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 born on June 24, 1954, in Gainesville, Florida, to Vere Hodges Johnson and Winefred Amacher Johnson, and was raised in Logan, Utah. As a young man, he was an full-time missionary in Norway, after which he earned degrees from Brigham Young University and Utah State University. 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. Elder Johnson taught seminary for 12 years in Arizona and Utah. (After four years in Arizona, he was transfered 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. 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 First Quorum, Elder Johnson served as an Area Seventy, counselor in a stake presidency, stake high councilor, bishop, and ward Young Men president.