Becoming Sisters Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage
Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn Brown
Gallery Books, New York, 2012
~ ~ ~Disclaimer: As I was reading this book, I was asked by my family a few times if I was planning on "becoming a sister wife." The answer is no. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I believe that the Lord instructed Joseph Smith to institute the practice of plural marriage among the early Saints, and that this practice was discontinued by the Lord through the prophet, President Wilford Woodruff in 1890.
For more information about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and polygamy, check out these links:
- Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?
- Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo
- Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah
- On The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage (Read the Manifesto of 1890, also known as Official Declaration 1, here)
- President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) speaks on Plural Marriage
- Comprehensive History of Plural Marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Read the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints' current summary of family values and guidelines as revealed through the Prophet in 1995: "The Family: A Proclamation to the World."
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I am a huge fan of personalities, and thus read a lot of personality books, or books simply because I love their authors (Miley Cyrus, Glennon Doyle Melton, Lisa-Jo Baker, Jefferson Bethke, etc). The Brown family is definitely a TV personality. Came across their book in the library, and decided to read it. I learned three lessons from this book.
In the book, the women stated that most of their contentions with each other often arose from problems between one wife and Kody (the husband), not the two women. One wife (Janelle, I think) said she sometimes gets jealous because Kody will be giving something to a wife or treating another wife a certain way. She says often, she has to step back and say, Do I really want what he's giving her? Sometimes she sees another wife getting apples, and in turn says she wants apples, when really she wants oranges. Lesson: Know what you actually want - apples or oranges?
All of the wives stressed that it's important to communicate their wants and needs to Kody. That is not only important for a plural marriage, but all marriages. Further, this is also not only true for marriages, but for every relationship. A husband or friend can't help you if he doesn't know what you want or need. Lesson: Tell your people what you need - apples? let them know.
Multiple times, the women quoted the old adage "It takes a village to raise a child." They said that, between the five adults in their family, they had a village. Every mother was confident in the abilities of the other to care for all the children - whether she'd birthed them or not. They worked together in raising the children. They were each confident that when they were not available, their children had other mothers to go to. They had security in knowing that they were not the only parent their child had. And that's kind of a beautiful thing. To know that if you died, your children had your sister wives to raise them just how you'd want them raised. So it got me thinking. This had made me realize that I do want to live near my family when I'm older, so that my children will be around extended family. The way these women described their children as siblings, coming and going between homes, always welcome to eat or swim or play at whomever's home. And I think it would be so great for my children to live in this environment with their cousins. For my children to be fed and disciplined at my sister's home, to know they're always welcome and my brother's. For my nieces and nephews to know they are always welcome at my home and to come as they like - planned or not. That sounds so beautiful. My family now (and hopefully the family of my future spouse) will be the village that raises my children. Lesson: It takes a village.
The family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.