"Those Crazy Mormons" is a blog series dedicated to answering common questions about Mormon beliefs, culture, and history. If you have further questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the first Sunday of the month (with few exceptions), members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka Mormon's) abstain from food or drink for two meals. We are encouraged to donate the money we would've spent on those meals to the Church. The Church then takes that money and uses it to help local poor and needy families.
Fasting means to go without food and drink voluntarily for a certain period of time. If you fast and are praying sincerely it can bring you closer to God, strengthen you spiritually, and prepare ourselves for blessings. Fasting teaches us self-control helping us put aside the "natural man" and our "human appetites" which increases our spiritual power, protecting us from Satan.
The first hour of the regular 3 hour Sunday block is a little different on Fast Sunday as well. Instead of assigned speakers, the pulpit is opened up to the congregation for what is called Fast & Testimony Meeting. Members may voluntarily go to the pulpit and share their testimony with the congregation.
Although fasting is a gospel principle I STILL struggle with, and my stomach is always growly on Fast Sunday, I've seen its effects on my life. I love how empowered I feel after I fast, and I love knowing that those meals are going to someone who needs them even more than I do.
To read more about Fasting check out these articles: