David Musselman, the bishop of the Taylorsville Fourth Ward, said friend and professional makeup artist Tara Starling helped him disguise himself as a homeless man so he could go unrecognized at his church Nov. 24, KUTV, Salt Lake City, reported Friday.
Musselman said some churchgoers were compassionate toward the apparent homeless stranger, while others were less welcoming.
One congregant told him to leave church property, he said.
"Many actually went out of their way to purposefully ignore me, and they wouldn't even make eye contact," he told the Deseret News.
"I was impressed by the children. I could see in their eyes they wanted to do more," Musselman said.
Musselman, who revealed his disguise to the congregation, said the stunt was aimed at promoting kindness and acceptance of others.
"The main thing I was trying to get across was we don't need to be so quick to judge," Musselman said.