Beth Harmon Tidwell Potts and her daughter Kaye Tidwell Tiede, who were slain at the hands of two armed intruders Dec. 22, were eulogized Friday as two angels whose lives were tragically and unexpectedly cut short.
But the influences of both women will be felt for generations to come, said speakers during a joint funeral service for the two homicide victims. Both women displayed tremendous faith and shared much more than the typical mother-daughter relationship, said Kenneth Tidwell, Mrs. Pott's son."I think it's no accident - even though it was tragic in nature - that they went together," he said.
Both Mrs. Tiede, 49, and Mrs. Potts, 76 - who was blind and largely immobile - were shot to death at their Summit County cabin after apparently surprising two burglars. Two escapees from a prison halfway house have each been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and, if convicted, could face the death penalty.
Von L. Taylor and Edward S. Deli were also charged with robbing and shooting Rolf Tiede, Mrs. Tiede's husband, and kidnapping the couple's two daughters "to use as shields" in case they were confronted by police, say court documents.
The two men were arrested and the daughters safely rescued after a high-speed chase and subsequent shootout with Summit County deputy sheriffs. Rolf Tiede was critically injured but was released from the hospital a few days later.
The Tiede family had come to Utah from Humble, Texas, to be sealed together in the Salt Lake LDS Temple in a ceremony believed to keep the family bound together after death. Despite Mrs. Tiede's death, the ceremony was performed Thursday with someone acting as proxy for her - a practice common in the LDS Church.
"Tragedy may have intervened, but it could not overcome bringing the temple ceremonies to (her)," said President Thomas S. Monson, who attended the ceremony with the family.
"This is a temporary farewell. Families are forever."
The second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said he felt close to the family after Thursday's ceremony and said he is sure that Mrs. Tiede and Mrs. Potts were also present for the important occasion.
"It is my feeling that they persuaded the Lord to let them be in the temple yesterday," he said.
President Monson reminded those in attendance at the funeral that the timing of death is not important in the Lord's eternal scheme. "It's not when we leave (this earth), it's how we live and how we serve and how we love."
He said the two women are now in a "state of paradise to rest from all care and all sorrow."
Bishop Bruce Johnson, who flew to Salt Lake City from Texas for the funeral, encouraged family members to forgive those who killed the two women. As Jesus Christ asked the Lord to forgive those who put him on the cross, we too should forgive, he said.
The bishop said the Lord allows many things to happen in order to preserve the principle of "free agency" - the right of every man and woman to choose whether or not to obey God's word.
"I believe the Lord could have stopped this tragedy. But in the eternal perspective, he didn't need to . . . In the eternal perspective, it needed to be done," he said.
"I really don't think it was (Mrs. Tiede's) time to leave. But I know she was worthy and I know she was prepared," he said, explaining that scriptures state those who are prepared shall not fear.
The two women were buried Friday in the Manti City Cemetery. An additional funeral service was also scheduled for Saturday in Texas.