Friday, November 18, 2016

The Mormon Church finally retires "the little factory" pamphlet...

It's been awhile since I last referenced a famous LDS pamphlet entitled "To Young Men Only".  This pamphlet was written by Mark E. Peterson and was based on a sermon from 1976 by the late Mormon apostle, Boyd K. Packer.  It addressed the evils of masturbation, as Packer used the term "the little factory" as a euphemism for male genitalia.  Although a lot of us got some laughs from the ridiculousness of the talk, the truth is, "To Young Men Only" is the source of a lot of embarrassment for many people.  It also caused untold damage to young men growing up and struggling with the urge to self-pleasure.

This week, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints decided to retire the pamphlet.  Church officials have removed it from the church's official Web site.  The decision made the news, so I posted an article about it on Facebook.  I do have a number of ex Mormon friends, but most of my friends have never been exposed to the church.  One friend, a guy I've known since my freshman year of college and who, I think, is Catholic, was flabbergasted by the "little factory" reference.  His comment?  "How strange!"

I have to agree.  It is very strange when people are so concerned about what others do while in the privacy of their bedroom or bathroom.  It's very odd when an adult worries so much about what a young person does with their own genitals.

Given the way the world is today, one should wonder why it took so very long to retire that pamphlet, which I know caused a lot of confusion and embarrassment for people in the church.  My guess is that it's because Mr. Packer only died last year.  He was an "apostle", so that probably had something to do with why that particular nugget of "wisdom" wasn't debunked sooner than it was.  To be clear, I'm pretty sure many Mormons are still against self-pleasuring.  But at least now, youngsters won't have to be exposed to "the little factory" malarkey on an official basis.

I like that the LDS church has evolved since 1976... at least somewhat.  I don't like that a lot of young people emerging into puberty had to be exposed to such utter nonsense as "To Young Men Only".  I'm sure a lot of young folks were smart enough to ignore Packer's advice about not masturbating, but there were others who took it to heart and suffered accordingly.  The church made the natural tendency to masturbate seem like such a gross, sinful habit.  Sadly, that stance has led to tragic consequences for some who were overwhelmed by guilt.  People have actually committed suicide over masturbation. 

Anyway... good on the Mormons for retiring that particular piece of bullshit.  Too bad they didn't do it many years ago.

A humorous take on this...


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