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The Nauvoo Discovery Program Historic Acquisition Tours: From Nauvoo, Illinois to Kirtland, Ohio- Sacred Sites, Sacred Spaces

(Intro Contributed by Janine Green. Photos by Jacob Lyse)

On Monday, March 25, 2024, we visited the church’s newly acquired sites in Nauvoo and were the first visitors (just behind the VIP tour) to enter the sites on this historic first day!

Early the following morning, 18 of us loaded into 4 vehicles headed to Kirtland, Ohio, and on March 27, 2024, the 188th anniversary of the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, we entered yet another very sacred space and concluded our tour in the main floor assembly room of the Temple by singing “The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning”—the same hymn that was sung in the original dedication of the Kirtland Temple.

Before heading home on March 28, we toured the historic John Johnson home in Hyrum, Ohio, where 16 sections of the Doctrine and Covenants were revealed to the prophet, Joseph Smith.

These are days never to be forgotten. 

Nauvoo, Illinois~ Monday, March 25th, 2024

The Nauvoo Discovery Program Participants - First Tour Group In!

The Nauvoo Discovery Program Participants - First Tour Group! At the Joseph Smith Homestead in Nauvoo, Illinois.
At the Joseph & Emma Smith Homestead in Nauvoo, Illinois.

The Nauvoo Discovery Program at the Mansion Home, Nauvoo, Illinois
At the Mansion Home, Nauvoo, Illinois.

Kirtland, Ohio~ Wednesday, March 27th, 2024

At the Kirtland, Ohio Temple

The Nauvoo Discovery Program Participants visit the John Johnson home in Hyrum, Ohio
At the John Johnson home in Hyrum, Ohio

Participant's Reflections of the Tours ~

Wesley Graham ~

"Having the opportunity to visit the new historic sites announced by the church has altogether expanded the experience of participating in the Nauvoo Discovery Program. What a special time to be in such a beautiful place. From Kirtland to the southern flats of Nauvoo, the Lord is opening up more opportunities to feel the spirits’ presence through historic locations."

Hanieh Malcolm ~

"I'm so grateful for the Community of Christ and their care and sacrifice for the facilities that they transferred to the Church of Jesus Christ. This was a big moment for both communities and I felt their testimonies as I entered these sites which we all find sacred."

Mielee Prettyman ~

"These new sites are beautiful! I am so grateful that I was able to visit these Historic places and feel the wonderful spirit that they hold. This is such a special time to be out here and I am so glad I got this opportunity!"

Rachel Clayton ~

"Going to the new sites was amazing! I loved seeing the Joseph Smith sites and especially hearing about the truths restored in the Red Brick Store. I loved visiting Kirtland. The temple was so sacred and beautiful. It’s both a historical treasure and a spiritual safe haven."

Jacquelyn Garfield ~

"I loved going to the new church sites in Nauvoo and in Kirtland! The spirit was so strong and I felt the love of my Heavenly Father! It helped strengthen my testimony of the truth of the gospel, the restoration of this church, and of The Book of Mormon. This trip has also brought me closer to some friends I haven’t been able to spend time with as much and be closer to other people too! Even though it was a long trip, it was so worth it, and I enjoyed every bit of it."

Mary Roberts~

"The surreal feeling of being in the Kirtland temple where Christ and many other angels were once present, was the most memorable emotion of being in the holy sites. Along with the many other historic places where the prophet and early Saints stood and restored the church. I cannot describe the spirit and lightness of touring these extraordinary places."

Brandon Colvin ~

"I enjoyed going to Kirtland, the spirit at the temple there was strong. The history is rich and the sites were full of interesting information that helped me appreciate the saints of the time so much more. The craftsmanship of the temple was really neat to see and know the devotion the saints had to God."

Lance Zabriskie ~

"The trip was an absolute adventure! The spirit that I felt in the Kirtland Temple was so palpable. It was amazing to be able to go and see a spot where Jesus Christ has stood. I love learning about the sacrifice of the Saints, it has always inspired me to make the sacrifices in my life to be closer to my Savoir."

Maelyn Shepherd ~

"I loved the beautiful spirit that was in the Kirtland temple. It truly is unlike anywhere else."

Thomas Sheeran ~

"Although I was unable to attend this trip, I still felt the profound significance of our Nauvoo program, stepping foot where our Savior Jesus Christ once walked."

Yay!!! We were the first tour group!!! The Nauvoo Discovery Program Participants Jump!
Yay! We were the first tour group in Nauvoo!
The Nauvoo Discovery participants brought a buddy along via a full length photo
Though a buddy had to be in surgery, his friends brought him along in their own way.

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