Ye Shall Not Esteem One Flesh above Another – Mosiah 23:7

6 And the people were desirous that Alma should be their king, for he was beloved by his people.
7 But he said unto them: Behold, it is not expedient that we should have a king; for thus saith the Lord: Ye shall not esteem one flesh above another, or one man shall not think himself above another; therefore I say unto you it is not expedient that ye should have a king.
The Lord tells us consistently throughout the scriptures that we should not have kings.  (See, for example, 2 Nephi 5:18, Ether 6:22-23, and 1 Samuel 8:5-22.)  In this passage, Alma explains why: because we are all human, and we ought not to artificially elevate some people above others.  This is evidently a natural human tendency.  Alma’s son would later ask the people of Zarahemla, “Will ye persist in supposing that ye are better one than another?” (Alma 5:54)
Obviously, the Lord is not trying to tell us that we are identical.  We clearly see that some people are more advanced than others with respect to specific skills and character traits.  However, we have a natural tendency to exaggerate the importance of those differences and to place too much trust in those who excel at particular skills (including ourselves).  Just think of the way that we treat celebrities: we use the word “idolize” as an accurate label for our excessive admiration of them.
Today, I will be grateful for the talents and skills of so many people who I work with, and I will remember that we are all human.  We are all here in mortality to progress and eventually to become like our Heavenly Father.  I will be prudent about whom I trust and what I trust them to do.  (Consider Mosiah 23:13-14.)  I will not “esteem one flesh above another.”
This entry was posted in Idolatry, Mosiah and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Ye Shall Not Esteem One Flesh above Another – Mosiah 23:7

  1. eric Kerr says:

    This post and these verses remind me of D&C121:39. We know that the nature and disposition of most of us to not respond well when placed in a position of authority. Knowing that, we should be cognizant of it and consciously strive not to esteem anyone (especially ourselves) above another. Alma is such a great example of being a powerful leader, but yet so humble. Thanks for your post.


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