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. Reality

    Only for new members of this blog:


    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As do M. Romney and H. Reid)

    "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney and H. Reid also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does Obama and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan and their families )

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    September 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  2. nc1965

    Some of you blame Obama for everything including snow in July.

    But the things that he needs to do require an act of Congress, which by the way has an approval rating below 14%.

    Yet we complain about how broken Congress is, yet your guy in Congress is a great guy. You need to have the guts to vote your candidate out of office.

    Case and point. Issa isn't worth a d a m n. He only attacks the Obama administration and turns a blind eye to his Republican colleague's corruptions. He is a arsonist and a convicted car thief. But his approval rating is 75% in his district.

    Hence the reason why Government will never work for "We The People".

    Look in the mirror people. You are the problem.

    September 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Charlie

      There are a lot of people in this country who are constantly looking for something to get riled up about. Regardless, of who gets elected to any office, it is those people who will bring this country down by refusing to believe we are all in this together. They believe that their tight little circle of family and friends are the center of the universe, and their concerns are the only legitimate ones. The fact that people outside their little posse, especially public officials, do not recognize this really angers them. How dare they consider the plight of ‘others’? From the looks of the comments I see on all sorts of articles posted on all sorts of sites, those people make up a pretty substantial % of the population. That concerns me more than anything Romney or Obama might do if elected.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  3. snowboarder

    do we have a handy volcano to toss a virgin or two into?

    September 28, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • ignorance not bliss

      go to youtube and type E W Jackson call for all Blacks, White, Christians to leave the Democrat Party Now!

      September 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • snowboarder

      bliss – people like that are scary. they are literally coercing and threatening people who dissent with eternal torture. it should be a crime.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  4. snowboarder

    maybe a few animal sacrifices would help.

    September 28, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  5. MBW

    Better she pray and fast for America in general and leave the choice of President to the people. God has already stated that He is no respecter of "princes and principalities".

    September 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Yeah, God told me last week that he's voting for Gary Johnson anyway. Satan said he is abstaining in protest at the two party system.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  6. lathebiosas

    So if he doesn't win:

    1) God does not exist or...
    2) God exists but he doesn't care or..
    3) God doesn't like Mitt either

    September 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Layne

      I'm leaning towards #3.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  7. snowboarder

    we should get the pagans together for a batch of spells and incantations.

    September 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  8. Drew

    If she is indeed a woman of faith that believes God's hand is in everything that happens for this country (as if God may have a favorite country), then it follows logically that she accepts that God knew it was best for America to elect Barack Obama. And if God sees fit to oversee Obama's re-election, she must then accept her own misunderstanding of wehat is best for America and take it on faith that God knows better.
    By the same token, does Tebow kneel after he gets sacked? Does the hitter cross himself and point to the sky after he strikes out?
    Sometimes they make it too easy for me. As Monty Python said "I run circles round you logically!"

    September 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • ignorance not bliss

      Why didn't CNN post this? go to youtube and type E W Jackson call for all Blacks, White, Christians to leave the Democrat Party Now!

      September 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • JS

      The US got what the US deserved in Obama...there is always in the Bible, the humbling of people who pray that G-d will intervene and deliver them from evil...this happened many times in the Bible. People sinned, they got evil rulers, then the people prayed and G-d gave them rulers after their own heart, who honored Him.

      This is what this lady is doing. Fasting is a form of repentance of the sins of others and yourself....asking the Lord for mercy, in November!

      September 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  9. Kev

    Well Willard that brings me to another question if Romney also served as a bishop while being governor, how did he infuse his church doctrine into public office?

    September 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  10. nc1965

    The problem that Republicans have with Romney is that he's so s t u p i d, he says what the Republicans believe. I like to call him "Bush on steroids and twice as d u m b".

    The problem that Romney's camp have with the American people is.....what Romney says is not a mistake and Americans know this.

    The problem that Americans have with Romney is....deciding which flip flop to believe.

    Romney is a used Car salesman which comes from his experience as being a corporate w h o r e.

    Have you ever experienced negotiating with a used car salesman? He will tell you whatever you want to hear. He will throw so much bull-crap at you that you will start paying attention only to the bull-crap that you want to hear. After you've bought the car, you'll realized that you've bought a piece of -crap-.

    Ask the thousands of white people who believed his bull-crap- before losing their jobs after Romney bankrupted their employers for $90 million a pop.

    September 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • saywhat?!

      Wow...you want to call someone dumb after what you wrote? What's sad is all the people voting for Obama dispite what he has done for this country...

      Your whole "car sales" thought is dumb too...Romney was never a car sales men but Obama was a lawyer...talk about someone that can convince you of anything...even, like in this case, that YOU are better off than 4 years ago...but them yet perhaps YOU are! Since you sound like one of those bums that like to live off of others...tell me something...did you get your free phone?!

      September 28, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  11. GodFreeNow

    So if Romney still loses can we finally agree that prayer doesn't work? Probably not.

    September 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • JS

      We can agree that between the two evils, the US deserved the worse one...lol!

      September 28, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  12. Mike

    One day? Big deal. C'mon Mormons, go for a month!

    September 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • LinSea

      Why don't you try it for a day? No food or water for 24 hours.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things,

    September 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Fasting changes things.


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

      fasting does change things. it makes you hungry.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Huebert

      If fasting doesn't work you just need to do it longer.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 28, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      thanks – I was hoping someone would point that out.

      Fasting makes you hungry, then weak, then delusional, then dead – proven!

      Prayer, other than a relaxation technique, not so much.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  14. stewymichelle

    I would like to say, as a mormon, that not all of us are for Mitt. It makes me mad that members of my church do this sort of thing and try to pass it off as the whole church. They are free to fast for him if they wish, but I sure as heck won't. Mitt Romney is nothing but an elitist, egotistical jerk. He is a terrible representative of my church and I'm ashamed that he's the example of mormonism for a lot of people.

    September 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • guest2

      you're a disgrace.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Rick

      As a converted Mormon, I totally agree with StewyMichelle. I won't do anything for Romney.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • nc1965

      I agree with your post. Thanks for having the guts not to follow the herd.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • JS

      would you say Harry Reid is a good example of your church? or Russell Pearce – the white supremacist from AZ who was recalled...

      September 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • vndymncn

      Stewy said it well. Living in Utah I see people "pushing" LDS ideals on others, however; it really is not as common as one would think. I think the nice lady in Price truly meant for her email to be just for her family and not "pass it off" as the whole church. No... I'm not a member, and Yes... I'm voting for Obama.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Matthew

      As an EX-Mormon, I'll give you the credit for your post.
      I do know for a fact that not all Mormons are like Mitt.

      Unfortunately, Mitt Romney has created MORE NEGATIVE repercussions for the minority Mormons and that IS A FACT.
      If you think Romney/ campaign's almost ridiculously condescending and patronizing code speeches haven't done any damages, you are simply: WRONG.

      Mitt's BIRTHER comments/ "jokes" or whatever other terms that bigots would like to justify them as MOST LIKELY caused a lot of DISENFRANCHISED, DISGRUNTLED and DISILLUSIONED minority Mormons IMHO. People can hide behind ANY religion and set of values. I served 9 years in the USMC with 2 combat tours. I've had the privilege and unique opportunities to visit many countries and were able to observe various different cultures: people are all alike. We all want the same things in life.

      CCINO's = Conservative Christians in name ONLY, definitely turned the clock -> WAY BACK with their baseless attacks mixed with bigotry and hate and they will reap in this election. US has had the misfortune of having had to deal with 8 years of Bush Jr. America deserves PRESIDENT Obama for another 4 more years in order for his administration to clean up the mess that Republican corruption caused for the US as well as for the WORLD.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • LinSea

      No one except whoever wrote the headline was trying to "pass it off" as the whole church. She only sent the email to her family and a couple of friends.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  15. Sean

    You know all that's going to do? Make for a lot of hungry people on Sunday...

    September 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  16. Cristiabella

    Fasts, prophets, magic underwear–this guy can't lose!

    September 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Rick

      Hopefully he will. Magic underwear is actually white and symbolizes the cleansing of your baptism. You should learn before you look like an idiot.

      September 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Cristiabella

      Rick, I hope he will, too. And you are seriously trying to defend the term "magic underwear" and you call *me* an idiot? Lighten up.

      September 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  17. nc1965

    On his show, "Morning Joe," Joe Scarborough once again blasted Mitt Romney.

    "He's just a flawed candidate," Scarborough said of Romney.

    The only way for Romney to win, if he loses Ohio, is to sweep every other swing state, Time magazine's Mark Halperin said.

    "I don't think a guy like Mitt Romney, that type of candidate," Scarborough said, "is going to sweep all of those states."

    September 28, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  18. Steph

    Mormoms fasting for Romney is like David fasting for his dead son with Bathsheba....won't help. What baffles me about conservatives is that they claim to be religious and follows the bible and its principles yet they look the other way when their own party tries to suppress the right of others to vote, the rights of women, brotherly love and God-given rights of the rest of His creation thinking that they are above and better and calling by their actions what God has made, common and unclean. What hipocracy. Conservative Republicans are modern day scribes and pharisees of the new testament using their religion to mask their hatred, bias and distrust for anyone who does not look or speak like them. This party is exclusive and not inclusive with outdated ideas and leanings. They have no desire to allow anyone to rule other than themselves even if it means embrasing lies upon lies by calling it truth. How sad.

    September 28, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Matthew Kim

      I totally agree. You've said it better than most. Very eloquent and true!

      September 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  19. Pete/Ark

    If they fast long enough , they will (like the infamous cat in Alice in Wonderland) simply faded away....

    September 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  20. Eli Cabelly

    Hey look, the cult has come out in favor of one of their religious leaders.

    Anyone who ever said the Christian religion isn't political was both a liar and a fool.

    September 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • JS

      Yah, like the shamans in Peru prayed for our dear leader...and the moslems are praying for him now:-)))

      September 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • LinSea

      Did you even READ the article, Eli? No, of course not, because you obviously skipped the part that reads: "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."

      September 28, 2012 at 5:59 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.