Elder Kelly R. Johnson remembers well the day he was called as a bishop at age 31. That same day he was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy—a condition in which the muscles on one side of the face become paralyzed or weakened.
It was a challenging time, not only because of the discomfort and embarrassment caused by the condition but also because of his many new responsibilities. But that difficult time became a blessing.
“Not knowing what the long-term situation would be, I developed a compassion for individuals that has been with me through the rest of my life,” he said. “I really learned that people go through tough and sad things they can’t control that impact their abilities, feelings, and confidence.”
At times, it’s not convenient to serve in the Lord’s Church. But just as the Savior’s disciples “straightway left their nets” (Matthew 4:20) to follow Him, “whatever we’re asked to do, we’re willing to do it,” said Elder Johnson.
No matter where the Lord calls him or his family, they go with willing hearts and minds, looking to find good no matter their circumstances.
Kelly Ray Johnson was born in Pleasant View, Utah, on January 16, 1963, to Harold Raymond Johnson Jr. and Helen Cragaun Johnson. He grew up in Ogden, Utah, and married Teressa Lynn Bartrum in the Salt Lake Temple on March 27, 1986. They have five children.
Elder Johnson graduated from Weber State University in 1987 with a bachelor of science degree in accounting and received his master of business administration degree from Brigham Young University in 1989. He has worked as a forensic accountant for KPMG International Cooperative and most recently worked as a forensic accountant and partner for Norman, Townsend, and Johnson.
Elder Johnson, who was serving as an Area Seventy at the time of his call, has served as mission president in the Thailand Bangkok Mission, where he served his full-time mission, and as a stake president, counselor in a stake presidency, high councilor, bishop, elders quorum president, ward mission leader, and stake missionary preparation teacher.