Featured Post

The Purest Love

"The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of transformation. It takes us as men and women of the earth and refines us into men and wom...

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Faith Through Fire

In the mid 1990's I had a dream that my house was on fire.  I remember standing at the top of the stairs looking down into the basement and seeing flames spread through the hall and rise rapidly towards me.  I quickly maneuvered across the dining and kitchen area in an attempt to make my way to the front door only to find more flames filling the living room and blocking me from reaching my escape.  I was trapped.  Terror began to grip my heart and I cried out.  Through the fire I could see the door... It didn't look like the solid wood one we had in real life: Instead, this door had a large Gothic-shaped stained-glass window that spanned its full length.  Through the stained-glass I saw a face that immediately brought me comfort.   Recognizing the presence of this person flooded me with peace and I shouted in relief, "Dad!" I wondered at this exclamation as soon as I said it because even though he was older, had glasses, and was clean-shaven, I could clearly see that the man through the door was not my father.  I thought that it must have been my Heavenly Father but then questioned why God would be wearing glasses.  Either way, it felt like I was seeing the face of God.  He smiled at me and I knew I was safe just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who survived the fiery furnace. My concern of how I was going to be delivered from the flames was gone and then I woke up.  I've never forgotten that dream and have told my children about it through the years. (I recognized the exact same face Sept. 2014 in the photograph of a friend.)

This dream about the fire must have occurred around the same year my seminary building burned down.  Sometimes events from real life thread their way throughout visions in our sleep...  dreams are funny that way.  It was an electrical fire that destroyed my seminary.  It started in the trusses of the attic.  Almost the entire roof collapsed as it burned  until the outside walls were all that was left standing.  We spent the rest of the school year attending seminary at the Stake Center up the street.  They tore down our building and built a bigger more beautiful one in its stead.  

I remember thinking how interesting it was that we just happened to sing "The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning" for our closing hymn in our class and then to have our Seminary literally burn later that day. My teacher, Brother Ayres, was able to gather some scripture pages that survived the fire and let us keep them as a souvenir.  This is the scripture page I kept.

(Proverbs 3:5,6 had already been highlighted.  To me, this was a symbol of keeping faith in the Lord during trying times and it brought me comfort, the same comfort I felt in my dream.)

Yes, these are the last days and there will be much that will test and try our faith.  But like Helaman 5:12, so is the hymn "How Firm a Foundation."

"When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flames shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine."

I know that if we build and center our lives on the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, all will be well and no matter what comes our way, we will come out of it better and stronger than we were before.

"And when they saw that they were encircled about with a pillar of fire, and that it burned them not, their hearts did take courage." -  Helaman 5:24

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me... To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." - Isaiah 61:1-3

-Alicia :)

Beautiful Heartache

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Gift of Charity

The three-part series of books Elder David A. Bednar has written, all come with an interactive CD with segments corresponding to each chapter.  Being out of school for a semester, I'm able to dive back into this study and it's been so great!  This morning as I was listening to some of these segments and I was particularly struck by this discussion Elder Bednar had with a woman in the audience.  

Woman:    In your book, “Act in Doctrine”, you talk about that ultimately the gift of Charity posses us – we don’t posses it.  How do we know if Charity is possessing us?

Elder Bednar:    You’ll have to listen carefully to this answer –ok.  It will strike a little abruptly - given  the nature of your question.  
I really believe that the more we have [charity], the more we quit wondering if we have it...  We get in a mode of  “I want to get this” and I would suggest that the very mode of “I want to get this” gets in the way of us getting it... It's a turn to the Savior because we’re trying to get this but there’s a little bit of looking back.  A spiritual gift like Charity is when it’s about blessing somebody else, it’s not about us being able to say “yeah, I got this”… the more we get out of the way, the more it can be brought to us.

I believe what Elder Bednar is teaching here is the same concept C.S. Lewis illustrates about humility when the Satan figure in his book, Uncle Screwtape, is teaching his nephew, Wormwood, how to destroy a Christian;

"Your patient has become humble; have you drawn his attention to the fact? All virtues are less formidable to us once the man is aware that he has them, but this is especially true of humility. Catch him at the moment when he is really poor in spirit and smuggle into his mind the gratifying reflection, 'By jove! I’m being humble', and almost immediately pride—pride at his own humility—will appear. If he awakes to the danger and tries to smother this new form of pride, make him proud of his attempt—and so on, through as many stages as you please"

The Lord wants us to seek after the gift of Charity, in fact we are commanded to "pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that we may be filled with this love" (Moroni 7:48)  But in order for it to be bestowed, our "eye must be single to the glory of God" and it must not be exploited to get personal gain, to "look good, or appear good" or to glorify ourselves in any way.  Our hearts must be sincere and our motives must be pure.  

"True meekness has a metabolism that actually requires very little praise or recognition—of which there is usually such a shortage anyway. Most of the time, the sponge of selfishness quickly soaks up everything in sight, including praise intended for others." - Elder Neal A. Maxwell
I think the same can be said about true charity.

Elder Maxwell warns, "Be careful of the natural man’s milder expressions—craving for credit and rustling for recognition. Alas, so often the hearts and even the moral agency of others can be crushed in the search for self-glorification."

C. S. Lewis explained this teaching of the Savior: “The moment you have a self at all, there is a possibility of putting yourself first—wanting to be the centre—wanting to be God, in fact. That was the sin of Satan"

President Gordon B. Hinckley would say, “He who lives only unto himself withers and dies, while he who forgets himself in the service of others grows and blossoms in this life and in eternity.”

This is what I want to learn - to forget mySELF, but I must remember “that the very mode of ‘I want to get this’ gets in the way of [me] getting it…. A spiritual gift like Charity is when it’s about blessing somebody else" The whole entire idea of "self" must be taken out of the equation.

I think a great talk to go with these thoughts I've had today was given in April 2009 by Dallin H. Oaks - "Unselfish Service"  I'm so thankful for the wisdom and counsel of these wise men who have been called of God to help keep me in the right way.  I need their guidance.  


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Just Another Way to Die

This is a quote my husband and I heard at Education Week a few days ago.  I think it goes just perfect with my little axiom, "There are a million ways to die but there's only one true way to live."

C.S. Lewis basically says the same thing but with even more clarity.  Things are unraveling at rapid speeds and it is essential that we get our houses, our lives, our relationships, and our faith in order. The important thing in this day of tribulation and trouble is not how we die but how we are found living our lives.  I love this!

"In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. 'How are we to live in an atomic age?' I am tempted to reply: 'Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents."

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors - anaesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things - praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts - not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds." - C.S. Lewis

Monday, August 24, 2015

Taking Out the Trash

One of our guiding principles of schooling our children from home is to "educate the whole child." Our hope is that during their elementary and middle school years we can create within our kids a strong understanding of who they are and who they can become - so that by the time they reach high school and enter the public system, they are more solid among their peers and not "tossed about by every wind of doctrine." We want them to know that their identity is centered in the divine nature of their soul and not in academia or popularity.  

Tonight, my husband and I discussed a couple of principles that we feel will help them more holistically.  But before we had this discussion, let me rewind to this afternoon:

While I was looking through old photo albums with my daughter, I had an interesting experience... flashbacks began to stir up more than memories for me and it wasn’t pretty. Now, I love looking at old pictures of family but I was surprised that as I viewed ones with me, insecure voices from the past began to creep in, mean voices.  I began to focus on every ugly flaw and I was beginning to feel really depressed about myself.  "That's crap." I thought, "How do I get this garbage out of my head? Where is this coming from?" I knew these thoughts well.  They were the old lies I had heard a million times growing up.

Later, after our kids went to bed, my husband and I discussed what we could do to strengthen our children.  I thought of my experience with the photo album and said, "You know what?... If I could go back in time and visit myself as a child, I'd teach her how to take out the trash and treasure the truth.  I had a horrible habit of tearing myself down when I was young and it still occasionally haunts me today."

"I like that idea," he said "let's expound upon it."
"Well, I'd like to see our kids learn to take out the trash in all aspects of their lives: physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally."
"Great!" my husband agreed.  "How would this look?"

We began to list some ideas for each one and this is what we came up with:

"Taking Out the Trash"
  • Physically - throw away clutter in their rooms and avoiding too much junk food in their diet 
  • Mentally - toss out movies, music, pictures, books, and media that is filthy or corrodes
  • Emotionally - get rid of negative self-talk, comparing themselves to others, anxiety - fear, cynicism, and gossip the minute it begins to emerge
  • Spiritually - toss out anything that drives away the Holy Ghost or limits the channels of revelation

"Treasuring the Truth"
  • Physically - holding on to things that have lasting value, that are meaningful and useful.  making a habit of eating that will benefit the body and help it stay strong
  • Mentally - "Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom" (D&C 88:118) Seek to watch, view, read, and listen to that which will inspire them to be their best selves. Educate their minds.
  • Emotionally - speak positively of themselves with a Godly confidence and focus on the good in others, practice showing and expressing gratitude
  • Spiritually - actively invite and seek to be around and involved in things that bring a greater measure of the Spirit- especially personal prayer, scripture study, and words of the living prophets

We feel like we’ve constructed a productive plan and are excited to introduce it to our children.  We even found an old Mormonad that is perfect for our education initiative.  We’re going to make some copies of this and place one on each door to serve as a reminder.  Hopefully, we can all do a little better at “taking out the trash” and “treasuring the truth” especially me.  


Light Cleaveth Unto Light

What a wonderful First Presidency Message this month!  I honestly believe that in these last days we are witnessing and will continue to witness some amazing miracles.  It is a beautiful, beautiful time to be alive.  Yes, we live in a day where the world has never been more dark... but the darker the night - the brighter the stars.  A great gathering is taking place, a gathering of light.  President Monson emphasizes this in this month's Ensign.  "For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light."- D&C 88:40  

"You are children of light...I would like all of the youth of the Church to know that they are children of light. As such, they have a responsibility to be 'as lights in the world' (Philippians 2:15). They have a duty to share the truths of the gospel. They have a calling to stand as a temple beacon, reflecting gospel light to an increasingly dark world. They have a charge to keep their light aflame and burning brightly.

In order for us to be 'an example of the believers' (1 Timothy 4:12), we ourselves must believe. We must develop the faith necessary to survive spiritually and to project a light for others. We must nurture our testimony until it becomes an anchor to our lives.

Among the most effective ways to gain and keep the faith we need today is to read and study the scriptures and to pray frequently and consistently." - President Thomas S. Monson

I love the simplicity of what is most essential in today's darkening world.  What is most important is that we lay down a strong foundation of faith for every day through prayer, scripture study, and application.  As we do so we open the windows of heaven of revelation and we have light.  There is never any day we need to walk in darkness.

"When you are a light to the world, people around you will feel a special spirit that will make them want to associate with you and follow your example." - President Thomas S. Monson

This is the essence of the deepest beauty because it comes from the inside out.  I echo the words of Elaine S. Dalton:

"There is no more beautiful sight than a young woman [or man] who glows with the light of the Spirit, who is confident and courageous because she [or he] is virtuous." - (Remember Who You Are) - Elaine S. Dalton


Sunday, August 23, 2015


The other day my three younger kids all came to me complaining that they were bored and insisted that the only possible remedy for their doldrums was more "screen time."  They know how much I can't stand them spending hours watching YouTube or playing computer games. I'm very strict against it, maybe a little too strict... but I'd rather "err on the side of caution."

"Mom, we are so bored!" "Yeah, this day is dumb."
"If you're bored, why don't you try a board game?"
They didn't laugh at my attempt to be punny.  "Mom, that's lame." (I smiled at my own joke.  I like lame.)
"Maybe you could go outside and skate or ride your bikes?"
"It's too hot outside, Mom!"  "Yeah, we'll die out there."
"Well, if you are really desperate for something to do... I could give you some jobs around the house. I've got lots of them." They slouched and rolled their eyes in unison. (All the parents know how well that trick works.)
I suggested Legos, sculpting, reading... and math (I couldn't help it... that last one just slipped out.)
They were beginning to lose their patience and the tone of their voices became more elevated at me and at each other.
I opened the fridge to put some containers away and then remembered I had just boiled a bunch of eggs.  I took them out and handed them to the kids.  Here's something!  Go get my colored permanent markers and decorate these.  Smiles returned to their faces, they grabbed the eggs from me and ran off excitedly.
"Hmm, who knew?" I sighed in relief, glad I found something that interested them.  "That should hold them for a few minutes at least."
They went to work doodling faces.  Soon ideas began to flow and they had out all the pipe cleaners, hot glue, cotton balls, and googly eyes.  When I suggested decorating, I didn't expect this...  But it was perfect because they now had characters to pretend and act out stories. They giggled and laughed  for over two and a half hours as they played with their "new toys."

 I'll admit that there are times  I've "cracked" under the pressure of my kids begging and pleading for more screen time.  But this time I didn't and I'm so glad.  The results were "eggs"traordinary! ;)


Here's a few more pictures of my awesome creative kids...

Micah's Military Camp
Miriam's "Brain Enchant-O-Tron"

Micah's Stop Annimation

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Unlocking Our True Self

Sister Patricia Holland gave a wonderful talk in 1987 called, The Soul's Center.  She tells of a very real illness that is increasingly common umong women and asks:

“What are we doing to ourselves? Is this that female curse Isaiah spoke of in his prophecies? Is this some special last days’ dilemma into which we are entering and from which we may find it near-fatally difficult to withdraw?"

She then goes on to make some very telling observations of what may be the cause of this malady.

"I believe that as women we are becoming so concerned about having perfect figures, or straight A’s, or professional status, or even absolute motherly success, that we are being torn from our true selves. We often worry so much about pleasing and performing for others that we lose our own uniqueness, that full and relaxed acceptance of ourselves as a person of worth and individuality. Too many women watch helplessly as their lives unravel from the core that centers and sustains them. Too many are like a ship at sea without sail or rudder, tossed to and fro (as the Apostle Paul said) until more and more of us are genuinely, rail-grabbingly seasick.

I believe we can find it—the steady footing and the stilling of the soul—by turning away from the fragmentation of physical preoccupations (whether it be thin or fat) of superwoman careers or endless popularity contests and returning instead to the wholeness of our soul.

[Satan] knows that to truly find ourselves we must lose ourselves, so he begins to block our increased efforts to love—to love God, our neighbor, and ourselves. True charity takes us into the beauty...self-evaluation. To see ourselves as we really are often brings pain; but true humility, which comes from that process, is a godly virtue. We must be patient with ourselves as we overcome weaknesses and remember to rejoice over all that is good in us. This will strengthen the inner woman and leave her less dependent on outward acclaim. When the soul reaches the stage that it pays less attention to praise, it then cares very little when the public disapproves. These feelings of strength and the quiet triumph of faith carry us into an even brighter sphere. 

Sister Holland gives five keys to unlocking our souls, our true selves, the Divine identity within us.  Each key opens up access to the next key and are as follows.

1st - Sincere Prayer
2nd - Scripture Study (combined with sincere prayer, provides us with revelation)
3rd - True Charity
4th- Self-Evaluation /humility (losing ourselves)
5th - Lifting the veil

As we reach through the veil
"we have our chance to meet God face-to-face. For those who, like the brother of Jared, have the courage and faith to break through the veil into that sacred center of existence, we will find the brightness of the final box brighter than the noonday sun. There we will find peace and serenity and a stillness that will anchor our soul forever, for there we will find God.

Wholeness. Holiness. That is what it says over the entrance to the fifth box. Holiness to the Lord. 'Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?' (1 Corinthians 3:16). I testify that you are holy, that just by being born, divinity is abiding within you, waiting to be uncovered—to be reborn. God bless you in your search for the sacred center of your soul" 

(The Soul's Center by, Patricia Holland- BYU Devotional 1987)

I love this talk.  Sister Holland nails it!  She understands what it means to have a soul centered on Christ.  It is here in this simple uncomplicated pattern of keys that frees us from the need to be noticed or the race to be recognized.  Women who follow this course know and understand their true identity.  They are settled and at peace even in the middle of the storms surrounding them.  These are women who truly trust in God's love, His grace, His commandments, and His covenants.  Their lives become less of a "balancing act" because there is only One they need to please and He is at the center of their heart.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Real Education

I've had the privilege of attending BYU's Education Week these past few days.  Tonight was the last night.  I've written down thoughts, taken snapshots of slides with my phone, and took mental notes too.  I don't want to lose any of this.  There is so much I need to learn!  I've had many impressions come of what I need to do to be a better wife and mother, a better sister and friend.  I have some goals I really want to achieve like being a more focused listener,  to seek more to understand rather than to be understood, to express sincere gratitude to God and to others more (especially those of my own family), to give more of personal one-on-one time to my kids even if it's just for 10 min.

 I want to be more optimistic and do better at recognizing blessings.  I heard a story tonight about a woman with trials I cannot even begin to describe, she's a modern-day Job.
 Man, her story was humbling! I couldn't help think of that old Indian proverb:  "I used to complain I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet."  I have now and have had such a cushy life in comparison.

I went to a class on Tuesday all about optimism and living after the manner of happiness.  I've been thinking about what this looks like and how to apply it to myself.

Yesterday, I took my kids shopping for some school supplies.  As we left the store and loaded up the van, I stopped in my tracks and just looked around: I saw my wonderful children, I saw the beautiful sky above me, saw the modern conveniences everywhere and the ability we have to buy food and clothes... I got in the car and as we pulled on to the freeway, my heart was brimming over...  I just blurted out "It's a miracle!  It's a complete miracle!"
My kids looked at me with the usual glare, "You're so weird mom!"
I kept going, "No really, look at everything around us!  We are riding in this amazing machine at incredible speeds, we have air conditioning on a hot day and music that plays at the touch of a button. We hardly have to move a muscle and can be transported from point A to point B in just a matter of minutes.  Can you imagine what the pioneers would have thought of our being able to travel like this??  Couldn't you just see the handcart companies stuck in the snow and see an airplane fly overhead and realize, 'You mean to tell us we could have made this trip in 2 hours?!'  You guys we have miracles like this right in front of our face all the time that we hardly realize what is happening because we're just used to it.  They are EVERYWHERE!  We are so amazingly blessed!"
I wasn't sure if my kids were listening but boy it felt so good!  It was wonderful to take a moment to bask in all that is at our fingertips.  I want to make a habit of doing this more, I really do.  (As I'm writing, I'm remembering a devotional by Russel M. Nelson called The Magnificence of Man.  I need to listen to that again.)

I'll have to share in detail some time other things that I've taken with me from Education Week. My husband wants to make this a yearly tradition. I'm excited about that..  I have so very much to learn!


Thursday, August 20, 2015


Okay, I have a confession to make....
I may have just a slight obsession and or addiction to Elder Jeffrey R. Holland talks. For years and YEARS I've listened to all of his BYU devotionals.  I'm not sure when exactly I got hooked or if it's necessarily a bad thing... I love to hear ALL of the apostles and prophets but for some reason, the way Elder Holland delivers the message and the words he chooses hit me with a force that both stills my soul and moves me into immediate action.  He's like the perfect mix between a drill Sergeant and Glenda, the Good Witch.  Can I say that?   I love listening to the talks his wife, Patricia, gives as well.  She also knows how to "nail it."

Yesterday, I had playing on repeat both of the devotionals they gave back in Jan. of 1987.  The Bitter Cup and the Bloody Baptism and The Soul's Center.  Classic, absolutely classic!  Highly recommended!

(I also have an obsession with talks by Elder Neal A. Maxwell.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

This is how...

In our ward scripture study this morning we read the great lament of Mormon when he cries for his people “O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord… how could ye have rejected that Jesus… how is it that ye could have fallen!” Mormon 6:17-19

“They were once a delightsome people and they had Christ for their shepherd…. but now they are led about by Satan.” - Mormon 5:17-18


This is how….

4 Nephi - Mormon 4

  • began to be lifted up in pride, the wearing of costly apparel, and … all manner of the fine things of the world. (their “appearance” mattered most) - 4 Ne. 1:24
  • had their goods no more common among them (caught up in competition or selfish indulgence) - 4 Ne. 1:25
  • began to be divided into classes (they became “clicky”)  - 4 Ne. 1:26
  • they built up churches unto themselves (more concerned about having “followers” than being a disciple of Christ.)  - 4 Ne. 1:26
  • began to deny the true church (it became “inconvenient” for their “lifestyle”) - 4 Ne. 1:26
  • they hardened their hearts (this is what happens when pure love or charity is absent) - 4 Ne. 1:34
  • led by many priests and false prophets - (people who made them feel “comfortable” in their iniquities and in their view of the "inconvenient gospel")  - 4 Ne. 1:34
  • they smote the people of Jesus (this could also mean verbal “smack”) - 4 Ne. 1:34
  • they did dwindle in unbelief (no faith- no action - leads to less and less believing and more and more wickedness) - 4 Ne. 1:34
  • eventually they did willfully rebel and taught their children that they should not believe (by their words and by their example) - 4 Ne. 1:38
  • hated the things of God and taught their children to hate it too  - 4 Ne. 1:39
  • built up secret combinations  - 4 Ne. 1:42
  • proud in their hearts - filled with vanity  - 4 Ne. 1:43
  • wanted nothing to do with the Lord’s beloved disciples  - Mormon 1:13
  • sorrowed that the Lord would not suffer them to take happiness in sin  - Mormon 2:13
  • didn’t recognize the Lord  - Mormon 3:3
  • boasted in their own strength  - Mormon 3:9
  • boasted of their own strength  - Mormon 4:8
  • repented not but persisted in wickedness continually  - Mormon 4:10

As I read these things a couple of talks from the Elder Jeffrey R. Holland came to my mind on how to prevent this downfall:

"And as you labor to know [God] and to know that He knows you; as you invest your time—and inconvenience—in quiet, unassuming service, you will indeed find that “his angels [have] charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up.” (Matt. 4:6.) It may not come quickly. It probably won’t come quickly, but there is purpose in the time it takes. Cherish your spiritual burdens because God will converse with you through them and will use you to do his work if you carry them well." - Jeffrey R. Holland - The Inconvenient Messiah

The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Discerning Hearts

What if the Lord had blessed you with the gift of discerning hearts,  the gift of recognizing when a brother or sister was in pain even if never openly expressed?  What if you could see they were suffering from hurt or sorrow not necessarily from their own doings but from uncontrollable circumstances around them... what would you do?  What if you were given eyes to see these things but you were bound and limited in what you could do to help them?  What would you say to encourage them, to make their burdens a little lighter?

I would offer my faith.  I'd say, "Put on as many conference talks as you can find and soak up the words of the Living Prophets.  Hang on!  Press on!  Hold on! Be true to the truths you know.  All will be well.  All will be well!  I know this because the Lord is at the helm.  Your prayers are heard, both the spoken and unspoken."

Elder Holland says it better:

"Cling to your faith. Hold on to your hope. 'Pray always, and be believing.'  Indeed, as Paul wrote of Abraham, he 'against [all] hope believed in hope' and 'staggered not … through unbelief.' He was 'strong in faith' and was 'fully persuaded that, what [God] had promised, he was able … to perform.'

Even if you cannot always see that silver lining on your clouds, God can, for He is the very source of the light you seek. He does love you, and He knows your fears. He hears your prayers. He is your Heavenly Father, and surely He matches with His own the tears His children shed."

 - Elder Jeffrey R. Holland - An High Priest of Good Things to Come