I recall an analogy made by President Heber C. Kimball about the Potter and the Clay.
"Comparing us to clay that is in the hands of the potter, if that clay is passive, I have power as a potter to mold it and make it into a vessel unto honor. Who is to mold these vessels? Is it God Himself in person, or is it His servants, His potters, or journeymen, in company with those He has placed to oversee the work? The Great Master Potter dictates His servants, and it is for them to carry out His purposes, and make vessels according to His designs; and when they have done the work, they deliver it up to the Master for His acceptance; and if their works are not good, He does not accept them; the only works He accepts, are those that are prepared according to the design He gave. God will not be trifled with; neither will His servants; their words have got to be fulfilled, and they are the men that are to mold you, and tell you what shape to move in. …"
Our whole lives we are supposed to be like clay. We are supposed to be flexible, easily shaped and molded, and easy to work with. We also are supposed to allow more than one potter to work with us. Christ is the over-all "potter" and is in charge, and ultimately he is the one who decides if we have been shaped well. But there are many potters who come into our life and shape us. It is how we allow ourselves to be molded with these potters that matters.
Some potters make it easy for us to adjust, and others make it very challenging. However, it is still important for us to become the best we can, no matter how challenging the person is.
We must also not go into the stove too soon. Going into the stove creates permanence in our character that is much harder to shape. Once someone has gone through the stove, you can still shape them, but it has to be with a chisel and it is very difficult for both the potter and the clay. Most of the time, when someone goes through the stove prematurely, the end up breaking.
With clay, this is a permanent break. It cannot be fixed
But for people, it does not have to be. It is fixable through the atonement. We can be made into soft, workable clay again. It takes a lot of work and patience with oneself, but it can be done.
The clay represents us.
The potter represents everybody we come into contact with in life.
Being malleable and easy to work with means we are humble, meek, willing to admit we are wrong, and willing to change.
Going through the "stove" symbolizes stubbornness. Always being right. Always being in the right (because that's what we always think/believe we are). The only people who go through the stove are those who either are ready, or think they are ready, to be considered for perfection through the atonement.
None of us should reach that until we die.
And those who are ready to go through.. they do not become stubborn like those who go in too soon. Rather, they become perfectly faithful and obedient.
But until that time when we are ready to enter the stove (death), do not make yourself unchangeable. I'm not talking about suicide (premature death). I am talking about the way we behave, think, interact, and live. Do not think too highly of yourself. Relax, don't be stubborn. Remember there is only One who is always right, and it is not you. Or me. Or anybody else we will meet in this life.
We all have things we need to improve on. I just find that when I think about this, it helps me remember what my purpose is on this earth. It also helps me remember that the world doesn't revolve around me, and I need to revise and improve.