The Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is the heart and core and center of revealed religion.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie Christ and the Creation

January 30, 2018

C.S. Lewis, Repentance

Comments Off on If a Man’s Self is Not Kept Clean and Bright

The instrument through which you see God is your whole self. And if a man’s self is not kept clean and bright, his glimpse of God will be blurred.

C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity

Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.

Alma 7:14

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January 27, 2018

C.S. Lewis, Immortality

Comments Off on No Ordinary People – C.S. Lewis

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit–immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.

This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of the kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously–no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinners–no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.

Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat, the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.

C.S. Lewis
The Weight of Glory

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January 7, 2018

C.S. Lewis, Light of Christ

Comments Off on God Will Make Us Good Because He Loves Us

The Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or – if they think there is not – at least they hope to deserve approval from good men. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.

C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity, page 41

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December 28, 2017

C.S. Lewis, Humility

Comments Off on To Make an Organism Which Is Also a Spirit

“Sometimes, Lord, one is tempted to say that if you wanted us to behave like the lilies of the field you might have given us an organization more like theirs. But that, I suppose, is just your grand experiment. Or no: not an experiment, for you have no need to find things out. Rather, your great enterprise. To make an organism which is also a spirit, to make that terrible oxymoron, a ‘spiritual animal.’ To take a poor primate, a beast with nerve-endings all over it, a creature with a stomach that wants to be filled, a breeding animal that wants its mate, and say, ‘Now get on with it. Become a god.’”

C.S. Lewis
A Grief Observed, 57

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December 6, 2017

C.S. Lewis, Light of Christ, Repentance, Sin

Comments Off on We have failed to practice ourselves the kind of behavior we expect from other people

C.S. Lewis didn’t know the term, “the light of Christ,” but he understood the concept very well. When we sin, we sin against light and truth. Depending upon our knowledge, we may enjoy a greater or lesser light, but all who are accountable receive some light.  Because we receive light, we are accountable for our actions.  We know when we are acting according to that light or contrary to it.

“The Light of Christ is the divine energy, power, or influence that proceeds from God through Christ and gives life and light to all things. The Light of Christ influences people for good and prepares them to receive the Holy Ghost. One manifestation of the Light of Christ is what we call a conscience.” (“Light of Christ,” Gospel Study, Topics, lds.org)

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  Acting contrary to the light, doing wrong, is a sin that separates us from Christ and makes us imperfect.  Sin requires repentance so Christ’s Atonement can cleanse us and bring us back to the sinless and perfect presence of Himself and that of His Father.

On to Brother Lewis:

Every one has heard people quarreling. Sometimes it sounds funny and sometimes it sounds merely unpleasant; but however it sounds, I believe we can learn something very important from listening to the kinds of things they say. They say things like this: “How’d you like it if anyone did the same to you?”–“That’s my seat, I was there first”–“Leave him alone, he isn’t doing you any harm”–“Why should you shove in first?”–“Give me a bit of your orange, I gave you a bit of mine”–“Come on, you promised.” People say things like that every day, educated people as well as uneducated, and children as well as grown-ups.

Now what interests me about all these remarks is that the man who makes them is not merely saying that the other man’s behavior does not happen to please him. He is appealing to some kind of standard of behavior which he expects the other man to know about. And the other man very seldom replies: “To hell with your standard.”

Nearly always he tries to make out that what he has been doing does not really go against the standard, or that if it does there is some special excuse. He pretends there is some special reason in this particular case why the person who took the seat first should not keep it, or that things were quite different when he was given the bit of orange, or that some thing has turned up which lets him off keeping his promise.

It looks, in fact, very much as if both parties had in mind some kind of Law or Rule of fair play or decent behavior or morality or whatever you like to call it, about which they really agreed. And they have. If they had not, they might, of course, fight like animals, but they could not quarrel in the human sense of the word.

Quarreling means trying to show that the other man is in the wrong. And there would be no sense in trying to do that unless you and he had some sort of agreement as to what Right and Wrong are; just as there would be no sense in saying that a footballer had committed a foul unless there was some agreement about the rules of football.

Now this Law or Rule about Right and Wrong used to be called the Law of Nature. Nowadays, when we talk of the “laws of nature” we usually mean things like gravitation, or heredity, or the laws of chemistry. But when the older thinkers called the Law of Right and Wrong “the Law of Nature,” they really meant the Law of Human Nature. The idea was that, just as all bodies are governed by the law of gravitation and organisms by biological laws, so the creature called man also had his law–with this great difference, that a body could not choose whether it obeyed the law of gravitation or not, but a man could choose either to obey the Law of Human Nature or to disobey it.

. . . .

It seems, then, we are forced to believe in a real Right and Wrong. People may be sometimes mistaken about them, just as people sometimes get their sums wrong; but they are not a matter of mere taste and opinion any more than the multiplication table.

Now if we are agreed about that, I go on to my next point, which is this. None of us are really keeping the Law of Nature. If there are any exceptions among you, I apologize to them. They had much better read some other work, for nothing I am going to say concerns them. And now, turning to the ordinary human beings who are left:

I hope you will not misunderstand what I am going to say. I am not preaching, and Heaven knows I do not pretend to be better than anyone else. I am only trying to call attention to a fact; the fact that this year, or this month, or, more likely, this very day, we have failed to practice ourselves the kind of behavior we expect from other people.

There may be all sorts of excuses for us. That time you were so unfair to the children was when you were very tired. That slightly shady business about the money–the one you have almost forgotten-came when you were very hard up. And what you promised to do for old So-and-so and have never done–well, you never would have promised if you had known how frightfully busy you were going to be. And as for your behavior to your wife (or husband) or sister (or brother) if I knew how irritating they could be, I would not wonder at it–and who the dickens am I, anyway?

I am just the same. That is to say, I do not succeed in keeping the Law of Nature very well, and the moment anyone tells me I am not keeping it, there starts up in my mind a string of excuses as long as your arm. The question at the moment is not whether they are good excuses. The point is that they are one more proof of how deeply, whether we like it or not, we believe in the Law of Nature. If we do not believe in decent behavior, why should we be so anxious to make excuses for not having behaved decently?

The truth is, we believe in decency so much–we feel the Rule of Law pressing on us so–that we cannot bear to face the fact that we are breaking it, and consequently we try to shift the responsibility. For you notice that it is only for our bad behavior that we find all these explanations. It is only our bad temper that we put down to being tired or worried or hungry; we put our good temper down to ourselves.

These, then, are the two points I wanted to make. First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.

C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity, Book 1
(paragraph breaks inserted to enhance online readability)

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December 4, 2017

C.S. Lewis

Comments Off on You Are a Soul

“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”

C.S. Lewis

Mere Christianity

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November 1, 2017

C.S. Lewis, Humility

Comments Off on Work Becomes Spiritual When It Is Offered to God

I reject at once an idea which lingers in the mind of some modern people that cultural activities are in their own right spiritual and meritorious – as though scholars and poets were intrinsically more pleasing to God than scavengers and bootblacks. . . .

The work of a Beethoven and the work of a charwoman become spiritual on precisely the same condition, that of being offered to God, of being done humbly ‘as to the Lord.’ This does not, of course, mean that it is for anyone a mere toss-up whether he should sweep rooms or compose symphonies. A mole must dig to the glory of God and a cock must crow. We are members of one body, but differentiated members, each with his own vocation.

C.S. Lewis
Weight of Glory, page 55

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October 7, 2017

Agency, C.S. Lewis, Second Coming

Comments Off on Now, today, in this moment, is our chance to choose the right side

For LDS readers, the insights of C.S. Lewis concerning Christian doctrine are quite startling because we see this so seldom in the writings of many other Christian authors. Lewis has probably been quoted more often than any other non-LDS author in General Conference (I count 19 mentions) and has been referred to as “the thirteenth apostle” with only a touch of humor by some LDS observers.

C.S. Lewis was a committed member of the Church of England, although some have noted Roman Catholic influences in many of his writings, possibly absorbed from his close friend, J.R.R. Tolkien. We read so many insightful and wry observations from C.S. Lewis concerning Christianity that we may conclude that his view of religion is all tea and biscuits — all rewards and no consequences.

The following will correct that misapprehension:

When the author walks on the stage, the play is over.

God is going to invade [the earth], all right: but what’s the good of saying you’re on his side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else — something it never entered your head to conceive — comes crashing in; something so beautiful to us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left?

For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love, or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down, when it’s become impossible to stand up.

That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realize it or not.

Now, today, in this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever; we must take it or leave it.

C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity, page 65
(paragraph breaks inserted to enhance online readability)

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September 24, 2017

C.S. Lewis, Grace

Comments Off on The Necessity of a Savior

After the first few steps in the Christian life we realise that everything which really needs to be done in our souls can be done only by God.

C.S. Lewis

Mere Christianity, page 103


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July 6, 2017

C.S. Lewis, Repentance

Comments Off on When we Christians behave badly, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world

Fine feelings, new insights, greater interest in “religion” mean nothing unless they make our actual behaviour better; just as in an illness “feeling better” is not much good if the thermometer shows that your temperature is still going up.

In that sense the outer world is quite right to judge Christianity by its results. Christ told us to judge by results. A tree is known by its fruit; or, as we say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

When we Christians behave badly, or fail to behave well, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world.

C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity, Page 207

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