The Israelites honor the world. They seek for a king to rule over them so they can be “like all the nations.” Samuel rehearses the nature and evils of kingly rule. The Lord consents to give them a king.
1 Samuel 8:1, 5, 7, 9–22
1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. . . .
5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. . . .
7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. . . .
9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
10 And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.
11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.
19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord.
22 And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.
President Spencer W. Kimball said:
“Samuel called the people together and explained to them that the people of the Lord should be different, with higher standards. ‘We want to be like other peoples,’ they demanded. ‘We do not want to be different.’ . . .
“Not so different are we today! We want the glamor and frothiness of the world, not always realizing the penalties of our folly. . . . Others . . . indulge in their social drinking—‘we must also have a king like unto other nations!’
“Styles are created by the vulgar and money-mad and run from one extreme to the other to outdate present wardrobes and create business for merchants. We cannot be different. We would rather die than be ‘not up to date.’ If the dress is knee length we must go [a] little above the knee. If shorts are short we must have the shortest. . . . [I]f bathing suits are skimpy, we must have the skimpiest. ‘We must have a king like unto other nations!’
“The Lord says He will have a peculiar people but we do not wish to be peculiar. . . . If intimate fondling is the pattern of the crowd, we will fondle. ‘We must have a king like unto other nations!’ . . .
“Others have Hollywood marriages with finery and glitter and ostentatious pomposity. We also must have candles, gowns, best men, and ladies in waiting, often dangerously near immodestly dressed. ‘We must have a king like unto other nations!’
“The world has a queen in every industry, business, factory, school, and social group. She must dress immodestly, display her figure, and appear in public places to further the financial interests of business, entertainment, and social groups. . . . Ours, also, must have a beautiful face, a little talent, and a well-formed body for public exhibition. We can do little else for ‘we must have a queen like unto other nations!’ . . .
“When, oh when, will our Latter-day Saints stand firm on their own feet, establish their own standards, follow proper patterns, and live their own glorious lives in accordance with Gospel-inspired patterns[?] . . . Certainly good times and happy lives and clean fun are not dependent upon the glamorous, the pompous, the extremes.”
(“Like All the Nations,” Church News, Oct. 15, 1960, 14.)