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."
It's at least better than striping for Obama. Anybody remember Madona and the like?
What the heck are you talking about? Stop listening to Madonna, most people did decades ago.
LOL Willard Mittens!
She was right. "She spoke to fears about those who dismiss people of faith, or take what she and others consider sacred and make it ugly." From reading the comments, her fears were justified. CNN just keeps dishing it up, everyone else comes to feed at the trough.
under obama and george sorros we,ll all be muslims without ak 47,s
Take off the tin foil hat, Obama has been President for years. Your silly made up lies are not going to happen. Fear what ChickenHawk Mitt might do causing WW3 starting with Iran.
mary has been listening to a bit too much talk radio.
if you really believe that you are an ignorant fool, but i'm guessing you are just a liar.
This is all part of Mitt's plan to sell his new
Swanson Hungry Mormon TV Dinners.
Very nice. And Madona will strip for Obama.
To go hungry and not feed your kids for the evening while hoping this guy does well in the debate is just you being lazy and not wanting to cook dinner or do the dishes. though I respect your choice to be delusional and to starve your kids for the night in fast. I still feel obligated to tell you that is in fact. ... lame.... and as much as you pray romney wins, Prayer will not triumph over fact. you are welcome to think otherwise, and I know that you do because your bible tells you so.... Just realize that Romney is not good presidential material.
Mormons don't require nor push their children to fast. Generally fasting is not suggested for any reason for children until they are in the early adolescence. Do not speak of what you don't know.
people have accepted obama as a muslim why not an honest mormon/he won.t allow honor killings
people have accepted obama as a muslim?
What a pointless, inflammatory and nonsense comment, I guess you're bored and are trolling on the blogs today?
Hey newsflash Obama is not a Muslim.
Maybe if she had been interested enough in the well being of her country all along the last 4 years and prayed and fasted something 'miracleous" would have already occurred.... seems very partisan to me and not at all patriotic.
Prayer changes things .
Creepy thrashing nags.
This was sarcasm, I hope. I have two amazing atheist kids who are compassionate, hardworking examples of what all of humanity aspires to. They offer support to less popular kids, volunteer at a soup kitchen, and work hard to become better people every day...because they think it's right. Not because some sky daddy is going to send them to hell if they don't.
You dont understand Atheism. All children are born atheists. Yes, even you were once atheists. It is not actively hating God. God desn't even cross our minds just like how a 5 year old child does not plan for the tax implications of their weekly allowance (There isn't any). If religion shapes how you treat others, then your narcissism probably won't get you too far from hell.
did praying get us to the moon? how about building the a-bomb? the internet? cell phones? whatever your motivation for DOING SOMETHING is doesn't really matter does it? the only thing that matters is DOING SOMETHING... if you think prayer is DOING something... you are DELUSIONAL... get off ur butt and DO SOMETHING...
Is this a month of mormon Romney Ramadan?
LOL, best comment today
If Romney is President we'll all involuntary have to fast.... Because Romney can't believe us Americans think we have a right to food. Food can still grow on trees in this Country, Right? LDS Church tells their followers how to vote and everything else they will do.... minions!
Do some research!! What you say is not only untrue, but actually the complete opposite of what the Church does. Wow.
Check your facts. The LDS Church has a long standing policy of not influencing politics. There are Mormons in both parties and not every Mormon is going to vote for Romney. Sounds to me that you're more of a sheeple then you claim these people are by buying in to the vacuous hate-mongering against them.
Not sure how you got misinformed but the LDS church does not support any candidate and reminds its members each election of that fact.
Sorry Mitt you'll never win
And don't forget the magic underwear.
The great thing about magic underwear is your hash marks disappear.
It has been proven that God didn’t treat Bachman and Perry for what they prayed and they were tossed out of the nomination. I don’t think God will treat Romney differently.
If there is such a being, I can't imagine he gives two shi*s about politics.
My new band: Hungry Mormons for Jeebus!
We'll all be fasting if Romney wins. But it won't be fasting, it will be starving.
We might have to wat Mitt's loser Olympic dancing horse.
By the way he got 70,000. in tax credits to own that Olympic horse.
The only thing Obama will do "fast" is destroy our country financially. We are racing toward a fiscal cliff and Obama seems fine with leading the whole nation right over the edge.
Why not do a few spells and incantations as well? It's just as effective.
Moron's fast for Romney. . . .
Funny how Mormon and moron are almost spelled the same AND equate so well together.
Only going to fast for a day – it might help if they were to fast from now until the election.
when faced with a problem it is better to have just one man with a sharp mind and a strong back than one thousand men on their knees in prayer.
Unless you are looking for a dropped contact lense.
Ill take the thousand men who kneel in prayer and then get to work on the problem. You can stick with the one who thinks he can do it all by himself.
The problem is sin the solution Salvation, what good does the strong man do? God bless
The problem is the strong man ages and the sharp mind declines. What good is the strong man ?God bless
sayin – sin and salvation are from imaginations of ancient men unable to comprehend the natural world.
" a day of prayer and fasting for Mitt Romney started making the Mormon rounds."
Dum dum dum dum dum. While the origins of all religions are based on pretty silly stories...the mormon origins are especially silly and unbelievable. Take some time a look at this and you can even cross reference the most silly parts.
You get all your information from South Park?? I can't be the only one who sees the problem here...
of course not. It's a humorous way to learn about it and like I said, go ahead and cross reference the silliness and you'll see the points made are actually true.
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.