The individual who inspired the name of our blog LDS SMILE, was Sister Janet Rife who was the wife of my mission president Richard Rife. She was an amazing individual to everyone she came in contact with and quite literally changed the person that I became. She helped me to understand and view this world as one full of opportunities to do great things for others. For many missionaries, the mission president and his wife in many ways become your 2nd parents. This was most definitely the case for me and having grown up in a household that wasn’t a gospel centered home, the Rife’s provided a perfect template of how to make a home, one that was truly centered on Christ.
Very few individuals will ever have an impact like Sister Rife had on me. What’s more amazing is that she made me feel that I was the only missionary out in the field. Many times at the beginning of my mission I would think that it was probably not fair to have Sister Rife show so much “favoritism” towards me and how that might make other missionaries feel bad. As it turns out, she made everyone feel that way. She truly reflected the light of Christ to everyone that she met and this is something that I personally strive to do on a daily basis. Much of what we do here on LDS S.M.I.L.E. is patterned after this goal of trying to make everyone we come into contact with feel the same way that Sister Rife made us feel when we were around her.
One year ago today she passed away after a courageous battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) at the young age of 54. Her family would like to honor her memory and celebrate her role in their lives to do something kind for someone else today and share it here on her Facebook page, on Instagram, or anywhere, with the hashtag #rememberingjpr. So lets go out and do something for someone else today!