40 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.
How exceedingly rare in history are individuals like Mosiah, who seek not power or personal gain by the well being of their people. And even fewer who have had such adulation and love have been willing to voluntarily relinquish power.
As others have noted, it is hard to not read this chapter as a contrast to the wicked kings of the Old Testament and the Israelites decisions to take upon themselves the burden of a monarch. The mephitis go through the inverse process.
Such a process occurs either with a visionary leader like Mosiah or through tumult and bloodshed. The Nephites were blessed at this time to have a man like Mosiah.
As I think about the early history of the United States, I’m grateful that we were likewise blessed with visionary leaders who were willing to put the people first. George Washington easily could have become a ceased through the Newburgh coup. He could have created a lifelong presidency by remaining in office past his two terms. But he was willing to stand up and then step down when needed for the good of his nation.
Of course the founding generation was far from perfect. But on the whole, I’m grateful for the great leadership that Heavenly Father directed to the head of this great nation.