During the Savior’s earthly ministry He often taught the people in parables using allegories and symbolism. A symbolic or figurative image can convey truth and reality with greater impact to the mind than can abstract concept or words. They have the capability of conveying different levels of spiritual truth to different levels of spiritual maturity. They also stimulate the individual to search and ponder their meanings. [excerpts from Women’s Conference 1994 pg 199]
C. S. Lewis said:
“All the scriptural imagery (harps, crowns, gold, etc) is, of course, a merely symbolic attempt to express the inexpressible. People who take these symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, He meant that we were to lay eggs.” [Mere Christianity pg. 137]
All Things Given of God Typify Christ
In 2 Nephi 11:4 we read:
“Behold, my soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ; for, for this end hath the law of Moses been given; and all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of him.”
And in D&C 128:13 it says:
“…that all things may have their likeness, and that they may accord one with the other,…that which is earthly conforming to that which is heavenly.”
President Joseph F. Smith said:
“The things we experience here are typical of the things of God and the life beyond us. There is a great similarity between God’s purposes as manifested here and His purposes as carried out in His presence and Kingdom.”
Metaphors & Similies
The scriptures are rich with allegories, similes, and metaphors. The more we understand these metaphors, the more we understand the scriptures. The scriptures lead us to Christ because Christ is central to everything. For example the sun is the star at the center of our solar system and the most prominent feature. It is by far the most important source of energy for life on Earth. We could not survive without it. Is it any wonder that the “sun” is a homonyms to the “Son”, meaning The Son of God?
In Isaiah 54:10 we read:
“For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.”
Will the mountains literally depart and the hills be removed? Not likely. However the Lord is saying they will depart and be removed before His kindness would be removed from us, or the covenant of His peace be removed from us.