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June 6, 2009

What C.S. Lewis thought about Mormons

C.S. Lewis was not LDS. He may, in fact, not have even liked The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

But Mormons 
love C. S. Lewis.

Authors Marianna Richardson and Christine Thackeray looked at the famous Christian apologist in their book "C.S. Lewis: Latter-day Truths in Narnia." They wrote about the letters Lewis sent to many of his readers.

"(T)here is no record that Lewis had any contact with the Church but he did correspond regularly with a woman who lived in Salt Lake City," the authors write. "Although we do not have the original letter, Lewis's reply to her inquiry was as follows, 'I am afraid I am not going to be much help about all the religious bodies mentioned in your letter of March 2nd. I have always in my books been concerned simply to put forward "mere" Christianity, and am no guide on these (most regrettable) "interdenominational" questions. I do however strongly object to the tyrannic and unscriptural insolence of anything that calls itself a Church and makes teetotalism a condition of membership.'"

Lewis is apparently referring to the LDS Church and its "Word of Wisdom" prohibitions against drinking alcohol.

Richardson and Thackeray do not discuss another possible reference to Mormons in Lewis' works. In his Narnian fantasy book "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," he writes about the family of a rather unpleasant character named Eustace Scrubb: "They were vegetarians, non-smokers and teetotalers and wore a special kind of underclothes."

Because of this description, some have speculated that Lewis was saying that the Scrubbs were Mormons -- although such a conclusion requires ignoring other descriptions of the character and his family. The adopted son of Lewis, Douglas Gresham, has also been quoted as saying the Scrubbs were "simply faddists." . . . (Continue reading)