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Bishop who dresses as homeless man was asked to leave his church

By Mason White 12:58 PM December 1, 2013
David Musselman before and after 

By: John Roberts
(Scroll down for video) A Bishop wanted to teach his congregants a lesson in compassion when he dressed as a homeless man and sat outside the church.

To his surprise, several people asked the “homeless man” to leave the church property.

David Musselman, 45, who is a Mormon bishop of Taylorsville Fourth Ward, in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah, wanted to teach his followers a lesson about charity.

He had a makeup artist change his appearance to make him look like a homeless man.

An hour before services, he went to panhandle outside his own church.

Musselman said he knew some of his parishioners would be friendly while others would not, but what surprised him was the indifference that people showed towards him.

“Most people just ignored me and made great effort not to make eye contact,” Musselman said.

“That was an unexpected lesson for me,” he said.

Musselman explained that people do not always have to give money or food, but a simple smile and making eye contact can go a long way.

The Bishop said that dozens of people interacted with him at the church.

Some were giving. He received an apple, some cookies and $20.

“I had several people ask me to leave the property,” he said.

When the service started, Musselman entered the church and sat in the front row.

Then an assistant, who was in on the scheme, announced that “the homeless man would like to say a few words.”

He got up and greeted everyone before removing his disguise.

When he revealed who he was, “you could hear a pin drop,” Jaimi Larsen, 38, said.

Once he had unmasked himself, the Bishop gave a talk about “giving, gratitude and compassion,” which apparently struck an emotional chord.

“There was a woman who was sobbing uncontrollably,” Larsen said.

“I think it had the effect I hoped for,” Musselman said.