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Matthew Gilmour and Elizabeth Smart Met on a Mormon Mission Trip — Relive Their Love Story

Edduin Carvajal
Jan 18, 2021
05:40 A.M.

Although the life of activist, author, and journalist Elizabeth Smart has not been a walk in the park, she has been in a relationship with Matthew Gilmour for over a decade.


“Survivor. Mother. Wife.” Those are the three words that Elizabeth Smart chose to describe herself in the bio of her official Instagram account, but they barely tell the story of her life.

In June 2002, when Smart was only 14 years old, she was kidnapped from her Salt Lake City home by Brian David Mitchell and was held captive by him and his wife, Wanda Barzee, for nine months.

Matthew Gilmour and Elizabeth Smart on May 22, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images

Matthew Gilmour and Elizabeth Smart on May 22, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images


After living hell on earth, Smart was found in Sandy, almost 20 miles away from her home. Both Mitchell and Barzee were arrested, and Smart testified against them in court.

He was sentenced to life in prison, and she was ordered to spend 15 years behind bars. What Smart went through is impossible to imagine, but fortunately, she managed to overcome the tragedy.


After her abduction, Elizabeth Smart became an inspirational speaker and advocate for missing people and sexual assault victims. She has even written books about her ordeal.


In 2009, seven years after being kidnapped, Smart went to Paris on a Mormon mission trip and met Matthew Gilmour, a Scottish man who didn’t recognize her as the abduction victim from 2002.


Smart and Gilmour grew fond of each other over time, and eventually, they fell in love. According to Gilmour, the thing that attracted him the most about Smart was her confidence.

In January 2012, after Gilmour went to Salt Lake City to ask Smart’s family for their permission to propose, he popped the question on a hillside near her home with a sapphire engagement ring.


Initially, Elizabeth Smart and Matthew Gilmour had plans to marry in Salt Lake City. However, they decided to change the location to somewhere more meaningful for the bride.

In February 2012, only one month after the proposal, the couple tied the knot on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii, where Smart and her family spent some days following her kidnapping rescue.

[Smart] has slowly started to tell her abduction story to her eldest child.


According to Smart, Oahu is “kind of a refuge” for her, so it was only natural for the couple to exchange vows there. She even labeled her wedding as the “greatest day” she could’ve imagined. Smart added:

“Matthew, I love you so much. I couldn’t be happier. I am so grateful that everyone is here to be with and support us on this beautiful day.”



Three years after tying the knot, Matthew Gilmour and his wife started enlarging their family, and they are outnumbered already! Daughters Chloe and Olivia were born in 2015 and 2018, and son James joined the brood in 2018.

One thing is clear, though: becoming a mom was Smart’s “greatest aspiration.” She also told People in 2014 that she didn’t have a predetermined number of kids in her head, so she might have more than three.


In 2015, shortly after Chloe’s birth, Smart revealed that becoming a mom was the “best thing ever.” She also confessed that her abduction probably made her the “most paranoid” and “overprotective” parent ever.

Smart, who wondered for years if a normal life and motherhood would be possible for her, considers that her children are the “very definition of love” as they have brought happiness and joy to her life.


In January 2021, the activist made headlines after being revealed as the Moth in “The Masked Dancer.” Smart also revealed that she has slowly started to tell her abduction story to her eldest child.

Matthew Gilmour’s wife admitted that she never wanted to hide her past from their kids, but she doesn’t want to tell them the whole story at once, especially because they’re still too young.

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