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. bellenoitr

    OMG, is this serious? If it is then I feel even more inclined to label Mormons as a cult.

    September 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  2. nevermind

    if Romney is president everybody will be fasting for 4yrs, then again he promise 2 million b**w jobs on his first term so we'll survive cuz that's alot of protein there.

    September 28, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  3. tony marchese

    Didn't U know ALL of these religions blessed the weapons of both sides even among their own MEMBERS to slaughter each other in the name of their god?!! Good news for ALL of U...their time is almost up!!!

    September 28, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  4. a sane mormon (a democrat)

    Please don't lump all Mormons in with this woman. Some of us see a fake out of touch with the common man rich boy who we don't want to see in the white house as he will show a lack of compassion to the poor and needy which will be a truly poor reflection of our actual doctrine. Also, to all the hateful anti-Mormon messages, please spend one day in our church and see what we actually believe instead of listening to other hateful messages.

    September 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Jay King

      I'm an Atheist and I almost did spend a day in your church, just for curiosity sake. I've been to many churches and temples. I have no trouble with people believing what they want to believe as long as it doesn't impinge on others rights to believe or not believe in something else. But then I remembered that they'd take down my name and most likely do a posthumous conversion, once they had my name. Despite claiming they've stopped, the LDS still continues converts Jews, Buddhists and even atheists after their deaths and claim them as members of the Mormon church. That is wrong!

      September 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • bellenoitr

      I commend you for your comment. I don't adhere to any organized religion but I hope there are more reasonable Mormons like you.

      September 28, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  5. DP

    Romney needs more? It's like the king's kingdom of the poor and meek pray that God bestow more riches and wealth on the king!

    September 28, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  6. Jay King

    You can't spell "Mormon" without "Moron". The only thing that's missing between the two words is the letter "M", and that stands for Mitt.

    September 28, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  7. Organic1

    That's the ticket, stop eating and drinking anything, refuse medical treatment, and turn off the television to not be swayed toward the light. I wonder if they have bunkers with cots and are waiting for the mother ship to return to pick them up. Oh that is a 'cruise' thing... I get confused.

    September 28, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  8. AvdBerg

    Fasting and prayer will not help. Their prayers are all vain as they teach for doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15:9).

    Mitt Romney’s and Barack Obama’s faith does not stand in the teachings of Christ but rather in an image of the spirit and the god of this world and a false Christ (Matthew 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Gal. 4:8).

    For a better understanding of the history of the Mormon Church and Mitt Romney’s quest for the Presidency of the USA, we invite you to read the articles ‘Mormon Church – Cult and Spiritual Harlot’, ‘Barack Obama – President of the United States of America’ and ‘Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You?’, listed on our website.

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man (1 Cor 2:15).

    September 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      I'll explain the difference, since you don't seem to understand.

      Forum: A place for open discussion of ideas and differing view points.
      Sunday School: A place to preach doctrine and share your vast knowledge of the bible.

      September 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Jon

      No thanks, keep your proselytizing off my news network.

      September 28, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • AvdBerg


      For a better undeerstanding of this forum we invite you to read the article 'CNN Belief Blog – Sign of the Times' listed on our website. What we teach they don't teach you at Sunday School.


      September 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Shove it, AVIDTurd.

      September 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @AvdBerg, I already visited your website. I grew up in a cultist church that promoted a similar ideology to yours. It was really persuasive and convincing. I spent nights crying and begging god's forgiveness... but then something magical happened. I grew up. To put it in terms you can understand, when I became a man, I put away childish things.

      There's nothing wrong with living in a fantasy land. I get the appeal. I did drugs and alcohol and had tons of s.ex for a long time to try to escape reality. I can assure you though, true peace will only come when you accept reality and stop making up stories about who you are and what the universe is. There's plenty of beauty, joy, love and peace in reality. You don't have to create an alternate reality in your mind to escape to.

      September 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  9. Al

    Come Harry, you're a Mormon back your fellow Mormon.

    September 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  10. Kate

    It always amazes me that religious people don't put more trust in their God. Why not ask Him to choose who He thinks would be the best person to lead this country and ask Him to help that person win the election. Instead, this woman and others, are TELLING God who they think is best and are asking God to facilitate their wishes. God might actually think Mr. Obama would be best. I do.

    September 28, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • bellenoitr

      Great reply!

      September 28, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  11. rblock7

    May you all be blessed by his noodley appendage.....fasting and praying how funny

    September 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  12. Mark Baker

    I would not expect anything less from a cult.

    September 28, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  13. codepink1908


    September 28, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  14. xlntcat

    What happen to "they will be done"? They do recognize that others are praying for President Obama, don't they.

    September 28, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  15. rblock7

    FSM wants you to remember to be blessed by his noddley appendage......Fasting and praying....really

    September 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  16. Tawanda

    Mormons are not fasting for Romney. Some people, who are Mormon, are fasting for Romney. This is a silly, story sensationalizing a private family's personal actions of faith. Come on, CNN. You are supposed to report news, not manufacture it.

    September 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  17. nopooramongthem1

    Practicing Mormon here. This whole fasting email thing has me really worried about the way Mormons think about their religion. I think as a faith, we certainly need to do a better job of recognizing things that are truly important. Admittedly, I am a liberal Mormon, but the way I think about my faith, I would not see any value in fasting for a political candidate. In my view it makes a mockery of a very valuable spiritual tool within Mormonism.

    September 28, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      so,... what the deal with saying Jesus is my brother, i only have 2 siblings Metatron and Mastema. last I check JC was a human.

      September 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • LinSea

      This isn't how every member of the church thinks about their religion.

      September 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  18. Merry Prankster

    How dare this woman speak her mind, she needs to get back in the kitchen and keep tending those kids!

    September 28, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Jon

      I'll say, she should really put more work into supporting that "big Mormon family" she's always wanted.

      September 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  19. Joe

    If this woman truely believes what she has said then I would like her to explain this contradiction:
    God has already chosen Obama, he IS the President. Why is she praying to to remove him. Did God make a mistake?

    September 28, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Sam Yaza


      i Love you For that one♥♥

      September 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  20. rusty66

    RUSH LIMBAUGH needs to fast ... for the next four YEARS!

    September 28, 2012 at 6:04 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.