“Nothing about this woman is Mormon anymore.”

STOP— just stop scrolling for a sec to read this.
Ten years. It’s been 10 years and still this morning I woke up & the first thing that happened was I ended up in tears. Multiple comments from multiple members of our church, and those who chose to hit the follow button on my instagram, creating a long strand of how disgusting I am. 
NO, no, this had nothing to do with my tattoos– they mentioned specifically my weight & the color of my hair????
They all quite literally said “nothing about this woman is mormon anymore.”
(Apparently spirituality is based on that??????) 

10 years I’ve been a member. TEN YEARS straight I have been told by ONLY members of my church that for every reason you can THINK of, (probably ones you wouldn’t believe), that no matter what I’m doing or how I dress or look, or what I write:
That I’m doing it wrong.
Ya’ll have been extremely creative through these 10 yrs to find the most bizarre reasons to tell me that I do not belong. 

Only members of my church have told me, still, for 10 years straight, word for word,
that God does not love me.

As a convert from the east coast, “Bothers & sisters” is a literal term. Church family is
quite literally family. In every way. Oooooh how ignorantly excited I was to follow the spirit away from my small east coast branch knowing where I was going completely by myself, abandoning literally everything to follow my new-found God, I would still have “family” there for me.

TEN YEARS and it’s my “family” that are the only ones that continuously cause unexpected tears in the morning right when I wake up. How ironic this all has been to me, because I thought we were all supposed to be in this together? Why is it people are so set on driving people away?

Nothing I hate more than when my integrity and intentions are assumed and exploited by people I’ll never meet. Nothing worst than your entire character and SOUL are destroyed by people who I thought were in this together with me, because there will always be someone waiting to get offended by something because they hold the world to their own personal expectations.

But here I am, 10 years later & though it all—
the hurt, the tears, the confusion, the loneliness, the judgement—
I really like me. I reaaallly truly like me.
And when you have found contentment and love in yourself THERE IS POWER that comes to you & protects you. 

The power to keep going. The power to move past it. The power to show up still. The power to laugh minutes after tears during breakfast with your husband.
I’m not letting anyone turn me away from a REAL God and I hope everyone invests to get to that point, too.

LISTEN—PLEASE, LET GO of any hurt or weight caused by others. of any hurt or weight caused by others. Who is anyone to say you don’t belong here or part of this church? Who is anyone to tell you that God is not your Father & you are not His????

LISTEN—PLEASE, please please please, with ALL THAT I HAVE LEFT IN ME
INVEST in taking the time to learning how to like yourself.
PLEASE, pllleaaaassseeee invest in being able to see yourself the way that God sees you.
THERE IS A PROTECTING POWER that comes— there is a contentment & happiness that comes—
And wow does life blossom when you invest in building and knowing in what really matters. 

It’s God that matters. it’s your SOUL that can never die that matters.
It’s taking advantage of every second we have to LIVE on this planet, in this phase of life we will never have again, that matters.
It’s you that matters.
It’s how God sees us is what matters. And He sees us as someone capable of becoming like Him.
And when you invest to feel & KNOW that, everything else is just noise.

xoxAL

READ MORE FROM AL!
BOOKS:  Wildly Optimistic : Gaining New Perspective to Life’s Challenges
More Than the Tattooed Mormon: HERE
Cheers to Eternity: HERE.
Scripture Study JournalRooted
Fireside CD: Choosing God in Hard Times
Inspiring Video Messages: HERE
More products: journals, home decor, jewelry: HERE.
Instagram: @alcarraway | Twitter: @alcarraway | Facebook 

221 comments

  1. alby59 – Canada – I am a passionate advocate for ethical leadership both professionally and in my personal dealings. I have a long career in local government and as university instructor. In my professional environment and teaching commitment, I strive to bring people together through a positive collaborative approach, respectful relationships, and the appreciation of diversity. I live in Lake Country, British Columbia, Canada, but I am originally from Taranto, Italy. I am proud to be both Italian and Canadian and I would not have it any different. I also value spirituality and religious diversity and, by choice, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where I have found meaningful spiritual fulfillment and true joy. The most important part of my life is my family: my beautiful wife Silvana, and my wonderful children, Victor and Grace.
    alby59 says:

    You are a fantastic person! Thank you for your faith

    • You are literally amazing. I admire your grit, determination, beauty (inside and out) and your testimony of God and love that shines bright enough for the whole world to see. Thank you for teaching me and a zillion other people what self-love means and looks like, as well as how important it is – no matter what – to know that we unconditionally are SO important to God, whose love is the more important love of all. (Which also means we should all be kinder toward one another and example God’s love!) Keep shining!

  2. You know, I really truly like you as well. I was baptized sept 14 2019. I am lucky to have a ward where the brothers and sisters have open soft hearts and are welcoming to my wife and children who attend but not baptized. I know there is judgment and acceptance from others is difficult. We are here for an earthly experience and for some the lessons learned are about learning to see that Heavenly Father can be found in each of us. Hold on tight and continue your journey along the path, I know the fruit we find fill be sweet.

  3. I read “Nothing about this woman is Mormon anymore…”, I thought,”Ohhh, noooo! The members finally got to her.” So I was quite relieved when I read what the title meant. Hang in there, Al. I wish I could tell you it’s going to get better, but I’m not sure it will; at least not for a long time. Many of us are glad to have you on board.

  4. I am sad that members of the church have treated you so poorly. That is not the way Christ taught at all. I’m uncertain how they believe their words are Christlike at all. To personally attack someone’s hair, weight, or anything else about them is not okay.
    I love the saying. “Do your thing. They don’t have to like you, and you don’t have to care.”

    I must say there does seem to be a sense of entitlement from some that because their family goes way back in the church, they are somehow better than others. I have felt this towards myself too at times, and have chosen to not pay attention to it. That attitude is their problem,not mine. I also believe these same people must not understand the scriptures they claim to read. Christ refuses no one that comes unto Him. Tattooed, scarred, short hair, long hair, etc. Isn’t it absurd that it seems to all be about the physical? He looks on our heart, not our weight and hair.

    “Do your thing. They don’t have to like you, and you don’t have to care.”

  5. Wow! This is just beautiful. The title of this post made my heart drop. And then what I read resonated so much with some of my own experiences of not “fitting the mold.” The irony is that it was through my differences that I truly found God’s love for me and that love has empowered me to do and be things I could have never imagined had life let me “fit the mold.” Thank you for your example and for turning your trials into strengths. Your perspective is needed to help the culture change. Thank goodness the Gospel is true even if the culture is broken. Thank goodness Christ’s grace is there for all of us!

  6. I have always admired you for your willingness to stand for truth. So so sorry that you are being treated badly by people who of all others should know better. Please keep the faith and know there are many who love you.

  7. Oh, gosh! I am so sorry you have been attacked in such a nasty way. I am daughter of converts and I know how nasty self righteous idiots can be.
    My mum got baptised at age 17, after a suicide attempt because she thought nobody loved her. She came from a disfuncional family, where her mother had abandoned her under a banana tree when she was 2 years old and she’d met her father when she was 14. She found out that she was loved while recovering at the hospital when a friend told her about Jesus Christ, whom she had never heard mentioned before. This friend came from a pioneer family in the church, in the Yucatán Península in México, and in her kindness, she took my mum to live with her and her family. There, my mum was told by her friend’s grandma, that because of her skin colour (brown like any Mexican), she was Cain’s daughter! This woman was fair skinned, but still Mexican. My mum spent the rest of her young adult life feeling ugly and unworthy. She married outside the church to a white Mexican man, so her children wouldn’t carry the “curse.”
    It took 8 years for my dad to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and got baptised in the church. What did the members do? Start attacking my dad when after a year of membership he was called to be the bishop of a ward that was not his. Amongst other things, “mormons” of that ward, would call the area presidency to complain!!! I saw my dad cry because of the mean comments, wipe his tears and keep going. From my parents, I learned that we are not in the church because of the wolves dressed as sheep, we are there because of Jesus Christ and His eternal love towards us. My imperfect self is really looking forward to Jesus’ second coming to enjoy when those “perfect mormons” are set aside and put to the left after hearing the Master say: “I have never met you.” Oh, how much I am going to laugh!

  8. Stay strong keep the faith, jealousy is such an ugly trate…. And that’s all it is, don’t let ugly spirited members bring you down…. Keep smiling… Don’t let them win.

  9. It is so frustrating that people are petty…
    Nobody has any power or authority to judge one’s worthiness but the Lord, ourselves, and our bishop or stake president.
    He who is without sin cast the first stone and look not on outward appearances are forgotten or ignored.
    Jesus is real. God is real.
    Charity Gratitude can overcome.

  10. I just came across your YouTube video of this. I don’t know why the church is so culturally different in Utah. Come back to the east!! You are beautiful and loved. Those who are mean and nasty to others is a direct result of their own unhappiness. It doesn’t have anything to do with you!!

  11. Well, I’ve never heard of you before-which is unfortunate! I think you’re a rock star and I’d LOVE to hang out with you–and for my daughters to know you. My gosh, what a breath of fresh air. You should live next door to me!

  12. This makes me sad and happy at the same time. It truly sucks to have members say and do stuff to tear us down. But I find it absolutely beautiful that you realize that the gospel is the people in the church. The gospel is for all of us, and we are all sinners and need to learn from each other. So good on you for sticking it out, seeing your worth through God’s eyes, and be brave to say that people hurt you but that doesn’t change the truth you have found in the gospel not in the church members. Hugs for you!

  13. God bless you. And thank you. I read the first part of this post weeks ago. I felt such a sense of hurt and loss. Oh no, I thought. Not another one of my friends. I love her and she was so strong.
    I am not on social media much, but decided to come back and read the rest of your post. Thank you. You are virtuous, lovely, of good report, and certainly praiseworthy.

  14. So sorry you are having to go through this. I’m from the east coast, been a member all my life. I would think that members back east would be more understanding than the members out west (that live in a bubble, and I mean that in the most sincere way). The church is very different here than out west. Just purchased your books and I’m very interested to read about your conversion and thoughts about the church. I don’t know why I’m
    Just realizing you exist and stated following you recently (I can only say I must have been under a rock the past few years) because everything I’ve read on you has been extremely positive. Chin up! There are members you will never ever change and THEY will have to answer fir that.

  15. When I first saw the link to the corresponding video for this post on YouTube, I was put off by the title “Nothing About Me is Mormon Anymore,” and changed sites quickly. I came to find out your story when friends of mine said they love you writing, so I read and watched your words for about 6 hours straight.
    Al, thank you for inspiring and uplifting me in so many ways. I especially loved your book “Cheers to Eternity” because my parents recently divorced and I’m now understanding so many more ways to make a marriage celestial and eternal. I have no idea how you write so much good stuff, but it is inspiring me to write and create, to lift others too.
    You’re the best! Also your family is so beautiful.

  16. Thank you for sharing your amazing, sweet words. Hang in there! And never let the opinions get to you! Your gifts and talents bless more lives than they can think or dream of!
    My husband and I have met people like this in various wards we have lived in. But we have also met amazing people in our wards who have touched our lives in the best ways. Hang in there!
    A few things we learned during those times were that people are still people, for better or for worse, but the gospel will always remain true, and that we have a loving, merciful, mindful Heavenly Father and an amazing Savior who know exactly what we’re going through. The truth will always prevail, whether it’s about a situation, concept or a person. Continue to trust and rely on Him. Thank you for sharing your talents and amazing words. And thank you for the reminder of enjoying this beautiful life that we have been so blessed with.
    I hope and pray that you and your family.

  17. Unbelievable. I wonder if it’s a symptom of the “online generation” where people think they can spout anything awful w/o consequences. Well, the Lord know what we do & say, & I hope they repent before they must face Him. I’m a convert of 49 yrs, joined at age 17, my Sr year in high school. In Pennsylvania. Being a member of the Lord’s church has been wonderful! I went to BYU & it was fabulous back then, never felt judged. Served a mission in San Diego, met my husband back home in PA, have 4 adult sons & grandkids. It’s all wonderful. I do think society has changed, & people feel free to be rude and awful to others. I keep private online because of that. Keep positive! God loves you very much!!!!

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