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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. Argle Bargle

    Picking Romney isn't going to make it any better. Congress needs to be completely cleaned out and replaced with people who are more interested in working for America than their own pocketbooks or power bases.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      Out of Obama or Mitt who do you think is trying to line their own pockets? Obama who wants to slightly increase his own taxes? Or Mitt who would pay Zero taxes on his wealth of nearly half a billion dollars under Ryan's tax plan? Mitt stands to save tens of millions a year in taxes if his tax plan gets adopted.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Argle Bargle

      All politicians are trying to line their pockets. That's why it's time to flush Congress and get people in there who won't (on penalty of getting their royal behinds kicked). They're a far bigger problem than a president.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  2. Yakima

    TIN FOIL HAT ALERT !!!!!..If you ever had reason not to vote for the Crazy Mormon from KOLOB this just doubles it !

    September 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Average American

      You're not very bright, are you?

      September 28, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  3. MCRUSA

    Let's just hope they will be too weak from the fasting to cast their vote..

    September 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Melissa Scribner

      Not only will I not be too weak to vote, I just donated $2,400 to conservative candidates this month (of which $2,200 went to Romney). Now, what are YOU going to do?

      September 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      We will laugh at you! Mitt spends over 1 million a year on his dancing Olympic horse, he will buy it a treat with your donation!

      September 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Melissa Scribner

      Go ahead and laugh, Willard. It isn't over yet. And regardless of how it turns out, I will get a B in civics. I will have done my duty trying to save the country. That is no laughing matter.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      OK, throw you money away on a tax evader and draft dodger Mitt. I hope no men in your family are of draftable age, because Mitt wants a war with Iran and Syria and his kids will surely never serve.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  4. BlackMormon2012

    Mona Williams states, “I am just a woman who believes that God loves this country and his hand is in whatever happens.” Was not God's hand in the election of President Obama? I'm a proud black latter-day saint. Despite the ugly history and lack of diversity in the US, I still believe! Call me crazy, whatever. Latter-day saints revere the founding fathers and believe this country is guided by God...until a black man is elected president. I don't get it. Every other non-Mormon president is inspired by God...until 1/2 Black Obama. I believe Mitt Romney is a good man but I was shocked by his 47% statement and not to mention referring to some descendants of the Lamanites as "Taco Jockeys." Not to mention his whole sale acceptance of extreme right wing hate mongering. A Mormon president would be great! The Mitt that we are seeing right now is not that man. I'm thinking Huntsman 2016.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm |

    • Think BlackMormon2012. Think like the wind. Think as long and as hard as you can. Joltin' Jon has left and gone away.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Melissa Scribner

      Mona, as a Mormon, too, I am opposed to Obama because he's a MARXIST, not that he's Black. If you did your homework with an open mind, you would discover the same.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • pockets

      Just more and more confirmation that religions are full of wack jobs. Its just a sad comment on society as a whole. One day in the future people will look back, IF this planet survives what we are doing to it. And those attening temples and churchs will be looked upon and ignorant and having a mental illness. RIP Hitch you were right. Religion Does Poison Everything.The mormon's are totally out to lunch. Its a CULT.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      Melisa, do you even have a clue what a Marxist is? Give me 1 key difference between a Marxist , a socialist and a communist?

      September 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Kev

      I'm also a Latter-Day-Saint who happens to agree with you.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  5. Annirich

    this cracks me up; these socialist libs on here criticizing Romney yet they had Muslims no less praying for TWO DAYS before the Dem Convention only to be booing for inserting the word God back into their platform! What are farce they are! Here's a statement from THEIR Prez (becuase he certainly isn't mine) to the UN:
    "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam"...blatanly Muslim!!! That's your President for you!

    September 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      LOL Mitt required all Mass. residents to buy health insurance through the state or face a fine. Now you call the same thing Socialism, give it up hypocrite!

      September 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • weezer

      You need someone to pray for you to get some brains, scarecrow. The statement was to Muslims to reject extremists. The Prez is Protestant, b0z0.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  6. natFrankie

    Given the separation of Church and State in this country, how can a Mormon Priest even think of running for office? Is he trying to make us all Mormons?

    September 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • AL

      Your ignorance is unbelieveable.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Kev

      Well, for one thing Romney isn't in any church leadership role currently, so basically he is just like anyone else who is of a certain faith who also happens to be running for office, so how does someone in that situation run for office when it comes to the idea of separation of church and state?

      September 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Melissa Scribner

      natFrankie, Romney is no more trying to convert you, or anyone else, by running for President, than Kennedy was trying to convert you to Catholicism.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      Kev, a few pages back a Mormon claimed Mitt was a Bishop while Governor of Massachusetts, so.....

      September 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  7. CACkle

    No doubt this effort will do the trick!

    September 28, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  8. The Truth Teller

    As that student says that there afraid for the country and this lady wants to pray for Romney Ok then why haven't you been praying for Obama who is for the have's and the have not Jesus wouldn't be in Romney's court due to the way he does the least of us as you put it !

    September 28, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  9. snowboarder

    i am thinking of performing some spells and incantations for him also. it couldn't possibly hurt, could it?

    September 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  10. Hal

    Romney is completely without core convictions, an empty suit, a would-be emperor with no clothes, phony as a three-dollar bill right down to the smile.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • snowboarder

      i seem to remember hearing the same statements for obama last election.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      No way, Mitt is shameless.

      When running for Governor of Mass. he said he was pro-gay, pro-choice, pro-union. He actually handed out pink fliers at a gay pride rally. The man is soulless.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  11. oldbones24

    Jesus said that 'fasting' was not for God but for the self edification. Leave up to the Mormons to get it wrong.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • AL

      Where exactly does it say that in the Bible?

      September 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  12. Tex71

    Keep fasting. The longer you fast, the better it works. Keep it up. Sooner or later something is bound to happen.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  13. faithfulliberal

    Is it helpful to Mittens to have an article that a group that most Evangelicals consider to be a cult is praying and fasting for Mitt? Read the Book of Mormon and all of the subsequent "revelations" about what this guy believes and then ask yourself if he has the judgement to be President, when the faith he embraces says that after death faithful Mormons will be become little gods themselves and even get their own planet... Cool, where do I sign up?

    September 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • snowboarder

      i imagine cnn placed this article prominently to spotlight romney's mormon faith, as it is a liability in his own party.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Melissa Scribner

      So, what are you afraid of? That there won't be enough planets to go around?

      September 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  14. lonelygrrl

    I am going to fast and pray he doesn't get elected...

    September 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  15. ShawnDH

    What a bunch of weirdos. For real.

    If they think they can pray for Mittens to have magical powers in the debates, why can't they accept that GOD chose Barack Obama to be president?

    September 28, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Kev

      Well, for one thing it's not actually "they" believe. The article refers to the beliefs of one individual within a church, not the collective beliefs of an entire church.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Melissa Scribner

      You are ASSUMING that Mormons don't accept it. I accept it. We are on earth to LEARN. The impact of a Marxist President is a VERY effective earning experience. Having good and evil coexist is part of God's plan. We must learn to choose between good and evil.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  16. me

    I cant believe people are doing this. President Monson needs toput a stop to this! Why put our church in the middle of this! Mitt will never be the president of the United States even though he is willing to sell his soul for it! Im a mormon that wont be fasting on Sunday!

    September 28, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • me too

      I agree, I'm morman and him running is just putting too much shadow on the church and creating so many nasty comments. I believe him running and the way he has campaigned has hurt the church. I think he's grasping at everything to get ahead in the polls and honestly, it's is making the rest of us look the same way. When he lies, people think we all lie, when he says something stupid like the 47% issue, it make us all look stupid, I'll tell you I don't believe like he does, this is all about Mitt right now and he will sell his soul to get the presidency. I can tell you that I won't vote for him. But then again, I must be for socialism. Anyway, I'll vote for the President AGAIN.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Melissa Scribner

      Apparently you don't believe in the freedom of speech, either. That's sad.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  17. Pat in IL

    Voting for someone simply because he is of a certain church, party, race, etc. is just as dumb and unthinking as not voting for that person for the same reasons.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Melissa Scribner

      You are ASSUMING the reason for her prayers are based upon religion. Why? You have no right to assume.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  18. Willard Mittens

    Never trust a man that dyes his hair.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  19. Talk about Fast

    Obama is doing more to destroy our nation than terrorists ever could, and he is doing FASTER than anyone dreamed possible

    September 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Sly

      Yeah ... next thing you know he'll let women and blacks vote here in Amerika.

      The nerve ... and I hear he is really from another planet. (Hey, aren't Mormons from outer space or something like that? Maybe Obama is Mormon).

      September 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Willard Mittens

      That crying and lying act is not working. Obama's approval rating is over 50%, Bush's was 23% when he left office. Not many people like Mitt either.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • faithfulliberal

      OMG – how did we EVER get a BLACK man in the WHITE house? It just doesn't compute, does it? Let's put the party of old rich white men back in power, just like the Founders of the country wanted.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Light In The Dark

      Yeah, Obama is running around blowing up people.

      Turd brain.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  20. Tim Santos

    There was separation from Church and state, there was NEVER a separation of CULT and state! You know the end is near when you see the Christian right voting for a CULT over a CHRISTIAN. The Bible said you will know his people by their fruit. Does this look like fruit or following Satan? Democrat or Republican, a Christian should never vote for SATAN regardless of if it is his party or not. Some things are worth loosing to maintain ones Moral standards. The right seems not to have any standards now. Lost in abortion and think nothing of lies, deception and the fact that the one they endorse is a cult leader giving much money to fund the growth of the cult but the right praises this. However, GOD is in control of this election as he always was and will be. HIS WILL BE DONE !!

    September 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • snowboarder

      cult = unpopular religion
      religion = popular cult

      September 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Yakima

      TIM – NEWSFLASH!!!–Christianity is a Cult. Look up the word. Keep GOD out of Goverment.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • snowboarder

      tim that is just plain crazy.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Tex71

      If God is controlling everything then he is controlling both Obama and Romney, so what do you care who wins?

      September 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Sue

      Tim, all that shouting that you just did in caps just shows your desperation in preserving your god supersti-tion and your particular cult. The world and America are slowly moving past religion. Time you did some thinking and got over your own god myth too. You just look stupid and backward in your current state.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Concerned

      Obama is not a Christian! ask him if he believes Jesus is the son of God and if he believes Christ and the Islamic prophet are equal ? Jesus Christ is GOD ! the Islamic Prophet is not GOD! Ask him! You need to stop being a Hater!!!!!
      Romney is MORE CHRISTIAN than most CHRISTIANS! and he has Certainly done more FOR this Country then Obama ever WIll .

      September 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Concerned

      LOL Oh it's always fun to see the religious nuts screaming about a religion that's just as ridiculous as theirs. Keep going concerned, it's decent entertainment.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:21 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.