:

"There is room for Latter Day Saints to believe that the Book of Mormon is an authentic divinely inspired book of scripture without making a commitment that it is a um… a translation of ancient history."

And he says this, while being well aware that Joseph Smith claimed that the angel Moroni told him that the golden plates (real objects, not "special effects"), contained "an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from which they sprang."

The BOM itself claims that real, living people (the Jaredites and Lehites) emigrated from real places (the Middle East, and Jerusalem specifically), to another real place (which can only be identified as the American continent, since the BOM "prophesies" of its future "discovery" by Columbus.)

The BOM also claims that the "restored gospel" will be preached to the descendants of the "Lamanites" in these "Latter Days." Pray tell, how can the gospel be taken to an imaginary people?

If the BOM is not a real history of people who actually lived in ancient America, then since Joseph Smith claimed it was, it is a fraud, and should be condemned as such.

As two Mopologists put it:

"There are those who say, 'I believe that doctrine is all that is important in the Book of Mormon. We do not need to worry about its history.' We are faced, however, with the fact that most of the Book of Mormon IS history.....The history is a convincer of the authenticity of the book as much as the doctrine is." ----John Sorenson

"The historicity of the Book of Mormon is crucial. We cannot exercise faith in that which is untrue, nor can 'doctrinal fiction' have normative value in our lives." -----Robert L. Millett

I predict that if opinions of the BOM like Van Hale's are becoming widespread in the church, then Mormonism will begin to fall like a house of cards in just a few more years. Hale's position reminds me of LBJ's comment after Walter Cronkite went to Vietnam, came back, and suggested that the U.S. pull out: "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost the whole country." Similarly, if high-profile, supposed pro-Mormons like Hale are admitting that the BOM isn't literal history, then the church cannot long hold its grip on the general membership.

Eleven years ago, they ex'ed Brent Metcalfe for voicing such heresy. A few months ago, they merely disfellowshipped Grant Palmer for publishing similar views. So, will church leaders take no action against Hale? Remember Hinckley's comments in one of his interviews, that church members are free to hold dissenting views as long as they keep them to themselves---but "when they speak out, we move in" (to censure or punish them.)

These are interesting times.

Randy J.

Van Hale responded:
Deconstructor writes: In fairness to Mr. Hale, I've posted his entire Simon Southerton interview on my website, along with the full text of his "Not History" public statement. I've done this so he will stop accusing people of falsely quoting him. Let the record speak for itself...

Van's reply: I appreciate you efforts in posting these items on your website and your commitment to fairness. You have, however misstated a fact. I have not been "accusing people of falsely quoting" me. You are the only one I accused of this in your purported quote that I call the BM "inspired fiction." In your private email to me you admitted: "'inspired fiction'... are not your words." You then appealed to Randy's defense - that my rejection of the description "inspired fiction" is merely dealing in semantics. You should simply have apologized and I would readily have accepted your apology. I have found that it is a difficult thing to listen to a person's view and restate it in such a way that he will say, "Yes that is what I believe." But this should be our goal. There is no merit whatever in you, Randy or anyone else on this board insisting that I believe something that I deny. As you are the world's leading authority on your beliefs and motivations, I am the world's leading authority on mine, with no close seconds. A number on the Recovery Board claim higher authority than mine and proceed to state my views and motivations, most of which are completely in error. I am at a loss as to how one would justify such actions.

I am preparing a reply to Randy which I will attempt to post if this one is allowed. I appreciate that my last post was permitted. I recognize that there is a very low tolerance on this board for any believing LDS to defend himself against outrageously false personal accusations which are often made here. I do not have an email address for Randy, so if the decision is to remove all posts from Van Hale (I refuse to post under an assumed name), which has apparently been the policy until the other day, I will send you my response, which I would appreciate your forwarding to Randy if you have his email address.
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Van Hale Speaks For Himself
Monday, Jun 13, 2005, at 07:53 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: VAN HALE   -Link To MC Article-
Wildman said:

So, where is Mr. Hale incorrect in his recitation of historical facts? I've never seen anyone on this board refute him with reliable, factual, proven historical arguments.

Here's a blatantly incorrect recitation of historical facts from Van Hale, which he made last summer on his radio program:

"In my forty years of looking very closely at polygamy, it's been a subject that has been of some interest to me, there's not a single instance where I have encountered what, uh, the speculations that have been presented, uh, far and wide throughout the history of the LDS faith about polygamy, that polygamy was about, uh, proving a promiscuous sexual uh, opportunity, uh, increase, uh, sexual opportunities to Joseph Smith and other polygamists, that is simply not, well, there are those that say Joseph Smith wanted to have sex with beautiful women so this was the reason for it. But the fact is, all of the teaching and doctrine and philosophy and theology about polygamy had to do, uh, all ran along different lines. And to tell you the conclusion that it was a sexual matter in their minds rather than a matter of having to do with, uh, a restoration of an ancient practice, and uh, the opportunity of providing, uh, a good, uh, husband for, uh, a number of different, for, uh, a larger body of good women. To take a different point of view is simply speculational."

The fact is, the ONLY reason the Lord commanded Joseph Smith to take "virgins a hundred fold" in this life was to "multiply and replenish the earth" with them. It's right there in DandC 132.

http://www.i4m.com/think/joseph-smith-polygamy.htm

Mormon Polygamy was and is about male leader sexual ACCESS to women - not necessarily pleasure or gratification, but ACCESS.

In fact, DandC 132 says nothing about providing good husbands for a larger body of women. That notion is not only "speculational" but also blatantly false, since Smith had sex with women who were already married to good church leaders.

Van Hale has also parted company with official church teaching, by saying the historicity of the Book of Mormon doesn't matter:

http://www.i4m.com/think/van_hale.htm

There's not a single ordained church apostle (dead or alive) that supports Hale's position regarding the Book of Mormon. In fact, church apostles have openly spoken against teachings such as those Hale professes on his radio program:

http://www.i4m.com/think/Intro/book_of_mormon.htm

What's wrong with Van Hale?
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Why I Don't Bother To Dialogue With Van Hale
Monday, Jun 27, 2005, at 07:36 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: VAN HALE   -Link To MC Article-
I could write several pages just on the interactions we had with TBMs, jack-Mormons, and Ex-Mormons at the family reunion (there were about 100 people there, including some from such Mormonic areas as Provo and Mesa.) We had lots of interesting and amusing conversations, and did some productive "Ex-Mo missionary work." Perhaps soon I can take the time to sit down and write about them.

Now to the subject: First of all, I am not "hiding out on RfM," as Van Hale falsely asserts. I can only assume that Hale is ignorant of the fact that I have debated Mormonism exhaustively for more than seven years on various internet forums, primarily alt.religion.mormon. Readers who have been here for more than just a couple of weeks have seen the many links I provide to the ARM archives on a regular basis where I have rebutted Mormon cyber-apologists over the years, on a variety of subjects. The reason I will no longer bother to correspond with Van Hale, or appear on his show, is this:

After debating Mopologists for about seven years, I realized that those who refused to admit that Mormonism is a demonstrable fraud are incorrigible brainwashed fanatics, and basically dishonest people. I have helped to "de-Mormonize" a few former TBMs (such as Steve Lowther, for instance, who started out on ARM as an apologist, but by 2002, came to the Ex-Mormon conference to hear me and others speak). But for the most part, the TBMs who debate Mormonism on the 'net are rabid fanatics who are unwilling or mentally or emotionally incapable of altering their worldview when presented with facts which would make "normal" people do so. IMO, Van Hale is one of those people.

When I began studying my way out of Mormonism, it only took me a few weeks of reading, and discovering a few inconsistencies or deceptions (such as the BOA and Joseph Smith's sexual habits, for example) to conclude that the church is a fraud from the outset. But when presented with the same info, the Van Hales of Mormondom, instead of accepting the obvious fraudulence of the church, and abandoning it as honest people should, go into "defense and denial" mode, employing all sorts of excuses, justifications, mental gymnastics, etc., to try to preserve their image of the church being a valid, "inspired," "true" organization. Hale's remarks on his radio show, as well as his posts here, and in e-mails to his list, etc., demonstrate this knee-jerk "Mormon Denial Mechanism" (to use my buddy Steve Lowther's term.)

As many of you know, I was also a very active poster on the exmormon e-mail list for about seven years. I stopped posting there as well as ARM more than a year ago primarily because Eric told me that there was much more traffic on the BB than on the e-mail list, and I could help a lot more people with my documentation here than there. I can only read and respond to so many forums, so I chose to make the BB my sole outlet at present. Eric told me last night that he estimates that there are between 30,000-40,000 individual posters who read/lurk/post on this BB at any given time. I would guess that that is far more than the number of listeners Van Hale would have on his radio show. So I hope I am reaching more people by posting on this BB than by appearing on his show.

Now, for a specific example of why I see no reason to dialogue with Hale: A couple of months ago, he asked the BB admins if he could respond to a historical question here. The admins allowed him to have a "one-shot deal" (Susan I/S's words.) But when myself and others posted rebuttals to Hale's post, he launched into "apologist mode," which is of course, against the rules. Hale recently sent a mass e-mail, which someone forwarded to me, wherein he wrote:

"I pointed out some of the historical mistakes of Randy Jordan and called for him to support some of his outrageous claims. His response was to complain to RFM that I was allowed to post on the board. "

That assertion is absolutely false. The thread which Hale had been posting his apologetics (about the "Nephi" vs. "Moroni" name contradiction), grew too long, so I started a new thread entitled "Questions for Van Hale." I wanted to ascertain his positions on certain items. When Susan I/S saw the thread addressed to Hale, she deleted it, and then went through and deleted his other apologetic posts from the other thread. Meaning, she didn't want Hale posting his apologetics here, and the only reason she hadn't deleted him earlier was because she simply didn't know he was posting multiple apologetic posts on the other thread. But the bottom line is that I had nothing whatsoever to do with Hale not being allowed to post here; the very fact that I began a new thread, asking him questions, should be evidence enough of that.

The fact is, admins just told me this week, after I read Hale's accusations that I had "complained" to admins about him posting here, that they had repeatedly told Hale that he was not allowed to post apologetics here. It was his typical Mormon pushiness and arrogance that forced admins to delete his posts, not my alleged "complaints." If I was "afraid" to dialogue with Hale, or had "complained" about him being able to post here, I wouldn't have bothered to respond to him on the "Nephi/Moroni" thread in the first place.

Hale's attitude as displayed in the deleted posts is another reason I will no longer bother to dialogue with him. As I have pointed out many times in the past---including in my speech at the 2002 ExMo conference---Mopologists' standard operating procedure is to accept all historical data and sources which support the church; but they reject out-of-hand all data which hurts the church's cause, regardless of the validity of the source. This double standard in the treatment of historical data is naive, disingenuous, and is not a serious, valid method for drawing conclusions regarding historical items. It is purely apologetics.

Specifically, on the "Nephi vs. Moroni" contradiction, Hale is satisfied to accept that anomaly as a simple clerical error (even though the "error" was repeated in church publications for decades); but when I cited an August, 1831 New York newspaper article which related details of Joseph Smith's 1820's money-digging cult, and placing "the ex-preacher from Ohio" (obviously referring to Sidney Rigdon) in Smith's treasure-seeking band, Hale responded:

"You include an article from the New York Inquirer, Aug 31, 1831 which is so filled with historical inaccuracies and logical absurdities that it has never been considered credible by any historian, LDS or non-LDS. It claims that Henry Rangdon, an ex-preacher from Ohio, was the author of the BM. No Henry Rangdon has turned up in any of the massive research of Mormon history in Ohio. If the author is referring to Sidney Rigdon, it seems strange to accept his farfetched details (purported money digging, collaborating with 23 year old JS 250 miles away etc.) as credible when he does not even know the Ohio preacher's name. Where is there a historian who uses this as a legitimate source instead of the body of sources including JS and those close to him? This is a newspaper article filled with unique allegations found nowhere else, except other newspapers which copy or draw from this article."

Note that Hale declares the article incredible basically because "If they can't even get Rigdon's name right, why should we accept ANY of it?"

But Hale does not give the "Nephi/Moroni" name anomaly the same treatment; he excuses it as a mere "clerical error," and he does not dismiss all of Joseph Smith's fantastic claims, inspite of the fact that it contains the EXACT SAME TYPE OF ANOMALY AS IN THE NEW YORK NEWSPAPER ARTICLE. It's that double standard in treatment of historical data which makes apologists like Hale disingenuous, and that is why I no longer bother to try to dialogue with them. I would rather use my valuable time corresponding with posters here on the BB, who have the capacity to view such things dispassionately and objectively, and draw intelligent, valid conclusions, rather than constantly using those knee--jerk double standards in order to retain their "faith" in Mormonism.

Incidentally, I'm fairly certain that Hale is unaware that yet another newspaper told the same basic story that the August 1831 "New York Inquirer" did-----six months earlier, an edition of the "Cleveland Advertiser" named Rigdon (they got his name right) as the probable real originator of the BOM. Check out

http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.re...

Now, since this earlier article got Rigdon's name right, would Hale accept the story as valid? Don't hold your breath.

If Hale's motive is to dismiss all reports of Joseph Smith's 1820's treasure-digging activities (because they refute the church's desired image of Smith being a humble, law-abiding, Bible-reading, teenage farmboy), does he also reject out-of-hand Abram Benton's 1831 very detailed account of Smith's 1826 "glass-looking" trial?

http://www.olivercowdery.com/smithhome/1877Purp.htm

Or Martin Harris's candid interview relating Smith's 1820's "peep-stoning" activities, and his testimony that Smith was an integral part of a "money-digging" band?

http://www.xmission.com/~country/reason/harris_1.htm

My point to providing these citations being that it's futile for Mopologists like Van Hale to try to dismiss one source such as the August 1831 "New York Inquirer" article in order to "save" Smith's reputation, and to refute an "anti-Mormon" like me, when there are MULTIPLE OTHER INDEPENDENT SOURCES WHICH SUPPORT AND EXPAND UPON the info in that article. Honest, intelligent researchers will conclude that the more independent sources there are for an assertion, the more likely it is to be correct. But apologists like Hale aren't interested in learning the truth; their agenda is to maintain their chosen worldview. Thus, they dismiss out-of-hand all data which conflicts with their pre-determined conclusions. And that is why I no longer bother to correspond with them: I already know what their predictable knee-jerk responses will be; I know that they will refuse to alter their worldview when presented with information which challenges their "faith"; so it is pointless to even try to dialogue with them.

Van Hale can believe that I'm "hiding out on RfM", as though I'm "afraid" to debate with him forever, for all I care. I don't give a happy damn about what he thinks of me. (He's a TBM, for hell's sake; why should ANY of us care what ANY TBM thinks of us, any more than we should worry about what any TB JW, or any other cultist nutcase, thinks of us?) My agenda is to provide facts about Mormon history to those readers who are willing to study the material dispassionately and objectively. I don't give a damn about Hale's radio show or his ratings. The only reason I even bother to respond to some posts regarding him is to show newbie readers how Mopologists use dishonest tactics and double standards.
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On Van Hale, RfM, Deconstructor and Randy J. re Mormon Polygamy **More transcript added**
Tuesday, Aug 9, 2005, at 09:56 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor / Randy J.
Topic: VAN HALE   -Link To MC Article-
In the world of apologetics, it is often tough to unscramble who said what and when and why, as well as what is fact as opposed to mistake, conjecture, misunderstanding or even deception. There is often no meeting of the minds whatsoever or decision to agree to disagree.

I read the flurry of threads here in May/June about Van Hale's radio shows that referenced RfM and mentioned two posters, Deconstructor and Randy J., on the subject of Joseph Smith and polygamy. The exchanges were lively, as could be expected with such sensitive issues. I was particularly keen to understand the points of view of all parties and to hear and see for myself the statements at source.

I listened to the radio show, courtesy of a link provided by Deconstructor on his web site, and decided to make a transcript of part of it, to help me sort this all out. I was intrigued to see if those involved were misunderstanding each other and if so, where, and to see how someone would go about explaining and supporting the polygamy of early Mormonism. I didn't want to just agree with Decon and Randy because they're exmos (although well versed in the material) and disagree with Van Hale because he upholds the Mormon side on this. He is often called an apologist, I note, although he rejects that characterization and says he's just a guy talking on the radio.

It took me a while to produce a transcript as the radio segment is long and the transcription was a slow process (without an essential piece of equipment) and because I found the "who said what" part to be quite confusing so I had to listen to the programme a number of times to try and get it all straight, especially as radio programmes, emails and RfM posts were all referenced. Hale draws a parallel between RfM posters misunderstanding his statements and Joseph Smith supposedly complaining that people were misunderstanding his statements, beliefs and practices. Hale suggests how this may have occurred in Joseph's time just as it has happened to him, Van Hale, in his opinion.

So, a month on, FWIW, here is my transcript of Van Hale's June 12, 2005 radio show in which he mentions RfM, Deconstructor and Randy J. on the subject of Joseph Smith and polygamy.

*First 23 minutes of a 2 hour programme; not 100% verbatim.

Van Hale speaking throughout, at times reading from emails and an RfM post:

The subject last week that I pursued; in fact, a little bit here and there the last several weeks, has been the subject of the Mormon difficulties in Missouri and particularly in 1838, which concluded with the Mormon War that lasted from August 6 to October 31 in 1838. …..

To start with, one thing that was a problem for the Mormons in Missouri in 1838 and it’s been a problem ever since and it is a problem today is that there are people who, because of their strong bias, are willing to make statements which are just utterly and outrageously false in regards to what Latter Day Saints believe. This did cause problems in Missouri as it has caused problems elsewhere in that a number of the problems that the Missourians saw in reference to the Latter Day Saints, their attitude towards the Latter Day Saints would have been very different if they had had a correct understanding of the Latter Day Saints’ beliefs and intentions and attitude but what instead happened is that people with a strong bias were spreading around distortions or misrepresentations and sometimes even just outright fabrications in regards to who the Mormons were, what they were doing, what they believed and what their intentions were.

One of the things that I have done over the years that has been kind of an interesting little approach I have taken is to think about things from my own personal experience and I don’t know if those of you listening have done this, I suspect that you perhaps have, but as I have studied Mormon history, we are right now about 175 years from the foundation, the founding of the LDS church in April of 1830 and I have, in my readings of early Christian beginnings, I have thought about the LDS faith in the same sense or what I have seen within the development of Mormonism I have imposed that back upon early Christianity and think in terms of where the church is today in relationship to where Christianity was 170 years from its beginning and it’s been interesting and of course we can’t draw too many conclusions and too many parallels or press this too far but what we have seen within the establishment of the LDS faith and its development over the past 170 years when we look at where Christianity was about 200 AD, which would be about 170 years from the beginning of Christianity, it’s interesting to see things that have happened, trends that have occurred, what has happened by way of the production of documents, the development of ideas and concepts, the controversies that arose and so forth and so I have found that interesting to me.

Also, what I have done in more recent times is I looked back on what was going on in the LDS, in LDS history in Missouri in 1838 and compare it to what’s going on today that I have experience with and in fact as I am talking a little bit right now I have had personal experience with this situation and that is that people coming from a strong ex-Mormon or anti-Mormon bias tend to present a very twisted and distorted point of view in regards to Latter Day Saint belief and what they claim about the LDS faith.

I have had some exchanges and some things going on with this site that is called exmormon.org on the Internet. Now I have to read what is posted on that board from some computer other than my own because they’ve blocked me from reading material on there from my own computer and of course have not allowed me to engage in discussion there.

But what I have encountered that gives me some kind of insight as to what was going on in Missouri in 1838 is that you have on this ex-Mormon site you have people who are very hostile towards somebody who is a believing member of the LDS faith. Hostile to the point of twisting and misrepresenting and making false statements and so forth about individuals, spreading false information. I am just going to go back to an example that occurred and has reoccurred over the last several months in regards, and this is something I am speaking about personally, it is from personal experience, to demonstrate the kind of thing that happens and raises a flag for us to pay attention to as we go back and read testimony and documents and source material in early Mormon history. We need to take into account the fact that people coming from a particular bias have a great propensity to twist and distort their opponent’s point of view.

Well this is what happened, this was back in September and it happened again just recently on exmormon.org. An individual who posts there frequently, who goes by the name of Deconstructor, and he has corresponded with me also by way of email. Back in September I had made an impromptu comment in response to a question somebody asked in regards to Mormon polygamy. This was the comment that I made and this man, I assume it’s a man, who calls himself Deconstructor, responded to it and let me just give you this.

OK, so this is a rendering of the statement that I made back in September in this impromptu comment.

(Hale reads his own statement from September 2004 about polygamy). (Found on Deconstructor’s site):

http://www.i4m.com/think/van_hale2.ht...

*This is the statement that Van Hale read on air this date - slightly different from that above:

In my forty years of looking very closely at polygamy, it's been a subject that has been of some interest to me. There is not a single instance where I have encountered the speculations that have been presented far and wide throughout the history of the LDS faith about polygamy, that polygamy was about providing promiscuous sexual opportunities to Joseph Smith and other polygamists. That simply is not true.

There are those that say Joseph Smith wanted to have sex with beautiful women so this was the reason for it but the fact is that all of the teaching and doctrine and philosophy and theology about polygamy had to do with, all ran along different lines and it would be wrong to tell you the conclusion is that it was a sexual matter in their minds rather than the restoration of an ancient practice and the opportunity of providing good husbands for a larger body of good women. To take a different point of view is simply speculation.



So I made that comment back in September and the Deconstructor responded and he said "Last night on your radio program you said the following in regards to Mormon polygamy" and then presents his version of what I said. And then he goes on and he says "In other words, you asserted that Joseph Smith’s polygamy had to do with a restoration of an ancient"

[Interruption for commercial]

Welcome back. Let me continue... OK, so this Deconstructor is making a false and twisted and bizarre representation of my point of view in regards to Joseph Smith on the subject of polygamy and so I responded to him and let me read this response…

[NB: Van Hale doesn’t finish reading Decon’s email or else the audio was cut off].

(Reads his reply to Deconstructor).

You completely missed my point…. [VH breaks off]

At any rate, he [Decon] went on to in these numerous references that he presents to demonstrate that there was a sexuality in polygamous marital relationships on the assumption that I am taking the position that no such thing occurred.

Well, my reply is this (again reading from his email to Decon, I assume - it gets hard to follow):

You completely missed my point and your references in no way apply. The common view of polygamy was to provide greater opportunity for a man to satisfy his sexual appetite. I’m not sure how you came to the conclusion that I think that Mormon polygamists did not have sex with more than one wife. But your conclusion is completely erroneous. It almost seems as though you are trying to twist my comments for some reason.

My point was that the main purpose of polygamy was other than sexual. I have never encountered an LDS source which established that sexual gratification was the purpose of polygamy. I assume you understand a man without marriage and children can have sex for gratification only, even taking precaution that no pregnancy occur. You even cite Jacob 2 which makes the point that raising up seed unto God is the main purpose, not providing greater sexual opportunity for men. You seem not to be aware of the fact that many plural wives did not have children and many did not have sex with their husbands. There were other reasons for plural marriage in Mormonism other than having children on this earth. Further, many women were sealed as plural wives to men for eternity only. If you are not aware of these facts let me know and I will supply the references.

The evidence supports the view that Joseph Smith had, at most, few sexual encounters with women other than Emma. There is not a single established descendant of Joseph Smith by anyone but Emma. Convincing evidence through DNA tests may yet identify descendants of his through plural wives but as yet it is difficult to explain how Joseph Smith would have had many children by his wives yet none was identified as such. To have been a son or daughter of Joseph Smith would have been considered a great honour. Why would this have been completely covered up by people who were strong proponents of polygamy? Why must we turn to speculation and very late second, third or fourth hand comments to claim that Joseph Smith had children other than those by Emma?

I am referring to some statements he [Decon] made that are very late, second, third or fourth hand comments rather than the better evidence… (he doesn’t finish reading it).



My point here is that I made a statement, he misinterpreted my statement, I pointed out to him very clearly what my point was in my statement – I was not saying that there was no such thing as sexuality in Mormon polygamy – that is, of course, absurd to suggest that.

And yet even after this, at least two times since this time, this Deconstructor on the exmormon.org bulletin board has come back to this and insisted, again, at least two other times, there might be more that I didn’t see, but at least two other times, has insisted that I alleged that there was no such thing as sexuality in Mormon polygamy [he laughs] and then to make matters even worse, just to kind of demonstrate how something like this happens, even though it’s absurd to think that I would stand by such a position and even though I corrected this he insists upon it enough times that you have another individual, a very prominent poster on this exmormon.org site, Randy Jordan, who puts this on the exmormon.org bulletin board, oh about a week ago or so.

(Reads Randy J’s post)

Randy J. (early June 2005 on RfM):

Hale said on his show a few months ago (paraphrasing) that he had studied Joseph Smith’s polygamy practice for many years and that he had found no evidence that polygamy served to provide Smith with increased sexual opportunities. Hale’s attitude flies in the face of documentation from many of Smith’s closest friends and disciples which has been detailed by such LDS historians as Todd Compton and Richard Van Wagoner. Since many of Smith’s close loyal associates as well as many of his former plural wives testified that those relationships were sexual Hale is simply in intellectual denial of the facts re excerpts from Compton’s research.

Hale: And he [Randy] gives a link.

So (laughing) what is happening is that you have someone like the Deconstructor in this arena insisting that on several occasions that I believe something that I don’t believe even after I corrected him in such a way that it seems impossible for him to misunderstand my point, my point simply being that the purpose for polygamy was not to provide additional sexual opportunities for Mormon males beyond that that monogamy provides. It was about the restoration of an ancient order and also the providing of a good husband for good women which exceeded the good men in numbers and to provide for the raising up of a righteous seed to God as mentioned in Jacob Chapter 2 but besides this, there were other reasons that were given for polygamy as we find in early Mormon history. There is not just one simple answer. But the one thing I never encountered was any argument from Mormon sources saying the reason for polygamy was that men could find greater sexual satisfaction and gratification. That simply was never presentedas a reason; in fact, it would have been much easier, as anyone could well imagine, if that were the position that you can have sex with anyone you want to, if that were the Mormon position and if it was just for expanded opportunity for sexual gratification then why not, why bring the whole marriage concept into it and the having of children and the responsibility of large families and the support that all that required and so forth.

At any rate, my point, in spite of the fact that I think it was clear when I first stated it and I responded to this individual who misunderstood my position and still insists that I believe something that I don’t believe and then another individual who hasn’t demonstrated I think any common sense judgement in his assessment of this, has gone ahead and restated my position, falsely again of course, and so somebody who is participating on the exmormon.org bulletin board is in a position of hearing enough statements and hearing this reiterated over and over again that Van Hale believes something that he doesn’t believe but what is a person going to think? He’s going to think well I know what Van Hale believes about polygamy and it’s absurd that he would believe this; Van Hale has an absurd view on polygamy. Because the only thing they’re hearing is that which is coming from people with an extreme bias and an obvious desire to misrepresent and misinterpret my point of view.

So if you take this sort of thing that is happening, you know, I am talking from personal experience. This helps me understand as you go back into Missouri in 1838 how it is that people are saying Joseph Smith believed this, he believed that, this is what Mormons believe, when in fact it was not. That was one of the major complaints from Joseph Smith and other Latter Day Saints was that people were misrepresenting, twisting and distorting and fabricating falsehoods about their beliefs and views and that did certainly add a great deal of fuel to the fire that led to the Mormon War and the expulsion of Latter Day Saints from Missouri.
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Golden Plates A Fake "Prop" Says LDS Radio Host Van Hale
Monday, Sep 26, 2005, at 08:10 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: VAN HALE   -Link To MC Article-
The church says that the Book of Mormon must be an historical record:

"...everything in the Church – everything – rises or falls on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and, by implication, the Prophet Joseph Smith’s account of how it came forth, can be a little breathtaking. It sounds like a “sudden death” proposition to me. Either the Book of Mormon is what the Prophet Joseph said it is or this Church and its founder are false, fraudulent, a deception from the first instance onward."
- Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, “True or False,” New Era, June 1995, Page 64 (Excerpted from a CES Symposium address given at Brigham Young University on August 9, 1994.)

Meanwhile, on an LDS Radio show...

TBM Caller: OK. Well, as far as, as far as everything that happened in the Book of Mormon actually being a true account, like the Lamanites and Nephites and Captain Moroni and the Savior coming to the Americas, you don't exactly believe that those events took place?

Program Host Van Hale: I'm not persuaded that the Book of Mormon is a translation of an ancient history.

A living church apostle warned the members against the very thing Van Hale professes publicly:

"Some who term themselves believing Latter-day Saints are advocating that Latter-day Saints should abandon claims that the Book of Mormon is a historical record of the ancient peoples of the Americas. They are promoting the feasibility of reading and using the Book of Mormon as nothing more than a pious fiction with some valuable contents. These practitioners of so-called "higher criticism" raise the question of whether the Book of Mormon, which our prophets have put forward as the preeminent scripture of this dispensation, is fact or fable--history or just a story."

"Some Latter-day Saint critics who deny the historicity of the Book of Mormon seek to make their proposed approach persuasive to Latter-day Saints by praising or affirming the value of some of the contents of the book. Those who take this approach assume the significant burden of explaining how they can praise the contents of a book they have dismissed as a fable. I have never been able to understand the similar approach in reference to the divinity of the Savior. As we know, some scholars and some ministers proclaim him to be a great teacher and then have to explain how the one who gave such sublime teachings could proclaim himself (falsely they say) to be the Son of God who would be resurrected from the dead."

Back on Van Hale's radio program...

TBM Caller: And as far as the Savior appearing to the people in America, you just don't believe that actually happened. It was just a written story I guess?

Van Hale: Well, it's... Yes. Uh, the, the situation that I see in the Book of Mormon, if you want to talk in a broad way, yes. The Book of Mormon is a history. There were ancient people, there were people living on the Americas. They came from somewhere. They had religious beliefs. They had wars. They had, they built buildings. They, some of them were quite advanced, surprisingly advanced, as we discover from some of their architecture and so forth and so in a broad sense you could say yes. The Book of Mormon is a history. But when you start talking about detail, I am not persuaded that the detail in the Book of Mormon is detail pertaining to people that anciently lived on the Americas.

In contrast, the church's position:

"There is something strange about accepting the moral or religious content of a book while rejecting the truthfulness of its authors' declarations, predictions, and statements. This approach not only rejects the concepts of faith and revelation that the Book of Mormon explains and advocates. This approach is not even good scholarship."

Meanwhile, on Van Hale's public forum...

TBM Caller: How do you really explain the fact that Joseph Smith obtained gold plates that I guess had an ancient record on them but, I mean, was that just a record that God wrote there and then Joseph Smith just happened to go to the same hill where the angel Moroni or the prophet Moroni, who buried them there in the hill, Joseph Smith just happened to go to that same hill where these plates were found that God supposedly wrote as a story? Or could it actually just, you know, the fact remain that it was an actual true event and this stuff actually took place and, you know, so I don't know, what's your opinion on that?

Van Hale: Well, my point of view regarding the plates is that the plates did exist, that they were delivered to Joseph Smith by an angel and they were shown to witnesses of the Book of Mormon and that gave them something tangible to testify about, that they had seen the plates and handled them but I don't think that Joseph Smith was, that the Book of Mormon relates to anything that was on the plates. It was, I don't know what word to use to, without, without it sounding crude, but uh, the only word I can think of is the idea of a prop.

Another church apostle taught:

"This book must be either true or false. If true, it is one of the most important messages ever sent from God... If false, it is one of the most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the world, calculated to deceive and ruin millions... The nature of the message in the Book of Mormon is such, that if true, no one can possibly be saved and reject it; If false, no one can possibly be saved and receive it."

For a full text and audio transcript of Van Hale's public statements against BoM historicity, see:
http://www.i4m.com/think/van_hale.htm

For references to church leaders declarations regarding the historicity of the Book of Mormon, see:
http://www.i4m.com/think/intro/book_of_mormon.htm

Is Van Hale's membership in the church at risk because he keeps publicly going against what the church teaches?

Is Van Hale doing more harm than good to the church?
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Just Off The Air With Van Hale About The Hoffman Forgeries. He Said That He Goes To This Website Nearly Every Day!
Monday, Sep 26, 2005, at 08:26 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: VAN HALE   -Link To MC Article-
Well, that was interesting. As I was on hold, I wrote out my first point (see below) and improvished my second point, and question for George Throckmorton (an expert in document authentication whose analysis is included as an appendix to Salamander: The Story of the Mormon Forgery Murders. A member of the SLCPD, he serves on the board of directors of the Southwest Association of Forensic Document Examiners and is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences).

Point one: Hoffman’s dealings with senior General Authorities of the LDS church like Hugh Pinnock and Gordon Hinckley was life-changing for many Mormons because it is was strong evidence that conflicted with the teaching of the LDS church that Mormon Prophets and Apostles had the “power of discernment”, a spiritual ability to identity individuals with hidden, wicked intentions. As a forger and later a murderer, Mark Hoffman was obviously such a person. The fact that Hoffman was able to dupe senior General Authorities, including the man who is currently President of the LDS church has been a significant reason why many people have left the LDS church.

George said that of the eight books he's aware of about Mark Hoffman and his forgeries, The Mormon Murders, which I first read in the summer of 1992 and played a significant role in me leaving the church was that The Mormon Murders had the most inaccuracies. That may be true. Notwithstanding, one of the biggest questions for me (I was still LDS in 1992) was how could men who were supposed to have the "gift of discernment" as "Prophets, Seers, and Revelators" been so thoroughly duped by Mark Hoffman? The Mormon Murders also contained info. about Joseph Smith and early church history that the church had never taught me.

Van Hale stated twice on air that the church has never taught, nor senior church leaders ever claimed, that church leaders like bishops, stake presidents, General Authorities, and the like possess the "power of discernment" (the "spiritual" ability to detect hidden, wicked intentions of nefarious individuals). As he was trying to dispute my point, I went on the church's website and typed in "gift of discernment" in the Search field, with 44 results from General Conference addresses.

I countered that had Hoffman not made and set off his bombs, how many more forgeries would he have successfully sold to the church? Neither Van Hale or George responded to that point.
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For TBMS Who Say The Church Doesn't Teach Leaders Have The Power Of Discernment
Wednesday, Sep 28, 2005, at 08:50 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: VAN HALE   -Link To MC Article-
Yeah, maybe I should just stop pointing out when TBMs publicly tell lies. But I find it so upsetting when TBMs deny church teachings.

Take for example Mr. Van Hale, who last Sunday on his radio program insisted that the church has never taught that church leaders have the power of discernment.

Hale's denials end up soothing the TBM audience when callers point out glaring inconsistencies in what church leaders say and do. In this case, a caller (FreeAtLast) pointed out the contrast between church claims that leaders have the power of discernment and their inability to detect Mark Hoffman's lethal dishonesty.

Hale brushed the caller off by saying repeatedly that the church has never taught that its priesthood leaders have the power of discernment or that they can detect deception or guilt in people.

A quick look at the church's official website reveals that Van Hale has once again lied publicly.

Here's just a sampling of the literally hundreds of referencesregarding what the church actually teaches:

"A bishop is also ordained a high priest so he can preside over all members in the ward (see DandC 107:71–73; DandC 68:15). A bishop is a judge in Israel (see DandC 107:74) and interviews members for temple recommends, priesthood ordinations, and other needs. It is his right to have the gift of discernment."
- Official LDS Church "Gospel Principles," Unit Five: The Church of Jesus Christ, 14: Priesthood Organization, 85

"The gift of discernment enables a bishop or branch president to know truth, to understand the differences between good and evil, and even to know what is in a person’s heart. Because he has this gift, we can seek his counsel and he can tell us what the Lord would have us do to grow spiritually."
- Official LDS Church Manual "Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood", Part A, History and Organization of the Priesthood, 8: Duties of the Bishop and the Branch President, 57

"After enumerating various spiritual gifts, the Lord provides this counsel concerning your bishop or any other presiding priesthood leader: 'And unto the bishop of the church, and unto such as God shall appoint and ordain to watch over the church and to be elders unto the church, are to have it given unto them to discern all those gifts lest there shall be any among you professing and yet be not of God.' (DandC 46:27.) It is abundantly clear that presiding priesthood leaders are given the gift of discernment."
- Elder Gene R. Cook, “Seek Out Your Spiritual Leader,” Ensign, May 1978, 64

"Discernment. At other times the Holy Ghost enhances our senses that we might discern those things that ordinarily would not be known to us, as did Ammon in the Book of Mormon, who discerned the thoughts of King Lamoni (see Alma 18:16–18)."
- Sister Reneé Roy Harding, “Guess Who,” Ensign, Aug. 1998, 70

"I give my testimony that the prophets of this day have the qualities of the prophets of old and the other prophets of this dispensation. Each of these prophets has humbly and prayerfully sought to know and follow God’s will in his personal ministry. We declare with soberness, and yet with the authority of God in us vested, we have a prophet today. The President of the Church, as a prophet, is God’s representative on earth and is appointed to lead His church. Christ is the head of his Church today, just as he was in ancient times. The Lord has said that this is 'the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased' (DandC 1:30)."
- Apostle Robert D. Hales, "Hear the Prophet’s Voice and Obey," Ensign, May 1995, Page 15

"Countless are the devious ways of stealing. Fortunate indeed are they who, through righteous living and the gift of discernment, can clearly distinguish between honesty and dishonesty."
- Apostle Marion G. Romney, “A Glorious Promise,” Ensign, Jan. 1981, 2

"There is a power of discernment granted 'unto such as God shall appoint … to watch over [His] church.' To discern means 'to see.'”

"President Harold B. Lee told me once of a conversation he had with Elder Charles A. Callis of the Quorum of the Twelve. Brother Callis had remarked that the gift of discernment was an awesome burden to carry. To see clearly what is ahead and yet find members slow to respond or resistant to counsel or even rejecting the witness of the apostles and prophets brings deep sorrow."

"Recently President Hinckley reminded the Brethren that, while we are men called from the ordinary pursuits of life, there rests upon us a sacred ministry. And we take comfort in what the Lord said to the original Twelve: 'Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you.'"

"Each week we meet together in the temple. We open the meeting by kneeling in prayer, and we close with prayer. Every prayer is offered in the spirit of submission and obedience to Him who called us and whose servants and witnesses we are."

"We know that we hold the power of the priesthood 'in connection with all those who have received a dispensation at any time from the beginning of the creation.' We think of those who have preceded us in these sacred offices, and at times we feel their presence."
- Boyd K. Packer, “The Twelve Apostles,” October 1996 General Conference Address, also Ensign, Nov. 1996, and again in Ensign, Sept. 2005, page 16

"Would You Like the Power of Discernment? Would you like to have powers of discernment–the power to identify truth? If so, you must read the word of God, acknowledge God’s Goodness, ponder, and ask of God. Through doing this, Moroni testifies, “By the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moro. 10:5.)"

"While I was a mission president in Texas, I was informed that a particular missionary had lost his testimony and wanted to go home. Some checking disclosed that doubts of the divinity of his call had beenplanted in the young man’s mind by an investigator. In an interview with the so-called investigator, I experienced special powers of discernment that enabled me to know that the man was a minister of another faith, posing as a college student and pretending to be an honest investigator of Mormonism. Confronted with the knowledge that had been revealed to me, he became confused and admitted his fraud. With the deceiver out of the way and the truth known, the missionary stayed and completed an honorable mission."
- Elder Carlos E. Asay, “The Companionship of the Holy Ghost,” Ensign, Apr. 1988, 15 AND “Courting the Spirit,” New Era, Aug. 1990, 33

"President Monson says softly and with some emotion. 'In my patriarchal blessing as a boy, I was promised that I would have the gift of discernment. I have to acknowledge that such a declaration has been abundantly fulfilled in my life.' Indeed, President Monson’s life–certainly his life as an Apostle and member of the First Presidency–seemsin a sense to be one long, extended chronicle of the promptings of the Holy Spirit, with the many inspirational and varied miracles which have resulted from his response to those promptings."
- Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, “President Thomas S. Monson: Finishing the Course, Keeping the Faith,” Tambuli, Oct. 1994, 16–17

"I have found in these Brethren seated before you the fulfillment in their lives of the promise given to the Prophet Joseph Smith “...let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion." (DandC 121:45-46.)"

"I have watched them armed with the Holy Ghost as a constant companion, taking on enormous work loads at an age when most men would be confined to rocking chairs, and engaging in strenuous travel schedules with great enthusiasm to be anxiously engaged in buildingthe kingdom of God. Then by observation, the realization has come to me that this great Spirit that blesses them in their activities is not a special gift to them alone, but is available to all mankind if they will but be partakers and earnestly seek it and be humbly guided by it."

"Isn’t this spirit a constant companion you need in your life?"
- Apostle L. Tom Perry, “Consider Your Ways,” Ensign, July 1973, 20

"On one occasion the Prophet Joseph Smith was invited to preach the gospel to a group of Native Americans. They could not understand English, and he could not speak their language, so he paid a special government agent to interpret his words. The Prophet spoke for a few minutes, and the agent then interpreted the Prophet’s message. When the people showed resentment and anger at the Prophet’s message, the Spirit revealed to him that the agent was telling lies in order to turn them against him. Joseph pushed the interpreter aside and then preached a sermon to them. They understood every word."

"What spiritual gifts did the Prophet Joseph Smith use during this incident? Discernment, revelation, gift of tongues, and teaching."
- Official LDS Doctrine Manual "Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood," Part B, Gospel Principles and Doctrines, 34: Spiritual Gifts, 281

"Remember, the Lord knows all things and will not be mocked. We are trying to help you. Never lie to try to obtain a call, a recommend, or a blessing from the Lord.”

"If you approach the matter as outlined above, the member has the responsibility to interview himself. The bishop or stake president has the right to the power of discernment. He will know whether or not there is something amiss that ought to be settled before a recommend is issued."
-Apostle N. Eldon Tanner, “The Blessing of Church Interviews,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, 40

"The branch president is the common judge of branch members. He interviews them to judge their worthiness for temple recommends, ordinations, ordinances, callings, and patriarchal blessings. He may counsel his branch members who seek spiritual guidance."

"To help the branch president in his responsibilities as common judge, the Lord promises him the gift of discernment. As he is worthy to receive it, this gift helps him know what is in a person’s heart."
- Official LDS Church "Branch Guidebook", Branch Presidency, 3

"The offices of bishop and branch president and counselors are sacred in this Church. The men who hold those offices are respected by the Lord, inspired by His Spirit, and given the powers of discernment and judgment necessary to their office. We honor and love them, and we show this by our consideration for them."
- Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, “Special Witness: ‘Bishop, Help!’ ” Friend, Apr. 2004, 19

"We read in this same source: “And unto the bishop of the church, and unto such as God shall appoint and ordain to watch over the church and to be elders untothe church, are to have it given unto them to discern all those gifts lest there shall be any among you professing and yet be not of God.” (DandC 46:27; see also 1 Cor. 12:10.)"

"This power of discernment is essential if we are to distinguish between genuine spiritual gifts and the counterfeits Satan seeks to use to deceive men and women and thwart the work of God. The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “Nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit when they think they have the spirit of God.” (Teachings, p. 205.) He also taught that “no man nor sect of men without the regular constituted authorities, the Priesthood and discerning of spirits, can tell true from false spirits.”
- Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, “Spiritual Gifts,” Ensign, Sept. 1986, 68

"Satan has had great success with this gullible generation. As a consequence, literally hosts of people have been victimized by him and his angels. There is, however, an ample shield against the power of Lucifer and his hosts. This protection lies in the spirit of discernment through the gift of the Holy Ghost. This gift comes undeviatingly by personal revelation to those who strive to obey the commandments of the Lord and to follow the counsel of the living prophets."
- Apostle James E. Faust, “Serving the Lord and Resisting the Devil,” Ensign, Sept. 1995, 2

"The teacher will be in accord with the General Authorities as a group and with his local leaders, knowing they are guides to safety. He will have desires to follow and conform to their teachings and example in all their spiritual and temporal declarations, knowing the Lord gives them the gifts of discernment. (See DandC 46:27.)"
- Elder Gene R. Cook, “Spiritual Guides for Teachers of Righteousness,” Ensign, May 1982, 25

"The Lord said, 'Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God' (Eph. 6:13). Spiritual armor not only protects against the many things that can knock us spiritually senseless, but also protects us physically and in many other ways. For instance, it can help us to have wise discernment in making all of the important decisions we have to make. We can also have special insights in choosing friends and associates."
- Apostle James E. Faust, “Keep Your Chin Strap Fastened,” New Era, Nov. 1981, 4

"Bishops and branch presidents are called to care for the spiritual well-being of the members of their Church units. One specific spiritual responsibility that bishops and branch presidents have is to be a common judge (see DandC 107:74). As a common judge, the bishop or branch president conducts worthiness interviews, counsels members, and administers Church discipline. In order to help them in these duties, the Lord has promised bishops and branch presidents the gift of discernment (see DandC 46:27)."

"There are countless devious ways of stealing. Fortunate indeed are they who, through righteous living and the gift of discernment, can clearly distinguish between honesty and dishonesty."
- Apostle Marion G. Romney, “A Glorious Promise,” Tambuli, July 1981, 1

The bottom line is, you're not crazy if you remember being taught in church that the brethren have special discerning powers. They are still teaching it! It's only Van Hale who is whacked.

Why does Van Hale keep telling such blatant lies on the air?
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Is Lack Of Discernment Reason Enough To Leave The Church?
Thursday, Sep 29, 2005, at 07:14 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: VAN HALE   -Link To MC Article-
On another thread, I have listed just some of the countless official statements by the church that its leaders have the "constant companionship" of the Holy Ghost and "the power of discernment."

LDS Church leaders claim to have the same priesthood power as prophets of the Bible and Book of Mormon. Just as Jesus knew Judas would betray him and Peter would deny him, true apostles today should have that power. As the Book of Mormon says Ammon discerned the thoughts of King Lamoni and Nephi discerned who was guilty of murder, LDS prophets, seers and revelators say they carry the same priesthood power.

But if church leaders don't really have a divine power of discernment, is that reason enough to leave the church?

Without the power of discernment, how do church leaders really make callings, give blessings or give counsel to people? Why do they say what they do in General Conference, spend hundreds of millions of dollars on malls and direct the Lord's kingdom on Earth?

Especially at the very top of the church, isn't divine discernment critical for God's only true church?

Recently an LDS radio show host, Van Hale, declared publicly that top church leaders do not have the power of discernment - at least not enough to prevent them from being deceived by evildoers and protect them and the church from being harmed.

I happen to agree with Van Hale's position. That's one of the reasons I left the church. Yet others, like Van Hale, don't see this as a reason to question the church.

Do you think members were justified in leaving the church after the Mark Hoffman fiasco? Or should members just keep the faith even though their leaders have demonstrated they really don't have the power of discernment they say they have?
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Van Hale Continues To Shoot Himself In The Foot
Wednesday, Oct 5, 2005, at 09:59 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: VAN HALE   -Link To MC Article-
I don't have time this morning to compose a full-blown rebuttal to Van Hale's latest remakrs posted here yesterday, but here are a few quick comments.

First, Hale's whining about not being able to express his views here on RfM are unfounded and immature, seeing as how his verbatim statement was posted here in its entirety, and has not been deleted. Hale was banned from posting directly to this BB several months ago because he violated the rule against "defending the faith" after having received fair warning. But that does not mean that he has no outlets in which to express his views and defend himself, such as his radio show and statements which he mass e-mails, like this one I'm responding to.

As I've pointed out many times, none of us Ex-Mormons would be allowed to stand at the podium during an LDS church meeting and express any "anti-Mormon" views. If we tried it, we would likely be strong-armed out of the building, told never to return, and possibly have trespassing charges or a restraining order filed against us. Hale simply cannot get it through his head that RfM is like our "sanctuary," like LDS chapels are for promoting strictly pro-LDS views. Thus, his complaints of being censored here demonstrate typical Mormonesque whining and double standards.

As for the issue at hand, as other posters have noted to one extent or the other, we, like Van Hale, don't expect LDS leaders to be omniscient or infallible. However, LDS leaders DO claim to possess a "power of discernment" which supposedly warns them of potential harm or evil in advance. LDS lore is chock-full of "revelations" on such mundane items as the selling of stock to raise capital to build a for-profit hotel, so it's not too much to expect the god of Mormonism to warn church leaders in advance that Mark Hofmann was a forger and future murderer.

We don't expect church leaders to be infallible, but we expect them to live up to their own self-proclaimed standard that "God will never allow the prophet to lead the church astray." Since church leaders were completely fooled by Hofmann, and thousands, if not tens of thousands of Mormons have left the church at least in part because of of their lack of discernment and inspiration during that incident (myself included), church leaders did indeed lead the church astray by not discerning that Hofmann was a fraud. As I pointed out in an earlier thread, anti-Mormon reseaercher Jerald Tanner suspected that Hofmann's productions were forgeries, even while church leaders were fawning over Hofmann and paying him thousands of dollars for his documents. If a Jerald Tanner has more basic common sense and healthy skepticism than do LDS church leaders, then there is no reason why anyone should follow LDS church leaders or the organization they represent.

I chuckled at one of Hale's remarks:

>"a caller last week, who participates on exmormon.org, asserted that President Hinckley did not detect Mark Hofmann's fraudulent documents business and therefore could not be a prophet. This caller seemed to be one, like those at the time of Christ and many in our times, who demands a sign or proof of the Divine calling of Jesus Christ and of Joseph Smith - a demonstration of something supernatural, in this case a demonstration by President Hinckley of his omniscience - that he knew of Hofmann's fraudulent enterprise."



The flaw in Hale's thinking here is that according to the Biblical record, Christ "proved" his divinity to the public on a regular basis by performing miracles such as walking on water, feeding the 5000, raising the dead, etc. Likewise, LDS leaders Kimball and Hinckley could have demonstrated their claim to be "prophets of God" by declaring that Hofmann was a fraud long before he committed his crimes.

Hale then defended Joseph Smith's lack of "inspiration" by writing of the Missouri conflict:

>"Sampson Avard was a member whose secret teachings and actions greatly intensified Missourian animosity toward Joseph Smith and thousands of other Church members. Joseph Smith knew him but was unaware of his teachings and false claims that the Presidency endorsed his private teachings at his secret meetings."



This is a particularly hilarious example for Hale to defend Smith on, seeing as how the very premise that Avard founded the "Danite" band, and was the instigator of their criminal acts, is utterly false: The "Danites" were founded personally by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, and they personally taught and ordered the "Danites" to commit crimes, including murder. Smith only concocted the idea to blame the institution of the "Danites" onto Avard as a legal defense, after Smith and other Mormon criminals were arrested and were awaiting trial in Liberty Jail. Smith only blamed Avard for the Danites after Avard turned states' evidence and testified against Smith and other church/Danite leaders.

Readers can examine voluminous evidence for this at

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.re...

Since numerous witnesses testified that Smith and Rigdon were the founders of the Danites, rather than the supposedly "renegade" Avard, Van Hale's remarks above demonstrate either abject ignorance or intellectual dishonesty. Hale added:

>"If Joseph Smith claimed that spiritual promptings and discernment were constant and such that he was omniscient and could not be mistaken, why would he frankly acknowledge that he and the presidency did not know of Avard's nefarious teachings and actions?"



It's because Smith's assertion that he knew nothing about Avard's "nefarious teachings" was a complete lie, concocted in an attempt to save himself from being convicted on treason and murder charges.

Hale also wrote:

>"Joseph Smith acknowledged the possibility that he could be mistaken regarding a revelation and even established an order requiring that revelations be presented to the priesthood councils of the Church to be tested. He maintained that should a revelation thus being tested "run against a snag" it must be reconsidered. He said "let no revelation go to the people until it has been tested here." Times and Seasons 5 (September 15, 1844):649."



Smith contradicted his own statement by stating seven weeks before his death: "When did I ever teach anything wrong from this stand?.....I never told you I was perfect; but there is no error in the revelations which I have taught." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 368.)

So which statement are we supposed to believe? That Smith was capable of being "mistaken" on certain revelations? Or, that there was "no error" in any of his revelations?

Let's take, for example, Smith's "revelation on celestial marriage": Since polygamy was against the law (and another of Smith's "revelations" stated that "he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land")---and polygamy was specifically prohibited by Smith's church's own "Doctrine and Covenants," and Smith publicly endorsed that prohibition---

----and since polygamy was a major factor in Smith's death---

---and polygamy was a major reason why the Mormons were forced out of Illinois and had to move out of the country---

---and polygamy was a major reason why the Mormons were ridiculed, hounded, and nearly forced out of existence before church leaders finally decided to obey the law and cease practicing polygamy---

---and polygamy made lawbreakers and adulterers out of all its practitioners, and every child born of polygamy was illegitimate---

---and polygamy continues to stigmatize Mormonism as an institution more than 100 years after its cessation---

---and modern church leaders are so embarrassed by their legacy of polygamy that they have ordered as much mention as possible of its practice be omitted from church-published materials---

---then one could make an excellent case that Smith's "revelation on celestial marriage" was a "false revelation," and yet church leaders continue to maintain it as "correct," and it remains in the Mormon canon of "scripture." And yet, some future Mormon "prophet" could declare that polygamy was a false doctrine, and order its removal from the canon (not unlike how Brigham Young's "Adam-God" teachings, which Young declared were "revealed by God," and were taught from the pulpit and in the temple for a quarter of a century, were later removed from church materials and declared false by later "prophets" such as Spencer Kimball and Bruce R. McConkie.)

The bottom line here is that if Mormon "prophets" can issue false "revelations," then it is obvious that they are not being "inspired" by any superior, supernatural being. Van Hale's admission that church leaders are capable of receiving and issuing false "revelations" only serves to further discredit the religion he is trying to defend. By continuing to uphold Mormonism as a viable, worthy institution, while admitting that its supposedly "inspired prophets" can be just as wrong as any Joe Blow on the street, Van Hale demonstrates that he is an irrational fanatic.
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My Interview With Van Hale This Evening
Monday, Oct 17, 2005, at 08:35 AM
Original Author(s): Louis Wagner
Topic: VAN HALE   -Link To MC Article-
Frankly, not what I expected. I had this irrational fear that it would devolve into a confrontational conversation, especially when taking calls from callers.

None of that happened. Van and I treated each other with respect and decency and had a rather pleasant time of it. Good for us.

My main purposes for getting on the show were:

1. Promote the conference next week. I think it would have been good to give out the details of it one last time at the very end but the final music cut us off rather suddenly. I thought I had another 60 seconds to do so when I got preempted by their clock. No matter, though. The Exmormon Foundation was mentioned several times throughout and I figure just about any moderately savvy web surfer will be able to find us on line.

2. Make the point that Mormons don't treat their loved ones well when they leave the church. Or do anything else wrong, for that matter. I made that point at least three times, if I recall correctly. I hope I made an impact. For future reference, I should imply the behaviorally-evident motto of Mormonism, "Church First. Family Second."

3. Once, I was able to mention that the Mormon church doesn't portray an accurate image of itself. I don't recall my exact wording of it. I do recall that I was listening through a commercial break, contemplating my next response to Van and suddenly, a Mormon family-oriented commercial was played. Perfect segway into my comment about the very subject that Mormonism doesn't portray itself accurately. I was glad of the opportunity and I also used that reply to further point out the treatment by Mormons to their apostate family members.

4. Probably most importantly was to tell the listeners that The Foundation is there to help people make the transition to a more "normal" life outside of Mormonism. If you read my messages on The Foundation's web site, you'll see a general focus to that end. I'll admit, I get a little too warm and fuzzy on them, however, I do like to keep them short and sweet as much as possible. Also, I was only too happy to point out that there are plenty of people within Mormonism who are going through the motions and are unhappy with their station in life. Above all, it is these people whom I hoped to reach in the interview.

Regardless of whether they will take the step of getting out of Mormonism or remain within it to preserve their relationships with their loved ones, I at least wished for them to understand they are not alone and that if they need to, they can find information on line.

This web site was actually mentioned more than The Foundation's web site but since we all love each other, that's just fine!

Some other comments: I thought it interesting that Van's attitude toward the Mormon church is that it isn't the end-all and be-all of truth and righteousness. He has his doubts about it. I say this as the result of assembling several varied comments from Van, most especially his statement that had he not been born into the Mormon church, the missionaries most likely would not have been able to convert him later in life. I got the impression, THOUGH HE DID NOT SAY AS MUCH, that he would have rather not said that because he believes it's smarter to be a member and that by implication, he would have been smart enough to join the church had he "needed" to do so. My assessment, however, so don't quote me as quoting Van on that point. For all I know, I'm completely off base with that one!!!

I probably should have mentioned the speakers at the conference by name. I think that would have generated additional interest, especially the Utah residents and Tal Bachman. My screw-up, folks.

One VERY critical point that I attempted to make and I don't feel that I succeeded with it is this: While there are a LOT of agnostics and atheists in The Foundation, The Foundation is NOT exclusive to them. I believe atheists and Christians tend to estrange people with a little too much focus on crucifying each other rather than realizing we have a common purpose with the Exmormon community. Having said that, however, sometimes we all deserve a little castigation now and then!

I use the "crucify" metaphor deliberately because neither atheists or Christians do anyone any good if they are hanging each other out to dry. Atheists need the Christians and Christians need the atheists, if for no other reason than to ask each other pointed questions and give well thought out answers. I suppose that's a discussion for another thread but as far as my interview with Van went, I don't think I made that point as clearly as I would have liked.

I attacked the missionary program as being entirely too inadequate but I meant to lead that into the fact that people could search much more effectively nowadays and that I was glad of that fact. Indeed, I meant to encourage people to do exactly that and I was sidetracked by my own discussion of a tangential issue. My fault.

Van rightly castigated me for using "Utah" statistics on depression and bankruptcy to apply to Mormonism. He was right to do so because as he indicated, it's not really an effective statistic, given that there are plenty of people who are not Mormon in Utah. Even more pointedly, there are plenty of exmormons in Utah. It would be much more effective to use a study which deals only in Mormonism and then compare that study to the non-Mormon population. Then to the Exmormon population. I don't think I've ever seen such a study but if one of you have seen one, I'd like to get ahold of it.

By the same token, Van used the inadequate statement that there are plenty of people of high intellect and professional education who believe Mormonism and I was able to rightly point out the fallacy of that argument since there are so many similar people in EVERY belief system, however rational or irrational they may be. Van graciously and rightly conceded that point. I was tempted to further illustrate the fallacy of it by pointing out the Heaven's Gate cult which all committed suicide in San Diego a few years ago in preparation for coming aliens. However, I don't recall with certainty if those were well-educated people although I thought they were reputed to be so.

Anything else? I'll have to listen to the recording to see what else may have been worth noting. I'm sure there are others and if you have observations, I'm more than happy to hear about them. Also, if you have criticisms or suggestions, please let me know. I'm not necessarily seeking this kind of attention for The Foundation though if I'm not mistaken, I think I probably should. It would be a good thing, no doubt. The problem, of course, is that I need to get better at such things!!!

An pats on the back, too, if you wish! I accept hugs as well!

Thanks, everyone, for listening to me ramble, both here and on the air!

Best wishes,

Louis Wagner
President
The Exmormon Foundation
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Mopologist Van Hale Asserted That After The Passage Of The 1862 Anti-Bigamy Act That The Mormons Began "Working Toward" Ending Polygamy.
Tuesday, Nov 1, 2005, at 12:56 PM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: VAN HALE   -Link To MC Article-
Mopologist Van Hale asserted that after the passage of the 1862 anti-bigamy actthat the Mormons began "working toward" ending polygamy. (BTW, I'm putting this in a new thread because I don't want this very important info to be buried in another thread.) Hale, of course, wants his listeners to believe that 19th-century church leaders were law-abiding citizens.

The fact is that church leaders worked long and hard to maintain the practice of polygamy right up until they were forced to "officially" end it with the 1890 Manifesto. Even after the 1879 Reynolds decision, wherein high-ranking Mormon George Reynolds was used as a "test case" (which the church lost and Reynolds was sent to prison), it took another eleven years for Woodruff to first "begin working to end polygamy" with his Manifesto.

Michael Quinn's article on post-Manifesto new plural marriages puts the lie to Hale's apologetics:

"In 1882, Congress passed the Edmunds Law which provided up to five years’ imprisonment and a $500 fine for entering into polygamy, six months’ imprisonment and $300 fine for the resulting unlawful cohabitation, and which disfranchised polygamists. President Taylor responded with a sermon in which he asked, "Are we going to suffer a surrender of this point?" and then he answered, "No, never! No, never!"81 He made his resistance to what was now the Constitutional law of the land more emphatic in October 1882 by announcing a revelation of God which stated: "You may appoint Seymour B. Young [a monogamist] to fill up the vacancy in the presiding quorum of Seventies, if he will conform to my law; for it is not meet that men who will not abide my law shall preside over my Priesthood."82 As federal pressure increased to arrest polygamists and otherwise suppress Mormon polygamy, John Taylor responded with greater defiance: at a special priesthood meeting at April conference of 1884 he asked for all monogamists serving in ward bishoprics or stake presidencies either to make preparations to marry a plural wife or to offer their resignations from Church office, and he even called out the names of monogamous stake presidents.83 In his last public discourse on 1 February 1885, John Taylor reminded his Salt Lake City audience of the federal efforts to suppress polygamy, and rhetorically asked if he should disobey God in order to support the government. His answer: "No, Never! No, NEVER! NO, NEVER!"84 President Taylor left the stand and went into permanent exile to avoid arrest by federal officers.

For the next two and a half years, John Taylor demonstrated continued resistance to compromise while he was "on the underground" in various hiding places in Utah. In July 1885, he suggested that due to the federal anti-polygamy raid, the American flags on all Church properties be lowered to half-mast for Independence Day, which outraged the non-Mormons of Salt Lake City and nearly caused a riot in the city.85 After eight months in hiding, John Taylor and his first counselor, George Q. Cannon, issued a First Presidency letter at October 1885 general conference: "Well–meaning friends of ours have said that our refusal to renounce the principle of celestial marriage invites destruction. They warn and implore us to yield." They reported their response: "We did not reveal celestial marriage. We cannot withdraw or renounce it."86 Four months later, Cannon was arrested by a U.S. marshal, remaining free prior to trial on a $45,000 bail bond, which President Taylor had Cannon forfeit so that he could return to hiding.87"

End quotes from Quinn. Woodruff announced his Manifesto only four months after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Edmunds-Tucker Act. That act would have disincorporated the church and seized all its assets worth more than $50,000 except for those which were not used exclusively for religious worship, if church leaders did not cease practicing polygamy. If that had happened, the church's burgeoning economic empire would have crumbled. So, like many "revelations" of Mormon prophets, Woodruff issued his Manifesto becase of M-O-N-E-Y.

This information is more than enough to show that Van Hale's assertion that the Mormons "worked to end polygamy" after the passage of the 1862 Morrill Act is utterly false. The Mormons were dragged kicking and screaming into ceasing polygamy after four decades of defiance, and then only ended it under duress because their very economic existence depended upon it.
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Van Hale Versus Intellectual Honesty
Monday, Nov 14, 2005, at 08:28 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: VAN HALE   -Link To MC Article-
Mr. Hale, I am sending this post to about 2000 Ex-Mormons and questioning Mormons on various internet forums, just to let you know.

Last week, I wrote Van Hale an e-mail in which I informed him that I would not correspond directly with him anymore unless he began acting with some intellectual honesty. Then I listened to his radio program last Sunday night (on the mistaken assumption that Art Vanick was to be the guest). Hale spent practically the entire two-hour program discussing items I'd sent him in my e-mail, although he didn't mention me by name. Hale's remarks showed me that he is still unwilling to exercise intellectual honesty in his treatment of Mormon history. I hope that readers of this post can see why I've stated that it's pointless for me to attempt any productive dialogue with him. So I will be addressing my remarks to readers, rather than to Hale himself.

The primary subject Hale discussed was the issue of Joseph Smith smuggling a message out of Carthage Jail to Nauvoo Legion commander Jonathan Dunham, ordering him to assemble the troops to come rescue them. Hale's first comment was that this item was a "myth," meaning of course, that he believes it's untrue (which I thought was amusing, since there is far more credible documentation for this issue than there is, for instance, for Joseph Smith's alleged visits from God, Jesus, and the angel Moroni---but I don't see Hale calling those items "myths.")

Hale demanded that I provide some documentation for the Dunham letter. So I sent him a link to an old ARM post of mine which contained quotes on the subject from four different historians---Fawn Brodie, Samuel Taylor, Harold Schindler, and Wallace Stegner. For new readers, here's the link again:

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.re...

Ths four historians I quoted all published their works in the 1960s and '70s.

At the time I wrote that ARM post, I didn't have a copy of Michael Quinn's "Origins of Power," so I also sent Hale Quinn's comments on the issue.

On his program last Sunday night, Hale addressed ONLY the Quinn quotes---primarily a citation of a Smith-to-Dunham letter as published in "The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith," edited by LDS scholar Dean Jessee. Hale expressed dismay that Quinn, writing in 1994, cited that letter, because it was found to have been one of Mark Hofmann's forgeries, and I've found that to be the case. Hale's attitude while relating that information was critical of Quinn, but Quinn alone can't be faulted, seeing as how he relied on the information published by LDS scholar Jessee.

Amusingly, while researching this issue, I found a review of Quinn's MHOP, written by Jessee, wherein he criticizes Quinn's citing of Dunham's refusal to obey Smith's order---but Jessee had previously published the bogus Hofmann letter in his own book. See

http://www.signaturebooks.com/reviews...

Upon learning that the letter cited by Jessee and Quinn was a Hofmann forgery, I remembered that Hofmann's modus operandi was to invent bogus documents using information that was already known or believed to be factual from other sources. It took me only a few minutes of research to learn that Hofmann did exactly that in this case as well. Read the details at

http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/track...

It's likely that Hofmann was familiar with the historical documentation for such a letter (as cited by Brodie, Taylor, Schindler, Stegner, etc.,) and also knew that the whereabouts and actual text of the original letter were unknown. So, Hofmann likely created his bogus letter based on facts found in other sources, similarly to how he concocted his "Salamander letter."

As I noted above, Hale only addressed my quotes from Quinn, and ignored the other four historians I quoted. The dishonest impression Hale gave his listening audience was that having "debunked" the single citation from Quinn as a Hofmann forgery, that he had refuted the entire idea that Smith had sent such a letter to Dunham. But the fact that Hofmann created a bogus letter does not mean that Smith did not in fact send such an order to Dunham.

Hale briefly referred to Quinn's citation of a close ally of Smith's, Allen Stout's, journal entry. Hale didn't tell his audience of Stout's relationship to Smith or of his high position in the Mormon hierarchy. He simply called Stout "a member of the church," with the intent of downplaying his position and thus his credibility.

Hale disingenuously called Stout's journal "a late source," and thus unreliable, in Hale's mind. In fact, Stout was not just some average Joe Mormon---he was a captain in the Nauvoo Legion, the brother of noted Mormon Hosea Stout, a personal bodyguard of Joseph Smith and later Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, was one of the early Nauvoo Mormons who received his endowment, and he emigrated to Utah and lived his entire life as a loyal, faithful Mormon.

Also, Stout's comments are hardly a "late source." Like any other journal, he wrote his remarks down contemporaneously with the events. You can read it at

http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/...

The relevant portion:

"And while they were in jail, Brother Joseph wrote an official order to Jonathan Dunham to bring the Legion and reserve him from being killed, but Dunham did not let a single man or mortal know that he had received such orders, and we were kept in the city under arms, not knowing but all was well, until the mob came and forced the prison and slew Joseph and Hyrum Smith and wounded John Taylor severely."

What Van Hale needs to ask himself---if he wishes to demonstrate some intellectual honesty---is, "Why would a lifelong faithful Mormon like Stout, who was fiercely loyal to Joseph Smith, concoct a false story like this, and write it in his journal?" Does Van Hale believe that Stout invented his comments out of whole cloth, and wrote them in his own personal journal, in order to make Smith look bad in the eyes of future readers, for some incomprehensible reason? Obviously, that prospect is ridiculous. The only honest and logical view to take of Stout's remarks is that they were an accurate recollection of events on the day of the murders.

(Note also Stout's matter-of-fact comments about vowing to "blood atone" the Smiths' killers if he had the opportunity. This is relevant because Van Hale has denied that "blood atonement" punishment was a reality in 19th-century Mormonism.)

It's rather amusing that Hale attempts to discredit Stout's journal entry regarding Smith's letter to Dunham, when the church's official website quotes from it as a credible source. See

http://www.lds.org/gospellibrary/pion...

Obviously, Van Hale cannot call Stout's journal "a late source" and therefore unreliable on the issue of the Smith-to-Dunham letter, while his own church's official website quotes from that very same journal as a credible source.

Hale also briefly mentioned Quinn's citation of T.B.H. Stenhouse's comments from his 1873 book "Rocky Mountain Saints" regarding the Smith-to-Dunham letter, which he also dismissed as a "late source." However, since Stout noted the incident in his personal journal, it's obvious that the tale was repeated in Mormon circles over the years, and that is how Stenhouse got the information. Here are Stenhouse's comments:

"Notwithstanding this apparent readiness to meet death, and the deep and clear divine impressions claimed to have been imparted to the Prophet of his forthcoming end, it is understood that he managed to send from prison a communication to the Mormon officer in military command at Nauvoo, to bring with all possible dispatch a portion of the Legion to protect him from treachery, and from that assassination which he had then so much cause to apprehend. This military commander put the Prophet's communication into his pocket and gave no heed to the call for help. No one was acquainted with the contents of the paper, and the officer was, therefore, he presumed, safe in disregarding it. "After the Prophet's death, by some accident or other, this communication was lost and was picked up on the street and read. The intelligence that Joseph had called for aid and none had been rendered him was soon bruited among the Saints, and excited their deepest indignation, as they were not only ready to march at a moment's notice, but were eager for the opportunity." (p. 164.)

Keep in mind that Stenhouse joined the church in Europe, was the first president of the Swiss Mission, and lived for many years in Utah before publishing his book. Meaning, that he likely heard of the Smith-to-Dunham letter from other faithful Utah Mormons. That being the case, it's unlikely that faithful Mormons would have continued to repeat the tale if it had no basis in fact.

Hale did not mention another of Quinn's citations---that of a letter of July 30, 1844 (a month after the Smith killings) which cited Carthage jailer George Stignall saying that when the mob began gathering outside the jail, and he feared violence, Joseph Smith calmed him by saying "Don't trouble yourself---they have come to rescue me." As this letter was written a month after the incident, it cannot be dismissed as "a late source." It is a contemporary source which corroborates Stout's journal entry.

Hale also didn't mention other tidbits of information which I had sent him links to, such as:

*John Taylor's remark that Stephen Markham had been sent from the Jail to Nauvoo "for the purpose of raising a company of men for our protection." (If Smith had resigned himself to death, why was that done? Who would that "company of men" have been, if not the Nauvoo Legion?)

*Smith's act of running to the window and attempting to express the Masonic distress call, indicating that he had some reason to hope that friendly forces were outside. Who could that have been, if not the Legion whom he had sent for?

*The fact that immediately after the shootings, a rumor went through the mob that "The Mormons are coming," causing the mob to scatter. What Mormons could that have been, if not the Legion?

Also, Hale had previously objected to Richard Packham's characterization of the incident as a "gun battle." Hale asserted that the jail inmates had only one gun, but the documentation shows that they had at least two. And since the evidence shows that Smith was expecting some armed assistance from Nauvoo, and the Smiths in fact shot at and wounded or killed their attackers, the term "gun battle" is accurate. The fact that the Smiths were outgunned does not mean the incident was not a gun battle. The fact that the Smiths were armed, and fought their attackers, also means that they did not die as "martyrs," because martyrs have resigned themselves to their fate, do not resist, and die willingly for their principles.

Those details combine to show that Joseph Smith did not intend to die that day in Carthage Jail, and that he desperately tried to preserve his life even with his last words. Meaning, the carefully cultivated tale that Smith "went to his death like a lamb to the slaughter," and "died willingly as a martyr for his religious beliefs," is utterly false. The sad thing is that if these historical facts which I've detailed had been written about the death of some historical figure other than Joseph Smith, Van Hale would accept them as being truthful and accurate. It's only because the facts contradict the myth that Smith died as a heroic willing martyr, that Hale refuses to accept them.

It's ironic that Van Hale titled his original e-mail to me "your dishonesty," and demanded that I "support [my] false claim that JS sent a letter from the Carthage Jail calling for the Nauvoo Legion to come and break him out," seeing as how after I sent him the documentation, his response was to dishonestly attempt to discredit the information.

As I've noted many times in the past, when Mormon apologists are confronted with information which contradicts their traditions, their typical response is to "shoot the messenger" by questioning their credibility, calling them "a late source," or whatever other dishonest tactics they must employ in order to hold onto their false traditions. Mormon apologists routinely "cherrypick"---using material as a credible source when it supports their positions, but calling that same source incredible or unreliable when it doesn't support their positions (even if the source is a lifelong, faithful Mormon. ) Mormon apologists knee-jerk reject all sources which contradict their chosen worldviews, until they are left with only those which support their beliefs. It is no different from what old Nazi and Soviet Union propagandists used to do, and that behavior amounts to self-deception.

It's also ironic that Hale had stated to me: "You hide out on the RFM knowing that those who participate there will not bother to check out anything you say, so you can lie at will without fear of discovery." In fact, Hale's faithful Mormon radio listeners are the ones who will not check out what he says; I could tell that from the responses callers made on his show last Sunday. They believe that Hale had discredited the entire idea that Smith had called for rescue by "debunking" the Hofmann letter. Hale knows that his faithful Mormon listeners will view him as an authoritative source, and as a fellow true believer; so they will accept Hale's remarks much like they accept those of church leaders, without question or doubt.

It's also hilarious that Hale asserted that RFM readers "will not check out anything you say," seeing as how we Ex-Mormons in general are fall more well-versed in Mormon history and doctrine than are nearly ALL faithful, active Mormons. We Ex-Mormons have "checked out" the issues and found the church's side of the story to be dishonest and disingenous; that is the very reason most of us left the church.
topic image
Heading Off Van Hale's Latest Lie At The Pass
Thursday, Sep 7, 2006, at 07:15 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: VAN HALE   -Link To MC Article-
For readers who are new to this BB: Van Hale is a Mormon apologist who hosts a radio show in SLC. He claims to have been studying Mormon history for about 40 years, and routinely boasts of his expertise on the subject.

About two years ago, Hale took it upon himself to invade this BB and correct us poor ignorant apostates on the issues. He was quickly booted from the forum because he was defending the church. Hale wanted to keep up private correspondence with me, but I informed him that I would not be corresponding with him anymore because his chronic intellectual dishonesty would make any dialogue between us pointless. In a nutshell, Hale employs the typical dishonest Mopologist tactic of only accepting sources of information which support his views, and summarily rejecting all those which prove him wrong. Interested parties can read some of examples of this on Deconstructor's website, and another one which I will give a link to if you e-mail me.

Hale has a nasty habit of expressing minor, subtle misrepresentations on details of issues which, at first reading, don't seem very significant---but to those of us who have studied Mormon history a little more intensely than the average bear, such minor misrepresentations can actually distort major aspects of history.

For instance, in the last episode of his radio show which I listened to a year or so ago, Hale repeated the "faith-promoting" false assertion that after the passage of the 1862 Morrill Act, the Mormons began "working towards ending polygamy." Hale, of course, wants his audience to believe that 19th-century Mormons were law-abiding, because that makes them look better in the eyes of today's TBM audience. But the fact is, as I responded to Hale, the Mormons *never* "began working towards ending polygamy"; rather, they were dragged kicking and screaming into ending polygamy in 1890 after the federal government passed the Edmunds-Tucker act, which vowed to disincorporate the church and seize its assets if church leaders did not comply with the law. Obviously, as the Mormons continued to defy the law from 1862 to 1890, they cannot be honestly viewed as "working towards ending polygamy" during that period. My point being that Hale's subtle misrepresentation is a far cry from the actual history.

Hale sends out a regular mass e-mail in which he advertises his upcoming shows. I still get them, although I never requested them, and I will not write him to instruct him to drop me from his list. I received one from him yesterday, as I suspect other members of this BB did as well. Here's what he wrote that I want to address:
"SUBJECT: My guests will be Michael Homer, Chair, Board of Utah State History and Kent Powell. We will announce and discuss the upcoming (Sep 14-16) Utah State Historical Society Annual Meeting: Tours; Scholarly Panels; History Papers; History Fair Presentation, etc.

A major topic of the meeting will be the Utah War of 1857. President Buchanan secretly ordered 2500 troops to come to Utah to replace Brigham Young as governor of the territory to put down an alleged rebellion of the Mormons against the U. S. Government. Several papers will be presented on this topic. We will discuss this topic and several others. My guests are both historians who have researched and written on a wide range of topics on Utah and Mormon history."
Hale's subtle lies in this statement are his assertions that President Buchanan "secretly" ordered troops to Utah; and that the Mormon rebellion was only "alleged," rather than real, dangerous, and traitorous. Some Mopologists have falsely asserted that Brigham Young was not informed as to why Buchanan sent the Army troops, thus falsely enabling them to assert that Young's orders to attack the troops and prevent them from entering the SL valley proper and justified. Not only does Hale repeat that lie, he also takes it a step further by asserting that Buchanan "secretly" sent the Army troops, which is ridiculously false. But you see, most of Hale's audience are naive, ignorant TBMs, so Hale can get by with passing his lies off to them---but not to the likes of us.

Far from being a "secret," General Winfield Scott ordered the 2500 troops to Utah on May 28, 1857, to escort the newly-appointed territorial governor, Alfred Cumming, to his office, and "to serve as a 'posse comitatus' in aiding a new governor and federal officers to keep the peace and enforce the law in the territory..." ("Forgotten Kingdom," David Bigler, p. 141.)
"These troops had been ordered to Utah by John B. Floyd, Secretary of War in the administration of President James Buchanan. The order to Harney from the Commanding General of the Army, dated June 29, 1857, explained the move as follows: 'The community and, in part, the civil government of Utah Territory are in a state of substantial rebellion against the laws and authority of the United States. A new civil governor is about to be designated, and to be charged with the establishment of law and order.'" (Leonard Arrington, "Great Basin Kingdom," p. 171.)
Here are links to some of my old ARM posts wherein I refuted these false assertions in responses to TBMs in the past:

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.re...

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.re...

Quoting Brigham Young's August 4, 1857 letter to Jacob Hamblin:
"We have an abundance of news. The Government have at last appointed an entire set of officials for the Territory [including a new governor to replace the traitorous Young]. These Gentry are to have a body guard of 2500 of Uncle's regulars.....There errand is entirely peaceful. The current report is that they somewhat query whether they will hang me with or without trial. There are about 30 others [subordinates] whom they intend to deal with." (Brooks, p. 34.)
Thus, we can see from Young's own words that he knew very well that the Army contingent's mission was to escort the new governor Cumming into office and to protect him and enforce the law. Some "secret," huh.

As for whether the Mormon rebellion was merely "alleged" or real, we can consider the remarks of Governor Cumming, who resigned in disgust in 1861:
"When Sir Richard Burton came to Great Salt Lake in 1860, the English explorer and writer found Governor Cumming disheartened because his 'scrupulous and conscientious impartiality' had only served to alienate other federal officials, who considered him to be a pacifist and had won no acceptance of him from the people. Still firmly in command was the territory's true governor, Brigham Young, while other federal officials, civil and military, had either quit in disgust or were getting ready to go. That year, Cumming reported that Utah was 'bordering on anarchy'.....Deeply disillusioned, the federal bureaucrat later reported his labors had been 'onerous and embarrassing' and asked for a leave of absence until a new appointee 'shall have arrived and qualified.' When asked how a successor wold get along, he replied, 'Get along? well enough, if he will do nothing. There is nothing to do. Alfred Cumming is Governor of the Territory, but Brigham Young is Governor of the people.'" (Bigler, p. 197-98.)
Finally, if anyone still wonders if the Mormons were in rebellion in 1857, perhaps they should consider what happened on September 11 of that year.

If Van Hale happens to read this post, I'd advise him to re-think his nasty habit of including subtle misrepresentations in his mass e-mails before sending them out to people who know the facts.
topic image
Van Hale And The "Oath Of Vengeance"
Wednesday, Sep 5, 2007, at 04:09 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: VAN HALE   -Link To MC Article-
A few months ago, SLC talk radio show host and rabid Mopologist Van Hale sent out one of his regular mass e-mails advertising that he would be discussing the veracity of the so-called "oath of vengeance." Hale contends that no such oath ever existed in the temple endowment ceremony, and that information about it was the product of "some dishonest twisting by some Ex-Mormons." Hale's agenda, of course, is that if he can deny that there was such an oath, he can deny that it factored in the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

I didn't have time to address Hale's allegations at the time, and I pretty much forgot about it. But I found an historical reference just now that deals with the subject, so I'm posting it here. From a 1982 UTLM newsletter at: http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no48....
"Joseph Smith's brother William publicly charged that the "Oath of Vengeance" was administered in Nauvoo. Heber C. Kimball's journal confirms this accusation. >On December 21, 1845, we find this report of remarks made in the temple:

"Elder Kimball . . . said the Twelve would have to leave shortly, for a charge of treason would be brought against them far swearing us to avenge the blood of the anointed ones, and some one would reveal it, and we shall have to part some day between sundown and dark–. . . >I have covenanted, and never will rest nor my posterity after me until those men who killed Joseph and Hyrum have been wiped out of the earth. (Heber C. Kimball's Journal, December 21, 1845)."
Read a little further down the newsletter to see some church correspodence on the elimination of the oath from the temple ceremony:
"In sealing for the dead wether one or both be dead, omit the kissing. >Omit from the prayer in the circles all reference to avenging the blood of the Prophets.

Omit from the ordinance and lecture all reference to retribution. >This last change can be made with a day's notice to those taking the parts that contain such reference.

This letter is written with the approval of the Presidency. >(Letter from George F. Richards to the President of the St. George Temple, dated February 15, 1927)"
I find it amusing that Van Hale, writing in 2007, denies that any such oath ever existed, when the Tanners provided the documentation for it from impeccable pro-church sources in 1982.
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For Newbies: Van Hale's Original Go-Around On All Ex-Mormon Forums
Saturday, Oct 6, 2007, at 07:31 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: VAN HALE   -Link To MC Article-
The purpose of this post is to educate newcomers about Van Hale's "history" on RFM, and to help you understand why I treat him the way I do. My post I copy below is from June of 2005. Another reader had archived it on a website. Amusingly, on that website are some comments from Hale, including this one:
I refuse to post [to RFM] under an assumed name
I thought that was kinda funny, seeing as how Hale recently sent several dozen posts here under the alias "Anon."

Note how Hale still uses the same disingenuous apologist tactics in his recent spate of posts which he used in his 2005 posts on which I comment below:

First of all, I am not "hiding out on RfM," as Van Hale falsely asserts. I can only assume that Hale is ignorant of the fact that I have debated Mormonism exhaustively for more than seven years on various internet forums, primarily alt.religion.mormon. Readers who have been here for more than just a couple of weeks have seen the many links I provide to the ARM archives on a regular basis where I have rebutted Mormon cyber-apologists over the years, on a variety of subjects. The reason I will no longer bother to correspond with Van Hale, or appear on his show, is this:

After debating Mopologists for about seven years, I realized that those who refused to admit that Mormonism is a demonstrable fraud are incorrigible brainwashed fanatics, and basically dishonest people. I have helped to "de-Mormonize" a few former TBMs (such as Steve Lowther, for instance, who started out on ARM as an apologist, but by 2002, came to the Ex-Mormon conference to hear me and others speak). But for the most part, the TBMs who debate Mormonism on the 'net are rabid fanatics who are unwilling or mentally or emotionally incapable of altering their worldview when presented with facts which would make "normal" people do so. IMO, Van Hale is one of those people.

When I began studying my way out of Mormonism, it only took me a few weeks of reading, and discovering a few inconsistencies or deceptions (such as the BOA and Joseph Smith's sexual habits, for example) to conclude that the church is a fraud from the outset. But when presented with the same info, the Van Hales of Mormondom, instead of accepting the obvious fraudulence of the church, and abandoning it as honest people should, go into "defense and denial" mode, employing all sorts of excuses, justifications, mental gymnastics, etc., to try to preserve their image of the church being a valid, "inspired," "true" organization. Hale's remarks on his radio show, as well as his posts here, and in e-mails to his list, etc., demonstrate this knee-jerk "Mormon Denial Mechanism" (to use my buddy Steve Lowther's term.)

As many of you know, I was also a very active poster on the exmormon e-mail list for about seven years. I stopped posting there as well as ARM more than a year ago primarily because Eric told me that there was much more traffic on the BB than on the e-mail list, and I could help a lot more people with my documentation here than there. I can only read and respond to so many forums, so I chose to make the BB my sole outlet at present. Eric told me last night that he estimates that there are between 30,000-40,000 individual posters who read/lurk/post on this BB at any given time. I would guess that that is far more than the number of listeners Van Hale would have on his radio show. So I hope I am reaching more people by posting on this BB than by appearing on his show.

Now, for a specific example of why I see no reason to dialogue with Hale: A couple of months ago, he asked the BB admins if he could respond to a historical question here. The admins allowed him to have a "one-shot deal" (Susan I/S's words.) But when myself and others posted rebuttals to Hale's post, he launched into "apologist mode," which is of course, against the rules. Hale recently sent a mass e-mail, which someone forwarded to me, wherein he wrote:

"I pointed out some of the historical mistakes of Randy Jordan and called for him to support some of his outrageous claims. His response was to complain to RFM that I was allowed to post on the board. "

That assertion is absolutely false. The thread which Hale had been posting his apologetics (about the "Nephi" vs. "Moroni" name contradiction), grew too long, so I started a new thread entitled "Questions for Van Hale." I wanted to ascertain his positions on certain items. When Susan I/S saw the thread addressed to Hale, she deleted it, and then went through and deleted his other apologetic posts from the other thread. Meaning, she didn't want Hale posting his apologetics here, and the only reason she hadn't deleted him earlier was because she simply didn't know he was posting multiple apologetic posts on the other thread. But the bottom line is that I had nothing whatsoever to do with Hale not being allowed to post here; the very fact that I began a new thread, asking him questions, should be evidence enough of that.

The fact is, admins just told me this week, after I read Hale's accusations that I had "complained" to admins about him posting here, that they had repeatedly told Hale that he was not allowed to post apologetics here. It was his typical Mormon pushiness and arrogance that forced admins to delete his posts, not my alleged "complaints." If I was "afraid" to dialogue with Hale, or had "complained" about him being able to post here, I wouldn't have bothered to respond to him on the "Nephi/Moroni" thread in the first place.

Hale's attitude as displayed in the deleted posts is another reason I will no longer bother to dialogue with him. As I have pointed out many times in the past---including in my speech at the 2002 ExMo conference---Mopologists' standard operating procedure is to accept all historical data and sources which support the church; but they reject out-of-hand all data which hurts the church's cause, regardless of the validity of the source. This double standard in the treatment of historical data is naive, disingenuous, and is not a serious, valid method for drawing conclusions regarding historical items. It is purely apologetics.

Specifically, on the "Nephi vs. Moroni" contradiction, Hale is satisfied to accept that anomaly as a simple clerical error (even though the "error" was repeated in church publications for decades); but when I cited an August, 1831 New York newspaper article which related details of Joseph Smith's 1820's money-digging cult, and placing "the ex-preacher from Ohio" (obviously referring to Sidney Rigdon) in Smith's treasure-seeking band, Hale responded:

"You include an article from the New York Inquirer, Aug 31, 1831 which is so filled with historical inaccuracies and logical absurdities that it has never been considered credible by any historian, LDS or non-LDS. It claims that Henry Rangdon, an ex-preacher from Ohio, was the author of the BM. No Henry Rangdon has turned up in any of the massive research of Mormon history in Ohio. If the author is referring to Sidney Rigdon, it seems strange to accept his farfetched details (purported money digging, collaborating with 23 year old JS 250 miles away etc.) as credible when he does not even know the Ohio preacher's name. Where is there a historian who uses this as a legitimate source instead of the body of sources including JS and those close to him? This is a newspaper article filled with unique allegations found nowhere else, except other newspapers which copy or draw from this article."

Note that Hale declares the article incredible basically because "If they can't even get Rigdon's name right, why should we accept ANY of it?"

But Hale does not give the "Nephi/Moroni" name anomaly the same treatment; he excuses it as a mere "clerical error," and he does not dismiss all of Joseph Smith's fantastic claims, in spite of the fact that it contains the EXACT SAME TYPE OF ANOMALY AS IN THE NEW YORK NEWSPAPER ARTICLE. It's that double standard the in treatment of historical data which makes apologists like Hale disingenuous, and that is why I no longer bother to try to dialogue with them. I would rather use my valuable time corresponding with posters here on the BB, who have the capacity to view such things dispassionately and objectively, and draw intelligent, valid conclusions, rather than constantly using those knee--jerk double standards in order to retain their "faith" in Mormonism.

Incidentally, I'm fairly certain that Hale is unaware that yet another newspaper told the same basic story that the August 1831 "New York Inquirer" did-----six months earlier, an edition of the "Cleveland Advertiser" named Rigdon (they got his name right) as the probable real originator of the BOM. Check out

THREAD_NOT_FOUND

Now, since this earlier article got Rigdon's name right, would Hale accept the story as valid? Don't hold your breath.

If Hale's motive is to dismiss all reports of Joseph Smith's 1820's treasure-digging activities (because they refute the church's desired image of Smith being a humble, law-abiding, Bible-reading, teenage farmboy), does he also reject out-of-hand Abram Benton's 1831 very detailed account of Smith's 1826 "glass-looking" trial?

http://www.olivercowdery.com/smithhom...

Or Martin Harris's candid interview relating Smith's 1820's "peep-stoning" activities, and his testimony that Smith was an integral part of a "money-digging" band?

http://www.xmission.com/~country/reas...

My point to providing these citations being that it's futile for Mopologists like Van Hale to try to dismiss one source such as the August 1831 "New York Inquirer" article in order to "save" Smith's reputation, and to refute an "anti-Mormon" like me, when there are MULTIPLE OTHER INDEPENDENT SOURCES WHICH SUPPORT AND EXPAND UPON the info in that article. Honest, intelligent researchers will conclude that the more independent sources there are for an assertion, the more likely it is to be correct. But apologists like Hale aren't interested in learning the truth; their agenda is to maintain their chosen worldview. Thus, they dismiss out-of-hand all data which conflicts with their pre-determined conclusions. And that is why I no longer bother to correspond with them: I already know what their predictable knee-jerk responses will be; I know that they will refuse to alter their worldview when presented with information which challenges their "faith"; so it is pointless to even try to dialogue with them.

Van Hale can believe that I'm "hiding out on RfM", as though I'm "afraid" to debate with him forever, for all I care. I don't give a happy damn about what he thinks of me. (He's a TBM, for hell's sake; why should ANY of us care what ANY TBM thinks of us, any more than we should worry about what any TB JW, or any other cultist nutcase, thinks of us?) My agenda is to provide facts about Mormon history to those readers who are willing to study the material dispassionately and objectively. I don't give a damn about Hale's radio show or his ratings. The only reason I even bother to respond to some posts regarding him is to show newbie readers how Mopologists use dishonest tactics and double standards.
 
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Just Off The Air With Van Hale About The Hoffman Forgeries. He Said That He Goes To This Website Nearly Every Day!
For TBMS Who Say The Church Doesn't Teach Leaders Have The Power Of Discernment
Is Lack Of Discernment Reason Enough To Leave The Church?
Van Hale Continues To Shoot Himself In The Foot
My Interview With Van Hale This Evening
Mopologist Van Hale Asserted That After The Passage Of The 1862 Anti-Bigamy Act That The Mormons Began "Working Toward" Ending Polygamy.
Van Hale Versus Intellectual Honesty
Heading Off Van Hale's Latest Lie At The Pass
Van Hale And The "Oath Of Vengeance"
For Newbies: Van Hale's Original Go-Around On All Ex-Mormon Forums
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  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 1 (35)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 10 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19 (26)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 24 (28)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 3 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 4 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 5 (23)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 6 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 8 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 9 (26)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 1 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 19 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 24 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 25 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 26 (61)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 3 (21)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 4 (22)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 5 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 6 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 8 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 9 (26)
  · EXCOMMUNICATION AND COURTS OF LOVE (19)
  · EZRA TAFT BENSON (30)
  · FACIAL HAIR (6)
  · FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS (70)
  · FAITH PROMOTING RUMORS (11)
  · FARMS (30)
  · FIRST VISION (23)
  · FOOD STORAGE (3)
  · FUNDAMENTALIST LDS (17)
  · GENERAL AUTHORITIES (29)
  · GENERAL CONFERENCE (14)
  · GENERAL NEWS (5)
  · GEORGE P. LEE (1)
  · GORDON B. HINCKLEY (68)
  · GRANT PALMER (8)
  · GREGORY L. SMITH (9)
  · GUNNISON MASSACRE (1)
  · H. DAVID BURTON (2)
  · HAROLD B. LEE (1)
  · HATE MAIL I RECEIVE (23)
  · HAUNS MILL (2)
  · HBO BIG LOVE (12)
  · HEBER C. KIMBALL (4)
  · HELEN RADKEY (17)
  · HELLEN MAR KIMBALL (4)
  · HENRY B. EYRING (5)
  · HOLIDAYS (13)
  · HOME AND VISITING TEACHING (9)
  · HOWARD W. HUNTER (1)
  · HUGH NIBLEY (13)
  · HYMNS (7)
  · INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM (18)
  · J REUBEN CLARK (1)
  · JAMES E. FAUST (7)
  · JEFF LINDSAY (6)
  · JEFFREY MELDRUM (1)
  · JEFFREY R. HOLLAND (32)
  · JEFFREY S. NIELSEN (11)
  · JOHN GEE (3)
  · JOHN L. LUND (3)
  · JOHN L. SORENSON (4)
  · JOHN TAYLOR (1)
  · JOSEPH B. WIRTHLIN (1)
  · JOSEPH F. SMITH (1)
  · JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH (8)
  · JOSEPH SITATI (1)
  · JOSEPH SMITH (101)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - POLYGAMY (43)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - PROPHECY (8)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SEER STONES (7)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - WORSHIP (13)
  · JUDAISM (3)
  · JULIE B. BECK (6)
  · KEITH B. MCMULLIN (1)
  · KERRY MUHLESTEIN (9)
  · KERRY SHIRTS (6)
  · KINDERHOOK PLATES (6)
  · KIRTLAND BANK (6)
  · KIRTLAND EGYPTIAN PAPERS (17)
  · L. TOM PERRY (5)
  · LAMANITE PLACEMENT PROGRAM (3)
  · LAMANITES (36)
  · LANCE B. WICKMAN (1)
  · LARRY ECHO HAWK (1)
  · LDS CHURCH (19)
  · LDS CHURCH OFFICE BUILDING (9)
  · LDS OFFICIAL ESSAYS (22)
  · LDS SOCIAL SERVICES (3)
  · LGBT - AND MORMONISM (44)
  · LORENZO SNOW (1)
  · LOUIS C. MIDGLEY (6)
  · LYNN A. MICKELSEN (2)
  · LYNN G. ROBBINS (1)
  · M. RUSSELL BALLARD (13)
  · MARK E. PETERSON (7)
  · MARK HOFFMAN (12)
  · MARLIN K. JENSEN (3)
  · MARRIOTT (2)
  · MARTIN HARRIS (5)
  · MASONS (16)
  · MELCHIZEDEK/AARONIC PRIESTHOOD (9)
  · MERRILL J. BATEMAN (3)
  · MICHAEL D. WILLIAMS (1)
  · MICHAEL OTTERSON (1)
  · MICHAEL R. ASH (26)
  · MITT ROMNEY (71)
  · MORE GOOD FOUNDATION (4)
  · MORMON CELEBRITIES (14)
  · MORMON CHURCH HISTORY (8)
  · MORMON CHURCH PR (13)
  · MORMON CHURCH PROPAGANDA (5)
  · MORMON CLASSES (1)
  · MORMON DOCTRINE (35)
  · MORMON FUNERALS (12)
  · MORMON GARMENTS (20)
  · MORMON HANDCARTS (12)
  · MORMON INTERPRETER (4)
  · MORMON MARRIAGE EXCLUSIONS (1)
  · MORMON MEMBERSHIP (38)
  · MORMON MISSIONARIES (142)
  · MORMON MONEY (73)
  · MORMON NEWSROOM (5)
  · MORMON POLITICAL ISSUES (5)
  · MORMON RACISM (18)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CEREMONIES (38)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CHANGES (15)
  · MORMON TEMPLES (116)
  · MORMON VISITOR CENTERS (10)
  · MORMON WARDS AND STAKE CENTERS (1)
  · MORMONTHINK (13)
  · MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE (21)
  · MURPHY TRANSCRIPT (1)
  · NATALIE R. COLLINS (11)
  · NAUVOO (3)
  · NAUVOO EXPOSITOR (2)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL (1)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL INSTITUTE (1)
  · NEIL L. ANDERSEN - SECTION 1 (3)
  · NEW ORDER MORMON (8)
  · OBEDIENCE - PAY, PRAY, OBEY (15)
  · OBJECT LESSONS (15)
  · OLIVER COWDREY (6)
  · ORRIN HATCH (10)
  · PARLEY P. PRATT (11)
  · PATRIARCHAL BLESSING (5)
  · PAUL H. DUNN (5)
  · PBS DOCUMENTARY THE MORMONS (20)
  · PERSECUTION (9)
  · PIONEER DAY (3)
  · PLAN OF SALVATION (5)
  · POLYGAMY (60)
  · PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS (1)
  · PRIESTHOOD EXECUTIVE MEETING (0)
  · PRIMARY (1)
  · PROCLAMATIONS (1)
  · PROPOSITION 8 (21)
  · PROPOSITION 8 COMMENTS (11)
  · QUENTIN L. COOK (11)
  · RELIEF SOCIETY (14)
  · RESIGNATION PROCESS (31)
  · RICHARD E. TURLEY, JR. (6)
  · RICHARD G. HINCKLEY (2)
  · RICHARD G. SCOTT (7)
  · RICHARD LYMAN BUSHMAN (11)
  · ROBERT D. HALES (5)
  · ROBERT L. MILLET (7)
  · RODNEY L. MELDRUM (15)
  · ROYAL SKOUSEN (2)
  · RUNTU'S RINCON (78)
  · RUSSELL M. NELSON (14)
  · SACRAMENT MEETING (11)
  · SALT LAKE TRIBUNE (1)
  · SCOTT D. WHITING (1)
  · SCOTT GORDON (5)
  · SEMINARY (5)
  · SERVICE AND CHARITY (24)
  · SHERI L. DEW (3)
  · SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS (4)
  · SIDNEY RIGDON (7)
  · SIMON SOUTHERTON (34)
  · SPAULDING MANUSCRIPT (8)
  · SPENCER W. KIMBALL (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 1 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 10 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 13 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 15 (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 2 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 3 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 4 (25)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 5 (22)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 7 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 8 (13)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9 (19)
  · STORIES (1)
  · SUNSTONE FOUNDATION (2)
  · SURVEILLANCE (SCMC) (12)
  · TAD R. CALLISTER (3)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 3 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 4 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 5 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 6 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 7 (9)
  · TALKS - SECTION 1 (1)
  · TEMPLE WEDDINGS (6)
  · TEMPLES - NAMES (1)
  · TERRYL GIVENS (1)
  · THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE (1)
  · THE SINGLE WARDS (5)
  · THE WORLD TABLE (3)
  · THOMAS PHILLIPS (18)
  · THOMAS S. MONSON (33)
  · TIME (4)
  · TITHING (63)
  · UGO PEREGO (5)
  · UK COURTS (7)
  · UNNANOUNCED, UNINVITED AND UNWELCOME (36)
  · UTAH LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRY (3)
  · VALERIE HUDSON (3)
  · VAN HALE (16)
  · VAUGHN J. FEATHERSTONE (1)
  · VIDEOS (30)
  · WARD CLEANING (4)
  · WARREN SNOW (1)
  · WELFARE (0)
  · WENDY L. WATSON (7)
  · WHITE AND DELIGHTSOME (11)
  · WILFORD WOODRUFF (6)
  · WILLIAM HAMBLIN (11)
  · WILLIAM LAW (1)
  · WILLIAM SCHRYVER (5)
  · WILLIAM WINES PHELPS (3)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM (86)
  · WORD OF WISDOM (7)
  · WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES (1)
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