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.
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."
OMG, is this serious? If it is then I feel even more inclined to label Mormons as a cult.
if Romney is president everybody will be fasting for 4yrs, then again he promise 2 million b**w jobs on his first term so we'll survive cuz that's alot of protein there.
Didn't U know ALL of these religions blessed the weapons of both sides even among their own MEMBERS to slaughter each other in the name of their god?!! Good news for ALL of U...their time is almost up!!!
Please don't lump all Mormons in with this woman. Some of us see a fake out of touch with the common man rich boy who we don't want to see in the white house as he will show a lack of compassion to the poor and needy which will be a truly poor reflection of our actual doctrine. Also, to all the hateful anti-Mormon messages, please spend one day in our church and see what we actually believe instead of listening to other hateful messages.
I'm an Atheist and I almost did spend a day in your church, just for curiosity sake. I've been to many churches and temples. I have no trouble with people believing what they want to believe as long as it doesn't impinge on others rights to believe or not believe in something else. But then I remembered that they'd take down my name and most likely do a posthumous conversion, once they had my name. Despite claiming they've stopped, the LDS still continues converts Jews, Buddhists and even atheists after their deaths and claim them as members of the Mormon church. That is wrong!
I commend you for your comment. I don't adhere to any organized religion but I hope there are more reasonable Mormons like you.
Romney needs more? It's like the king's kingdom of the poor and meek pray that God bestow more riches and wealth on the king!
You can't spell "Mormon" without "Moron". The only thing that's missing between the two words is the letter "M", and that stands for Mitt.
That's the ticket, stop eating and drinking anything, refuse medical treatment, and turn off the television to not be swayed toward the light. I wonder if they have bunkers with cots and are waiting for the mother ship to return to pick them up. Oh that is a 'cruise' thing... I get confused.
Fasting and prayer will not help. Their prayers are all vain as they teach for doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15:9).
Mitt Romney’s and Barack Obama’s faith does not stand in the teachings of Christ but rather in an image of the spirit and the god of this world and a false Christ (Matthew 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Gal. 4:8).
For a better understanding of the history of the Mormon Church and Mitt Romney’s quest for the Presidency of the USA, we invite you to read the articles ‘Mormon Church – Cult and Spiritual Harlot’, ‘Barack Obama – President of the United States of America’ and ‘Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You?’, listed on our website.
All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man (1 Cor 2:15).
I'll explain the difference, since you don't seem to understand.
Forum: A place for open discussion of ideas and differing view points.
Sunday School: A place to preach doctrine and share your vast knowledge of the bible.
No thanks, keep your proselytizing off my news network.
For a better undeerstanding of this forum we invite you to read the article 'CNN Belief Blog – Sign of the Times' listed on our website. What we teach they don't teach you at Sunday School.
Shove it, AVIDTurd.
@AvdBerg, I already visited your website. I grew up in a cultist church that promoted a similar ideology to yours. It was really persuasive and convincing. I spent nights crying and begging god's forgiveness... but then something magical happened. I grew up. To put it in terms you can understand, when I became a man, I put away childish things.
There's nothing wrong with living in a fantasy land. I get the appeal. I did drugs and alcohol and had tons of s.ex for a long time to try to escape reality. I can assure you though, true peace will only come when you accept reality and stop making up stories about who you are and what the universe is. There's plenty of beauty, joy, love and peace in reality. You don't have to create an alternate reality in your mind to escape to.
Come Harry, you're a Mormon back your fellow Mormon.
It always amazes me that religious people don't put more trust in their God. Why not ask Him to choose who He thinks would be the best person to lead this country and ask Him to help that person win the election. Instead, this woman and others, are TELLING God who they think is best and are asking God to facilitate their wishes. God might actually think Mr. Obama would be best. I do.
May you all be blessed by his noodley appendage.....fasting and praying how funny
I would not expect anything less from a cult.
What happen to "they will be done"? They do recognize that others are praying for President Obama, don't they.
FSM wants you to remember to be blessed by his noddley appendage......Fasting and praying....really
Mormons are not fasting for Romney. Some people, who are Mormon, are fasting for Romney. This is a silly, story sensationalizing a private family's personal actions of faith. Come on, CNN. You are supposed to report news, not manufacture it.
Practicing Mormon here. This whole fasting email thing has me really worried about the way Mormons think about their religion. I think as a faith, we certainly need to do a better job of recognizing things that are truly important. Admittedly, I am a liberal Mormon, but the way I think about my faith, I would not see any value in fasting for a political candidate. In my view it makes a mockery of a very valuable spiritual tool within Mormonism.
so,... what the deal with saying Jesus is my brother, i only have 2 siblings Metatron and Mastema. last I check JC was a human.
This isn't how every member of the church thinks about their religion.
How dare this woman speak her mind, she needs to get back in the kitchen and keep tending those kids!
I'll say, she should really put more work into supporting that "big Mormon family" she's always wanted.
If this woman truely believes what she has said then I would like her to explain this contradiction:
God has already chosen Obama, he IS the President. Why is she praying to to remove him. Did God make a mistake?
i Love you For that one♥♥
RUSH LIMBAUGH needs to fast ... for the next four YEARS!
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.