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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 • Faith Now • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (2,123 Responses)
  1. Strand

    Everyone make sure to wash their Magic Underwear tonight,it's gonna be along fasting.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  2. Obamaphone

    Who would vote for Romney when I get a free Obamaphone paid for by tax payers! Woohoo!

    September 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • obamaisgood

      I know! I came in this country illegally and now I can stay for free, have all the babies I want, food stamps, healthcare and my obamaphone... and I dont pay for anything!! THANKS OBAMA! You got my vote!

      September 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • funtimeinamaerica

      Obama is ghetto fab! I got new nikes with my gov't check! Thanks obama! I have no idea what you do, but you make it easy for me and my homies!

      September 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • cheeseplease

      Who care about national security when I get a fat check n dun even hav to work! I'll just buy an AK with my government cheese if we get attacked! Cut military spending and give me my CHEESE!

      September 28, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  3. Jose Lopez

    ROMNEY GO TO HELL

    September 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • work?nahhh

      I know Jose!! If Romney was to win, you actually might have to work for a living! Wow, think about that.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  4. rbrbndmn

    I'm praying for Obama. He doesn't need any help with winning this election, but he can add my prayers to his political capital.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  5. no

    This is exactly the problem. She thinks she did her part for the world and now she won't do anything to really help anyone, ever. Because she thinks this was all that was needed. We need people to act on real things, not make believe.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Tay

      "And for Williams, who works as an aide to special needs kids..." Sounds to me like she's doing something. I may not agree with her notion that God should favor her political candidate, but don't be so quick to dismiss people.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  6. Strand

    So if God has a hand in voting for President and this woman is not voting for Obama. Does that mean God was wrong 4 years ago?

    September 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • truth be told

      No America faces the judgement of God in poor and ineffective leadership.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • rbrbndmn

      Actually, God saw Palin on the ticket in 2008 and made the right call.

      Obama 2012

      September 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • snowboarder

      be told – it is disconcerting that people might actually think that.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  7. snowboarder

    obviously whichever candidate wins was chosen by god.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • truth be told

      Poor leadership is Gods curse on a nation.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      God created hanging Chads.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  8. jldskj

    The LAST thing this country needs is a "Dear Leader".

    September 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Texas Boy

      I agree, and yet we have Americans placing the face of President Obama on American flags...its unstable ground we walk on.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  9. Rosslaw

    Jesus is getting ready to come on down from the planet Kolob to whip some right-wing butt.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • libertyislife

      I'm not a right winger; I received this email to pray for Romney from a high school friend I have not seen in 55 years; she is not a Mormon; I'm Catholic, I forwarded it to every Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, Catholic, Jew, 7th Day Adventist, and all other Christians and some who do not have a religion who I know will pray every hour of the day that we get that good for nothing socialist who is destroying American out of office!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Prayers do come true. God is all around us, and he's certainly watching you and your actions.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  10. Mike, Albany

    "I cannot tell you how scared I am for the future of our country."

    Great. If you are so scared about the future of the country and believe in the power of prayer, why have you not been praying all along for a better future, for the economy to strengthen, for more jobs, for a better infrastructure, for less partisanship and political deadlock in Washington,...? Why not pray for Obama? I guess you've never been interested in him or his success, right? Your powers of prayer only work when it comes to helping another Mormon become president.

    Isn't religion a wonderful thing?

    September 28, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  11. usa

    Where are the Jeremiah Wright headlines and Obama's association with him and his church's teachings??

    September 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • demliberals!

      I dont know, let's ask him.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      On Faux news along with his birth certificate.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • snowboarder

      the church of christ?

      September 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • barbraS

      Wright's got nothing on the bull that comes out of the Temple in SLC. I'll take Wright!

      September 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  12. Informed

    LOL, forget prayer, a miracle is about all that can help Mitt in his spiraling nosedive into oblivion. If his message was true, he wouldn't need prayer now would he?

    September 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • UnBiased

      I think what people may say is that Obama is a better politician. So perhaps Romney does need a miracle to become president. Because we don't need a good politician right now. We need a strong (moral) leader. So why not pray for this miracle? If God intends for this to happen, then it will.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  13. MizKathryn

    If they fast...they'll starve.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  14. BOb

    Actually, on election day, instead of voting, I am going to invoke the power of prayer and spend the day praying as I know that this will get more people out to the polls to vote for Mitt Romney. I would encourage all Christians to do the same.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Informed

      LOL, you make it too easy. I would suggest praying for a miracle. Mind you, if Mitt needs prayers to win, then he was not a very good choice in the first place was he?

      September 28, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      Good luck with that, by the way Mitt is about as much of a Christian as a Muslim.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • libertyislife

      For Informed: "if he needs prayers to win" ... I had two brain operations in 1986 with abscess and brain fungus. If you know anything about the brain illness, you know that that is very very very serious. I was near death; I started to go into a coma and was immediately operated upon at midnight. So so so so so many people all over this nation prayed for me. My neurosurgeons even thought I would not live. My entire family flew to California to see me for what they thought was the "last time" I was in IC for almost 3 months. I went on to drive, go back to work, retire, travel to all 50 states and about 30 foreign nations. Prayers certainly helped me. God is real and I am go grateful to be able to pray in 2012 for Romney to be elected to save this nation.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  15. John

    I will tell you this, if Obama is re-elected, for sure God does not like this country.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • snowboarder

      which god are you referring?

      September 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      God blesses Obama, he did not let us get attacked like under Bush the fake 12 step Christian.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • GOD

      Sorry, John. According to my disciples, you have not fasted yet. I cannot grant your wish until you fast for at least 24 hours.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Informed

      The spaghetti monster awakens...

      September 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • truth be told

      Given the choices... poor leadership is Gods curse on a nation. When either one wins it will be a loss for America.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • demliberals!

      So God is selective now? Woooow...

      September 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Drinky Crow

      I will tell you this; god doesn't exist. Go peddle your crazy elsewhere.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • snowboarder

      be told – the whole god thing aside, you are right about poor choices.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Mary

      You need to watch Mormonism Temple of Doom – God said suffer not a witch to live.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Texas Boy

      My hope more than anything is that our country be led by a good person of sound moral principle. This goes well beyond party lines.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • griffbos

      I disagree my God says vote Obama, and don;t trust Romney..............

      September 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  16. Texas Boy

    Another point. This story highlights one of the most remarkable pieces of our American framework, for people to worship as they see fit. I am a Mormon who has read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Qu'ran, and other holy books. I am grateful for a land that lets people lead their lives without fear from harm for what they believe in. This woman is being led by her heart to do what she believes, and its not illegal. Sure there are the critics too, but they have THEIR right to believe too. God Bless America.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      I call B.S. If you had read even one of those books you would be an atheist.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Texas Boy

      I live by the concept of right or wrong. There are those that believe that God does not exist, that religion is the opiate of the masses, etc. I respect that..but also what if there IS a God? I like the idea that there is something bigger out there for each of us.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Texas Boy

      I appreciate your opinion Crisis. Thank you for sharing.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Informed

      Too true. If ANYONE reads one of those books cover to cover with an objective mind, they would realize it's all nonsense.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Joepub

      You have just ignored the posters neutral point of view in order to spew your cr@pola. Good Job.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Texas Boy

      If you take WERE to take God out of the picture, these books profess human decency and concern for their fellow man. My opinion stands.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Texas Boy
      "I know I'm part of something greater than myself
      Don't know the meaning of it but I hope that matters less
      I don't know anything when I'm factored out of scale
      I know I'm part of something greater than myself
      We're all engaging in a game of attrition
      Maybe god is just a chemical fiction
      I'm a monkey with a madding affliction
      With fact checking for a mental condition"

      – Dr. Greg Graffin (Bad Religion)

      September 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Texas Boy

      I hope to read the Bhagavad Gita next!

      September 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Texas Boy
      Don't forget the Tanakh, Talmud, Midrash, New Testament, Quran, Sunnah, Nahjul Balagha, Avesta, Vedas, Upanisahds, Bhagavad Gita, Puranas, Tantras, Sutras, Vachanas, Adi Granth, Purvas, Samayasara, Niyamasara, Pravacanasara, and Pancastikaya; Anupreksa; Samadhishataka of Pujyapada; Tattvarthasutra of Umasvati, Tattvarthasutra, Pali Tripitaka, Jataka,, Visuddimagga, Tripitaka, Lotus Sutra, Garland Sutra, Analects; the Great Learning; the Doctrine of the Mean; the Mencius, Tao Te Ching, Chuang-tzu, Kojiki, Nihon Shoki, K-oki, Ofudesaki, Mikagura-uta, Michi-no-Shiori, Johrei, Goseigen, Netarean Shower of Holy Doctrines, Chun Boo Kyung, Kitab-i-Iqan, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Book of Mormon, Dianetics, or Revelation X!

      September 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  17. GOD

    Sorry to break this to you my loyal followers but I no longer accept fasting as one of the means of communicating directly to me. Haven't you heard of Facebook or Twitter? Get with the program! You all are frankly starting to annoy me with your incessant whining for whatever! Starting today, everyone is going straight to HELL!!

    September 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  18. Bill

    “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.”

    So where is Romney's heart? Is it in the socially moderate govenor or the right-wing conservative presidential candidate? Why pray for Romney to win anyways? Just pray for the better leader to win and when the dust settles we'll see who god picked, just don't complain if you disagree with his choice...

    September 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Randy

      Bill, it isn't the Lord who votes, rather it is "we the people". When my wife and I pray, we ask Him to bless the candidate of our choice, if it be His will. We all have agency to act for ourselves. So go ahead and vote as you see best. Nobody can justly blame diety for what we choose.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  19. CielExpédié

    Vous athées croient aux mensonges du Talmud. Quand allez-vous croire à la vérité, qui nous est donnée par Dieu à son don pour nous la Sainte Bible? Mon camel-toe avalé la remorque voisins. Il est temps pour vous de commencer votre marche avec Jésus ou brûler brûler brûler.

    Amen.

    September 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Informed

      ???

      September 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • PJ

      English, please.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Matt in Utah

      In essense: he/she is saying that athiests believe the lies of the Talmud and asks when will they believe the truth, which is the gift given by god, the holy bible. Not sure what the next line is exactly, some sort of slang for a middle-easterner/arab, translation is roughly a camel-toe swallowing their neighbors. Um, ick. Last line says that if they don't start to follow Jesus, they'll burn burn burn.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  20. annsew

    so much for the separation of church and state!

    September 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • American

      Look, these are individuals applying their faith, praying that God will allow the right candidate to win. There is no connection between religion and our government. Don't jump on the bandwagon for no reason.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Earl Gray

      The idea of praying to God for one man to "win" over another man in a debate, is like praying for a sports team to win.

      It is selfish, self centered and beneath contempt.... Absolutely not what god is worried about....

      September 28, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Joepub

      How does this intrude upon separation of church and state?

      September 28, 2012 at 3:53 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.