The Darger family, who were recently featured on Sister Wives when Kody Brown and his wives took a trip to Utah, tweeted this weekend about supporting their children, despite different views.
The tweet read, “We have found that in raising children by supporting their choices, in the long run our children support ours. They may not have all of our beliefs and values, but they all accept ours such that love and affinity remains constant.”
It would appear that the tweet is in reference to the Darger’s religious views, and also seems like a fair premise for understanding in any family.
The family has referred to themselves as orthodox Mormons. Joe Darger believes that his unconventional marriage will make him a better person and bring him closer to God.
The Darger family patriarch is quoted in the past as saying, “Choice by its nature means our children will not choose right all the time, or certainly will not choose what I think is right. Yet I believe that is God’s plan as well.” Joe’s quote from 2012 was in reference to one of his sons, Caleb, who had chosen not to live the polygamist lifestyle.
Mormons practiced plural marriage in the 19th century
The Dargers’ lifestyle choice is one anchored in religion, and Mormonism once advocated for polygamy. Mormon polygamous marriage started in 1831 with Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint (LDS) movement when he reportedly had visions telling him that plural marriage should be practiced.
The Darger family was the inspiration for the HBO hit, Big Love. Joe and his three wives first went public with their lifestyle when they co-authored their book, Love Times Three: Our True Story of a Polygamous Marriage, in hopes of educating others about plural marriage.
Joe’s three wives, Alina, Vicki and Val, are all related biologically. Vicki and Val are identical twin sisters, and Alina is their cousin. As told in their book, Love Times Three, Alina and Vicki married Joe on the same day, which is uncommon even within the polygamist community.
The three of them were married for 10 years before Vicki’s twin, Val, joined the family. Together, the four spouses share 25 children (including five children from Val’s previous marriage) and 17 grandchildren.
The Dargers make living under the same roof work for their large family
Unlike the Browns of Sister Wives, the family all lives under the same roof, in a 5,500-square-foot home in a suburb of Salt Lake City in Utah.
The family shares a communal kitchen, and husband Joe alternates every third night between Alina, Vicki, and Val, who each have their own bedroom.
Joe, Alina, Vicki and Val played a key role in decriminalizing polygamy in Utah
The Dargers made headlines recently for playing an integral role in changing Utah’s anti-polygamy laws, arguing that polygamy is a matter of freedom of religion and free speech.
The fact that Joe Darger chooses to refer to Alina, Vicki, and Val as his wives rather than mistresses, is what Joe explains once made him guilty of committing a felony.
The Dargers efforts were made whole when polygamy in their home state of Utah was reduced to a minor infraction, no longer a third-degree felony.
The Dargers have appeared in an episode of Sister Wives from 2012 when the two families vacationed together. The same year, The Dargers were also the subject of a TLC documentary called My Three Wives and have also been featured on Dr. Phil and ABC News.
The Dargers joined the Browns for their first weekly live tweet session during the premiere episode of this season’s show. The Browns paid a visit to the Dargers in the second episode this season, where Kody talked to Joe about missing other polygamist families.
Sister Wives airs on Sundays at 10/9c on TLC.