I am not a fan of the CES Letter. But I agree with Patrick Mason’s quote.
We need to come to a realization that some, or many, stories and accounts that have been taught as solid historical fact may indeed be inspired metaphors or allegories.
A huge problem for the Church leadership is that calls for obedience and tithe payment are based on the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith’s experiences all being literally true. If the leaders were to instead recast these events as “inspired metaphors,” then their claim to authority would slip away.
See also: Oh Say What is Truth?
– Tom Irvine