IDAHO FALLS — Rex Rammell has had a change of heart regarding who is invited to his "elders of Israel only" meetings.

At a press conference Thursday, the Idaho gubernatorial candidate issued a formal apology with regards to his exclusion of non-Mormons from his upcoming meetings dealing with the so-called "White Horse Prophecy."

Reading from a prepared statement, Rammell said he was wrong to assume that nonmembers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wouldn't be interested in hearing his message.

"To all those citizens who are not members of the LDS faith, who have expressed a sincere interest in attending my meetings and discussing this prophecy and how we can step forward and save the United States Constitution, I would like to apologize and invite them wholeheartedly to join us," said Rammell.

Rammell also says that he hopes that the meetings will bring people of all faiths together to "unite in a common cause … to save the Constitution."

"The theme of my campaign has been, will be, and as governor, will always be states' rights," Rammell told reporters. "And so, you don't have to be LDS to contribute to that discussion, and I think they will contribute greatly."

The LDS Church has issued a statement distancing itself from Rammell. The church also does not consider the prophecy, which is said to have come through its founder, Joseph Smith, as doctrine.

Although Rammell's controversial meetings have made regional and state-wide news for several weeks, earlier this week, the controversy was picked up by various national media organizations, including the DrudgeReport.

Rammell's first meeting will be on Jan. 19, at the Hampton Inn in Idaho Falls at 7 p.m. A subsequent meeting will be held in Rexburg on Jan. 21, at the Marriott Hotel at 7 p.m.

The events are free and open to everyone.

For more information about Rex Rammell or his campaign, visit www.voterammell.com.

NATE SUNDERLAND

nsunderland@uvsj.com

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