Uzoma Nwobi · June 29, 2017
Award-winning speaker Al Fox Carraway addressed a cheerful crowd at Southern Virginia University’s annual Honor Forum. A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Carraway is most well known for her blog post, “Tattooed Mormon.”
Carraway amused the audience with her story of how she stumbled into taking discussions with the missionaries and converting to the LDS church. She recalled her reluctance to commit to the lifestyle change that came with baptism, then reaffirmed that accepting the happiness of the gospel leads to a natural change.
“I changed because that is what happens when you feel the spirit and Christ becomes a reality to you,” Carraway said. “When I got confirmed, I physically felt myself receive that gift [of the Holy Ghost] and in that exact second I was not ashamed in any degree.”
After she joined the church, friends and coworkers regularly shamed her for being LDS. Carraway’s father also delivered an ultimatum, asking her to choose between a relationship with him or the church.
“At the time, I remember thinking it was an easy decision for a difficult situation,” she said. “I had already chosen who I wanted to follow by getting baptized and had already recognized that this happiness only came from the gospel.”
Amid the confusion and pain, Carraway was prompted to move across the country from her home in New York to Utah. While she was initially doubtful, she once again chose to follow God at great cost to herself. In Utah, she felt lonely and out of place. Carraway expressed that she was sustained by her faith and encouraged students to likewise rely on their Heavenly Father.
“What it came down to and what it will always come down to is ‘choose God,’” she testified.
In spite of ongoing struggles, Carraway grew in the gospel and now shares her testimony online and at venues across the United States. She attested that her life shows that you can do unimaginable things when you trust in and choose God.
“Don’t you dare quit,” Carraway said. “Fear not, your prayers have been heard but greater are the things God has in store for you. Embrace the unexpected, knowing who is guiding you.”
You can watch the entire forum below.