23 C.S. Lewis quotes shared in LDS general conference

Published: Sunday, Nov. 24 2013 4:55 p.m. MST

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"C. S. Lewis spoke of a similar dilemma faced by someone who must choose whether to accept or reject the Savior’s divinity — where there is likewise no middle ground: 'I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about him: "I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God." '

"That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. … You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. … But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

Elder Tad R. Callister, "The Book of Mormon — a Book from God," October 2011.

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Provo, UT

Did C S Lewis ever quote someone who was LDS?

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

I wish I could say something that could inspire my own kids. I don't like punishment as a way to motivate.

Gilbert, AZ

This cannot be an all-inclusive list of comments in General Conference or by General Authorities. I know that I have heard Elder Holland often quote C. S. Lewis in talks -- most of them in General Conference. I don't have an example right now, but I'm positive that he and others not quoted here have quoted C. S. Lewis.

American Fork, UT

While we're lionizing CS, it's worth pointing out he also said a few things that, well, would not be well received if shared in mormon circles. Things I really like and amazed at considering the ink he's been getting here. And again, this format for offering up lists, one page at a time instead of the entire list, is really not good.

Another Perspective
Bountiful, UT

American Fork, UT

You've got me curious, what did CS Lewis say that would not be well received in Mormondom?

Pleasanton, CA

Right Ascension, I don't think Lewis knew much about us. I remember an LDS scholar did a systematic study of Lewis's writings to find references to the Mormons, and found only a couple.


Another Perspective, I'll give you one. C.S. Lewis was Anglican and a devout Trinitarian, and worshipped the God of Nicene Christianity, the God of the ancient creeds. He did not believe that God is an exalted man. As Joseph Smith related in his history, JS-History 1:19 "I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: 'they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.'” Lewis believed that God is Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Three Persons that are one in essence and undivided, bodiless and pure spirit.

Everything Lewis wrote begins with and refers back to that foundation. That foundation permeates and determines the intended meaning of everything he wrote. I'd say that most important of beliefs (the very nature of God himself) is not received well in Mormondom.

Provo, UT

I didn't know CS Lewis was Mormon.


Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints embrace truth wherever they find it. The truth always blends beautifully into already existing truth, and it will always blend beautifully into truths yet to be revealed. God's house is a house of order and complete harmony. We are, however, flawed and imperfect beings. We learn truth line upon line, precept upon precept. CS Lewis wasn't perfect, but he was inspired with many truths that we can benefit from today. God Bless him. I would hate to think that someone thought that since I was 'wrong' once, that nothing I said was therefore true.

See the Good in the World!

Salt Lake City, UT

It is not necessary to have complete concordance of religious opinion in order to honor C.S. Lewis' conversion to Christianity and learn from his insightful comments on our journey of faith.

Bruce Young
Provo, UT

In response to ExUtahn on Lewis & the Trinity: Yes, Lewis accepted the creeds and tries to explain the Trinity. But he is not simply an orthodox Anglican tightly hewing to the creeds. He uses the Trinity to argue that just as God transcends "personality" as we know it, so will we as we submit ourselves to Christ and become one with him. In "Miracles" chapter 11, Lewis objects to interpretations of the creeds that would turn God "into a formless 'everything' about whom nothing in particular and everything in general is true." Rather, God "has a determinate character"; is "concrete, and individual in the highest degree." "He is not 'universal being'" but "is a particular Thing." "He is the most concrete thing there is, the most individual, 'organized and minutely articulated.'" Lewis worries that the formulation "without body, parts, or passions" could lead us to think God lacks something we have. "It would be safer to call Him trans-corporeal, trans-personal." He possesses corporeality and personality (and even "articulation"--the organization of parts to form a whole) in a way and to a degree we are incapable of understanding. That's not exactly the Mormon view, but it's not as incompatible as some suggest.

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