Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
James M. Paramore James Martin Paramore


1928 - living


  • Born 1928 Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Baptized as a child; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth; Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
  • Married Hellen Heslington; six children
  • Bishop, Stake President, Regional Representative
  • President of the Franco-Belgium Mission
  • First Quorum of the Seventy 1977-1998
  • Presidency of the Seventy 1987-1998
  • Named Emeritus General Authority 1998

    This biographical sketch adapted from: "News of the Church: Elder James M. Paramore of the First Quorum of the Seventy" in The Ensign, May 1977, page 101 on the occasion of Elder Paramore's call to the First Quorum.
    “Real joy is giving total commitment to the gospel,” says Elder James M. Paramore, and quotes one of his favorite scriptures: “Men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness. For the power is in them. …” (D&C 58:27-28)

    “I’ve seen people turn around on the street to look after missionaries who had that kind of total commitment—they could feel it in them. President Kimball has accomplished the work of many lives because he’s totally committed.”

    And he bears testimony from his own life to the joy of commitment. “I’ve been blessed to accept and understand that every calling requires a total commitment. I think it’s a gift of the Spirit, a gift that anyone can have who is willing to pay the price of preparation and love.” In the more than fifty callings he has had since his mission, he said, “I’ve had that feeling that each assignment was the right one and important, and that a total commitment to those assignments always brings peace, real joy, and personal and spiritual growth. Even though I graduated from college, the Church has been my education, and I’m most grateful—most grateful.”

    He tells of being released as a bishop and called as a home teacher. One of the families had a nonmember father, and he remembers seeing that man baptized. “It was as great a joy as being a bishop—and that’s what the Lord would have us understand: it really is how you serve and not where.”

    And he has served across a wide range of callings, always with the support of his family. Born 6 May 1928, he was called to a bishopric when his oldest child was about a year and a half old, so the children grew up with Church service and social activities as “a way of life.” He was counselor in two bishoprics, Provo Sunset Second and Orem Fourteenth Wards, then served from 1959-63 as bishop of Orem Fourteenth Ward, and subsequently as a high councilor in the Brigham Young University Third Stake. He was then called as a member of the general Church Missionary Committee and served there until he was called to preside over the Franco-Belgium Mission; His wife, Helen Heslington Paramore, gave birth to their sixth child, Paul, six weeks after arriving in the mission field. “She had six children to take care of,” he stressed, “but she attended conferences with me and the children—week after week, even when she couldn’t understand the language—supervised the auxiliaries, and learned sufficient French so that she could conduct the auxiliary meetings required. She was a real inspiration to the people.”

    The children also participated, helping the missionaries with the printing, office work, and gardening. They used to sing as a family, and Elder Paramore’s duets with his three-year-old daughter, Lisa, were especially heartwarming for the members.

    After they returned, he taught the deacons quorum in the Orem 29th Ward, and then presided over the Orem Utah Sharon West Stake until 1972, when he was called to serve as a Regional Representative of the Twelve. He was serving as a Regional Representative to the Roy Region in Utah at the time of his calling to the First Quorum of the Seventy.

    Professionally he worked in the engineering department at U.S. Steel for nearly eight years, as a seminary teacher, executive director of the Utah Committee on Children and Youth, and for the Church in various positions in the Missionary Department, Internal Communications Department, Office of the Council of Twelve, and the Church Leadership Training Executive Committee. “Each of these work and Church assignments has been a blessing and preparation in my life, and I’m grateful for all the fine people who have trained and helped me,” says Elder Paramore.

    The calling was “overwhelming” to his family, he said, “because of its magnitude.” Sister Paramore had had a premonition of the calling several weeks earlier but had “driven it out of her mind.” Elder Paramore himself had had a similar experience earlier: two weeks before he was called as Executive Secretary to the Council of the Twelve, he had dreamed of sitting by President Kimball’s side—a dream so vivid that it woke him, though he dismissed it from his mind. It came again the same night, and he found it literally fulfilled when he accepted the calling. “I felt so inadequate—I didn’t have the technical skills necessary for it—that it was really a blessing that I had received that witness beforehand.” Those past seven years of weekly contact with the Brethren give added emphasis to his commitment to serve. And it’s a total commitment.


    The following appeared in the August 1987 edition of the Ensign on page 74.

    The First Presidency has announced the calling of Elder James M. Paramore as a member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy.

    Elder James M. Paramore has been a General Authority since 2 April 1977.

    Elder Paramore will replace Elder Jack H. Goaslind, who is being assigned as Area President for the British Isles/Africa Area.

    Elder Paramore has served ten years as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He is currently President of the Utah North Area and Managing Director of the Curriculum Department.

    Prior to his call as a General Authority, he served as executive secretary to the Quorum of the Twelve. He has also served as regional representative, as a member of the General Church Missionary Committee, and as president of the Belgium Brussels Mission. He has also served as stake president, bishop, and high councilor.

    Before entering full-time Church service, Elder Paramore had worked in the engineering department of a steel-manufacturing company, as a seminary teacher, and as executive director of the Utah Committee on Children and Youth.

    He was employed by the church in various positions in the Missionary Department, Internal Communications Department, Office of the Council of Twelve, and the Church Leadership Training Executive Committee.

    “Each of these work and Church assignments has been a blessing and preparation in my life, and I’m grateful for all the fine people who have trained and helped me,” says Elder Paramore.

    A graduate of Brigham Young University, Elder Paramore and his wife, Helen Heslington Paramore, are parents of six children.


    On October 3, 1998, President Paramore was named an Emeritus General Authority.

Bibliography
    "News of the Church: Elder James M. Paramore...," Ensign, May 1977, p.101 (principal source)
    “News of the Church,” Ensign, Aug. 1987, p.74
    “The Sustaining of Church Officers,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, p.21
    2005 Church Almanac, p.77

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