Who within the TSCC is viewed as a second-class mormon? Perhaps those born in the covenant feel more like first-class than those who convert later on in life.
What about those who believe and have a testimony, but are never called to a position within the morg. Do they feel like second-class citizens? I know a very good friend who has served faithfully in the elder's quorum as a home teacher, faithfully pays 10% of his gross income, yet he never receives a leadership calling. I asked him how he feels about it, and he wonders why too, but isn't ready to make waves. How often do new move-in's to the ward receive a less than warm welcome and are hardly noticed by the "in-crowd" group in the ward? I've seen it happen where they feel ostracized from the get go. Often it is so much more convenient to ignore the stranger than to really love them.
How many of us felt at times like second-class citizens because we didn't measure up, felt guilty and not worthy? I know I did often and it caused me much distress.
I believe that the TSCC makes young men who don't serve a mission made to feel like second-class citizens. Those who are not found worthy due to past sexual sins can never serve a mission. Second-class. The church preaches that if you have repented from serious transgression, you are forgiven. Christ taught, “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. Why is that the TSCC never forgives nor forgets? Take for instance Alma the younger who was a very wicked guy, yet he was able to serve a mission. To me it is yet another example of the double speak the GA's and other priesthood leaders set. I don't know how any young man or woman who desires to serve a mission and his refused because of past mistakes cannot question the doctrinal thinking behind such a decision. Second-class.
Women in the church are most definitely made to feel like second-class citizens. A former TBM shared the following story with me:
"You pretty much hit upon my main reason for dropping out of the Church. My husband and I are converts, childless, always lived in "the mission field" and never fit in in any ward. I have literally gone in to RS and had the other sisters not even sit on the same row as me, much less next to me. I'm sure they would have caught something worse than cooties had they done so.
I got tired of the labels I couldn't shake, got tired of the second-class treatment as a childless woman. And, my disabled and very ill husband can no longer go out and work and openly encourages me to do so. I started my own dog training business back in 1997 which I continue with to this day. That doesn't "fit" with the approved image they want for their women-folk.
As I continue to do more reading and investigation, I no longer feel guilty about ditching my G's and once again enjoy my coffee, thank you! The only thing I feel guilty about, is joining this Church in the first place!!"
Throughout our marriage, my wife has a majority of the time stayed home to raise our children. Weren't we good morgbots. Because I was the only one working outside of the home bringing in a regular pay cheque and paying 10% to build the kingdom, there were a few times when the only way to put food on the table was to ask the bishop for help. Going to the storehouse was very embarrasing and felt like second-class members. It was very difficult to see people who you knew serving there as volunteers and assisting with taking the canned food off the shelf to fill your buggy. I honestly don't know what could have been done differently so as not to cause people who needed help to avoid the shame they felt. Sometimes members are just so much in your face and in your own personal life that it's very intrusive. Unless you live up to ever covenant you make you will be in Satan's power! Second Class!!!
When you've been treated as a second-class citizen for so long, what do you think is the end result? Lack of self-esteem...depression, suicide? Lack of independence, lack of thinking, lack of genuine love and emotion? TBM's rarely look at people first, but as "active" or "in-active" in the church.
There are some TBM attitudes that emanate from Utah that non-americans find repuslive. “Patriotism” means being loyal to the United States, no matter what one’s nationality. Everybody on earth wants to be an American. (Most of us don’t!)
American missionaries often find it hard, for example, to realize that “Come, Come, Ye Saints” has little appeal for members whose families had no part in any pioneering movement; that “America the Beautiful” is a beautiful song and not a hymn, and therefore that non-Americans have no reason to sing it; and that people in Idaho, California, and Vermont have no reason to sing “Utah, We Love Thee.” TBM Utahns in particular seem to antagonize people by inferring that everyone else are second-class citizens in the kingdom of God and can only redeem themselves by moving to Utah. I know that I had many a missionary companion who had this holier than thou attitude. I was a second-class citizen, even as a missionary.
Believe me, I am not anti-American, nor are most people, Church members or otherwise, outside the United States. Most criticism of America stems from irritation of the “second-class citizen syndrome.”
Now I'm not suggesting that we count all the ways in which we've been made to feel like a second-class member of the morg, but I do think that facing these fears and learning to overcome these emotions brings healing. I believe it has for me. Wouldn't it be nice just to have people look for our common needs as human beings and realize we can learn so much from each other outside of religious dogma.