Three Places You Must See on Your Next LDS Tour

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Three Places You Must See on Your Next LDS Tour

When thinking about Mormons, most people will think about the state of Utah. In fact, some people might think that Mormonism was founded in Utah and that it is the only place the LDS faithful have ever lived. LDS tours would then, therefore, be a rather boorish ride through Salt Lake City.

Quite to the contrary, members of the LDS faith live all over the world. Mormon history actually begins with a family in Jerusalem that travels to the Americas according to the LDS scripture, The Book of Mormon, which Mormons believe to be a true historical document of the people who lived on the American continents thousands of years ago.

This means that sites of Ancient America hold significant religious value to the LDS faithful. Other important locations include those pertaining to the Mormon Church’s organization in the early 19th century such as Carthage Jail, Palmyra, New York, and Kirtland, Ohio just to name a few.

But whether you are a faithful member of the LDS faith, an investigator hoping to learn more, or simply have a historical curiosity regarding the church, we’ve just barely touched the surface of major spots that one would consider visiting during an LDS tour. Here are a few of the bigger ones along with some detail about why they are important to the Mormon faith.

Palmyra, New York and the Sacred Grove

Joseph Smith and his family moved near Palmyra while he was a teenager. At the age of 14, Smith claims to have visited a grove where he knelt in prayer to ask which church he should join. It was at that time that Smith claims the Father and the Son both appeared to him, revealing that he should join none of the existing churches.

This experience is commonly referred to by church members as the “First Vision.” The grove where it occurred is considered by Mormons to be a sacred spot where God and Jesus Christ visited Earth and appeared to young Smith.

Kirtland, Ohio

Smith and his followers were driven out of New York and Missouri before arriving in Kirtland, Ohio. It was here that Smith’s followers built the first Mormon temple, which still stands today. However, Mormon temple ceremonies are no longer held there and, unlike other Mormon temples, it is open to the public.

Carthage Jail

Joseph Smith was elected mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois where he ordered the destruction of a local printing press which published an anti-Mormon newspaper containing false accusations. Smith had hoped it would contain anti-Mormon sentiment. However, it had the opposite effect.

Illinois Governor Thomas Ford called on Smith to surrender and stand trial for the destruction of the printing press. Smith, along with several church leaders, turned themselves in and were sent to Carthage Jail for protection until their trial.

A mob stormed the jail. After shooting and killing his brother Hyrum, Joseph Smith was shot as he attempted to climb out a second-story window. Smith fell to the ground, still alive. The mob finished the job with four men shooting Smith to death.

Carthage Jail, the site of the Mormon prophet’s last stand, is a popular and sacred site of Mormons.

For your next whirlwind LDS tour, the three locations mentioned above are “must-sees” for anyone interested in Mormon history.

Fun for Less Tours ( offers LDS tours and cruises to locations of historical significance to Mormons including Israel, several Native American sites, the Sacred Grove, Liberty Jail, and many more. Art Gib is a freelance writer.

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