"It is wonderful being surrounded by kids of your faith who are all striving to feel the spirit. I learned so much from them and their spiritual experiences. This trip was a confirmation to me that the church of Jesus Christ is true!"
"They church history trip really does wonders for your basic knowledge of the church in its youth. It added an important element of reality to the stories I grew up hearing. Personally I came to feel the reality of the restoration more fully as the trip went on. To walk where Brother Smith walked, and to feel the spirit of the saints where they labored, drives home their hardships and efforts. In its entirety the trip offers knowledge and experiences that can be reflected upon later in life and will eventually contribute to growth in faith."
"I’m grateful for the pioneers and the building up of the church and for all that the sacrificed for me and everyone else in this church...being able to be at such sacred sights and seeing so many different places, just filled my soul with happiness and with the spirit. I love this gospel with all of my heart."
“I’ve seen myself and other people change in a week, which I never thought was possible. Within the first 2 days you can start to feel the spirit grow and by the time you get to Nauvoo, there’s no denying the spiritual experiences you feel. I thought I had a strong testimony, but in that week it was ten times stronger than when I left. Trust me you will not regret going.”
"My testimony of Joseph Smith grew on the trip and was mostly strengthened because of the spirit I felt in the sacred grove. That was my favorite part of the whole trip." :)
"The church history trip really helped put into perspective all of the things I learned growing up. When I went on a mission, it helped give me a foundation and a strong testimony of the restoration of the Gospel. I highly recommend the trip!"
"In the summer of 2016, I had the opportunity to be a part of the Back-East Church History Trip with those in my graduating class and some amazing leaders. I gained a testimony and a reassurance of the power of God and the importance of the restoration of the Gospel. I know that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet who saw God and His Son, Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove. This trip strengthened my testimony and created a peace and comfort within me that reassures me of this gospel’s truthfulness. This trip played a large part in me gaining a testimony of Joseph Smith, the gospel, and Christ my Savior. If I could go on the trip again, I would in a heartbeat. I grew spiritually and knew that everything I saw, experienced, and learned was true."
"The Church history trip was spiritually boosting. Having daily devotionals and hearing everyone’s testimonies grow helped my own. I heard what they did and followed suit. Those rare, strong spiritual impressions and feelings were felt by many, me included. I became more in tune with the spirit and now have an unshakable testimony. I couldn’t be more grateful for the experience."
"This trip changed my life. It helped me learn things I probably wouldn’t ever learn otherwise. Especially with the leaders we had. They are so knowledgeable about all the places and what happened at them. And the nightly devotionals were a great time to reflect on the day and just think of the remarkable things you learned or felt."
"This was such an amazing experience!! Having the opportunity to travel back east with some of my best friends, while strengthening my testimony of the LDS church and Joseph Smith, made for an unforgettable week! Good food, lots of laughs, and one of a kind spiritual moments are all guaranteed!"
"If you have the opportunity to go on this trip back East with the Kelly’s, DO IT. It was incredible to be able to match the places we visited with all the stories I was taught as a kid, and to even learn much much more about church history! This trip, while being one of the most fun weeks of my whole life, helped my testimony to become real. Joseph Smith restored this Gospel we have today, so why not go checkout where it all went down? Best experiences, with the best company."
"Easily one of the most uplifting experiences I’ve ever had. Going with my peers right before we take the big leap into our independent lives really reinforced what is important to us, along with our testimonies of the prophet Joseph and the early saints.
Brother and Sister Kelly have this balance that is so difficult to adequately describe — they took us to beautiful, sacred sites and shared their knowledge and testimonies with us, but made us laugh on every long bus ride. They led us in discussions and meetings that brought the spirit to every site. Everything was planned to a T and their love for each person on the trip and for the Lord was SO evident. I wish I could go every summer!"
"I went on this trip with right after I graduated high school in the summer of 2016. The trip was a perfect balance of spiritual and fun! Our chaperones paid very close attention to detail when it came to the itinerary which made the trip a breeze. Whether we were having a talent show on the bus or having a spiritual group discussion, everyone on our trip had a blast. Many referred to Becky and Shanan as “Mom and Dad” by the end of the trip because of how they grew to love them! I highly recommend traveling with them!"
"This trip was absolutely amazing. It’s a blast and I still to this day talk about my experiences and what I had learned. My testimony grew so much. We talk about Joseph Smith and other stories of people back then all the time, and it’s great to actually see and imagine it all first hand. It solidified my testimony 100%. I think everyone should go!"
"This tour inspired me to look at scriptures and ponder on the reality of each event. Walking in the same places as Joseph Smith gave me greater love and respect for such terrible circumstances. I learned that Nauvoo wasn’t a small village, but a well-established city when the Saints were forced to leave. I am still in awe at everything I learned from this tour. "
"[The Church history trip] helped me understand more on a personal level that Joseph Smith was a prophet and he wouldn’t have gone through all those trials if this wasn’t true, he knew that God loved him and had a great work for him. Because of this experience I can say now that I know that Joesph Smith was a Prophet and that this church is true and that helped me out so much in preparation for my mission and during my mission. Nothing can ever shake that testimony because I was able to feel the sprit testify to me that this church is true and that Jospeh Smith was a prophet. All of us have questions about this church and I can testify that some of them can be answered if you take this opportunity to go on this trip".
Wendy and Richard
"As all five of our children graduated high school, we sent them on a church history trip. Having never been ourselves, we were determined to go as chaperones with our youngest son. Our only regret is that we waited so long to go!!! I’ve taught early morning seminary for 5 years and this trip made every church history event we studied come alive!!! We were filled with tears of laughter and the spirit every day! It was a special treat to hear our son bear his testimony in the Sacred Grove... You feel inspired and so grateful for the blessings the restored gospel offers all of God’s children. We’re hoping to go back again as soon as we can!"