Twentieth-century novelist Vardis Fisher is often regarded as a Mormon apostate and critic, most notably for his 1939 book Children of God. However, Fisher was never excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and despite his skeptical and sometimes critical portrayals of Mormonism, religion played an important role in his lifestyle and writings. Having studied the Bible as a youth, he had a preoccupation with the moral earnestness of the Judeo-Christian tradition. He also took a psychological approach to Mormonism in many of his novels, particularly regarding issues of religion and sexuality. Fisher had a Mormon heritage that extended back to 1834, a heritage that heavily influenced his fiction and his outlook on life.