I have come to accept lots of things within the teachings of Mormonism as symbolic and figurative, things that most members see as literal, but, at the heart of it all, my faith is very literal and focused on the concept of the relationship between God, as a real Father, Jesus, as a real Son, and all of us, as real children - that, "I am a child of God, and He has sent me here," and that, "As God is, (hu)man(s) may become." For me, that foundation is literal - even, again, as I have come to view many aspects of our "details" about that foundation as symbolic or best approximations.
I believe one of the geniuses of profound prophetic vision is the ability to take the literal and the symbolic and meld them into a cohesive narrative that allows individuals to see either (or even both) within that narrative. I think Jesus was the Master at that - with the Biblical parables as a great example, but Joseph Smith also was phenomenal at it - with his repositioning of Heaven within the temple, the placing of Eden in his own land, etc. Literal and/or figurative, those narratives have great power - and they all are centered on the literalness of our intimate relationship as a human family.
I really don't care all that much about how individuals see the "details", but the literalness of the foundation itself is very important to me.
chroniclesofwyler: August 27
10 hours ago