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."
There may be a lot of thin Mormon's out there come November, but Mitt Romney will never be President.
I sure hope you are right!
On the other hand come January Obama could be back in a seedy Chicago hood in the middle of a blizzard passing out tracts about the failure of qu eer marriage. Romney / Ryan 2012
All Americans should fast for this guy. It probably is our only chance to survive this Muslim attack from within our Country.
That is so funny.
You should go write for The Onion.
(or, maybe Faux News?)
We are all fasting for President Obama. At least he seems to mind about "the least of us" as Christ would day.
The "rich will never inherit the White House"!
God has given Mitt a lame white horse to ride and Obama thread made of Kevlar.
Yes, keep on praying.
Meanwhile, the dems will do things that truly make a difference.
I think it's sad when someone votes for someone based on their religion, for or against. I'm voting outside my party in this election, a lot of liberals are supporting Ron Paul, a lot of Republicans are supporting Gary Johnson, and I think we have to move beyond simple team spirit when choosing someone so important. Really, for any office.
Umm..you may be a little bit behind the times. Ron Paul isn't running for anything anymore. By the way, a liberal voting for Ron Paul is like a turkey buying stock in a chopping block company, around Thanksgiving. His one or two good ideas are far overshadowed by whacko ones.
We are a blessed nation and we all have the freedom to choose our leaders. I will pray for both Romney and Obama...but I'm choosing Obama!
Voting for Romney because of his religious affiliation...so $tewpid. Almost as $tewpid as voting for Obama based of the color of his skin. Vote for their solutions on the issues! Not based of being your religion or race!
The problem with America....Bigotry.
Our bigotry is why Akin became the Republican nominee in Missouri.
Our bigotry is why regardless of women knowing Akin’s stance on abortion and women's rights, they allow him to keep running.
Our bigotry is why most white men support Romney. You know, in hopes of getting that black guy out of office.
Our bigotry is why most Mormons support Romney. You know, in hopes of getting that black guy out of office.
Akin decided to keep running because..........He’s betting on bigotry in Missouri.
The Republicans are betting on bigotry in America.
What about Jeremiah Wright and Obama's bigotry?
Nope, you are. You're hoping that white America will feel shamed for NOT voting for Obama and vote for him because he's black. Actually, most of us vote for the person we think wil best lead this country away from the petty mocking and insults and into a better, more economically sound future.
The republicans are so desparate to get that black man out of that white house that they are willing to vote for a Christian cult President. Way to go fake evangelicals and right wingers. Obama is a great president, but those blinded by hate can not see it. They vote against their economic interest hoping to one day be part of the 1%. Sad.
I don't care if our president is polk-a-dotted. It's not racist or hateful to have a belief system or vision for America that does not agree with our current president.
yes he is LDS just like me. I think he is playing fast with the truth. You know, not everyone in life is perfect. When we expose our true charicter in life, we are criticized, judged. Humans were never put on this earth to be perfect. But its those people who try to be righteous, is what matters most.
If you look at Jesus, he set the example for people should not judge others. He said "he who has not sined, toss the first stone" This was a case where the woman was going to be stoned to death. The only way to be honest is to catch the mistake you made..right from the very start! and then do the right thing. Don't let it fester like cancer until some one finds out.
You then loose your credibility.
BTW, When was the last time we had a president who was totally honest, who did not lie ???? It IS the hardest job in the world to be President!
SOME TOOL TOTALLY POLLUTED THE THREAD WHAT A DRAG...
Bye, everyone. I'm out of time. Just do your best for the country, okay? And try not to hate others.
and when Mitt fails to take the presidency, will mormons admit prayer doesn't work? lol.
You continue to show your ignorance of all things spiritual, the Mormon god is not God. Prayer involves talking with God and only God.
Typical of Liberal news to take someone's personal email and make it public, all in an effort to ridicule Mormons, and ultimately Romney. CNN wants to claim that they're not biased but are just as biased as NBC. GASP!!
Mormons don't need help being ridiculed. They bring upon themselves for worshipping a false prophet (Joseph Smith).
We don't worship Joseph Smith. We worship Jesus Christ.
Mormons misuse the name of Jesus. Mormons are not Christians
I got the e-mail, laughed really hard, then started making other plans for Election Day (because neither Romney or Obama, Dems or GOP are good for this country).
You can only speak for yourself. Obama is the best thing this country has produce since Bill Clinton was President. Obama has a long list of accomplishments. Only the blind and foolish cannot see that.
TWO MAJOR ASPECTS OF THE THE PAUL RYAN PLAN....Which Mitt endorses.
Put all the social security taxes in Wall Street accounts and let Goldman manage your money – your benefits will be cut by 40%
Take the Medicare taxes you paid and give them to "for profit" insurance companies – you get a voucher for about 60% of the current cost of your care
When the stock market bottoms, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR BUTT.
Watch your buttes people (especially Senior Citizens).
Actually Latter-Day-Saints do not refer to Christians as being called that. The usual term for someone who is not a Latter-Day-Sain't as being a "non member". In some instances a non member may have been referred to as a "Gentile", but that would go for any non member whether they were of another Christian denomination or from someone of non Christian background.
Sorry, I was trying to respond to previous question that was posted.
all mormons believe that non-mormons go straight to hell (only their own members are allowed into heaven). so does this mean that ROMNEY also believes all non-mormons go to hell?????? someone should ask romney this at a rally or debate. no doubt he would show his true pandering colors and lie by saying he doesnt believe it.
So happy someone finally picked up on that. Also , black men can not hold positions of leadership in the Mormon church, so I guess they don't count either. You also have to get married, which is why Mitt the Gitt thought all those 18-22 year old women in the factory in China he went to buy were just saving to be able to get married. ! A lot of the stupid stuff he says is based on his religious beliefs. So why has no one called him out on it yet ? It explains why he doesn't care about half of the country, because his own church knows they have to write half of their own off,too.
WOW. You really don't know what you're talking about. Maybe if you read more about the Mormons then the internet hate-mongering you'd understand that Mormons hold condemnation against no one. They believe that only God holds judgement and that simply being a Mormon is not a ticket to heaven. Nor do they believe that those are not Mormon are automatically condemn to Hell. God will judge everyone according to their understanding of Him, whatever that may be.
At least Romney is still believing it.. Obama has already sent everyone to hell!
Seriously? What great social or economic struggle will we be able to overcome by fasting and praying?
when faced with a problem it is better to have one man with a sharp mind and strong back taking action, than one thousand men on their knees in prayer.
Romney is a Mormon Bishop. Saying this. Why does he lie so much?
Maybe you could point out some lies Romney has told. Be specific, please.
@jerry, jayzuz jerry, where to start? OK, his Mass. heath care law is nothing like the AHCA, he left Bain in 1999, he saved the auto industry, President Obama made it so people on welfare didn't have to work, he knows how to create jobs(if that one were true, then why hasn't he been doing it these last 10 years?). Are you starting to get the idea yet?
He was a bishop years ago, but isn't now. In the LDS church, being a bishop is not a lifetime calling.
Everyone else will be fasting soon, with another GOP President in the WH.
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.