Nonbelievers have a problem with public relations.
One popular stereotype portrays atheists as cold and overly analytical, all logic and no heart. They are thought to have a deaf ear when it comes to feelings. "What is this thing you call love?" asks the alien of science fiction in a robotic voice. From an LDS viewpoint, this type of nonbeliever lacks the gift of faith and can be pitied. This kind of nonbeliever prays but receives no answer.
Another kind of nonbeliever in the popular imagination is the arrogant professor, exemplified Richard Dawkins. Too smart for his own good, this kind of atheist talks down you, and nobody likes a smarty pants. In the LDS world, this kind of nonbeliever gets 2 Nephi 9:28 thrown at them: "when they are learned they think they are wise, [but] their wisdom is foolishness." (Unfortunately, this familiar ad hominem attack doesn't say how to refute the facts and arguments presented by the unpleasant person of learning.)
To sum up, nonbelievers either lack feeling or they lack humility. As bad as this is, it gets worse. In many cases, nonbelievers are evil.
Joseph Smith took on the theme of the public skeptic in the Book of Mormon with the character Korihor. Korihor is definitely a nonbeliever we can love to hate, since he follows the conventions of villains from melodrama. Korihor isn't just a nonbeliever; he's dastardly. He's the third kind of nonbeliever: the villainous deceiver. What distinguishes Korihor is the fact that he means to cause harm. The moral of his story is that nonbelievers are evil people who want to lead us astray. We learn that they must be dealt with by force, either human and supernatural. Interacting with them or trying to understand what they are saying would be as ill advised as inviting a vampire to cross your threshold.
Clearly, nonbelievers have a public image that could use some polishing. Let's see-- as a nonbeliever you can be lacking in feeling, lacking in humility or just plain evil. These are not attractive options.
When I wonder what kind of nonbeliever I am, I start with these three possibilities.
The first one (Mr. Spock) might fit in some ways. I certainly had tremendous cognitive dissonance when I was a believer. Getting an answer to prayer that I could believe in was next to impossible. However, I am intuitive and also very emotional. I *never* (even to this day) have had any problem feeling the rush of affirmation that that people describe as feeling the Spirit.
When I compare myself to Prof. Dawkins, the second kind of nonbeliever, I think we might be getting closer. I can't really say for sure. I will say that one of the most profoundly moving moments of my life was when I really understood the implications of the scientific method. I'm the kind of person who gets very excited by repeatable experiments. So, I guess I have to leave option two as a maybe. It's possible that I lack humility, since I do value knowledge deduced from empirical data, and I prize academic achievement.
I feel pretty good about ruling out the last kind of nonbeliever, the ill-intentioned deceiver. I know my own heart pretty well, and if anything it's my commitment to independently verifiable facts that keeps me in a state of disbelief. I certainly have no desire to cause harm.
Ultimately, though, I don't feel comfortable with any of these atheist personas. My attempt to find a path through this life is no different from anyone else's. I'm as bewildered by this life as the next person. I'm just as awed by the magnificence of creation as the believers I know. Maybe I'm a sentimental nonbeliever. Is that a new category?