Church History Tour

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Church History Tour

9 Day Land Tour

07/20/2023 - 07/28/2023

John Hilton III

Join John Hilton & Bountiful Travel on this unforgettable tour to Palmyra, Kirtland, Independence, and Nauvoo. The highlights of the tour are the Sacred Grove, Joseph Smith farm, historic Kirtland village, the Kirtland temple, Independence, Liberty Jail, Far West, historic Nauvoo, and the Nauvoo temple to name a few. You and your family will love John as he takes you to these historic places. We will stay in nice hotels all along the way, eating some of our meals at the hotels. We do meals at the hotels as we have found this to be a great way to allow for group interaction and better, quicker meals.


Day 1 : Fly to Rochester

July 20, 2023 (Thursday)

You will depart this morning for Rochester, New York. Plan to arrive at the hotel before 7:00 pm as dinner is included at the hotel in the evening. Following dinner you will have a chance to get to know the group and tour director at our meet & greet. Meals : Dinner. Hotel: Hampton Inn and Suites Rochester/Victor

Day 2 : Palmyra - Sacred Grove - Hill Cumorah

July 21, 2023 (Friday)

Today we will spend a full day seeing the sites in Palmyra. Our stops include the Sacred Grove, the Smith Family Farm, the rebuilt log home where Moroni’s visits took place, the Hill Cumorah, the Grandin Press (where the Book of Mormon was first published), and the Palmyra Cemetery. We will also visit Fayette where we will visit the Peter Whitmer farm. Here in Fayette, the Church was officially organized in the home of Peter Whitmer. It was also here the Three Witnesses saw and angel and the plates. Meals : Breakfast, Dinner at the hotel. Hotel: Hampton Inn and Suites Rochester/Victor

Day 3 : Fayette - Colesville - Susquehanna River - Harmony, Pennsylvania

July 22, 2023 (Saturday)

We will travel to Harmony, PA and the Susquehanna River. Much of the translation of the Book of Mormon took place here. Also, this is where the Priesthood was restored and Joseph and Oliver were baptized. The sites include Joseph and Emma’s home, and the Isaac Hale home. On our way back to the hotel we will stop at Colesville, NY. Time permitting, we may visit the restored home of Joseph Knight. Hyrum Smith was the branch president of one of the church’s first branches here in Colesville. We will then return to hotel in the evening for dinner. Meals : Breakfast, Dinner, picnic. Hotel: Hampton Inn and Suites Rochester/Victor

Day 4 : Niagara Falls

July 23, 2023 (Sunday)

After checking out of our hotels and attending sacrament meeting, we head toward Kirtland. On our way, we will stop at Niagara Falls, the oldest state park in the USA. We will board the Maid of the Mist boat which passes directly in front of the falls and enters Horseshoe Basin. This is a fun activity you don’t want to miss! After free time for lunch and shopping we travel to Kirtland, OH. Meals : Breakfast, Dinner. Hotel : Holiday Inn Mentor

Day 5 : Kirtland

July 24, 2023 (Monday)

Today we will visit sites in the Kirtland area. The morning will begin with a visit to the Kirtland temple. It was here that the Savior appeared to Joseph and Oliver. Moses, Elias, and Elijah also appeared and restored the Keys of the Priesthood associated with the temple ordinances. We will visit the historic village of Kirtland, where we will see the LDS Visitor’s Center, the Newell K. Whitney home (where Joseph and Emma lived) and the Newell K. Whitney store (which included the School of the Prophets and where many revelations, including the Word of Wisdom were received). We will also see the reconstructed Kirtland Schoolhouse, the Kirtland Ashery, and a reconstructed water-powered sawmill. Following some free time for lunch, we will visit the Morley Farm where a home was built for Joseph when he moved to Ohio. In the late afternoon, we will also visit the Johnson Farm, where much opposition came to Joseph and where the Church periodical The Evening and Morning Star was published. Meals : Breakfast, Dinner. Hotel: Holiday Inn Mentor

Day 6 : Kansas City - Independence

July 25, 2023 (Tuesday)

This morning we will transfer to the Cleveland airport for a flight to Kansas City. Upon arrival, we will have a bus waiting for us to take us to Independence, where we will visit the LDS Visitors Center near the temple site in Jackson County. we will also visit the Liberty Jail where the Prophet Joseph spent several months while the Saints suffered severe persecution in Missouri. Meals : Breakfast, lunch. Hotel : Comfort Suites Independence

Day 7 : Adam-ondi-Ahman - Farr West - Nauvoo

July 26, 2023 (Wednesday)

As we travel to Nauvoo we will visit the historic site of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and Farr West where the name of the church was revealed. After arriving in Nauvoo we will visit the Joseph Smith homestead; the grave sites of Joseph, Emma, and Hyrum; the Mansion House; and the Red Brick Store. Meals : Breakfast, Dinner. Picnic in Nauvoo Hotel: TBA

Day 8 : Nauvoo - Carthage

July 27, 2023 (Thursday)

Our day begins with free time to browse through the many restored homes and buildings in Old Nauvoo, including the homes of Brigham Young, John Taylor, Heber C Kimball, Lucy Mack Smith and the Jonathan Browning Gun Shop. This afternoon we will travel the old road to Carthage to view a production of the Life of the Prophet Joseph Smith at the Visitor’s Center. Next, we will tour the jail itself where the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum were martyred. Meals : Breakfast, Dinner at Hotel Nauvoo. Hotel : TBA.

Day 9 : Nauvoo - St. Louis Airport - Home

July 28, 2023 (Friday)

We will check out of our hotels this morning and have a farewell lunch before we depart for the airport. Meals : Breakfast, Lunch


8 nights hotel accommodations
Meals as specified in itinerary
Deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach transportation
Taxes on included services
Internal flight from Cleveland to Kansas City (group flight)
Meal gratuities


Airfare to Rochester and home from St. Louis
Meals not specified in itinerary
Items of personal nature
Trip cancellation and baggage insurance
Checked baggage fees
Bus Driver gratuities
Tips for the LDS tour director are appreciated but not required



  • $2295 per person based on double occupancy for cash or check payments.
  • $2125 per person, based on triple occupancy.
  • $2035 per person based on quad occupancy.
  • $2975 for single occupancy
  • $80 Fee if paying by debit or credit card.


Several of you have asked about the tipping for the bus driver and guide. This is done at the end of the tour (anytime during the last day).
• Driver: A tip is required for the driver and we recommend the amount of $30 per person for the tour, split between drivers.
• LDS Guide: This tip is not required; but it is appreciated. If you feel they did a good job and would like to thank them, this is the perfect way to do so.

Payment Schedule

  • $250 per person due at time of booking
  • Final Payment: Final payment is due three months before the tour departure date.

Cancellation Policy

  • If you cancel: Deposit is non-refundable; however, it is transferable to another guest on a new booking, traveling on the same tour date. After final payment, the full amount is non-refundable. If you cancel and you can find someone to take your spot, we will refund the deposit. If we have a waiting list, we will refund your deposit by placing someone in your spot.
  • If we cancel the tour for any reason: Deposit is non-refundable; however, it can be transferred to any other tour or kept as a future tour credit to be used at any time on one of our advertised tours (cannot be transferred to a cruise). The balance will be refunded or applied to a future tour as a credit.
  • The only way to avoid trip cancellation penalties is to buy trip cancellation insurance. If you are interested in the insurance, we can help you purchase it.

A minimum number of 29 passengers is needed for this tour to depart

Check Your Invoice Names: Please check to see that your names are spelled correctly. Your first and last names must appear as they appear on your passport for International travel and Driver’s License for domestic tours.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the nature of this tour you must be able to climb stairs and walk unassisted at a moderate pace. 

Please note that minor changes to the itinerary may occur due to local conditions and to better accommodate our group.


John Hilton III
John Hilton III: John Hilton III is an assistant professor of Ancient Scripture. Before coming to BYU, John worked with the LDS Seminary and Institute program for eleven years in a variety of capacities. John has a Masters degree from Harvard and a Ph.D from BYU, both in Education. John loves to teach and his research focuses on issues relating to both religious pedagogy and Open Educational Resources (OER). John has lived in Jerusalem and taught many times on sites throughout Israel. John and his wife Lani have six children. John is passionate about doing humanitarian service and is an amateur magician. You will love John. He’s an insightful, kind, charismatic teacher. He’s great for youth and adults!
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Church History Tour - 9 Day Land Tour


*Reservation will be confirmed once deposit is received and you receive and email confirmation.