News Release

Elder Paul B. Pieper Ministers in Uganda

Elder Paul B. Pieper of the Africa Central Area Presidency spends a busy, impactful weekend in Uganda

In late January, Elder Paul B. Pieper, Second Counselor in the Africa Central Area Presidency, had a busy and impactful weekend in Kampala, Uganda.  During the weekend, Elder Pieper presided at the semi- annual Stake Conference of the Kampala North Stake.  The Stake Conference was followed by a Stake Leadership Meeting which was also led by Elder Pieper.  In addition to the Stake Conference meetings, Elder Pieper and other Church leaders met with Young Single Adults, students, and with faculty at Makerere University.

The Kampala Uganda North Stake was formed on January 17, 2010, 19 years after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established in Uganda.  In 1991 one branch existed in Uganda with 99 members.  Today, over 21,000 members of the church make up 3 stakes and 3 districts totaling 38 congregations across Uganda.   Elder Pieper focused on the Holy Ghost in his sermon to several hundred Ugandan Saints.  He said, “Every day getting warnings from the Holy Ghost is as important as getting directions from the Holy Ghost.” Uganda Kampala Mission President Philip J. Mathemera also spoke at the conference.  He taught about the doctrine of marriage.  “Marriage is for eternity,” he counseled, “and as you prepare to get married, take time to prepare and study your partner such that when you decide to be companions for life, you don’t have to think about divorce.  Trust your companion and counsel with each other.”  Over 850 members from the six congregations of the Kampala Uganda North Stake participated in the Stake Conference.

Shortly after the conclusion of the general session of Stake Conference, a meeting for church leaders in the stake was held.  108 stake, ward and branch leaders were instructed by Elder Pieper and others.  Stake President Fredrick A. Kyambadde emphasized the importance of and processes of leadership councils.   “Councils are a place where we can receive inspiration.  As we discuss, inspiration can come to all members participating in council if we give chance to each one of them.  People should be allowed to discuss what they have felt, give their opinions and suggestions for particular challenges or given assignments.”  Amplifying effective leadership councils, Elder Pieper advised, “Actively listen.  You will see a lot in a person that you could have missed.  It is a skill set.”

A few days prior to the Stake Conference, Elder Pieper and Area Seventy Elder Fredrick Kamya met with faculty and students at the Makerere University.  The main discussion topic at the University was how the learning environment could be improved.  In a collaborative discussion between young single adult students, faculty representatives, and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Pieper noted that the Church places a very high value on education.  He quoted revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith, “the Glory of God is intelligence” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:36),  and then said, “in the church we encourage our members to take educations as a strong tool and path which can change their lives through having knowledge.  God wants us to grow in knowledge because through that knowledge we do what our Father in Heaven requires us to do.”  He counseled that the reason teachers and lecturers teach is because they want learners to grow. 

Elder Kamya shared with the students and faculty members a brief history of the Church and an overview of its values and principles.  He spoke of the Word of Wisdom – the Lord’s law of health, and of the health, mental and spiritual benefits of avoiding dangerous substances such as alcohol and cigarettes.  He also emphasized the spiritually purifying benefit of the law of chastity which encourages sexual morality before and during marriage.

Gerald Walulya, a journalism professor at the school, who was representing the Dean of Students, welcomed the Church’s cooperation with the University and pledged to strengthen the relationship between the church and the university.

Presiding at and speaking at a Stake Conference, and at a Stake Leadership Meeting, and participating in the discussion of mutual interest at Makerere University made for busy and beneficial days in Uganda during Elder Pieper’s travels.

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