Joseph Smith has always been surrounded by stories, rumors and narratives. Those who had heard of the Book of Mormon would ask him how they should determine the truth. This was especially so since he freely told people that he was not perfect, but just like them.
Brigham Young’s favorite rhetorical style embraced hyperbole (common for his time). He also enjoyed doctrinal speculation based on his reckoning or logic. Several times he was braced by those who wanted him to be their sole light.
The responses both men made are ones we should remember.
Joseph Smith told people not to rely on him, but instead to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. He told them to deal directly with God, the source of all truth.
Brigham Young told those who wanted him as their sole guiding light that they would fail if they did that. He gave clear sermons that relying on men would guide one straight to hell and that what the Saints needed to do was to seek the Spirit and draw close to God to learn what they really needed. I would note that repeating this advice was the topic of the first devotional I remember hearing at BYU when I went there in the early 70s.
As for leaders being as useful as scripture, he also reminded people that the scripture included the apocrypha and was laced with translation and other errors. The Old Testament doesn’t even agree with itself over dates and times, in the New Testament, Paul can’t remember if those with him saw a light and did not hear the voice or heard the voice but did not see the light.
Until Christ returns we will always have questions. Our leaders will always be frail and fallible humans, limited by the context and language they have. We will always go astray if rely only on logic and personality, we will always find safety in seeking God directly and embracing the Spirit.
That is the core of the lesson I would share if I were looking at a way to teach inoculation. There are always stories, always narratives. Some are true, some are false, some are misleading and some are irrelevant. But, if our connection is to God and Christ, with the Spirit, then the stories and narratives are merely stories of God dealing with us through humans, nothing more, and certainly nothing less.
But those humans are only tools that God uses. Jesus Christ is the foundation and cornerstone of our faith, and the real key to the truth. It is Christ’s Church, the Church of Jesus Christ, first and always, that we belong to, not the church of Moses or any other man.
That is the key that brings us safely home, anything else can lead us astray.