“More Than the Tattooed Mormon” is more than Al Fox Carraway’s conversion story, it’s your conversion story.
Ever since I heard Al Carraway on the Cultural Hall I have been a fan of her story. There is something exciting about her zeal for the Gospel that makes you want to give her a great big hug and say, “This place is better with you here.” Al Carraway’s new book “More Than the Tattooed Mormon” was just released this week, and is available on Amazon.
The “Tattooed Mormon” was a moniker that stuck after a blog post Al Carraway wrote about her first experience in Utah. It wasn’t meant to be a nickname, and she isn’t actually a fan of the way it has become a label that she can’t seem to shake. “More Than the Tattooed Mormon” is Al Carraway’s message that she is so much more than that.
You are far more than the mistakes you’ve made. There is so much greatness in you. God sees that, and that is what matters.
Al Carraway has spent the last four years telling her story in snippets on her Blog, at Firesides, and even by YouTube. “More Than the Tattooed Mormon” is our first chance to get her whole conversion story all in one place. Just because you have seen her speak, doesn’t mean you know the whole story. My wife, Kristie, and I saw Al Carraway at a Fireside in Gilbert last month. There was so much more to her story than she had time to share.
The book is a very easy read because Al Carraway’s writing style perfectly matches her speaking style. I almost felt like I was listening to an audiobook. (I would actually love this if she released that) As Al Carraway opens the book, she tells of her conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is humbling to read of the experiences that have shaped her testimony and the trials that have refined it. It helps us who are lifelong members of the Church to have compassion and charity to those who might be giving up everything for something they have a hope is better.
He lightly tapped my arm and said with a smug tone and look on his face, “You know, it’s pretty ironic, you holding that book looking the way you do.”
My heart broke. Stomach knotted. Eyes teared up.
I went with a missionary from our ward to teach a discussion this week and I could not help but think of the similarities this person shared with Al Carraway. They were both young women who were trying to figure out if this truly was the restored church of Jesus Christ. Their search was causing difficulties at home. They had concerns about fitting the cultural norms. Reading “More Than the Tattooed Mormon” helped me to better understand the struggles this young woman might be going through and helped me to be better able to address her concerns and bear testimony of her hopes.
That is one of the benefits of this book. The first half is dedicated to Al Carraway telling her story of conversion. The second half is a bit of a guide to help us write ours. She discusses making changes, trials, and finding self-worth.
I am happy because of it, and I want others to feel what I feel… I truly do care and I promised Him that I’d help.
“More Than the Tattooed Mormon” appeals to many audiences. It appeals to the youth, who are discovering their own testimonies. It appeals to members of the Church who need a reminder of how incredibly difficult is can be to convert. It appeals to the truth seeker or new member who needs to know that the transition gets better and that they are not alone.
If you need further convincing, Al Carraway is on a virtual blog tour with Cedar Fort. There is a collection on other sites that are sharing their thoughts on her book.