Friday, February 6, 2009

Thoughts on Kings

We read over and over in the scriptures of people desiring to have kings to rule over them. The Israelites wanted one (1 Samuel 8), the Nephites wanted one (2 Nephi 5), the Jaredites wanted one (Ether 6). Why?

1 Samuel 8 states the reason the (wicked, at that time) Israelites wanted a king: "...We will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations..." The lesson to learn here: being "like all the nations" doesn't make an idea right. When that is given as a reason to support some agenda, remember our standard should be what does God support, not what does Europe support.

I have always wondered why the Nephites and Jaredites, both of whom were generally righteous at the time, asked for kings. The scriptures don't say. Recent events, however, have given me an idea. Could they have wanted security? Someone who would be responsible to make the important defense, industrial, and economic decisions?

More importantly, is the same thing happening to us now? Kings have certainly gone out of style, but there are many, many people who still want to shift responsibility for the important aspects of their lives to the government. There are people who are demanding that the government take responsibility for providing their health care and food, paying for their home, educating their children...

The problem with this is, any time we give up responsibility for something, we are also giving up control over it. Maybe those in control of it will do a good job, just like the early Jaredites and Nephite kings did. But inevitably, just as the brother of Jared warned: "Surely this thing leadeth into captivity."

Yes, this is only my opinion. But in light of the many quotes by modern prophets and apostles warning that benevolent government social problems eventually enslave the people (see previous "welfare programs" post), I don't think my opinion is too much of a stretch. People haven't changed, now they are just demanding an elected-committee-king instead of the traditional kind.

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