"More than the Tattooed Mormon" is more than just HER story

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    Have you heard one phrase or sentence, that, upon hearing it, you knew your life will be changed forever? Well I have. It was a simple idea introduced to me by a blogger named Al Carraway.  You can read the full story in a previous blog post about why I decided to become an artist >HERE<, but for now it will suffice to say that she encouraged me to #spreadspirit and #usetheinternetforgood. It's amazing how powerfully those simple words encouragement hit me that day. The Holy Spirit took hold of those words that Al blogged and pounded them into my soul so that I would wake up and pay attention to them. Now that I have, my life, and other's lives, have been extremely blessed because of it. Because of this fact, when I heard that Al Carraway's publisher was looking for a few people to review her new book More than the Tattooed Mormon, I jumped at the chance.
Let me start by saying this book is an easy read. Although I do enjoy escaping into a good novel every now and then, I usually don't read non-fiction books, they just don't seem to hold my interest. Al's book, however, I read in just a few sittings. Its conversation prose makes it easy to imagine that Al herself is simply telling you her story. This may have been a little easier for me to imagine, because I have had the opportunity to hear Al tell her story with my own ears, which is why, before I read, I was a little worried that I would be reading the same story that I already know...  but I was pleasantly surprised, the book was much more.

Al's book has been divided into two sections: My Story and Your Story. (I imagine that Al was probably thinking she would tell her own story in the first half, and then give advice and encouragement in the second half, but that's not really how it worked out for me.) I found it amazing that I could relate so easily with so many of Al's stories. Al is an outgoing convert from New York and I am an introverted guy from Idaho who was born and raised in the church. What I realized is that not only did I see myself in her stories, but I could also apply many of them to my potential life, meaning I could learn from her so I can grow to be a better person.

We are counseled to seek after and read the best books, and I believe this is one of them. How can I say this? Because I felt the Spirit while reading it. The first time was just a few pages in. It was one of those times that the words just seemed to jump off the screen and engrave themselves onto the back of my skull:
 "...we are blessed by our efforts, not perfection"

This idea seems to be a pretty consistent theme throughout her book. It is a sentence that gives me hope. I know that it is a true statement that my Heavenly Father wants me to learn, because the Holy Ghost testified of its truthfulness to me.   I found that as I was reading, the Holy Ghost kept giving me little nudges, saying "Hey! re-read that line! That's important!" I began to bookmark so many pages on my iPad, that I decided I needed to go old school. I went to Deseret Book and bought a hardcopy, so I can make some more specific notes. Now I own a dog-eared and heavily highlighted copy.

So why do you need to buy this book? Well for me, it made me think about a lot of things, mainly how I can better live up to my own potential, the potential that my Heavenly Father has planned for me. You might get something completely different out of it. This book covers so many different subjects in such a way that I believe everybody could get something good out of it.  Whether you are having a hard time fitting in, with peers or family, or dealing with trials you don't understand, or want to gain a better testimony of service, or temple attendance, or the importance of reading the Book of Mormon, or you simply want to feel the Spirit, and have Him teach you through somebody else's experiences, then this book is worth reading. It's worth reading, and it's worth sharing, and it's worth giving.

I'll leave you with one more quote that stuck out to me:
"Today is the start of anything you want. Life is short; don't be lazy. I promise that you can live the commandments and still be cool. It happens all the time - It's like a thing.
That is true. It is a thing, and you can be very happy doing it.

Read Al's Blog >HERE<
Get Her Book >HERE<


  1. Seems like a neat story. Have you read the memoir "Let it Go"? I'd recommend that.


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