Elder Neal A. Maxwell changed my life in a talk he gave for Education week at BYU in 1974. How did he do that when it was 2 years before I was born? Thanks to the modern magic of video and Youtube. I find myself constantly praying for God to do things for me. I want Him to be my Jinn. I want Him to take away my problems, heal my ailments, and change my circumstances to be more comfortable and less stressful. The more I think about it, the more like Lucifer's plan I find myself wanting things.
"Just let me into heaven, God. Don't test me or see if I can become like Thee," is what I find myself saying to God. "I don't like the plans Thou hast for me or the challenges that I must endure to become like Thee. Remove this cup, and I promise I will be good and grateful. I will praise Thee the whole day long!"
I might not say those words, but by the end of my conversation with Him, that is the meaning of my words. I don't really care to hear what He has to say about the matter. He might command me to do something that I don't want to do like he did Jonah! I am ashamed that I had to reflect on my soul to discover that this is true about me. Elder Maxwell let me see where I am in my spirituality and I am not proud of it.
It is God's will that should be done and not mine--especially if my will is not in sync with God's. I will not go so far as to ask for trials, but to ask God if my plans are acceptable rather than to ask Him to make my plans His plans is what we need to be doing--what I need to be doing.
Some times He will not remove our cups. Jesus said that His cup was bitter and prayed the Heavenly Father would remove it from Him. Elder Maxwell shared that with me. Jesus knew that God, who has all power could make it another way! He did not want to suffer the pains in Gethsemane. It was too much for Him, at least He thoughts so at the time. HOWEVER, He told the Lord, not His will be done, but the Fathers will be done. He accepted that He did not want to do it, but was willing to do it if God wanted it done. It was done. I love the Savior for His humility to suffer, even when He did not want to because He loves and honors the Father and all of us.
God did not remove the bitter cup from Jesus.
Other times He will remove our cups of bitter them so that we don't have to endure them. In order for us to be like Him, we must be willing to submit to what He sees fit to inflict upon us as a child submits to his or her parents.
"I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things," said the prophet of faith in Jesus Christ's teachings to submit to the Father. "I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." [Ether 12:6]
Moroni did not say that the trial of our faith would be easy, but a proving ground to strengthen us in the Lord so that we can bear testimony of the truthfulness of His love. Our witness comes as we trust the Lord through our trials--living the gospel with thanksgiving as we endure what the Lord sees fit to put us through to become more like He is. What has Moroni seen in you?