2024 Spring Holy Land Scripture Discovery Tour with Dean Marriott

Dates April 4-14, 2024
Destination Tel Aviv; Bethlehem; Sea of Galilee; Mount of Beatitudes; Capernaum; Jerusalem; Mount Moriah; Old Jerusalem; Mount of Olives; United States
Duration 11 days 10 nights
Price From N/A
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Religious Focus:


Activity Level:

The scriptures will come to life on this Holy Land tour with Dr. Dean Marriott< 

What to expect on your journey with Dean Marriott?

Upon arrival at Jerusalem (the dwelling of peace) we begin experiencing the peace only the Savior can bring, “My peace I give unto to thee, not as the world giveth”. We begin our journey at the birthplace of the Prince of Peace—Bethlehem. We see the cave—once a stable. There we re-live the story of his sacred birth. Next, we travel to Nazareth where Jesus “grew in stature, wisdom, and favor with God and man”. Then we follow in his footsteps through Galilee visiting ruins of villages, and synagogues, and even exploring the remains of what is known as Peter’s house where Jesus resided for 19 months. Then a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. At each site, we take time to connect with earth and stone to visualize Jesus having been there. This is a remarkable tour, unlike typical drive-by photo tours. You will stay in a Galilee Jewish Kibbutz at the water’s edge, and visit Monasteries, and Muslim holy sites. We dine with a Bedouin family, seated upon pillows in an authentic nomadic tent. Ride a Camel. Take the tram high atop Masada, viewing the “whole world” promised Jesus on the Mt. of Temptation. See the caves of Qumran where brass plates (think of Laban) and scripture scrolls were discovered. Then float the Dead Sea. Each day we encounter a “water” event—sand and sea of the Mediterranean, swim or wade in the Sea of Galilee, enjoy natural warm-spring waterfalls, wade through Hezekiah’s tunnel, and refresh at hotel swimming pools. At Jerusalem we stay inside the old city walls in a Crusader-era hotel where we will walk the streets of old Jerusalem, reflecting on the many crowded festivals attended by Jesus. At Bar Mitzvahs at the Wailing Wall, we remember Jesus’ own experience at age 12. Nearby, atop Mt. Moriah, we see the Dome of the Rock, where Jesus taught daily in what was the temple courtyard. We conclude our tour by visiting where Jesus was tried and beaten by Pilate; Then follow the original “Via Delarosa”—the way of the cross through the Damascus gate, to Golgotha and reflect on his mighty sacrifice. Next is the Garden tomb where Mary had her glorious experience on the morning of the Resurrection.  Afterward, we ascend Mt. Olives, beyond Gethsemane, to the BYU Jerusalem center to worship the Prince of Peace and reflect upon our many experiences in the Holy Land.

And MUCH more!!! We provide a maximum of meaningful events, making this a tremendous value while maintaining a comfortable pace and options at strenuous events for the more leisurely traveler.  *Please note that while the physical activity on this tour (walking distances) may not always be significant, the days are full of touring from breakfast to dinner time with "down-time" only in the evening.

Highlights of the Tour:

  • 1 tour-bus experience for the whole tour!
  • Morris Murdock LDS tour Director for the whole trip along with local guides
  • Licensed, insured, and bonded travel agency with 65 years of experience!! IT MATTERS!

Tour ID # 9224D04

We offer A CASH DISCOUNT of $75.00 on this tour. It applies for all payments made by check or ACH AFTER the deposit, and only the deposit amount is paid by credit card.

To Book This Tour, Contact your favorite Morris Columbus Travel advisor or the Group Tour Manager listed below:

Questions? Contact:

Kim Meyer, Tour Manager
Tel: (801) 483-6315
Email Kim

Day 1: Thursday, April 4, 2024
Day 1: Thursday, April 4, 2024

USA to Tel Aviv

We will depart from Salt Lake City (or airport near you) and then connect with an overnight flight, arriving in Tel Aviv Friday afternoon. 

Meals : In-flight
Day 2: Friday, April 5, 2024
Day 2: Friday, April 5, 2024

Tel Aviv 

Afternoon arrival in Tel Aviv where we will meet our local tour manager for a transfer to a comfortable hotel for dinner and rest from our travels.

Meals : Dinner
Day 3: Saturday, April 6, 2024
Day 3: Saturday, April 6, 2024

Bethlehem • Church of the Nativity • Masada• Qumran* Valley of Elah • Jaffa • Tel Aviv


Herod’s paranoia motivated him to build mountain-top fortresses for protection. He was fearful of revolution or invasion by Egyptians to dethrone him. These retreats were supplied with rations to last for years if needed.  Herod was never over-thrown. He died of dreadful diseases soon after the birth of Jesus. After Herod’s death, Masada was used as a refuge for Zealots and Essenes fleeing the Romans.

We discuss their final resistance before choosing suicide rather than Roman slavery.  Here in the desert, we retell the prophecies of Isaiah, Micah, and Lehi of Jesus’ holy birth. 


At Qumran, we see the remains of the Essene community.  These people followed strict behavioral and dietary habits that remind us of John the Baptist. They kept precise religious and secular records. When the invading Romans came, the Essenes hid their scrolls in the caves above and then fled to Masada where they met their end. 


The Israelites destroyed the Fortress as they began their conquest of Palestine. There are few remains of the ancient sites here. Today, at the lowest place on earth, we discover vast agricultural fields and palm date farms that have existed for thousands of years. Merchants and fruit vendors line the streets. We stop at Jimmy’s Bazaar to examine or purchase olive wood creations, and lunch nearby. 


Where the Jordan empties into the Dead Sea is the place John the Baptist preached and baptized Jesus. Having one’s sins washed away in the “living water” and flushed into the Dead Sea, is an appropriate metaphor. Today the waters of the Dead Sea are used for healing products and cosmetics. We will soak or float in the Sea.


King Herod built this winter fortress for protection from enemies. Perhaps the enemy he feared most was the rise of a son of David to be anointed king in his place. Unlike Masada, carved into a mountaintop, Herodian is constructed on fill material intended to tower above Bethlehem, where the new king was prophesied to be born. Here Herod was buried. The surrounding pastures are filled with sheep, reminding us of shepherds tending flocks long ago. Angels attended them. They were sent to find the newborn king in a manger in Bethlehem.


As we travel to Bethlehem 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. 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.” At the Church of Nativity, we will discuss the Savior’s Bethlehem birth and events. 


As we journey from Bethlehem we discuss the historic superheroes of Judea. As we pass through the Valley of Elah we remember David’s fight with Goliath which led to his becoming King.  We think of Jesus’ ancestral link to the great King David. Jesus loved David. We reflect on His frequent recitations of the Psalms of David, many of which are prophetic references to Jesus. Nearby, in these hills is an archeological site known as Beit Lehi. Arab legend says an ancient prophet named Lehi blessed the people here. Inscriptions on cave walls dating to 600 BC are a prayer to Jehovah for rescue, along with reliefs of ancient sea vessels. At the ruins of Beit Shemesh, we reflect on the stories of Samson’s physical strength and moral weakness. Nearby he used the jawbone of an ass to slay enemy forces. In Hebrew, the jawbone is pronounced Lehi [fitting name for the Lord’s mouthpiece]. Return to Metropolitan Hotel

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Sunday, April 7, 2024
Day 4: Sunday, April 7, 2024

Jaffa• Netanya Academic College • Caesarea • Haifa • Jezreel Valley • Nazareth


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 fertile green valley of Jezreel, we will discuss Elijah’s role as well as the prophecy of the great Second Coming and last battle of Armageddon.  


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 in the end times and of the great and last battle of Armageddon, preceding the return of Jesus. We arrive at Nazareth and check into the Casa Novo. After dinner, we visit the Synagogue and Church of the Annunciation.                        


Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Monday, April 8, 2024
Day 5: Monday, April 8, 2024

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 is 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.


At Magdala, we see the remains of a Synagogue where Jesus preached. Magdala, meaning fish tower, was the place fishermen brought their catch for processing. It was the home of Mary of Magdala, a devoted disciple. There is a memorial here honoring the women who had served Jesus and a boat replica like the one that carried Jesus here. At Chorazin, We walk upon the freshly unearthed pathways Jesus walked and we see another Synagogue where he taught. Many of Jesus’ miracles were performed here.

Nearby is the Mt. of Beatitudes. Located on a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee we remember Him calling his Apostles and then delivering the most important Sermon on the Mount containing the Beatitudes. 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Tuesday, April 9, 2024
Day 6: Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Kursi • 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 will have the options to enjoy a “Peter fish” lunch (on own), then cross the sea by boat. We journey southward along the Jordan River to Jericho for a restful night at the Oasis Hotel. 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Wednesday, April 10, 2024
Day 7: Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Mt. Tabor  Beit Shean  AGan Haslosha Falls • Jordan River Valley • Jerusalem


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.  

As we drive southward we stop to swim or wade at Gan Haslosa [called by the ancients “the Garden of Eden”]. It's natural warm springs and falls invite us to swim. Next at Beit Shean, perhaps the most beautiful of ancient ruins, we speak of ancient prophets and the many civilizations that were here. We enjoy lunchtime snacks before driving down the beautiful Jordan Valley.

We drive to Jericho (the city walls were toppled by Joshua’s faithful Israelites). Here we dine with a Bedouin family at their tent; Reminding us of the journeys of ancient prophets and wise men.  Ascending up to Jerusalem, we will follow Jesus’ final journey through the wilderness of Judea from Jericho. We will speak of his final days at Bethany with Lazarus.  We end the day in Jerusalem.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8: Thursday, April 11, 2024
Day 8: Thursday, April 11, 2024

Mount MoriahWestern (Wailing) Wall Ophel (Temple Gates and Steps) City of David Hezekiah’s Tunnel • Pool of Siloam 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 worshippers, 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.   Those who wish to return to the hotel will depart while 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. 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. After dinner we all gather in an upper-room setting to learn more about Passover and last supper.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Friday, April 12, 2024
Day 9: Friday, April 12, 2024

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. Next is the Citadel (Herod’s Palace) where we will read of Herod’s interrogation of Jesus, and His Roman trial before Pilate where he attempted to “wash his hands” of the blood of Christ. After the Citadel, we follow the original Via Dolorosa through the Christian Quarter bazaar to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, then continue walking through the Old City to the Ecce Homo Convent to see the Lithostrotos, said to be where Jesus was flogged and robed before going through the Damascus Gate to Calvary. Near the skull-shaped rock at Golgotha, where crucifixions occurred, we will 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, April 13, 2024
Day 10: Saturday, April 13, 2024

Garden Tomb BYU Jerusalem Center


We begin our day by revisiting the lovely Garden Tomb for some quiet spiritual reflection on His glorious resurrection. 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. We will finish packing and leave for the airport after dinner.  

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11: Sunday, April 14, 2024
Day 11: Sunday, April 14, 2024

Flying home to the United States

Today will be spent flying home with a full heart and memories to last a lifetime!

Meals : In-flight

Included in the tour:

  • Deluxe motor coach transportation
  • Group transfers
  • 8 Nights Hotel accommodations - 4 Star Hotels
  • Local guides
  • Hotel accommodations in moderate-class hotels
  • Sightseeing tours as outlined on the itinerary
  • Entrance fees and gratuities
  • All breakfasts and most dinners during the land portion
  • Audio hearing system throughout the tour
  • Travel bag and document package
  • Digital travel App

Price does not include:

  • Round-trip international airfare 
  • Additional transfers when not arriving or departing with the group
  • Sightseeing is not included on the itinerary
  • Additional hotel accommodations
  • Items of a personal nature (i.e., phone calls, room service, emails, etc.)
  • Travel Insurance 
  • Passport fees
  • Lunches (and one or two dinners)

Payment Terms: