That Every Man Might Bear His Part – Mosiah 29:33-34

33 And many more things did king Mosiah write unto them, unfolding unto them all the trials and troubles of a righteous king, yea, all the travails of soul for their people, and also all the murmurings of the people to their king; and he explained it all unto them.
34 And he told them that these things ought not to be; but that the burden should come upon all the people, that every man might bear his part.
Of all the reasons Mosiah gives for abolishing the monarchy, I find this one to be the most compelling: because it’s not fair to the king.  Granted, you have a reasonable probability of getting a wicked king with no sense of responsibility, who uses the office for his own aggrandizement and not to serve his people. King Noah was a vivid recent example of that sort of leader.  But even if you have a righteous king like Mosiah or like his father Benjamin, who labor alongside the people, who establish righteous laws, and who fulfill their duty conscientiously, there is still a problem with this form of government: it puts too much burden on a single person.  
Mosiah was uniquely positioned to comment on this, having served as a righteous king for many years.  When he talks of “the travails of soul” which the king had to endure and of “the murmurings of the people to their king,” you can imagine him replaying in his mind innumerable experiences in which his people expected him to have all of the answers and to make all of the decisions.  Obviously, this also meant that he took the blame when things went badly.

I can empathize with him when he says that “such things ought not to be.” Everyone should share in the decision-making, in doing the work, and in taking responsibility for the outcomes. Organizations are stronger when all of their members have a sense of ownership.

Today, as I consider the organizations I belong to, including my family, I will think about how to share the burden more equitably: not just the burden of work, but more importantly the burden of making decisions and of taking responsibility for outcomes.
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