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. Mark

    guilt is the worse thing that can afflict you once you become a Christian. It cause mental anguish, needlessly.

    October 7, 2012 at 5:57 am |
  2. Iqbal Khan


    October 6, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  3. Iqbal Khan


    October 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  4. Boyd Bauer

    Inaccurate headline: It should have read something like "Some Mormons privately asked others to fast for Romney and some possibly did so." Other members thought it was a little over the top since both Romney and Obama supporters are members of the faith and members are repeated advised to avoid using church membership in a partisan manner!

    October 6, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • End Religion

      i prefer CNN's headline.

      October 6, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  5. edward

    I am a republican but could never vote for Romney a mormon. There religion is a occult. They put the Bible second to the book of Mormon. Joseph Smith the mormon founder was put to death as a horse thief in Missouri. Any person that denies Jesus as the Son of God and that Jesus is God in the Flesh is a occult. The mormons do this as The Bible never is second to any other book. The Bible is God's divine Holy Word. there is no other book of its equal.

    October 6, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • John

      Uh, sorry Eward. You need to go read a real history book. You don't know or understand the Mormons or Joseph Smith at all. Go to lds.org.

      October 6, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • End Religion

      lol, this is like a circus of idiocy, with one lunatic asserting his book is the only true one, and another lunatic asserting his website holds the only truth. Man, this stuff is comedy gold!

      October 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • moi

      end religion... Same thoughts. I was about to post how ridiculous they both sound. Definitely proof that the religious are not on the high IQ end of the bell curve.

      October 6, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • End Religion

      maybe we can invite all these religious fools to dinner? Could be fun...


      October 7, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Tacitus Talks

      End Religion – what is your standard – your brain. So we are to take the word of someone sitting on his brains blogging anonymously on CNN? Talk about idiocy.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • Tacitus Talks

      I would rather have a successful business man who is obviously competent and has succeeded in every venture he applied who happens to be a Mormon rather than a sycophantic Islamic sympathizer where rumors are now abounding that he told the Egyptian Amassador that HE IS MUSLIM. I would never vote for these two- Atheist – because they have potentials to be genocidal murderers (see Mao, Stalin, Lenin, PolPot, Robespierre etc) or a Muslim – because they are a time bomb. The only difference between a radical Muslim and a moderate Muslim, is the cleric of the mosque they attend. If a moderate Muslim's iman tells him to kill his co-worker – he will. So vote for Obama and pay the piper as a Christian in a few years.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • End Religion

      Tacitus, thank you for your contribution to the collection of comedy gold in this thread. You're generous to share your insanity with us so freely. Do you have any other pearls of wisdom? Anything about Hitler and Jews, or maybe the Bilderburgs, reptile overlords maybe? Don't hold back. This is your chance to enlighten us.

      October 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  6. lance

    a mormon has got a be better than a bankrupting moslem in the white house.

    October 6, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • alumette

      don't have the guts to put your full name ? you are not only unethical but you are also delusional and wrong, dude.

      October 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • moi

      Can't quite put together a coherent sentence, can you?

      October 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Tacitus Talks

      Alumette, it is all over the Middle East now that Obama admitted to the ambassador to Egypt that he is Muslim. In 2008, I worked overseas and EVERY Muslim claimed that Obama was a Muslim. WHERE ARE THEY GETTING THAT INFORMATION? Not from some right-wing Christian blog.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:42 am |
  7. Paul Wilson

    I have never fasted. Enduring thirst is distracting . I'd fast only for medical procedures that required such, but I won't fast to "afflict my soul" . I also can not accept Mormon theology. I also disregard the sabbath, whether it's saturday or sunday. I just relax and take care for household bills and necessities.

    October 6, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  8. theeveopener

    My Lord Jesus Christ came to us from his father to heal our sins, forever! He will not allow the sour wine to sanctify his spirit!

    October 6, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • End Religion

      Your imaginary sky fairy came to from a fictional book based on fictional stories adapted from previous fictional myths derived from bedtime stories to explain things cavemen didn't understand. Time to grow up!

      October 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Huh?

      The eve opener? Sounds raunchy - like a "leg opener". 😈

      October 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  9. Kel

    Praying and fasting won't change a thing. Only votes count. In other words, doing things makes things happen, not just hoping for it. Action, not wishful thinking.

    October 6, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  10. Blake.

    pray for economy and good for all!

    October 5, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • End Religion

      if you want the economy to improve, get off your ass and get to work. Sitting around praying would have the opposite effect.

      October 6, 2012 at 1:44 am |
  11. glenda

    Good, that's more for me to eat. A few years ago, weren't Mormons buying the names of dead Jews, and reading the names off in their church, so the Jews would go to Heaven? I seem to remember reading that in the paper.

    October 5, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  12. Jonathan Miller

    I'm most certain that some will mock this article for what it speaks of, but I really hope that we do turn to God and vote for righteous individuals.

    October 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Kel

      Turn to logic, reasoning, and critical thinking. Neither of these candidates are bad men. Vote for who you think will be a better leader of this country. I know who I think that is. But I don't pray to know, I just try to be informed as possible. I do the work, I don't ask a divine being to do it for me.

      October 6, 2012 at 1:51 am |
  13. DENNA

    Heck, why don't they debate until all of them have been held? That'll show strength. In fact, don't eat until after the election. Better still.

    October 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  14. Bill Deacon

    Hey that fasting and prayer thing looks like it worked.

    October 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • keefer

      idiots abound

      October 5, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      What? You probably think it was the altatude right?

      October 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  15. Lew

    Wilford Woodruff, 4th President of the Church
    "And if any man mingle his seed with the seed of Cain the only way he could get rid of it or have Salvation would be to come forward and have his head cut off and spill his blood upon the ground- it would also take the life of his children."
    (Wilford Woodruff Journal)

    October 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Sergio Roa Prado

      Comments are not officials doctrines.....are personals interpretations

      October 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  16. cleareye1

    Has anyone explained the magic underpants yet?

    October 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Sergio Roa Prado

      Simbols, they are simbols, do you know the idea ? , they are not ·magics"

      October 5, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • GetReal

      No Need for Armored cars, Garments stop bullets.

      October 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Jonathan Miller

      In response to your, "Romney was born wealthy" statement. I really hope you understand that just because he was born wealthy that doesn't mean he doesn't understand people. Compared to Obama, he has donated 10,000's + (that is not an exatered number) hours to serving people of all walks of life, both poor and rich, young and old. He is a good person and I really hope that you follow the crowd by saying that he doesn't understand the poor.
      One last note, your comment about the "magic underpants" let me help you understand. In many religions, leaders wear certain items of clothing that are symbolic to their service, i.e. catholics and jews. For us our underwear does have sacred symbolism to it, we just prefer not to show it off because of how sacred it is to us. Think of a general with all his flag merits on his uniform across his left breast. Those individual merits are very important to him and I wouldn't expect someone to mock him because of those important symbols. Likewise for Mormons, we wish people would respect something that is so sacred to us. There's nothing magical about it rather sacred.
      God bless you and let's work together!

      October 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Jonathan Miller

      hope that you *don't* follow the crowd

      October 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • moi

      Do you mean SYMBOLS? Why not be magic? The umim and the thumim were magic, so were the golden tablets from the hill in New York. Where is that hill, BTW?

      October 6, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  17. amlowlife

    Hopefully, they will all fast until the elections...

    October 5, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  18. CitizenJP

    I see nothing wrong for a group of people to have prayed for Romney. What I do see wrong is that as his poll numbers were slipping, he all of a sudden is changing his principle and position. He says to the group he is speaking to whatever they want to hear. Can this ruthless business guy who does not give a damn about the middle class people be trusted? That is the basic question in this election. He can say whatever he wants, but his actions prove that he is for the 2 to 3% rich people and will make them richer on the back of the middle class.

    October 5, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • cleareye1

      Romney is not an evil man, he just has no understanding at all about the struggles that most Americans face on a daily basis. He was born wealthy and has always had an easy path to follow. Everyone should ask themselves how interested in the welfare of common folks when you have a few hundred million stashed in an off shore bank as a result of selling out those same common folk to the Chinese? Romney does not really care!

      October 5, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • paul42

      What about the other guy who says to the group he is speaking to whatever they want to hear? Can this ruthless political guy who does not give a damn about the middle class be trusted? I agree this is the basic question in this election. He can say whatever he wants, but his actions prove that he is NOT for the middle class and has made them poorer by raising taxes and welfare/foodstamp/disability/unemployment numbers instead of getting America back to work.
      Spin all you want and listen to the lies from either side if you like. What I see is an America that is sick, and nothing Obama has done has helped. And he has made these same promises and talked up job creation time and time again when he campaigned before and for each stimulus he wanted passed. And he keeps promising to shrink the deficit but, like shovel ready jobs, he is all talk and no action. We can see Obama's record, and it is not a good one. With Romney promising the sun, moon, and stars, it's hard to know how truthful he is or how able he is to follow up on his promises.
      I do know one thing for certain: it is a lot easier to pay for all the social programs when everyone who is able to work has a job than it is when we have high unemployment and a runaway deficit.

      October 5, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  19. *

    Has God forgotten us? Why aren't there prophets today like there used to be? God lives and has not forgotten us. Living prophets once again walk the earth to bring us the light of revelation and scripture and you can see and hear them Saturday and Sunday in General Conference! Tune into LDS.ORG..

    October 5, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Lew

      Christ didn't leave you alone, he left the Holy Spirit, read your church history about Joseph Smith and his 33 wives, and did you know why Emma his wife never went west ? she got married to a non mormon for 31 yrs, on Joseph Birthday, never stopped Jospeh Smith iii from starting another church.


      "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 10, page 110.)

      October 5, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • cleareye1

      You're no Einstein are you/

      October 5, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • End Religion

      my goodness but you're easily scammed. Mormon religion, ha ha, charade you are.

      October 6, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • b4bigbang

      When everybody knows that the final 'end religion' is the American Legion, right?

      October 6, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • Madame Zeroni

      * "Living prophets once again walk the earth"

      Oh yes, join me at http://www.the-crystal-ball.com/

      October 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • moi

      Yes, delusional one, the gods that don't actually exist, the gods you tell yourself are real because it makes you feel safe? Those gods have forgotten you. In the words of Sheryl Crow: If it makes you happy.... then why the hell are you so sad?

      October 6, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • moi

      These blogs never fail to remind me that the average IQ in this country is 95-100. They also never fail to remind me of how depressing it is that the lower end of the bell curve is allowed to vote.

      October 6, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  20. Seldom Seen Mike

    Our Church sent out more letters telling us that we have to admit that we're really mormons when we're talking to people, instead of SHAMEFULLY saying, "most mormons I meet," or "I'm not a mormon but..."
    We are taught in the LDS church to be pathological liars.

    October 5, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • paul42

      I don't think you "have to" admit you're a mormon. If you feel like it is a "have to" instead of a "want to" you aren't really converted, are you?

      October 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • MaryM

      Google, Lying for the Lord. Its a mormon thing

      October 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • GetReal

      And to accept them too, most of what you hear inside the church is made up too. Been there done that

      October 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • End Religion

      bad news, if you're an adult and you're "taught to lie" it's only half to their shame. If you're a child then i pity you and it's past your bedtime.

      October 6, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • moi

      truer words.... to lie with a clean cut look and huge smile.

      October 6, 2012 at 8:57 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.