LDS Apologist Van Hale Denies
Book of Mormon Historicity
"I'm not persuaded that the Book of Mormon is a translation
of an ancient history." - Van Hale September 18, 2005
Hale hosts his own Salt Lake area radio program called "Mormon Miscellaneous."
On February 6th, 2005 Mr. Hale's guest was Simon Southerton, author
a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church.
the two-hour radio broadcast, Van Hale issued a public statement, in
which he declared that he could not accept the Book of Mormon is real
history about real people.
Radio Program February 6th, 2005
Audio: 5.3 MB MP3 file. Please
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of One Discussion During Hale's Broadcast
Church Statements on Book of Mormon Historicity
See Church Statements
Regarding Book of Mormon
Hale Public Statements on September 2005
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?
Van Hale: I'm not
persuaded that the Book of Mormon is a translation of an ancient history.
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.
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.
Full Text Transcript
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Hale Book of Mormon "Not History" Statement
See Text Transcript
Responses to Van Hale's Statement
Responses to Van Hale's Public Statements