Horacio Tenorio laughed when his wife, Maria Teresa, told him that she had made an appointment to meet with some missionaries at her mother’s house and that he had to go there with her to help refute their religious claims.
He went with her every day, for three and a half months, to hear the doctrine they taught. But instead of opposing the Church, his wife came to feel that she had found the truth. He kept studying the gospel long after his wife knew she should join the Church. Then one night as he read the scriptures, “I felt the Spirit of the Lord, and it told me that everything the missionaries had taught was the truth.” He woke his wife to say, “Let’s be baptized. I’m ready.”
On July 26, it will be twenty years since Elder Horacio A. Tenorio of the new Second Quorum of the Seventy joined the Church with his wife. During most of those years, he has been deeply involved in Church service as branch president, bishop, counselor in a stake presidency, stake president, Regional Representative over five regions, president of the Mexico Torreon Mission, and—most recently—Regional Representative over seven regions along Mexico’s west coast.
Elder Tenorio says the organization of the Second Quorum of the Seventy is a historic event that will bring blessings to Latter-day Saints throughout the world. This will be particularly beneficial in Mexico, where growth of the Church has greatly increased the work load of leaders.
Despite the rapid pace of Church growth in Mexico in recent years, Elder Tenorio says, “I believe it’s barely beginning.” In ten years, he points out, Mexico will have more than thirty thousand returned missionaries to swell the Church’s leadership corps, and there is the potential for Mexico’s ninety-six stakes to become two hundred or more.
Part of his enthusiasm about Church growth in Mexico stems from the enjoyment he finds in serving others. “He loves and respects people, and it’s satisfying to me that he will have this opportunity to serve,” says Sister Tenorio. Through the years of their membership, both have grown through serving in Church callings. “Service has helped me always to be closer to the Lord,” Maria Tenorio says.
Horacio Tenorio was born in Mexico’s capital city on 6 March 1936, a son of Leopoldo Horacio Tenorio, a chemist, and Blanca Otilia Tenorio, a journalist. When Horacio was ten, his parents moved the family to Ciudad Obregon, in the state of Sonora. There he grew up and met Maria. They were married on 25 July 1957, then moved to Mexico City. That is where their three daughters, Maria Teresa, Monica, and Maria del Rocio, were born.
When the Tenorios were first married, Brother Tenorio sold cars and trucks. He later became manager of purchasing and sales for an electrical cable company. For ten years he was manager of purchasing, then director of materials management for the Church in Mexico. After serving as mission president from 1982 to 1985, he started a business distributing ice-cream flavorings, then another distributing irrigation systems.
His daughter Maria Teresa (Mrs. Kent) Player, now of South Carolina, recognizes her father’s many strengths. Even so, his calling took her by surprise because there are so many fine leaders in Mexico, she says. “You don’t think this kind of thing will happen. But I’m very proud of him.”
Her father’s ability to work hard will help in his calling, she explains. “When he sets his mind to do something, he does it.”
The ability to work hard, coupled with a desire to be firm in obedience, are two of the strengths he offers in his calling, Elder Tenorio says. He has confidence that he can receive help when it is needed. “I know that when I am serving the Lord, He will never leave me alone.”