Welcome to a sacred journey through the annals of faith and resilience—a pilgrimage that traces the footsteps of pioneers and prophets, illuminating the remarkable tapestry of LDS Church history. As we embark on this odyssey, let us immerse ourselves in the stories of courage, devotion, and divine intervention that unfolded in these hallowed grounds.
Casey Paul Griffith is an Associate Professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University. He has worked with EFY and FSY programs for over twenty years and is a popular speaker and writer. He is the author of numerous books and articles including, 50 Relics of the Restoration, The Four Loves and the Latter-day Saints, and Search, Ponder, and Pray: Guides for Travel and Study – New England, Missouri, and Illinois. He has led Church History tours in Israel, Europe, and the United States. He lives with his wife Elizabeth, and their four adorable children in Saratoga Springs, Utah.View Profile
Day 1 – Fly & Arrive to Rochester
Plan for your flight to arrive in Rochester in the afternoon or evening of Day 1.
Landing in Rochester, New York, feels less like a simple arrival and more like stepping onto the threshold of a profound journey into Latter-day Saint history.
Your time in Rochester isn’t just a sightseeing trip; it’s a preparation for a deeper understanding of the Church’s beginnings. By immersing yourself in these sacred sites, you’ll gain a fresh perspective on your faith, feel a stronger connection to the pioneers, and carry their legacy with you on your onward journey. (No meals included)
Day 2 – Palmyra + Sacred Grove and Hill Cumorah
Day 3 – Whitmer Farm (Fayette, NY) + Susquehanna (Harmony), PA
Journey to the heart of LDS history in Fayette, NY and Harmony, PA. These rural landscapes witnessed pivotal moments in the Restoration, from Joseph Smith translating golden plates to the Three Witnesses’ sacred experience. Step onto the Whitmer Farm, where the Book of Mormon’s translation found refuge. Explore the humble farmhouse and fields that resonated with heavenly pronouncements. Follow the Susquehanna River in Harmony, PA, where Joseph Smith received revelations and inspiration for the Church’s organization. Immerse yourself in the peaceful scenery that cradled the Restoration’s early days. (Meals included: Breakfast)
Day 4 – Niagara Falls
Feel the thunderous roar and mist on your face as you stand at the brink of Niagara Falls, one of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. Journey behind the falls on the Maid of the Mist boat ride, experiencing the cascading water from a breathtakingly close perspective.
Pause beneath the celestial wonders as we witness a total solar eclipse (an event that takes up to 375 years to be repeated in the same location)—a celestial metaphor for the moments of darkness and the promise of light that permeate our mortal journey. (Meals included: Breakfast)
Day 5 – Kirtland & Hiram; Flights from Cleveland to Kansas City
Step back in time to the 1830s in Kirtland and Hiram, Ohio, two small towns where the Church took root and flourished. Immerse yourself in these historic locations and witness firsthand the places where key events unfolded.
In Kirtland, let the echoes of faith reverberate within the walls of the Kirtland Temple, a testament to the dedication and sacrifice of early Saints. As we marvel at the intricate architecture and ponder the significance of the revelations received within its sacred halls, we are reminded of the sanctity of our temples and the covenants that bind us to God and one another.
Stroll through the restored village of Historic Kirtland, visiting the home of Joseph Smith and other early Church leaders, the Whitney Store, a gathering place for early Saints and imagine the bustling community.
Then visit the John Johnson Farm, this humble farmhouse, where Joseph Smith and Emma Smith resided during a pivotal period of Church growth. Discover the room where the Doctrine and Covenants was compiled and experience the simple setting that fostered profound revelations. (Meals included: Breakfast)
Day 6 – Liberty Jail & Independence, Adam-Ondi-Ahman, near Nauvoo
Immerse yourself in Missouri’s cradle of Latter-day Saint History. Explore a vibrant exhibit hall showcasing the early Church in Missouri, including the expulsion of Saints that highlights their legacy of resilience. Stand on the consecrated ground of Temple Lot where the first temple was planned, a symbol of faith and perseverance despite persecution. Then step inside the austere walls of Liberty Jail where Joseph Smith and other leaders were unjustly imprisoned, a testament to their unwavering faith.
Then visit the Far West, a thriving community built by Saints that grew after church headquarters relocated there from Kirtland, Ohio. And then to Adam-ondi-Ahman where Adam and Eve once talked face to face with God.
Missouri’s rich tapestry of Latter-day Saint history invites you to witness the triumphs and trials of early Saints firsthand. Reflect on their faith, feel their determination, and celebrate their enduring legacy. (Meals included: Breakfast)
Day 7 – Nauvoo
Nauvoo offers a tangible connection to the past, allowing you to walk in the footsteps of your ancestors and feel the unwavering spirit that fueled their journey. It’s a place to contemplate faith, resilience, and the enduring legacy of a community built on hope and sacrifice.
Step into a bygone era at Nauvoo, Illinois, where the spirit of Latter-day Saint history whispers through restored buildings and rolling fields. Witness the city Joseph Smith built, a vibrant haven for Saints before their forced exodus:
Stand in the shadow of the majestic Nauvoo Temple, a testament to the Saints’ devotion and a symbol of their aspirations. Imagine the joy of early worship within its walls. Stroll through the streets of Historic Nauvoo, lined with restored homes and shops, picturing the bustling life of early Saints. Visit Joseph Smith’s home and the Red Brick Store, where everyday life and sacred revelations intermingled. Explore the Joseph Smith Historic Site, the Prophet’s final resting place and learn about his martyrdom, a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made for faith. (Meals included: Breakfast)
Day 8 – Nauvoo & Carthage; Hannibal, MO + Mark Twain River Cruise Dinner
Then on to Hannibal, Missouri that offers a unique and charming blend of Mark Twain’s literary legacy and beautiful Mississippi River scenery:
Step into the boyhood world of Samuel Clemens, whose stories brought laughter and adventure to millions. Imagine the mischief brewing in the whitewashed walls and explore the town that inspired iconic characters like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Wander through Hannibal’s historic downtown, filled with antique shops, charming cafes, and friendly locals. Experience the town’s laid-back atmosphere and soak in its nostalgic appeal. Sail the mighty Mississippi River, just as Twain did in his youth. Soak in the panoramic views and feel the peacefulness of the water, a stark contrast to the bustling river trade of Mark Twain’s era. (Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 9 – Arrive home with incredible memories!
Plan for your flight to leave St. Louis in the afternoon of Day 9.
As you wind your way from Nauvoo’s sacred grounds towards St. Louis’ bustling airport, don’t just see miles of asphalt. This drive offers a tapestry of history, natural beauty, and charming towns waiting to be discovered. And return home with renewed faith and strength. (Meals included: Breakfast)
- World class tour guides
- 3 star or better hotels
- Transfers to and from the airport (If arriving and departing with the group)
- Entrance fees
- Whisper headsets
- Luxury tour coach bus
- Tips for local drivers
- Tips for local guides
- Water on the bus
- Meals as indicated on the itinerary
What’s Not Included
- Personal Items
- Traveler’s Insurance
“Pack your bags, get your air tickets, and we’ll take care of everything else!”
Based on Double Occupancy