By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
(CNN) – A Utah woman unwittingly started a grassroots campaign when an e-mail she sent to her five children and a handful of friends urging a day of prayer and fasting for Mitt Romney started making the Mormon rounds.
Mona Williams, a Price, Utah, member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wrote last Sunday evening to tell people closest to her how frustrated she is with the state of the country.
“A lot of my frustration is because I feel I don’t know what to do to really make a change. Well, this time I do,” she wrote. “I am asking you to join me and my family on Sunday Sept. 30 by fasting and praying for Mitt Romney. That he will be blessed in the debates,” the first of which is next Wednesday.
“I know that seems like such a small thing, but I believe ‘from small things, great things can come about,’” she continued. “I know that fasting and praying brings about miracles.”
The message that was intended for a group of about 10 people has since cropped up in Mormon inboxes around the country, including in Colorado, California and Nevada, BuzzFeed reported.
The attention that has followed has left Williams both floored and uncomfortable. When she was contacted by CNN affiliate KTVX on Wednesday, she said, “You could have pushed me over with a feather.”
“Can we just pretend this didn’t happen,” she asked with a laugh when CNN reached her Thursday night. She spoke to fears about those who dismiss people of faith, or take what she and others consider sacred and make it ugly.
“I’m simply a woman with faith,” she told CNN. “I am just a woman who believes that God loves this country and his hand is in whatever happens.”
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It's common for faithful Mormons to fast for a day each month while offering prayers for a particular purpose.
And for Williams, who works as an aide to special needs kids, it’s prayers – not money – that she has to give to her candidate of choice.
But she also sees that she has struck a chord with those who are like her.
“We’re very silent. We’re not very in your face. I’m not going to go stand up and march … And I’m not going to chew on someone’s backside,” Williams said. “But I can use my faith. It’s a very personal, passionate thing.”
The e-mail was not sanctioned or cleared by Mormon church officials. In fact, the church “is strictly politically neutral and does not endorse political candidates,” LDS Church spokesman Michael Purdy told CNN in a written statement.
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The Student Review, a student-run paper at LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University posted Williams' message – or at least a version of her message that was forwarded - online, and the responses reveal a community rich with a variety of perspectives.
“I cannot tell you how scared I am for the future of our country,” wrote an unnamed student who is heading toward graduation. “What I do know is that Mitt Romney is a worthy priesthood-holding leader who has the potential to do a lot of good for our country. I know the Lord takes worthy men and makes them qualified for miraculous experiences.”
While another student answered that Romney’s name should be added to the “Temple Prayer List,” others fired back, calling such rhetoric “completely ridiculous” and “embarrassing.”
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“You assume that if we fast then God will bless Mitt Romney to win,” wrote Ryan. “Who are you to say that it’s God’s will that Mitt Romney wins? I’ve been an active member my entire life and I can’t support Mitt Romney with a good conscience. Just because he is a member of our church does not mean all of his policies are correct or even moral.”
Added Jay: “The Lord DOES care about who leads our country, He just doesn’t care what party they are from. Only we look at party, whereas the Lord looks on the heart.”
It's precisely with her heart that Williams will fast and pray this Sunday, because that, she said, is what she can do.
"Whatever happens in this country," she says, "at least I've done my part."
I NOW pray for and I'd add fasting in too if I could keep Romney OUT of the White House.
Here is the prayer I say every night: "Dear Lord, please let American voters see what a lying fraud Mitt Romney is and grant President Obama a huge victory on November 6th. Amen,"
Amen! Pass the mash potatoes.
Let the church say Amen!
To know Mitt is to hate Mitt. That is why he is losing by 25% in his "home" state that he was a 1 term Governor in!
they are praying for ROMNey like when the catholic church prayed for Hitler. Look it up in history books if you don't believe me
Obama to Mitt know one every asked to see my Marriage Certificate! Can we say pologamy!!!
I AM THE MORMON SPACE GOD! I have taken a break from pleasuring myself with my many wives to hear the pleas from my people. I must say I am pleased with your praying, fasting, gay hating, racist, magic underwear using, and dead people babtizing- and I will grand this desire of your hearts- that your church will take over the white house, America, and then.... THE WORLD!! MUWHAHAHAHA !
What a pathetic little person you are....
Great stuff, Trev! Thanks.
that is f-ing hilarious
So if the Lords know best, he knew this country would be better with Barack Obama as President in 2008!! So you think the country is a mess, God choose Obama, so did God make this country a Mess?? No God did not and this country is better off now than it was 4 years ago!! Obama and Romney God is the same, maybe Mormon can't stand a black man running the country!!
as "W" said, "If Obama is elected for a second term, just think of the mess he will inherit this time."
No obama is God's punishment on us for straying from him.
well what was Bush? Capital Punishment? nobody will be perfect but why would anybody pik a Guy who by his OWN standards, Is not Qualified to be President! How much more proof do you need?
Pretty poor reason to support a candidate just becasue he shares a religious fiath. Mitt is jsut an empty suit with no views or convictions. He jsut wants to be presdient jsut because he wants it. He has no vision for the coutry other then lowering his own taxes and the taxes of his friends. If he wins, the whole country will need to say its prayers.
Well, the alternative choice in a non-transparent Muslim. Don't fool yourselves. The middle east is anxiously awaiting their chosen brother, Obama. So the choice is, a Christian or a Muslim?
Mormon or Christian
What a moronic comment, he is President now, what are they waiting for exactly crazy man?
Better than a Jew!
Oy vey! There's a gullible one on this page. Being a Muslim is not a sin. The radical ones are the sinners. There's a cure for ignorance, btw – you might need the cure for it.
you are a fool
Speak the truth Julia!!!!
Are you kidding me? Go back to your shack in the woods and let the grown-ups vote in November.
I am praying for all the Romney / Ryan signs to vanish miraculously from this earth.
And you with them.
And Sarah will be able to "see them from [her] house!"
Just in from Fox News so you know its true "Mitt Romney running for Pres. on planet Kolob.
Can we make that about 4 years of fasting? That would help turn things around...
I hope they won't starve
A safer bet would be to pray and fast for the country, its current leader, and the election of the best leader. Unfortunately, you may not get the answer you want.
Morons, er Mormons.... It's all about their cult, er, religion. A cult member in the White House in charge of thermonuclear weapons? No thanks.
Let the church say Amen!!!
Pray on and go hungry; your guy is losing.
Note to Mormons...for this to be effective, you must totally fast for three months. No food or moisture whatsoever. Thank you...Joe Smith.
sounding like a muslim country....no separation of church and state, anti-gay, anti-choice, pro-capital punishment, guns in the streets, creationism, prayer in school, conspiracy notions..this woman and her ilk need to go somewhere else, this is not the place for these irrational concepts.
... or a communist state komrade scuffed where religion is banned. Or do you pine for the good-ol-days when the old USSR was in full swing?
I agree with this woman, I hate the direction the country is going in
I hate how religiously moronic this country is getting because of people like HER
WOW all you prayer bashes out there. No wonder why the country is in the shape it is and Obama is in the White House. You all must be liberal democrats who couldn't make up their mind if they wanted God at their convention or not!
I'm tired of people like you who think they're smart enough to have an opinion. GO BACK TO SCHOOL AND LEARN SOME SCIENCE FOOL
I prayer makes you feel better or brings you a sense of peace, that's fine, but you probably do not want to start keeping score on the number of times prayers are answered as opposed to when they are not. Six kids dies of cancer, no one raises doubts as to the lack of intervention by a supreme being. Seventh kid goes into remission, that's a miricle.
Welll did he make it?
Let's see now. We've got all the komrade libs making fun of Romney's religion. I wonder what would happen if I made fun of BoBo's closet religion? ;) That's why I spell hypocrite, l-i-b-e-r-a-l.
Mitt even lies about his name, it is Willard.
Great point Scott. You can't make fun of Oidiots closet religion only every other religion out there. I guess their rights are more important than everyone elses, eventually what people don't realize is those rights will be taken away too.
The rethuglicans HAVE made light of Reverend Wright for years! You're funny. But at least BO is a member of a religion and not a cult.
Rush! How are you? How many radio stations are you still on? When do you get time to do comment boards?
Scott like mosat retardlicans know a lot about being in the closet!
SCott you are living in a fantasy world where you can just sweep big issues under a rug and pretend they don't exist. You label anything you don't agree with as liberal without even thinking. YOU ARE THE PERFECT CHRISTIAN...A JUDGE WHO IS A FOOL
Mitt should pray he does not go to jail for tax evasion.
I guess you didn't hear that Mitt released his tax returns. Why isn't Geitner in jail for his tax flaub? Oh, because he is a liberal democrat. I guess you also don't realize that some individuals use their middle name to avoid confusion if there are more than one family member with the same name? Sometimes a person actually goes by the name Junior or Chip but I'm assuming because the liberal media hasn't come out and stated that for you there is no way for you to know that!
Tired of this, Mitt only released his tax returns for 2011 and gave an estimate for 2012. I'm still waiting for 10 more years like Obama has done.
Why wasnt there a day of prayer when Republicans had the house and our economy was in a nose dive thanks to poor management, corporate greed and a fake war.
Go ahead and pray today.... remember to thank the lord for Barack Obama.
The economy did not start to tank until AFTER my fellow dumbocraps took over both houses of congress in January of 2007. Now, you were out gassing?
Scott, '07, that would be AFTER two unpaid wars and the largest social program (free prescription med.s for voting seniors) since LBJ.
Scottie, go to your nearest community college and enroll in Economics 101. You clearly have no idea how the economy works.
Prayer = Way for people to feel good about doing absolutely nothing.
'the church “is strictly politically neutral and does not endorse political candidates.”'
Lies, damned lies, and religion. See Proposition 8 for the LDS church's hands in politics.
You are simply wrong. There is a difference between political ISSUES and political CANDIDATES. There are no lies involved, just your confusion on what words mean.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.