Testimony of Neil Steede
2004
The year 2004 brought my standing commitment to Cumorah to a new phase.  
For 30 years, on and off, I have gone to where I believe the Hill Cumorah to be
to search for the plates.  This writing is neither the time nor the place to explain
why I go where I do.  It suffices to say that each trip has yielded a little more
evidence.  Each year we seem a little closer to our goal.  This year was no
exception.  The Lord touched us in several ways.  To begin with, I believe that
most, if not all, of the group felt that we had been challenged to return the year
before.  In our closing service in 2003, the Spirit moved among us and left a
challenge.  This year we tried again.  After a week we had finally tried every way
we could think of to obtain entrance to the cave.  No success.

So for our final day, four of us climbed the hill for one last time.  Our final plan
was to approach with the argument that we had done all we could physically and
we were now commending into His hands.  In preparation, we had fasted and
tried to make ourselves as pure as possible.  We had spent all morning climbing
the skirt of the mountain to the cliff base.  After resting a short while, I began my
prayer.  It was possibly the longest prayer that I have ever given.  I had designed
it after several well known prayers described in the scriptures.  I began by
praising the Lord and telling Him how we knew that He was responsible for the
creation of Adam.  And then I recounted miracle after miracle down through
Noah and Moses and through the Brother of Jared to Nephi.

Then I praised the miracles in my own life.  After that, I told my story of the hill
and my association with it throughout the years.  Finally, I asked for a miracle of
opening up Cumorah so that we might have the writings.  Nothing happened-I
was disappointed to say the least.  I waited about three minutes and then
impatiently repeated the whole process-still nothing.  I was sorely disappointed.  

During the second round of prayer, Kevin Brown began digging at the base of the
cliff.  This seemed annoying to me at the time, but soon he dug up a tablet.  He
brought me the tablet and said that he had been told to chastise me for my
impatience.

As soon as I looked at the tablet I could recognize a few things.  In the future, we
will have this tablet completely translated.  All we know for now is that it has
“proclaim” or “proclamation” written on it.

As we continue our endeavor, I will try to be more patient.