Sunday, with the help of professional makeup artist Tara Starling, an LDS bishop went undercover as a homeless man and greeted people at Taylorsville Fourth Ward Church in Salt Lake City, Utah to give a lesson in kindness and acceptance of others. The disguise was so convincing that although many at his church were very kind to him, others went out of their way to avoid eye contact, ignore him or ask him to leave. He was so unrecognizable, his own wife and children didn’t know who he was.
Bishop David Musselman didn’t ask for any money or food, he just told each person happy Thanksgiving. Musselman just wanted to show that you can’t judge someone with no actual knowledge of the person or what they’ve been through.
The main thing I was trying to get across was we don’t need to be so quick to judge.
He said he received more compassion from the children.
I was impressed by the children. I could see in their eyes they wanted to do more.
Ward member Jaimi Larsen didn’t recognize the bishop at all.
He was dirty. He was crippled. He was old. He was mumbling to himself.
When the bishop walked to the pulpit, still in disguise, he quoted the song, “Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?”. After that, he told the crowd what he was thankful for and then he finally revealed who he really was, and the audience was shocked. Once seeing Musselman out of the costume, Larsen felt she could have responded differently when seeing the homeless man outside of he church.
I started crying in shame 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.
Musselman said he didn’t intend to embarrass anyone or make them feel ashamed of themselves, he just wanted to remind them to be kind to people from all walks of life every day and not just the holidays.
For more on this, check out the video below.