The Newsroom Blog

Mormonism Online: In Your Own Words | 4 May 2015

In Your Own Words is a regular sampling of online articles, blog posts and social media that represent some of the current conversations about Mormonism. The posts in this series do not necessarily represent the views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nor are they meant to be a comprehensive summary of the online conversations about the Church. The intent is to highlight social media content from individuals that will help journalists and the public better understand Mormonism.

Religious communities in Baltimore, Maryland, joined a city-wide fast on Sunday, May 3, 2015, to pray for peace and, in particular, “safety and hope for the youth of Baltimore who are beset by poverty and violence,” according to the Baltimore Maryland Stake, which participated in the interfaith activity.

Fasting is a powerful statement, especially when we do it on behalf of those in need. Why not join the interfaith...

Posted by Catherine Jarvis on Friday, May 1, 2015

The fast was held after rising tension in the city sparked multiple protests. Using the hashtag #PrayForBaltimore, members of the Baltimore Interfaith Coalition felt it appropriate to sacrifice food and water as they prayed for the city and its youth.

Reverend Doctor Alvin C. Hathaway from the Union Baptist Church shared his thoughts online when he wrote

For over 163 years we have spread the Gospel of Jesus’ saving power. During this moment of tension and strife, all of God’s believes must unite to promote The Beloved Community. I join with you in prayer and fasting knowing God’s will be done. (Reverend Doctor Alvin C. Hathaway's Facebook Page as shared by Baltimore Stake Mormons Facebook Page)

(From left to right) Craig Halsey, former president of the Baltimore Maryland Stake; Reverend Doctor Al Hathaway, senior pastor of the Union Baptist Church in Baltimore; Richard Elliott, Tabernacle organist; and Doug Desmarais, high councilor in the Church in Baltimore. They are backstage in the historic Tabernacle during a visit to Salt Lake City, Utah, in November, 2013. © All rights reserved.

In a Facebook comment thread, other interfaith sentiments were shared, including:

Doug Desmarais: I just received the following from Richard Glickstein, President of the National Bible Association, and beloved friend of the faith community of Baltimore: "This is Richard Glickstein, President of the National Bible Association. In the book of Esther, the Jews (my people) were on the verge of being wiped out by their enemies. Esther called a fast by the Jewish people. God heard them and delivered them from their peril, destroying their enemies. I applaud you in calling out for this fast. May all God's people join you. Then, let us watch, as God moves mightily to heal Baltimore and make it stronger. With God there is the victory! (Baltimore Stake Mormons Facebook Page)

Doug Desmarais: I just finished a telephone call with Emanuel Perlman, Cantor of Chizuk Amuno Congregation. Manny is unable to join in a fast on Saturday and Sunday, but informed me, and asked that I communicate to his LDS friends via Facebook, that he is fasting today and that he and his wonderful Jewish brothers and sisters are praying fervently for the peace that we all seek for Baltimore. (Baltimore Stake Mormons Facebook Page)

Shelly Duke: I'm happy to join your fast and prayers for peace in Baltimore. I'm so overjoyed to see so many from across the world and across different faiths joining together to petition for our Father in Heaven's help. I know He hears and answers prayers. I have even experienced small but important miracles in our family while fasting and praying sincerely. Our family will join you from Vilonia, Arkansas. (Baltimore Stake Mormons Facebook Page)

Others noted the nation’s desire and need to fast with the city of Baltimore:

Marlys White: Could we extend the fast to include the nation? Every state in the Union needs help so badly!!! In California people are stealing water, because they don't have enough water!! In the Bible, people also prayed for water!! So can we extend the borders to include the whole nation? Please? 

Lila Kennah: Catholic from Wyoming. I'm in!

Susan Call Hutchison: Yes, Marlys. I will be fasting for our nation and for all those over the world who are in distress! I have friends in Afghanistan and Iraq, in Nepal and Cambodia and Africa. Let's pray daily, and fast monthly and acknowledge the blessings of the Lord!

Rhonda Schmidt Johnson: Evangelical from Wyoming. I'm in.

Dana Moss Pulis: Made some calls in Billings Montana and put it out in Facebook. No matter the religion or even non-religion, we can unite together and bring about a mighty change! It is time.

Those not participating in the fast also used the hashtag to send thoughts and prayers to the citizens of Baltimore. One Facebook commenter summarized their calls for the need of peace:

Barbara Pike: Let's all no matter where we are fast for the people of Baltimore and for peace there and everywhere! Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants the best for us. "As I have loved you love one another."

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that fasting combined with sincere prayer can provide spiritual strength, closeness to God and preparation to receive His blessings. By participating in the interfaith fast, Latter-day Saints and other participants went without food and water as they prayed for those in need.

To learn more about interfaith efforts in Baltimore, visit MormonNewsroom.org.

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