Reviewed by Todd G. Andersen
Randall K. Mehew attempts to motivate his readers to read the Book of Mormon in his A Most Convincing Witness. He does cover the key scriptures and basic arguments adequately. In his first chapter he uses the "other sheep" scripture (John 10:16) and its answer in the Book of Mormon from the resurrected Christ to the Nephites: "Ye are they of whom I said, "Other sheep I have . . . '" (3 Nephi 15:21). Next, in his second chapter, he establishes the need for dual witnesses from the Ezekiel scripture about the sticks of Judah and Joseph—the Bible and the Book of Mormon—from both of these books (Ezekiel 37:19; 2 Nephi 29; and 1 Nephi 13).
His third chapter quotes as its basis Revelation 14:6-7 about "another angel" flying with the message of the everlasting gospel, and discusses the role of the angel Moroni in restoring that gospel. His fourth chapter establishes that the Book of Mormon contains the "fulness of the everlasting gospel" (JS-H 2:34) and that Joseph Smith, who translated the book by the power of God, was to do this work as foreseen by Joseph the ancient patriarch and by Lehi, the first Book of Mormon prophet (2 Nephi 3).
His fifth chapter, perhaps the lightest and most interesting one, summarizes some statistics from Hugh B. Brown's address, "Profile of a Prophet." For example: "He had only a third grade education, yet he translated . . . 71 chapters on doctrine and exhortations that agree exactly with the Holy Bible" (p. 26). The sixth chapter cites a few key archaeological facts and gives an interpretation of their significance, such as the mention of ancient paintings from Mexico and Peru of light- and dark-skinned peoples together being a representation of Nephites and Lamanites.
The seventh chapter states, without example, that the Book of Mormon's authenticity has never been disproved. His eighth chapter briefly names some of the prophets of the Book of Mormon. Finally, the ninth chapter mentions the testimonies of the three and the eight witnesses and lists several leaders of the Church whose lives were touched by the Book of Mormon.
This book—or, better, pamphlet—of 41 small pages, while arguing for a most worthwhile objective, leaves a number of things to be desired. The writing is not cohesive and the chapters are not tied together except for the common theme of the Book of Mormon. This lack of continuity inhibits the interest level. Also, the author frequently raises unnecessary questions and yet provides no answers. For example, he states, "Moroni made possibly as many as fifteen trips (twelve being recorded) to the Prophet Joseph Smith" (p. 17). Several statements are quoted without a source being cited, i.e., a quotation from Revelation 19:10 (p. 15).
In his ninth chapter, he makes a humorous error: "Brigham Young and Henry D. Taylor, protestant church leaders, . . . later became presidents of the Church." He meant to say John Taylor for the second leader. On the same page, he cites a testimony of Sidney Rigdon about the Book of Mormon, to the effect that flesh and blood had not revealed the truth of it to him. Then the author states that this assertion of Brother Rigdon's "was similar to what Peter had said" in Matthew 16:19. In reality, Christ made the statement to Peter.
And who are Randall K. Mehew and his publishing company, Keepsake Paperbooks? Nothing is said in the publication about the credentials or goals of either.
Even though Brother Mehew meant well, the Book of Mormon itself is a far more convincing witness of its own authenticity than is this treatise. And the least expensive edition of the Book of Mormon costs less, too.