Tenorio was born in Tilapan, Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico. When he was fifteen years old, he and his parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ later when they living in Río Bravo, Tamaulipas, Tamaulipas. Tenorio was baptized in the Río Bravo river. A few years later, Tenorio became a branch president in the Church. Then he moved to Mexico City with his job with Readers Digest Mexico. In Mexico City he met Rosa Elva Valenzuela González, a native of Nuevo Casas Grandes, whom he married in December 1973 in Colonia Dublán; they were sealed in the Mesa Arizona Temple in January 1974, about one week after their marriage.
Initially, Tenorio worked in the publishing industry. He later worked as the manager of the Church's Geneological Service Center in Mexico. This was the first international Geneological Service center that the Church set up, and Tenorio was its first supervisor. Tenorio supervised the Geneological Service Center until 1984, when he became the first recorder of the Mexico City Mexico Temple. He later served in various positions related to running welfare and other church programs at the area level. In 1999, as Welfare Services Area manager, he was involved in distributing food to flood victims. He later returned to service as temple recorder in the Mexico City Temple. He was serving in this position at the time of his call as a general authority.
Tenorio has also served as a stake president and twice as a regional representative of the Church. He was a sealer in the Mexico City Temple when it opened. He also served as president of the Mexico Tuxtla Gutiérrez Mission from 1990 to 1993.
From 1995 to 2000, Tenorio was an area seventy, serving in the Mexico South Area Presidency for part of that time. In 2007, Tenorio became a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and has been a counselor in the Mexico Area Presidency since August 2007.
Tenorio and his wife, Rosa, are the parents of five children.
- Allen, James B., Jessie L. Embry and Kahlile B. Mehr. Hearts Turned to the Fathers: A History of the Geneological Society of Utah, 1894-1994, (Provo, Utah: BYU Studies, 1995) p. 284
- '“Elder Octaviano Tenorio,” Ensign, May 2007, p. 126
- Church News, May 5, 2007; October 30, 1999; September 17, 1990