He was an avid gardener and his first concern after receiving his call to serve as
a General Authority was whether he would be able to continue to grow pumpkins for the children of his
ward. He was, after all, a neighborhood institution and it wouldn't do for the children not to have
their pumpkins. Such concern for the least of these, his little brothers and sisters, is typical of
Elder Earl Carr Tingey of the First Quorum of the Seventy and later of the Presidency of the Seventy.
Earl C. Tingey was born June 11, 1934 in Bountiful, Utah, the oldest of the ten
children of William W. Tingey and Sylvia Carr. Earl was raised on the family farm and early on learned
a strong work ethic and the law of the harvest, "If you work, you eat." The family grew a variety of
produce including apricots, peaches, tomatoes, corn, and melons. Excess was trucked to Salt Lake City
and sold. Elder Tingey recalled that the produce would be packed in the family truck in the evening;
then up at 4:30 the next morning to arrive in Salt Lake by 6:00 AM, and hopefully to have it all sold
by 9:00 AM. But he also learned to love the outdoors and has remained an outdoorsman throughout his life.
Farm life must have agreed with him for he grew to an imposing six foot, three inches.
Elder Tingey grew up in a Gospel centered home, the product of generations of
strong Latter-day Saints. He was further nurtured in Gospel principles by living in an LDS community
with strong neighbors and priesthood leaders. He was baptized as a child and received the Aaronic
Priesthood as a youth. Thus it is not surprising that when he received the Melchizedek Priesthood, he
accepted a call to serve as a missionary to Australia from 1955 to 1957.
Given Elder Tingey's background in agriculture, one might have expected, and,
indeed, he himself expected to follow that avocation. It was on his mission that he became familiar with
and developed an admiration for Elder Hugh B. Brown then an
Assistant to the Twelve as Elder Brown stayed with Elder Tingey and a
companion during a tour of the mission. Elder Brown was of course, a renowned attorney. As Elder Tingey
learned more of Elder Brown and his career path and learned that other Church leaders had followed a
similar path, he developed a determination to become an attorney himself.
Returning from his mission, Earl attended law school at the University of Utah
where he was awarded the Juris Doctor Degree. In the summer of 1959 he met Joanne Wells, a school
teacher. A year of courtship convinced Earl that this was the woman with whom he wanted to spend
eterninty. Engaged in April of 1960, they were married in the St. George Temple on June 17, 1960. The
Tingey's had four children, and at the time of his call as a general authority, eight grandchildren.
Following his graduation in 1961, the couple moved to the east in order to
fulfill a military obligation. He served in the United States Army's Judge Advocate General Corps while
meeting a three year commitment... and fully intended to return to Utah after his military obligation
But the Lord had other ideas. Even as his obligation to the Army was drawing to
a close and the family was preparing to return west, Earl was called to serve as a Bishop of the
Manhattan Ward in New York City. This caused a major disruption in the family's plans and preferred
lifestyle as they were forced to take an apartment in a highrise rather than a home in the suburbs.
Even in NYC however, Bishop Tingey was able to find a small lot on which to grow a garden.
After leaving the Army the young Bishop set up a private practice in law. He
attended New York University and there received the Master of Corporate Law degree. With these
credentials in hand, he slightly refined his career course and began to serve on the legal staff of
some of America's most prestigeous corporations including Bunker-Ramo Corporation, New Jersey Zinc,
and Texas Gulf, Inc. At the time of his call to serve as a General Authority, he was associate general
legal counsel of Kennecott Corporation.
Somewhere along the way of obtaining an education, securing employment, and
raising a family, Earl Tingey also found time to serve the Lord, accepting calls as Elders Quorum
President, Bishop, High Councilor, and Counselor in three(!) misssions. “I can't recall when I didn't
have a testimony,” he told a reporter for the Church News, “but it has grown with experience.”
Following his duty as a counselor in the Eastern States Mission, Earl was called into full-time service
for three years as President of the Australia Sydney Mission. Following this call, the family took the
opportunity to return to their beloved Utah, moving to Bountiful in 1980. There he resumed his career
in law even as he was called to serve as a Regional Representative. Elder Tingey’s wife, Joanne,
commented that “He never tires of Church service. I think that's probably his greatest strength.”
His community service included three years as president of the Great Salt Lake
Council of the Boy Scouts of America, from whom he received the Silver Beaver Award. He has also served
on the University of Utah Alumni Board and the National Advisory Board of the Utah Symphony.
In the October Conference of 1990, Elder Earl Carr Tingey became a General
Authority as he was ordained a Seventy and called into the The First Quorum of the Seventy. There he
served until August 15, 1996 when he received a call into the Presidency of the Seventy. He was
sustained as a President of the Seventy in the October General Conference. In June of 2001, with the
release from the presidency of L. Aldin Porter, he became the Seventh (senior) President. He was released
from the Presidency of the Seventy, and from the First Quorum in October 2008, receiving Emeritus Status
at that time.