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.
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."
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.
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!
I pray that The Lord's Will be done . . . but I'm voting for Romney. :)
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...
I am a Mormon. I was a missionary. I will not be voting for Mitt Romney thank you.
This is going to backfire.
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.
At least some people may lose weight.
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.
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.
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.
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!
There are not enough prayers for Romney during this election. Good game
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!
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.
@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.
Sorry WendyJo, but Jim is right.
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.
That's interesting. I wonder what was said in Harry Reid's ward. ;)
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."
Read mormon org
Congratulations, you have just described most religions in our sorry, violent world.
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.
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.
Well Pete, at least atheists don't demand 10% of your income like the Mormon church.
"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.
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.
He was a Utah Mormon Bishop, I am sure he is just like them from a religious viewpoint.
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.
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
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.
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.
Did you meeet missionary Mitt in France as he was dodging the draft after protesting for the war?
Wow, you've managed to make yourself look ignorant and offend many in your own religion at the same time. Congratulations!
@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!
I too live in Utah and the people are NOT normal. They believe in crazy things.
CNN, what a pathetic ploy for eyeballs. One person writes an email and suddenly the headline is "Mormons fast for Romney". Pathetic.
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.
Pathetic, yes, but typical for CNN.
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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.
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Take your meds.
There some very good points here comparing Mormonism and Christianity. Throw "Jesus" in the name and call yourself Christian... if only.
Maybe this will offset that bacon shortage...
dont eat for MITT- He who wants to take away food stamps , medicine and any other help for children, vets, old people ????
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.
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
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!!
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.
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.
Agreed. -a Mormon who will NOT be voting for Romney
@ 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!!!
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.
@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.
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.
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.
@Wendy.....Your mormon husband must have left you or something cause you are a bitter ignorant person!!!! (And I am NOT mormon). LOL
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