Sunday, May 15, 2011

Snappish & Willful

I am so honored that Laura from Living a Big Story asked me to be a guest blogger on her May Mother's Day Series along with other women. She will be posting mine Monday, May 16th. So you can head over there and read my little post, along with some other posts by awesome women guests and Laura's own posts too!

You most likely have heard the following analogy before in Jeremiah 18 or recently in The Potter and the Clay, Ensign, January 2011. I found a bit more of Heber C. Kimball's quote, which was used in the Ensign article, in Heber C. Kimball: Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer By Stanley B. Kimball.

“I do not know that I can compare it [the proper course of life] better than by the potter’s business. It forms a good comparison. This is the course you must pursue, and I know of no other way that God has prepared for you to become sanctified, and molded and fashioned, until you become modeled to the likeness of the Son of God, by those who are placed to lead you. This is a lesson you have to learn as well as myself….You have come from the mill, and you have been there grinding. For what purpose? To bring you into a passive condition….Now suppose I subject myself enough, in the hands of the potter, to be shaped according as he was dictated by the Great Master potter, that rules over all things in heaven and on earth, He would make me into a vessel of honor.
There are many vessels that are destroyed after they have been molded and shaped. Why? Because they are not contented with the shape the potter has given them, but straightway put themselves into a shape to please themselves; therefore they are beyond understanding what God designs, and they destroy themselves by the power of their own agency, for this is given to every man and woman, to do just as they please…Well, then, you have to go through a great many modelings and shapes, then you have to be glazed and burned; and even in the burning, some vessels crack. What makes them crack? Because they are snappish; they would not crack if they were not snappish and willful."
(Pretty Elisa made this fun pottery)

This goes along with taking hold of the steering wheel instead of trusting our Father to guide us. Before this quote, Heber C. Kimball talks about how "as [His] work progresses, the works of Satan will increase, and he will continue to present one thing after another, following up the work of God, and increasing means of deception, to lead astray such men and women, and take them captive." How can he lead us astray if we are trying to do good? When we are not in a "passive condition" or humble, we may think that we know more than the potter. Who is the potter? Jesus in the master potter, shaping us the way His master, our Father, instructs Him to. But our church leaders are also our potters, as stated in the quote above.

Are we humble enough to listen to our church leaders when they guide us, advise us, teach us? Or do we decide that we know better what shape we should take, trying to mold ourselves and "destroy [ourselves] by the power of [our] own agency?" Why do we fight it when He knows what our design is, what we must become? Why would we question it when He will make us into "a vessel of honor", something we cannot do on our own? I have been blessed with many wise and kind leaders who have helped and guided me. We only have to listen to the Father's words through them and obey. They want what our Father wants--a pot molded just right.

Besides the molding by our leaders, our Father uses our experiences to mold us. Many people talk about how we grow and are molded in our trials, and it is true, but I have also learned so much in the good times. We just need to always be willing to learn and grow. Two people going through the same experiences could come out very differently. We need to let the Spirit guide us and always stay on the straight and narrow.

I'm gonna start using that phrase "snappish and willful" when I start to take over and think I know what's best. Hopefully that will snap me back to humility so I will allow myself to be molded, so I can be what the potter is trying to make me into.


  1. Beautiful thought. I will have to remember that phrase too, as I think that my way is better. thanks!

  2. Wow, thanks for posting this. I'm snappish and willful WAY more often that I should be.

  3. That's a great phrase! I'm heading over to read your post.

  4. Unfortunately we can all be snappish and willful. :o( Great reminder.

  5. I love this post. Very great food for thought this week! I tend to be a little on the edgy side, too... But there's always room to grow. :)

  6. Great post. It was something I needed to hear again.
    Thanks for your words of encouragement. We actually have what I hope to be our last counseling session this next week.

  7. Definitely a great reminder for me to be more willing to conform to His will.

    That's a pretty neat piece of pottery. She did a good job.

  8. Beautiful story. Congrats on being featured as well.


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