To use something as a likeness or image of another thing. Symbolism in the scriptures uses a familiar object, event, or circumstance to represent a principle or teaching of the gospel. For example, the Book of Mormon prophet Alma used a seed to represent the word of God (Alma 32).
Prophets throughout the scriptures used symbolism to teach about Jesus Christ. Some of these symbols include ceremonies and ordinances (Moses 6:63), sacrifices (Heb. 9:11–15; Moses 5:7–8), the sacrament (JST, Mark 14:20–24 [Appendix]; Luke 22:13–20), and baptism (Rom. 6:1–6; D&C 128:12–13). Many biblical names are symbolic. The Old Testament tabernacle ceremony and the law of Moses represented eternal truths (Heb. 8–10; Mosiah 13:29–32; Alma 25:15; Hel. 8:14–15). For other examples, see Matthew 5:13–16; John 3:14–15; Jacob 4:5; Alma 37:38–45.