Most visitors to the internet this week have probably noticed that Elizabeth Smart has just released a memoir of her horrific ordeal. Ten years after her rescue, she details her abduction and captivity and explains how she transcended the evils she experienced. My review is here. Warning: the book induces nightmares, especially when you have children.
A few additional thoughts:
- Is Elizabeth Smart the second-most famous Mormon (known to be Mormon) in America? Athletes (Manti Teo, Jimmer Fredette, etc.) come and go. I very much doubt many non-Mormons who do not live in Utah could name the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mitt Romney is undoubtedly the most famous known Mormon in the country, but Elizabeth Smart might well be #2. Donny / Maria Osmond #3?
- I abhor the fact that people write all sorts of mean-spirited comments about Smart on the internet. So please, no comments along those lines. Smart persuasively answers critics who cannot imagine how a girl constantly threatened with death (and the death of her family) might hesitate to make escape attempts. Yes, Smart chooses to remain in the public sphere and to discuss her experiences (and to advocate for other missing and abused children). I don’t think her decision to do so (or to write a book) justifies cruelty.
- Along those lines, what motivates a certain segment of the population to waste countless hours posting snarky comments about Mormonism underneath every new-story or blog post on the subject? Some of these anti-Mormon commenters claim to be Christian. More love, less hate. If politeness and kindness are impossible, how about silence?