A Mormon bishop was asked to leave his own church by at least five members of the congregation when he disguised himself as a homeless man to teach a lesson about compassion.
David Musselman staged the modern-day parable atÂ The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints property in the Salt Lake City suburb of Taylorsville on Sunday, and was shocked by his reception.
The bishop hired a professional make-up artist to change how he looked, so that even his own family didn’t recognize him, and then went to church.
At least five people asked Musselman to leave the premises, some gave him money and most were indifferent to his presence.Â
He says he was surprised by the loud gasps of the congregation when he removed his wig and glasses at the pulpit during the service.
‘It had a shock value that I did not anticipate,’ Bishop Musselman told theÂ Deseret News. ‘I really did not have any idea that the members of my ward would gasp as big as they did.’
Musselman says he learned that more people want to improve than he had originally thought.Â
‘The main thing I was trying to get across was we donâ€™t need to be so quick to judge,’ he toldÂ KUTV.
Disguise: Make-up artist Tara Starling (left) added ‘fake sideburns, a bruised and cut cheek, deeply scarred lip, contact lenses, a wig, tooth stain and lots of of “dirt”‘ to Musselman’s face (right).
‘I learned that we donâ€™t know what happened to an individual, and so we canâ€™t and never should try to judge,’ the bishop continued.
Musselman’s friend and make-up artist Tara Starling recorded the event on herÂ FacebookÂ page, saying she was a part of sharing a ‘life-altering, soul-shaking, world-changing message.’
Starling said she altered the bishop’s appearance with ‘fake sideburns, a bruised and cut cheek, deeply scarred lip, contact lenses, a wig, tooth stain and lots of of “dirt.”‘
She wrote that she was waiting anxiously by her phone until she received a text message from Musselman that read: ‘Absolutely blew them awayâ€¦ Not a dry eye in the congregation.’
‘Lots of guilty guilty consciences afterwards. Had five different people kick me off the church property. We have a long way to go in this church,’ Musselman continued.
The bishop also commented that he was impressed by the behavior of children in the congregation, many of whom put money in the box of the ‘homeless man.’
Starling added: ‘What is it that makes us forget in our adulthood what we so inherently know as children; that every soul has intrinsic value independent of circumstance or standing?’
Watch the video here.
Adapted from the Daily Mail.