I am convinced that there must be grounds for doubt as well as belief, in order to render the choice more truly a choice, and therefore the more deliberate, and laden with personal vulnerability and investment. The option to believe must appear on one's personal horizon like the fruit of paradise, perched precariously between sets of demands held in dynamic tension. One is, it would seem, always provided with sufficent materials out of which to fashion a life of credible conviction or dismissive denial. We are acted upon, in other words, by appeals to our personal values, our yearnings, our fears, our appetites and our ego. What we choose to embrace, to be responsive to, is the purest reflection of who we are and what we love. That is why faith, the choice to believe, is in the final analysis an action that is positively laden with moral significance. The call to faith is a summons to engage the heart, to attune it to resonate in sympathy with principles and values and ideals that we devoutly hope are true, and have reasonable but not certain grounds for believing to be true.
Terryl Givens, "Lightning out of Heaven: Joseph Smith and the Forging of Community," forum address, Brigham Young University, 29 November, 2005
I sense that my worship differs from that of many with whom I share a pew in sacrament meeting. This difference arises, I think, from a difference in the focus of our fundamental human anxiety...[M]y anxiety is focused not upon whether my immortal soul may suffer damnation but upon whether I have an immortal soul. It seems a pity to take one's immortality for granted, to expect it and count on it. It seems a pity to be so sheltered from the terror of death that one's gratitude for the resurrection is merely dutiful and perfunctory. Perhaps truly there are religious advantages to doubt. Perhaps only a doubter can appreciate the miracle of life without end.
Levi Peterson, "A Christian by Yearning: Pillars of My Faith," Sunstone, September, 1988, 20.
(Both quotes were included in the article "Soulcraft 101: Faith, Doubt, and the Process of Education" by Boyd Peterson)