"Life is tough, but so are you."
That's the theme of this book, and when Elise Hahl asked me to write a review, I got excited! I've been going through some difficult times in my life and I knew I'd learn a lot from reading it.
So what did I think?
At first I was disappointed (but bear with me, this isn't a negative review!) I was disappointed because I realized that my life was nothing like that of the authors (there are 8 of them). I thought to myself, I've never gone through what they went through. My trials weren't even remotely close to theirs. How was this book supposed to help me with my own unique struggles? I've never moved to another country, I've never played on a football team, my mother has never been to prison, I've never had to deal with paralysis, I've never been rejected by my family. How could I relate to these stories?
And then I realized something.
I've never had to leave my home and travel 8 years in the wilderness while my brothers tried to kill me, and yet I still love and learn from the stories of Nephi. I've never been the only member of the church in my entire city, and yet I love and and learn from the story of Abish. And when the story of Joseph in Egypt was told twice in this book, I realized that I don't have to have these same experiences as they did to learn from them. So do you know what I did? I read the book again. Just sat down and read it all the way through. This time I asked Heavenly Father to help me learn things from these experiences that would help me get through my own. And that's exactly what he did.
I recommend this book to everyone, because there's something in it for everyone. Though we may not have the same trials, we do all have trials, and these eight authors guide us through them in a fun and engaging way. I had heard of some of the authors, such as Al Carraway and Hank Smith, but most of them were new to me. It was fun to get to know them! They are all people who decided to put God first, even when it was hard (or maybe because it was hard). I learned so much from them.
If I were to sum up the message of this book it would be this: trust God, do everything you can to succeed, and never, ever give up.
You can purchase "You've Got This!" here:
Are you preparing to serve a mission? Are you currently serving a mission? Did you just get back from a mission? Are you simply trying to figure out your life's mission? Then this book is for you!
I've always loved good mission stories. I grew up listening to my dad tell of his adventures in Italy, and then later listened to my brothers-in-law tell of their experiences in Louisiana and Brazil. I myself served in California and have quite a few stories to tell. The thing that's always struck me about mission stories is that people can serve in vastly different places, and yet learn the very same lessons.
In this book, Ben Bernards does a beautiful job at teaching those lessons through stories. From being chased through the jungle by angry tribesmen, to receiving golden name tags, there's a lesson to be learned on every page.
The subtitle of the book, "7 truths for your eternal mission," helped me realize that there's so much more I can be doing. My mission isn't over. While reading I was motivated to be a better missionary, a better friend, and to never stop strengthening my faith. There's so much we can learn from our experiences.
The truths taught in this book are life-changing. I'm confident that anyone that diligently learns from them and applies them will be well on their way back to their Heavenly Father.
I'm grateful Ben reached out and asked me to write this review. I'm going to read "Faith and a Life Jacket" several more times, making sure I mark all the things that I can personally do to better fulfill my eternal mission. Like Ben says, "It won't be easy, but it's so worth it."
You can purchase "Faith and a Life Jacket" here:
And if you like it, share it with a friend! :)
Wonderful! Fantastic! Absolutely brilliant!
That is how I would describe Al Carraway's new book "More Than the Tattooed Mormon." Scriptures aside, I have never been more affected by a book than I was with this one. Let me tell you why:
First of all, I want to point out that this book is dedicated to the reader. That means you and me. Right from the start Al decided to make it personal. All throughout the book she reminds us that the book is not about her, it's about us and our relationship with God. She teaches us that life, although difficult, can be absolutely glorious if we put our trust in Him.
Next, this book made me feel incomplete. but not in a bad way. Maybe a better way of saying it is that it made me "hunger and thirst after righteousness." (Matt. 5:6) Reading this book made me realize that my life could be so much better than it currently is. It made me realize that when you put God first, He takes care of your needs and He blesses you more than you could ever imagine.
My third reason is similar to the previous one: it made me crave gospel knowledge. I was raised in the Church and was taught the gospel from a very young age, but this book made me want to start all over and study like I was an investigator. It made me want to give more priority to the simple things like developing my faith and saying more meaningful prayers. It made me want to appreciate the scriptures more and it has motivated me to study them every day. It reminded me that we are never done learning and there is always something more we can do.
My last reason for loving this book is that it gave me a new perspective on life. After reading it I wanted to live the gospel with every bit of my heart. I wanted to trust God more and appreciate the things that He does for me. I wanted to do more to be a light in the lives of those around me, I wanted everyone to see the treasure that I have found, for the gospel truly is a treasure worth sharing.
To me, "More Than the Tattooed Mormon" is more than just a book, it's a tool that God has given me to enrich my life and bring me closer to Him. I'm grateful that Al has heard His call and has chosen to answer with all that she has to offer. She has been a blessing in the lives of millions of people.
Thank you Al.
You can purchase her book here:
Read Al's blog here:
My name is Jordan Michael Anderson. My life's mission is to do as much good as possible.