Sister Wives daughter claims LDS church won’t let her get baptized if she doesn’t denounce her family
Cimaron Neugebauer, KUTV
Salt Lake City — (KUTV) A young adult from the famous polygamous family TV show “Sister Wives” wants to get baptized into the Mormon church, but she says the church will not allow it.
On the Oct. 11 episode of the popular TLC reality show, “Sister Wives,” 19-year-old Madison Brown, daughter of Kody Brown and second-wife Janelle Brown, said a local leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told her she would not be allowed to become a member.
She took to Twitter to call the decision “one of the most devastating things I have been through.”
In the episode, the newly engaged Madison said she does not want to practice polygamy, which was forsaken by the LDS Church more than 100 years ago. But, she noted, because she won’t disassociate herself from her very public family, she won’t be allowed to be a part of the church either.
The evening the episode aired, Madison took to Twitter to say the church is “rejecting” her for her parents’ choices.
The LDS Church, which officially started separating itself from polygamy in 1890, declined to comment on this story.
Madison, who moved to Logan from Las Vegas to attend Utah State University, said on the show that she listened to LDS missionary discussions and decided she wanted to be a part of the church.
She explains during the episode that she was told by the local mission president that she would need to follow special requirements before she could proceed. Then, she said, she was asked to denounce her family’s practices as a condition of her baptism.
Brown recently announced her engagement to a man named Caleb Brush, who according to her tweets, is a devout Christian. Now, Brown said, neither she nor Brush will be a part of the LDS church.
In commentary on the LDS Church’s newsroom website, the church “reiterates that it has no affiliation whatsoever with any polygamous groups.”
Brown asserted on the show that the LDS Church rejected her being baptized because her “public association” with her family was “too much controversy for the Mormon Church.”
In Sunday’s episode, Madison broke the news to her two, non-biological mothers, Meri and Robyn Brown.
“I got a phone call, and they are not letting me get baptized,” Madison was filmed saying. “They called me and they said it was too contradictory, and they hope that I reconsider when we’re not such a public family.”
Madison relayed that the mission president talked to her on the phone, but that the decision came from the First Presidency.
“Because I won’t publicly disassociate with my family, it’s too controversial for the Mormon Church, so they … told me I couldn’t get baptized,” she said, adding that they hoped she would reconsider when her family isn’t as publicly associated with polygamy.
Madison has said that she doesn’t want to be a polygamist, but she loves her family and will continue to endorse their choices if it makes them happy.
Aside from the politics associated from the most recent decision, she says the LDS church is “absolutely beautiful.”
Even Madison’s father Kody Brown weighed in on the church’s decision, also calling it political.
In the episode, Madison’s birth mother, Janelle, said she is shocked the LDS church turned her daughter down.
Janelle said she spent several years as an active member of the church and felt its teachings focused on being “all inclusive” and welcoming everybody. But, she said, “I guess not polygamist kids whose families are public.”