“Church” Culture

Hearing the phrase “church culture,” makes me CRINGE.

I lived 21 yrs outside the LDS faith. I am from & currently live in the east. I have also lived 9 years on the west. 
My records have been in 11 branches/wards, have spoken in 6 diff. countries & *almost* every state in the US.
Definitely & obviously not all, but a lot of what is categorize into ‘church’ culture, really isn’t.

It is LOCATION culture.
What is a hot issue where you are now, is not where I am. And vise versa.

And you know, (obviously not all, duh,yes), but a lot of those things that we tend to blame “on the church,” can’t even be accurately addressed as such either.

Judging is *NOT* an LDS thing.
High expectations are NOT an LDS thing. 
Broken standards are NOT an LDS thing.
It is not exclusive to my, or ANY, religion.

And you experience it wherever you are.

If we think family getting disappointed for not living up to their expectations doesn’t happen anywhere else;
if we think experiencing body shaming by dressing differently doesn’t happen in any other religion;
if we think broken expectations within families, or the work- place, or from mentors, doesn’t happen anywhere else; 
if we think broken hearts & broken families from choosing a diff path doesn’t happen anywhere else; 
if we think people saying they will do one thing then living another doesn’t happen anywhere else—
then perhaps we have bigger problems.

Has someone done or said something really hurtful to you? Same. 
I know too well how hurtful it can be b/c we expect more from members of our congregation
b/c we are supposed to be in this together.

But it’s a hurtful human reality no matter who we are, where we are, or what, if any, religion we may belong to.And really, no matter age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or location, we *really are* ALL in this together! we ALL really are brothers & sisters <3

SO. Set boundaries.
Keep doing what you feel called to do.
Keep doing what you think God wants you to do.
& remember,
We find what we look for.
Good is always there b/c God is always there.
And whoever, wherever, His love for YOU
is always there. <3


BOOKS:  Wildly Optimistic Gaining New Perspective to Life’s Challenges
Nightly scripture study Live on Instagram HERE
More Than the Tattooed Mormon: HERE
Cheers to Eternity: HERE.
Scripture Study JournalRooted
Fireside CD: Choosing God in Hard Times
Instagram: @alcarraway  | Facebook 


  1. Dear Al,
    Thank you for all you have done to share your courage and light with others. I absolutely loved your first book. I felt so much love from the Savior for you and all of us as I read it. Your story has really opened my heart and eyes. Thank you!

  2. I just want you to know that you are beautiful, inside & out. Thank you for sharing your strengths, weaknesses, & feelings. I appreciate your testimony & the insights you have shared. You are amazing. My testimony is greater because of your example. Thank you.

Leave a Reply