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."
Cool. Maybe they'll all starve to death.
Won't the prayers for Obama to be elected just cancel out the prayers for Romney? I mean, why pray?
Just because you are a Mormon, and Mitt Romney is a Mormon, does NOT mean you are obligated to vote for him in any way. The Church does NOT endorse any political party or candidate. God does not want you to vote for Romney.
Gee whiz...fasting and praying to some imaginary fairy tale "god"...like THAT is going to accomplish anything. If this is any indication of what kind of fools these poor brainwashed people are, it's a darn good thing Romney is going to lose.
AMERICA DOES NEED MITT ROMNEY.
Top Ten Reasons to like Mitt Romney:
1. He is a plastic cliché of what makes white Americans feel comfortable.
2. He is a good husband, just like Obama.
3. Robs from the poor and gives to the rich. Can't be concerned about the poor and elderly if it gets in the way of profits.
4. He can’t really speak. At all.
5. Highly intelligent. Believes in sky fairies, space aliens and magic underwear.
6. Has no experience beyond his silver spo.on. Cannot relate to average Americans but he knows the rich quite well.
7. Lives in the past and is completely out of touch with the 21st century. Just like the evangelical Right likes it.
8. Has five sons who are not high. Obama has two daughters who do not do drugs too, however they are black.
9. Oh yes.....he's a MORMON. No need to be afraid of a hom.ophobic, racist, delusional cult that hopes to become Gods.
10. And one more point.....pundits say because of his wealth, he can't relate to ordinary Americans.
His dad didn’t help at all except for his privileged lifestyle, personal loans, college education and connections at the highest possible levels to guarantee success via nepotism. Obama only had to do everything on his own.
The Republican Party. The party that would stop teaching science in schools and hope to return American to the Iron Age.
Republicans care about…Republicans. Let's keep it that way.
Republican is not a party, it's a mental disease.
So's religious observance.
You know Mitt's in trouble when his Mormon followers are fasting and praying for a MIRACLE!
Moroni commands you to fast for many months for brother Mitt. If you follow my commands I will take you to see Jesus who also colonized Mars for us.
Is that supposed to mean something?
I am a Mormon and I am voting for President Obama.
Romney and Paul Ryan will destroy our country. I don't vote based on religion or priesthood etc. If I were to do that, I would vote for Jon Huntsman.
Why are you a Mormon?
Chris, why did Mormons never change the book of Nephi to reflect their new beliefs about blacks and Preisthood?
Huntsman – the last intelligent Republican left in the party...
I'm a Mormon and I'm voting for Obama. I'd answer Erica's question, but she obviously interprets the Book of Mormon different than Mormon's do. My family adopted 3 black children from Africa, so the whole Mormons being racist stuff is pretty far out there.
Fasting is also Mitts healthcare plan for children. Well ROmneycare was his first choice, but he had to flip-flop on that like every other position.
So, how'd this whole fasting thing go for everyone. I spoke to Dad. He said he's changed his mind on the whole fasting thing and thinks it's pretty foolish.
Nothing wrong with prayer, just don't want a state mandated prayer. But I will pray for Scott...he definitely needs it.
Nah, i'm better without anyone getting out their imaginary wands and casting a prayer spell "Wyn Gardium Prayer-oso!"
How is Mormons voting for him because he's Mormon any different than whites voting for him because he's white. Or Blacks voting for Obama because he's black. All such is insanity.
Which is why we condemn it. So, we condemn this.
I pray that the best candidate wins and I really beleive that is not Mitt Romney
The best candidates never make it to the stage in politics. Only those least suited for the job ever scheme hard enough to rise to that level of notoriety. As they say, shlt floats...
Yeah, but Ron Paul's not on the ballot.
Hey Firewalker, the last "businessman" in the WH was Herbert Hoover. Remember how that worked out?
The difference between religious whack jobs and normal people is a normal person will pray for the world and the whack job will pray for our country, guns and free speech...these teeny tiny little minds scare me to death
preach it, girl!
I don't know why you'd pray for guns. You can go buy one anywhere, even Walmart!
Like I said Half of this Country are Idi ots and yes those who are Idi ots are Obama's people the MOOSE LAMB.
I wll take a Mor MON over a MOOSE LAMB any day.
I bet you fokes believe that the CIVIL WAR was fought over FREEING the SLAVES in the South ....what MOR ONS YOU ALL ARE.
Lincoln and the North didn't care about the Slaves it was about GETTING THE SOUTH BACK INTO THE UNION.
The south sure thought it was about the slaves.
Funny stuff! How bad do you have to be losing an argument to suddenly bring up the civil war out of nowhere? Get some help man!
You should consider going back to school.
"You should consider going back to school."
Sadly, firewalker represents the best education the South has to offer. The better request would be "You should consider getting out of Alabama and going to school."
Fifth grade get out early today ?
"the church is strictly neutral and does not endorse political candidates - that is an extreme lie. I live in Utah –and assure you, they are what folks might say are slanted, to put it mildly. They encourage their members to vote for republican's - ask them to get out and vote, etc. To say otherwise is silly.
As a side note, some of the wards distributed flyers mapping out who they should vote for.
Sorry to hear you live in Utah. Any chance you could escape under cover of darkness to a neighboring state where there is no theocracy?
The Church itself is neutral about political candidates. It is not neutral about the doctrine or beliefs of the church, however, and doesn't need to apologize for that. I'm a Mormon with right and left-wing Mormon friends. I get bombarded with information from both sides as members within the church campaign for their candidates. Just because some idiot uses church resources to get addresses for mailing out flyers it doesn't mean that they are endorsed by the church. Go to lds.org for official statements. Anything else you observe is the result of imperfect people doing their best to live by their beliefs.
You must be in the craziest wards in the state, or you just imagine that when they encourage you to get out and vote they are supporting a party. The church is neutral, sometimes local leaders will say things that are against that policy. But it's still the churches policy. But you've probably gotten offended and have left the church for some other dumb reason that you've pulled out of your rear.
The best thing about Utah is the parks. Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, all pretty awesome.
"Anything else you observe is the result of imperfect people doing their best to live by their beliefs."
BULL SHlT JANET. They are knowingly attempting to inject their religious world view on everyone and anyone because they believe they know how best to live and don't give a rat's ass about anyone elses freedoms or rights, but if you want to call that "doing their best" then you can take your message back to it's authors, the vile disgusting things, the wh.o.re of Babylon, the putrid decaying evil of Joseph Smith and shove it down his dead and crumbling corpse.
It's not just the mormons preaching politics from the pulpit, all xian churches are doing it. It's time to take away the tax-exempt status for all these churches of all religions. They are in violation of the con st itution, pure and simple. Make them pay up, just like the rest of us have to, and we'd solve the debt crisis tomorrow.
"Don't waste energy praying. Instead, go down to your local animal shelter and adopt a pet that is on death row. Or, buy a homeless person a meal. Or, plant a tree amongst the concrete jungle. It is far more productive." - Anonymous
Janet - I did not try to insult your religion. There are great people in this area - I've lived in other places and overall,, like Utah. I am pointing out that there are some attempts with certain members/leadership that use this as a means to influence votes. It surely happens in other areas where the predominate religion is. I do think it's naive to say this stuff doesn't happen - and for some, they get too passionate and subjective when it comes to their beliefs...
Kennedy - I was very part of the religion. My family was never lds - nice attempt..
Mormon's believe they will be God's one day. No other Christian faith believes that. An interesting thing is most Christians privately don't even believe Mormon's are (true) Christians. Catholics don't, neither do Baptist and Pentecostals. Just read this right winging republican's
Tell that to Harry Reid, I personally don't think most morons think they will be Gods one day having known and talked to many in fact none of the ones i knew felt that. Of course there are some Christians who already think Obama is God namely democrats.
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