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."
A fine example of how delusional the religious are that they think starving themselves will motivate some heavenly sky daddy to intervene on their behalf.
Have do you know, Matt? Have you ever tried fasting and praying for anything? I have had my prayers answered many times through fasting and prayer.
Matt, the bottom line is that fasting and praying doesn't hurt anybody even if it doesn't help. Unless of course you choose it over real medical care.
It would be nice if you could be tolerant of those you disagree with even if YOU believe they are dillusional. The facts are that an overwhelming majority of the Earth's inhabitants believe in a god. You don't have to like it or believe it but it would be nice if you showed some respect.
@ Lawless- Yes, it does hurt someone. It hurts humanity because these sickly and childish ideas actually prevent people from doing something meaningful instead of simply participating in nonsense.
That's just your demented point of view, Max, and, thank goodness, you don't get to decide things.
He is right. The vast majority of us in the United States (82%) believe in God and we will decide things. When the majority are atheists, then you can decide, but when that day comes the ancient prophesies will be fulfilled and we will have war and rumors of war and famine and pestilence and we will become a backward, 3rd rate nation which will be over run by another people who are more deserving than us!
I'm sure a lot of people will be fasting if Romney makes it to office!
I'm fasting for Ryan just in case. Nah, just kidding, Ryan will clean his clock anyway.
I hope they fast until Mittens takes office
Now that is funny... how many folk do you think you have confused to the point of madness?
Yes .........I am going to vote for someone who won't release his tax records, hides his money in off shore accounts, has a wife whose hobby is raising horses. And he belongs to a cult that says you must wear magic underwear.
Before you talk crap about the worlds most respected religion try doing some research and take research from the source: Mormon.org or LDS.org dont go to a site that makes up stuff to try and get dirt on the most respected church in this day and age
You sure you aren't going to vote for someone who's never ran a private sector company, came from a broken home and raised by a Muslim in a foreign country who won't release his school transcripts?
HE did release tax records and they just want more......Show me obamas birth certificate, obama smokes pot, and you complain about tax records? really????? Romney is a selfmade billionaire who is responsible for the only Olympics to actually make money in history. When romney became govener he REFUSED to be paid to be one because he consisdered it his duty. When he is made president he wont take the pay either. Obama just spends spends spends.....Who do you want for president that will actaully make progress on debt? An idiot who keeps spending or and Economist?
@Really–"Most respected religion"? Really? No one but Mormons and other religious delusionals have any "respect" for this kind of nonsense. I do not respect idiotic, absurd, and divisive ideas. I don't care if everyone on earth believed that Mormonism, Christianity, or Islam is true; when it comes to believing in idiotic ideas, one should count the evidence and NOT the believers or "respect" of the ideas.
It might enlighten people a little to do some research on the Mormoms. Read about Joseph Smith and Brigham Young..
What seems so fuzzy and warm, may put Romney/Ryan in office and what's left of the "middle" class will be down the tubes and they have already told you so. Pray for America that it can be saved.
Let them all fast until the election. And when you're losing consciousness, remember, god doesn't like quitters, so keep fasting!
I don't know if their fasting played any role in how the debate, but hey you can't help but like the results from that debate!
Comparing Romney and Obama, the choice to me is a no-brainer.... Obama looked exactly what you'd expect of the guy leading our country so poorly, and Romney looked like a much better choice. If I'm going to put my trust in one of these two guys to dig us out of the hole we're in, it's Romney – not only does he have a better grasp of what's going on, he's not running on 'the last four years were not my fault... give me four more and I'll fix it' – we've heard that before.
Given the down home thrashing that Romney gave BoBo, the Mormon's fasting worked. For the second and third debate me thinks this Presbyterian will join the Mormons in their fast :)
Not Mormon/LDS, myself, but admire this woman for sticking to her convictions. She is brave to be willing to be politically incorrect.
Taliban stick to their convictions too
If people fasted and prayed for peace imagine how that would change things.
Yes! Fewer nut-brained people in the world!
What a great thought!
Yeah, keep praying for that Theocracy. #whitehorseprophecy
The Jesus I follow taught that it would be easier for a cammel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
What does your leader teach about this?
He also said (Luke 6:37 & 38): "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Yes that is part of the scriptures but it doesn't mean what you are implying. I know good people who are poor, middle income and rich and I believe they will all be in Heaven. That scripture means those who have made their God to be money will find it hard to be Heaven because their hearts are not in the right place.
"I know good people who are poor, middle income and rich and I believe they will all be in Heaven. That scripture means those who have made their God to be money will find it hard to be Heaven because their hearts are not in the right place."
Based on recent surveys most people in American have made money their god, they are full of greed it's part of our culture, spend to get out of our economic woes. Christians like you are blind to your own personal greed.
Romnuts is still working by the old Mormon way and that is to confuse and to frighten. Why do you think he has no specifics on anything? He's still a good old cultist boy and uses alarmist techniques to control people. Other than that, has he given you a reason to vote for him? Didn't think so unless you are just plain racist or stupid.
In fairness, in Obamas first campaign were there any specifics other than the the marketing slogans of 'hope' and 'change'? He basically said – we'll figure it out together. (I'm serious – not trying to be mean.) I read both Obama books prior to his first run and hoped for more than the change we've gotten.
Did you really just pull the racist card? Im not voting for obama cause he is a friggin idiot
snoop dog is a great man
It's Snoop Lion now.
whatta matter with everyone? no more hollywood woors in the whit house
I wish Romney would talk honestly about his cult!
get over it fool hes your next president
Somebody show these loons the fossil record. delusional belief systems will be humanities demise.
I think so because you came from a fossil not humanity !!!!!!!Pathetic loser...
im johnny and im -5 years young in mental prowness
Idiot Mormons. They're some of the most hateful people on the planet. Good, let em fast and find out what it feels like to be hungry in this country when your only source of food – food stamps – gets stripped away from you.
I believe you are a total IDIOT, please do some research before you write something stupid !!!. I am not a mormon, but noticed them as most helpful people around the world. Where did you get that idea that they will take out your foodstamps???
Wow – you do realize that Mormons fast the first Sunday of every month and take the money saved by not eating 2 meals and give it to the poor right? There is no set maximum or minimum required for the donation and 100% of the funds goes to pay for food for less fortunate. Sounds hateful to me...
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.