sacred histories: american covenant new heartland tour

September 13-26, 2024

$ $3,700
Based on Double Occup.
  • $3,600 pp triple occup
  • $3,500 pp quad occup

Guided by Rod Meldrum & Kris Kimball

head and shoulders of Rod Meldrum in a suit
Rod Meldrum
Kris Kimball

14 Day Tour Includes

Not Included:

Itinerary

Payment Terms: a $300 pp deposit is required at the time of booking. Final Payment is due 90 days before tour departure.

**this tour is based on a minimum of 20 passengers and a maximum of 40 passengers

Meet your guides!

head and shoulders of Rod Meldrum in a suit

Fly from home to meet the group in Washington DC (airport DCA). Check in at the hotel and take some free time to explore Old Alexandria before our welcome dinner that night.

Overnight in Alexandria, VA.

Exploring the Sacred Sites of the American Covenant:

Officially, we begin our tour. These sacred sites of our history help us to explore and better understand what it means for us to be part of the American Covenant. To start, we visit the George Washington Masonic Memorial. After that, we proceed to our tour at Mount Vernon. Following a lunch break, we continue the day in the heart of Washington DC. We tour the US Capitol building before finally exploring the sites and memorials peppered throughout the surrounding area. 

George Washington Masonic Memorial

A prominent tribute, this memorial stands in recognition of George Washington. Famously, George Washington served as the first President of the United States. However, this monument bears recognition to his status as a leader among the Freemasons. Traditionally, this building serves as a museum, educational center, and venue for Masonic events. Freemasonry emphasizes symbolism, often drawing on tools and architectural symbols. For example, the memorial features a neoclassical design, standing at 333 feet, symbolizing the highest degree in Masonry. Easily we can make connections between the American Covenant and Freemasonry.

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon is the historic plantation home of George Washington, located in Virginia. It is a well-preserved estate on the banks of the Potomac River. Furthermore, the mansion showcases Georgian architecture and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Essentially, it serves as a museum, but it also offers insights into his life, the era in which he lived, and the background from which he came. A family tomb on the grounds contains the final resting place of George Washington and his wife, Martha, as well as other family members.

US Capitol

Construction of this national building began in 1793 and has undergone several expansions and renovations since. Notably, the iconic dome of the building is topped with the Statue of Freedom. Visitors can explore the building through guided tours, and see the Rotunda, where historical art and statues are housed and maintained. A hidden gem of this historic building, is the underground tunnel that connects the Capitol to the Library of Congress. 

Other memorials to be seen include: Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr, and more!

Overnight in Alexandria, VA

The first part of the morning is spent driving the three hours from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, PA. In Philadelphia, we continue to expand our knowledge about the Sacred History of our nation and how it connects us to our part in the American Covenant. Sites include: Elfreth’s Alley Museum, Christ Church, the Liberty Bell, and Independence Hall.

Elfreth’s Alley Museum

Elfreth’s Alley is a historic street in Philadelphia, also known for being one of the oldest residential streets in the United States. The street itself operates as a living history museum, offering a glimpse into colonial and early American life. Houses #124 and #126 make up the official museum of the alley.

Christ Church 

Established in 1695, Christ Church is one of the oldest churches in the United States. Attended by many historical figures, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, the churchyard contains the graves of several historical figures, including Benjamin Franklin and his wife Deborah. Homage to these great figures is sure to be expressed, especially as we understand their role in upholding our American Covenant.

Liberty Bell

Originally, the Liberty Bell served atop Independence Hall (then the Pennsylvania State House). The bell gained fame for its inscription, ‘Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants Thereof” (Lev. 25:10).  It serves as a symbol of freedom, including its crack that developed in the 19th century. In fact, the crack added to its reputation and legend. Currently, it is housed in a small museum across from Independence Hall.

Independence Hall

Formerly the Pennsylvania State House, Independence Hall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This key historic building is where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted. Clearly, this site is historic for our nation, but it also marks the renewal of the American Covenant for this generation. It stands as a symbol of the birth of the United States of America.

Overnight in Philadelphia

After a wonderful day in Philadelphia, we say our goodbyes and look forward to New York. We will arrive and begin our Patriot Tour with a local guide of the city, visiting sites such as Federal Hall and St. Paul’s Chapel. After lunch, we continue the tour, stopping next at Fraunces Tavern Museum. Finally, the group drives uptown to Yonkers where we will overnight.

Federal Hall

Originally, the first Federal Hall building served as New York’s City Hall. Later, it became the nation’s first capitol building, hosting the First Congress and where George Washington took the oath of office as the first President of the United States on April 30, 1789. The original structure no longer stands; however, the current Federal Hall, built in 1842, serves as a museum and memorial, preserving the historical legacy of the events that took place and housing exhibits on early American history. A prominent feature is the statue of George Washington on the steps, marking the spot where he was inaugurated. 

What a perfect site to enjoy learning about the renewal and continuation of the American Covenant through a great man.

St. Paul’s Chapel

During his presidency, George Washington attended services at St. Paul’s Chapel. As the oldest surviving church building in Manhattan, it boasts this connection. The pew he used is still marked and can be visited by those exploring the church. Remarkably, St. Paul’s Chapel survived the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11. It served as a place of rest and refuge for recovery workers in the days following the attacks. As a result, there are various memorials and exhibits related to the chapel’s history with George Washingt0n, as well as its vital role in the aftermath of 9/11. Altogether, making this chapel a poignant and reflective destination for visitors.

Overnight in Yonkers, New York.

After breakfast, we say goodbye to New York and turn our sights towards Massachusetts, eager to continue our journey through the American Covenant. After a three hour drive, we arrive in New Port, Rhode Island, where we explore sites related to the early Pilgrims and their association with the beginnings of the renewed American Covenant. Our first stop is the Naragansett Rune Stone, followed by a visit to New Port Tower. Continuing our drive, we see the Mayflower Replica and Plymouth Rock. Finally, we visit the National Monument to the Forefathers.

Narragansett Rune Stone

This stone, also known as the Quidnessett Rock, has captivated the attention of many. Originally weighing around 2.5 tons and made from metasandstone, it was found in Rhode Island. Due to its mysterious origins, as well as its alleged connection to the Knights Templar, a medieval Christian military order, it has become the subject of numerous conspiracy theories and legends. The stone’s two rows of symbols have been compared to Templar symbols found in Europe, hinting at a possible Templar presence in North America.

New Port Tower

Just as mysterious as the Narragansett Stone, Rhode Island’s New Port Tower raises questions and speculation. The origin of this almost perfectly circular tower is completely unknown; however, many theories exist, ranging from construction by the Norse or the Knights Templar long before Columbus, to Benedict Arnold, the original Governor of Rhode Island. The latter remains the current most likely theory but still has not been proven. A great wonder of the tower is its astronomical consistencies: out of the eight pillars at the base of the tower, four seem to be aligned with points of a compass, as well as a number of astronomical alignments with the tower’s windows.

Mayflower & Plymouth Rock

Famously known as the docking point for the early pilgrims, Plymouth Rock stands as a sacred site, marking the beginning of a journey that paved the trail of religious freedom and hope in a land of covenant promise. A replica of the Mayflower is often docked at Plymouth to offer visitors a glimpse into the crossing the Pilgrims overcame.

National Monument of the Forefathers

Standing at over 80 feet tall, this monument is an imposing granite sculpture used to honor the Pilgrims, specifically commemorating the Mayflower Compact. The central figure represents ‘Faith,’ and around its base are allegorical statues representing other important values, including Morality, Law, Education, and Liberty.

Overnight in Boston, MA

As we continue our tour in Massachusetts, we move onward to Lexington & Concord. After that, we proceed to Boston and its main American Historical Sites. We visit Paul Revere’s home and other Revolutionary War sites as we discuss the Boston Massacre, Bunker Hill, and the Boston Tea Party.

Lexington & Concord

Famously, this location is attributed to the start of the Revolutionary War. On April 19, 1775, British troops marched from Boston to Concord to seize colonial weapons. In Lexington, the first shots were fired, leading to further skirmishes along the way. “The shot heard around the world” symbolizes the start of the war. The colonists successfully resisted the British, demonstrating their resolve for independence and, therefore, blazing a trail to follow. 

Paul Revere House

Paul Revere is a key figure in the American Revolution, famously known for warning locals of the oncoming British soldiers. His house in Boston still stands and is now used as a museum, showcasing artifacts and providing insights into his life and the events leading up to the Revolutionary War. Connected to Paul Revere is the Old North Church, which we will visit next. 

Bunker Hill

The Battle of Bunker Hill was a significant early conflict in the American Revolutionary War. Despite being named after Bunker Hill, most of the fighting occurred on nearby Breed’s Hill. The colonial forces, though ultimately forced to withdraw, inflicted heavy casualties on the British. The battle demonstrated the colonists ability to stand against professional armies and boosted their confidence in the fight for independence.

Boston Massacre

Occurring on March 5, 1770, British soldiers fired on a crowd in Boston, killing five colonists. Tensions between the colonists and British troops escalated, fueled by resentment over taxes and a military presence. The incident became a propaganda tool for the American patriots, heightening anti-British sentiment and contributing to the road to the American Revolution.

Boston Tea Party Ship

Taking place on December 16, 1773, American colonists protested British taxation without representation by dumping 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor, roughly worth over $1.7 million in today’s currency. The Boston Tea Party & Museum offers a reenactment of this historic event, providing visitors with an immersive experience and insights into the political climate that led to this act of colonial defiance.

Overnight in Boston, MA.

Our journey of understanding the American Covenant and God’s hand in leading our sacred history of this nation, continues in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont today. We will visit lesser-known but equally important sites such as the Westford Library, America’s Stonehenge, and Joseph Smith’s Birthplace Memorial.

Westford Knight

Mysteriously, a rock carving located in Westford, Massachusetts, has been found. This carving is thought to depict a knight, possibly a Templar, leaving behind speculation about pre-Columbian European presence in North America. However, mainstream archaeologists argue that the carving’s origins are more likely colonial or Native American. The Westford Knight remains a subject of historical and archaeological debate.

America’s Stonehenge

Located in Salem, New Hampshire, this site was formerly known as Mystery Hill. Consisting of a complex arrangement of stone structures, chambers, and walls, which some believe may date back over 4000 years. As a result, the purpose and identity of its builders remain the subject of debate. Some theories suggest ceremonial, astronomical, or even migratory significance.

Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial

As Joseph Smith is a key contributor to the American Covenant, we will visit his birthplace memorial. Located in Sharon, Vermont, there is a memorial that commemorates the birthplace of Joseph Smith Jr. The memorial includes a granite obelisk, a visitors center, and a reproduction of the original Smith family log cabin. 

Overnight in Rutland, Vermont.

Our journey continues as we go back to Pennsylvania and see sites of the current Restoration. Beginning with the Priesthood Restoration site, followed by a visit to the restored homes of Josiah Stowell and Joseph Knight. Other key features of this site include the homes of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, as well as the Isaac Hale Home (where Joseph Smith lived when translating the Book of Mormon).

Priesthood Restoration Site:

The Priesthood Restoration Site is associated with a pivotal event in early Church history — the restoration of the Priesthood Authority on the earth. In May 1829, the Prophet Joseph Smith, and Oliver Cowdery sought a secluded location along the Susquehanna River for prayer and reflection. Through their humble efforts, they were visited by the angel John the Baptist, who bestowed upon them the Aaronic Priesthood, granting them the authority to baptize in the name of Jesus Christ. Following this visitation, Joseph and Oliver used this new authority to baptize each other in the Susquehanna River.

Overnight in Sayre, PA.

Today, we visit important restoration sites: the Hill Cumorah, Grandin Press, and Smith Family Farm. We tour the Smith Family log home and frame home, as well as the other structures on the property. At the Hill Cumorah, we view the land of the final battle of the Book of Mormon from the top, reviewing this sacred site where Nephite history ended and Church History began. Finally, we will have time for pictures at the Palmyra Temple.

Hill Cumorah

A historic hill, it overlooks the final resting places of two entire civilizations that once inhabited this land, and whose history is chronicled in the Book of Mormon. From here, the prophet Moroni wrote of the final destruction of his people before depositing their sacred history into a stone box atop this very hill. At the visitors center, you can reflect upon this monumental history, its implications, its importance and relevance in our lives. 


The Sacred Grove

Time is available here to reflect upon the significance of this event, including the personal influence it has had on you. In addition to the Sacred Grove, the Smith Family Farm includes other historic structures, such as the log home where the Smith family lived. Unfortunately, there are usually many mosquitoes in this area, so we encourage guests to bring repellent for personal use.

The Grandin Press

Today this historic site is open to the public year-round. It features restorations of the original bookstore, printer’s office, printing press, and bindery. Additionally, there are exhibits about Joseph Smith,  the Book of Mormon, and the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. E.B. Grandin agreed to print 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon in June 1829 for a cost of $3,000. Copies of the book were first sold to the public at Grandin’s bookstore in 1830. Since then, more than 176 million copies of the book have been printed in more than 100 languages.

Overnight in Palmyra, New York.

After we attend church services in the Palmyra ward, we take a visit to the Sacred Grove, where we will take time to wander along the paths of this special area. We then depart from New York and travel to Ohio as we continue our American Covenant journey. Before reaching Kirtland, we will stop at the Dunkirk Lighthouse.

The Sacred Grove

This sacred site is a wonderful addition to our Sunday worship. Time is available here to reflect upon the significance of this event, including the personal influence it has had on you. In addition to the Sacred Grove, the Smith Family Farm includes other historic structures, such as the log home where the Smith family lived. Unfortunately, there are usually many mosquitoes in this area, so we encourage guests to bring repellent for personal use.

Dunkirk Lighthouse

Dunkirk Lighthouse is a historic maritime structure on Lake Erie, serving both as a guiding beacon for ships and as a museum. Preserving the maritime history of the region, it stands as a testament to the importance of lighthouses. This lighthouse has played a crucial role in guiding maritime traffic on Lake Erie and ensuring the safety of ships entering Dunkirk Harbor. Its historical significance is tied to the maritime history of the region and the development of the trade and commerce on the Great Lakes.

Wondering how this lighthouse ties into the American Covenant? Well, you will have to join us on tour for that one!

Overnight in Kirtland, Ohio

Today we visit the sites of Kirtland, Ohio, including the Kirtland Temple and the Emma & Joseph Home, as well as Historic Kirtland. Including sites such as the visitors center, Newel K Whitney store, and downtown Historic Kirtland. Missionaries will guide us through each site, as well as introduce us to sites of revelation and spiritual significance. Continuing south, we drive onward towards geographical sites of the Book of Mormon. If there is time we will make a stop at Fairport Harbor, before overnighting in Heath, Ohio.

Kirtland Temple

The Kirtland Temple was the first temple constructed after the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. Long-anticipated, early church members made several sacrifices to see to the fulfillment of its construction. Following its dedication, heavenly visitations and important revelations occurred within the temple walls, including  appearances by Jesus Christ, Moses, Elias, and Elijah, as well as the receipt of sections of the Doctrine and Covenants. 

Due to financial difficulties and persecution in Kirtland, the Church eventually lost the ownership of the temple. Various religious denominations and other associations used the temple as a meeting house and other purposes. Eventually, efforts to restore and preserve the Kirtland Temple were made. For years it was owned and operated by the Community of Christ, and now as of March 2024 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has regained ownership.

Emma & Joseph Home

This home once belonged to Joseph and Emma Smith, while living in Kirtland. This home has only recently been restored, and as a result, is now open for guided tours of the property. We are excited to provide our guests with an opportunity to see this newly opened restored home.

Historic Kirtland

Including sites such as the visitors center, Newel K Whitney store, and downtown historic Kirtland. Missionaries will guide us through each site, as well as introduce us to sites of revelation and spiritual significance. 

Overnight in Heath, Ohio

Join us as we explore these remarkable mounds, intricately tied to the evidence of the Book of Mormon and the origins of the American Covenant. Unlike other Hopewell sites, this location stands out for its lack of fortification and militaristic features. Instead, its construction suggests a time of profound peace and harmony. This notion, combined with carbon dating of the mounds, leads us to believe that this ceremonial sites was erected following Christ’s visitation to the inhabitants.

The Great Circle

This mound, constructed by ancient inhabitants of the continent, was specifically designed for protection. In the video, we can observe how this expansive area would have served as a defensive structure to safeguard the people positioned on top.

Great Octagon

This earthwork holds the distinction of being the largest on Earth. According to scientific carbon dating, it originated between 100-150 years after Christ. This scientific dating adds a new layer of significance to the Great Octagon. Furthermore, archaeological excavations have led experts to recognize this site as sacred. Sacred artifacts found towards the front of the Octagon have bolstered this conclusion.

This site stands apart from other Hopewell sites in its construction, as it lacks fortification and warlike features. Instead, its design suggests a period of great peace. Therefore, along with the carbon dating of the mounds, we believe that this ceremonial site was constructed following Christ’s visitation to the inhabitants. This conclusion logically follows from the available evidence.

Hopewell National Historic Park

The Hopewell people are renowned for their enigmatic and majestic earthwork structures. These structures, believed to have served various purposes in the past, are now open for exploration and enjoyment as a park. As we explore these earthworks, our aim is to uncover the evidence they have left behind, particularly regarding their potential connection with the Book of Mormon. For more detailed insights into the parallels between the Nephites and the Hopewell people, we encourage you to read this article.

Overnight in Wilmington, Ohio.

Visit Fort Ancient, an exceptional site featuring a walled fortification accompanied by a museum and replica Hopewell living structures. In the afternoon, we will explore the Ark Encounter. Exhibits and displays depict scenes from the biblical story of Noah, providing insights into the construction of the Ark and offering explanations about the flood and its aftermath.

Ark Encounter

At the heart of the Ark Encounter attraction is a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark, meticulously built according to the measurements described in the Bible. Spanning 510 feet in length, 85 feet in width, and 51 feet heigh, the ark offers and impressive depiction of the biblical narrative. A true wooden masterpiece. However, beyond its impressive physical dimensions, the primary purpose and mission of the Ark Encounter is to offer visitors a faith-based and educational experience, promoting the beliefs of Answers in Genesis.

Features of the Ark Encounter

The Ark Encounter features three decks filled with exhibits and displays, the Ararat Ridge Zoo, ziplines, and a petting zoo, alongside live entertainment and restaurants for visitors to enjoy. It offers a complete theme park experience for exploration, enjoyment, and enlightenment. 

Exhibits and displays within the ark depict scenes from the biblical story of Noah and provide explanations of the Ark’s construction, as well as information about the flood and its aftermath. The zoo, a testament to the concept of “two animals of every kind,” showcases a variety of animals, aiming to provide visitors with the diversity that would have been seen aboard the ark.

Prepare to be immersed in a captivating world where history and adventure intersect!

Overnight in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Sadly, today we say farewell to friends made. However, we leave excited from the spiritual and educational feast of the tour. Guests can depart any time this day. There is a complimentary shuttle to the Cincinnati Airport.

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