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Personal e-mail urging Mormons to fast and pray for Romney goes national
Though not sanctioned by the LDS Church, an email chain is asking Mormons to fast and pray for Mitt Romney before debates.
September 28th, 2012
11:18 AM ET

Personal e-mail urging Mormons to fast and pray for Romney goes national

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.”

The shaping of a candidate: A look at Mitt Romney's faith journey

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.

Explain it to me: Mormonism | Video: Mormonism defined

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.”

With or without Romney, D.C. a surprising Mormon stronghold

“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."

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (2,123 Responses)
  1. JT

    Well as an LDS member, I can tell you I was uncomfortable with the e-mail. I do feel we are going to go the way of Greece if Obama is re-elected however. The L.D.S. church's stance is to be neutral on politics. But, I can tell you this was just some private member that sent this out. Its not like they are fasting for Harry Reid.

    September 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      Funny, how do you think Mitt will cut the defecit as he stated he will cut taxes by 5 trillion dollars and increase military spending by 2 trillion over 4 years? It is impossible, he is a lying sack of Mitt!

      September 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  2. Leeroy

    I pray that The Lord's Will be done . . . but I'm voting for Romney. :)

    September 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  3. Ronnie

    Jesus is going to hear the prayers of those who lost thier job, healthcare and life due to what Romney did closing their factories and profiting from it...

    September 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  4. Lee Chambers

    I am a Mormon. I was a missionary. I will not be voting for Mitt Romney thank you.

    September 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  5. Travis

    This is going to backfire.

    September 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  6. Mete Krop

    Mitt have tried everything to win this election. The PAC money, slurring and ridiculing his opponents, sham talking oversees, cursing people etc. Now what is left is praying for the devil so that he can put on his devil arms on the American. Try but this doesn't take him anywhere except being defeated.

    September 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  7. Mittens Robme

    At least some people may lose weight.

    September 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  8. RE McCray

    See, it is a cult. True Christians would not fast or pray for someone to lose or be harmed. Mormonism is a mainstream cult that hides behind 501(C) rules.

    September 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Dave

      All religions are cults as defined. And if you would have read this article you would realize that this was a private person starting this not the Mormon leaders, therefore they violated nothing. Get a clue before posting.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Sam

      lol Where did the article say they were praying for anybody to get hurt? And as far as praying for somebody to lose, I believe you mean some are praying for someone to WIN. In a contest between two men, there must be both a winner and a loser. I'm sure you know this? Having been raised in the Mormon church, I was taught to always pray for our leaders, and as you must also know, none of them have ever been LDS. We pray for the military, the president to be guided and comforted, inspired and safe... we pray for everyone we feel may be in need of help.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Funny

      You are an idiot!!! Try using simple reading comprehension!!! She is not fasting for someone to lose but for someone to do good! Get a clue! And besides even if they are fasting and praying for someone to lose, that would make EVERY sports fan or every parent that prays for their child to win something or do good at something, a memeber of a cult!

      September 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Mark H

      Agreed.

      http://www.ExposeRomney.com

      September 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  9. mjcharron

    There are not enough prayers for Romney during this election. Good game

    September 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  10. Wendyjo

    Romney isn't the first priesthood holding mormon to run for president of the United States and he won't be the last. Mormons always practice fasting and prayers, asking their god get their brother mormon elected president. The current mormon church presidency claims that they are politically neutral and that is a lie. In every ward and stake, all church members of voting age are encouraged to vote and to vote for Romney. The Presidency itself speaks publicly about who they support for President and, of course, they back Romney. There is nothing honest about any of them and they will all cause you more harm than good. Vote President Obama!

    September 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Jim

      I hate to break it to you but you are false in all your statements EXCEPT that all members are encouraged to vote. No statement is made in regards to which politician or party to vote for.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • JustMe

      @Wendyjo: Every ward and stake is encouraging members to vote for Romney? Darn, I must have missed the memo. The only thing we heard in all nine wards in our stake is that the Church is politically neutral, does not endorse candidates, and each member of the church has a responsibility to study the issues, the candidates, and their positions and vote for those who will be represent them.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Sam

      Sorry WendyJo, but Jim is right.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • trev

      I finally conceded to my Mormon girlfriend to attend a special "fire side" church meeting with one of the big dawg LDS leaders. This was at the height of the Proposition 8 fiasco. This high ranking Mormon guy, used to be some president at BYU, basically told the whole congregation that they could not consider themselves a good Mormon if they did not fight against gay rights in prop 8. I was disgusted. I wanted to walk out but stayed listening to this "politically neutral" BS out of respect for my girlfriend (she is now married to some Mormon guy busy pumping out more minions for the cause). The thought of this church meddling in Washington the same way they do in Utah, California, or any other state highly influenced by their zombies is horrifying.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Leeroy

      That's interesting. I wonder what was said in Harry Reid's ward. ;)

      September 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  11. The Truth

    Mormons like to prey alright. They prey on the weak, the poor, the uneducated, the lonely, the depressed, the confused, anyone who will listen for two minutes and just doesn't know enough to respond correctly with "Get away from me you scheming weasel who wants to not only r a p e my mind but my wallet as well."

    September 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Rocinante

      Read mormon org

      September 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • mjcharron

      Congratulations, you have just described most religions in our sorry, violent world.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      Rocinante

      Read mormon org

      ________________________________

      Why they won't tell you all the crazy stuff on there.

      Read Scientology.org and it sounds legit too, they don't tell you that the leader claims to have almost been hit by a train on the planet Venus.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • PeteH

      I'm not a Mormon. I know quite a few people who are though. We don't agree on everything, but we do agree that prayer changes things. Personally, I'd rather Mormons be in my corner than all the "happy, liberated, and enlightened" atheists gracing these columns.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      Well Pete, at least atheists don't demand 10% of your income like the Mormon church.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • The Truth

      "We don't agree on everything, but we do agree that prayer changes things." I'm glad you agree to feel that prayer works. Now prove it. Oh wait, you can't because it's bullshlt and you know it. Thanks, i'll take my two minutes back now and you can move on to some uneducated schmuck with your religious version of the nigerian scam. The very foundations of the Mormon religion, and yes, all other organized religion, is based on lies, mistruth, imaginary feelings and unfounded hopes of people who should have been comitted to assylums by their family for the saftey of others.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Mark H

      .

      http://www.ExposeRomney.com

      .

      September 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  12. Rocinante

    Don't confuse Utah Mormon pop culture with the religion as a whole. I am a California Mormon and I have almost nothing in common with Utah Mormons. I am sure that Mitt Romney is more like a regular person than any Utah Mormon you will meet.

    September 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      He was a Utah Mormon Bishop, I am sure he is just like them from a religious viewpoint.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Rocinante

      Romney was Bishop of a congregation in Mass not Utah. Very different people. He was also a Stake President which to me really says something about him as a person.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Jonathan

      Unfortunately that "Utah mormon pop culture" idea is actually more reflective of mormons as a whole than you would like to think. I went on an LDS mission. I met missionaries from everywhere, and a majority were just like the ones from Utah

      September 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      Well then he lied to the people about that. As a Mass. resident he said he no longer had any official church duties when he lived here.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Wendyjo

      No, Willard Mittens, Mitt Romney was not a bishop and stake president in Utah. He served those mormon church callings in Boston, Mass., during the 1980s and early 1990s. I'm no fan of Romney and quit the mormon church long ago. I do prefer that folks get the facts right.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      Did you meeet missionary Mitt in France as he was dodging the draft after protesting for the war?

      September 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • zac

      Wow, you've managed to make yourself look ignorant and offend many in your own religion at the same time. Congratulations!

      September 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Really?

      @Rocinante....You are not a mormon is you think that buddy!!! I am always amazed at the amount of ignorance people display!!! I am not Mormon but I live in Utah and they are normal people just like you so stop your hating and go do something worth while with yourself! Idiot!

      September 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Jean

      I too live in Utah and the people are NOT normal. They believe in crazy things.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  13. Dave

    CNN, what a pathetic ploy for eyeballs. One person writes an email and suddenly the headline is "Mormons fast for Romney". Pathetic.

    September 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Wendyjo

      Dear Dave, the subject (about the email requesting mormons to fast and pray for Romney – and then it going viral among mormons) was in the Salt Lake Tribune a couple of days ago. It's not just CNN, Dave. Try to keep up with current events, Dave.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Peter S.

      Pathetic, yes, but typical for CNN.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  14. hinduMithraism Christianity baseofhindufilthyracism.

    hINDUISM ABSURDITY IN BOOK OF hINDU MITHRA ISM, SAVIOR ISM, LABELED AS BIBLE, CRUCIFIXTION, BUT CRUCIFICTION IN REALITY.

    According to book of Mithra ism savior ism called bible, factious figure claimed to be like Jonah,
    Jonah jumped in to sea, JONAH WAS ALIVE
    Jonah was swollen by fish, JONAH WAS ALIVE
    In the belly of fish, JONAH WAS ALIVE.
    Fish spitted out Jonah on beach, JONAH WAS ALIVE.
    JONAH NEVER DIED, NOR DID, FABRICATED FIGURE JESUS, ACCORDING TO BOOK OF hINDU MITHRA ISM, PAGAN ISM, SAVIOR ISM LABELED BIBLE. HE NEVER DIED ON SIGN OF hINDUISM, RACISM CROSS, AS FOLLOWER OF HINDU MITHRA ISM, SAVIOR ISM, CHRISTIANITY CLAIM TO hIND FOOL HUMANITY IN TO GENTILE ISM, SLAVERY OF hINDU JEW'S, CRIMINAL SELF CENTERED, DENIERS OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE.

    According to book of hindu Mithra sim, savior ism, Christianity bible factious figure Jesus trans figured in to another person on front of his dispels. By account of book of hindu Mithra ism, bible factious figure Jesus was arrested by Romans for pesictution at his last supper by information given by Judas, but as they claim, factious Jesus kissed Judas with smile and Judas smile in return,
    BUT JESUS TRANSFIGURED IN TO JUDAS AND JUDAS TURNED IN TO FORM OF JESUS, IF THEIR CLAIM OF TRANSFIGURATION IS TRUE, ONE ON TRIAL AND HINDU, RACIST CROSS WAS NOT FACTIOUS JESUS, THEY CLAIM BY THEIR HINDU FABRICATED BOOK BIBLE BUT JUDAS, AND THEY PRAY TO JUDAS AS THEIR GOD, AND JUDAS AS THEIR MITHRA, SAVIOR.
    SO MUCH FOR THEIR BOOK OF HINDUISM ,LIES BIBLE TO BELIEVE IN. ONE HAS TO BE A hINDU TO BELIEVE IN HINDUISM, LIES AS TRUTH.

    FOR TRUTH ABOUT BOOK OF HINDUISM, RACISM CALLED BIBLE PLEASE VISIT limit is the truth.com and click on word Choice to open file on website.

    September 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Jiffy Griff

      Take your meds.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  15. Mark H

    There some very good points here comparing Mormonism and Christianity. Throw "Jesus" in the name and call yourself Christian... if only.

    http://www.ExposeRomney.com

    .

    September 28, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  16. lindaluttrell

    Maybe this will offset that bacon shortage...

    September 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  17. some chick

    dont eat for MITT- He who wants to take away food stamps , medicine and any other help for children, vets, old people ????

    September 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      Well as Governor he passed mandatory health insurance, or face a fine. Now he is completely against that. Mitt will say anything to get elected.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Sam

      No kidding. How ironic. I could be wrong but it seems that many of my faith are planning on voting for this guy SIMPLY because he's a fellow Mormon. Funny too when you think of how bad the economy is these days and how many of these blind Mormons actually depend on govt programs JUST to survive. SMH

      September 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Sam

      I'm sorry, I meant to also note how many of these people are trying to raise large/good sized families; thus making them very vulnerable to poverty and the need for the pitiful "safety net" that Romney appears to feel is a wonderful place to be, so wonderful that he plans to "fix" it "if needed" Yeah, he plans to fix it alright, the way you fix a cat to keep her from reproducing!!

      September 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  18. Hu Phart Ngau

    Only fast for a day...? C'mon – You can do bettter than that. How 'bout holding your breath 'til you turn blue. That ought'a be good for just as much, and would pitch much more drama.

    September 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  19. Mike Briggs

    So some over-the-top Mormon wants everyone to fast for Mitt Romney – and it makes CNN's home page. It seems like there are more important things to talk about. Nevertheless, I think this person (and others so inclined) should fast that our nation picks the best person to lead our country (regardless of who that is).

    We have tough challenges with two candidates with different views on how to address those challenges. We should vote based on what approach each of us think will best help the country.

    Mixing religion and politics just helps us to lose focus on what is really important.

    September 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Sam

      Agreed. -a Mormon who will NOT be voting for Romney

      September 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Really?

      @ Sam....Ya that must be because you are one of those that Obama and the Government support. Must be nice not having to work for a living!!!

      September 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  20. Down

    I personally liked seeing the interview with Great Britains PM. Maximum allowable spending fee on election and not allowed to advertise on television. I think that policy should be adopted, then we can treat each others parties with respect and dignity which is what all Americans strive for. This fasting is ridiculous and I feel bad for all of you that think its worthwhile. Sure you will pat yourselves on the back that yes it worked if Romney gets elected, but what do you do if he isn't. Does that mean that your god has forsaken you and your party???? I'd love to know what your elders are coming up with in their secret chambers.

    September 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • WASP

      @down: the two typical responces when something a christian prays for doesn't go there way;
      1) it was god's will.
      2) the devil did it.

      lmfao

      September 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • KJ6VKX

      Great idea about campaign financing. But your criticism of fasting is totally obtuse–based on a host of assumptions about Mormons and faith in general. The LDS Church is well represented in both of our country's major parties (does the name Harry Reid ring a bell?). Fasting is millennia old and practiced by peoples of all faiths. Instead of criticizing those who understand the joys of fasting and prayer, why don't you try it out sometime for yourself? God wants us to fast and pray for those things that are important to us–and if it's for the wrong thing, he has ways of letting us know.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Wendyjo

      Not a worry, Romney is losing and not by small numbers. But Down, you be surprised at how obnoxious these mormons really are. They smugly pat themselves on the back, giving themselves credit for the most absurd and even simple events because they prayed for just that to happen; therefore, they somehow made it happen.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • LOL

      @Wendy.....Your mormon husband must have left you or something cause you are a bitter ignorant person!!!! (And I am NOT mormon). LOL

      September 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
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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.