|Testimony of Jerry Stoner
The morning was clear and the sun was just rising as Neil Steede, Tim Brown,
Kevin Brown and I arrived at the base of Hill Cumorah. After about a five-hour
climb, we arrived at what we call "cave camp." This is the area below where we
believe the opening to the cave to be. After fasting and prayer, we came here to
offer prayers to our Heavenly Father asking for direction concerning our next
journey to Cumorah. Neil built a small altar and placed the manuscript of the
last chapter of his book on the altar. Then he offered prayers to the Lord asking
a blessing on his work.
The group offered a round of prayers asking for guidance and direction, and
afterwards, we spent time in silent meditation. While we were in this time of
meditation, there were some children that showed up offering to sell us some
obsidian shards. I purchased the shards and they went on their way. After the
children left we offered up another round of prayers.
After our second round of prayers, Neil asked if anyone was ready to leave.
Kevin and I both suggested that we stay for awhile and listen for a reply. It was
at this point Fred Elliot and two young men from the village that had helped us
bring our gear up the mountain came into our worship area. Fred told us he had
started up the mountain in search of a pestle I had dropped two days before
when we were descending the mountain. Fred told us about leading the young
men over to the waterfalls and around the side of the mountain trying to give us
time to pray and worship uninterrupted.
About this time Kevin was digging in the soft dirt under the cave area and looked
up at the group and said, "I need to dig. I'm supposed to dig here." Kevin was
digging intently, almost like a dog, and at about three-inches deep, he found
pottery shards and a ring of small stones. All of us witnessed this digging and the
compelling effort with which Kevin was digging. We had no tools to work with
so Kevin was digging with only his hands. About five or six inches down, Kevin
uncovered a flat stone about 11" x 20" x 1". He handed the stone to Neil, pointing
out some marks on it. Neil quickly looked at it, said it was nothing and tossed it
back to Kevin. Kevin looked at it again and said that the marks looked like they
may be an arrow. He sat the stone down and continued to dig searching again
for whatever it was that was compelling him. Neil was frustrated and
disappointed at the seemingly unfruitful journey. Neil said he was going back
and started down the mountain. Fred and I decided to go with Neil and help him
down, as it was very difficult for him to navigate the boulder strewn, steep jungle
Kevin and Tim stayed behind and dug a while longer as the rest of us started our
journey down. At some point, Kevin caught up with us and said, “Be of good
cheer, The Lord has spoken to us today as sure as I'm standing here".
Protecting the tablet, he continued on through the jungle at a hurried pace.
That night, Kevin led our evening devotion, bearing his testimony and message
from God to the group, specifically Neil, Tim, Fred and I. Tim and I were told
that He, the Lord, was pleased with us, that He had heard our prayers of
forgiveness for the ones who stole our possessions, and that He was pleased we
would be willing to trade our possessions for His records. He stated that it was
Neil, Tim and my responsibility to bear witness that Kevin did pull this tablet out
of the ground which He caused to be laid there, and that under the guidance of
the Holy Spirit, he was compelled to dig, even under his very seat.
Kevin was the instrument in God's own hand. He was spiritually prepared and
recognized the urgings of the Spirit and acted upon them. It is my opinion we
should all be so prepared to act when the Lord calls on us to do His work.
It is my testimony that I, Jerry Stoner, did witness these things and that they are
true. It is my privilege and responsibility to bear this testimony of these things
and that this is but evidence that the treasures of the records hidden in Cumorah
are shortly coming. We should all prepare ourselves for this, that we might share
to all that would hear, that they might be filled with the nourishment of His
May all the power and glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen