Were it up to Jose and Becki Mackintosh, this story would unalterably be about Elder Jose Mackintosh, their LDS missionary son who was fatally stabbed Saturday in the Russian city of Ufa.
But that son is clearly a product of his parents; their stories are inseparable.Monday evening Jose Mackintosh, still in his work clothes, and Becki Mackintosh, in a BYU T-shirt, met with three reporters in the living room of their Hiko home to talk about that son.
And for every "strong," "intelligent" and "friendly" said about Elder Mackintosh, there was a profound example of "remarkable," "faithful" and "stalwart" unwittingly given by Jose and Becki Mackintosh.
They have no regrets. "We would not change what happened at all," Becki Mackintosh said. "He went and did what he was supposed to do."
They are at peace.
"If you are going to die, why not die for God? He died for the Lord. There is nothing else to say," Jose Mackintosh said.
They hold no grudges.
"We have no hatred nor animosity toward the people of Russia. We ask that God will show them his blessings and that they will be merciful in providing justice for the young man (who killed Jose)."
And they have sweet memories of their son.
"I guess when I remember Jose, I'll think about the easy way we talked together," Becki Mackintosh said.
In anticipation of their visitors' arrival, Becki Mackintosh said she "straightened the house but didn't get time to mow the lawn."
It didn't matter. Their visitors hardly noticed. They were overwhelmed by the quiet, calm strength of two parents who had just lost their youngest son in a random act of violence halfway around the world.
As the Mackintoshes sat awkwardly on their own couch, television cameras rolling just a few feet away, one reporter complimented them for having "such great faith."
"Yes, he did," Jose Mackintosh replied, deflecting attention back to his son.
There were more stories about Elder Mackintosh.
Asked at age of 8 or 9 what he wanted to do when he grew up, young Jose said, "I want to go on a mission to Russia."
Russia wasn't even open to LDS missionaries at the time.
And when he went to Brigham Young University, he decided to study the Russian language.
"Do you think they would take that into consideration (when issuing his mission call)?" the younger Jose asked his father.
"He was very happy when he got that call," Jose Mackintosh said. "God wanted him to go there, and that's what Jose wanted, too."
"Our son had great love for the people of Russia," Becki Mackintosh added.
Perhaps most obvious to an outsider is the genuine love between parents and son - manifest by the things they did.
After graduating from high school, Elder Mackintosh decided he wanted to go away for the summer, perhaps to St. George, to work.
Mom suggested that he could find work locally, but Elder Mackintosh persisted - and visited friends in St. George to look for work.
"When he came back, he said, `I think I'm going to stay here this summer,' " Becki Mackintosh said. "And we had a wonderful summer together. We moved sprinkler pipe together each morning and just had a great summer.
"Jose was a people person. He loved people. He loved to interact with people and enjoyed giving and taking and bantering back and forth. He was always willing to help people," she added.
"Sometimes Jose would tell me he was going running. I'd say that was fine. Then I might not see him for three or four hours because he'd get sidetracked with the people he met," Becki Mackintosh said.
"It was a great privilege to have him as a son," she added.
"If (the killer) had known our son, he would never have done this," Jose Mackintosh said.
Jose and Becki Mackintosh's entire immediate family - save one daughter-in-law who took it upon herself to tend the children and, of course, Elder Mackintosh - were together in the Mount Timpanogos Temple when they learned of the death. The tragic news came personally from President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve.
"I felt a calm acceptance," Becki Mackintosh said. "I felt sorrow, but I did not feel despair. I did not feel anger. I simply felt OK. We go. We go from here. Since then I have had a tremendous sense of peace."
"I don't kid myself saying there will be no problem, that I won't cry bitter tears and weep. I have done that already and will likely do it some more. But I have received strength from the Lord."
Elder Mackintosh's funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday in the Hiko Ward, which meets in Alamo, Nev.
Mother tells of son's love for Russian people
Becki Mackintosh hand-wrote this statement in anticipation of her meeting with reporters:
"Our son Jose had a great love for the country and people of Russia. He has always had it. As a young boy of 8 or 9 we asked what he wanted to do when he grew up. His reply was, `I want to go on a mission to Russia.' The people of Russia were already in his heart.
"I would like to speak to the people in Russia who knew our son. We appreciate the love and kindness you showed him. We thank you from the depths of our hearts. We express our love to all the people of Russia. May our Father in Heaven pour out his richest and most abundant blessings upon you."