I don’t have a lot of “favorite scriptures.” The occasional verses so designated generally become proof texts that end up trying to support whatever somebody happens to believe. In fact, I would be hard pressed to come up with a favorite verse in the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, or the Pearl of Great Price. But I do have a favorite scripture in the Doctrine & Covenants. Four of them, actually. They go like this:
D&C 27:2: For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory—remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins.
D&C 60:5: But, verily, I will speak unto you concerning your journey unto the land from whence you came. Let there be a craft made, or bought, as seemeth you good, it mattereth not unto me, and take your journey speedily for the place which is called St. Louis.
D&C 61: 21-22: Wherefore, let those concerning whom I have spoken, that should take their journey in haste—again I say unto you, let them take their journey in haste. And it mattereth not unto me, after a little, if it so be that they fill their mission, whether they go by water or by land; let this be as it is made known unto them according to their judgments hereafter.
D&C 80:1-3: Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Stephen Burnett: Go ye, go ye into the world and preach the gospel to every creature that cometh under the sound of your voice. And inasmuch as you desire a companion, I will give unto you my servant Eden Smith. Wherefore, go ye and preach my gospel, whether to the north or to the south, to the east or to the west, it mattereth not, for ye cannot go amiss.
I call these verses “The Mattereth Nots,” and I think that they convey a tremendously important spiritual message—namely, that we are called upon to make a whole lot of decisions in this life that don’t matter much to God. And, for some reason, God felt strongly about the bare fact of this not-mattering that He announced in scripture that (in these cases at least) He just doesn’t care.
Some things do matter to God, of course. These verses don’t portray Him as apathetic. But it’s the big end results that he seems to care about—preferring to leave the details and methods up to us. I read this pretty broadly. I tend to see God as a big-picture guy—someone who has provided a fairly basic framework for what constitutes a “good life” and has endowed people with enough intelligence and agency for them to figure out how to live one.
We also have some evidence that God thinks only low-level assistants need to be told what to do all (or even most) of the time (see D&C 58:26-28). You can train people to serve in this way, fairly easily, through a series of explicit instructions tied to immediate rewards and punishments. It is the same way that you train a tiger to jump through a hoop or a chicken to play tic-tac-toe. Ultimately, though, our Heavenly Father is not in the business of training servants.
I like to think that this is why I have never actually gotten an answer to any request that God tell me what I ought to do. Being omniscient and all, for example, God could have helped me out 25 years ago when I had to make the hardest decision of my life: the choice between law school and graduate school right after I graduated from His University in the early 1990s. He knew which one would make me happier, and he knew the end points of the path each one would start me on. But did he tell me or even give me a nudge in one direction or another? Nope. Nada. Complete silence on all frequencies.
But in that silence, I imagined that I heard the faintest hint of a whisper of a scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants: “Do what you will, my child. It mattereth not to me. This is why I gave you a brain in the first place, and, since you’ve got to learn how to use it eventually, you might as well start today.”
And at least for me, it has always been thus.