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Some Mormons Fasting To Help Romney's Campaign, Debate Performance

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SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) A number of Mormons seem to think that fellow believer Mitt Romney, now slumping in the polls, needs a little divine intervention for his performance at the upcoming Oct. 3 presidential debate.

They've been circulating a request via email that sympathetic Latter-day Saints join them in forgoing food and water on Sunday in a collective effort to support the candidate.

"I am asking you to join me and my family ... by fasting and praying for Mitt Romney that he will be blessed in the debates, which will be held Oct. 3rd," says an email posted early Wednesday (Sept. 26) by The Student Review, an off-campus paper for Brigham Young University students. "I know that seems like such a small thing but I believe 'from small things, great things can come about.' "

The email went on: "I know that fasting and praying brings about miracles."

Others in the email chain have suggested putting Romney's name on the "temple prayer roll," which is typically reserved for those who are sick.

McKay Coppins, a political reporter for BuzzFeed, also reported the fasting effort, saying that "sources who have received it said it has reached Latter-day Saints in Utah, California, Nevada and Colorado at least."

When asked if the email could be a bogus attempt by someone hoping to embarrass the LDS Church, both Coppins and the Review editor said they are personally familiar with several of the email recipients, who are sincere in their desire to help the Republican nominee.

"The fast was apparently organized by a handful of individuals, not the church," LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter said Wednesday. "The church is neutral in matters of party politics."

(Peggy Fletcher Stack writes for The Salt Lake Tribune).

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