I've always thought of sin as a dissonance between who we want to be and what we do. If our behavior doesn't align with our true identity, then it is sin. That definition works for secular and religious folks, with the real difference being that by revelation we know our true identity as children of God and all that entails, rather than blindly groping alone to put together a personal philosophy. Some religions teach that it is what you do (or don't do) that gets you into heaven, others that it is what you believe. But to me I think it's about who you become. I remember once coming across two quotes about sin that really imacted me deeply. One is "“Sin is the result of deep and unmet needs.” (Spencer W. Kimball) and the other is that "most sins are the results of being selfish" (I don't remember who said this one). I have found that trying to eliminate selfishness and focusing on others helps immensely. On the other hand I have found that when there is a difference between my behavior and my ideals, that if I look carefully I will often identify where I have not been taking care of myself and trying to full fill emotional and mental needs in ultimately unfulfilling and harmful ways. As for all sins being equally bad, I don't know that I've ever thought that. Those which hurt others are obviously worse than those which only hurt yourself. In fact at one of the Addiction Recovery meetings I went to once, one older man who had been struggling with PMO for more than 5 decades shared a powerful thought his Bishop told him (which I think applies to you @Mindy ) If everybody in the world had your same morals, would the world be a better place? For all your faults, there would be no stealing, no murder, etc.etc. Then you are already on the right path. The trick is to continue! One final thought - I think the better people are and the closer they are to who they want to be, then the more painfully they feel the gap between who they are and who they want to be. Such healthy guilt is a major motivation, compared to the world shame that only cares if one is "one of the cool kids" or not. Shame often keeps us from fixing problems because we are more concerned with covering them, while guilt motivates us to do better no matter what.