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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 • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (2,123 Responses)
  1. nanna

    It is all about control. I would rather be dead. Churches love to control. Love your money too! Big business! Think with your brains people and don't let churches control you.

    September 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  2. Jim

    Would Gov. Chris Christie have to fast for a week then?

    September 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  3. Kean

    Is it acceptable that a tax-exempt Mormon Church created a 90-store shopping mall in Salt Lake CIty? Should not a church use their donations (tax-deductible for the contributor) to a more worthy cause than building a corporate empire?

    September 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  4. Tired of This

    All you liberals do is listen to the biased media. The worst president this country has ever had is Oidiot. Please all you liberals answer this one question? Was Libya a terrorist attack? Oh wait, you don't know just yet. This administration knew from day one it was and all you do is put your head in the sand. Oidiot deliberately lied yet you call Romney the liar. All you rights are being taken away from you and handed to the governement and yet you don't see this. Do you really think that we can sustain a government with less than half the people in this country paying taxes, oh let me guess the liberal media didn't mention we can turn out like Greece so it will never happen to us!

    September 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Kean

      You're in the wrong place. Your comment has nothing to do with Mormonism.

      September 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Erica

      what do you base your " Worst President we ever had" thought on? see that nullifies your entire comment whether it be true or not. We all know he is not the Wrost president we ever had!!! That gives you no credibility

      September 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  5. Carill Davis

    Good grief. Are the Mormons going to vote as one big block now? Are they going to poll the dead – after they baptize them – and make them rise from their graves and vote "Romney" ? I would ask Romney one question – will you be president of the (whole population of the) country or of (just) the Mormons if you get in? Frankly, I don't see him as presidential material at all. When the ambassador of Libya was killed, Romney should have offered his support as an American – got behind the flag in a show of unity – and not berated the (office of the) president. Gosh; this guy doesn't deserve one vote – not from Mormons or "gentiles" alike!!!

    September 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Scott

      Well, the Blacks voted as one big block (95%) for BoBo in 2008. Or is that O.K. because BoBo is Black?

      Scott

      September 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Erica

      blacks always, more than not, vote democratic!! Bobo or Clinto, didnt matter. They just wanted to make history in 08

      September 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  6. JOHNNY TRIGG

    WELL THE TOTAL IDEA IS VERY DUMB, YOU COULD HAVE 10,000,000 PEOPLE WITH PAINFUL KNEE CAPS AND ON THE DOOR STEP OF STARVATION, AND IT WOULD NOT CHANGE THE FACT HE IS NOT WORTH BEING PRESIDENT. THE REAL TRUTH IS BOTH OF THEM CAN NOT DO NOT AND SHOULD NOT BE PRESIDENT. WE HAVE HAD FEW PEOPLE IN 60 YEARS WHO COME EVEN CLOSE TO BEING A REAL "PRESIDENT".

    September 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Michael

      LIFT THEM UP...HELP THEM TO FIND JOB, "DO NOT ASK WHAT THE GOVT CAN DO FOR YOU BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR
      THE GOVT."

      September 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  7. Tim in MN

    I just have to say it: "If fasting and prayer REALLY worked, everyone would be doing it." And how about all of those trillions of prayers that go unanswered? What? Are some prayers better than others? Some worse? Or does God just say, "Well, ok. You've prayed enough. Here ya go."

    September 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • SAM246

      Reid is the one who needs to pray. Can you imagine his reception at the Temple???

      September 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  8. Andrew

    And be sure to wear your magic underwear!

    September 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • jav

      As an atheist I find your comment disgusting. I strongly disagree with their religious beliefs but I still respect their right to practice it.

      September 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  9. norma jean.

    I'm speechless.........so maybe I'll pray a little too!!!
    !

    September 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • whatever

      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.”

      Not too floored and uncomfortable now, Mona? That was a REALLY SPEEDY reply!!
      Yeah, praying's good. You do that.

      September 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  10. whatever

    To: Mona Williams
    You said the following:

    “I know that fasting and praying brings about miracles.”

    I would really LOVE to know how YOU KNOW that fasting and praying brings about miracles. Don't you think that the all the people (men, women, children, and babies) held prisoner and then MURDERED during World War II, did their fair share of praying?? Did THEY get a miracle? NO. Is it because they weren't MORMONS? Do miracles happen ONLY FOR MORMONS?
    I can tell you this. There have been NO miracles since (or before) the bible (fiction) was created by a bunch of different men. Miracles do NOT exist. You can SAY "that was a miracle" but it means nothing. It is only words. If you happen to have good luck, escape death from a horrible disease, etc., DO NOT CLAIM IT HAPPENED BECAUSE OF A MIRACLE OR BECAUSE YOU PRAYED, OR BECAUSE YOU FASTED. It happened because you happened to have good luck that day, and that is that.

    September 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • sadbutruesoitseems

      Are you really bashing what someone believes? It's what makes her, her. You cannot tell her she has not witnessed miracles. BTW, what is a miracle?

      I do NOT agree with some of her beliefs, but they are her beliefs. If she wants to pray, let her. If you want to pray, go for it. If you dont, thats cool too. Just let people believe what they want without ridiculing them.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • sweettea

      Why are you attacking this lady's faith? Didn't you read the article, it was a PERSONAL email to her family and friends that was circulated. She didn't put it out there in your face for you to attack her. I am not a Mormon but I do believe in the power of prayer. I will join her on Sunday, and everyday, to pray for our country and it's leaders. Yes, I will also pray for Mitt Romney and that God's will will be done in our nation. I will pray for you as well, that your heart will be softened and the bitterness you feel toward God will subside so you can get to know Him in a personal way. You may be right, but what if you're wrong?

      September 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • JOHNNY TRIGG

      WELL, "WHATEVER" I GIVE YOU A BIG HUG FOR YOUR ONE OF FEW WHO HAS SPOKEN THE REAL "TRUTH". WE AS WALKING TALKING AND "SOMETIMES" THINKING HUMANS, NEED TO KNOW FROM WHERE OUR REAL "POWER" COMES FROM, IT COMES FROM WITHIN OURSELVES AND WE NEED TO ACCEPT WHAT HAPPENS AND IF IT IS GOOD WE KNOW IT AS OUR OWN DOING...IF IT IS BAD WE ACCEPT THE SAME, AND STOP PUTTING THE GOOD AND BAD ALL ON TO "THE UNKNOWN" WE NEED TO ACCEPT OUR OWN, WHAT EVER IT MAY BE.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • james

      No miracle guaranteed with fasting and praying. But it's the old "If you don't ask, you won't get an answer or help." God wants us to come to him, but it's His will.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  11. carly

    Nothing will help Romney in his quest for the WH. The man is a pandering flip-flopping liar. He has no clue what the middle class in this country needs or has gone thru the last few years. He and Ryan are bad for middle class Americans and every intelligent American knows it.

    September 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  12. Larry McDonald

    They should fast until Mitts inauguration...

    September 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  13. Boisepoet

    One change this woman could make that would help the country is to give up her mythology and start getting real about the world's problems.

    September 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  14. JAB62

    Nothing fails like prayer! So when Romney loses you'll have proof, once again.

    September 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  15. chinonye

    We, the American people cannot worship God and Mormon says Christ.

    September 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  16. reneeindy

    I pray always "God your will be done."

    September 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  17. mlblogscbgoldsmith

    You mean up till now Mormons have been slacking off? Can't they just double up on the magic underoos?

    September 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  18. yoda05416

    pray to the Almighty to give Romney to wisdom to look into the eyes of all voters and tell their destiny lie in their own hands. Through their votes, he will bring back the Pride of Glory of being American. Everyone that is willing, will fulfill their American dreams again.

    September 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • thade76

      LuLz. OOOOKkkkkaaayy......

      September 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Michael

      Sure! Everyone should pay for their choices and not the 1% that Obama wants.

      September 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • riabm60

      Oh dear, and you think he is riding the white horse ??
      ___not____

      September 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • maxwell

      Pray for all the men who fought and died in Vietnam, while young mitt romney layed around the beaches of south france

      September 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • j

      Oh maxwell i dont know if you know anything but his time in France was no vacation. LDS missionaries work every day all day to try and teach people, and its no easy thing with people continually beiung rude and judging you solely based on the fact that you are mormon. We live in a country a free speech and freedom of religon, how about we all start practicing it and not persecute or belittle someone for what they believe and how they practice it.

      October 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  19. Maria

    Please, fasting for Romney? I didn't know that he was Jesus!

    September 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  20. Billsf

    Who would Jesus vote for?
    The guy fed the poor and helped the needy or the guy who banked $250,000,000.00 while leaving many without a job?

    September 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Michael

      Anyway Jesus may not vote for Obama.

      September 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Erica

      well Jesus was not a Christian, not a Muslin, not a Mormon, did not have a religion so who would vote for a man without religion? I would only if it was Jesus

      September 28, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
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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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.