Tattooed Mormon-turned-blogger, mom and LDS speaker

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Al Carraway, known as the “Tattooed Mormon” tells her conversion story in a large auditorium. Carraway said her life has turned out differently than she ever would have expected. (Al Carraway)

Al Carraway, commonly known as Al Fox or the “Tattooed Mormon,” has had a busy five years. She has made a new name for herself at LDS Publishing Services, where she works as a graphic designer and a social media organizer for Mormon Channel.

She currently has more than 41,000 Instagram followers and her own YouTube channel, blog and company, which she runs with her husband. She also speaks to audiences across the United States about her conversion story and life since then.

Carraway said a lot has changed since the first day she got to Utah. Since that first day, which included her getting accosted in a Cafe Rio for her appearance and sleeping on the floor in old drapes, Carraway has married, had her first child and spoken to countless audiences nationwide about her inspiring story.

Carraway said she has been directed through prayer over the last five years, and this year will be no different. “It’s kinda cool to see how the Spirit directs me,” she said.

She moved to Arizona in March and will be coming out with two different books later this year. Despite this, Carraway hopes to continue to speak. Even if she is not sure of the outcome, she trusts the Lord to take care of her.

Her motto is that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which she has been a baptized member of for only six years, is for everyone and that if anyone feels they don’t belong, they need to turn to God.

One of her first bishops in Utah was Matt Shumway. “She proved that a single person can make a huge difference — she changed our ward in so many ways,” he said. “Her testimony was so sincere it helped others to participate.”

Her husband, Ben Carraway, whom she married Aug. 22, 2013, said her spirituality is what attracted him to her the most—that and her blue eyes. “Her past is visible because of her tattoos, but I just thought it was neat that she was able to move on from it,” he said.

The two met on Facebook while Ben Carraway was serving in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia mission and were pen pals for the latter half of his service, after which their relationship evolved in person and they got married. The Carraways are planning on releasing a book later this year that details their first year of marriage and gives advice to single adults, those in relationships and newlyweds.

Al Carraway said the LDS Church helps to shape all aspects of her life. “You’re still you, but you’re happier.” Her coworkers also appreciate her obvious testimony. “My favorite thing about Al is her confidence. She knows who she is, and she knows that God loves her. Her trust in God cannot be shaken,” said Sarah Eyring, one of her co-workers at LDS Publishing.

Al Carraway said all of her blessings have come from focusing on what’s important. “They didn’t come until I made my own efforts,” she said. She believes that members of the LDS Church — herself included — should teach by example, because others will notice and feel a difference.

Those she comes into contact with have noticed her example. “Her story is simultaneously unique and relatable. Her success in overcoming challenges in order to stay close to Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father reminds others that they can do it, too, and that it is worth it,” Eyring said.

The first book she is releasing later this year is an autobiography laced with lessons of Heavenly Father’s help, according to Al Carraway. “Because the thing about Heavenly Father is that everything works better than we could’ve imagined,” she said.

She never expected her life to turn out the way it has but, through prayer, feels she has been guided to the wonderful life she has now. She constantly encourages those who hear her speak or who are facing hard times to “keep going and give God the opportunity to bless you.”

Although no one, not even Al Carraway, knows what the future holds in store for her, Eyring said they “love to chat about the future, so I can tell you two things with certainty: first, neither she nor I know exactly where she will go or what she will do in the future; and second, wherever and whatever it is, her life will be full of service and missionary work. She gives her life to God, and he will continue to take her incredible places because of that.”

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