Earl C. Tingey chose law as a career not only because it promised to be personally satisfying but also because he felt it would allow him time and means to serve his Church and community.
Through the years, he found opportunities to serve in both areas, but now he is experiencing another kind of service as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
Brother Tingey was associate general legal counsel for Kennecott Corporation when he was called as a General Authority on November 29.
Elder Tingey has served in the Church all of his adult life. “I can’t recall when I didn’t have a testimony,” he says. “But it has grown with experience.”
His experience has been ample. At age twenty-nine, he was called as bishop of the Manhattan Ward, in New York City, in 1964. Later, he served as a counselor to the president of the Eastern States Mission and then as president of the Australia East (now Australia Sydney) Mission. The time in Australia was something of a homecoming, since he had served his first mission there as a young man.
After serving as mission president, he was a regional representative for eight years—four in the eastern United States, and four in Utah. He served as a counselor to the president of the Utah North Mission and then as a counselor to the president of the Utah Ogden Mission before his call as a General Authority.
For a time after his release as a regional representative, he taught a Sunday School class of fifteen-year-olds. It was a satisfying opportunity to see the gospel work at this all-important level, he recalls. For him, joy in Church service comes through “the satisfaction of knowing that someone may be helped by something I did.”
Elder Tingey’s wife, Joanne, comments that “he never tires of Church service. I think that’s probably his greatest strength” as a leader. She adds that she learned early in their marriage to respect the great wisdom he shows in his Church callings.
He in turn calls his wife an extremely insightful person, whose counsel he respects. In addition to her strengths as a mother, he says, she also has a strong background in Church service. She has been president of ward Primary and Young Women organizations and has served in a Relief Society presidency, in a stake Primary presidency, and on an activities committee. Currently, she teaches the sixteen-year-olds in Sunday School.
Earl Carr Tingey grew up in a family where Church service was an accepted way of life. He was born on 11 June 1934 in Bountiful, Utah, the oldest of the ten children of William W. Tingey and Sylvia Carr.
He met Joanne Wells of Logandale, Nevada, in 1959 while he was attending law school at the University of Utah (where he earned a Juris Doctor degree) and she was teaching school in Provo, Utah. They were married on 17 June 1960 in the St. George Temple. They are the parents of four children—Tricia (Kamba), Bill, Julie (Gainer), and Alan—and grandparents of eight grandchildren.
Following their marriage, Brother Tingey served for three years in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps, stationed in New York City. After his army service, he stayed there and worked as a corporation attorney while earning a master of corporate law degree from New York University. He went to work for Kennecott when he and his family returned to Bountiful in 1980.
His community service has 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.
Elder Tingey is looking forward to service in his new calling, recognizing that it will require him to stretch as never before. “The magnitude of the call sinks in quickly,” but what is important is one’s attitude in accepting it, he explains. “I’ve always had the feeling that whatever call we receive, if we accept it willingly, the Lord will make us equal to it.”