This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
For 40 years, Mormon apostle Boyd K. Packer's advice to teenage boys about their "little factories" was widely distributed inside the LDS Church and widely mocked outside it.
Now the pamphlet "To Young Men Only" which addressed the issue of masturbation to help boys as they navigate puberty has been removed from the faith's website and store.lds.org for ecclesiastical leaders to obtain printed copies.
Packer, who died in 2015, approached the topic during the October 1976 all-male priesthood session of the semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In it, the late apostle used the euphemism "little factory" to describe the male anatomy.
"This little factory moves quietly into operation as a normal and expected pattern of growth that begins to produce the life-giving substance. It will do so perhaps as long as you live. ... For the most part, unless you tamper with it, you will hardly be aware that it is working at all," Packer said. "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.
" ... There is, however, something you should not do," the apostle added. "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."
The speech prompted amused chatter, but later was reproduced in a pamphlet for use by Mormon bishops and other youth leaders.
Packer's original sermon "remains on the website" under the General Conference section, church spokesman Doug Andersen said, "but it is a common practice for the church to retire publications."
Peggy Fletcher Stack