We are saddened by the news of Sister Smith, and pray for her family, companion
and the truck driver.
So, so sad. I'm surprised to read she was on a bike. What is the policy on
sisters and cars in the US and elsewhere?
I was honored to know Sister Alesa Smith, to watch her grow up the last few
years and get sent out on her mission. I was so proud of her. I know that she is
now serving an eternal mission and errand for our Heavenly Father. Thank you,
Alesa for your service, your family and ward family miss you terribly. But
because of what we know, we KNOW we will see you again.
This story brought tears of sadness. I stand all amazed at the love these young
men and women have for our Savior Jesus Christ and their desire to serve
wherever they are called. She is certainly in a better place than we are and I
pray the Lord's choicest blessings will be upon her family, and friends at
this difficult time.
At a minimum, there should be a policy that prohibits missionaries from riding
bikes when it is dark! If the missionaries don't have a car, then members
should transport them to their evening appts.Deep condolences to the
family and friends of Sr. Smith.
I'm praying for all those touched by this in any possible way, that they
will find the strength and comfort they need. In our temporal lives we only see
the smallest possible fraction of the eternal picture, but there is comfort in
remembering that these pieces WILL form a whole, and it will be more beautiful
and lovely beyond our wildest imaginations. Sister Smith spent her last months
on earth serving the Lord - and the blessings and joy she is surely now
enveloped in cannot be comprehended in this world. D&C 42:44-46 tells that
"And the (missionaries) of the church, two or more, shall be called.... and
if they die they shall die unto me, and if they live they shall live unto me.
Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of
them that die.... And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not
taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them" My heart weeps, but the
scriptures speak comfort to me always and I'm embraced by the Spirit who
eases all pain. May the same be true for any and for all.
The Biking Policy needs to be rethought. What a loss!
In Finland it is always dark in the winter, but at least they have more
dedicated biking paths and equipment for headlights and reflectors. I'm
surprised sisters are on bikes here in the US where cars rule and bikers are
considered pests on the road.
AS WE SAY GOODBYEShe left with dreams of changing hearts,one
soul at a time.She was following her Savior’s footsteps,and
seeking out the blind.And though today we mourn her loss,Remember, eternity waits.She still is serving the God she loves,beyond His golden gate.So look to the sky for rainbows of lovefor she is waiting there;someday we will walk with her,and climb
up heaven’s stairs.© Forrest Phelps-Cook
I'm sad to hear of this.I have both a nephew, and a Elderly couple
Missionaries from my ward serving with her in that Mission.Some
Missionaries get sent home early, and then again, some Missionaries get
sent HOME early.My thoughts, prayers and condolences with everyone
who knew her.
Condolences to the family. This is sad. To all those who are
bagging on the biking policy, maybe it was her time to go. She is in a better
place. Leaving this life while serving a mission is an honorable way to go and
she will be rewarded eternally.My prayers go out to her family.
Aloha and Mahalo for your faithful service.
This is heartbreaking for all of us. It is every parent's nightmare. It is
especially terrifying for me as a mother who will be sending my own daughter on
a full-time LDS mission in less than 1 week! She is headed to a stateside
mission that is requiring that ALL missionaries, including Sisters, purchase a
bike in advance and ship it there. The church isn't budgeting more cars to
compensate for the huge increase in missionaries since October's
announcement of the lowered age. My daughter is a novice rider which is scary
for her and us (she indicated this on her paperwork). The expense is tremendous
(over $800 for a basic package). Now this tragedy occurs which confirms all our
fears. It's hard not to completely panic. How many more of these young
inexperienced bike riders entering unfamiliar terrain and dangerous locations
will have to be severely injured or even lose their lives before the Church
rethinks their policies and implement extensive training and safer options?!
Having a bike stolen and being unable to afford to replace it is now the least
of our worries. Please Church, Do EVERYTHING necessary to prevent another
I'm LDS and a RM also do not think it's appropriate or safe having
people biking around at 8-9 at night on country roads, especially when it's
dark. What a tragedy.
people die in car accidents quite frequently and some people can even die just
walking down the street so although I think its fair to constantly reevaluate
priorities and to make the missionaries' safety a high priority it sounds
on this board like a lot of quick-response reactions. Good leadership requires
reviewing the spectrum of considerations and not just a quick reaction to one or
a few incidents.
This is beyond sad. God bless her family members.
All of my surviving children served missions on bikes in different parts of the
world. Please don't panic. When you send a child on a mission, as in all
other areas of life, you are placing your trust in the Lord that He knows what
is best for that young man/woman. As long as he/she is faithful, she will be
blessed. This doesn't always mean protection if it is that young
person's time to go. We had a 13-year-old son killed in a car accident who
was called to a different type of mission. Trust in the Lord means we will
trust Him in all things, even if things don't always turn out the way we
think they should.
We could use a follow-up to the case of the missionary killed at night while
riding in South Texas, somewhere around Hidalgo as I recall. Maybe in 2011.
Elders Strong and Walker.Whatever came of that case?
Shame on those of you who want to use this incident as a cloak to hide behind
while disparaging the LDS Church. You need to look in the mirror.Stuff happens. That's life. May God bless this family.
I rode a bike on my mission and was run off the road by an irresponsible driver,
and that was before texting. I would not want my children riding bikes when
they serve their missions. It's just not safe anymore.
Too often I see bike riders riding where the road is narrow, forcing cars to
come dangerously close to them. Or I see bike riders purposely ride out into the
road, causing cars to come too close to them. I once wanted to ride a bike to
work, but couldn't find what I considered to be a safe way to do this, so I
Unfortunately, the issue of bikes in the mission field boils down to finances.
Automobiles are very expensive to maintain. With the increase of missionaries
worldwide, especially sister missionaries being called stateside it will become
increasingly more difficult to provide them with safe transportation. The lack
of public transport outside of urban areas in the U.S. is a problem for all
missionaries and their safety. Rural highways and bikes do not combine for a
very safe environment for safety, regardless if the riders are male or female.
My heart and prayers go out to the family and friends of this beautiful young
Missionary....God speed Sister Smith, God speed!!
My Sincere Heartfelt Love and Prayer's go out to All The Family and
Friend's of This Sweet Young Lady, I know what a Tragedy it is to Lose Your
Child and I do Hope and Pray that You will find Peace and Comfort in The Gospel
and from Other's....
Being a missionary for the Church is not a risk-free under taking. In the
late-60s Mitt Romney was in an automobile accident that killed the French
Mission President's wife and seriously injured the Mission President enough
that Mitt as the AP was running the French Mission for awhile. There are tragic
accidents like this and then there are stupid accidents like the recent case of
the Missionary getting his picture taken in front of the Lion's cage - That
Elder was lucky. Or the Elder's in Texas teaching the discussions to a yet
unknown serial killer several years back. It didn't end well for the
Elders. To all those out there or going out there. Be careful !!
My condolences to the Young lady's family. to SLCmom, I learned to ride a
bicycle when I was 5 years old. My grandfather taught me. I also served a
mission where the main mode of transportation was a bicycle, I just wonder how a
child grows up to be 19 and not know how to ride a bike? btw, no criticism is
When I was on my mission we did splits in the evening with Ward missionaries and
priests. The priests loved being able to drive their parents cars.
My son is serving in that mission and knew her and many of her companions. I was
terrified when I heard a missionary was killed.My heart goes out to Sister
Smith's family and the missionaries in the Oklahoma Oklahoma City Mission.
I pray for the Spirit to comfort all of them from President and Sister Taylor to
the Sisters and Elders, the members and other people there that knew her.Shame
to those critizisers for condeming biking. Pres & Sis Taylor has nothing but
the utmost concerm and lovee for all missionaries in their mission. May the Lord
comfort her family.
It is terrible news that someone who was willing to serve has had their life cut
short. We pray for the family. I hope they can find peace in the coming days
Why do so many of you disparagingly turn this article into rant about bicycles?
It just happened. Many things in life "just" happen. A young women has
passed with grieving family and friends. My heart goes out to them.
@ trentsterIt is not just all about finances. The area I served my
mission in, you could not drive a car because the streets were so bad. Bikes
were more efficient. Let's not forget too people, way more people die in
car crashes than bike accidents. As I said in my earlier post, the Lord knows
when it is someone's time. In the eternal perspective, this young lady is
in a better place, she died in the Lord's service.In the Book
of Mormon days, missionaries were serving people who wanted to kill them. Back
in the Pioneer days, people left their family for years, traveling in not the
best conditions. The Lord will have no question this young lady was on his side
and she will be eternally rewarded.That said, again, my prayers go
out to her family. We never like to see someone we love go, but one day we will
all depart from this earth and face our Creator, I can't think of a more
honorable way to return to the Lord.
@SLCMomWhy would they have you purchase a bike here and pay for
shipping?Pretty sure that is not the case.I purchased my bike in
England when I got there.There are bike shops in every state and town.HelmetLightsReflectorsmore..Lights and relectors.Zone leaders first responsibility is to the Sisters in their zone. Being out publically after dark needs to be mitigated for the Sisters.
As a convert to the Church, missionaries will always hold a special place in my
heart. Whenever I hear of a missionary being killed, my heart aches, as I know
what change their message brings into the lives of those who are blessed with
their message. As a Return Missionary, and the parent of Return Missionaries, I
know the worry that comes to those parents whose children serve. Statistically,
those who serve though are less likely to lose their lives early.God
bless you, Sister Smith, and God bless your family. My guess is that your
reward is assured, and that the Lord has a higher calling for you. My prayers
are also with the person who was driving the truck. This must be a difficult
time for them and their family also.
JazzledazzleYou are so right. Just last week I attended a funeral for
Elder George Peter Solie who was serving in the Salt Lake City West Mission when
he passed away in his sleep one year and a few days in to his mission. While it
is truly sad when a missionary is lost, as with anyone, we must know that it is
part of Heavenly Fathers plan for them. The most comforting words I heard came
from his mother who, after so many people had called it a tragedy said "it
is sad but not a tragedy. He was doing what his Heavenly Father wanted him to
I served a Mission and remember very well riding a bike. There were a few times
drivers got a bit to close but for the most part it was ok. I always felt if
it's my time to go, so be it. I was serving The Lord and wasn't
worried. Prayers to the family of the deceased Sister Missionary. You will see
Death is a serious and somber moment in life, especially for our youth who put
their life on the line everyday they are alive, and truly as missionaries of
Faith. I definitely believe in safety and the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints has done a remarkable job in ensuring the safety and health
for our Elders and Sisters throughout the years. With the very large number of
missionaries and will be growing more, quickly, there is a lot of exposure daily
for errors, mistakes, accidents and just sickness in many varied areas of the
world. We don't want to see the loss of life of anyone. Missionaries can do their best to be seen and take precautions and the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and mission leaders do a great job to
ensure missionaries are safe and protected as much as possible. Hopefully, living in a world of negative news in the world, we have to be on
guard of being negative even though the political world is nothing but negative,
anymore. Crises happen and some are made. This is a sad day but
with faith and God's blessings we will endure.
"Killed" might have been the wrong word. How about "died" which
doesn't have any intent connotations.
This is tragic news. There is nothing wrong with folks suggesting a review of
bikes. My take is if the area has no bike paths then no biking.
My Heart goes out to the family of theis Special Missionary! Just know she was
in the service of her fellow man, which means, she was in the service of the
LORD! She and this special family will be Blessed always.... You will see her
again and will feel her spirit with you always. She is still doing the work of
the LORD! Bless you all...! 'As Sisters in Zion!'
My name was Hermana Smith (like the girl in the story) serving in the Dominican
Republic in 88 during my last week as a missionary when a drunk motorcycle
driver ran into my back tire when I was turning onto a side street from a
thoroughfare. I felt nothing but a nudge on my back tire and looked back to see
a man on the ground and his motorcycle a few yards away from him. I was amazed
that my back tire had been bent so profoundly that my wheel could not move to
spin through the forks of the bike. I was grateful for this miracle. I now
have a temple marriage and 7 kids, it is so great I survived that. This story
makes me remember how fortunate I am. Thanks to the Lord!
This it the type of headline you never want to see. I hope the family and close
friends feel an extra portion of the spirit in their lives at this moment. My
family too knows the pain of losing someone in an untimely manner and we have
also felt that extra portion of the spirit in our time of duress and loss.
I live in the OKC mission, and at this time all Elders & Sisters are
gathered at a memorial service for Sister Smith, so that they can mourn together
and strengthen one another. She was a marvelous missionary, and she was where
she was supposed to be, doing what she was supposed to be doing. Please send
prayers to this mission, as they are so heartbroken to have lost such a faithful
sister. Please also pray for the young companion she was training. 2 days
before the accident, Sister Smith had been assigned to train a new missionary,
the FIRST 19 year old sister to be sent to our mission. That poor young new
sister watched her trainer die. Can you imagine? Please pray for her. That is
the most painful way to start your missionary service. The authorities have not
released any details of the accident, other than it was caused by a young 18
year old man driving a truck. No indications have been made that alcohol or
cellphone use was a factor. Woodward is a wonderful small country town. Many
places have narrow roads, and no shoulder or sidewalk available. It was an
unfortunate accident. :(
I served in manila Philippines mission. There was only one pair of missionaries
that had bicycles because they drove So wild over there So We took public
transportation and the only ones that had cars were the mission president and
the assistants. May God bless her family and.friends and the missionaries.
I was struck from behind by a car while riding a bicycle on my mission.
Fortunatelely I was not injured. There were no bicylce helmets in those days.
I agree with other posters. Riding a bicylce in traffic is dangerous. One
suggestion could be mandatory reflective vests at night or limit travel to
designated bike trails or well lit areas.
She died while serving a mission. I think that's very brave. She will be
blessed along with her family. Still, bike policies should be changed or at
least make a bicycle lane so that other vehicles can't hit people riding on
I can't believe all of the reactionary comments. Here's a news flash.
We don't make policies based on a zero fatality outcome, for ANYTHING.
Because, if that is your sole motivation, to have NO FATALITIES, you will
accomplish NOTHING in this life. People die biking, walking, driving, flying,
taking the train, taking the bus, taking a cab, and every other possible means
of conveyance. If you want to reduce fatalities on the mission, or in any other
bureaucracy, lock your people in a bomb shelter with a 50 year supply of food
and water and throw away the key. I'm pretty sure they won't die then.
Otherwise, people die, some earlier than others. Sorry if that sounds
insensitive. But I think the LDS Church should keep on doing what it is they do.
Bikes are a very efficient way to spread the good word. This great woman died a
glorious death doing just that. God bless her.
My, my, we have a lot to learn about how to respond to people (even fellow
church members) that don't think like we do or react the way we would like.
No need to disparage those who are asking questions. Even slamming down a critic
will not help anyone in the end. We are all sad and grieving for the loss of
this Sister. Many of us have served a mission or have children who have served,
or who are about to serve. We all love missionaries and are sad for this loss.
My condolences to the family and friends of Sister Smith, especially her
companion.I, probably like most posting here, don't even know what
the Church's current official policy is concerning biking after dark. I do
know that on my mission (a long, long time ago) we were not supposed to ride
after dark. That was before the more visible LED head and tail lights for
bicycles became available. A mission is still the safest place for young men
(and I presume women) of that age group to be.I ride my bike to and from
work most days and at this time of year it is in the dark both directions. With
proper equipment visibility isn't going to be the reason someone hits me.
Driver inattention or incompetence will be. Many of the same people clamoring
for more gun control regularly use the mobile phones while driving and engage in
other dangerous behaviors behind the wheel of a car. I hope that most
families aren't spending $800 for a missionary bicycle. There are plenty
of high quality, light-weight bicycles available for less than half that price
even after equipping it with lights, fenders, luggage racketc.
Wait...full time missionaries have to purchase their own bikes?? Seriously? Why
are young women sent to unknown cities where they are asked to be in such a
vulnerable position as on a bike? Have any of you BEEN in Oklahoma? I can't
imagine these kids riding for miles of nothing but wheat, blazing sun or
freezing winter winds. A car should be provided for them. Yes, car accidents
happen but at least those who may be intent on harm will allow these young women
some measure of safety in a locked car with a cell phone to dial police and it
provides shelter from the elements. I also find it sad that a church with assets
in excess of $150 Billion dollars asks their missionaries who bring more
converts into the church with their tithing can't provide a vehicle for
them to use to be safe from the elements and those who would do them harm. This
nice young woman could certainly have met the same fate here just biking for
recreation but the whole issue is a bit too risky this way.
All missions already have curfews in place. There is no need to place
restrictions on biking hours. I for one, would be pretty upset if I had to stop
and walk my bike home as soon as the sun went down, just because my mission
leadership wanted to micromanage my own safety. It was an honor for me to have
served a mission. But, like any bureaucracy, there were rules, regulations and
restrictions that made serving less enjoyable. Placing more barriers in the way
will only discourage potential missionaries from service.
Speaking as a RM and a 27-year veteran transportation cyclist:You
are more vulnerable on a bicycle than in a car, and riding accident-free is the
only way to avoid injury or death. However, bicycle transportation isn't
inherently dangerous.Nobody (or very few people) will deliberately
run into you. The key is to be legal, predictable, and visible. Visible is
particularly challenging at night, and missionaries should have bright lights at
both ends. I'd also like to see hi-viz reflective vests (cheap, and can be
worn outside of overcoats, suits, etc.) and reflective/hi-viz treatment for the
ubiquitous backpacks, etc. (I don't think there's a rule that says
missionaries have to be dressed in dark, nearly-invisible clothes. If there is,
there shouldn't be!)Condolences to the family and loved ones of
Sister Smith; I'm confident there's a place in the Kingdom for her.
@bikeboyNow that is a sensible, non-reactionary solution. Thank you,