by Shawn Tucker:
If I were given the chance to influence one aspect of Mormon culture and scripture interpretation, one thing that would be at the top of my list would be the notion that sexual sin is “next to murder.” Generally, I believe that sexual sin is not even close to murder. But before I explain this idea, an idea I got from Michael R. Ash, let me say that sexual sins that are close to murder are the only sexual sins that are close to murder. The easiest example of this is Moroni 9:9-10, wherein the Nephites rape, torture, kill, and eat Lamanite women. Now that is sexual sin that is next to murder. Other sexual sins that are next to murder would be sins that irreparably damage souls, sins like incest, molestation, and rape.
When we are speaking with youth about sexual sin, in general it is not the above sins that we have in mind. While sexual sins like masturbation, fornication, and adultery are serious, sometimes very, very serious, I do not believe that they are anywhere near murder.