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."
Folks, neither prayer nor fasting is going to help Romney. Get used to it.
Don't let the BS of the liberal press fool you. It will be President Romney by a 70 / 30 popular vote and an electoral college slam dunk. Romney / Ryan 2012
As long as we have Matt Rhoades in our pocket it will be Obama in 2012.
Romney doesn't have a "prayer" of a chance of winning this election. LOL People that don't want his hateful ideology will vote. The rest of the religious-right-wing nuts can stay home on their knees. BTW Romney's god is his money. He stated that he loves being rich and famous. Obama stated that he wants to create a pathway for all citizens to have the opportunity to thrive and it's not about him, it's about all of us rising together.
Maybe they'll say a prayer for the economy, too. Yeah, not sure what to think about mormonism. They're crazy for sure. Didn't allow minorities into their church until well after civil rights. The only mormon I used to know used to grow and sell weed, but would drink caffeine. Weird.
We must not miss this chance. Mitt Romney will be a god one day. Imagine what a president he will make!
May the best "God" win.
I think I'll just support our President and have a ham sandwich.
I like you Livingston, that's a great idea!
so, are all Mormons Republicans? what if Mr. R. doesn't win? fast for another four years? that's a lot of skinny Mormons.
"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made the remarks in a conference call Monday, according to the Salt Lake Tribune."
pray that God's will be done and if it doesn't turn out to be your will that is done don't think God has abandoned the USA.
Poor leadership is Gods curse on as nation
God has provided the poorest leadership of all. His "reign" has brought nothing but death, violence and hate. And his stance on foreign policy stinks - we haven't made any alien friends yet.
Romney needs to maintain fast till November to win the race.
I'm just happy to see college students engaged in the political process.
I think the world would be a better place if more people were fasting and praying at least one day a week. I am a Hindu. Romney is more spiritual than Obama. I was impressed by his giving away of his inheritance and donating 5 million a year to his church. He also volunteered his time to be a lay minsiter and pastoral counselor for 10 years.
Yes... a "lay minister"... spreading the ignorance...
Rama, you don't pick a president based on his or her religious practices then you might as well have the Ayatollah Khomeini for the president.
She better get used to fasting. If Romney wins, a lot of people will go hungry.
The baptism of little children is an evil abomination—Book of Mormon
Yes it is an abomination to presume Christ does not have mercy on innocent little children who die without baptism.
Moroni chapter 10 Verse 10-18
10 Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children.
11 And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.
12 But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!
13 Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell.
14 Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell.
15 For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism.
16 Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having aauthority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.
17 And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation.
18 For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.
19 Little achildren cannot repent; wherefore, it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy.
20 And he that saith that little children need baptism denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption.
21 Wo unto such, for they are in danger of death, hell, and an endless torment. I speak it boldly; God hath commanded me. Listen unto them and give heed, or they stand against you at the judgment-seat of Christ.
22 For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent; and unto such baptism availeth nothing—
23 But it is mockery before God, denying the mercies of Christ, and the power of his Holy Spirit, and putting trust in dead works.
24 Behold, my son, this thing ought not to be; for repentance is unto them that are under condemnation and under the curse of a broken law.
25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;
I love the way the Book of Mormon fills in some of those inconvenient gaps in Christian theology – in stilted awkward English, mind you, but maybe that comes from the translation from Reformed Egyptian. What becomes of someone who lapses into a deep coma after 30 years of godless living, remains in that state for 10 years, then dies? Did he have 10 years in which to repent? Can someone repent for him?
"Personal e-mail urging Mormons to fast and pray"
Pray to who, themselves? They have proclaimed themselves to be gods, remember?
Well if you believe the Bible, it tells us three times that we are gods, in Psalms, Isaiah and in the Gospel of John
if you don't believe in the Bible, then what do you care who people pray to?
He's got the money, he's got the underwear, of course he will win.
Ok, that was funny!
I believe religion should be kept out of politics, but since that isn't working, we Christians should dedicate a day of prayer for Obama and see which prayers God listens to.......
If you have that mindset then you'll like the Pope's mindset of, "unless you're Catholic, you aren't a Christian."
I pray that Mitt doesnt win and to vote out all the republiucans
start fasting my friend, not just praying, it might help you improve your health!!!
Only for new members of this blog:
AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD
Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As do M. Romney and H. Reid)
"Latter-day Saints like M. Romney and H. Reid also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."
Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;
Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).
Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does Obama and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan and their families )
The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.
Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.
This is how crazy some in this nation are. This is about an election, not about a "Supreme Leader", like in Iran. We really really have to get religion out of government or we'll be no different than those backward countries in the middle east. Religion is a personal thing, something you keep in your home, in your mind and heart.
Why is America in so much trouble? Because of people like this Williams woman. As the article says and I've copied below, she skips a couple of meals and claims she has done her part. What a useless person.
I agree Sister, what i going to do is vote, that my right
So much for separation of church and state. Don't get me wrong, I believe in prayer, but not in this fashion. My prayers are very personal as is my religion. It is a free country, so who am I to dispute this e-mail prayer.
Who am I if not to dispute it. Prayers, email or otherwise, are a waste of time. Fasting is better. At least one is saving a few bucks on their food budget.
I don't dispute it...just think it is not appropriate.
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.