Paul V. Johnson

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Mormon Seventy Paul V. Johnson

Paul Vere Johnson has been a General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2005. He was called to serve in the Presidency of the Seventy in 2021, where he will serve until August 1, 2024. At that time he will be granted emeritus status and begin his service in the Sunday School general presidency. He was sustained as Sunday School general president during the Saturday morning session of the Church’s 194th Annual General Conference on April 6, 2024.

He was born on June 24, 1954, in Gainesville, Florida, to Vere Hodges Johnson and Winifred Amacher Johnson, and was raised in Logan, Utah. As a young man, he was a full-time missionary in Norway, after which he earned degrees from Brigham Young University (BS, 1978) and Utah State University (EdD 1989). He married Leslie Jill Washburn in the Logan Utah Temple on August 18, 1976.

Elder Johnson began school at BYU majoring in zoology with the intention of going into dental school, eventually to take over his father’s dental practice. However, while serving in the Norway Oslo Mission, his mission president asked him to consider teaching the Norwegian language at the Language Training Mission (the precursor to the Missionary Training Centers) at what was then Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho; he took the opportunity. He found he so enjoyed this teaching experience, and specifically, teaching religion, that he decided to change his career goals. While continuing to study science at Ricks College and then at BYU, Elder Johnson also prepared to be a seminary teacher. He then earned a master’s degree in counseling and guidance from BYU and a doctorate in instructional technology from Utah State University.

He was hired and assigned to teach seminary in Chandler, Arizona. In his second year, he became very ill (he was diagnosed with Crohn's disease). Sister Johnson substituted for him on days when he was too sick to teach, giving her, she said, an appreciation for the challenges and rewards of his job. Effective treatment has helped Elder Johnson completely recovery.

Elder Johnson taught seminary for 12 years in Arizona and Utah. (After four years in Arizona, he was transferred to teach seminary in Cache Valley.) After seven years in Logan, he was moved to Salt Lake City to work on the projects full time. From there he became a zone administrator and, four years ago, became the top administrator in Church Educational System. He has since worked in a variety of curriculum development and administrative positions in the Church Educational System in Salt Lake City, including as Administrator of Religious Education.

Elder Johnson served as the sixteenth Commissioner of Church Education from August 2008 to August 2015. He was appointed again by the First Presidency to begin his service on August 1, 2019, and conclude on August 1, 2021. Johnson became a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 2, 2005, subsequent to a call as an Area Seventy in the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in June 2003. Also prior to his call to the Seventy, Elder Johnson served as an Area Seventy, counselor in a stake presidency, stake high councilor, bishop, and ward Young Men president. [1]

Elder Johnson's General Conference talks