‘Sister Wives’: Why Doesn’t Meri Brown’s Church Recognize Her Divorce From Kody?

by Jeremy Spirogis
Kody, Meri, and Mariah Brown

Meri Brown and Kody Brown, of the polygamist household from TLC’s Sister Wives, have been open about scuffling with their marriage for years. Many Sister Wives followers have expressed confusion over their marital standing, because the couple supposedly divorced over 5 years in the past. 

Kody’s three different wives, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn Brown, have been by no means legally married to him. But after over 20 years of marriage acknowledged by the state, Kody and Meri divorced in 2014. Still, each the couple and those that share their non secular beliefs don’t contemplate them divorced. Why do the Sister Wives stars contemplate themselves married regardless of signing divorce papers?

Kody, Meri, and Mariah Brown
Kody and Meri Brown with their daughter Mariah | Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images

Meri legally divorced Kody so he might undertake fourth spouse Robyn’s kids

Meri agreed to legally divorce Kody so he might legally undertake his fourth spouse Robyn’s kids, Dayton, Aurora, and Brianna, from a earlier marriage. While Meri admitted to scuffling with the choice on the time, she additionally informed TLC producers she was not truly divorcing Kody. 

The Sister Wives household referred to the divorce as a “legal divorce” particularly and emphasised they thought of it solely a “piece of paper.”

Many Sister Wives followers have been confused by the “cheating” allegations that dogged Meri after she had an emotional affair with a catfish, who turned out to be a girl posing as a person, in 2015. After all, many viewers questioned, wasn’t she divorced from Kody in 2014? How might she be dishonest? The reply comes all the way down to the Sister Wives’ non secular beliefs round marriage.

The ‘Sister Wives’ household belongs to a fundamentalist Mormon sect with unconventional marriage traditions

The Brown household belongs to the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB), a fundamentalist offshoot of Mormonism (or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). While Meri was raised within the sect in a polygamist household, Kody was raised within the mainstream LDS (Mormon) church and left to hitch the AUB as an grownup.

The AUB, typically known as “The Work” by insiders or the Allred group by outsiders, endorses polygamy, in any other case often called “plural marriage” or “celestial marriage.” The sect has round 7,500-10,000 members, most of whom reside in Utah and surrounding rural areas within the Mountain West. 

Despite the group’s perception in polygamy, they’re usually thought of essentially the most “liberal” of the fundamentalist Mormon sects.

In a primer for legislation enforcement officers who would possibly work together with AUB members, an official assertion from the group explains they’re towards any underage marriages or “child bride” conditions, in addition to any and all abuse. They additionally aren’t as strict about guidelines like abstinence from alcohol, tea, and low as another Mormon teams.

In phrases of marriage, the AUB additionally says they’re towards any type of organized or pressured marriages for each first and plural wives. First wives might be below 18, in line with AUB guidelines, if they’re of authorized marriage age in line with the state. Second wives (and past) have to be 18 or over.

The Browns consider in ‘eternal,’ religious marriage solely

Within the AUB and different fundamentalist Mormon teams, solely marriages performed in a Mormon temple and “sealed for eternity” by male church elders (who’ve “the priesthood,” in line with church doctrine) are acknowledged. Members consider they’re sealed to their spouses and kids for eternity relatively than for all times.

That implies that Meri and Kody’s divorce could be thought of solely a authorized matter inside their faith. The Sister Wives stars, in addition to others of their religion, consider that authorized marriage and divorce alike usually are not essential by way of figuring out a member’s precise marital standing. 

This doctrine is why Meri’s divorce from Kody isn’t thought of “real,” in addition to why the Brown household considers Kody’s marriages to Janelle and Christine (to whom he has by no means been legally married) “real.”

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