SALT LAKE CITY (CBS Las Vegas) – When David Musselman wanted to teach his congregation about compassion, he turned to a professional make up artist and some old clothes.

The Mormon bishop tells KUTV-TV the idea came to him while he was thinking about ways to inspire people to be more kind and accepting of others.

“The main thing I was trying to get across was we don’t need to be so quick to judge,” he says.

He dressed in rags and used makeup and fake hair to disguise himself as a homeless man and walked into the church last  Sunday.

Ward member Jaimi Larsen says she didn’t realize the homeless man who wandered in was actually Musselman.

“He was dirty.  He was crippled.  He was old.  He was mumbling to himself,” she adds.

Musselman says one member asked him to leave church property, but most were accepting of his alter-ego.

Still in his disguise, the bishop approached the pulpit and began speaking, telling the congregation why he was thankful before revealing his true identity.
Larsen says many people in the church were deeply moved.
“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.”
But bishop Musselman says he wasn’t out to shame anyone, only to teach the lesson that people should not be deceived by appearances, and should be kind to everyone regardless of appearance.

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