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Land of Nephi 06-29-2019
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BOOK OF MORMON 13-DAY TOUR

(Nephi to Zarahemla Tour)

 (This tour is wait-list only)

Hosts: TOM & JENNIFER FERGUSON, Paradise, CA

Co Hosts: DRAKE & HOLLY BROWN, Chico, CA

 

August 3-15, 2019


ITINERARY


On this tour you will cover the Book of Mormon history which includes the land of Nephi, the East Wilderness, the narrow strip of wilderness, the land of Helam, valley of Alma, the Land of First Inheritance, the land of Zarahemla, and the land northward. This all-inclusive deluxe tour is a fantastic mix of archaeology, museums, exciting places of interest, and is filled throughout with the history of the Book of Mormon.  You will visit four LDS Temples, ten archaeological sites and museums, and thirteen locations associated with the Book of Mormon. Call today to book your space on this deluxe Book of Mormon experience. 1.801.226.5200 or email us at [email protected]

 

Tour Includes: twelve nights hotel accommodations, two or more meals daily except on first and last days, first-class bus transportation, entrance fees and guide service to places listed on the itinerary, taxes and tips on group items, literature and maps pertaining to your tour, and escorted by professional tour director Blake Allen.


Day 1: Saturday, August 3, Guatemala City

Our flights from the USA take us to Guatemala City, the land of eternal spring.  Upon arrival we will transfer to our hotel. Reading: Moroni chapters 1-10. (No meals included today)

 

Day 2: Sunday, August 4, Guatemala City

After attending church with the local saints, we will visit the Guatemala LDS temple.  There is no overland travel today.  As an option after church, tour members may visit Guatemala's National Museum of Archaeology where we will analyze Kaminaljuyu’s stela 10, an altar that dates to 147 BC and may represent a transfer of kingship from King Noah to his son Limhi at the City Nephi (see Mosiah 18 & 19). Those that want to go to the Museum will then visit the large outdoor relief map of Guatemala in order to orient ourselves with the geographical overview of the country in relation to the Book of Mormon.  We are in the same hotel all day so visits to the Museum and outdoor relief map are optional.  We conclude our day with a delicious Argentine steak dinner. Reading: Mosiah chapters 9-22. (Breakfast, Dinner)

 

Day 3: Monday, August 5, Guatemala City

Our air flight will take us to the awe-inspiring, Maya archaeological zone of Tikal, occupied from 600 BC to AD 750. This dense rain forest is considered by most LDS scholars/writers to be the East Wilderness where the Nephites, under the direction of  Captain Moroni, built many fortified cities during the 1st century BC (see Alma 50:7-15). New evidence shows a strong relationship between Teotihuacan near Mexico City and Tikal at the close of  Book of Mormon history, which resulted in the downfall of the Nephite nation. In the early evening we will take a return flight to Guatemala City.  Alma chapters 43-52. (Breakfast, Lunch)

 

Day 4: Tuesday, August 6, Antigua

This morning we will explore the archaeological zone of Kaminaljuyu, considered by most Book of Mormon scholars to be the location where the city of Nephi was established in the 6th century BC after Nephi left his family's coastal land of first inheritance along with his followers   We will then bus to Antigua, Guatemala's old Spanish capital. You will enjoy this quaint colonial city with cobble stone streets and Spanish architecture. We will see several buildings that date to the 16th and 17th centuries.  If possible, we will visit the jade factory and learn how jade, the most precious stone to the Maya, was found and made into beautiful jewelry and other items. We spend the night in a 500-year-old convent, restored to a first-class hotel with an amazing atmosphere of plants and beauty. Reading: 2 Nephi chapter 5 and Alma chapter 22. (Breakfast, Dinner)

 

Day 5: Wednesday, August 7, Lake Atitlan

Today we depart Antigua as we continue by bus to Lake Atitlan.  En route, we will pass by the Cakchiquel Maya village of Patzicia, almost entirely destroyed by a 1976 earthquake. We will recount the courage and faith of the missionaries and members of the Patzicia Stake. We will continue on our trek to the village of Panajachel. Flanked by three dramatic volcanoes, Lake Atitlan has been a scenic retreat for over 2000 years. It has been proposed by most LDS scholars as the site of the Waters of Mormon where Alma organized the church of Christ in the first century BC after Abinadi was burned to death by King Noah at the City Nephi (see Mosiah chapters 18 and 19). We cruise on the lake and see the area where a Book of Mormon-time-period city was covered by water. This, or one of the other cities now under Lake Atitlan, is a good candidate for the city Jerusalem mentioned in Alma 21:1. Or, this may be one of the other cities mentioned in 3 Nephi 9:7 describing water coming up on three cities as part of the great destruction at the time of the Savior's crucifixion. Upon our return, there will be time for shopping or relaxing. Blake Allen will present a fireside this evening. Reading: Mosiah chapter 18 & Alma chapters 17-21. (Breakfast, Dinner)

 

Day 6: Thursday, August 8, Quetzaltenango

After breakfast, we will depart for the city of Chichicastenango. Today is market day in the place where the native document called the Popol Vuh was discovered.  Like the Book of Mormon, the Popol Vuh was written in a chiastic format and outlines events relating to the creation of the world, the fall of man, Satan and a Garden of Eden, similar to the Old Testament’s Genesis account..  We will continue on as we pick up Alma’s trail and make our way through the wilderness to the Valley of Alma. Our journey will take us to Quetzaltenango, the second largest city in Guatemala and the location of Guatemala's new, second temple, which we see before checking into our hotel that overlooks the city square.  Reading: Mosiah chapters 19-24. (Breakfast, Dinner)

 

Day 7: Friday, August 9, Huehuetenango

After checking out of our hotel, we will visit the village of Almolonga, renowned for its pure water and lush year- round vegetable gardens.  This is probably the valley of Helam occupied by Alma and his followers for about 25 years (Mosiah chapters 23 & 24). We then travel higher into Guatemala's Cuchumatanes Mountains, Book of Mormon's narrow strip of wilderness that separated the land of Nephi from the land of Zarahemla. We spend the night in the mountain city of Huehuetenango.  Reading: Mosiah chapters 7-9. (Breakfast, Dinner)

 

Day 8: Saturday, August 10, Tuxtla Gutierrez

Today we visit the post-Classic site of Zaculeu which was the capital of the Mam Maya group and was still occupied when the Spaniards arrived.  We will then go "down" from the land of Nephi to the land of Zarahemla (Omni 1:13) passing through areas proposed as the land of Manti and the valley of Gideon as we travel to the Chiapas valley, the likely Land of Zarahemla where the Nephites had their headquarters for 550 years (Omni 1:13-15 and Mormon 2:28-29).  Reading: Omni, Alma chapters 1-5. (Breakfast, Dinner)

 

Day 9: Sunday, August 11, Tuxtla Gutierrez

After attending church with the local saints, we will visit the LDS temple in Tuxtla.  There is no overland travel today, and we are in the same hotel all day.  After church, those who want to will visit the Regional Museum of Tuxtla Gutierrez. Tuxtla is the capitol of Mexico's Chiapas state, which has many pre-Classic (Book of Mormon) sites and artifacts, including an engraved stone that manifests the early long count date, December 9, 36 B.C. If time permits, those who want to will visit Tuxtla's zoo and see the majestic Quetzal bird, Guatemala's national bird that became symbolic of the white god Quetzalcoatl. (See Helaman chapter 4). Reading: Alma chapters 6-10. (Breakfast, Dinner)

 

Day 10: Monday, August 12, Tapachula

We begin our day with a visit to the archaeological zone of Chiapa de Corzo, a good candidate for the Book of Mormon’s City Sidom (See Alma 15:1-8). We will then take a boat ride through the majestic Sumidero Canyon on the Grijalva River, with walls towering 3000 feet above us. The Grijalva is proposed as the Book of Mormon's River Sidon. Afterwards, we will bus along the Pacific coast passing by the areas of Ammonihah, Melek, and the “day and a half’s journey” where the Nephites fortified a defensive line to keep the Lamanites from entering Zarahemla and the land northward.  We arrive in Tapachula for the evening.  Readings: Alma chapters 11-15. (Breakfast, Dinner)

 

Day 11: Tuesday, August 13, Mexico City

It’s a date!  Today is a most exciting day!  We will visit the archaeological zone of Izapa. There we will see Stela 5, the “Tree of Life Stone.” This 15-ton engraved monument dating back to about 300 BC parallels Lehi’s dream of the tree of life as recorded in first Nephi.  August 13 is the precise  month and day associated with the beginning of the Maya calendar, whose  birth place is Izapa.  This is highly significant, because only at Izapa is the sun at its zenith on August 13th every year.  Imagine standing around that stone monument at midday when there is no shadow. That, in and of itself, may have scriptural application as recorded in Alma 7:20.

According to LDS archaeologist Garth Norman, the base date of the Maya Calendar at Izapa is 592 BC, the very year  Nephi arrived in the new world after having spent eight years in the wilderness. If this is correct, and we believe it is, and if Izapa is Lehi’s landing place, which we believe it is, then Nephi played a major role in the Maya calendar’s development.  In the early evening we will fly from Tapachula to Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world.  Readings: Alma chapter 63; Helaman chapters 1-4; Mormon 5-8. (Breakfast, Dinner)

 

Day 12: Wednesday, August 14, Mexico City

Our final day begins with a visit to the world-famous archaeological site of Teotihuacan. Occupied from about 200 BC to AD 900, Teotihuacan was one of the largest populated cities in the world during its peak. The inspiring pyramids of the Sun and Moon attract millions of visitors to this, Mexico's most popular archaeological zone, which is an ideal candidate for the great city built by King Jacob of the Gadianton Robbers (See 3 Nephi 7).  After lunch at the pyramids, we will return to Mexico City to visit the National Museum of Anthropology, one of the most spectacular archaeological museums in the world. Touring the museum will provide us with an excellent review of our tour and expose us to many beautiful exhibits ranging from ancient pottery to gold and jade jewelry.  (Breakfast, Lunch)

 

Day 13: Thursday, August 15, Flights Home

Transferring to the airport, we will check in for our flights home. Our journey to the Book of Mormon lands has come to an end, but we will take with us memories that will last a lifetime. (No meals provided today)

 

Provided meals are noted at the end of each day.  Time will be given for optional third meals during the day.  Prices and itineraries are subject to change.

 

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Book of Mormon Tours

PO Box 970250

Orem, UT 84097 

Telephone: (801) 226-5200

[email protected]

www.bookofmormontours.com


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