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."
Instead, she should have written: “A lot of my inspiration (not frustration) is because I feel I know (not don't know) what to do to really make a change. “I am asking you to join me and my family on Sunday Sept. 30 by fasting and praying for both President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. That they 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,’”
“I know that fasting and praying bring about miracles, [where God will give us the better person to govern our country for the next four years}!” She is asking for a day of fasting for only one of the two men! Selfish brat! Deviating from the WORD! Is she a Mormon or a moron! It's time she undestrood God's will! We need a day of prayer for HER!
She is a Mormon, therefore she is necissarily a moron.
BillC, you say Mona Williams is a “selfish brat” and a moron because she invited her friends to join her in praying for a person she believes will help the country. And 24 Hour Crisis Center thinks all Mormons are morons. My, how tolerant. From my reading of the Bible, Jesus would not have condoned the behavior of either of you. I hoped that President Obama would help fix our economy. I am disappointed. And I am disappointed and embarrassed that some Obama supporters stoop to name calling and insults.
They're called Mormons because Joseph Smith knew that even he couldn't sell a religion based on something called The Book of Moron.
If my gay man Romney doesn't come take care of my needs soon I'm going to vote for the other team! OBAMA RULES!!! I wish I could give him a loooong hug.
'Fess up, now. You just gotta thing for that "special underwear"...
Where is my butt-buddy, Romney? He said he'd meet me an hour ago!
I think you meant MEAT me in an hour.
I smell desperation...
Seems to me there is desperation in both campaigns. This is a close race. And all informed people are worried about the state of our economy, rising government debt, and the ever-changing dangers of extremism here and around the world. I'm glad our country was able to overlook race in 2008. But it turns out that Obama's policies have not worked, depressing business, jobs, and piling on more and more debt. Time to give another team a try. I’m hoping Romney can use his business skills to prod Congress & fix policies to boost the economy. Romney did well at collaborating with both Democrats and Republicans in Massachusetts and the Olympics, and I’m hopeful he can do the same in Washington.
I'm a part of the LDS retention program. We get onto posts like this and question why people are questioning the validity of the Mormon Church. I must bear my testimony and tell you all that we are the ONLY true church on the earth and that we will become GODS!!! All of you must obey us and you will when Romney is in office!!!
I am 24 Hour Crisis Center and I approve this message.
Thanks for showing all us exactly what is wrong with religion, especially religion in the United States.
It's not about doing good deeds and being nice...it's all about power and control.
But, once Romney loses, I will make sure and have an extra laugh specifically at your expense.
How dare you disagree with fake 24's post which I approved!
You know what is really a miracle?
Bachmann, Perry, Palin, Cain, Gingrich, Santorum, etc.
Luckist man in America? Obama
Second luckiest man in America? Romney
Pass it on!!
Attention all Dems, atheists and Obama supporters. Pray for ROMNEY! Do so with great vigor. Do so in front of Romney supporters.
This is an opportunity to...well to have some fun.
"Washington (CNN) – If it wasn't already clear that Mitt Romney and his allies are trying to lower expectations heading into next Wednesday's debate against President Obama in Denver, the campaign is now making it official.
In a memo about the debates distributed to campaign surrogates and provided to CNN on Thursday, longtime Romney adviser Beth Myers outlines a series of reasons why the president is likely to emerge as the winner of the first debate."
Doesn't sound like Romney got the Prayer Request. He has already given up.
Hopefully, Romney doesn't adopt the same tactic......praying and fasting......as some of his church cohorts, in order to get things done.
Low blood sugar...not goood...
Romney's arms are too hairy...they give me the creeps...he's like a throw-back to the apes. Oh, I forgot that Mormons believe that the earth is only 7 thousand years old.
Nope, they don't.
I would disagree with the comment about his arms. As a gay man, that is absolutely the only thing I find attractive about him.
I'm a Mormon and I will NOT vote for Romney. He has NO integrity!
Samcan, why are you a Mormon??
Pray for Romney's soul, he made a fortune at the expense of others.
I hate gays because I was forced, as a gay man, to marry a woman (and she's as big as a barn...we call women like her Special Spirits). I hate Obama because the Mormon Church tells me to.
You can always tell when some qu eer atheist loser steals a name, no wit no class gross and totally off topic. It's all about the future President giving all you degenerates your walking papers. Romney / Ryan 2012
The only kind of "trickle-down" that actually works:
"Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
"truth be told" degnerates to:
"Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
"tina" deganerates to:
"captain america" degnerates to:
"just sayin" degenerates to:
"nope" degnerates to:
"2357" degenerates to:
"WOW" degnerates to:
"fred" degnerates to:
"!" degenerates to:
"pervert alert" or "...."
and many other names, but of course I prefer to refer to this ho mophobe as
the disgruntled ex Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. "writer".
Yes, it's true, I do have a lot of self-loathing, and I go back and forth with my feelings and what I say. Some people think it makes me sound crazy, but the electro-shock that the Mormon program EVERGREEN does to get away the gay in men like myself, messes up my brain.
I am also the face of a real mormon...I swear, hate and hope for evil upon people that don't believe as I do!
And there is the name thief now appearing as truth be trolled. Romney / Ryan 2012
I'm Mormon and I'm voting for Obama. Not fasting and praying for Romney.
Doug, why are you a Mormon??
This election is all about choices vote Mormon or moron your choice. Romney / Ryan 2012
emm...ronny...moron and mormon are the same thing...
If Romney was the "Man" it would be showing by now.
Up to now it has only been mistakes, mishaps and deception.
The American people can tell the difference between good and better.
I'm Mormon and I've voting for Obama.
all this religion stuff is besides the point...obama let me down.. i think we need to let romeny have a go.
Thank you for that well thought out position Clint.
How, exactly did Obama let you down? And how, exactly do you figure Romney will help you in any way? I feel as though there are a large number of individuals in the United States Congress who have stood in the way of this President for their own personal gain. Not my gain or yours ... Their own.
The only "go" that man needs is to his nearest "porcelain throne."
Both sides of the aisle are part of the problem. Show me where Obama has reached out to Congress in any significant way. He could if he wanted to, because he is more than capable. What we really need is leadership. Currently, we don't have it. Not in the Presidency and not in Congress (House and Senate).
If this lady is voting for Mitt Romney simply because she wants a change and he belongs to her church maybe she should not vote for all the Republican congressmen that have refused to work with a Democratic President. That is your problem with the country. Also Religion has no place in politics and a President should not gain voted just because he belongs to a certain church.
Paul, it truly goes both ways. Those who don't see that, and vote, are part of the problem. For a large portion of the politiicians in office today (at least in the leadership positions), it's all about retaining power and control.
Yes, he needs prayers..that's the only way he'll make it.
@sarge: and hopefully those voting for romney will continue to pray for him on election day...................................all the way through the whole day. lmfao
no amount of prayers can save this pathological liar, racists, hypocrite, and flip flopper from losing. this hypocrite cannot fool god which ever god he worships.
Ray, I see the same/similar laundry list of names attributed to Romney all throughout the liberal news outlets and blogs. It kind of just rolls off the tongue (or keyboard) ad nausea. What examples do you have of Romney's lying, racism, hypocrisy and flip-flopping that is any worse than Obama or other liberal politicians. I don't think Romney is any worse than the average politician. So, please, be specific.
Believe it or not, there are Democrat Christians, as I am. It would never occur to me to ask my God to pick Obama. That smacks to me of a very immature Christian mindset. I pray for this country and its leaders to have wisdom and guidance in helping the worlds hungry. I pray for people to stop hating each other in this country. But I can only picture Jesus sadly shaking his head at these folks prayers for Romney.
I totally agree. Good post. I'm LDS (Mormon) and I cringed when I read the email that spammed my inbox. She did only mean it for her family, and she's clearly embarrassed that it went viral. But I wouldn't even ask my own immediate family to do what she suggested.
Hey, Ronald Regonzo .... So far, Romney has some very unsavory racists, bigots, and uneducated voters as you've just proven. Thanks for reminding me why I take voting so seriously. I'm a Mormon, but I believe everyone has the right to believe or disbelieve whatever they want. You have the right to love whomever you want. And vote for the person you like best. You are too sad for proper words.
Obama IS a racist bigot you simpleton.
I believe that Regonzo is being facetious, for the most part. I doubt he intends to vote Romney/Ryan. However, I sense a tinge of hypocrisy. What is almost equally annoying is the way in which those on the left so freely throws out the racist, bigot, and other pejoratives at those on the right. There are plenty of racists and bigots on both sides of this political divide that actually deserve the moniker. But I would hope that no reasonable person would label Romney, and all those voting for Romney, as racists and bigots, etc., simply because they lean right politically.
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.