You learn what it was like before Al joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Al got tattoos, pierced her cupids bow, pierced her back, smoked and sipped her coffee life was pleasant until she meets the saw two LDS missionaries with helmets. A steak dinner was offered in exchange for her being taught the gospel. I love that despite her hardships and trials, she continues to live the gospel and radiate the happiness the gospel of Jesus Christ brings into one's life when you choose Him over what is familiar, including family. The reader is going to love her experience. I know I did.
I had one problem with the book. Al, cites scripture throughout her book that helped her along her journey. However, failed to cite Romans 8:31 "...If God be for us, who can be against us?" I am unaware who her publisher, or even who her publishing company is, but that is definitely not an Al quote, that's scripture. I hope this is corrected, or even republished to properly cite and correct.
As a convert to the LDS Church, I love reading stories of other converts and their experiences. Although most of us have heard about Sister Carraway, her story is amazing. She talks honestly about her struggles after being baptized. The last few chapters are very encouraging and gave me a lot of hope and feeling my Savior's Love, and I've so appreciated that. Her words allow the Spirit to witness that what she is saying is true. I am 60-something and have loved this book, and would recommend it for any age but especially young adults who struggle with their self-esteem and if the Lord really loves them.
I thought that this was going to be sort of a biography, or just telling her conversion story. Which is never a bad thing, but it ended up being so much more than that. I have read pretty frequently on Twitter about her amazing story and how she shares it at so many speaking events. But I've never actually heard the story, word for word, from Al herself.
This book is amazing. I really enjoyed reading about her life, how the conversion process came about, her time with the missionaries, her trials, her family, her choices... everything! its what makes her, her. BUT what I loved most about this book is that she not only shares her story and how she became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but she shares scriptures and thoughts. Right in the middle of a thought! Never once does she not somehow apply her writings to the gospel.
I learned so much from her just from her book. There definitely were some things that she said that specifically touched my heart, but this is a fantastic book all around. A lot of people judge her, call her names, shame the church on allowing someone who "looks" like her to join the church. JUST READ HER BOOK. Seriously. You want to get to know a person, why she joined the church and why they accepted her... read her book. Then call the missionaries.
"More Than The Tattooed Mormon is an amazing read because is isn't just about Al's conversion to God, the gospel, and her journey along the way; instead it is about us. Through her book, Al Carraway shows readers what is possible if they choose God daily over anything else."
Full Review: http://blogdogearedpages.weebly.com/dog-eared-pages/review-of-more-than-the-tattooed-mormon-by-al-carraway
More than a Tattooed Mormon is a remarkable young woman's journey and discovering the L.D.S. Church and eventually becoming a strong member. She delights the reading audience in telling a little of her background in her ranting and flippant way.
Was it an easy thing for her to do? Did she face at times insurmountable challenges?
She tells of the steps toward growth toward her faith in God. Gives insight on how to learn to listen to the Spirit. Sharing with her audience the many opportunities she has had to help others realize the way God see them is very inspiring. The only one who limits any individual's potential is him or herself.
It is also an enlightening tale on how hurtful and damaging many can be - thwarting the work of God - in unrighteous judgement or hurtful remarks to others.
This book is divided into two parts. My Story/Your Story with chapters of subtopics. A few photos in the middle of the book enhances the writing.
Written primarily for the LDS audience, it is an uplifting book for anyone to read, regardless of age or gender.
As soon as I received the digital copy of this book, I started reading! I could not put it down and finished it in that same day. This was more than a month ago.. I was sitting in the library at my university-- crying and laughing! I know that tons of people were staring at me. Hahah, but I didn't care. It is a quick read of 147 pages (paperback), that will leave you motivated to put all your faith in the Lord. It includes pictures and scriptures, which is the best. As soon as I heard Al Carraway was writing a book, it made perfect sense to me! Her conversion story is inspiring and needs to be told. Her book very much reminded me of her blog. Al has a distinct voice that is so real and personable. It feels like you are talking to a friend! "More Than the Tattooed Mormon" is split up into two parts. The first part is called MY STORY, and the second part is called YOUR STORY. I love how she did this! You not only get to read about the first time Al ever prayed out loud to her Heavenly Father, you also get to read advice on how to make it through the most difficult trials. There is something in this book for everyone. You will finish reading it with a desire to serve God with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. It's not just about a religion, but about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Al Carraway has so much passion and drive to follow the commandments, to have a real relationship with God, and to be truly converted. I'm grateful for her example!
MY FAVORITE QUOTE from the book!
"I was completely consumed and thought, This is happiness. This is real and physical and lasting happiness. Regardless of not listening to the message the elders were sharing with me at first, I knew that they had something I didn't... Though, is it any wonder I felt that way? 'He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened...' (Mosiah 16:9)"
Before reading More Than the Tattooed Mormon, I didn’t know much about Al Fox Carraway. I had seen her pictures, found her intriguing, and figured she must have a pretty cool conversion story, but that was the extent of it.
But after just finishing her book (I read it all today), I feel a bond of sisterhood with her. She is so authentic, and her personality bursts from the pages. Her story is full of horrible trials – trials that often led her to yell at Heavenly Father until exhaustion would take over. I found so much strength from her as she said that the hard times are the most precious gems because during those times, God is closest to us.
I shed so many tears as I read this book, and not because of the trials she endured. Rather, I cried as I felt the undeniable Spirit of God. Her experiences and her testimony strengthened mine. That is her goal, and God loves her for it.
I took tons of notes as I read the book. Al Carraway is so quotable because she is optimistic, passionate, motivational, and cares about others.
My favorite quote, that I think summarizes her story and ours is, “The one thing Heavenly Father and Satan have in common is that they both desire to have us” (page 44).
She described so many instances when Satan discouraged her, pulled her down, and made her want to turn back and give up. But, when she prayed, listened, and remembered God’s love for her, she was able to keep going even without understanding why.
I needed this book. I have been going through hard times in my life, and so many of her messages touched my heart and brightened my Spirit.
Al doesn’t like being called “The Tattooed Mormon.” Yes, she does have many tattoos on her body. But, as she so eloquently put it, Heavenly Father doesn’t see them, and that isn’t how He thinks of her. He doesn’t see our metaphorical “tattoos” either, as we change and become better.
From Al’s experiences, we can really feel that we are always worthy to pray, that we are more than our mistakes, that when we wait and trust, He won’t fail us, that the church is true, that God knows what is very best for us, that He will always deliver us before it is too late, that the Spirit is always there if we listen, and most importantly, that “Heavenly Father…loves, listens and helps [us] regardless of [our] flaws or shortcomings” (pg. 138).
Thank you, Al Carraway, for being you. Thank you for being brave and sharing your story. Thank you for sharing the gospel. Thank you for caring about my exaltation as much as your own. You are a blessed daughter of God.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I don't know how many blogs most of you follow, but one of my favorites is written by this amazing woman. (Check it out!) I've been excited to read this book ever since I found out that Al Carraway was writing it. She has one of the best styles of writing that I have read. Her style is honest, funny and just plain fun to read. A lot of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints know at least a little bit about how she was converted, just like I did, but I wanted to really know her whole story and that is what she's written about in this book. I love the way that she wrote about her conversion and moving to Utah, meeting her husband. I also love that she writes about loving yourself and knowing that God loves you too. This is probably my favorite non-fiction book that I've read this year! I highly recommend reading this book!
I was able to meet Al Carraway as part of her book tour and I have to say that she was one of my favorite people to meet! She was kind to and interested in each and every person that came to talk to her. And I know that she had pictures taken with almost every person who came to talk to her. I loved the way that she made me feel as though I was a dear friend, even though she had just met me. I'm sure that's how she is when she goes to speak to the groups that she speaks with. Hopefully I'll be able to hear her speak sometime. She is amazing!
In her book Al describes how she first was introduced to the LDS Church and her conversion story. Her family was very supportive, especially her dad who basically disowned her. However, she believed that the Mormon Church was true, and tried to do as Christ would live. After praying to see if God wanted her to serve a mission, she received personal revelation that she was to move to Utah. She knew no one there, had no place to live, no job, no money. But, she left New York anyway and went where God told her. In Utah, she experienced a lot of prejudice due to her tattoos from before she was LDS, but didn't let that discourage her from the Gospel. She eventually met her husband, married in the temple, and currently has a little toddler girl. Al focuses on her and everyone's individual worth in God and how we should all share the Gospel because we love it. She is very uplifting and loving. A true Christian.
First things first, did I like More Than The Tattooed Mormon? Abso-freaking-lutely! I tried not to approach it with any preconceptions. Still, I figured that the story would be about who Al Carraway is, and for the most part that is true, but this book is much more than that.
Within the story of her life and on the pages of this book I was surprised to find myself. I do not mean that I am mentioned in the book, what I mean is that I found reflections of myself within her story. This was surprising because you would be hard pressed to find two more different people than Al and I. She is an outgoing, bubbly, East-coast young woman and I, well, I have aspirations of becoming a grumpy old man who wears orthopedic shoes with his socks pulled up to high. And yet as she bares her soul to her readers I found myself connecting to her words as if it was written for me. From the opening chapter you feel drawn to learn more about this extraordinarily optimistic person. I smiled through the tales of her early life and particularly how a pair of resourceful missionaries actually got her to listen to the message of the gospel. My heart ached for her when her happy life became quickly complicated and difficult as she chose to trust her feelings and follow after the light she received.
Then it happened.
Gently, she began to teach. Subtly, she began to inspire. Profoundly, she began to encourage. In a matter of a hundred and some odd pages you go from reading about the sproutlings of a tiny seed to standing beneath the shade of a mighty tree. Her expression of faith and testimony and her undeniable enthusiasm is infectious. Quickly you go from rooting for her and mourning through her struggles to applying her experience and wisdom to struggles of your own.
For me the highlight was the chapter entitled “Change”. She shares a quote from a bishop about “The most important principle of this gospel” that lies perfectly overtop her own story and weaves through the fabric of the hope for all followers of Christ.
Through this inspirational book you will come to better understand Al Carraway and through this remarkable author you will come to better understand the gospel of Jesus Christ and your intrinsic worth and your divine potential.
I do not have a complex rating system but I do have two thumbs and they are most emphatically pointing up.
I love to read conversion stories and heard about Al Fox (now Carraway) a few years ago. I didn't know too much about her so was interested to hear her story.
I loved that I felt like she was just talking to me, telling me what led up to her joining the church and how difficult it was for her after that. She actually had a great life and didn't feel like anything was missing. Things changed for her when she started asking questions. When she joined the church, her friends and family left her and she was completely alone. She was able to find the strength to keep reading and studying her scriptures and attending church. Moving to Utah was in some ways more difficult for her, though. She dealt with insensitive comments and looks from others but never let those keep her from living the way she knew she should.
Her story is inspiring! She seems like she would be fun to know. She gets real and shares some serious heartache she experienced. There are also lots of good times, too! I liked that she included what her current relationship is with her family.
This is more than just her story--she shares scriptures and passages that have helped her. I enjoyed hearing her perspective on those and so much more. It's easy to see why she's a highly sought after speaker. Her story is definitely thought-provoking, inspiring and well worth the read!
I received a copy of this book to review. My opinion is 100% my own.
A Heartfelt story that left a mark on me and our team for years to come! "Welcome to the mind of al", she does fabulous jobs in speaking to you as you read and tattoo's a clear image on her conversion which you find yourself walking on her shoes, making you feel that you have been part of her life for years.
This is a must read and a new home name book not just for Mormons, but for the whole world. Al is literally breaking the stereotype of who and what Mormon are or should look like as she brings you into her world, from early beginnings of conversion to her much amazing growth, getting sealed in the Temple to being a very well recognized name among the LDS community and now Author.
Love Al's humble story from her meeting the missionaries in her small studio in Rochester, NY to her meeting her husband in Utah and getting sealed to him.
You will literally feel you are having a nice long conversation with a sister you've never met and all you want to do is know her more. The quick read leaves a mark on you which you never want to get rid of.
She is breaking many stereotypes of what Mormon should look like. Appearance is powerful yes, I sustain that fact all day and twice on Sunday, but while focusing on appearance,
AL FOX CARRAWAY is actually being a vibrant example of what many call change or what our team @mormonrabilia calls, example of the Atonement.
Everyone should read this book especially those who have trouble understanding investigators and how they feel or even a friend not of our faith, Al will help them understand because that is the unique perspective she brings as a member to this church.
Do yourself a favor and just a few for you and your friends, this should be in every Mormon household
My Favorite Quotes--
"Ask God, Not Google."
"We are blessed by our efforts of trying, not perfection."
"Hard times will consistently be there, but so will Christ."
"The gospel is not there to prevent hard times from coming but to help strengthen and guide us when they do come."
Al has been such a motivational person to so many--
Now, with this book, she will reach an even broader audience.
I LOVE her candid telling of her struggles and her fears and her triumphs.
She is a great example of pushing forward, to Christ, no matter what happens...so needed to hear that right now.
This book is a MUST-READ!
Very well written!
A true inspiration!