Bible stories that Mother Young taught to Brigham when he was a child 
may be the stumbling block of those who read the scriptures with a 
traditional approach.  But Brigham's word on this matter doesn't seem to 
be exactly as we might have been led to believe.  In context, his 
disparaging remarks about literal interpretation of scriptures appear to 
be very specific, pointed at distancing mormon theology from traditional 
Christian views, not necessarily addressing as broad a topic as 
considering the literal interpretation of scripture.

"Some of you may doubt the truth of what I now say, and argue that the 
Lord could teach him. This is a mistake. The Lord could not have taught 
him in any other way than in the way in which He did teach him. You 
believe Adam was made of the dust of this earth. This I do not believe, 
though it is supposed that it is so written in the Bible; but it is not, 
to my understanding. You can write that information to the States, if 
you please—that I have publicly declared that I do not believe that 
portion of the Bible as the Christian world do. I never did, and I never 
want to. What is the reason I do not? Because I have come to 
understanding, and banished from my mind all the  stories my mother 
taught me when I was a child.

"But suppose Adam was made and fashioned the same as we make adobies; if 
he had never drunk of the bitter cup, the Lord might have talked to him 
to this day, and he would have continued as he was to all eternity, 
never advancing one particle in the school of intelligence. This idea 
opens up a field of light to the intelligent mind. How can you know 
truth but by its opposite, or light but by its opposite? The absence of 
light is darkness. How can sweetness be known but by its opposite, 
bitter? It is by this means that we obtain all intelligence. This is 
"Mormonism," and it is founded upon all truth, upon every principle of 
true philosophy; in fact the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only true 
philosophy in existence. There is not one particle of it that is not 
strictly philosophical, though you and I may not understand all the 
fulness of it, but we will if we continue faithful."


 (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book 
Depot, 1854-1886], 2: 7.)

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