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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 • Faith Now • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (2,123 Responses)
  1. tony

    TODAY! Religion driven government orders shooting of 14 yr old girl who publicly disagreed with them on wanting education. Today it was the Taliban in "US ally" Pakistan. Yesterday, our Israeli "US's best friends" goverment shot a missile into a crowded gaza street and seriously wounded several children. And just last week, our supported Syrian opposition freedom fighters used suicide bombers. Not that long ago it was the "Christian Catholic" Government Spanish Inquisition that was burning heretics at the stake en masse.

    Oh RELIGIOUS FREEDOM – So wonderful!!!!

    October 9, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  2. tony

    Could they all please actually starve and enter heaven a bit earlier?

    October 9, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  3. Bill

    America is becoming a theocracy. Great!!!

    October 9, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  4. Um Ya

    This lady is pretty short sighted. There are numerous mormons in politics in both parties. I would hope that mormons would fast and pray about the issues and ask for divine guidance in whom they should vote for and not just for a single candidate.

    October 9, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  5. fly on wall

    I just like how all the athiest say "I DONT NEED RELIGION TO BE A GOOD PERSON' while they belittle others and make fun of others beliefs

    October 9, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Rob

      I like how you labeled an entire group of people and accuse every one of them as doing the same thing. Because some Christians have murdered pro abortionists, that's like me saying, I like how all Christians are murderers, but it says in their book, "thou shalt not kill."

      October 9, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • jasoncdanforth

      When I start killing people in the name of Not-God, we'll talk.

      October 9, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  6. Bill Clayton

    let me see if I got this right. The Mormons support Romney so they aren't going to eat to help him? wait.. what? cant beat that logic... *facepalm* No wonder mormon sounds so much like moron.

    October 9, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Ben

      Remember, this is one Mormon. I'm Mormon and would never vote Romney. Or fast for him.

      October 9, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Chris

      You only say that because you have never actually witnessed the miraculous power of fasting. I have personally seen it for myself, and all the denial in the world from others can't take that away.

      October 9, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  7. A Buckler

    When is someone going to ask Mr Romney about his magic underwear?

    October 9, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Um Ya

      You really want to know about underware? With all of the issues going on today this is all you care about? You creep me out! I hope that you have never seen me on the street and wonder what I have on under my clothes!

      October 9, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  8. Johnny 5

    Mormons fasting for Romney? Take a day to remove reality and food consumption, then go vote for a jerk of a guy named Romney. Sounds logical enough....

    October 9, 2012 at 8:32 am |
  9. Raoul Duke, Jr.

    Ah, Pascal's Wager. It's logical fallaciousness has been proven since he first postulated it. The problem is the premise that the christian god is the one you would meet on "judgment day." What if you have been wrong all the time and the god you meet is not the christian god you believed in all your life, but one of the other 5000 gods that humans have created? Then you meet the same demise as someone who has believed in no god. You lose the bet, too. Of course, one could double down and worship all the gods, just to be sure. I'll take my chances with NO god and, if asked by some god why I didn't believe in him/her I would ask "why did you make me this way?"

    October 9, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • Bill Clayton

      Actually its something like 2670 different gods out there but I get your point. There's too many and how do they know which is the *right* one. Not flaming, jsut saying I agree with you :)

      October 9, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  10. Ismael

    It will be scary if a cult member turn out to be the leader of this nation.

    October 9, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • GregScott

      Whats so funny about praying for an outcome is that like any gambler, they only talk about their wins.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • JW

      Gee, I thought we already had one now who's a classic Karl Marx student. All things considered Ishmael, we aren't voting for a national "pastor" per say. And I say that with all respect. I am a pastor. But I choose to want to vote for the person who best represents the founding principles of this country (freedom, individual responsibility, etc.). And I think Romney holds those values at heart and isn't ashamed of it like Obama obviously is. We've seen that in his world apology tour he's been taking for the past 4 years. Not sure who you vote will be for, but you may want to choose the Romney ticket before we all lose our freedoms under this regime.

      October 9, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  11. Lolzta

    Do they think God chose Hitler to be the leader of Germany too?...... Do they think God chose President Bush and also Saddam Hussein???...... God does not chose or vote your President!!!! It is whoever votes!!!! Get that through your head Mrs Williams. Leave The Lord's name alone!!

    October 9, 2012 at 5:27 am |
    • JW

      Do you think it's safe to conclude that God gives us who we deserve or desire?

      October 9, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  12. Lole

    Do they think God chose Hitler to be the leader of Germany too?...... Do they think God chose President Bush and also Saddam Hussein???...... God does not chose or vote your President!!!! It is whoever votes!!!! Get that through your head Mrs Williams. Leave The Lord's name alone!!

    October 9, 2012 at 5:25 am |
  13. End Religion

    October 8, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Augustine

      Just as a note of historical accuracy: Mormons have not practiced polygamy since 1890 (approximately 120 years ago). Any polygamists today are not part of the Mormon (Latter Day Saint) Church. Such groups have no affiliation with the LDS church.

      October 9, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Jr. Jimenez

      They practice Adultery instead... Same concept diff. term.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:50 am |
  14. Victor J Hayes

    keep fasting because I am going to make sure you starve to death. . . .

    October 8, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Jr. Jimenez

      The 47% have been fasting for a longer time so they win!!!!

      October 9, 2012 at 7:53 am |
  15. bob

    If praying works why even go to vote

    October 8, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  16. Jack Paulden

    As a not totally practicing Mormon...don't drink or smoke though! I am bothered by this part of the article, "“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.” Because the Mormons ...many of them...still believe that Black's cannot hold the Priesthood...because Brigham Young told them so!...He got it from his concept of "God's Will" but it was Brigham's will! Even when the Federal Government stepped in to stop racism...you can assume from the statement that "Mormon's convinced by goverment against their will....are of the same opinion still...and still racist"

    October 8, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Tyler

      @JackPaulden
      "Because the Mormons ...many of them...still believe that Black's cannot hold the Priesthood.."
      If you really were a "not totally practicing mormon" like you claim to be you would know that this comment is way off mark...not even that....it's flat out wrong. Stop posing to create controversy. It's not religion that's killing this country, it's goons like you that stir up controversy and contention among the people. Comments like this are no different than Al Qaeda stirring up the middle east to contention.

      October 9, 2012 at 12:56 am |
  17. Niknak

    Hey Mormons, double down and drown yourselves in the toilet for Rmoney.

    October 7, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • meyouthem

      Depends on who you think is the lesser of the two evils.

      October 9, 2012 at 7:57 am |
  18. Byrd

    If all Mormons fast from now until the election, then we'll be ready to resettle and repopulate Utah by Spring.

    October 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • The Mockingjay

      Yeh, and if the nation continues down the path of abortion and birth control, we'll repopulate the nation!

      October 8, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  19. winchester74

    We should all practice fasting – because if Mittney is elected – many of us will starve as he and his right-wing trolls destroy Social Security.

    October 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Salemboy94

      Actually, fasting occasionally has been shown to have serious health benefits. You should try it sometime.

      October 8, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • End Religion

      Every time I read a story about people still falling for the scam known as religion, I fast against my will. I barf and can't eat for days....

      October 8, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  20. Jesus is the most powerful figure known to mankind (Fact)

    Ok i challenge all atheist/non-believers to a simple small short mature intellectual debate. I claim that there is a GOD, Higher Power, Intelligent Designer/Engineer, and Creator. You claim that there isnt a Creator and everything is a coincidence. (If what i say about your claims are wrong please correct me) Here are the rules: No THEORIES and no BIBLE VERSES. Proven known facts ONLY, none requiring faith. I simply ask that you consider my facts as i will yours. I will provide 10 facts in defense to my claim and you can list as much as you will.

    1.The perfect unseen order of our solar system.
    2. The accurate and precise distance of our sun and it's perfect compatibility with our moon. Its unfailing rising and sustaining power.
    3. The engineering of the earth in every aspect.
    4. Nature, it's power, beauty, and contributions.
    5. Natural law.
    6. Creatures, all of their different abilities, bodies, and behaviors.
    7. The extraordinary and intelligently designed human body and mind.
    8. My user name. Jesus indeed had the most influence and biggest impact on this world than anyone in all of time.
    9. Due to how orderly and precise creation is, the chance of the big bang theory or coincidence happening is statistically 0. Scientists have come up with approximate numbers that far exceed the trillions, but these numbers are made up from their theories which is why i didnt paste the number. As of right now the chances of life forming from nothing is statistically 0.
    10. Time & Life (consciousness)

    Please be respectful and list your facts.

    October 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Satanluv

      ahhhh... still a bunch of nonsense...boy I'll bet you thought that was so great when you put it together...check out the findings of the Hubble telescope and what they mean and then go to NYC and visit the Museum of Natural History...pretty much proves the falseness of your whole god story..try science not conjecture and vain hopes

      October 7, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • john

      How can there be a God, Satanluv has NO brain, but what else is new

      October 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Byrd

      I think you missed posting this nonsense in one story in the Entertainment section, which is actually where it belongs, under the heading of Fiction and Fantasy.

      October 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • zometimer

      Jesus never existed, no historical proof whatsoever. Your god like the rest of the current fairy tales, doesnt either. Get out from under that rock.

      October 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • End Religion

      No point. You provide a false and negative claim for us to defend which leaves no ground for debate. We do not know if there was a creator, and cannot prove the negative, however we see no evidence pointing to it. Evolution is a fact inasmuch as we rely on any established scientific theory as fact and involves little if any coincidence.

      The meat of all this is, if you assert an overwhelming theory as fact then you need overwhelming evidence in support, otherwise it remains a belief or guess. You do not have such evidence.

      It's been debated to death, and as time goes on your side of the debate gets increasingly tenuous. These things end in "we'll have to agree to disagree" because, when faced with facts, you will like all others before you eventually shrink into Ad Hoc Hypothesis mode then finally to asserting something wildly outside the natural world, which is the religious safety net when it comes to logic.

      You have no argument for your case aside from magic, and magic we do not accept.

      October 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Muzak

      I'll bite.
      1.The perfect unseen order of our solar system.
      That our solar system exists and is orderly does is not evidence that a conscious, omnipotent creator exists. That which exists does not provide proof of its creator, it is simply here. Science has put forth its best theory to date to explain how it exists, but I'll submit neither science nor religion has answered the question with 100% everyone-agrees certainty. We all agree (well I assume the majority of us) how a child is conceived, but there is no definitive answer from religion or science on how our solar system, or the universe, was conceived. One bases its evidence on research, one bases it evidence on what has been written by our ancestors.

      2. The accurate and precise distance of our sun and it's perfect compatibility with our moon. Its unfailing rising and sustaining power.
      Science says life arose here because of our perfect situation in the solar system; however, the sun nor moon are unfailing.
      The sun will one day run out of energy and stop working, and the moon is slowly moving away from the Earth.

      3. The engineering of the earth in every aspect.
      Yes, this place is a wonder. Science tries to answer how Earth was formed; but as the answer I gave in 1, that it exists as it does doesn't prove it was "hand" made.

      4. Nature, it's power, beauty, and contributions.
      God or no God, there must always be order within chaos, and always chaos within order. Nature is wonderful, and science believes in nature and is as fascinated in it is you are. Science just likes to explain how it works, while religion just likes to say "God did this, don't question it." Nature is a system of order, within the construct of infinite, chaotic time. What creates this order...there is no true evidence to support either side. Again, science just explains how it works.

      5. Natural law.
      See answer to 4, but I'd like to throw in that Natural Law has shown there are exceptions.

      6. Creatures, all of their different abilities, bodies, and behaviors.
      See answers to 4 and 5.

      7. The extraordinary and intelligently designed human body and mind.
      All life is extraordinary, but Humans sure are an oddity. That we are what we are doesn't prove nor disprove anything.
      There is no 100% answer to why we are as we are.

      8. My user name. Jesus indeed had the most influence and biggest impact on this world than anyone in all of time.
      Probably, but the accounts written of Jesus' life, words, deeds, death and alleged ressurection do not prove God exists.
      These are Human witnesses, and witnesses are subjective. I know to you what is written is enough for you to have faith in, but for me it is not. I need concrete evidence that he came back to life, and is still around, and I need to hear from his mouth that he is God's son and representative.

      9. Due to how orderly and precise creation is, the chance of the big bang theory or coincidence happening is statistically 0. Scientists have come up with approximate numbers that far exceed the trillions, but these numbers are made up from their theories which is why i didnt paste the number. As of right now the chances of life forming from nothing is statistically 0.
      Where did you come up with 0%?
      Alternately, the chance of a conscious being creating something out of nothing is 0%. You need foundational building blocks to build something. And "nothingness" is inconceivable to Humans as all of space consists of something. If there was just God, and one day he created everything from nothing, where did he get the building blocks from? What existed before there was nothing? Did God just sit around alone in the emptiness of a void space? We are both left with theories. Intelligence requires we fill in the blanks, for both the religious and scientiftic.

      10. Time & Life (consciousness)
      Conscious life, which perceives the passage of Time. In other words..why are we here? Religion has answered that. Science has not; for it has only answered how we are here. Religion has the leg up on "why", but that doesn't prove God's existence. A God must prove his existence through revelation. So, we shall see!

      October 9, 2012 at 11:20 am |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.