Meridian Magazine: The Mettle of Elizabeth Smart

This week, at the front desk of one of the leading hair salons in Los Angeles, People Magazine was being shared by a handful of women all marveling at the poise and strength of the 21-year old cover girl, Elizabeth Smart. Just a week ago, Smart finally faced the man who violently changed her life and robbed her of her youth. Defendant Brian David Mitchell, appearing in U.S. District Court, sat in shackles opposite Smart. Ultimately Mitchell was banned from the courtroom for being disruptive, and was reduced to viewing the proceedings via closed circuit TV.

It is no surprise that magazine readers, particularly women, have been shocked and horrified by Elizabeth Smart’s unveiling of her true nightmare. The women present this week at Allen Edwards Salon in Encino, California could only shake their heads and praise her for her courage, for her steely commitment to holding Mitchell accountable, and her equal resolve to be defined by all that she is, not what she has lost.

About a year ago, my then 11-year old daughter had the opportunity of being in a Sunday School class of young women taught by Elizabeth Smart, in a Salt Lake City congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The subject of Smart’s lesson was how to “put your trust in God when there is nothing else you can count on.” Elizabeth Smart shared with the young girls, who knew her sheer presence was a miracle, that they could survive anything if they would just understand who they were in the eyes of God.

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