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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. fryuujin

    what kind of dolts are going to vote for this cult member? at least the other fools have something that's made up and has some chance of being true. But, some mental defector makes up some stuff in a book in the 1800s and yo yos believe it. come on

    September 28, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  2. Paul Monte

    I am praying for Obama to win and we as a family are a strong force too.

    September 28, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  3. Giao Hoan

    Glad to see that MoRonmey is getting something back for his annual $4 million political donation to the churd. :-)

    September 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  4. Ronald Regonzo

    Does Obama realize he is a Negro? You know what a Negro is? A nigger with a pocket protector. Romney / Ryan 2012

    September 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      Name thief. Same low class and lack of intelligence. And you forgot to say they've bettered themselves. Romney / Ryan 2012

      September 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Reener

      what does your racist comments have to do with who is qualified to be the next president? Other than that from what I have been reading on internet comments is that all racists will be voting for Romney. Thank goodness this only a plus for the country. You I consider a poor example of an American.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      Two fakes probably just one, hi tom.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • James R Ruston

      There is a rock somewhere that you need to crawl back under.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  5. Borderless

    Fasting and praying aren't going to put Obama out of office. The only thing that we can hope for is that the 10 to 15 percent of rational people in the middle of the political spectrum wake up and realize what Obama meant when he said, "After this election, I will have a lot more flexibility."

    September 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • paulronco

      I think you're reading your own desired interpretation into what he was saying, not what he actually meant to say. But by all means, continue to use confusing language. Clarity has never stopped you before.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  6. just curious

    So here is a good question for them.... If they pray for Romney to win and he loses...... Will they believe that God did not answer their prayers? Or will they believe that God has answered their prayers, but not in the way they wanted? Or will they believe God has abandoned us and we are all doomed? Any takers on this?

    September 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • paulronco

      They will do exactly what the doomsday predicters do, and come up with a reason why God couldn't do it. More or less they will comfort themselves by saying that while God has abandoned the nation as a whole, the righteous will be saved in the end.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Jersey Girl

      I highly subscribe to the thought that says "be careful what you wish for." In this case, the people praying may have to retroactively take back their prayers, LOL.

      September 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  7. paulronco

    Vanity, all of it. Instead of vainly fasting and praying for Romney, she should be humbly fasting and praying that the best man wins. We fast to bring about God's will, not man's. If she wants Romney to win, she should campaign for him. But please, Mona Williams, by all means... keep on doing what you're doing.

    September 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  8. Broadcasting

    May you all be touched by his noodly appendage. Ramen!

    September 28, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Fasting is forbidden to Pastafarians. He was boiled for our sins. To fast is blasphemy.

      R'amen.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  9. littleBearFN

    Why waste their time and effort for Romney?? Where were they when Huntsman was in the primary...

    September 28, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @littleBearFN

      indeed so. Perhaps Jon Huntsman is no slave to the 1% like Romney.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • paulronco

      Waiting for the polls to tell them who to pray for.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Jersey Girl

      You are right. If Jon Huntsman had won instead of this robo-guy, even I would consider voting for him, and I am a Dem!

      September 28, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  10. Doug

    I'm a Mormon and am not fasting for Romney. I'm voting for Obama.

    September 28, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • The Pope

      You're invited over for dinner.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  11. Ronald Regonzo

    A Democrite and a Republican ran for President. The best man won and the other one ate watermelon and crooned spirituals. Romney/Ryan 2012

    September 28, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      Stolen name lack of class and intelligence gives you away. But since you brought it up it isn't called the White House for nothing. Romney / Ryan 2012

      September 28, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      Stolen name lack of class and intelligence gives you away. But since you brought it up it isn't called the White House for nothing. Romney / Ryan 2012

      September 28, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      The White Horse in the White House. Romney / Ryan 2012

      September 28, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      A consistent lack of wit and charm try thinking of your own handle moron.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  12. Peter Whittam

    This was a personal email to friends that forwarded it. And has nothing to do with any actual LDS Church position. If you don't like it mind your own business. Mormons are hated because they are conservative for the most part. And the lies that liberals tell about anyone conservative are vicious and completely dishonest.

    September 28, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Down with Mormons! They SUCK!

      Mormons are hated because they suck, not because they might be "conservatives".
      Mormonism is a religion that does not respect the law. It is used by Mormons to justify criminal conduct, including treason.
      All the Mormons I've met are racist, nasty and vicious to non-Mormons, and greedier than most other people.
      Plus, the religion itself was written by a convicted serial con-man. It's nothing but total hogwash.
      Don't come to me and ask for anything, Mormons. I will tell you to fcck off and die.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • paulronco

      I don't "hate" anyone, but I believe Mormons are following a heretical doctrine... if you can even call it that. More like the ravings of a brilliant lunatic if you ask me.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • paulronco

      On the other hand, Mark Twain found the book to be a colossal bore, and a waste of reading time. Personally, I respect the literary opinions of one of the greatest American authors of all time.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  13. Norma Vessels

    God gave us Free Will .. so it is up to us to vote for who we think will be best for America. I will pray for my family,
    my friends and for all who are sick or sad or lonely .. but, I will not pray for God to choose who our leader will be,
    It is up to us to go vote. God will see to us in all matters, not just who will guide our country in the next four years. Whether
    we choose to go on the rough road, or the better road, is up to us.

    September 28, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  14. GBfromOhio

    "Prayers won't help ya, fastin' won't do ya no gooooood ... " with apologies to Led Zeppelin.

    September 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  15. scientificpoetry

    Where are your editors...? You guys spelled "Morons" incorrectly....

    September 28, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  16. Lizzy10

    Prayer is powerful, so are votes. Know what? Most voters are praying that Romney doesn't win. Let's all go to the voting booths in November and make sure our prayers are answered.

    September 28, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      There are two parties even in the Bible, Republicans and sinners. Most sinners will not be voting and generations of registered Republicans both here and in heaven will be voting. Guess who'll win. Romney / Ryan 2012

      September 28, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Lizzy10

      Ronald Regonzo-dude you need to read the Bible, not try and impose your bizzare thoughts on it.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  17. Whiteman

    What a bunch of swine.

    September 28, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  18. beth

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints -Mormon. And I have to say-things like this frustrate me no end. First, the church emphatically stresses that it is up to the individual person to decide who to vote for. We are encouraged to be involved and vote according to what we feel is the best choice. In fact, several times this election cycle church leaders have sent out letters that are read over the pulpit once again emphasizing the churches position of neutrality.

    Second, just because I am a member of the same church that Mitt Romney belongs to does not mean that I will robotically vote for him any more than someone who is Catholic would vote for a Catholic candidate.

    Within the church membership there are Republicans, Democrats, Tea Party and Independent voters. Being a member of the church DOES NOT mean I must vote for Mitt Romney. It bothers me greatly that the news media continues to perpetuate this idea that since Mitt is Mormon, then I-by virture of being Mormon- will vote for him. This is simply not true. I might, I might not. I will look at the issues that are important to me, the character of the candidate, the experience I believe they have and then vote as I choose-as should everyone.

    September 28, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @beth,

      of course you are right and on election day, 95% of Mormons will probably vote for Mitt, just like the media implies they will.

      At 1.7% of the population, Mormons are not a big voting bloc.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Carl

      Yes, and 95% of blacks will vote for Obama because he is black. So what?

      September 28, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Carl,

      I'm confident they will.

      September 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
  19. jb1963

    Get used to fasting if this MOR0n wins. You will all be starving.

    September 28, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      Not all just you losers. Romney / Ryan 2012

      September 28, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Lizzy10

      Too true.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Ha ha ha

      I feel sorry for anyone named "Ronald Regonzo".
      Such a loser name.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things. ,

    September 28, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Atheism is not, Holy Father, hot drivelling hindering snatch

      Creepy thrashing nags.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:20 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.