I sometimes hear folks at church distinguish themselves from other Christians by asserting a difference between the LDS “I know that…” and the non-LDS “I believe that… The former, it is implied, is the stronger and therefore the better faith. At the level of individual intent, I am not sure that such is the case. But the real issue is a bit of a misunderstanding about the effectiveness of faith.
The efficacy of faith does not depend on its fervor, but on the trustworthiness of its object. It is quite possible to believe passionately in something or someone who is less than worthy of this trust. The results of such misplaced confidence can be quite devastating. On the other hand, a minimum of faith reposed in a trustworthy object or person is always rewarded. This, I believe, is one facet of what Alma meant when he insisted that our experiment with the seed must entail a “good” seed. For if the seed is good, then “a particle” of faith is all that is needed.