Faith Counts, a multi-faith initiative of which the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a member, released a new video today featuring Elizabeth Smart, kidnapping survivor and LDS member. In the video she discusses how faith helped her through her her captivity and the many years after her rescue, as seen in the video’s transcript below:
“I have a knife at your neck. don’t make a sound. Get up and come with me. If you cry out I will kill you and your family.”
On June 5, 2002, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart was taken from her home in the middle of the night.
“I grew up in a family that instilled a very strong sense of faith in me. During the next nine months of my kidnapping, I had no idea just how much I would have to rely upon that faith.”
Elizabeth would spend the next nine months starved, chained, and raped on a daily basis.
“I will never forget the first time I was raped. I will never forget how broken and shattered I felt. I felt like I had been a vase that had been smashed far beyond repair, and as I sat there I began to think about my mom. And all the different things that she would say to me came back to my memory. Things that gave me hope.
“I remembered her telling me that she would always love me. And then I remembered her telling me that God would always love me. It was in that moment that I realized that I still had value. That this was something that nobody could ever take away from me.
“And it was that faith and that knowledge in God that he would always love me that helped me survive the next nine months and it continues to help me survive to this day.”
Elizabeth Smart was rescued on March 12, 2003. She travels the country working to prevent predatory crimes.
“In my own life and in the countless other lives of survivors that I have spoken with, It has been the power of faith that has allowed us to not only persevere, but to find true peace and happiness.”
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.