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."
As a wise man once said, "Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's. Give unto God that which is God's."
Mormons say "We are in the world, but not of the world."
The tax code defines a church as non-political.
Having a church advocate a political candidate seems to be amiss somehow.
The best places to learn more about what the mormons believe.
the source of a massive delusional lie is certainly not the best place to learn about it
I don't give a darn about what happens to the country. I JUST want my bishop to run the whole show !!!!
I think this is a good idea. They should keep it up until after the elections. Think about it they are voting against their own best interest because of his faith. A faith built around socialism (only for members of course), their rituals 100% stolen from Freemasons by their Profit Joe Smith (a Freemason and fraud). We'll they can fast, pray and wash their magic underwear if they think it will help. It is their right and in the end Obama will win and all the benefits that he is bringing to America they will reap. God bless them.
Why do American's insist on using the ridiculous name 'Jesus Christ'? Don't they realise that the name was born out of racism, that the correct name Yeshua ben Yosev (Yeshua son of Yosev) was never used because it was a Jewish name and the Jews supposedly killed Yeshua, which is also a hoax. Don't you people understand that the letter J is of 16th century French and never existed in the ancient world?
It seems to me that the American tradition of Christianity gives a complete new meaning to the term slippery slope. Don't you people understand that the biblical term 'Jews' refers to a small sect of Jews with membership that included the Herod's? That crucifixes are of 4th century Rome? That confessional boxes are an invention of the 16th century? Further this so called crucifixion took place at Sodom and Egypt (the spiritual name for Sekhakha: Arabic Qumran) and not Jerusalem thus, the so called 12 stations are another invention.
What on earth do American schools teach children apart from religious fantasy?
Added Jay(a Ronmey supporter): “The Lord DOES care about who leads our country, He just doesn’t care what party they are from. ..." : This is why the Ryand-M'Roni ticket is not ahead despite the bad state of the 'conomy .
What they all should do is drown themselves in the toilet to support Rmoney.
This is political action that should be grounds to strip their 503(c)(3) tax-exempt status. In addition to being based on an historically demonstrable fraud and swindler, the LDS is now a highly active political organization that raises money and uses church literature, time, facilities, for political purposes.
Political action....LOL get a job in the government then. Or just get a job, do something with your life. I am sure though, you will reply that you are some educated doctor when in reality you are one of the 35 million looking for work under this current president. Good luck with that–4 more years of living off of uncle sam if he is re-elected.
Dude, I'm sure you are another angry white guy that the Republican party hopes to keep angry until you drop. The law is clear on this. Internal Revenue Code 1.50(c)(3)-1 prohibits any supposed religious organization from "(ii) Directly or indirectly to participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office." By the way, I've paid more in taxes to this country than you ever have and I live in a state that is a net loser at the Federal trough. How about you red neck? Tell me about freedom sometime. Freedom from what? Black people? Minorities? Old people? Non-christians. What are you talking about?
Maybe they'll starve themselves to death!
It's just silly.
I agree 100% the LDS church steps over the line time and time again on political actions. Strip them of their tax except status. NOW. Talk about voter fruad! Talk about abuse of the law.
So your guy is going to be in a debate.
That is a perfectly valid reason to starve yourself for a day.
And you religiots don't understand why we atheists think you are stupid.
According to your own words on the last line you wrote...you are what you say you are :)
And there are still people who think the LDS church doesn't want to run the USA as a theocracy...
Probably 99% of Americans don't think that–Just the 1% that have a problem with people who do not share the same exact religion or beliefs that you have. Why are there so many different religions. Good thing we can all make our own decisions and don't live in a country where there is no freedom of religion.
Just in case you aren't sure what Mitt Romney believes here are a few of his stances on the issues accompanied by some other statements that give you insight into the man...
“The Massachusetts healthcare plan should be a model for the nation.” – Mitt Romney
“Healthcare reform should be left to the states.” – Mitt Romney
"The Arizona immigration policy is a good model." – Mitt Romney
"I didn't really support the Arizona immigration policy." – Mitt Romney
"I was not responsible for what happened at Bain Capital." – Mitt Romney
"I was the sole shareholder, sole director, Chief Executive Officer and President of Bain."
– Mitt Romney
"Let Detroit go bankrupt." – Mitt Romney
”I'll take a lot of credit for saving the auto industry." – Mitt Romney
“I believe Roe v Wade has gone too far.” – Mitt Romney
“Roe v Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it.”
– Mitt Romney
“I respect and will protect a woman’s right to choose.” – Mitt Romney
“I never really called myself pro-choice.” – Mitt Romney
“It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam.” – Mitt Romney
“I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and represent our country there.”
– Mitt Romney
“I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.” – Mitt Romney
“Ronald Reagan is . . . my hero.” – Mitt Romney
“I think the minimum wage ought to keep pace with inflation.” – Mitt Romney
"There’s no question raising the minimum wage excessively causes a loss of jobs.”
– Mitt Romney
“I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.” – Mitt Romney
“I did not see it with my own eyes.” – Mitt Romney
“I would like to have campaign spending limits.” – Mitt Romney
“The American people should be free to advocate for their candidates without burdensome limitations.” – Mitt Romney
“I supported the assault weapon ban.” – Mitt Romney
"I don’t support any gun control legislation.” – Mitt Romney
And last but not least: "I stand by what I said, whatever it was." – Mitt Romney
Nice job! Unfortunately, too many in the U.S. are now immune to reality and truth, including Mittens. It's a sad time when honor and honesty are not the most important attributes of our would be leaders.
What a lame and uneducated post with many statements "missing words and taken out of context". Go ahead and vote for another 4 years of debt, joblessness and poverty. You get what you ask or (vote) for. Good luck with that...
It is easy to pray for an hailstorm to subside then to pray for an unwilling soul because God gives us the freedom to choose. It is still good to pray for a person even if he has chosen in contrast to God's commandments, but it would be imprudent to support such a person and pray that he will change.
I guess I will stop praying for Obama then... I knew there was no hope or change... shucks :)
Maybe "pray" for an end to Mitt's lies? If you are into that sort of thing.
I wish people would stop with "religion is in danger" crap. Not being allowed to force others to follow your religion isn't oppression! If YOU are against something... YOU DON'T DO IT. Everyone else can make up their own mind. Very simple.
4 more years of Obama are even sweeter at the cost of Mittens and Ryan. Now to sweep the rest of the Rep. Crazies from Washington. Might have a future then.
How are 4 more years of Obama sweeter? Did you not hear him tell Putin that he will have more "flexibility" when he is re-elected. Sorry but we worked hard for peace in the east...and to have obama apologize for the US being there is nonsense!
@w4f: "How are 4 more years of Obama sweeter?"
Many reasons but chief among them are that racist, hate-filled, simply awful humans like you will be beside yourself with ignorant rage.
She's not alone. I've been fasting every Wednesday for several weeks for the Lord to have mercy on this nation by defeating Obama.
Please promise you will go on a hunger strike if he wins.
When you die of starvation the planet will be one idiot smarter.
I love this idea! Maybe it will curb the obesity epidemic too. Go ahead, please, fast and pray. I'm sure your imaginary 'father in heaven' will come through for Mitt. In the meantime, I'll stump for Obama every chance I get, to my living breathing friends, who actually VOTE!
Religious liberty is at stake in this election, along with the lives of millions of unborn babies, and the question of authentic marriage between a man and a woman. Never has there been such a clear choice, and I am not talking about race or color. Neither Romney nor Obama will be a good choice if the winner does not put America back on the path to righteousness, true liberty, and TRUTH-that we are here for a divine purpose. We live in a very self-centered narcissitic society where people do what they want, and the only bad consequence is getting caught if it's against the law. The moral law has been ignored for the past 50-60 years. Just ask anyone over the age of 70. Unless there is a turn-around, this nation will not survive. Persecution of believers will commence. And when the USA is entirely destroyed, perhaps the remnant will begin anewl We are no different from Nazi Germany, except that we have far surpassed the number of Jews murdered in the death camps. And those who think religion is the cause, just wait until religion is outlawed!
Your fear mongering is the reason the GOP is a shrinking political party, people are tired of listening to nonsense like this.
Really? Ask Romney when and how he is going to outlaw abortion?
You DO realize that is why he is losing so badly among women? We are really sick of our bodies being used as a "special interest" rather than being recognized as the MAJORITY.
We ARE THE MAJORITY. And unlike Ann Romney, and most of us WORK FOR A LIVING.
70 years ago, it was still practically legal to beat a wife. Good times, those....
You know, I personally think that everything revolving around the LDS church and Mitt Romney is taken way too out of proportion. I have described it similar to John Kennedy's run and the hoopla about his Catholic faith. If this woman wants to support this candidate, she has the right to do that. The people she sent that email to had the choice to either accept the invitation or ignore it. I am a person of faith, but this is just so blown out of proportion that it is almost funny
Vox populi vox Dei not always. I also pray for President Obama that he may be guided to direct the country to a better future. Who ever win this election my prayer always there for that President.
I am an independent and I approve this message
This wasn't started by the church leadership, like so many other things like the political grandstanding against gay marriage, this was started by a member who told two friends. God may give Mitt the words he needs to say, but the free agency of people will tell them how to vote. Nobody likes to be preached to.
Religion needs to stay out of politics period!!!!!!!
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.