Elder Paul V. Johnson
May 2021

New Callings

Elder Paul V. Johnson

Presidency of the Seventy

One of the valuable lessons Elder Paul V. Johnson has learned from his many years working in Church education is that for those who keep their covenants, the Lord keeps His promises—regardless of life’s challenges.

“Although we deal with uncertainty in certain aspects of life, we have promises that are sure,” he said recently. “We cannot allow uncertain prospects to shake us from the certain promises of the Lord.”1

Today, God’s children face a global pandemic, societal polarization, and a social media flood. But as we live our covenants, Elder Johnson said, the Lord offers us guidance, power, and comfort.

On April 3, 2021, Elder Johnson was sustained as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, effective on August 1, 2021. Elder Johnson served as the 16th Commissioner of the Church Educational System from 2008 to 2015, resuming that position in 2019.

Paul Vere Johnson was born on June 24, 1954, in Gainesville, Florida, USA, to Vere and Winefred Johnson. After growing up in Logan, Utah, USA, he served in the Norway Oslo Mission. Following his mission, he married Leslie Jill Washburn in the Logan Utah Temple in 1976. They have 9 children and 40 grandchildren.

Elder Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology/botany from Brigham Young University in 1978, a master of education from BYU in 1982, and a doctorate in instructional technology from Utah State University in 1989.

He taught seminary for 12 years in Arizona and Utah before working in a variety of curriculum development and administrative positions for the Church Educational System in Salt Lake City.

Elder Johnson was sustained as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 2, 2005. He has also served as an Area Seventy, counselor in a stake presidency, stake high councilor, bishop, and ward Young Men president.


  1. See Paul V. Johnson, “Forward with Hope and Faith” (commencement address, Brigham Young University–Hawaii, Dec. 11, 2020), speeches.byuh.edu.