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Emily Belle Freeman’s advice for anyone intimidated to study the Old Testament in 2022

Emily Belle Freeman
Photo Credit: Hunter Fowler

This Q&A originally ran in the November/December issue of LDS Living.

Emily Belle Freeman is a best-selling author and cohost of “Don’t Miss This,” a Come, Follow Me study channel on YouTube. She has a deep love of the scriptures, which comes from a desire to find their application in everyday life. We recently asked about her family, her faith, and what makes her excited to study the Old Testament next year.

What does your family enjoy doing together?

We just love being together: talking on the couch in the family room, pie nights [on] Thanksgiving weekend, general conference get-togethers, Broncos games, sitting on the beach talking. It’s the small things for us. Making memories in every moment [is] what we love.

What is something people may not know about you?

I eat ice cream for breakfast. I love a good hat. I am really handy; I like to fix things. I never walk on the beach with shoes on. I love proper romance novels. And peonies: you should know I love peonies.

How do you find time for moments of stillness?

Scripture is my rest. It is how I rejuvenate. It is my respite from the heaviness and the hectic of my life. In the beginning years, I carved time into my day for it. Now my soul craves it. When life feels like too much, I sit down in my favorite chair—even if it’s just for a few short minutes—and commune with Him.

Do you have any advice for people who feel nervous about studying the Old Testament?

Get your hopes up; 2021 is going to be one of your most favorite Come, Follow Me studies so far. If you are looking for deliverance, miracles, or to know Jesus Christ better, this is your year. . . . We will take it one page at a time, and you will fall in love with the words, and the heroes, and the promises. You can prepare your heart to love this book of scripture. I dare say, it might become one of your most favorite.

What can we learn from studying the Old Testament?

One thing that I have learned about life is that we all carry hard things. Battles rage all around us, . . . but one thing has been constant: God. The Old Testament is filled with battle stories—both individual battles and army-sized battles. This is a book of stories that dives into the hard things. But it is also a book that reminds us how God shows up. I take my hardest battles into the pages of the Old Testament and find answers there. . . . I watch God show up in each of those stories, bringing His promises. And because He did so for them, I know He will for me.

▶ You may also like: A behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Emily Belle Freeman and David Butler’s ‘Don't Miss This’

What is one of your favorite stories from the Old Testament?

Every story in the Old Testament is my favorite! That is such a hard question. Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Jael, Mephibosheth, the little maid—these are heroes you can’t wait to meet. Currently, my favorites are the unnamed women in the Old Testament. Their stories are powerful to me because sometimes that is how we feel: small, unimportant, and insignificant in the great scheme of things. And yet, these unnamed heroes saved cities, hosted prophets, and converted souls. It is, and always has been, the work of strong women. I want to be one of those.

What does it mean to you to let God prevail in your life?

It means remembering my story isn’t over. It means turning to Him in the hard things and in the best things. It’s taking my shoes off when the bush catches fire. It’s daring to walk through my Red Sea moments on dry ground. . . . It’s believing that He is my saving and my exaltation. It’s knowing He will meet me where I am, as I am, but that He doesn’t intend to leave me there, that He plans to lift me up to where He is, as He is. It’s allowing Him a place in my story.

Don't Miss This in the Old Testament

Along with tens of thousands of others who don't want to miss new scripture insights, enjoy a new approach to studying the Old Testament! Emily Belle Freeman and David Butler, hosts of the popular YouTube scripture-study channel "Don't Miss This," explore the significance of one verse from most chapters of the Old Testament, showing you how to dig deep and find personal application of God's word. Paired with short, devotional-style lessons, their love for the scriptures and thought-provoking questions will lead you to a more meaningful study of the Old Testament and vibrant discussions with your family and friends.

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