Utah Bishop Teaches Compassion In Very Special Way - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Utah Bishop Teaches Compassion In Very Special Way

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David Muselman's transformation; Courtesy: Tara Starling David Muselman's transformation; Courtesy: Tara Starling

A Mormon bishop goes above and beyond to teach his church members about compassion this holiday season.

David Musselman is the bishop of the Taylorsville Fourth Ward in Utah. On Sunday (11/24), he disguised himself as a homeless man and went to church.

To get himself to look the part, he enlisted the help of professional makeup artist Tara Starling.

"He presented this idea to me, I said, 'Absolutely, when and where? Let's do it,'" recalled Tara Starling, the key makeup artist in the popular movies like High School Musical series.

After some work, the disguise was complete. At first, both Musselman and Starling were scared that people would recognize him through the makeup. However, the moment Musselman walked into the church, people looked at him like a stranger. In fact, the disguise was so good that his own family didn't even recognize him; not his wife, not his kids. The ward members were even more oblivious.

"He was dirty. He was crippled. He was old. He had like a crutch. He was mumbling to himself," remembered ward member Jaimi Larsen.

The bishop says he got a lot of mixed reactions. One person even asked him to leave the church.

Surprisingly, the more compassionate ones were the children. Musselman says that he could see it in their eyes. They wanted to help him.

The bishop eventually made his way to the pulpit, took off his wig and glasses, and revealed his true identity.

"And then 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," said Larsen.

The church was shocked to say the least.

"He quoted the song 'Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?'" recalled Larsen. The song is a popular song in the Church of Latter-day Saints.

Makeup artist Starling also was touched to be able to help the Bishop teach this lesson.

"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?" she writes on her Facebook.

"We're all players in each other's story...you never know what impact you'll have in another person's life with just one act of kindness. A simple gesture can change a person's life," Starling told FOX 29.

The bishop says that he didn't do this to embarrass anyone. Instead, he wanted to teach members to be kind to all people. To Starling, spreading love and kindness and helping others is what life's about.

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