Elder James M. Paramore emeritus general authority and veteran priesthood leader passed away

Elder James M. Paramore emeritus general authority and veteran priesthood leader dies. Elder James M. Paramore, an emeritus general authority who spent decades in a variety of Church leadership callings, died Thursday, March 17, in Murray, Utah. He was 93.

Elder Paramore served as a General Authority Seventy from 1977 to 1998 and in the Presidency of the Seventy from 1987 to 1993. He also served in the Sunday School general presidency from 1981 to 1983.

He and his wife, Sister Helen Heslington Paramore, served as mission leaders in the Belgium Brussels Mission from 1966 to 1969.

Elder Paramore’s life was defined by his willingness to serve in whatever capacity he was called to help advance the Lord’s work. In an Ensign magazine interview shortly after being called as a General Authority Seventy in 1977, he spoke of the “real joy” that was a byproduct of total commitment to the gospel.

“I’ve had that feeling that each [Church] 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,” he said. “Even though I graduated from college, the Church has been my education, and I’m most grateful.”

He was born May 6, 1928, in Salt Lake City to James F. and Ruth C. Martin Paramore.

He and Sister Paramore are the parents of six children. The Paramores worked together rearing their children while fulfilling a variety of Church callings. Young James Paramore was called to a bishopric when their oldest child was just a year old. Several Church callings followed.

Blending Church service and family, he told the Ensign, was “a way of life.”

He served as bishop of the Orem 14th Ward from 1959 to 1963 and subsequently as a high councilor in the Brigham Young University 3rd Stake. He was then called as a member of the general Church Missionary Committee and served there until called to preside over what was then known as the Franco-Belgium Mission.

Elder Paramore recalled Sister Paramore’s proficient multitasking skills when they served together in the mission field.

“She had six children to take care of, 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.”

File photo of Elder James M. Paramore with his wife, Sister Helen Paramore.
File photo of Elder James M. Paramore with his wife, Sister Helen Paramore. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

After returning home from Europe, Elder Paramore presided over the Orem Utah Sharon West Stake until 1972, when he was called to serve as a regional representative. He performed that assignment until his calling to the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Professionally, Elder Paramore worked in the engineering department at U.S. Steel for nearly a decade and taught seminary. He was also executive director of the Utah Committee on Children and Youth and worked for the Church in various positions in the Missionary Department, Internal Communications Department, Office of the Council of the 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,” said Elder Paramore.

In his final general conference talk before becoming an emeritus general authority in 1998, Elder Paramore testified of the surety of eternal life.

“The Lord Jesus Christ and His servants give hope and witness to the world that the journey we take is from our Father’s presence to earth and then home again to our Father in Heaven to live eternally,” he said. “We all bear this good news to the world. It is a supernal message of everlasting life and everlasting relationships — even eternal marriages and families. Nothing transcends its meaning, its value, its promise.

“With this knowledge and love, we can help transform hopes and dreams and help others to find eternal truths and the inward peace and security that it brings.”

Funeral arrangements for Elder Paramore are pending.

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