While some outsiders lump Mormons in with Evangelicals as thoroughgoing biblical literalists and inerrantists, there is actually a range of opinion on this subject within the LDS community. For the not so literal view, check out a recent two-part guest post at Mormon Organon by David H. Bailey, an accomplished LDS mathematician. In Latter-day Biblical Literalism, Part One, he disagrees with those who hold that the LDS Eighth Article of Faith ("We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly") requires strong biblical literalism.
I personally cannot see how such claims can be defended in light of modern scholarship, or even from a careful reading of the text itself. A more flexible approach is required, one that recognizes the human as well as the divine in scripture. To that end, I present the following examples, certainly not out of disrespect for the Bible, but only to underscore the hopelessness of a literal or inerrant approach.
The author then reviews a number of familiar textual difficulties drawn from the Old and New Testaments.
In Latter-day Biblical Literalism, Part 2 he presents arguments drawn from science and other fields.
It should be abundantly clear that the Bible was never intended to be a rigorous scientific treatise in our modern sense. [LDS scholar and apostle James E.] Talmage, for instance, wrote, "The opening chapters of Genesis, and scriptures related thereto, were never intended as a textbook of geology, archaeology, earth-science or man-science." Nonetheless, many today insist on a literal reading ...
His short conclusion affirms the Bible as the basis for Christian faith and as the foundation of its fundamental doctrines, but rejects what he terms "the extremes of biblical literalism":
The claim that the Bible text is the inerrant word of God, or anything close to this position, is indefensible. None of this means that one must abandon fundamental doctrines of God or salvation. But it does mean that modern readers must avoid the extremes of biblical literalism that permeate the modern evangelical world today, and which sadly are heard even among some Latter-day Saints. As Paul declared, "... the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life" (2 Cor. 3:6).
Originally posted with comments at Beliefnet.