Elizabeth Smart talks forgiveness and pressing forward during speech at Boston College


Return To Article
  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    April 20, 2014 4:22 p.m.

    Such small-minded criticism of Ms Smart. So many sick people criticizing her. The untold numbers of rape victims who are finding healing and closure is wonderful. If her book makes a boatload of cash how can you find fault? Who is forcing all these folks to buy the book? The good she does cannot be measured. We all know real victims whose lives are still messed up. Can Ms. Smart help them? Sure seems to be the case.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    April 20, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    @xert: "As long as Ms. Smart and her family aren't financially profiting from her speaking about these things..."

    Wait. What? A business man, politician or athlete can demand tens of thousands of dollars for a 20 minute fluff speech appearance, but Ms. Smart is only good if she does it for free?

    That does not make sense. Not in the least.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    April 20, 2014 11:37 a.m.

    Having Elizabeth Smart talk about being abducted, held captive and abused is clearly a waste of time as she could not have anything to share about surviving the experience and moving on to a place of power and helping others.

    We would really be benefited by hearing another talk from an older white man. Especially if he shares something about widows or was a judge or university president. Those are the voices that can teach us about the experiences of women who were abused and how to overcome.

    Elie Wiesel. John Walsh. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. People who went through something horrible and then stood up on the other side and made a difference. Ms. Smart sure seems to be in their camp.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    April 18, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    As long as Ms. Smart and her family aren't financially profiting from her speaking about these things, I say she should be applauded. Yes, her abduction is running her life. But if doing this on her own dime out of a pure love of others and a desire that it doesn't happen to others, let her alone. It's not like anyone is trying to make a business out of this. Is it?

  • Utah Businessman Sandy, UT
    April 17, 2014 11:47 p.m.

    I add my voice to those who admire this great young woman. There is no question in my mind that she is doing much good. Keep up the good work Elizabeth!

  • UtahDad draper, UT
    April 17, 2014 6:18 p.m.

    I am shocked at the response to Ms. Smart ordeals. Those that have never lived through the nightmare of rape I (I HAVE!) will never understand the inherent desire to do all that one can to help others not have to go through what you have gone through. I was a victim 12 years ago. I didn't ask for it, and neither did she. Until I ready her book that she "profited from" I was stuck in a very dark place. Reading her words of encouragement and her testimonial of pushing past the anger through forgiveness, has truly changed my life. I am HAPPY that she has made money off her books and appearance. Because I know, that with that money, she will be able to help hundreds, and thousands more.
    So go ahead and cast the ignorant stones! And after throwing them, remember this, SHE IS HELPING THOUSANDS MORE FIND LIGHT THAN YOU EVER WILL!

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2014 4:37 p.m.

    I admire her for doing what she does. It does take courage to get in front of others and open yourself up like that! She truly is an inspiring person who can show us what it is to serve others. I am sure that she helps many women who may need some inspiration to make it through such a horrible experience. It is inspiring because she has found a way to win! Don't we all have something that we want to overcome? Some of us have more burden, but in a dreary world, it feels good to see somebody triumph! Women are strong! I would hope to have a fraction of her strength. I hope she keeps inspiring people. God bless her.

  • Nanook of the North Phoenix, AZ
    April 17, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    Wow. A young girl goes through some of the most horrible experiences that any human being could go through — for NINE MONTHS — and then comes out the other side with light and hope and promise. MILLIONS of others have gone through similar experiences, and have had trouble dealing with the darkness and hopelessness that would come to ANYONE who went through a kidnapping or a sexual assault, and so now that girl can go around the nation and the WORLD sharing her experiences and bringing hope and light to those others. It's an amazing story, and Elizabeth is an amazing woman. Even she can help even ONE survivor of rape or kidnapping to leave behind the darkness and come into light and hope, it'd be worth ANY money she's paid for her appearances. I can't believe there are people here who would put her down and dismiss what she's done and what she's doing.

    To Ironman, xert, Naval Vet, LovelyDeseret: Should Elizabeth remain depressed, fearful, suspicious, and bereft of hope for the rest of her life? Or should she pretend that it all never happened, and just bottle it up inside her forever?

  • Realtrgrl St. Louis, MO
    April 17, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    Lovely Deseret, Ironman, Xert, Moreman, others: Try reading Elizabeth Smart's book. All the way through. After reading your comments, the first thought that comes to mind is: haters gonna hate... What Ms. Smart went through was horrific and that period of her life, and her innocence, can never be restored. She is taking something tragic and finding good. Not just that - she is trying to HELP OTHERS. She is entitled. Have you ever heard "judge not that ye be not judged"? Think about it seriously. You have NO RIGHT to comment on ANYTHING Elizabeth says or does.

    Turn away, and get a life. Never pick on someone who can't help how they are, what they went through, how they look, etc. That's called.....bullying. I bet you are all male.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    April 17, 2014 12:54 p.m.

    While I would not write this in stone, it is generally true that someone who has shared the experience would be best able to understand what it is like. Just because Elizabeth has been raped, kidnapped, forced into all those terrible things, and been told her family's well-being was dependent on her cooperation did not make her a victim. It made her captor a perpetrator. There is a huge difference--and it is in Elizabeth's mind. So let's not tell her what's in her mind, I think she defined that nicely. Let's be grateful she cares so deeply, in spite of all that happened, to reach back to those who are hurting, and forward to those who may be at risk, to lend heart and hand, as well as time she could have been spending on anything else in the world but thinking or talking about this subject. We may never know her sphere of influence. I don't believe she is counting coup, I do believe if just one person is helped she counts her time worthwhile.

  • gmk17of TX Arlington, TX
    April 17, 2014 10:58 a.m.

    What an amazing woman. My daughter was a rape victim while in Peru serving the country in the Peace Corps.I wish she could speak with Elizabeth as she would certainly benefit from it as I hope those in her audiences do.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 17, 2014 10:42 a.m.

    Re Ironman

    You said .. " The reason Elizabeth bothers to be in the public eye is all about the money".

    You are being rather presumptuous don't you think?

    I can think of two other possible reasons. i.e. ..

    She feels what she is doing benefits others.

    Talking about what she went through is healing to her.

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    April 17, 2014 10:22 a.m.

    I agree with Rexburg Reader. If I may quote from a previous post, the fact is, she was in fact attacked and was a victim. What logic is there not to follow? How can one judge that her abduction is "running her life?" It is not logical to come to that conclusion just because that's all the news you see of her. What else is the media going to report on her? Her married life? Her studies? Her work? No. Her message was far better and more appropriate than Biden's callousness at the memorial.

    Where does it say in the Boston Magazine that she took any money for this? I didn't read that part. Why is it difficult to understand that she is unique--a kidnap victim that actually CAME BACK ALIVE? She understands that and has the wherewithal to be able to help others, which is the mission I believe she is on.

    Interesting or sad to observe that the couple of comments on the Boston Magazine article praises her, but seems that judgmental people are rampant among DN readers.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 17, 2014 10:17 a.m.

    To "Ironman" and "BYU Track Star" don't you think that by having Elizabeth Smart speak and share her experiences with as many people as possible that she could be helping these women? She is an expert on rape and abduction survival. Who would you want teaching your daughter about how to survive rape and abduction? Somebody with experience or somebody who knows theory only?

  • Hey It's Me Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2014 10:15 a.m.

    1. She said she didn't run away because he threatened her family and knew where they lived and she tried once and got caught and it was painful.
    2. Yes, just like others that give lectures, she is paid (I am assuming) but why not? Lots of famous people get paid to come and speak to others about whatever experience they went through.
    3. She is trying to help others get through their lives, that may have gone throughsome of what she suffered. Is there something wrong with telling others how to forgive and move on.
    4. Yes she is still talking about the experience because it helps others and yes, she has moved on past the attack because you don't see her getting angry and outraged over this period in her life. She is married and hopefully will have a family someday, that's called moving on! Just because you talk about something in the past doesn't mean you haven't moved on. Keep going Elizabeth, you are a great example to all! My prayers are with you.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    April 17, 2014 10:15 a.m.

    ...which was a bill that would create a non-mandated curriculum for use in Utah schools to provide training on child sexual abuse prevention.

    And now show's speaking at Boston College at that institution's "Care About Rape Education" awareness week.

    If she hadn't let that heinous episode run her life, then why is it every time she opens her mouth, that attack it brought front and center? Does she have nothing to say about any other social ill? Who does she think she's kidding? That attack HAD run her life, and it continues to do so.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    April 17, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    Correct you are xert.

    In March 2006, Smart went to Congress to support sexual predator legislation and the AMBER Alert system.

    Four months later, she spoke after the signing of the Adam Walsh Act.

    Two years later (2008), she traveled to Washington, D.C., where she helped present a book, "You're Not Alone", published by the DoJ, in which she authored some of the entries.

    The following year (2009), she commented on the kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard, stressing that dwelling upon the past is unproductive.

    Later that year, while "dwelling on the past", she spoke at the 2009 Women's Conference in California on overcoming obstacles in life.

    Two years later (2011), while still "dwelling on the past", she founded the "Elizabeth Smart Foundation" to educate children about violent and sexual crime.

    Two years later (2013), while still "dwelling on the past", she discussed the need to emphasize individual self-worth in fighting human trafficking at Johns Hopkins Univ.

    Two months ago (2014), while still "dwelling on the past" over a moment that ultimately HAS defined her life and had been running it, she testified before the Utah State legislature in favor of HB 286...

  • MoreMan San Diego, CA
    April 17, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    If you have been born and raised to believe that there are living Prophets and that you are to believe anything they tell you no matter how strange. Someone like Emmanuel doesn't seem so far fetched. That she didn't run away despite many, many opportunities seems like what I hear from most members about their faith.

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    April 17, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    Elizabeth Smart is resurrecting the grand American tradition of the Captivity Narrative speaking tour. In the 17th, 18th and, 19th centuries Women who had escaped or were rescued from their Indian captors would tour the country to packed venues. The telegenic Smart mixing her talk with Religous faith must be a mesmerizing experience. If she makes it to SoCal, I'd buy a ticket to to hear her speak too.

  • Rexburg Reader Rexburg, ID
    April 17, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    I'm surprised by the critical remarks regarding Elizabeth Smart. After all she went through, I feel like she's entitled to say whatever she wants. Plus, it sounds like she's speaking about her experience to help other people, not because she's dwelling on the past. To me, that seems pretty noble. Also, judging by the fact she spoke to a packed house, it appears plenty of folks want to hear what she has to say.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    April 17, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    Not let her life be run by this attack. That simply makes no sense. Although I admire this young woman for her bravery, to say that this attack is something she has moved on from is totally false. Her abduction seems to be running her life almost exclusively.

  • Ironman SANTA CLARA, UT
    April 17, 2014 7:11 a.m.

    A decade later, Liz Smart continues to make thousands of dollars for her public appearances.

    Respectfully, a forgiving person would put this tragic episode behind her and move on with her life.

    A decade ago this story was about forgiveness and healing. Today it is about making money.

  • Mark Terran Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2014 1:55 a.m.

    Yes we forgive; but make no mistake about it, Elizabeth was able to obtain a measure of justice in this life to which she absolutely was entitled, and undoubtedly this has been an important element of her healing. For that I am very happy for her.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    April 16, 2014 11:27 p.m.

    As a male rape survivor, I can tell you that the only thing that helps with healing is forgiveness. I went through years of rape and it continued to ruin my life until I began forgiving and letting go of the memories. No amount of counseling changed the course of my life. The Atonement was applied in my life and now I have peace.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    April 16, 2014 11:17 p.m.

    It seems like everything Ms. Smart does in public is run by the fact that she was attacked and was a victim. I am not following her logic.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 16, 2014 10:43 p.m.

    May peace and healing be with you and your family Elizabeth.