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."
I think its great that you and the fellow Mormons are praying! While in prayer please ask God why you choose a faith that says ALL BLACK people are cursed. 1 Nephi 12:23
May God bless you that is all!
Mormonism racist? Well I never!
It's not like any of the Prophets and their group of 12 have ever said anything like this:
"From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it is has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Neg.roes are not ent.itled to the full blessings of the Gospel. God's rule for Israel, His Chosen People, has been endogamous."
– George Albert Smith J. Reuben Clark, Jr. David O. McKay
Or that the LDS ever tried to teach young children something like this:
"We will first inquire into the results of the approbation or displeasure of God upon a people, starting with the belief that a black skin is a mark of the curse of Heaven placed upon some portions of mankind. Some, however, will argue that a black skin is not a curse, nor a white skin a blessing. In fact, some have been so foolish as to believe and say that a black skin is a blessing, and that the ne.gro is the finest type of a perfect man that exists on the earth; but to us such teachings are foolishness.
We understand that when God made man in his own image and pronounced him very good, that he made him white. We have no record of any of God's favored servants being of a black race...every angel who ever brought a message of God's mercy to man was beautiful to look upon, clad in the purest white and with a countenance bright as the noonday sun. (Juvenile Instructor, Vol. 3, page 157)
Ever since the Republican Convention, I've been thinking about Romney and Ryan every time I go to the bathroom to do my business. And ever since, they've been sliding in the polls. So I've been encouraging my friends to do the same. This seems like a perfect alternative for "fast and pray."
Collectively, we're doing a "Poop for Romney/Ryan" campaign. Hopefully we can get the media to write a nice story about this too.
CNN are you ever going to write a story regarding the complete and utter mishandling of info after the Libya attack. Or are personal emails of people that support Mitt Romney really what the people want to hear. Please turn yourself back into a news organization and not a political support group for Obama. Thank you
We thankfully live in a free country. People can pray and fast – or not. No one is hurting anyone by doing this. We're voting on the candidate we see best to lead the nation – on policy. What is the big threat here?
She and the rest of the mormons would be better off praying that Romney doesn't make a complete fool of himself during the debates. Frankly Romney doesn't have a snowball's chance in the mormon version of hell of winning, but if they want to waste their votes and prayers, well, they can have at it.
Thanks for the reminder why this type of candidate is a danger to America.
Mormanism is not bad but some of the men are. They DO believe in Jesus Christ.but they put too much emphysis on Joseph Smith.Also thier president is known as a prophet. Does that ring a bell. Satin will have a false prophet with him in the end days.
satan? we got a live one here.
Last time I checked, "Satin" was a type of fabric weave that typically has a glossy surface and a dull back.
Don't forget to watch the movie September Dawn.
Yous should all pray for God to make Mitt a Latino like he wants.
Why on Earth would Mormons fast for Romney? He certainly doesn't proclaim his religion! He's kept it as mum as possible. If he were a proud Mormon – wouldn't he say so?
I wouldn't vote for Romney if someone paid me.. which I wouldn't put past Republicans. I will be voting for Obama.
99 % of all Mormons do not practice their own beliefs. Dont forget that the religion itself is a fraud.
ausy – that religion is just one of many that are frauds.
Hey Mormons! You mean even if you weren't fasting for Mitt you couldn't have a beer with your BACON CHEESEBURGER? Not even a full pint of SMOOTH THICK CREAMY STOUT with hints of chocolate and molasses?
I can't believe I'm reading these posts in 2012. Folks, we don't know a thing now and later when we die, we still won't know a thing. It's okay...deal with it and in the meantime, live a good life.
As an X morman I can tell you tha If Mitt is elected .women will go back to the dark ages. mormans believe that women should stay home and bake cookies. They are not involved in the workings of the church and on sundays after service they are sent to the womens learning area while the men do all the church business.Also if Miutt is hoiding his tax returns it's because Mormans are held accountable fore their earnings and are supposed to give 10% to the church,along with other requirements,or they cannot enter the temple.
You can't be an X Mormon because you are clueless.
Mormons gave me literature that stated that women should serve men, walk behind them and not initiate conversations with men.
So, a U.S. president can actually do that?
This is the most ignorant statement I have ever heard. I am a full-time attorney, mother of two children, and a proud Mormon. I would never belong to a Church that treated women in this manner.
prayer is delusional... it makes you THINK or BELIEVE you are doing something that can effect change when you aren't. Did prayer get us to the moon or help us win WW2... its something LAZY STUPID IGNORANT religious people do to feel better about being too LAZY, IGNORANT, and STUPID to actually DO SOMETHING that will EFFECT CHANGE...
I feel sorry for you, To have FAITH is the most powerful thing in the world, to have a desire to go to the moon is human !!! seeking more knowledge, remember EVE ate the Apple, ohhh yeah you would know that or believe that!!! Find GOD he is everywhere, and always listening
wow its amazing.. we have something in common... i feel sorry for you too.... living a life of delusion is AWESOME until REALITY BIOTCH slaps you in the face and pops the sheltered bubble of the priveledged happy life you live and heaps misery onto you and your loved ones and all you can do/say/think is... god has a plan... yup a plan to make you suffer for a reason you can't understand... from my VAST knowledge of the world and human nature i know how to make choices that avoid MOST of the misery and suffering the rest of you shlubs endure, can't avoid everything, but instead of wasting time with religious b and s i think about avoiding misery and suffering... 35 years and so far sooooooo goooood...
"She spoke to fears about those who dismiss people of faith, or take what she and others consider sacred and make it ugly." She was correct. Out come all the weirdos......
My name is Mitt Romney and I support this message.
Liar! your real name is Willard!
truth be told
No America faces the judgement of God in poor and ineffective leadership.
No, God likes to kill nearly every living man, woman, infant, fetus, and land animal in a great flood to teach them a lesson.
you do not know what you are talking about.
Just like Rick Perry asking Texans to pray for rain that never came..RIDICULOUS!
It is raining now. God is not Mc Donalds.
NOT EVEN GOD CAN HELP YOU AND HOPEFULLY YOU ALL DIE OF STARVATION
Praying for Mitt to win has nothing to do with wanting the better person in power. Just the better Mormon.
You mean the ONLY MORMON!!
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.