Mormon bishop goes undercover as homeless man

"The main thing I was trying to get across was we don’t need to be so quick to judge," bishop says.
By Evan Bleier   |   Dec. 2, 2013 at 10:44 AM   |   Comments

Dec. 2 (UPI) -- In order to teach his congregation a Thanksgiving lesson about compassion, Mormon Bishop David Musselman went undercover as a homeless man at the chapel of the Taylorsville Fourth Ward in Utah.

Musselman said the idea to dress as a homeless man came to him one night while he was trying to think of ways to teach people to be kinder and more accepting of others.

"The main thing I was trying to get across was we don’t need to be so quick to judge," Musselman said.

Local professional makeup artist Tara Starling helped Musselman come up with the disguise. "When he presented this idea to me, I said when and where…let’s do it," Starling said. The disguise was so good that not even Musselman's wife or children knew who he was.

Ward member Jaimi Larsen certainly didn’t recognize the bishop. "He was dirty. He was crippled. He was old. He was mumbling to himself," Larsen said.

Although ward members had different reactions, the one that Musselman enjoyed the most was from the children. "I was impressed by the children. I could see in their eyes they wanted to do more," Musselman said.

When he finally revealed himself and took off his disguise, the crowd was shocked. "I started feeling ashamed because I didn't say hello to this man. I didn't offer him anything because I didn’t feel like I had anything to offer," Larsen said.


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