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. ThinkAgain: Mittens' 47% = Veterans, Grandma and the Disabled (you know, Jesus' folks)

    Why God would want for POTUS a man who values money over everything and has chosen time and time again to lie is beyond me.

    Y'all can fast and pray all you want. The American people will be turning out in record numbers to retain in office the man who has presided over 30 straight months of private sector job growth, the saving of the American auto industry and the elimination of the head of the organization that launched the most deadly attack on our soil.

    If God truly does favor the righteous and those who take to heart Jesus' call to help the least among us, then God is rooting for President Obama and Democratic majorities in the House and Senate.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  2. dman68

    I hope this Morman woman will pray all the Americans who will be without healthcare if Mitt Mommy and Lyan Ryan win the election. I wonder what god is she praying to anyway. It's not the God of the bible that GOP evangelicals claim to worship. I never thought I live to see the day when the Republican party is trying to put a non Christian in the White House.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  3. miguelgenius

    If I was Obama I would launch a multi-million dollar ad campaign in Utah.... reminding the Mormons that we have a special camp set aside in Guantanamo Bay Cuba reserved for religious zealots and that right now we 're expanding the camp to house even more political and religious/cult enemies of the American fatherland.

    Can you imagine how frightened people in Provo will be to hear they're being reindoctrinated and relocated to Gitmo?
    We could foreclose on their homes, take away their jewelry, take their art works, their cash and their dignity. It would be for their own good. After the war is over, they can return home or set up a new homeland by pushing more Palestinians further into the barren desert of the middle-east.

    Just kidding.... but seriously!

    September 28, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  4. allenwoll

    Religion has ZERO place in politics !

    Organized religion is the source of an overwhelming proportion of the discord, pain and killings going on in the world today. . It is an abomination of the highest degree !

    September 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  5. John the Historian

    Does anyone know how many wives Willard will get on the planet kolob. I mean Joseph Smith the rapist had 87 and Brigham Young had 70 wives but then they are not sure because they had wedding ceremonies for wives for this world and the world hereafter so many wives do mormon men get on the planet kolob. BTW is the planet kolob in our Galaxy or another Galaxy ? When the sun of the planet kolob goes supernova will the archangel moroni come with flying gold tablets to rescue everyone ? Why do mormons think that being a descendant of Joseph Smith the rapist or of Brigham Young the rapist is important ? Explain to me why rebaptism of non-mormon dead was important and why it was stopped ? Now does Anne Romney get multiple husbands on the planet kolob since the Republicans at least claim they do not have a war on women ? Who decides who is a prophet in Salt Lake City ? Exactly where in Missouri is the Garden of Eden ? Are their descendants of Jesus Christ and his multiple wives ? Now do mormons believe in the Da Vinci Code ?

    September 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • moogie

      Nothing in your comment makes any sense. And those are some of the stupidest questions I have ever heard. IIt's truly sad that there are people who attack with such bigotry and ignorance (or is it malice?).

      September 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  6. Thinkergal

    I prayed for Obama to win four years ago, and I'm praying that he wins again.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  7. The Pope

    God's not listening. She's on vacation.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Sztiv Nograd

      CULTISTS. It turns my stomach.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  8. SCY385

    Instead of praying for him somebody needs to sit down and tell him why his campaign is not doing well with some people. You can pray for a fool all day, but until the fool helps helps himself you are wasting your time. This man is a terrible candidate and does not seem to be able to shake the affliction. His foot is permanently stuck in his mouth.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • dman68

      He's Morman. That's all this Morman prayer group cares about. And let's not forget Mitt is running against one of the cursed sons of Ham. A black man who wasn't allowed into heaven by God according to Morman doctrine until the 1970's. I wonder is she part of the 47% that Mitts looks down on with disgust.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • allenwoll

      SCY - There is NOTHING anyone can do for Ro-Money : He is UN-qualified in EVERY dimension to be the leader of this nation.

      His candidacy has been a circus ! ! ! - Complete with the clown department, Ryaynd !

      This all is evidence of political treason & espionage within the GoP - Wonder WHO the leading instigator was/is ? ?

      September 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  9. nyc1985

    Let's not forget this email was only suppose to go to this woman's family and friends - a PRIVATE showing of faith and political affiliation - something we freedom-loving Americans all can support and understand. Just because you may not understand or believe in fasting and prayer does not make her wrong, only different from you. Stop criticizing, poking-fun or feeling like this woman is trying to throw the LDS church in the spotlight. It was a private affair that the media has caught wind of and exploited. (What if one of YOUR personal emails one day ended up on the news? Wouldn't you want other's to respect your personal viewpoints and feelings?) If others choose to join her fast, let them. After all, this is a land of freedom - something we all support. Leave her and others like her to enjoy their freedom to choose just as you enjoy the right.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • snowboarder

      of course it is their right, but it is our right to marvel at their ritual just like we would a witch doctor.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • moogie

      Nice post. Totally agree.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • dman68

      You are making assumptions about motives that belong to other people. Many posters do believe in fasting to the real Christian God. A freedom loving American can also give their opinion about this prayer chain e-mail. You did that as well. In my opinion the god of Joseph Smith does not exist just like the Nephites mentioned in the book of Mormons. So who is this woman praying to? Maybe the same god that Republicans pray to.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  10. Bills Cat

    Can we get a bunch of 'em, the true die-hards, to promise to fast until AFTER the election? Like a slice of bread and 4 oz of water per day???

    September 28, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  11. Dott

    Romney needs more than prayers. He need to prove to us that he loves America by bringing home all that money he has stashed away in other countries. Loving America means paying your fair share of taxes. Guess he does not realize that is how this nation is run. It survives on tax money. Granted it is not always spent wisely but he will be no different......

    September 28, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  12. Satanluv

    I love that picture...is that the light of the lord behind romney?

    September 28, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  13. rob1234

    I grew up in a lds family and even though i have not been active in aver 10 years i still hold onto a lot of the principles that i learned growing up in the church. That being said, and maybe knowing a little bit more about the church than many of you, I can say that mit romney comes off to me as kind of shady. I am not one that thinks that a mormon or any person from any religeon cannot be president but i am saying that you cannot claim to be mormon and be president because a lot of what a president has to do goes directly against the principles of the church. even running a negative campaign ad goes against the teachings of the church. love thy neighbor and all of that other stuff.. making decisions that could get thousands of humans killed...the church looks down on such things. I don't see how any member of the church could be supportive of the things he has done and would have to do as president. its a bit two faced.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  14. Satanluv

    oh man...all the god people evaporated...why does that always happen when i come around?? maybe its the rapture

    September 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  15. stacey

    As a person of faith I was always encouraged to pray for our country, and our president. I pray that Romney gets elected, but I also pray for Obama in performing his duties as president. Call me a wacko but I just think it is a nice thing to do. BTW there is a campaign in the Protestant realm to pray for Romney the next 40 days of this election.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Satanluv

      you're a wacko

      September 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • snowboarder

      luv – not a wacko, just the victim of religious indoctrination.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Dott

      Stacey I also am a person of faith but I believe differently than the Republicans. I believe that you should care for those who can't care for themselves. That is what my Bible teaches me. If people are hungry you feed them. But Romney's first action will be to cut out the food stamps that are feeding proud hungry Americans who through no fault of their own have lost jobs, homes, health coverage and etc. Of course some take advantage of the system but why let others starve because someone else is not honest. My Bible states "It will be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." I don't think God is smiling on Romney – In November we will know.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Satanluv

      snow...she said call me a wacko...i was just being obliging...like a good neighbor and all..wait that's state farm not the christians

      September 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • snowboarder

      dott – i think the contention is that many of those who do not care for themselves are perfectly able, but have little incentive to do so.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • snowboarder

      luv – in that case. witty.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • John the Historian

      So mormons are not Protestants ? I guess mormons are not Christian.

      September 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  16. nc1965

    The religious ideology of the anti-christ (Mitt). No healthcare required.

    Baptism for the dead.

    Mormons believe that their church has missionaries in the "spirit world" who are busy spreading the Mormon gospel to dead people who have not yet received it.

    Should any of these dead people want to convert to Mormonism, they are required to abide by all its rules, one of which is water baptism. Hence the need for proxies to receive the corporeal waters of baptism.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  17. dowdotica

    i will fast! yes i will! i will pray! yes i will! i will fast and pray that romnutz just goes away quietly like he should!!! and on the same note? i will fast and pray that obozo grows some and gives a good clean whoopin to mittens at the debate next wednesday!!!!

    September 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  18. obamaphone

    Anyone want to text me on my free obamaphone? This thing is great and I dont even have to pay a cent! Only tax payers! I'll never have to work again with this and my food stamps and the new Obamacare!! Thanks Obama!

    September 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Ott

      Actually its a Reaganphone – but being ignorant is your right

      September 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • obamaphone

      No Obama is the reason. All my homies have obama phones too! Work is for the whiteman. Ill take my Gov't cheese!

      September 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • ME II

      Free phone service has been around for years to certain segments of the population through various programs under the Universal Service Fund, it has little to do with Obama.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Factfinder

      And that program uses private funds, not taxpayer funds.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • ME II

      ... well mandated fees, anyway. Small difference.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  19. Morgan S.

    First of all, Utah leads the nation as the state with the most depression. It also ranks #1 in prescription drug use. Secondly, 70% of Utah is Mormon. Conclusion? Just because this woman's depressed with the state of her life doesn't mean everyone else in the nation is equally as depressed. My advice: Once a Mormon quits being a Mormon, that's when they'll find happiness. It's not in a change in the presidency.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • LinSea

      Where is your proof to that ridiculous statistic? I've seen about ten different iterations of it, but oddly enough, I cannot find a single government health statistic to back it up. It's just garbage used to generate hate.

      September 28, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  20. nc1965

    The faithful followers of Christianity (Evangelical Christians, Catholics, Jews and Seniors) will not vote for Romney. And he will difinitely not get the black vote. Mormonism has a racist history.

    They will not vote for someone who if elected, will take the Presidential Oath on the “Book Of Mormon”.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • ME II

      There is no requirement for the oath of office to include any book. Whoever wins can take the oath on "The Book of Mormon" the Broadway musical, for all it matters.

      September 28, 2012 at 4:47 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.