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."
Prayer changes things ,
Hmm, it's sort of a tough call. Would I stand with a group of people who have their particular observances in their church traditions, but yet still believe in Jesus as their savior? Or would I stand with those who don't believe in Jesus and ridicule a group of Christians who are neither fall into being Protestant or Catholic? Wait, maybe it's not a tough call after all.
I meant' who neither fall'
Yep, that about sums it up....Mitt has a prayers chance of doing well in the debates....and everyone knows it....
I guess his supporters have to pray that the real Mitt doesn't show up....
This planet would be so far advanced if we were smart enough to rid ourselves of religion and politics.
Shhh. We need your planet dumb.
". . .religion and politics"
Shhh. The spi ce is the worm.
I thought the quote was "the worm and the sp'ice are one".
Now I'll have to look it up.
The whole country is...
Tax the Mormon church for ALL income and donations! They pumped millions into the anti gay marriage controversy in California... and now fasting for Mitt Romney... sounds political to me!
What happened to the separation of church and state... Mormon churches are exempt???
READ the article, Judy. The church is not asking its members to fast for Romney. One single member of the church sent an email to her family and a few friends stating that she was going to fast and some of those friends passed it along. The church does not endorse political candidates.
Dumb humans and your quirky languages. I meant "go fast" as in move quickly, not "don't eat". Now Mittens Rmoney will lose the election for sure and we'll never get our mid-space latrine finished on Earth. We'll be soiling our Magic underwear before we even get to Venus for our holidays.
Yipee, the magic underwear campaign. We are going to fast, pray, and wear our drawers backwards so that we can get gods attention.
Friggin earthlings want attention. All we want from them is a solid planet waystation to cr@p on.
Mittens Rmoney, you told us we could have the bankrupt planet for nuthin and all the unemployed could work sanitation. A Bain on you.
It would take an act of God to make Romney President. But I highly doubt a bunch of GOP-centric Mormons (who can't be bothered to resolve the differences between GOP dogma and Christian doctrine) starving themselves for an unworthy cause will bring Romney a single step closer to the White House.
How many prayers did you say to help Barack Obama, succeed, despite the resistance from the republican party?
religion is dumb.....mormons are prove humans will believe anything...
"Proof", son, not "prove".
Yep, miss a good meal for this moron, and then go pig out at fast food restaurant! Sounds like the GOP way of doing things!
This was the email. Nowhere does it say MORMONS only. My dear friend sent this to friends and family. I am proud to be an American, to vote and Pray for my leaders, and most important to know and love a women like Mona that cares enough about our country to take a stand. The Mormon church stay NEUTRAL when it comes to Politics. I will be honored to fast and pray for our Country. Susan
Dear frtends and family, I have been extremely frustrated with how things are going in our 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. 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, which will be held Oct. 3rd. I know that seems like such a small thing but I believe "from small things, great things can come about". I know that fasting and praying brings about miracles. I also know of no power greater that our Father in Heaven. He loves this land and has blessed it many times before. . . with all our fasting and prayers their will be a great power and protection upon us and this great nation. Please send this to all who you know that may have the faith to pray for the help we so desperately need at this time. Please let this wave of faith move through out this great nation. Thank you, Mona Williams
What exactly do you think not eating is going to do for Mitt? Perhaps you should get used to that if he actually does win!
Translation- I am so frustrated that Obama is going to win again, even though another crazy Mormon is running for office. Let's all prey, fast and wear our magic underwear backwards.
Romney lies and distorts the truth over and over again. All politicians do. How can you ask God to give this man the presidency when he cannot be truthful. What kind of God do you believe in????
WELL, sorry Mitt is a liar and a thief and a deluded egotistical naricssist!
I think I'll pray and fast for Obama/Biden and DEM majorities in the House and Senate... that'll work!
The Mormon church is not neutral in Utah where I live. They are very involved in the politics of the state even though they will deny it. It has been very difficult this year for them with a member of their church running for president and they want very bad to appear to the rest of the United States as being neutral. Ha! There is no separation of church and state here.
Oh Fasting brings on hallucinations...but somehow that makes even more sense with the church of LSD.....
Live up to your screen name. That one person sent out the email. What she sent is not representative of the thinking of all of the 14,000,000+ other Mormons.
How do you know? Are you a Mormon?
It definitely is not representative of all Mormons (it doesn't represent me, I dislike Romney immensely)... but it is fair to say that the majority of Mormons, like Evangelicals, are firmly planted in the GOP camp.
Yes, I am a Mormon, and I know many members of the church who are not voting for Romney.
Quit voting for a person just because of his or her religious affiliations especially in a nation that forbids the government from championing or assaulting any specific religion.
“I am just a woman who believes that God loves this country"
Why would a god love a country. I don't even know what to say.
Thank you! I"m so sick of remarks like that. I'm sure this lady is a nice lady, but seriousllllllly deluded if she thinks "god" favors any country.
God, guns, mammon and divinely inspired American exceptionalism are the American pantheon and the worst delusion of them all is exceptionalism.
Be sure you continue to fast until the election results are fully certified. One little slip is all it takes for Mittens to lose!
Conversely, supporters of President Obama have been urging each other to work and think.
Obama's supporters don't work, they allow others to work then steal their money through welfare.
Rational Libertarian...hmmm...so apparently I just hallucinated the busy week at work I just had and the paycheck i received last week.
Cut the rhetoric. It's so stale.
I support Obama. I have worked all my life. I am successful, and I have never in my life drawn welfare.
I do believe in the power of prayer, but Mittens is such a disaster that not even prayer will help him win!
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.