Ether 12:41 And now, I would commend you to aseek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth brecord of them, may be and abide in you forever.

Derek Steven Pierce | Laura Lee Pierce | Alane Pierce Stutzman | Brian Stutzman

The Testimony of Derek Steven Pierce

When I was a teenager, I heard Bobby Putnam say that he knew that Jesus would have attoned for his sins even if he was the only one with sins.  That impressed me very much and I wanted to know and feel that He would have sacrificed His life just for me.  I struggled for a long time trying to feel that personal connection.  It wasn’t until I was at BYU for my first year of college and I was trying to figure out how to pay for my second semester of school.  I had to get a school loan and the only way I could qualify was to have someone cosign.  Lance helped me by putting his good name and his credit on the line.  He told me at the time, just make sure you pay it back.  His help allowed me to do something that I couldn’t have done on my own.  I just knew that my older brother would do just about anything for me, maybe even die for me.  It dawned on me, as I thought of my brothers love and devotion, that just as Lance would do anything for me, my older brother, Jesus Christ, would too.   I knew that He had given His life to help me and everyone else.  I have thought many times on the pain that my sins must have caused Him and I have tried very hard to make sure His sacrifice was not in vain.

In my first area on my mission we had a fast and testimony meeting with the one family in the area that were members of the church.  Everyone was bearing their testimony and little six-year old Wendy said to me, I want to bear my testimony but I don’t know what to say.  I told her to say what was in her heart.  She stood up in front of that small gathering and looked each one of us in the eye and said you know that Jesus Loves you.  The Spirit bore witness to all that He did love each one of us.  D&C 6:32.

I had a long hard mission.  It didn’t turn out at all the way that I expected it would.  I struggled with my own expectations and the weight of the perceived expectations of others.  I learned mostly through the struggle of failure how to turn to Heavenly Father for help.  I learned that I could depend on Him, even when I couldn’t depend on anyone else.  I learned that He was there and that He listened to my prayers and that He cared what happened to me.   I learned that he was not playing games with our lives but that He was giving me the experiences that I needed and because of those experiences I have been able to empathize with others.  I learned that all things happen for a reason, even if we don’t understand at the time why we have to go through trials.  At the end of my mission, I reflected on all of the things that I didn’t accomplish and on all of the things that I could have done better; but one thing was clear in my mind as the Spirit whispered peace to my soul, that I had tried my hardest and that I never gave up.  I knew that my mission had been accepted of the Lord and that if I had died at that time that I could stand before Jesus Christ with my head high. 

At Grandpa Dale’s Funeral I was very touched with the thoughts of who had come to collect him at his death.  As we talked about it at his funeral, especially as Brooke told of her dream of Nancy coming to collect Grandpa, there was no doubt in my mind of that that joyful reunion had occurred.  As we stood by the grave, the spirit whispered again and I realized that not only did he get to see his family but that he got to see the Savior and have his interview.  Later that day as Robin and I sat in the Celestial room of the temple I felt Spirit whisper again that his life had been accepted of the Lord.  For 93 years, he lived the gospel and bore his testimony through his acts and his love.  I know that my Grandfather, Dale Lerwill Pierce, has received the gift of exaltation and he can stand with the prophets of old having won the race.   I hope and pray that we can all live our life to be worthy to be where he is. 

I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is truly wonderful because His ultimate desire is to please Heavenly Father and to make us happy.  He not only gave His whole life in service He has shown the way for us to become truly happy.   At the unveiling of Nana’s refurbished house to see the joy on Nana’s face and the face of Melanie and all her children – the overwhelment of such a huge gift.  Then to look on the faces of those who gave the gifts of time and money.  I asked Ray Bennett who is their home teacher and one of the main reasons why the renovation was finished, if it was worth it and he replied,  “Oh yeah!”  It just makes me think of what the Savior is recorded as saying in Matthew chapter 25, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  I truly believe that he feels that way.  He’s the one that taught that you find yourself by loosing yourself in the service of others.  I know that he sees the service we give others and it makes him so happy.

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