‘Sister Wives’ Recap: Daughter Madison, 19, Is Refused Baptism By The Mormon Church

This is just so wrong! Bright, ambitious Madison, who has no intention of practicing polygamy, wants to be baptized into the mainstream Mormon church and is hurt and baffled when she's rejected, with a brutal ultimatum! Sister Wives' Kody Brown and his wives deal with cruel fallout from their commitment to polygamy when daughter Madison, 19, is brokenhearted after being rejected by the Mormon Church of LDS -- when they refuse to accept her into their ranks. The Utah State University student was just hoping to "belong" to the mainstream Mormon church so she could retain ties to both her family and religion without having to practice polygamy. But, no such luck - she's dissed and dismissed!

Image Credit: Courtesy of TLC

Poor Maddie asks to be baptized into the church like so many of her friends at college, and she is stunned by the response of the church elders and so are the viewers, we bet. She receives an astonishing ultimatum from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS): she must publicly disown her family or she won’t be baptized. “I got a phone call and they aren’t letting me get baptized — it’s too contradictory and they hope I reconsider [joining the Mormon church] when we’re not such a public family,” Maddie reveals to her stunned moms Janelle, Robyn and Meri. “Because I won’t publicly disown my family or publicly disassociate with them, it’s too controversial for the Mormon Church so they asked me not to get baptized…they said they hope ‘I’m not bitter’,” adds Maddie, who as you can imagine is totally bitter.

Way to go, church elders — reject a 19-year-old who wants to come into your fold and leave polygamy as a personal choice, behind. For the record, Janelle explains that the mainstream Mormon church banned polygamy about 100 years ago, but several splinter groups, including their own, continued to enthusiastically embrace the practice. Naturally, Madison is so hurt and upset she questions the entire integrity of the LDS Church. “This is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Jesus Christ wouldn’t be doing this,” she insists. “I don’t know if I want to [join the Mormon Church] now, because if they want me to publicly denounce my family, why would I want to be a part of your church?”

And really, why should Madison be forced to make a Solomon’s choice between her family and the LDS Church? “It shocks me. From day one I’ve said, I don’t want to be a polygamist, but I love my family. I love my parents, but it’s their choices. I will continue to love and support and endorse their choices if it makes them happy,” vows Madison. “[The Mormon Church elders] didn’t like that.” What a shame for both Madison, who now says she has “faith” but won’t join a religion, and for the LDS Church, which could have embraced her and given her a warm, supportive home in its midst.

‘Sister Wives’: Meri & Janelle Agree To Attend Family Therapy

In other highly emotional news, frenemy sister wives Meri, wife #1, and Janelle, wife #2, have their own come-to-Jesus moment when after years of mistrust and tension between them, they have a hug-it-out moment and agree to do family therapy together. Meri and Janelle had a very understandable rivalry for years. After all, Meri had Kody to herself for the first couple of years of their marriage, then had to adjust to sharing him with wife #2, Janelle. Yea, we can see why that would have caused all kinds of friction.

But now, after 20 plus years of marriage to Kody, seven kids between the two of them by Kody, and the addition of two more sister wives, Meri and Janelle are ready to make peace. Hugs, tears and “I love yous” follow after Janelle reaches out to Meri and asks her if they can do therapy together.

Meanwhile, Kody is also all about the girl power in his family in the episode. He takes his five “middle” daughters — 10-13 years old — away to Newport, California to celebrate 12-year-old Ysabel‘s birthday. You know you’ve got a boatload of kids — uh, like, 17 — when taking a trip with five of them is considered a small group. “It’s nice to have dad all to ourselves,” exclaims little Savannah, 10. Ok. But the girls do look like they’re having a blast even though Kody isn’t “sitting having some heart-to-heart conversations” like wife Robyn had hoped.

Kody, for the record, finds that hanging with his girls is a relaxing experience. “My daughters all want to boss each other around and my wives all want to boss me around!” Well, Kody, that’s some other fallout of having four sister wives.

So, Hollywoodlifers — is that so unfair that Maddie is refused baptism by the mainstream Mormon Church? Let me know.

— Bonnie Fuller

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