In the Spring of 2007 a group of seven members traveled to Mexico to visit the Cerro Rabon Valley and to follow-up with the progress of our friends in the Jalapa de Diaz region. This group traveled with a list of items to accomplish as set out by Neil Steede and other members of the Hill Cumorah Expedition Team.
First on the agenda was to reconnect with old friends and establish permissions for access to Cerro Rabon. That accomplished, we spent our first day climbing familiar ground to base camp, cave camp, and the ledges above cave camp in one last effort to find a cave opening. There was none to be found. We had spent the day in a light mist, but by late afternoon the rain was coming down harder and we made our descent slipping and sliding most of the way.
Next on our agenda was a day spent gathering more information on the stela located on the southwest slope of Cerro Rabon. Once the information was gathered we then climbed the steep slopes above the stela in search for a pathway to the top of the mountain. The jungle was thick and footing treacherous with steep angles and loose soil, so that venture ended in a resolve to try another approach as some future venture. But, Kevin was able to find some pottery in the open field on our way down the mountainside.
On many occasions we found ourselves being asked to pray for the sick through the laying on of hands. In every case the Spirit of the Lord was present in power. One instance found our recipient openly weeping. She did not understand a word of the prayer as she only spoke Mazateca, but the expression of love and divine presence moved upon her and she felt the joy well up from inside. How do we know this? The Spirit testified to us.
Our group finally made its way to the small hill in the center of the bowl located to the south of Cerro Rabon and across the Santa Domingo River. It was here that we felt the that our trip was truly worthwhile. There were several indications for this. First, we climbed to the north peak of this hill and found that the peak itself was altered and perhaps even man made. Then we found a series of walls on the north end of the top of the mountain that indicates it was a leveled terrace. And, Kevin again was able to find just enough pottery to link the styles with other pottery found just across the river at the base of Cerro Rabon.
A sobering experience was felt by many as we stood at the top of this hill and realized, because of the view it provides of the entire area, that this was indeed the place where Mormon viewed the results of the battle and his heart wrote the lament we have recorded in Mormon 3:18-23. But, we know with certainty that from this place of darkness will come forth a beacon of light to call the children of Israel back to the arms of their Redeemer who longs to fulfill the covenant he made with their fathers.