The American Covenant: God’s Promise with His People

American Covenant Founding Father

What is the American Covenant?

The concept of an American Covenant with God, is rooted in the idea that the United States has a special relationship or agreement with God, expressing that America has been chosen or blessed by God for a particular purpose. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we believe that God has covenanted with his people on this American continent, to help them and prosper them, so long as they keep His commandments.

Evidence of this American Covenant can of course be found in 1 Nephi in the Book of Mormon, when Lehi and his family finally arrived in America, or rather, the Promised Land. Throughout the course of history God has brought more of his people to this Promised Land, and has made this covenant with each new group. 

Early settlers following the Book of Mormon period viewed America as a “city upon a hill” or a beacon of light guided by divine providence. The phrase “city upon a hill” was famously used by John Winthrop, a Puritan leader, in a sermon delivered aboard the ship Arbella in 1630, where he envisioned the Massachusetts Bay Colony as a model of Christian charity and righteousness for the world to emulate.

Over one hundred and fifty years later, this American Covenant is believed to have been re-established with George Washington, and many of the Founding Fathers, as they wrote the laws and freedoms of our country. Including, etched in the outlines of the Declaration of Independence, and the United States Constitution.

Founding Fathers and the American Covenant

Several key figures among the Founding Fathers, such as George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, made references to God, divine providence, and the importance of religious faith in their writings and speeches. 

While their religious beliefs varied, they often invoked religious language and imagery to inspire unity, virtue, and moral righteousness among the American people.

George Washington

For example, George Washington, the first President of the United States, frequently spoke of the role of divine providences in the American Revolution and the founding of the nation. In his first inaugural address in 1789, Washington stated, “it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of the nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect.”

John Adams

Similarly, John Adams, the second President, wrote extensively about the importance of religion and morality in maintaining a free and virtuous society. In a letter to the officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts in 1798, Adams stated, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

United in Purpose

Overall, while not all of the Founding Fathers held orthodox religious beliefs, many of them saw the establishment of the United States as part of a larger divine plan and invoked religious language to express their sense of duty, gratitude, and hope for the nation’s future. This relationship between the Founding Fathers and the American Covenant with God has been a subject of scholarly debate and interpretation throughout American history.

Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ, and Renewal of the American Covenant

In 1830 the Church of Jesus Christ was once again restored on this earth, as well as the American Continent. Once again, God’s people were able to fulfill this American Covenant more earnestly and more sincerely. As we understand the miracle of this nation’s founding, we learn that there would have been no greater circumstances on the earth at that time, for the religious freedoms that enabled God to restore his complete church once more. 

This evidence has come to support the role that God has in the establishing of this nation, as well as maintaining His covenant made with his people as they have dwelt here.

Experience Sites of the American Covenant

Legacy Tours is excited to debut our newest tour of the American Covenant. Beginning in Washington DC, we visit sites along the east coast from the Revolutionary War, to the Pilgrims, to the Restoration of the Church, and over to Ohio where we believe there are remains of the people of the Original American Covenant with God.

Come explore with us!


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