With over 90,000 subscribers, the “Don’t Miss This” YouTube channel has helped families and individuals worldwide apply the teachings of the new Come, Follow Me curriculum.
On Saturday, David Butler and Emily Belle Freeman participated in a live Q&A at the Deseret Book flagship store in Salt Lake City.
The Q&A is part of the LDS Living Book Club. The LDS Living Book Club features a new book each month with reading reminders on Instagram as well as a live Q&A with the author. For the month of January, the LDS Living Book Club is studying the new Don’t Miss This 2020 Journal.
Portions of Butler's and Freeman's responses at the live Q&A are highlighted below or you can watch the full video.
What inspired you to start, “Don’t Miss This?” (:22)
Both Freeman and Butler find fulfillment in teaching. The idea for "Don't Miss This" started as the two were getting questions from a handful of people about what their plans were to teach Come, Follow Me in their homes. The two decided to record a sample lesson on YouTube, and the videos took off with popularity.
“Give us an avenue to teach scriptures in and we will take it every time,” Freeman said at the live Q&A.
Will the Lord carry you through the Old Testament and the Doctrine and Covenants? (4:55)
One of the attendees at the Q&A asked if Freeman and Butler plan to continue to do the series through the Doctrine and Covenants and the Old Testament. They currently plan to do so and are particularly excited about the Old Testament.
“We love teaching the Old Testament. We love it,” said Freeman. “We will hang in there because we cannot wait to take you through the Old Testament. It’s going to be so good.”
What inspired you to create the “Don’t Miss This” study journal? (5:47)
So when Butler and Freeman started “Don’t Miss This,” they incorporated a study page into each weekly segment. As viewers started using the worksheets, they got comments about how people would sometimes lose track of pages or their printers were out of ink.
But what really inspired the idea to create a single journal was a conversation with Elaine Dalton, former Young Women general president, when she asked to have all of the papers bound together for her.
Butler and Freeman then partnered with Deseret Book Company to create and publish the journals.
Each chapter includes a notes page for listeners to record the “great things” that God is doing in the Book of Mormon and the "great things" that are happening in the listener’s life (see Alma 37:6).
“We did that one year as seminary teachers and I have never seen God’s hand more prevalent in my life than I did that year,” Butler said. “I just learned how to watch for Him because I watched for it in scripture and I could see it in my own story also.”
Freeman talked about how she hopes listeners find their own inspiration as they study the curriculum.
“We hope every single book looks different on this page because that’s how the Spirit works and that’s how the Come, Follow Me program should be working,” she said.
What is your favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon? (12:47)
Freeman and Butler both shared their favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. Freeman referenced 1 Nephi 17 and Ether 2-4. She shared how she relates to those accounts because of the wilderness experiences she’s faced in her own life.
Butler shared 3 Nephi 17, specifically the passage where Jesus Christ asks for the sick and the afflicted to be brought to Him. Butler notes that in the text surrounding this chapter, the Savior talks about the gathering of Israel. But in this chapter, He shows what it actually looks like by bringing the sick and the afflicted unto Him, one by one.
What’s some advice to us to help the youth to want to read the Book of Mormon and want to gain a testimony? (15:26)
Freeman shared that she tries to make sure every lesson has a “So what?” moment, or in other words, a moment that helps the youth realize the relevance of the content to their lives.
Butler agreed on making things relevant for the youth, as well as helping the youth make a connection with God through the scriptures.
Do you still teach? (19:34)
Freeman teaches both seminary and institute. Butler teaches institute at Utah Valley University.
Do you ever sleep and how do you decide what we’re going to do in the day? (19:57)
Freeman noted that she often has listeners tell her that they are praying for her, and she feels the power of those prayers.
“I feel that strength that is coming from that and I feel my capacity being increased,” Freeman said, acknowledging her gratitude for that strength and those prayers.
Because both of them love teaching, it feels less like work and more like a hobby. However, they noted that they have made "Don't Miss This" a priority in their lives right now.
“You have to say ‘no’ sometimes in order to say ‘yes’ to something else,” Butler said.
Freeman noted that this is also how she approaches her personal gospel study. She focuses on the Come, Follow Me curriculum on Sunday. On Thursdays she follows President Nelson’s challenge to study women and the priesthood as well as the Joseph Smith—History. Then she reads the Book of Mormon each day. She said that segmenting her study helps her to not feel overwhelmed.
Butler emphasized that the goal is to help us create a connection with God.
“You aren’t punished for not doing everything,” Butler said. “You are blessed for what you actually do.”
How did you meet? (26:40)
Butler once invited his seminary class to follow the daily trek of Latter-day Saint pioneer John Moyle. Moyle is known for carving “Holiness to the Lord, House of the Lord,” on the exterior of the Salt Lake Temple despite having an amputated leg.
In that seminary class sat Freeman’s son, Josh.
One night, Freeman had an idea to walk to the temple, too. She invited her son and a room full of people to do it with her. That’s when Josh suggested Freeman reach out to his seminary teacher.
The two ended up doing the walk from the Draper Utah Temple to the Salt Lake Temple with a group of about 85 people. On the walk they discovered their shared love of the scriptures and have collaborated on a number of products ever since.
How did you learn to love the scriptures? (32:32)
When Butler started applying the scriptures to his own life, he began feeling a connection with the text.
“Scriptures got way more powerful for me when I started watching how God interacts with the people in the scriptures, and then anticipating and watching for that same God in my life,” Butler said.
For Freeman, her love of the scriptures grew as she felt God was speaking to her through the verses.
“The more I saw it happen, the more I wanted to open up the pages so it could happen again,” Freeman said.
Did your love of scriptures come from seminary? (35:20)
Seminary taught Freeman how to read the scriptures, which has blessed her for the rest of her life. But her love for the scriptures came as she found connection with God later on.
For Butler, a seminary teacher helped him to relate the scriptures to his own life.
“The scriptures felt like they happened so long ago and he shortened the gap for me,” Butler said.
Make sure to join the LDS Living Book Club on Instagram for more!
Perfect for your family study and for individuals of all ages, the Don’t Miss This Study Journal, created in partnership with LDS Living, begins with a weekly study schedule and is filled with fun and interactive study guide sheets that complement the "Don’t Miss This" weekly YouTube videos. Initial preorders for this must-have journal are sold out! We are now taking orders for delivery in late January. Reserve your copy today!