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."
Oh my God, are we throwing prayers into our politics ??
Throw that one in the trash bin, pronto !!
Maybe he could ask for a sacrifice instead. I would nominate his running mate as a good start.
Maybe in secret he got a second baptism.
To believe that a supreme being, creator of the universe, would find you of sufficient immportance to interveneat your request in something as mundane as a debate exhibits a level of self importance and arrogance which is mindboggling to me. If God does intervene, I would prefer time be spent helping the innocence who are dying, those who are suffering and others in hopless situations. Sadly, there never appears to be much help given on those fronts either.
I always pray for those who can't hop.
I pray that a man from the planet KOLOB does not become president. If he does become president we will be at war with the Klingons and Romulons .
I pray that we will have a middle of the road candidate in 2016. In my opinion, neither of these candidates represent the wants or needs of most americans. It is sad that so many people feel that their best option in the voting booth is "a lesser of 2 evils" I blame the party system we have. The only way to get party support is to be far left or far right. It leaves all of the great moderate candidates without support.
Agreed. Sadly, those in the middle tend to keep their shoulder to the wheel and their mouths shut. As often said, you get the government you deserve.
Wait, shouldn't his magic Mormon underwear be enough?
So many on these newsfeeds and blogs misuse the term "bigot". Here we have an example of how the term should be properly applied. I hope you aren't in any way representative of the Democratic party.
Rumor has it Willard wants to move DC to Salt Lake City to be closer to the Mother Ship!
You're going to need a lot of prayers for him to win. Sorry, Mormons, but Mitt's run was over before it began.
I am more convinced that religion is stupid and man made !!!
AMERICA DOES NOT NEED MITT ROMNEY.
Top Ten Reasons To Dislike Mitt Romney:
1. Drop-dead, collar-ad handsome with gracious, statesmanlike aura.
Looks like every central casting's #1 choice for Commander-in-Chief.
2. Been married to ONE woman his entire life, and has been faithful to her, including through her bouts with br ea st cancer and MS.
3. No scandals or skeletons in his closet. (How boring is that?)
4. Can't speak in a fake, southern, "blk preacher voice" when necessary.
5. Highly intelligent. Graduated c u m laude from both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School...and by the way, his academic records are NOT sealed like OBAMA'S are.
6. Doesn't smoke or drink alcohol, and has never done drugs, not even in the counter -culture age when he went to college. Too square for today's America?
7. Represents an America of "yesterday", where people believed in God, went to Church, didn't screw around, worked hard, and became a SUCCESS!
8. Has a family of five great sons....and none of them have police records or are in drug rehab.
But of course, they were raised by a stay-at-home mom, and that "choice" deserves America's scorn.
9. Oh yes.....he's a MO R MON. We need to be very afraid of that very strange religion that teaches its members to be clean-living, patriotic, fiscally conservative, charitable, self-reliant, and honest.
10. And one more point.....pundits say because of his wealth, he can't relate to ordinary Americans.
I guess that's because he made that money HIMSELF.....as opposed to marrying it or inheriting it from Dad.
The DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST PROGRESSIVE PARTY....The Party with NO MORAL VALUES.
Democrats mostly control the UNIONS,Blks, Libe rals, G ays,Ath eist and anyother group of ill repute or ANTI-AMERICA That's who RULES AMERICA TODAY these SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS.
You forgot Draft doging coward and tax cheat! Also Liar, and a guy that puts on brown face to talk to hispanics. Also, his college records are sealed.
Yes – the good old days of the Confederacy! Them was good times for people who like to exploit those who have less power..... Just like your boy did to "Earn" his money! Sorry, but Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are the types that actually earned their fortunes without hurting others.
Mitt does have a police record, how do you know his sons don't? None of his family has ever served in the military, but Willard protested FOR the Vietnam war then hid in France for two years when it was his turn to serve!
You do understand that one of the biggest leaders in teh Democratic party, Harry Reid is a Mormon too? What do you say about him?
I guess Obama is also a draft dodger, having never served in the armed forces. And there's that liar label again being placed on Romney. How has Romney "lied" any more than any other politician, let alone Obama? Why are liberals on this comment board so mean spirited?
Roger, the attacks on Romney's record and accomplishments at Bain could easily be used against both Jobs and Gates. In any business, there is virtually no way not to hurt someone in the process of growing that business. But that is not the intent, and wasn't the intent at Bain. Are you dismissing all of the Bain success stories of companies that are healthy and vibrant, and that are providing a livelihood for so many?
Maybe his dancing Olympic horse can fast for a day too?
This is sick!
I think she shoud pray that the mormon god also forgive the mormon satan because even satan could not be so evil as to fire his demons for christmas! Only Mitt robmey would fire workers for christmas after stealing their pensions
I think Romney would have a better chance on Planet Golub.
Money Boo Boo has people sending up prayers to the Planet Kobol in his honor. Perhaps instead of victory, they should pray for him to show an ounce of compassion toward anyone who is not Mormon. Maybe then people would actually consider voting for him.
I would rather have a MOR MON in the WHITEHOUSE than a MOR RON.
It's time to put a BUSINESSMAN in the Whitehouse than a Lawyer who has NO CLUE ON HOW TO RUN A BUSINESS or the ECONOMY
You are aware that the businessman to whom you are referring went to law school, and made his money closing down businesses, right?
You would calla corporate raider a business man? Time for you to go to Business school.
With Romney you get both!
Romney made money taking risks in buying companies on the verge of failure and attempting to turn them around. His company succeeded more often than they failed. So, the left will focus on the smaller percentage of failures and ignore the higher percentage of successes. How sad that politics have decended so low. It appears to be working. The Obama smeer machine is working, while the real issues and problems our country is facing are taking a back seat.
pray for America should he and eddie munster be elected
Yes, yes that kid from the monsters, you got that right.
...so if Mitt loses, does that mean they didn't fast and pray enough?
If mitt loses she should go on a permanent fast
This is for Chongno!!! When I pray I speak to him and he looks into my heart. Based on your comments, you are a mormon!! You should know better!
Charles, there's a fraud maskerading as Chongno – using his name.
Yes, pray for Mitt Romney, that he loses, as his winning would be a great loss for this country. He is the one who would send the country in the wrong direction.
So, the direction we are going now is the right one? The current direction is a country of increased welfare and food stamp dependence. Obama has already signed over 900 Executive Orders that pretty focus on greater government control over our lives. All presidents prior averaged 30 or less in a full term. Obama is promoting class warfare. He's smart and articulate. He knows what to say, and makes it sound good, but he has delivered on very few of the grand list of promises made prior to being elected.
Romney would lead us away from tax and spend, and if he is able to work with a cooperative Congress would lead us toward greater accountability in the way tax revenue is spent. I believe he would work to help lift everyone up, not just the rich – as is the liberal charge. Romney has the practical experience in successfully leading both business and state affairs. He knows how to lead.
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.