Sunday, January 15, 2017

Little Factories

Never do anything that could lead to sexual transgression. Treat others with respect, not as objects used to satisfy lustful and selfish desires. Before marriage, do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not do anything else that arouses sexual feelings. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body.

-For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet, p 35, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I remember as a teen growing up in the Mormon church, I was held to a very high standard.  From the way I dressed to the movies I watched, the church was an active part of my everyday life.  Lucky for me, I had a penis.  That's because as a man in the church, there was nothing you couldn't become.  Well, not nothing because the women were assured they have a special calling from God.  Women, even though they are not permitted to have the priesthood and serve in legitimate leadership roles, they had something even the most powerful Mormon didn't have.  Childbirth.  Yes, you read it correctly.  Women in the church were told child bearing was the greatest gift of all, and this because God loved his daughters just so much.  Talk about a real letdown.  I'm sure being able to have a child is great and all, but c'mon, how are you gonna replace having the priesthood with having nine uncomfortable months and a baby coming out of your vagina?

Females also weren't permitted to wear tank tops or shorts above their knees.  That just invited temptations.  The church made it clear to the women, they could be held responsible for a man's sins towards them if they dressed in a manner that caused such provocation.

Anyway, the church gave us very strict rules to follow.  It was a spiritual guideline and it was all layed out in a pamphlet called, "For the Strength of Youth".  It covered everything,

Agency and Accountability
Dress and Appearance
Entertainment and Media
Honesty and Integrity
Music and Dancing
Physical and Emotional Health
Sabbath Day Observance
Sexual Purity
Tithes and Offerings
Work and Self Reliance
Go Forward with Faith

There was no part of my mormon life where the church did not have it's dirty paws.   It's like the old horror movie cliché, no matter how hard or fast you try and run away, the bad guy is always right there behind you.

I wasn't allowed to date until I was 16, and even then it's recommended we went in groups and never paired off one on one.  We had to do a variety of service projects. Mormons are really good at moving.  Every time a new family moved into the geographical boundaries, the priesthood brethren would ensure volunteers were there to provide free moving service.  I really hated that.  If not for that, I would probably enjoy moving today!  Well, maybe not, that's a bit over the top.

It told us how to choose our friends, where to hang out, how we should speak, how we should dress and who we should be charitable to (the church).  Of all the topics, Tithing and Sex were spoken about the most.  Of course the church wanted to be sure you weren't skimping out on paying them.  I remember always being pressured to give them money even when I was given money for gifts.  So, if anyone gave me money for my birthday or for Christmas, I would have to give the church 10% of that. I quickly figured out to just ask for physical gifts.

Everything from using your tongue to kiss to sexual intercourse was forbidden.  The teachers and other church leaders addressed this topic regularly.  One such address I remember being repeated to me so vividly even today, was given by one of the Apostles:

"I wish to explain something that will help you understand your young manhood and help you develop self-control. When this power begins to form, it might be likened to having a little factory in your body, one designed to produce the product that can generate life.

This little factory moves quietly into operation as a normal and expected pattern of growth and begins to produce the lifegiving substance. It will do so perhaps as long as you live. It works very slowly. That is the way it should be. For the most part, unless you tamper with it, you will hardly be aware that it is working at all.
As you move closer to manhood, this little factory will sometimes produce an oversupply of this substance. The Lord has provided a way for that to be released. It will happen without any help or without any resistance from you. Perhaps, one night you will have a dream. In the course of it the release valve that controls the factory will open and release all that is excess.

The factory and automatic release work on their own schedule. The Lord intended it to be that way. It is to regulate itself... There is, however, something you should not do. Sometimes a young man does not understand. Perhaps he is encouraged by unwise or unworthy companions to tamper with that factory. He might fondle himself and open that release valve. This you shouldn't do, for if you do that, the little factory will speed up. You will then be tempted again and again to release it. You can quickly be subjected to a habit, one that is not worthy, one that will leave you feeling depressed and feeling guilty. Resist that temptation. Do not be guilty of tampering or playing with this sacred power of creation. Keep it in reserve for the time when it can be righteously employed."

-Boyd K. Packer, General Conference Priesthood Session, October 2, 1976

This was the life I endured, to always be told uncomfortable and awkward things, and expected to obey.

Unfortunately for me, I was always a fan of "Factories".


  1. Listening to this talk Packer's voice starts to remind me of Dr. Evil. Listen to how he pronounces body.

    What I find funny is how the church inserts itself into everyday decision making on "morality" for women. No tank tops, cut offs below the knee, only one set of earrings, exclusive dating etc. because of the assumption that their virtue, or virginity is the one thing that would guarantee them a worthy man. Because only a worthy would give them mormon babies and that's their main calling in exsistense, an incubator.
    Depressingly that's all they have to look forward to in the eternities if they are to emulate Mother in Heaven. A silent virtuous figure in a guilded cage that is a cosmic baby Factory. The control that the LDS church attempts to exert on its members is very cult like.

    What I find fascinating about Mormonism is that it seems to be rooted in a gnostic attitude with a childlike disgust of the body.

  2. It's totally a raw deal for women. Which is why they had to aggrandize something for them.