When members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fast, they go without food and drink voluntarily for a certain period of time for the purpose of drawing closer to God and requesting His blessings. Church members are encouraged to fast one Sunday each month (fast Sunday) and at other times as needed or desired. Mormons believe that fasting combined with sincere prayer can provide spiritual strength, closeness to God and preparation to receive His blessings.
Latter-day Saints may choose to fast for many reasons, among them: to worship God and express gratitude to Him (see Alma 45:1), to ask God to bless the sick or afflicted (see Matthew 17:14-21), to receive answers to prayer (see Alma 5:46), to gain strength to resist temptation (see Isaiah 58:6), to receive guidance in Church callings (see Acts 13:2-3; Alma 17:3) and for comfort during times of difficulty, sorrow or mourning (see Alma 28:4-6; 30:1-2).
Fast Sunday and Fast Offerings
The Church designates one Sunday each month, usually the first Sunday, as a day of fasting. Members are asked to go without food and drink for two consecutive meals, or approximately 24 hours. They are also asked to contribute the money that they would have spent on food for those meals to the Church’s welfare system. This money is called a fast offering. The Church uses the fast offerings to assist the poor and needy.