“The Song of Solomon is Biblical Trash”

Elder Bruce R. McConkie offered his opinion about the worth of some of the books of the Bible:

In the Old Testament, Genesis is the book of books – a divine account whose worth cannot be measured.  Exodus and Deuteronomy are also of surpassing worth.  Numbers, Joshua, Judges, the Samuels, the Kings, and the Chronicles are all essential history.  Leviticus has no especial application to us.  Ruth and Esther are lovely stories.  The Psalms contain marvelous poetry and the portions that are messianic and that speak of the last days and the Second Coming are of great import.  Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Lamentations are interesting books; Job is for people who like the book of Job; and the Song of Solomon is biblical trash – it is not inspired writing.  …all the rest of the prophets – Isaiah above them all – each in his place and order set forth the doctrinal and prophetic word that must be studied in depth.

(“The Bible – A Sealed Book,” Church Education Symposium, BYU, 17 August 1984)

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The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is Figurative

As to the Fall itself we are told that the Lord planted “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” in the midst of the garden. (Moses 3:9.) To Adam and Eve the command came: “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Moses 3:16–17.) Again the account is speaking figuratively. What is meant by partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is that our first parents complied with whatever laws were involved so that their bodies would change from their state of paradisiacal immortality to a state of natural mortality.

(Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, June, 1982)