News Release

Meet Elder Paul and Sister Lisa Pieper

Get Acquainted with new 2nd Counselor in the Africa Central Area, Elder Paul B. Pieper, and his sweetheart, Lisa

On 1 August 2023, Elder Paul B. Pieper began service as 2nd Counselor in the Africa Central Area Presidency.  He joins Area President Ian Ardern, and 1st Counselor Elder Thierry Mutombo in the Area Presidency.  This is the 4th International Assignment for Elder Pieper and his first in Africa.

The Life Changing Phone Call

In February of 2005, Elder and Sister Pieper were presiding over the Russia St. Petersburg Mission when a call came into the mission office.  It was President Gordon B. Hinckley.  In a short conversation, he told Mission President Pieper that he was calling to extend a call for Paul to serve as a General Authority Seventy.  President Hinckley informed him that he would serve as a General Authority Seventy of the Church until he turned 70.  On that February day Paul B. Pieper was 47 years old.  To that point, and since, the Pieper’s lives have exemplified faith, testimony, hard work, diligence, and hearts tuned to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.   

The Early Years

Paul Bowen Pieper was born 7 October 1957 to Dee and Norma Pieper in Pocatello, Idaho in the United States.  Paul was the 5th of eleven children, ten of whom lived into maturity.  Paul was raised on a 110 acre dairy farm which was purchased by his parents primarily to teach six boys and four girls to work hard, to be responsible, and to be resourceful.  The 12 Piepers lived in a small home, but the home was full of love and lessons. Days started early for the Piepers with cows to be milked and chores to be done before and after school.  When the Pieper children were not working on their own farm, they were often harvesting potatoes or moving sprinkler pipe on neighboring farms to earn money.  Education and Faith were attributes of the Pieper home.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ was taught and lived.  Paul’s parents talked of a big world outside of Idaho, a world which at an early age Paul felt drawn to.  In those early, formative years, Paul knew that his life’s journey would take him well beyond his small Idaho home town.

Melissa (Lisa) Tuttle Pieper’s formative years were similar to Paul’s in some aspects, and dramatically different in others.  Lisa’s father, A Theodore Tuttle, was called as a General Authority of the church before Lisa’s birth.  By the time she graduated from high school in Ecuador, she had lived more than 1/3 of her life outside of the United States.  Her young life, like her future husband’s, was full of love and learning from two devoted parents who loved each other, who loved their children, and who loved the Lord.  While living in other countries where the Church was just taking root, Lisa developed a fondness for members of the church who were planting the gospel in new areas.

Upon Paul’s return from the Mexico Monterey Mission where he served as a full time missionary from 1976 to 1978, Paul met Lisa in their ward at BYU.  They found instant affinities.  Both spoke Spanish, both had lived in Latin American countries, and both desired to live outside of the United States with their children, and both were faithful members of the Church.  Paul and Lisa were married for time and eternity in the Salt Lake Temple on November 7, 1979.  Lisa’s father, Elder Tuttle, performed the Sealing Ordinance.

A New Family and Foundational Learning

Paul and Lisa not only followed the direction of prophets to find an eternal companion and marry, but also to bring children into the world, to “multiply and replenish the earth.”  (Moses 5:2).  In 1980, their first child, Nathan was born.  In subsequent years Marné, Christopher, Kaitlyn, Dora and Clarissa were born.  The Pieper family has grown from 2 to 34 including 5 children in law and 21 grandchildren.

During their college years and then law school the Piepers were a very busy family.  School, work, and a young and growing family, consumed most of their waking hours.  Paul and Lisa never let their busyness crowd out putting their faith into action through service.  At 23 Paul was called to serve in a Bishopric and since then has responded to every call to serve and to lead.

After completing Law School at the University of Utah, a Washington DC (USA) based law firm hired Paul so the family moved.  That firm had a legal specialty in International Law.  Paul’s legal work in international trade created a bridge from practicing law to obtaining a job in International Economic Development Consulting.  A long business trip to Kazakhstan resulted in Paul feeling that a move there was in the family’s near future.  He proposed the idea to Lisa, who initially rejected the idea of living in a country with language new to them, and no formal church structure.  While considering the move, the Holy Ghost gave clear impression to Lisa that the family should be in Kazakhstan.  This significant move was presented by Paul and Lisa to their children.  A family fast with prayer and seeking the Lord’s direction resulted in all of the Pieper’s supporting the move.  The family became anchors of the church in a land with no church organization and no legal standing.  Over the next five years, 50 friends of the Piepers and the few other church members in Kazakhstan were introduced to and joined the church.  The Church obtained legal status and a branch was established.  Faith followed by miracles were the consistent experience of the Piepers in Kazakhstan. 

After five years of living and working and planting the Church in Kazakhstan,  Paul and Lisa were called in 2004 as Mission Leaders for the Russia St. Petersburg Mission.  Paul left his job and the family moved to Russia.  They were less than a year into their leadership of that mission when President Hinckley called with a new assignment from the Lord.  As was their constant practice, the Piepers said, “yes!” and followed their commitment with action.  For 18.5 years, they have gone wherever the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve have asked them to go and have done whatever they have been asked to do.

General Authority Service

Elder Pieper’s service as a General Authority  Seventy has included:

  • Europe East Area Presidency.   Lived in Moscow, Russia.  2005 to 2009
  • Church Headquarters – Family History and Curriculum.  Assistant Executive Director in Family History.  Executive Director of Priesthood and Family Department.  Also supervised the church in the Middle East.  Lived in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.  2009 to 2014.
  • Mexico Area.  Area Presidency including Area President.   Lived in Mexico City, Mexico.  2014 to 2018. 
  • Southwest United States Area Presidency and Area President.  Also served in Correlation Department.  Lived in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.  2018 to 2023.   
  • Africa Central Area.  Counselor in Area Presidency.  Live in Nairobi, Kenya.  2023 forward.

Africa Central Area Presidency is the 4th International assignment for Elder and Sister Pieper.  It is their first experience living in Africa.  Regarding living in Africa, Sister Pieper said, “When looking at a map of Africa you see Dar es Salaam, Kampala, Addis Abbaba.  Those places look so interesting.  And, now, here we are.  We’ve already been in Kinshasa, Kananga, and Kigali.  It is so amazing  that we get to be in Africa and go to these places, meet and serve and get to know these wonderful people.”

And the church members of the Africa Central Area, as they come to know Elder and Sister Pieper, will be grateful to have these wonderful servants of the Lord serving with them in Africa.

Sermons by Elder Paul B. Pieper

All Must Take upon Them the Name Given of the Father (

To Hold Sacred (

The First Generation (

BYU: Building a Community of Trust and Respect | BYU Speeches

Revealed Realities of Mortality (

A Testimony Gained at Sunrise (

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