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.
Near the end of King Mosiah’s life, he proposed an alternative form of government to his people, one in which they would have a greater voice in the decisions that affected them. In proposing this change, he gave a number of reasons why having a monarchy is a bad idea. Many of those reasons mirrored the reasons given by his friend Alma years earlier when he refused to be king. But Mosiah gave an additional reason which, as a righteous king, he was uniquely qualified to observe. As he states in the passage above, the responsibilities of a king are simply too much to ask of a single person. A truly conscientious king will worry too much, do too much, and take too much ownership for the problems that should be spread more evenly among their people.
As Elder Patrick Kearon emphasized in yesterday’s Worldwide Devotional, we are happy to the degree that we lose ourselves in service to others. Therefore, a system of government which reduces our individual responsibility to serve will result in decreased happiness for all. We are all equal in the sight of God, and we should strive to establish systems which spread out responsibility equitably, with no single person having to do too much, and with each of us empowered to bear his or her part.
Most of us have numerous opportunities to participate in our respective governments. Church leaders have consistently encouraged us to take advantage of those opportunities. For example, in 2016, the First Presidency provided the following counsel to members of the Church in the United States:
As citizens we have the privilege and duty of electing office holders and influencing public policy. Participation in the political process affects our communities and nation today and in the future. We urge Latter-day Saints to be active citizens by registering, exercising their right to vote, and engaging in civic affairs (“First Presidency 2016 Letter Encouraging Political Participation, Voting in US“).
Today, I will find ways to participate more fully in the political process. I will strive to be an informed voter in today’s primary election. I will also find ways to support candidates whose positions align with my values.