C. S. Lewis’ work as a scholar, novelist and Christian apologist is renowned by many, and he is one of the most quoted authors on Twitter.
Beyond social media, Lewis is also frequently quoted by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
According to “C. S. Lewis: Latter-Day Truths in Narnia,” by Marianna Edwards Richardson and Christine Thackeray, Lewis has been quoted in LDS Church magazines more than 100 times, and almost one-third of the citations are from speakers in general conference.
The book says the first time the famed British author was quoted in conference was in 1977 by Elder Paul H. Dunn, a member of the Seventy, who repeated Lewis’ words, “Take care. It is so easy to break eggs without making omelets.”
Richardson and Thackeray explain that of the general authorities, Elder Neal A. Maxwell quoted Lewis the most with 19 different citations, four of which were in his conference talks. President James E. Faust followed Elder Maxwell with seven references to Lewis in his talks and writing. Over the years, Lewis has often been quoted during general conference.
In their book, Richardson and Thackeray wrote, “Perhaps the reason Lewis is quoted so often is because he discusses mankind’s frailties through the ‘small sins’ of everyday life. His voice is not one of a university professor, but has an ‘every man’ quality, as though he is struggling beside us, which enables people of all kinds to relate to his message.”
The following list includes just 23 C.S. Lewis quotes that have been shared by speakers in LDS general conference.
Read more: Click here to see a compilation of the top 100 C.S. Lewis quotes.
"C. S. Lewis also wrote: 'A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. … You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down' (Mere Christianity,New York: Macmillan, 1960, p. 124)."
President James E. Faust, "The Great Imitator," October 1987.
"It is surprisingly easy to take what should be our first devotion and subordinate it to other priorities. Fifty years ago, the Christian philosopher C. S. Lewis illustrated that tendency with an example that is distressingly applicable in our own day. In his book 'The Screwtape Letters,' a senior devil explains how to corrupt Christians and frustrate the work of Jesus Christ. One letter explains how any 'extreme devotion' can lead Christians away from the Lord and the practice of Christianity. Lewis gives two examples, extreme patriotism or extreme pacifism, and explains how either 'extreme devotion' can corrupt its adherent.
'Let him begin by treating the Patriotism or the Pacifism as a part of his religion. Then let him, under the influence of partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part. Then quietly and gradually nurse him on to the stage at which the religion becomes merely part of the "cause," in which Christianity is valued chiefly because of the excellent arguments it can produce in favor of the British war effort or of pacifism. … Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing' (C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, rev. ed., New York: MacMillan, 1982, p. 35)."
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, "Powerful Ideas," October 1995.
"There can be sudden surges of deja vu. A flash from the mirror of memory can beckon us forward to that far pavilion, filled with 'everlasting splendors' and resurrected beings.
"C. S. Lewis wrote, 'We cannot mingle with the splendors we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so.' (C. S. Lewis at the Breakfast Table and Other Reminiscences, ed. James T. Como, New York: Collier Books, 1985, p. 34.)
"Thanks to the Prophet Joseph Smith, hundreds more leaves of scripture are rustling, rustling resoundingly for all who have ears to hear."
Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Premortality, a Glorious Reality," October 1985.
"I wish all of us could attend to our homemaking responsibilities with the vision of my friend. She certainly hasn’t obtained perfection in her home, but she does realize that even though her children don’t practice the piano every day, if they continue to practice they will at least develop the recognition necessary to love music and enrich their lives through it. She knows the challenge of living within her husband’s paycheck, but she also knows the importance of loving him and their children and laughing with them.
"She may not know that C. S. Lewis has wisely said that homemaking 'is surely in reality the most important work in the world. What do ships, railways, mines, cars, and governments, etc. exist for except that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their own homes? … We wage war in order to have peace, we work in order to have leisure, we produce food in order to eat it. So your job is the one for which all others exist' (Letters of C. S. Lewis, Warren H. Lewis, ed., London: Geoffrey Bles Ltd., 1956, p. 62)."
Sister Barbara B. Smith, "Women for the Latter Day," October 1979.
"We will be able to face and solve these challenges more willingly and courageously when we understand that such obstacles are encountered as a natural part of living.
"C. S. Lewis wrote: 'The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s "own," or "real" life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day.' (They Stand Together: The Letters of C. S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves, ed. Walter Hooper, London: Collins, 1979, p. 499.)"
Elder Rex D. Pinegar, Faith — the Force of Life, October 1982.
"The following advice, given by the deceitful Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood in C. S. Lewis’s 'The Screwtape Letters,' describes a common malady afflicting many of us today:
" 'Do what you will, there is going to be some benevolence, as well as some malice, in your patient’s soul. The great thing is to direct the malice to his immediate neighbours whom he meets every day and to thrust his benevolence out to the remote circumference, to people he does not know. The malice thus becomes wholly real and the benevolence largely imaginary.' "
Elder Michael J. Teh, "Out of Small Things," October 2007.
"C. S. Lewis indicated there is often pain in change when he wrote of God’s expectations for his children:
" 'Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what he is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to?
" 'The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of — throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but he is building a palace' (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, New York: MacMillan Co., 1960, p. 160)."
Elder Marvin J. Ashton, "Progress through Change," October 1979.
"Consciously trying to acquire humility is also problematic. I remember once hearing one of my colleagues in the Seventy say about humility that 'if you think you have it, you don’t.' He suggested we should try to develop humility and be sure we didn’t know when we got it, and then we would have it. But if we ever thought we had it, we wouldn’t.
"This is one of the lessons C. S. Lewis teaches in his well-known 'Screwtape Letters.' In letter XIV, a good man who is being recruited by a devil and his apprentice to their side is growing humble, and the devil remarks that 'this is very bad.' With great insight, Lewis has the devil say to his associate, 'Your patient has become humble; have you drawn his attention to the fact?' "
Elder Marlin K. Jensen, "To Walk Humbly with Thy God," April 2001.
"What Christ desires from each of us is surrender, complete and total — a voluntary gift of trust, faith, and love. C. S. Lewis captured the spirit of this surrender:
"Christ says, 'Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. … Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.' ("Mere Christianity," New York: Collier Books, 1960, p. 167)."
Elder Robert L. Backman, "Jesus the Christ," October 1991.
"C. S. Lewis explained this teaching of the Savior:
"'The moment you have a self at all, there is a possibility of putting yourself first — wanting to be the centre — wanting to be God, in fact. That was the sin of Satan: and that was the sin he taught the human race. Some people think the fall of man had something to do with sex, but that is a mistake. … What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’ — could set up on their own as if they had created themselves — be their own masters — invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come … the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.'"
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, "Unselfish Service," April 2009.
"Homemaking is whatever you make of it. Every day brings satisfaction along with some work which may be frustrating, routine and unchallenging. But it is the same in the law office, the dispensary, the laboratory or the store.
"There is, however, no more important job than homemaking. As C. S. Lewis said, 'A housewife’s work … is the one for which all others exist.' "
President James E. Faust, "How Near to the Angels," April 1998.
"Will the Lord do for us what he did for Enos and Alma?
"C. S. Lewis put it this way: '[God] has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created. When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only man [or woman] in the world' ("Mere Christianity" , 131)."
Elder Dale E. Miller, "Bringing Peace and Healing to Your Souls," October 2004.
"C. S. Lewis gave us a keen insight into devilish tactics. In a fictional letter, the master devil, Screwtape, instructs the apprentice devil Wormwood, who is in training to become a more experienced devil:
" 'You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. … It does not matter how small the sins are, provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. … Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one — the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts' ("The Screwtape Letters," New York: Macmillan, 1962, p. 56)."
"President James E. Faust, "The Great Imitator," October 1987.
"The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents or any other worldly measuring device against others. In the words of C. S. Lewis: 'Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone' ("Mere Christianity," New York: Macmillan, 1952, pp. 109–10)."
President Ezra Taft Benson, "Beware of Pride," April 1989.
"The true Christian, of course, does not see life as an easy passage: 'The cross comes before the crown and tomorrow is a Monday morning!' (C. S. Lewis, "The Weight of Glory" [Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1965], p. 14). With ultimate hope, however, we can live cheerfully amid proximate insecurity. Life is a test in which man must overcome by faith, walking on the strait and narrow path — which is surely no escalator — but the path is there!"
Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Shine As Lights in the World," April 1983.
"In addition to paying an honest tithing, we should be generous in assisting the poor. How much should we give? I appreciate the thought of C. S. Lewis on this subject. He said: 'I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. … If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, … they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.' ”
Elder Joe J. Christensen, "Greed, Selfishness, and Overindulgence," April 1999.
"Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin noted that 'individuals who do right and "hunger and thirst after righteousness" (Matt. 5:6) get and keep alive through their actions the feeling to do right.' (Ensign, May 1976, p. 56). In contrast, those who do not act out their righteous desires place themselves in a dangerous position. As C. S. Lewis said, 'The more often [a person] feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.' ("The Screwtape Letters," New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1982, p. 61)."
Elder Jack H. Goaslind, Yagottawanna, April 1991.
"I fear that, at times, we run the risk of acting like seasoned, conditioned athletes who are more interested in what kind of jogging suits we’ll wear than in buckling down to train for the race. C. S. Lewis had an intriguing way of evaluating this dilemma: 'We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. … We are far too easily pleased.' ("A Mind Awake," New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1968, p. 168),"
Elder Marvin J. Ashton, "A Yearning for Home," October 1992.
"C. S. Lewis, the striving, pragmatic Christian writer, poignantly framed the issue. He asserted that Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness; but until people know and feel they need forgiveness, Christianity does not speak to them. He stated, 'When you know you are sick, you will listen to the doctor.' "
Elder Quentin L. Cook, "Can Ye Feel So Now?," October 2012.
"C. S. Lewis shared a meaningful observation when he said, 'I have seen great beauty of spirit in some who were great sufferers. I have seen men, for the most part, grow better not worse with advancing years, and I have seen the last illness produce treasures of fortitude and meekness from most unpromising subjects.' "
Elder Marvin J. Ashton, "Adversity and You," October 1980.
"Why do those sudden moments of clarity, when we realize how precious our loved ones are, come so rarely? How do we let ourselves get caught up in faultfinding, digging or scolding at those who are nearest our hearts? Is it ever worth it? As C. S. Lewis once advised, 'Take care. It is so easy to break eggs without making omelettes.' (Cited in "Richard Evans’ Quote Book," Salt Lake City: Publisher’s Press, 1971, p. 169)."
Elder Paul H. Dunn, "We Have Been There All the Time," October 1977.
"C. S. Lewis wisely said: 'It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship. … There are no ordinary people. … Your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses' (“The Weight of Glory,” in "Screwtape Proposes a Toast and Other Pieces" , 109–10)."
Sister Susan W. Tanner, "Daughters of Heavenly Father," April 2007.
"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.
Click here to see a compilation of the top 100 C.S. Lewis quotes.