At 17, Elissa escaped her marriage and the sect with her then-boyfriend, Lamont. Today, Elissa and Lamont are married with two children. Elissa says meeting Lamont was a miracle. "I had been married for a while, and it had been a very hard couple of years. It had gotten to a point where I would sleep in my vehicle," she says.
Elissa was living in an FLDS community in southern Utah surrounded by stretches of desert. "One wintry, cold night, [Lamont] helped me change a tire out in the middle of nowhere, and he started to kind of investigate my situation," she says. "It was a friendship for a long time… it was fate. It was a higher power working in my life to answer my prayers."
Lamont says he doesn't judge polygamists for believing in plural marriage as part of their religion. What he does oppose, however, is forcing young girls into marriage. "Where the problem comes in is when you're abusing and forcing girls that are definitely not old enough to make the choice for themselves into a plural relationship, and then you try to hide that relationship," Lamont says.