2019 Holy Land Scripture Discovery Tour with Dr. L. Dean Marriott and Sam Payne, Musician

Dates May 16 - 26, 2019
Destination Tel Aviv; Bethlehem; Jerusalem; Sea of Galilee; Jericho; United States
Duration 11 days 10 nights
Price From N/A
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The scriptures will come to life on this Holy Land tour with Dr. Dean MarriottHe will be joined by LDS Musician and songwriter Sam Payne.  On this tour we'll follow in His footsteps beginning in Bethlehem and ending at Golgotha at the Garden Tomb.

What more to expect? Well, we will ride luxurious buses, walk historic pathways, swim in biblical seas, and lodge at amazing places at water’s edge or within ancient city walls. We'll eat “Peter fish” caught in Galilee, traditional shawarmas in Old Jerusalem, and appetizing buffets of American or Old World recipes.  We'll ride a camel, take a cable car to the top of Masada, explore ancient ruins, float on the Dead Sea, wade through Hezekiah’s tunnel, and take part in other adventures. We'll worship with BYU students on Mount Scopus, pray among Jews at the Western Wall, and marvel at the Temple Mount. In Gethsemane and the Garden Tomb, we will reflect on the wonders of the Atonement. Old Testament and Book of Mormon prophets are also discussed at appropriate locations.

This tour has been crafted by Dr. Marriott after many, many years of traveling with those seeking a personal experience in the Holy Land and is excited to do the same for you in 2019.

To Book This Tour, Contact:

Karen Gerlach, Tour Manager
Tel: (801) 483-6152
Email Karen


Cash Discount of $75.00 per person offered on this tour

Day 1: Thursday, May 16, 2019

We will depart from Salt Lake City (or airport near you) and then connect with an overnight flight to Tel Aviv.

Meals : In-flight
Day 2: Friday, May 17, 2019

Tel Aviv, Israel  Bethlehem


When our flight arrives near Tel Aviv on Friday, we will travel to Bethlehem to the Casa Nova Hotel adjacent to the Church of the Nativity. After dinner, from the rooftop, we will speak of Herod’s deceitful conversation with wise men as described by Matthew. Following a star, they journeyed to Bethlehem bearing gifts, coming to see the newborn King of the Jews; we will also discuss shepherds watching their flocks by night. Viewing the stars, we will reflect on the heavenly testimonies of the Savior’s birth. The crowded streets and busy shops of Bethlehem remind us of the difficult journey long ago of Joseph and Mary, only to find “no room at the inn.”

Meals : Dinner
Day 3: Saturday, May 18, 2019

Bethlehem • Church of the Nativity • BYU Jerusalem Center • Valley of Elah • Jaffa • Tel Aviv


At the Church of the Nativity we see where Jesus is believed to have been born. Below the chapel is Jerome’s cave, an undisturbed area of what may have been part of a stable. President Harold B. Lee felt the Savior was born here. As we leave Bethlehem, we will pass by Herod’s winter palace at Herodian.


Our travels today first take us to the BYU Jerusalem Center for Sacrament Meeting with the students. There atop Mount Scopus, a part of the Mount of Olives, we have a breathtaking view of Old Jerusalem (to be visited later in the week). We will walk down the Mount of Olives through the Orson Hyde Memorial Garden to rejoin our bus.


As we journey to Tel Aviv we discuss Jesus’ ancestral link to the great King David. Jesus’ love for David is reflected in His many recitations of the psalms of David, many of which are prophetic references to Jesus. As we pass through the valley of Elah we remember David’s fight with Goliath which led to his becoming King. In the nearby hills of Lehi (Hebrew for jawbone), we remember Samson’s encounters with the Philistines. In the Book of Mormon, Jawbone (Lehi) was the name given to the Lord’s prophet (or mouthpiece). Here we remember Lehi’s sons being pursued by Laban in the wilderness. At Beit Lehi an inscription calls on Jehovah (written in 600 B.C. script) to rescue them from destruction. Also inscribed on the wall of the cave are two boats perhaps linked to Nephi’s vision of their escape. Local Bedouins have a legend of a great prophet coming there to bless his people.


We will check in to the Metropolitan Hotel in Tel Aviv to enjoy a restful afternoon at the hotel or a quiet stroll or swim at the nearby beach. After dinner we will bus to old Jaffa. Here we will discuss Peter’s lunchtime vision at the home of Simon the tanner. He was instructed by an angel that the time had come for the gospel to be preached to the Gentiles.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Sunday, May 19, 2019

Tel Aviv • Natanya Academic College • Caesarea • Haifa • Jezreel Valley • Mount Tabor • Sea of Galilee


At Natanya Academic College we are reminded of Orson Hyde and others who came in the spirit of Elijah to bless the land. A plaque has been placed on various trees honoring each visiting restoration apostle and Church President. At Caesarea Peter explained his vision to the Roman centurion Cornelius that the gospel was now to go forth to all nations. We will see the amphitheater where the Tabernacle Choir has performed. Nearby is the Roman aqueduct. At Haifa we will discuss early LDS missionary activity. Orson Hyde was sent by Joseph Smith to dedicate this land for the return of Abraham’s children in preparation for the coming of the Lord. Mormon missionaries died while serving here in the 1890s and are buried nearby.

From Haifa we see Mount Carmel and are reminded of Elijah’s impact on history—as a mighty Old Testament prophet, a forerunner to the Messiah, and a key figure in the restoration of the gospel in the latter days. As we cross the green fertile valley of Jezreel, we will discuss Elijah’s role as well as the prophecy of the great Second Coming and last battle of Armageddon.


Jesus took Peter, James, and John to Mount Tabor, where they were visited on the holy mount by Elijah. According to President Spencer W. Kimball, this is where Jesus was transfigured and holy angels gave gospel keys to Peter, James, and John. Elijah bestowed upon them the sealing powers. In more recent times this same Elijah appeared with these same keys to be given to Joseph Smith in 1836, thus fulfilling the promise that Elijah would precede the great second coming of the Messiah.

We will spend the night at the lakeside Kibbutz Ma’Agan on the Sea of Galilee. You may want to swim in the pool or lake.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Monday, May 20, 2019

Nazareth Village • Yardenit • Magdala • Mount of Beatitudes • Chorazin


Our morning drive brings us to Nazareth Village. Here we observe how Jesus may have lived, worked, and worshipped until age 30. Located here are an authentic ancient well and winepress from Jesus’ time. He would have known this place. Also here are a reconstructed village olive press and a synagogue similar to one in which Jesus would have taught. We remember His statement of “treading the winepress alone.” Finally, we will see what a first-century family home may have been like, complete with a carpenter’s shop.


Jesus’ ministry began shortly after His baptism by John in the river Jordan. We visit Yardenit to visually recall this sacred event. Each day large groups of Christians are baptized. Next we follow the shoreline to Magdala, where there is a recently excavated synagogue where Jesus may have taught. Nearby on the Mount of Beatitudes Jesus called His twelve apostles and delivered His memorable Sermon on the Mount. Here we will have a breathtaking view of the Sea of Galilee and the countryside Jesus loved. At Chorizin we remember Jesus’ harsh words for those who received God’s blessings then are slow to heed His counsel. At Nof Ginosar we see the remains of a fishing boat dating to the time of Jesus, then enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee before returning to Ma’Agan. After dinner we will gather at the seashore to discuss scriptures regarding Jesus and his experiences around the Sea of Galilee.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Golan Heights • Bethsaida • Capernaum • Sea of Galilee


We will drive along the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee adjacent to the Golan Heights, and stop at Kursi to reflect on Jesus’ experience there with the man possessing the demons of derangement. Here Jesus healed him of his afflictions. As a sign, the swine became mad and cast themselves into the sea. We will discuss the effects of this healing on the man, on his family, and the surprising community reaction. Next we pass by the ruins of Bethsaida, original home of Peter, Andrew, James, John, and others. Near here was the miracle of the loaves and fishes. At Capernaum we will visit the place called in scripture “Jesus’ own town.”

He lived here in the house of Peter for 19 months of His three year ministry. We will visit the seaside cove where He told Peter to cast his net on the other side of the boat. After a miraculous catch, Jesus invited Peter, Andrew, James, and John to leave their nets and become fishers of men. At the synagogue He preached His mighty sermons, including the “Bread of Life.” At the nearby home of Peter, He healed Peter’s mother-in-law and the man lowered through the roof by forgiving his sins. Matthew then became converted and the centurion’s servant was healed. Next we enjoy a “Peter fish” lunch then cross the sea by boat. We return to Ma’Agan for a restful night.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Jordan River Valley • Masada • Qumran • Dead Sea • Authentic Bedouin Tent Lunch at Jericho • Jerusalem


We drive down the Jordan Valley passing by Jericho (city walls were toppled by Joshua’s faithful Israelites). Nearby, where the Jordan flows into the Dead Sea is the actual site where Jesus was baptized by John. Then He went into the surrounding wilderness, the Mount of Temptation, where He fasted 40 days. Afterward, He rebuked the temptations of this world. We then visit Herod’s mighty walled fortress at Masada, where we will ride a cable car to the top. Here we will tell accounts of Herod’s impressive engineering feats built as fortifications against the world. Then we tell of those who died within these walls during the Roman conquest as foretold by Jesus. Next those who wish to will float the Dead Sea. A short bus drive brings us to Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.

Here we further discuss John the Baptist, whose teachings and lifestyle were similar to those who lived here. Next will eat an authentic Bedouin lunch while seated on the floor of a camel-hair tent. Then we will follow Jesus’ final journey through the wilderness of Judea to Jerusalem from Jericho. At Jerusalem, we will check in to the Gloria Hotel for the rest of our nights in Israel.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Thursday, May 23, 2019

Mount Moriah • Western (Wailing) Wall • Ophel (Temple Gates and Steps) • Temple Mount Institute • City of David • Hezekiah's Tunnel • Pool of Siloan • Gethsemane


We begin our day at the Dome of the Rock mosque on Mount Moriah where Herod’s temple once stood. At an altar near the Dome of the Rock, a sacrifice was made for Jesus when He was 40 days old. Solomon’s Porch in the Temple Courtyard is where Jesus and His apostles taught and blessed the people. Next we will walk to the Western (Wailing) Wall to observe Jewish worshipers, some celebrating their bar mitzvahs. Here we will talk about Jesus’ similar experience at age 12 when He was found teaching the priests. We will discuss other wonderful things Jesus said and did at various times throughout His life and the mixed response He received by those in attendance. Next, we will enter the Ophel to see excavations showing where people prepared for temple worship (immersion pools, money changers, dove and lamb merchants). Here we will tell of Jesus’ cleansing the temple. Then while seated on the 2,000-year-old steps to Herod’s temple, we will recount the stories of Jesus’ encounter with the priests inside the temple. Next we will tour the Temple Mount Institute to better visualize Jewish temple rituals. Those who wish to return to the hotel will depart. Others will walk down to the City of David where we’ll take an exciting walk through the waters of Hezekiah’s Tunnel to the Pool of Siloam. There we will discuss the healing of the man born blind. After dinner we all gather in an upper-room setting to learn about Passover. We will reflect on scriptures about the last supper Jesus had with His disciples.To end the day, we will bus across the Kidron Valley to Gethsemane (at the base of the Mount of Olives) to hear the scriptural accounts of Jesus’ prayers, suffering, betrayal, and arrest.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Friday, May 24, 2019

St. Peter’s in Gallicantu (Caiaphas’ Palace) • Model City and Israel Museum • Citadel (Herod’s Palace) • Church of the Holy Sepulcher • Golgotha • Garden Tomb


First, we will visit St. Peter’s in Gallicantu (Caiaphas’ Palace), where Jesus was tried after His arrest in Gethsemane. On the ancient steps leading to the palace, Peter denied Jesus three times as the cock crowed.  We will then bus to the Model City at the Israel Museum. This large replica of Jerusalem gives a strong visual of the city as Jesus knew it.  Then some may visit museum exhibits while others enjoy a snack before returning to the bus. Next is the Citadel (Herod’s Palace) where we will read of Herod’s interrogation of Jesus, and Jesus’ Roman trial before Pilate where he attempted to “wash his hands” of the blood of Christ. After the Citadel, some may choose to rest at our nearby hotel and join us later by bus at the Garden Tomb. Others will wander through the Christian Quarter bazaar to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, then continue walking through the Old City to Damascus Gate, where Jesus was led on the road to Calvary. Next we rejoin others at the Garden Tomb. Near the skull-shaped rock at Golgotha, where crucifixions occurred, we’ll discuss Jesus’ final hours.  We will walk a short distance along a pathway lined with beautiful foliage to the peaceful Garden Tomb, which our prophets have identified as the place of Jesus’ burial and resurrection. We will take time for hymns and reflection on the atoning love of the Savior. We return to the hotel by bus for dinner. 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10: Saturday, May 25, 2019

Garden Tomb • BYU Jerusalem Center • Airport


We begin our day by revisiting the lovely Garden Tomb for some quiet spiritual reflection. In 1972 President Harold B. Lee met here with the BYU Study Abroad students and local saints to organize the Jerusalem Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From this experience the brethren later, designated Saturday as the LDS day of worship in Israel. Nearby, we will worship at a sacrament meeting with students at the BYU Jerusalem Center. Free time will follow for resting, shopping, or visiting additional sites. At 6:00 p.m. we gather for sharing time and goodbyes before dinner; we’ll then board the bus for the airport. Flight departures will be around midnight on Saturday.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 11: Sunday, May 26, 2019

Early Morning Flight Home

We will arrive in Salt Lake City at midday Sunday.

Meals : In-flight

Price includes:

  • Accommodations 3-4 star hotels with private bath
  • 11 nights/ 10 days of touring
  • Breakfast and dinner daily
  • Entrance fees and all activities as specified in itinerary
  • Services of a bilingual licensed Israeli tour guide
  • Experienced and knowledgeable LDS Tour Director
  • Transfers via air-conditioned motor coaches
  • Hotel porterage
  • Gratuities for local guides, bus drivers and meals
  • Tour headsets for easier hearing of tour leaders

Price does not Included:

  • Round-trip air from Salt Lake City to Tel Aviv - Group Air from Salt Lake City is $1689.00
  • Airfare from other cities * call for quote
  • Lunches
  • Travel insurance * informational available at booking
  • Tours not included on the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature (i.e., phone calls, room service, laundry, etc.)

Payment Terms:

  • $500 per-person deposit at the time of booking
  • Final payment is due March 16, 2019
  • Single rate  $3300.00 (for those with their own room)
  • ** $75 cash discount for all deposit and final payment made by check of electronic bank transfer **