Elizabeth Smart marries in Hawaiian Mormon temple

Published: Saturday, Feb. 18 2012 10:54 p.m. MST

Elizabeth Smart and Matthew Gilmour in a photo from Facebook Jan. 19, 2012. The couple got married Saturday in the LDS Laie Hawaii Temple.

LAIE, Hawaii — Elizabeth Smart and Matthew Gilmour were married Saturday on the North Shore of the island of Oahu.

The couple exchanged vows at the Laie Hawaii Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in front of a small group of immediate family members, according to a statement released by Smart family spokesman Chris Thomas.

The wedding party was celebrated at a private reception and luau. Following Saturday's festivities, the couple planned to leave on an extended honeymoon to an undisclosed location.

"Elizabeth's desire was for what most women want — to celebrate her nuptials in a private wedding with family and close friends," Thomas said.

When the couple became engaged just last month, they made plans to get married this summer. But the couple recently decided the move the date up by several months.

"After the story broke about her engagement and the media became increasingly invasive, Elizabeth recognized it was going to be impossible to have a traditional wedding devoid of distractions and unusual challenges outside of her control," Thomas said. "She decided, about a week ago, the best way to avoid significant distraction was to change her wedding plans and to get married in an unscheduled ceremony outside of Utah."

Gilmour, of Aberdeen, Scotland, and Smart met while she was serving an LDS mission in France.

Smart rose to international prominence after she was kidnapped at knife point from her parents' Salt Lake home in 2002 by Brian David Mitchell. Smart, then 14, was held by her captors for nine months, enduring repeated sexual abuse. She was rescued when she, Mitchell and Mitchell's wife, Wanda Barzee, were spotted in Sandy in March of 2003.

She testified against Mitchell, who was convicted of kidnapping and rape in U.S. District Court in 2010. He is currently serving a life sentence. Barzee is serving a 15-year sentence in a federal prison for her role in the crimes.

Many people who watched Smart testify against Mitchell at trial and during sentencing commented on her poise and confidence on the witness stand.

She has said on a number of occasions that she has been guided by the advice of her mother, who told her the day after her rescue that Mitchell may have taken nine months of her life from her, but she must not allow him to take one more minute.

Smart has advised other victims "not to let it hold them back." 

Since her rescue, she served an LDS mission, formed a foundation to advocate on behalf of children, attends BYU and works as commentator for ABC News.

Upon returning from their honeymoon, Smart "looks forward to continuing her child advocacy work," Thomas said. "Her wedding further demonstrates it is possible to rise above challenging circumstance to lead a happy and productive life."

E-mail: jlee@desnews.com, Twitter: JasenLee1

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