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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. Leeroy

    I guess Harry Reid wasn't paying attention in Church when "every Bishop" told us how to vote becuae he surely would have said something by now. Surprised he doesn't just make something up. ;)

    September 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  2. 1amazed2u

    Praying and fasting for someone who hides his questionable business practices from the public? Just because he is Mormon does not make him a knight in shining armor. Wake up folks.........

    September 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Ancient Texan

      What about fasting and praying for "the ONE" who pays millions to hide and seal his entire past history?

      September 28, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Consequence

      I was not aware that Romney "hides" his taxes from the IRS. Taxes are between you and the IRS – and it is the IRS which pursues you if you have made an error or violated the law. In these many years Romney has paid his taxes, I have not read of one instance in which he has been sued or fined by the IRS for unpaid taxes, not even from Obama's IRS. What I have read, however, is that Romney used his taxed income to make smart investments – investments in companies which keep people employed while his own $2 million dollars in taxes go to pay for Obama phones and other programs which Obama does not pay for because he only pays $162,000 in taxes TO the Treasury while taking FROM the Treasury over $400,000 in salary alone. that $238,000 difference is paid by the likes of Mitt Romney.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  3. Ruthie

    If the faithful pray that Romney wins, and if they pray "Thy will be done" as instructed, and Obama wins, will they then recognize that Obama is God's choice and shut up? I think not.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  4. Norm

    I hate the fact that everyone I work with and my entire family will all be voting for Romney. For the single reason that he is Mormon. It's ridiculous! Make up your mind based on facts not on their religion because honestly, religion doesn't tell you jack about a persons true face.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  5. Tom Sellier

    I hate to tell ya all Mormons this but your prayers will not be heard because the only prayer God hears from a sinner is the prayer of them wanting to get saved.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  6. clubschadenfreude

    alrighty, who's god has got the best prayer answering service? Is it Allah contests with God to see who gets the best answer those setting IEDs to blow up to kill US soldiers or those soldiers who are praying not to die? How about YHWH who sat on his thumb while his worshipers were killed in death camps? Or the God with its Vril that Himmler worshipped? Is it the God that hangs out near Kolob, and waits for Mormons to pray but can't safe when they were being persecuted? Or is it the God of evangelical Christians who are sure that making as much money as possible and holding on to it is an answer to their prayers? What about the God that will surely destroy Disneyland and Dover, PA on Pat Robertson's command?

    Waht happens when prayers fail? Oh lots of excuses. One of the popular ones is "It wasn't God's will." Funny, if you actually believed that, you'd never bother praying at all for any thing, since well, it could be against God's will.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  7. CHang

    Insert Fork....Done. Mitt gonna get roasted, McCain did it before shutting down Mitt....way too easy like. Had Mitt flushing red, nervous giggling and all "wait a minute now" stumbling. Debates gonna be like Mike Tyson boxing Waldo,...wheres Mitt?

    September 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Jeff

      Yup, Romney has to absolutely beat Obama in the debates if he has any chance, and I seriously doubt he will pull it off.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  8. FG

    God can do all things and I'm sure in this case He will as well.

    Unfortunately for Mitty God has asked us to take care of those who can't care of themselves.

    I rest my case. Amen

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

      And at 47%, that is quite a list!

      September 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Ancient Texan

      Yeah, and Obama's pastor, Wright, has already told God what to do with and about America. We do have a problem.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  9. Jeff

    Don't mormons know that around the country Romney being Mormon is not a positive to his campaign. The main strategy for Romney has been to acknowledge but downplay his religion.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  10. waveblazer

    We do????!!!!!

    September 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  11. Rewind

    The all will be quite skinny by time they get done fasting because there is no way in He** Rob-mey-of-everything will ever be president of these United States.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  12. Ed R

    I'm surprised that liberals object to fasting and prayer on the part of a small group of faithful people, when it is clearly depicted as a common practice in the Old and New Testaments. However, they are highly in favor of anything done by black evangelical churches to support their candidates, who ignore IRS restrictions and freely mix church and religion right at the pulpit. Just another example of religion-baiting by CNN. Why can't they focus on matters of national concern? We certainly have enough of them – domestically and internationally.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Steaming Pile of Mitt

      Muslims fast all the time, must make it the thing to do right?

      September 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • snowboarder

      object? no one objects.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • clubschadenfreude

      wow, nice baseless claim there. Nope, dearie, all of this stupidity about fasting and praying is hilarious on each side since it *all* fails. We had the idiot mayor here in Harrisburg, PA try to pray the budget failure away. Golly, how "well" that worked.

      And let's not forget, the stories of the OT also always had genocide as being something that God wants you to do. I'm rather glad we've at least got rid of that bit of primitive ignorance. Now it's time to get rid of the rest.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Don F.

      I don't think they object to the fasting part but question the meaning of Mormans fasting for Romney on one hand and other Christian groups fasting for Obama on the other. In a world of absolute truth and right, both can't be. And if Mormons are solidly for Romney how might that contrast with other expressions of Christianity. Also is fasting a form of voting before God. The group with the most fasting wins???? And if that be true what might that say about the doctrine of Gods will can not be thwarted.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  13. Reality

    Only for new members of this blog:

    AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As do M. Romney and H. Reid)

    "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney and H. Reid also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does Obama and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan and their families )

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  14. Jeff

    Yeah, thought aught to work.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  15. roobin102

    fast all ya want weirdos, he will NEVER be president of this country

    September 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  16. felix el gato

    Fast until death or it doesn't count.

    September 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  17. Robert Brown

    As a nation, we will get what we deserve as far as government leaders are concerned. This is God’s way. The leaders reflect the nation as a whole. If we obey God, he will give us a good leader, if we reject him not so good. As individuals isn’t it wonderful that we don’t have to get what we deserve?

    September 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • snowboarder

      that doesn't sound crazy to you?

      September 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Well it's not the craziest thing believers believe!

      September 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      But Robert, if, as a nation, we are sold into slavery it may not be something we all deserve as individuals. Such is the way of the Lord.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Ancient Texan

      Great post- but don't expect the lefties to understand what you are even talking about.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  18. James Madison

    Why is this news? Are not many Obama supporters praying for him? CNN will cover anything that might remotely cast Mitt in a negative light. Please cover the Libyan embassy attack scandal!! Mr. Obama and his administration lied for 2 weeks because they didn't want it known that the Libyan attack was terrorism. They fumbled the ball, ignored warnings and then lied for 2 weeks, but a bunch of Mormons fasting is real news?!

    September 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • usa

      Totally agree !!

      September 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Ancient Texan

      But the Obama followers don't get excited about the Embassies or the Cover up....they're still giddy because the first couple appeared on "THE VIEW".

      September 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  19. HAHA

    It seems Mitt is the only one who still feels confident he can win. His party is already coming up with excuses for why he'll lose the debate, despite all of the practice he's had with Rob Portman, and his fellow Mormons are fasting because they know they need a miracle.

    The funny thing is that he fits their description of an anti-christ.

    "John the Revelator described the antichrist as a deceiver (1 Jn. 2:18–22; 4:3–6; 2 Jn. 1:7)"

    "He deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of miracles, Rev. 13:13–17"
    -got these straight from lds.org

    Mitt will fix the economy? What good is economy if we're at war with any country that won't submit to "the greatest nation on earth"? BTW, see what the Mormon church has to say about pride. They teach that we are ALL God's children, not just those that live in America. What makes us so important that we have the authority to kill off people of other countries in the name of our "freedom" and "opportunity"? God gave a commandment-thou shalt not kill. It doesn't make sense that one would defy that commandment because they think god is on their side. It seems to me that someone of faith would trust that if a "terrorist" did kill them, they would be in God's hands? Why then are you so afraid of death that you would be the first to have blood on your hands? Are you not committing the same sin that you're killing them for committing?

    September 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  20. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    If Romney does not get elected, will the idiots that believe prayer has any effect admit that it does not?

    Please vote for the least delusional candidate – Obama!

    September 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • bud johnson

      Gary Johnson the Libertarian candidate would be the least delusional. But you go right on thinking that the two parties that got us into this mess can and or even want to get us out of it.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      You are most likely correct about a Libertarian candidate being the least delusional but there is virtually no chance one will be elected president soon. You assume too much – I think the USA is fucked no matter what. If Obama is re-elected and spending continues, bad news. If Romney gets elected and he does not touch defense spending and cuts radically in other areas, not good.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:14 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.