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President Camille N. Johnson Says Personal Revelation Guides Her in Family, Career and Church Responsibilities

Incoming General Relief Society President begins serving August 1

Primary General President Camille N. Johnson participates in a presentation, titled “Supporting Children and Youth: A Broadcast for Parents and Leaders,” which was broadcast on Sunday, June 6, 2021. President Johnson became the Relief Society General President on August 1, 2022.© 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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By Sydney Walker, Church News

Camille Johnson
Camille Johnson
Incoming Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson, smiles with her husband, Brother Douglas R. Johnson, in Salt Lake City in June 2020. Photo by Mikki Platt, courtesy of Church News. All rights reserved.

As President Camille N. Johnson looks back on her legal education and career path, she can clearly see how the Spirit guided her as she balanced family, work and Church responsibilities.

What made everything fall into place, she said, was that she and her husband, Brother Douglas R. Johnson, had a common objective: returning to Heavenly Father as a family.

“For us, that path was both of us in the workplace, both of us leaning into our responsibilities to provide and nurture,” President Johnson said in a recent Church News podcast. “And for us, it worked, and it was the right thing to do. Did I have moments of uncertainty? Of course, we all do. Reflecting back on it, it was the right thing for my family. I feel confident that that’s exactly what the Lord had in mind for me.”

President Johnson, who has served as Primary general president since April 2021, will begin service as Relief Society General President on August 1. For nearly 30 years, she practiced law, ​​engaged primarily as a litigator. She learned how to problem solve and be a good listener, two of many skills that have proven valuable as she now participates in the Church’s general councils.

While always keeping family as her priority, President Johnson said seeking personal revelation and stepping forward in faith has allowed the Savior to author her story.

Following Promptings

As a teenager, President Johnson didn’t know what she should study or if she should pursue a professional path. Given her personality, she wanted a plan. But that plan didn’t come all at once — it unfolded as she stepped forward in faith.

“I had the opportunity to go to school, I had the ambition to learn, and I felt prompted. In the moment, I’m not sure I knew it was the Spirit prompting me. Looking back now, I’m certain it was,” she said.

After graduating with a degree in English, she accepted a job in Washington D.C. working for a congressman. This job led her to taking the LSAT. She enrolled in law school and met her husband during her first year. They were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. While he had his degree and was working, President Johnson continued studying and began working as a lawyer after earning her law degree. During the course of her professional life, she had three sons.

Camille Johnson
Camille Johnson
Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson, second from right, and her husband, Douglas R. Johnson, right, are pictured with their family. Photo courtesy of President Camille N. Johnson, courtesy of Church News. All rights reserved.

President Johnson took a leave of absence from her work in 2016 when she and her husband were called to be mission leaders in the Peru Arequipa Mission. She returned to practicing law in 2019 and put it on hold to first serve as Primary General President and now the Relief Society General President.

Though she would have liked to have her life plan spelled out for her, President Johnson said, “I discovered that I was better off just turning it over to the Lord, and taking steps in faith every single day, trying to do what I thought was the best for myself, for my family. And as it played out, my life plan rolled out as I lived it.”

President Johnson remembers gathering her young family around a master calendar after Sunday dinners and making plans for the week. “Sometimes it was like that circus performer that has plates spinning and the rings spinning on their feet,” she said with a laugh.

“As I reflect on it … those were the most joyful moments, when we were just in the mix of life, in the middle of life, loving our children, trying to address their needs, defending them fiercely, because that’s what mothers do. Those were very, very happy times for me. And I did everything I knew to do, that I could think of to do, to make sure that my children, my boys, knew that they were the center and core of everything, of my everything.”

Camille Johnson
Camille Johnson
In this photo shared on President Camille N. Johnson’s Facebook page in December 2021, she is pictured with her four grandchildren. Photo courtesy of President Camille N. Johnson, courtesy of Church News.All rights reserved.

Stepping Forward in Faith

To those trying to figure out their own life plan, President Johnson offered this encouragement: “Keep acting in faith, knowing that the Spirit is with you.”

Covenant-keeping Latter-day Saints are blessed with the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, she said. “I think sometimes we’re feeling the Spirit and we don’t recognize that that’s what it is. We expect some sort of grand manifestation of the Spirit, and instead it’s just simple assurance that we feel day to day.”

Be cognizant of when the Spirit is absent and what might have happened to cause the Spirit to leave; then stop doing those things, she added. “Otherwise, live in the spirit, act in the Spirit, act on promptings. Any prompting to do good we know is coming from the Holy Ghost. …

“Keep listening, and each day, take a step forward in faith. You can do it.”

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