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."
Yes, Why would a God that is supposed to be about love help a political party that is so much about hate and selfishness?
Go to youtube and type in E W Jackson EXODUS NOW! Blacks, Christians, Godly must leave the Democrat Party!!
The mormons are fasting, Sarah Palin is offering advice ... this just keeps getting funnier. What's next, virgin sacrifices and voodoo dolls?
No, terrorism and socialism under Obama
Lightin' up Francis.
If the Mormons become actively involved in the political campaign, the Church of Latter Day Saints should lose its tax-exempt status. Politics and religion don't mix.
Why not just ban Mormons from being able to vote at all? Hey, it's happened to them before. President Obama belongs to the United Church of Christ. Perhaps the members of that denomination should be forbidden to vote, too. Or why stop there, just disenfranchise anyone who belongs to any church.
If you listen to the comments these Mormons are making, you would think they were talking about some underdog who that was never provided any opportunity in life but has risen above it all to defy the odds and is our nation's potential savior. How is it possible that they are referring to Mittens The Flip Flopping Clown who grew up as a spoiled little rich kid that never learned the importance of personal integrity? These people are seriously making their own religion look stupider than Trey Parker & Matt Stow did in that episode of South Park about John Smith.... very sad!
Just remember who to ask for when you finally pass from this world and realize, "Oh, SNAP....guess I was wrong. Now what..."
An especially bad mistake I'd say. Think of the hundreds of thousands of virgin teenage chicks up there ... and NO LAWS!
Choose wisely my friends. Stay away from the dark side. And remember, all records are made to be broken, even Wilt the Stilt's.
Yes siree ... I'll be first in line at Heaven's Gates, and I don't need no birth control. Yee Haw.
ah yes, the cowards excuse for belief.
any deity that requires adoration under threat of eternal torture is undeniably false.
Now we see why there is separation of church and state. Most religious people, like the lady in this article, are too d u m b to make rational decisions.
you are too dumb to make any sense.
Our Nation is a Christian Nation founded on Christian principles. Jesus said" I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." The Mormon's have the Mormon book which according to their articles of faith is equal to the Bible.. Jesus said "there is no other Way to the Father except through me."
arghhhh...I have seen you before...you think when jesus said..."I gotta take a c r a p" those were words to live by as well...i mean there must have been time when he had to go and he needed to inform those around him of his intentions...right?
Gol-leee, if GOD listens to election-related prayers and meddles in the election outcome, then if OBAMA WINS, this must mean that GOD personally INTERVENED to help him! Not only that, but it means that God TOOK AWAY OUR FREE WILL to choose who we want for President. This is just one of the problems you run into when you believe in a MAGIC WHITE GUY with a beard who lives in the sky.
it could mean that god was unable to intervene.
Barry Bonds is God, and He didn't hit 762 career homers by fasting.
Never heard anything more bizarre! Can self-punishment force God to help Romney? Helloooo? Blackmailing God now? Tch..tch. What's next – self-immolation? Suicide vests? Ahhhh.... religion – what a mess!!
I'm pretty sure their bible condemns "self-punishment"....
And I'll fast, pray and do a Novena for Obama. I'll light candles and do penance. I'll chant and meditate. I'll also send money, make phone calls and volunteer on Election Day to guard against GOP dirty tricks.
Good. Now all Anglicans prays for Obama. Since atheists do not pray, let us get out of our armchair and do something to bring a change.
Why didn't CNN post this speech?
Huh, CNN won't let me post the video. Go to youtube and type in E W Jackson EXODUS NOW! Blacks, Christians, Godly must leave the Democrat Party!!
MC Hammer had a song "that's why we pray"
Jeremiah Wright is a bigger issue than the concept of Mormonism. Mormons don't hate America.
The rest of the country has moved on from Wright. Why don't you?
Because our president claims Wright to be a very important pastor in his life and he was indoctrinated in his church. The sermons he bellowed from the pulpit were intensely against America. That's not something you move on from – it's something you seriously consider when deciding who should lead our nation to restored greatness.
Been on the inside. There was one persistent question. Are you born LDS or are you a convert. Caste system in the church and if you are not LDS well you are not......Fasting is just one more made up hoax of the religionists. Shame they put fear rather than leadership into students who do not have the life experience to make good life choices yet. They will be dependent on the ether of Mormonism or some other made up myth made religion. That is what harms the USA.
wright had a front row seat for the apartheid and racism of americans. it is difficult to fault him his opinion.
Still there is no comparison to Jeremiah Wright's hateful and bigoted sermons.
The mormon "religion" has been disproven :)
Mitt's got the Mormon vote sowed up.
Just remind her that she when Obama wins that she had a part in it and that its what God wanted.
Is this the kind of backhanded "pray for him" sentiments that Christians often give to people of other religions? Or how the Mormons baptize non-Mormons after their death to save the poor "unenlightened" souls from eternal damnation. Keep your self-righteous voodoo ceremonies to yourself and think about how even more messed up the world would be if every country let religion dictate its actions. Scared of a nuclear Iran? Why? Right, because their religion thinks that a drawing a picture of some made-up guy is a capital offense. Their RELIGION thinks they'd be justified in sending a nuke to Denmark (or England or the U.S.) because some joke magazine decided to publish a crude drawing of a guy in a turban with an 'M' on it.
It is like locker room prayers on football Sundays in the USA. There can only be one winner in any contest. Doe that mean that God favors a winner or destroys all the losers? Is that even a spiritual concept?
okay, see this is the problem...religion in politics, don't need it and trust me I believe in God, say my prayers and all that good stuff but it doesn't have anything to do with government. i am already turned off by romney and this really adds fuel to the fire. true colors...he has spent all this time behind his plastic facade and even so it is cracking.
Scary stuff. They really do think that Mitt Romney is the embodiment of the Mormon White Horse Prophecy. If Romney wins, we are far down the road to a US Theocracy.
we will work tirelessly to ensure that religion does not insinuate itself into our government.
when religion reigns, liberty has no chance.
That has always been my 'guess' as to why Romney is running..to fulfill the Prophecy...to spread Mormonism...make it the world religions a little like the way Muslims got started....when people really understand Mormonism they will want separation of church/state....
There is no such prophecy. It is not LDS doctrine.
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.