King Mosiah consults with the people about who they want for their king. They want his son Aaron, who has left to preach the gospel to the Lamanites. Mosiah sends out a declaration, saying that none of his sons want the kingdom. He fears “there would rise contentions among you” (7) if he confers the rule upon someone else, then later one of his sons comes back and desires it. He is identifying problems that could arise and trying to solve them before they happen.
“Now I say unto you let us be wise and consider these things…” (8)
Am I wise and consider the consequences of my actions before I do them?
And now let us be wise and look forward to these things, and do that which will make for the peace of this people.”Mosiah 29:10
Wise people do that which will bring peace. Am I seeking peace?
Mosiah outlines the idea of a political systems of judges, instead of a king.
…And we will newly arrange the affairs of this people, for we will appoint wise men to be judges, that will judge this people according to the commandments of God.”Mosiah 29:11
He goes on to say, “If it were possible that you could have just men to be your kings, who would establish the laws of God, and judge this people according to his commandments, yea, if ye could have men for your kings who would do even as my father Benjamin did for this people—I say unto you, if this could always be the case then it would be expedient that ye should always have kings to rule over you.” (13)
But all men are not just, as was seen with king Noah, and “behold, how much iniquity doth one wicked king cause to be committed, yea, and what great destruction.” (17)
Wickedness brings bondage. One bad king can lead a people down to destruction.
And were it not for the interposition of their all-wise Creator, and this because of their sincere repentance, they must unavoidably remain in bondage until now.
But behold, he did deliver them because they did humble themselves before him; and because they cried mightily unto him he did deliver them out of bondage; and thus doth the Lord work with his power in all cases among the children of men, extending the arm of mercy towards them that put their trust in him.”Mosiah 29:19-20
Trusting in God and repenting brings power into our lives that we otherwise would not have.
Mosiah outlines why a wicked leader brings about so much misery.
He “has his friends in iniquity, and he keepeth his guards about him; and he teareth up the laws of those who have reigned in righteousness before him; and he trampleth under his feet the commandments of God.
And he enacteth laws, and sendeth them forth among his people, yea, laws after the manner of his own wickedness; and whosoever doth not obey his laws he causeth to be destroyed; and whosoever doth rebel against him he will send his armies against them to war, and if he can he will destroy them; and thus an unrighteous king doth pervert the ways of all righteousness.”Mosiah 29:22-23
Mosiah warns us not to let such abominations come upon us. Then he gives this wisdom:
Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do business by the voice of the people.”Mosiah 29:26
Mosiah sets up a system of judges, with checks and balances. He wanted “that this inequality should be no more in this land, especially among this my people; but I desire that this land be a land of liberty, and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike…” (32)
He wants more equality, instead of all the sins being answered upon one man—the king. He wants “the burden should come upon all the people, that ever man might bear his part.” (34)
After he sends out his words, his people are convinced of his argument.
Therefore they relinquished their desires for a king, and became exceedingly anxious that every man should have an equal chance throughout all the land; yea, and every man expressed a willingness to answer for his own sin.”Mosiah 29:38
They yearned for personal responsibility.
Do I take responsibility for my actions, or do I try to justify my sins or blame others for my misery?
Mosiah’s people cast their votes, every man in the land, for who will be their judges. Because Mosiah gave them a better system of freedom and responsibility, they loved him.
And they did wax strong in love towards Mosiah; yea, they did esteem him more than any other man; for they did not look upon him as a tyrant who was seeking for gain, yea, for that lucre which doth corrupt the soul; for he had not exacted riches of them, neither had he delighted in the shedding of blood; but he had established peace in the land, and he had granted unto his people that they should be delivered from all manner of bondage; therefore they did esteem him, yea, exceedingly, beyond measure.”Mosiah 29:40
Am I a wise steward over my family, and over my responsibilities? Do I consider problems that could arise from different choices and try to avoid those, so that peace may exist in my life?